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Thread: dry firing to the surprise break

  1. #1
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    dry firing to the surprise break

    I just started shooting a few weeks ago so I don't know a lot but I used to study archery from a nationally ranked archer who is also a shooter who is now giving me rifle instruction.

    For those of you who train to the "surprise break" I'd like to know what you think about the way I'm dry firing. I think of the surprise break as the moment you go off an infinitely sharp cliff, such that no matter how close you get before the break you can always get closer without breaking the shot and to my mind this preserves the surprise of the break while continuously making the window of time in which the surprise break occurs smaller and smaller such that the subconscious can "time into the wobble". To my understanding the "surprise" is necessary to train to or you will "command the shot" with your conscious mind and hence possibly perform lower than might have been.

    Now, my question is what is wrong with thinking of the point of dry firing as being in actuality the attempt to put as much pull force on the trigger WITHOUT breaking the shot. Because it seems to me this both narrows the window of the surprise break to, lets say, infinitely narrow in time but without losing the surprise. So I'm focusing on how close I can get to the edge of an infinitely sharp cliff without going over.

    What do you think?

    Also, I don't understand the "steady pressure on the trigger" concept because my trigger takes I think 2.5lbs to break. Steady pressure, meaning one level of pull-force, will move the trigger to a point and no more. I assume what is meant is actually "steadily increasing pressure" on the trigger, which I think might have the same end result of what I'm doing but it seems to me that my way is more efficient, that if you focus on trying to NOT break the shot but while increasing the force its more direct and more clear of a task than trying to create "steadily increasing pressure" against a mechanical device that is opposing your force in a, I would say, nonlinear way. Too confusing. Why not just pull as hard as you can without breaking the shot, getting slower and finer as you get to the edge of the cliff.

  2. #2
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    The Rifles we shoot in Benchrest Competition have triggers one the 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce let off. There is really no sensation of “pulling” the trigger. When you are at the bench, watching the conditions with your finger on the trigger, your mind says fire, the Rifle fires.

    It’s difficult to explain until you actually do it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    The Rifles we shoot in Benchrest Competition have triggers one the 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce let off. There is really no sensation of “pulling” the trigger. When you are at the bench, watching the conditions with your finger on the trigger, your mind says fire, the Rifle fires.

    It’s difficult to explain until you actually do it.
    And sometimes your mind says fire and then you try and change your mind.
    Don't work with a 1 1/2 ounce trigger.
    As Jackie said hard to explain it until you try it.
    Greg

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    check it out

    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    The Rifles we shoot in Benchrest Competition have triggers one the 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce let off. There is really no sensation of “pulling” the trigger. When you are at the bench, watching the conditions with your finger on the trigger, your mind says fire, the Rifle fires.

    It’s difficult to explain until you actually do it.
    I set yrs ago card table in a room and dry fired at a target outside with night lite practice rely makes diff 15 min every nite it rely makes diff in teck

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    The Rifles we shoot in Benchrest Competition have triggers one the 3/4 to 1 1/2 ounce let off. There is really no sensation of “pulling” the trigger. When you are at the bench, watching the conditions with your finger on the trigger, your mind says fire, the Rifle fires.

    It’s difficult to explain until you actually do it.
    . . . and when you get to the point where that 1&1/2 Oz trigger just doesn't want to break, you're almost
    there . . . probably just lacking confidence in your flag reading . . . or, delivering that last shot! RG

  6. #6
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    Ayah!

    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    . . . and when you get to the point where that 1&1/2 Oz trigger just doesn't want to break, you're almost
    there . . . probably just lacking confidence in your flag reading . . . or, delivering that last shot! RG

  7. #7
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    The rifle that I use is a 11/2 onces and when you get a 2 lb trigger, as I have on my hunting gun, you have to almost put a stick inside to get it to fire. I have been shooting benchrest for awhile. To feel a 1 1/2oz trigger and to have to cancel, it takes some doing. Just my take on it and I agree with Jackie.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    . . . and when you get to the point where that 1&1/2 Oz trigger just doesn't want to break, you're almost
    there . . . probably just lacking confidence in your flag reading . . . or, delivering that last shot! RG

    That’s funny but true! For me, often it’s the first shot (I always start at the wrong time!) or the fifth when you have a dot down there. That 1 oz trigger is so heavy and seems to have about 1/4” of sear engagement.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gammon View Post
    The rifle that I use is a 11/2 onces and when you get a 2 lb trigger, as I have on my hunting gun, you have to almost put a stick inside to get it to fire. I have been shooting benchrest for awhile. To feel a 1 1/2oz trigger and to have to cancel, it takes some doing. Just my take on it and I agree with Jackie.
    Why such an extreme difference in trigger pull weight from a stock rifle to a benchrest rifle? My rifle is a Steyr SSG 08 A1 and it comes with a 2.5lb preset trigger weight. Why is mine set so heavy by Steyr if its detrimental to accuracy?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Robinett View Post
    . . . and when you get to the point where that 1&1/2 Oz trigger just doesn't want to break, you're almost
    there . . . probably just lacking confidence in your flag reading . . . or, delivering that last shot! RG
    I'm new to shooting but I keep wondering about the mechanics of the trigger and specifically whether any studies have been done on the variability, lets say the standard deviation, in pull force at the instant of the break. And also, knowing nothing about anything, I can't imagine this pull weight not varying with temperature. As many dry fires as I've done with my Steyr I still have doubt about the precise repeatability of whatever the mechanism is. Sometimes, pulling slow, I can sort of feel something slipping before the break but then I can't duplicate it though I might feel it again another time.

    Knowing nothing about guns before a few weeks ago it still surprises me that this trigger pulling experience needs to be the way it is, insofar as it doesn't seem that easy to converge on the sharp edge of the cliff by dry firing. There's no clear progress that I can discern, but then I haven't been out on the range but 3 or 4 times.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC_Harr View Post
    I'm new to shooting but I keep wondering about the mechanics of the trigger and specifically whether any studies have been done on the variability, lets say the standard deviation, in pull force at the instant of the break. And also, knowing nothing about anything, I can't imagine this pull weight not varying with temperature. As many dry fires as I've done with my Steyr I still have doubt about the precise repeatability of whatever the mechanism is. Sometimes, pulling slow, I can sort of feel something slipping before the break but then I can't duplicate it though I might feel it again another time.

    Knowing nothing about guns before a few weeks ago it still surprises me that this trigger pulling experience needs to be the way it is, insofar as it doesn't seem that easy to converge on the sharp edge of the cliff by dry firing. There's no clear progress that I can discern, but then I haven't been out on the range but 3 or 4 times.
    This is a huge subject, but suffice it to say that high-end triggers don't function like the one in your Steyr

    Search "3-lever trigger" and "3-lever conversion" for a start..... then you get into bearings, rollers, trip levers, etc..... "single stage" VS "2-stage", European style VS American, "Staged Break" triggers and the like.

    The only company I'm aware of who publishes data, charts, graphs and force diagrams regarding repeatability is Huber https://www.huberconcepts.com/ And while I've got several Huber triggers I don't find them useful for my types of shooting.

    I've recently tested Shilen, Jewell, Giessele, Huber, Hare, Flavio Fare', Bix and Andy, Rifle Basix, TriggerTech CLKR and 'Diamond', Timney's new 'Calvin Elite' along with a couple conversions for rested shooting in competition or long-range hunting applications.

    I don't know much about shooting off my hindfeet but my recommendations for that would include Tubb, Huber, Timney and Triggertech.....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    This is a huge subject, but suffice it to say that high-end triggers don't function like the one in your Steyr

    Search "3-lever trigger" and "3-lever conversion" for a start..... then you get into bearings, rollers, trip levers, etc..... "single stage" VS "2-stage", European style VS American, "Staged Break" triggers and the like.

    The only company I'm aware of who publishes data, charts, graphs and force diagrams regarding repeatability is Huber https://www.huberconcepts.com/ And while I've got several Huber triggers I don't find them useful for my types of shooting.

    I've recently tested Shilen, Jewell, Giessele, Huber, Hare, Flavio Fare', Bix and Andy, Rifle Basix, TriggerTech CLKR and 'Diamond', Timney's new 'Calvin Elite' along with a couple conversions for rested shooting in competition or long-range hunting applications.

    I don't know much about shooting off my hindfeet but my recommendations for that would include Tubb, Huber, Timney and Triggertech.....
    Mother of God. This is f*&ked up. So I bought a $10K rifle and scope that has a crappy trigger? I only want .5MOA at 100 yards. Is that doable with my Steyr SSG08A1? I only want to know that I own any target inside 800 yards on the first shot. Why is Steyr so acclaimed if their trigger is so deficient?

  13. #13
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    It’s not a “crappy” trigger. It’s a trigger designed for a hunting rifle.

    The triggers we use in Competitive Benchrest are just like the rifle it’s self. They are designed as single purpose instruments, and are quite useless in any venue outside the competitive arena.

    A good analogy is a NHRA Pro Stock car. We marvel at it’s ability to cover the 1/4 mile in less than 6.50 seconds at speeds of over 210 mph. Truly phenomenal pieces of machinery in their venue.

    But, not very good to head to the local grocery store in.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC_Harr View Post
    Mother of God. This is f*&ked up. So I bought a $10K rifle and scope that has a crappy trigger? I only want .5MOA at 100 yards. Is that doable with my Steyr SSG08A1? I only want to know that I own any target inside 800 yards on the first shot. Why is Steyr so acclaimed if their trigger is so deficient?


    I'm gonna' take this a different way.....

    About ten years ago a feller came to me and asked "is it possible to ethically harvest elk out to 1000-1200yds? I've spent over a hundred thousand dollars on rifles and scopes and "shooting systems" that are supposed to do wondrous things..... Me and my buddies have over 7000 acres leased for hunting and playing, and we drive around and shoot at stuff for days and weeks and months and years.......and I can't get them to live up to their claims!"

    "Do I just SUCK? Or am I being lied to?"

    "Well," I said..... "Come on up to the range and we'll put you on a gun to see if you suck or not!"

    So he did.

    And we did.

    And he certainly did NOT suck.... he set like a nerveless meatsack and made little dot groups. Over and over.

    And we put together some guns, and he entered a whole nuther world of accuracy....

    So I'm not going to opine on your gun except to say I've never met a half-minute Steyr. There are factory rifles which, with certain specific factory Match loads, generally using medium-weight mid-range bullets will occasionally make that grade but IME consistent accuracy under 1/2moa must be built, not bought. And MOST importantly, guns which shoot HEAVY bullets, the ones you need for ranges over 500yds.... You simply must have the entire system professionally built and tuned and you must use specific reloading techniques In this regard factory guns are somewhat different than factory cars..... there ARE now factory-produced racecars which are perty rowdy. You drop the coin on a Hellcat Redeye then pay someone to assemble the box of parts that come with it and put in the proper fuel and you can drive off a fast car.

    But IMO you can't do that with guns. I'm not aware of any factory rifle "high performance package" which will allow you to "own everything within 800yds"

    AND...... and this is a big AND...... once you have a rifle capable of shooting heavy bullets (ALL long-range bullets are HEAVY bullets, you can't beat the wind with speed) into the requisite 1/2 minute you will still find that due to real-world conditions "owning everything within 800 yds" is harder than it might look on them (heavily edited) hunting shows

    Welcome to the endless world of "marketing".....

    And, from the perspective of one who owns a lot of benchrest-specific 1oz-2oz triggers, they simply DO NOT all break them same even then....

    And regarding hunting and other non-BR triggers, if you were in my area I could set you down with a dozen triggers which measure at 2.5lb trip weight and let you see that they DO NOT break the same!.... _Not_even_close.... I build/shoot/use a lot of 2.5lb triggers and some of them are so freakin' clean I wouldn't be afraid to use them at a 600-1000yd BR match, let alone an F-Class or other shooting competition.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC_Harr View Post
    Also, I don't understand the "steady pressure on the trigger" concept because my trigger takes I think 2.5lbs to break. Steady pressure, meaning one level of pull-force, will move the trigger to a point and no more. I assume what is meant is actually "steadily increasing pressure" on the trigger, which I think might have the same end result of what I'm doing but it seems to me that my way is more efficient, that if you focus on trying to NOT break the shot but while increasing the force its more direct and more clear of a task than trying to create "steadily increasing pressure" against a mechanical device that is opposing your force in a, I would say, nonlinear way. Too confusing. Why not just pull as hard as you can without breaking the shot, getting slower and finer as you get to the edge of the cliff.
    I shoot long guns right handed and handguns left handed. I recently bought a Sig P210A Tgt pistol with a wonderful trigger. However, I fond myself developing a case of "chicken finger" with the pistol and am having to retrain myself to just pull till it shoots. Taking up the slack and sitting on the point of break gets mentally fatiguing.

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