Stage Checklist & Shot Checklist

Slo cat

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The Army Marksmanship Unit in their Small Arms Firing School-Pistol emphasizes the use of a shooter's shot checklist. And I'm the kind of guy that finds checklists helpful to 1. prepare for a shot or stage, and 2. as a tool to analyse what went wrong. I find that a shot checklist, though somewhat lengthy, with practice can be quick, as some items are done almost simultaneously.

Here are two checklists. I am looking for improvements. What do you think? Omissions or out of order?
PRS Match Checklists​
Pre-Stage Checklist
1. Prepare DOPE card for stage. Attach to rifle/arm.
2. Dial come-up for first target.
3. Set magnification for first target.
4. Set parallax for first distance or for average distance.
5. Adjust height of bipod or remove it as needed.
6. Visually spot targets in shooting sequence, noting reference points.
7. Magazines loaded.
8. Bags ready.
Shot Checklist (Prone):
1. Adjust rifle on ground to point at first target. Mag in.
2. Square shoulders to target.
3. Get down on rifle. Body angle 0.
4. Position shooting hand on grip/rifle.
5. Rifle butt in shoulder pocket.
6. Shooting hand pressure straight to rear at rifle weight.
7. See target just over top of scope.
8. Get on target through scope.
9. Load bipod.
10. Adjust rear bag.
11. Cheek weld.
12. Fine tune body allignment to NPA on target.
13. Fine tune parallex.
14. Close bolt.
15. Position shooting finger on trigger.
16. Attain predetermined wind hold. Level reticle.
17. Squeeze shot at natural respiratory pause.
18. Follow through, hold trigger.
19. Call the shot.
20. Spot impact.
21. Rack bolt for next shot or move on to next target with open bolt.
 
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The Army Marksmanship Unit in their Small Arms Firing School-Pistol emphasizes the use of a shooter's shot checklist. And I'm the kind of guy that finds checklists helpful to 1. prepare for a shot or stage, and 2. as a tool to analyse what went wrong. I find that a shot checklist, though somewhat lengthy, with practice can be quick, as some items are done almost simultaneously.

Here are two checklists. I am looking for improvements. What do you think? Omissions or out of order?
PRS Match Checklists​
Pre-Stage Checklist
1. Prepare DOPE card for stage. Attach to rifle/arm.
2. Dial come-up for first target.
3. Set magnification for first target.
4. Set parallax for first distance or for average distance.
5. Adjust height of bipod or remove it as needed.
6. Visually spot targets in shooting sequence, noting reference points.
7. Magazines loaded.
8. Bags ready.
Shot Checklist (Prone):
1. Adjust rifle on ground to point at first target. Mag in.
2. Square shoulders to target.
3. Get down on rifle. Body angle 0.
4. Position shooting hand on grip/rifle.
5. Rifle butt in shoulder pocket.
6. Shooting hand pressure straight to rear at rifle weight.
7. See target just over top of scope.
8. Get on target through scope.
9. Load bipod.
10. Adjust rear bag.
11. Cheek weld.
12. Fine tune body allignment to NPA on target.
13. Fine tune parallex.
14. Close bolt.
15. Position shooting finger on trigger.
16. Attain predetermined wind hold. Level reticle.
17. Squeeze shot at natural respiratory pause.
18. Follow through, hold trigger.
19. Call the shot.
20. Spot impact.
21. Rack bolt for next shot or move on to next target with open bolt.
Checklists are good but make sure you transition from Ultra-conscious/checklist mode to subconscious/execute mode, especially with such a detailed checklist. I see too many people absolutely contorted by conscious thought when getting set up whether it’s causal or on the clock. You can’t think your way through targets very effectively, just like you can’t think your way through any performance sport/game very effectively. Use your checklist for training but as part of training practice letting the checklist go before you send it. I translate the whole checklist into a feel. What does it feel like when all of that checklist is in line? After a while it all becomes automatic and all you need to do is assess the situation and give your subconscious the task of putting the round on target. You will feel it if something is off or missing. Yes there is some conscious planning/calculation but you have to make the switch to execute mode which should always be subconscious.


If you feel like getting ready to send a round is a mental ramp up to pulling the trigger you are not doing it subconsciously. If the sound or recoil startles you you are not subconscious. If you feel like your mind is in one place right before the trigger pull and in another place right after it you are not in your subconscious. When your mind is in the right place it will feel 100% anticlimactic and flat from start of set up to watching the impact.
 

Slo cat

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Conifer, Colorado
I see a check list as helpful in the journey from being a new PRS shooter to attaining the automatic execution and feel of an experienced shooter. We have to start somewhere and then train to the point of being unconsciously proficient. I've seen shooters, and experienced myself, simple oversights in getting ready for a stage. Under the stress of competition it might be helpful to have a list of basics to fall back on, especially if you are new to this.
 
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I see a check list as helpful in the journey from being a new PRS shooter to attaining the automatic execution and feel of an experienced shooter. We have to start somewhere and then train to the point of being unconsciously proficient. I've seen shooters, and experienced myself, simple oversights in getting ready for a stage. Under the stress of competition it might be helpful to have a list of basics to fall back on, especially if you are new to this.
Definitely. But you need to practice making it automatic by intentionally swapping from conscious planning to unconscious execution. Part of the checklist needs to be “clear mind and send round to target”. If you do that you’ll head toward making it automatic. The goal is to have that one item replace 95% of the checklist. It will never do that if it’s not on the list and you aren’t practicing it.
 

MakeSawdust

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In club matches, spot impacts, keep score, keep time until your turn to shoot. Walk over to rifle, pick it up, shoot stage. When you can do that without it being a shitshow, you have the subconscious execution part down. If you want to do your best you should not shoot the stage without mentally rehearsing the stage, but this drill will overwhelm your mind and force you to execute with a lot less preparation. To do well in a match while juggling all of the above tasks, you have to be able to execute very well subconsciously. That said, I have seen guys do all of the above and win the match multiple times.

One of the greatest benefits to mastering this is the ability to adapt when the stage chews up your plan and spits it out. To win, you need to be able to adapt and turn those stages into a 6,7, or 8 not a 0, 1, or 2.
 
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