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  #11  
Old 06-18-2014, 12:15 AM
AckAck AckAck is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bloomington IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahd776 View Post
This post really drives home what I am just starting to learn. A friend and I go shooting several times a year at his or my club range. Has always been sitting and shooting from a bench. Dawned on me last year that while dammed accurate shooting off a bench I was terrible other wise! Went to a intro to High Power Service Rifle a couple months ago that was put on by the Illinois State Rifle Association and have since shot two matches at my club in Tremont IL. Scores were as I expected low but I had a lot of fun and have been learning more in those two matches than anytime bench shooting. Used a AR the first match and M1A second match. At 63 years old I do not see myself being a high ranked shooter though anything is possible but at least will be able to hit my target from different positions if needed. This has really opened my eyes as to what shooting should be about at least for me.
I think that I was at the same clinic that you attended at the ISRA Range. I think they did a very nice job there. I'm glad to hear that you are shooting some matches in Tremont. I have been wanting to make my way over there to one. I have been shooting some Vintage Rifle Matches with my Garand in Pontiac. They have an outstanding range and some really great guys. You should try to make it over there sometime.

In regards to the OP....Outstanding and well said Sir!!

Regards and Good Shooting
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2014, 08:21 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
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The members that use this forum, and buy from the CMP are a tiny slice of the country, but it accurately represents the culture in that 99% never take up the shooting sport that the CMP is founded to promote, and preserve.

It is my hope that many more will stumble into a great tradition of competition in arms, and avail themselves of the opportunity to take part in something that will transform them from a red blooded American gun enthusiast, that reveres history, and freedom to one that also participates in the matches that were made for them.
It breaks my heart to know that the vast majority of these rifles the CMP has saved for us will never see any competition. Their owners will never know the community of people just like themselves that have taken their love for shooting in a direction that rewards them in the pursuit of the Distinguished Rifleman badge, the Presidents Hundred, and NRA classifications of Master and High Master.
All the people you meet along the way, from every state, and club members close to home form a community that is truly special. The longer you stay in the game, the more people you know, help, and cheer on because they are dear to you. When you start to get medals, they all cheer for you, and you for them. You really want them to succeed as much as you want to progress yourself.

Our sport has some of the same attributes of a thriving church. We have a community that gives, and loves one another. We learn together, and work to bring people in with open arms. We evangelize the game. Once you start you are never the same. You come past what most people think shooting is all about to a new and deeper appreciation for a discipline, and not just a casual interest in owning guns. Informal shooting is still great, but it doesn't compare to a personal best at the 600 yard line, earning leg points, achieving goals of a shooting career, and meeting really great people.
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Last edited by Greg Ficklin; 11-02-2015 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Readability
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2014, 10:27 AM
Kestrel4k Kestrel4k is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Ficklin View Post
[...] You will never lose to a better rifle, but you will only lose to better shooters.
Best quote of the day.
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2014, 08:52 PM
BowHunt! BowHunt! is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Buckeye State, NW Ohio
Posts: 203
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I've read that post probably twenty times and I get fired up every time I read it. Can't wait till July and National Matches. Well done sir, well done!
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2014, 09:34 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
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Now that I have gotten a good start to this thread, and hopefully encouraged the readers to look into the CMP matches, lets get into what the title of the thread is all about: How to be more competitive.

I want to restate that you will never be beaten by better rifles, and ammo. You will however be bested by more experienced shooters that have learned the things I want to touch on in this thread.
The avid gun guys, shooters and hunters will often crow about a great shot they made once, especially when they know that you have taken up competitive shooting. I have a friend that told me about a running coyote he shot at 300 yards.
Friends that is a good shot, and the fact that he can tell that story makes him a good shot. Often we proudly affirm our marksmanship skills based on a handful of incredible shots that make entertaining true stories. But the competitive shooter has a different reference. What if my coyote shooting friend had to make that shot twenty times under the exact same conditions ? If he made that shot nine more times he would only be at 50%, but would make for an unbelievable story and certainly qualify him as an incredible shot.
Because hunting involves using firearms, we often think the two activities are related somehow in the skill set required to be successful, but in reality they aren't. The competitive shooting game is a game of perfection repeated consistently. It is consistency that separates the the new shooter from the national champion.
The current record for 20 rounds at 200 yards standing is shared by Gary Anderson, and Carl Bernoski. They both have 200 points with 15X. To get to that level of consistency, the ritual, or shot process begins long before a round is loaded. Everything from getting to the line, to making the last shot is so familiar from countless repetitions, that they don't even think about how to do it anymore.
The subconscious mind takes over the jobs of every motion, and action of setting up, picking up the rifle, loading, aiming, trigger pressure, and follow through like a program running from the subconscious mind. This is known as the "shot process", and it takes time to develop.

New competitors have no shot process, or the one they are developing has so many variables and inconsistencies. They have to think and decide what to do in every step. It is like starting to drive a car. You have watched your folks do it your whole life, and you are fairly confident that you "know" how to drive, but when you are handed the keys for the first time you have to look at them and decide how to put it in, and actually look for the ignition switch. Nothing is intuitive, you have to consciously decide what to do for everything with prompting from whoever is taking you out for your first drive.
Fast forward a few years and look at what driving has become. It has become a natural extension of the subconscious mind. You start the car, check the mirror, change the radio station, hold a cup of coffee, and steer with your knee from time to time while answering the phone. You do a hundred complicated things going to work in the morning that you don't even think about.

That is what competitive shooters do with their rifles, and you can do it too. It takes time and repetition for a refined shot process to build consistency. Stay with it and you will see what I mean.
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NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
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CMP GSM Master Inst.

Last edited by Big_Red; 07-31-2015 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Readability
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  #16  
Old 08-05-2014, 12:08 PM
RFMan RFMan is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 142
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I bought my first M1, an SASG, two years ago from the CMP. Followed that up with an HRA SGS last year. I will turn 50 in October...and shot my first ever matches (three of them) with these rifles. I, too, wish I had discovered this earlier in life...

Older people, willing to pass on their passions to younger people, are what keep many endeavors alive. I have been both a beneficiary and a benefactor in this regard in other areas, and it's very rewarding.
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  #17  
Old 08-05-2014, 01:11 PM
Dollar Bill Dollar Bill is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 2,070
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Great thread, Greg!

I also, recently, started attempting to shoot competitively. For the first time in my life, I have a range where matches are held within reasonable driving distance so I can at least practice.

In 2011 (still not having somewhere to shoot matches) I started postal 4P smallbore shooting. Yes, it's an honor system but I started with an inexpensive Mossberg and now shoot a Winchester 52D (that I got from the CMP). In 2 years, I was able to improve enough to consistently shoot expert scores IAW NRA rules. After 30 years of shooting non-competitively, it was, and still is a humbling experience but a heck of a lot of fun.

Encouragement from guys like you makes a world of difference to guys like me. Thanks!
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2014, 03:55 PM
no.4shot no.4shot is offline
 
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Location: Michigan
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Great thread!!! keep them coming please Greg.
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  #19  
Old 08-06-2014, 09:59 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
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Just a little update on me, or what some may call gloating, or tooting my own horn. It is all of these, but most of all, I want to inspire you to do the same.
I completed my quest for the Distinguished Rifleman badge at Camp Perry this year as the highest scoring civilian in the Non-Distinguished ranking of nearly 700 people. It was the best full distance 500 agg in my life to this point, but not a single personal best in any stage. I didn't even clean any of the stages, but came away with a 483-12X. The score was good enough to place 7th in the Non-Distinguished, and 39th overall in the 2014 National Trophy Individual, the national leg match. Just making the cut in the NTI gets a civilian a 10 pt hard leg even if he only makes the cut for bronze, but I went out with an honest gold medal leg at Perry. I walked the stage to take badge #2198 amid the applause, and cheers of so many I have met along the way. It is a milestone in ones shooting career, but not the end of the road.
__________________
Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.
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  #20  
Old 08-07-2014, 07:08 PM
wesvb wesvb is offline
 
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Location: Friendswood, Texas
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Sometimes this forum needs a like button.
Great job Greg! Hard work and believing in one's self pays off.
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