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View Poll Results: Good or bad advice to be surprised by a shot?
Good advice 130 58.30%
Bad advice 50 22.42%
Bacon 43 19.28%
Voters: 223. You may not vote on this poll

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  #161  
Old 06-29-2018, 8:43 PM
HK9 HK9 is offline
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
See for yourself.
Joe Avila, Eric Ingersoll and Vince Morgan seem to have the background I would expect from someone able to teach what I need to learn.

Thank you! I appreciate the replies.
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  #162  
Old 06-29-2018, 9:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
And yes, I have shot multiple rounds on multiple targets, moving from location to location, on the clock -- using a compressed surprise break.
Fiddletown, would you say that the antithesis of the surprise break is essentially one form or another of slapping or jerking the trigger? Would you then say that surprise break = linear trigger press and slapping or jerking = non-linear trigger pull?

I find that by addressing my grip first, I can free up my trigger finger to allow it to press instead of pull, for a more linear movement of the trigger itself. For some reason, everything I do or try, always seems to come right back to grip as being the platform upon which all else rests.

It seems like when I get the grip right, the trigger just falls into place. I've seen this with 15 lb triggers all the way down to 1.7 lb triggers. Almost as if the trigger weight or travel distance does not matter. But, when my grip is poor, I seem to focus and struggle with the trigger.

When my grip is right, I almost have no tension in my trigger finger. It becomes very loose and free. That's when I do my best shooting. When I'm not having a good grip day, my trigger finger comes under tension and that's when all heck breaks loose.

In my results I've recognized either:

Bad grip = tight trigger finger resulting in slapping the trigger with variable non-linear motion. Or, good grip (symmetrical compression through both palms) = loose trigger finder resulting in pressing the trigger with constant linear motion.
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  #163  
Old 06-30-2018, 7:56 AM
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On this podcast it sounds like one of the reasons why Ken Hackathorn left Gunsite because he felt that teaching a compressed surprise break wasn't helpful.

https://americanwarriorshow.libsyn.com/ken
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  #164  
Old 06-30-2018, 8:37 AM
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Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
I'd like to say that I've been doing that on the range since the mid 1980s, but since I wasn't even born until 1994....Ha ha. One day they just might call that, wait a minute....Shooting-On-Move? Naw.

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I regularly show up at the many USPSA events near me. You are correct, there are all kinds of decent people there and it is great fun.
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  #165  
Old 06-30-2018, 9:55 AM
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Originally Posted by HopetonBrown View Post
On this podcast it sounds like one of the reasons why Ken Hackathorn left Gunsite because he felt that teaching a compressed surprise break wasn't helpful.
Thanks for posting that, I hadn't heard if before and I always like listening to Hackathorn talk.

As to the Compressed Break, I picked up a slightly different take on it. Ken talked about Cooper prioritizing the front sight focus and not explaining trigger management well. That would be a failure of communication (trigger) and differing priorities (front sight).

It sounded like Ken left Gunsite due to Cooper's inflexibility and inertia...he also lightly touched on the change from The Colonel to The Chairman
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  #166  
Old 06-30-2018, 10:13 AM
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HK9
Quote:
If you had actually read the post, you would know what you are responding to. If you think fighting for your life on the street is a joke, you probably think getting hit hard enough to break bones on the football field is also a joke. I've been involved in both. You?
Let's see...

I've been learning how to Box better since 1972, played Varsity High School Football, did a 4 year pump in the Marines, don't make it to the gym or track as often as I should these days but my friends can find me there from time to time, been shooting Action Pistol events before USPSA's name change.

Ego & situational awareness has kept me out of street fights for some time now. And no one yet has gotten a good enough hit or grip on me, yet, to break any of my bones.

But a few women during all this time have broken my heart a few times. So in response to your query I'd say a have a reasonable idea. Why do you ask?

Last edited by hambam105; 06-30-2018 at 10:48 AM..
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  #167  
Old 06-30-2018, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopetonBrown View Post
On this podcast it sounds like one of the reasons why Ken Hackathorn left Gunsite because he felt that teaching a compressed surprise break wasn't helpful.

https://americanwarriorshow.libsyn.com/ken
That is a long and interesting interview but about where in that hour is the section you reference?

tipoc
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  #168  
Old 07-01-2018, 9:19 AM
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If you want to shoot a shot every second the slow squeeze and surprise break in your thing. If you want to shoot fast and shoot action shooting the surprise break is just to slow. Try shooting a fast moving swinger at 20+ years waiting for that surprise.

It is fine for a newbie but when you move up in skill level you want the gun to fire exactly when you want it to.

If you want to shoot fast practice pulling the trigger fast without moving the sights. Dry fire is the very best place to do this. Hold the gun firmly with your strong hand, squeeze like hell with the weak hand and pull the trigger back fast. If the sights move try d different finger placement on the trigger and/or try pulling the trigger straight back. I find if my sights move I'm pushing the trigger to the left a little and not straight back.

One more thing. Don't worry about the boom. Concentrate on the front sight and the target, clear your mind of everything else and pull the trigger smooth, fast and firmly. If you put enough rounds through a gun you know when the shot is going to break.

I don't get shot splits on Bill Drills of .15 to .17 seconds by squeezing the trigger. I jerk the trigger straight back. On a USPSA target I get over 90% A zone shots at 10 to 15 yards.
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  #169  
Old 07-01-2018, 9:28 AM
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The Hackathorn interview is a very good one and folks should take the time to listen to it. Especially those who know little about Jeff Cooper's contributions will benefit.

https://americanwarriorshow.libsyn.com/ken

About 24 to 26 minutes in Mr. Hackathorn explains why he left Gunsight. Basically, Gunsight, after many years of being on the cutting edge of training and innovation became too rigid in their approach he felt. He came to the conclusion that they were not open enough to innovation. He developed a number of differences of opinion on a number of matters. He also felt that he had an opportunity to compress their 5 day course into 2 days and make a go of that. So he left.

About 29 minutes in he discusses the compressed break and the front site.

tipoc

Last edited by tipoc; 07-01-2018 at 9:37 AM..
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  #170  
Old 07-01-2018, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
If you want to shoot a shot every second the slow squeeze and surprise break in your thing. If you want to shoot fast and shoot action shooting the surprise break is just to slow. Try shooting a fast moving swinger at 20+ years waiting for that surprise....
You might try actually reading the thread. From post 157:
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
Someone else who didn't understand what I said about the compressed surprise break. From post 99:
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post

...7. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of the gun firing "by surprise." They feel that when using the gun for practical applications, e. g., hunting or self defense, they need to be able to make the gun fire right now. But if you try to make the gun fire right now, you will almost certainly jerk the trigger thus jerking the gun off target and missing your shot. That's where the "compressed surprise break" comes in.

  1. As you practice (perfectly) and develop the facility to reflexively (without conscious thought) apply a smooth, continuously increasing pressure to the trigger the time interval between beginning to press and the shot breaking gets progressively shorter until it become indistinguishable from being instantaneous. In other words, that period of uncertainty during which the shot might break, but you don't know exactly when, becomes vanishingly short. And that is the compressed surprise break.

  2. Jeff Cooper explains the compressed surprise break in this video beginning at 36:04. This article by Jeff Campbell and this article by Jim Wilson might also be helpful.
...,
And yes, I have shot multiple rounds on multiple targets, moving from location to location, on the clock -- using a compressed surprise break.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
...If you want to shoot fast practice pulling the trigger fast without moving the sights....
And how does one do that? How do you teach someone to do that? That's where the surprise bread and compressed surprise break come in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
... Hold the gun firmly with your strong hand, squeeze like hell with the weak hand and pull the trigger back fast. If the sights move try d different finger placement on the trigger and/or try pulling the trigger straight back....
And how successful have you been teaching people that way to fire the gun without moving it? And how do you fire the gun without moving it when you shoot with one hand?
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  #171  
Old 07-01-2018, 10:32 AM
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Let's try a slightly different way of looking at this (but please have a look at post 99):
  1. The compressed surprise break is not a "slow squeeze" of the trigger -- nor is it a jerk. It is an apparently instantaneous shot, but it is executed in a way that doesn't move anything else.

    1. When one has mastered the compressed surprise break he consciously decides to take the shot and consciously initiates pressure on the trigger. The shot breaks an imperceptible interval later.

    2. Remember that no action is truly instantaneous. There is a time interval between each of the events in the chain of events leading to the act actually being executed -- the eye seeing the sights on target (or the gun indexed) --> the brain registering what the eye has seen --> the brain deciding to shoot --> the brain sending out the instruction to the trigger finger to begin pressing on the trigger --> the trigger finger beginning to apply pressure to the trigger --> the sear moving and releasing the hammer or striker --> the firing pin or striker hitting the primer --> the primer igniting --> the primer igniting the propellant --> the burning propellant building up enough gas pressure to begin the bullet's travel down the barrel --> the bullet exiting the barrel.

    3. When a shot is properly executed, including a compressed surprise break, the intervals between each link in that chain of events will be vanishingly short. It will be perceived as instantaneous.

  2. Remember that part of the challenge in helping people learn a physical skill is looking for useful ways to describe how the thing is done -- ways that can be translated into action.

  3. The concept of the surprise break helps us to teach people to fire the gun without anticipating the shot, or disturbing the index of the gun on target, or flinching. Then by mastering the trigger pass so the interval of uncertainty about when the gun will actually fire become vanishingly short, the need to shoot quickly is answered.

  4. The surprise break leading to the compressed surprise break is a well tested, over decades of training many thousands or shooters, way of teaching trigger control. The goal is to program out the common errors of jerking the trigger or flinching. And when one has mastered the compressed surprise break he might not know exactly when the shot will break, but he will know within a nano second (or something on that order) when the shot will break -- probably less time than the interval between the brain making the decision to shoot and the finger actually beginning to apply pressure on the trigger.

  5. And to earn to shoot both quickly and accurately --

    1. Push yourself beyond your "competency" zone.

    2. So once you can shoot well shooting at a particular pace, to get faster you need to push yourself to go faster. Your groups will open up, but keep pushing to a point.

    3. Then dial things back a bit, until your groups just start to get better. That will probably be faster than the pace at which you shot similar groups previously.

    4. It's kind of a "two steps forward and one step back" approach.
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  #172  
Old 07-01-2018, 1:23 PM
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Suprise break is an unintentional discharge...... you can shoot a gun accurately without flinching by just practicing and applying all the fundamentals of shooting. I shoot a handgun with a control break and I do not flinch or jerk. It just takes practice.

Last edited by TacopsDep417; 07-01-2018 at 1:27 PM..
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  #173  
Old 07-01-2018, 2:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TacopsDep417 View Post
Suprise break is an unintentional discharge...... you can shoot a gun accurately without flinching by just practicing and applying all the fundamentals of shooting. I shoot a handgun with a control break and I do not flinch or jerk. It just takes practice.
Phooey!
  1. Exactly what fundamental of shooting are you talking about?

  2. Firing a gun without moving it is one of the fundamentals of shooting.

  3. The way one can be taught to fire a gun without moving it is by teaching the surprise break -- leading up to the compressed surprise break.

  4. So the surprise break, and compress surprise break, are fundamental of shooting.

  5. Practice is fine, but exactly what an how do you practice. Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. If you can't do/don't know how to do something perfectly, practice just reinforces your inability/lack of knowledge. To improve you need to be able to do something well so that you can practice doing it well -- reinforcing good habits and skills.

  6. The surprise break leading to the compressed surprise break is a well tested, over decades of training many thousands or shooters, way of teaching trigger control. The goal is to program out the common errors of jerking the trigger or flinching. And when one has mastered the compressed surprise break he might not know exactly when the shot will break, but he will know within a nano second (or something on that order) when the shot will break -- probably less time than the interval between the brain making the decision to shoot and the finger actually beginning to apply pressure on the trigger.
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  #174  
Old 07-01-2018, 2:13 PM
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Too many “expert” responses to weed through them all but my advice is get a revolver. Load and put snap caps in a 3:3 ratio, 4:2, then finally 5:1. Spin the cylinder... wait until it stops before locking the cylinder (not good practice and can wear the gun if you Hollywood the cylinder into locking position while spinning) and look away for a second while doing this; no cheating. Or have a range buddy load.

This is how my Grandfather taught me using flinch drills as a kid with .38special. Old school.

Take a deep breath, hold, then exhale as you squeeze the trigger. Rinse and repeat until you graduate to whatever else.

Last edited by sierra11b; 07-01-2018 at 2:15 PM..
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  #175  
Old 07-01-2018, 9:52 PM
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The "surprise" is a bunch of bulls..... Professionals want to know when the round goes off.
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  #176  
Old 07-02-2018, 2:37 AM
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"Professionals"? What kind of 'Professionals'?

Current world class shooters & coaches in both pistol & rifle, including Olympic Air Rifle, may call it something different from a surprise break but the practice is the same.

Perhaps you can go to the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs and bring the shooting staff up to speed.
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  #177  
Old 07-02-2018, 7:27 AM
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lehn20

The "surprise" is a bunch of bulls..... Professionals want to know when the round goes off.
Did you bother to read any of fiddletown's superb posts on the matter? No, you did not. So...

If your shooting ability were anywhere near what you call "Professionals", I wouldn't say, "You have no idea of what you're talking about".

But, and I am only guessing, here, your ability isn't, so I will.

Do you know how I can tell?

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  #178  
Old 07-02-2018, 7:39 AM
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And I will add that the misunderstanding posted in this thread is evidence of those who just don't "get" the concept. The Surprise Break and the Compressed Surprise Break is a philosophy of sorts, and attempts to take it literally and without possessing many of the natural attributes one might possess to shoot well intuitively are fraught with failure.

It must be this frustration in trying to teach some,(for it seems not all will get it), that Cooper has quoted Bolivar, loosely, "[I feel as though I have] plowed the sea."
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  #179  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:40 AM
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Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
"Professionals"? What kind of 'Professionals'?
"Operators" and "Mall Ninjas."
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  #180  
Old 07-02-2018, 9:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fiddletown View Post
The compressed surprise break is not a "slow squeeze" of the trigger -- nor is it a jerk. It is an apparently instantaneous shot, but it is executed in a way that doesn't move anything else.
This is where it becomes a "words game." What's wrong with using the word "jerk?" (In the context of pulling the trigger, of course.)

When Leatham talks about "jerk" he certainly doesn't imply that it's an uncontrolled movement of the gun through the pull. Quite the opposite. He is adamant that the sight picture must not be disturbed. What he calls a "jerk" is what you describe here as "compressed ..." No need to create a difference without distinction just to control the words.
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Old 07-02-2018, 9:47 AM
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So once you can shoot well shooting at a particular pace, to get faster you need to push yourself to go faster. Your groups will open up, but keep pushing to a point.

Then dial things back a bit, until your groups just start to get better. That will probably be faster than the pace at which you shot similar groups previously.

It's kind of a "two steps forward and one step back" approach.
^^^ This.

It's actually a consequence of the fact that you can't increase the accuracy and speed at the same time. What looks like a "step back" is not really a step back. It's just the necessary ingredient in the learning process.
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