What do you practice at the range?

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What do you practice at the range?

Post by Sa-tevp on Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:43 am

First topic message reminder :

When I have a chance to get to an empty outdoor range on weekdays I practice with a B16 target at 25 yards and then a B6 repair center at 50 yards. Shooting two strings of five rounds at each target slow fire takes about an hour to go through a fifty round box of ammunition and if I'm lucky I have time for two hours of practice two or three times a month.

The question is what or how do you like to practice? Any suggestions for live-fire practice?

(Edited to point out that I am a beginning shooter who just received a Marksman card)


Last edited by Sa-tevp on Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by BE Mike on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:52 am

john bickar wrote:
BE Mike wrote:My experience is that I shot a lot of pretty good slow fire scores and threw away good aggregate scores because of failure at the short line. I suppose that is why I think that the 2/3 of the match, which is the short line, is so important.
It's all important.

Bullseye is (to quote my high school soccer coach) "not a race, it's a marathon." A one-day 2700 is an exercise in stamina as much as it is in technical shooting ability.

And it's not even a marathon, where you're expending equal effort for 4 hours. It's more like the Olympic gymnastics final, where you sit on your ass a bunch, walk around even more, and then perform like a trained monkey when the target faces.

The difference between Master and High Master is learning how to turn that switch off and back on again. You need to be hyper-focused when you are breaking a shot, but it's nigh-on-impossible to remain hyper-focused for the (5? 6? 7? 72?) hours that it takes to shoot a 2700.

To return to the OP's question, that's another thing that I train at the range: flipping that switch.
Of course I didn't say that all of it wasn't important, you did. I did say that sustained fire is 2/3 of the match. It is simple math. What I found is that by training rapid fire helped my sustained fire scores and didn't hurt my slow fire scores. Now when you talk about the switch, you are talking about the mental side of the game. I spent a long time studying that as well, but found that the time spent doing that was most helpful after I made expert. The OP is a new marksman. I think that Ed's approach to outlining training for him is spot on for someone at that level.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by s1120 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:26 am

This has been a very informative thread!!

Im just coming from the "just tossing lead down the range" part of my shooting skills, and working toward being much more accurate. I will be filing much of this information away for my days at the range!! Thank you all

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by BHeintz on Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:17 pm

One thing that has helped me a lot, that I don't think has been mentioned yet, is listening to a MP3 payer with range commands and a timer for sustained fire practice. Doing this added pressure to practice, and also helped practice sessions feel more like a match.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Rob Kovach on Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:24 pm

I've been working through the USMC pistol training manual for my practice sessions.  I also use the iPhone bullseye commands app that was made by a member.  You need a timer for some of the drills.  This is the link from Brian Zins' website: http://www.brianzins.com/wp-content/uploads/USMCPistolTeamWorkbook2.pdf
 
Sort of like BHeinz said--It makes matches feel more like practice sessions for me--and that's a good thing!

Rob Kovach
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Colt711 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:59 am

john bickar wrote:
Colt711 wrote:I'm not a 2600 shooter
Hrm. I could've sworn that you were.

Regardless, I remember you putting up some big numbers, and that was pretty motivating for a certain teenager from Ohio Smile
Jon,
It's nice to think  my modest achievements in scoring helped motivate a shooter such as yourself.

Ron
P.S. Send me your address and I'll get a check on the way!

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by dronning on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:19 am

Does anyone use the same cadence for timed and rapid?  I ask because my rapid scores are often better than my timed fire scores.  I'm a 1st year shooter. 

Dave

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Sa-tevp on Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:03 pm

dronning wrote:Does anyone use the same cadence for timed and rapid?  I ask because my rapid scores are often better than my timed fire scores.  I'm a 1st year shooter. 

Dave
Take it with a grain of salt since I'm also a beginner, but I shoot both with the same cadence. Besides being at a closer distance than Slow Fire, the time restriction has me moving the trigger and racing to get the best iron sight alignment before the pistol fires. This leads to better groups for me. I realize I need to practice this in dry fire and get it nailed down.

Ed Hall has written a lot on the subject at these locations:

http://www.starreloaders.com/edhall/articlesand.html

http://www.starreloaders.com/edhall/ehttposts.html

http://www.pilkguns.com/ehindx.shtml

It's fun to read Ed's stuff and recognize something that works. I've converted some of his writing to PDF for reading on a Nook reader. Like the Gil Hebard book, I'll probably have to read the information about twenty times to make real progress.


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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by BHeintz on Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:55 pm

dronning wrote:Does anyone use the same cadence for timed and rapid?  I ask because my rapid scores are often better than my timed fire scores.  I'm a 1st year shooter. 

Dave
I use the same cadence for both. I don't think I ever used much more than 10 seconds for timed fire, and I have always liked rapid fire. So a few years back I quit practicing timed fire. It might not be for everyone, but it has worked for me, and I know there others out there who do it as well.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Jack H on Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:22 pm

If you are thinking cadence, you re going to screw up and force a shot somewhere along the line.  Sustained must be like a Pavlov's dog reaction.  With proper technique, some simple image, thought or mantra should set the sights and let the shots off in a rhythm.  Speed does not really matter.  Save the forcing of shots for only when you loose the rhythm and have to finish the string.  Even that is a skill that must be learned.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Bullseye10X on Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:23 am

At this point in my Bullseye "career", I only shoot .22.  I shoot from 25 yards using the B-16 targets.  

I hang two of them side by side, and I load 5 rounds in each of my magazines.  I shoot each target 10 times, then score them and put pasties over the holes so I can shoot each target 10 more times (saves $ on targets).

I experiment with different grip and stances to learn which works better for me.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Guest on Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:01 pm

Ed Hall wrote:I promote the following training, which I call a progressive drill and use myself:


Proceed in the following manner:
Every time you perform two successful strings, add one round, up to five.
If you fail to achieve success on any string, immediately remove one round for the next string, down to one.

You don't have to load with the number of rounds you will be shooting.  Go ahead and load the maximum legal number of rounds in all magazines. If you run out of rounds in the middle of a string and the fired ones are successful, consider it as having not been shot.  But, if you are unsuccessful, consider it a failure.

An example:
1 - success
1 - success
2 - success
2 - success
3 - success
3 - failure
2 - success
2 - success
3 - success
3 - success
4 - failure
3 - success
3 - failure
2 - failure
1 - success
1 - success
2 - ...

When you consistently make it up to five shot strings, consider changing to the next ring.

I use the ten ring, but for my class, you would expect that.  On days when things are right, I do go up through the shots to five rather quickly, but on other days, it takes me a bit to get there.

I like to think this drill maximizes training and is cost effective.  It promotes success and helps you focus on achieving hits within the ring you choose.  It allows you to reward success, but lessens the failure if/when it occurs.

I think it is better to maximize good shots and minimize lesser ones.  I prefer this drill to throwing five shots down range and seeing how many made it.


This has worked well for me.  Thanks for sharing.
chip

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by bdutton on Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:35 pm

I like to end practice on a positive note... with something I know I am good at.  Its important to walk away from training with a positive result.

I usually start training with what I call my 10-10 drill.  I shoot slowfire at the appropriate distance until I have 10 tens.

I move on to a warm up in timed fire.  Then I practice rapid fire... or a fasted timed fire.  Controlled but keeping the pace up tempo until I feel I have a good target.

Then I finish with a couple of timed fires usually keep going until I have a really good target.. again... ending on a positive note.

I usually do all three guns the same way.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by AlexAlphabet on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:18 am

Things that are hard to practice but very important are problems. Here is the email I sent my Friends today. 
Before my story. I have to thank all the folks I know for their coaching, wisdom and experience. I only started shooting this year and without their voices in the back of my head, this story would have ended alot different.
==== 
Shooting 50ft, indoor center fire with my .45 RO.

1st string of rapid fire. 
Shot 1 goes off - hole in the black
Shot 2 bang - not really seeing a hole but keep going
3rd trigger pull, nothing. (light hit??)
Pull the hammer,  nothing. 
Cycle the slide and an empty case comes out. 
the next round feeds but time is up. Raise my hand. I'll take the alibi string

Start 2nd round. Load new mag.
Commands given 
Is the line ready 
Sure
The line is ready
Best night ever.... stay focused last week of shooting....
Check stance
Ready on the right
I had a problem, empty case In the chamber....I look down and the case on the bench
Stretch arm
Ready on the left
What does that mean... Why did you not cycle
Start to Rase arm... and begin aiming
Ready on the firing line
I'm so not feeling this, I don't have to run this string.....No one is making me run this. Why did I not check the gun more.....
HORN.....
SCREW THIS... Drop the mag and get the round out of the chamber. 
Push my plastic string down the pipe.... it don't go all the way down. Bullet made it to the end of the barrel and stopped just inside. Bad load of powder?? whatever.... no one got hurt....
Cleared the bullet and finished my target.

Thanks again to all who have been helping me along the way. 
My Goal is Camp Perry 2014.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Dr.Don on Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:33 am

Close call.  Could have been really bad.  Great lesson to all of us.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Al on Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:01 am

I normally shoot a 400 with each of 4 pistols. 2-slow fires, 2-timed, and 2 rapid.
A marvel conversion, Ruger MKII, a Caspian and a Springfield wad gun.

I like Bill Duttons drill.  Think I'll give that a try for the next month.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Yiogo on Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:15 pm

I shoot indoor at 50' and outdoor at 25 yds. I'll shoot 5 SF, 5 Timed and 5 Rapid. Then I repeat and do my worst round over a few times for practice. I shoot 2-3 times a week depending on if I am shooting in a league or not. Yiogo

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Axehandle on Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:27 am

As a 2600 club member and holding USAF distinguished #231 and  Chief's Fifty #124P badges who hasn't shot a match since 1996 I've got some thoughts to share..  Shocked   I retired from full time work last year.  Went to work as a Range Safety Officer and Pistol Instructor at an indoor range last February.   Started hanging some paper and working at shooting again.  Historically I work on slow fire and rapid fire.   Shooting slow fire and rapid on the 25 yard reduced slow fire target  and the 25 yard timed and rapid fire target I find that I get physically and mentally tired quick.  So long as I call the bad shots well I continue to work. Beware getting those bad habbits ingrained into your shooting system.   When shots are bad and I'm not calling them well I put the guns up.  Right now I'm good for 30-40 good concentrated slow fire shots.  Most days I squeeze in another 10.   On Rapid fire days I shoot 100 rounds and quit.  I always load 5 in a magazine, never more, never less.  Generally shoot slow fire one day and rapid fire the next.  Not shooting really well but not altogether bad either.  45 Slow runs mid 80s to low 90s.  45 Rapid runs 95 and up with a clean every once in a while.  22 targets run a little better.    Planning to keep this up, slowly increasing the number of shots, through the winter months until I feel like I can hold together long enough to shoot a 2700.  When spring 2014 and a warm day comes along we just might shoot a match!

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Al on Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:39 pm

Well I tried Bill D's system last night.  The only modification I made was in RF, only counting x's until I hit 10.  Also on the RF I shot only the first round-5 separate times, always limited myself to a maximum of 2 seconds to get the shot off (trying to work on getting an 'x' the first shot). Lets just say there were a lot more than 10 rounds on each target, most were 10's in RF, but it took a lot more rounds to get the x's I was looking for.

The Marvel went better than the MKII, and the 45 went better than the 22.

Al

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by jakuda on Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:39 pm

I had a break from bullseye shooting for about two months (many various reasons) so I finally went back to the range this morning for a practice session, so I had to think about what my gameplan was and what I needed to work on. I have a journal, so it's easy to flip back and read the notes I've previously taken.

If I have 2-3 hours, I'll do:

1)Work on the item I'm chronically the weakest at. For me this is 45 rapid fire. So I'll do three shot drills and make sure I get a "good" first shot off and not rush the next shots. "good" shot for me doesn't mean a shot that breaks right on the buzzer, but a shot where my trigger pull is smooth and the shot comes out "early enough". 

2) Troubleshoot things I've noticed in my past matches or practice sessions. So for me, I noticed that I have what I call "cold gun syndrome". I can shoot 93-97 with a healthy number of Xs the first two or so strings of slow fire. But then, after that, my concentration wavers and my trigger pull changes slightly, and I start throwing 85-89. Any caliber.

3) One of the drills from the USMC workbook. One I like is shoot ten 10s in 20 shots of slowfire. Then I'll try to succeed at the drill twice or three times in a row. Or I'll throw in extra conditions like no shots lower than an 8 allowed. This links back to #2 and #3 below.

4) Training stress scenarios. If another bullseye shooter is there, I'll see if I can get the person to play a game for a nominal wager like $1. Something like "first person to shoot five 10s in slowfire wins. Call out scores, shoot as fast as you want". 

If I only have an hour, I'll just work on one specific thing.

If I find my mind wanders I'll take a break. If I still feel that I'm just shotgunning rounds down range, I'll packup and go home.

Anyway, just my thoughts

jakuda

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by john bickar on Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:32 am


John,

In a 2013 post, you stated

"Start the trigger moving before the front sight/dot is in the aiming area, and keep squeezing through my arc of movement.  That's for both slow and sustained fire, and that's pretty much bullseye in a nutshell."

Do you know of an exercise that will help develop that skill?  I have been shooting bullseye for a number of years and I conceptually understand the concept, but I still find myself waiting too long to start trigger pull.

I was asked the above via PM, in reference to this thread, so I'll bring it back up from the dead because I think it's a good one, and a good question.

I'm not sure how to answer that other than to say, "Just do it." You need to break some eggs to make that omelet. Try breaking the shot at 12 o'clock in the black; if that's not getting your trigger finger moving enough, even try to break the shot above the black.

There's a concept of an "educated trigger finger" that I'm not good at explaining, but a way to get it educated is to find the edges of "too early" and "too late", and then dial in to find the sweet spot. If you're waiting too long to start the squeeze, start it way early and figure out how early is "too early," then start dialing it in.

Hope this helps.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Jon Eulette on Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:14 am

John's right on the money here. Training is where you allow for mistakes to happen to build on them. They're really not mistakes, you're allowing shots to break early or late or right on the money: the sweet spot. Training is to develop a technique of executing a fundamental. Learning how to shoot well in a match requires performing what you learned in practice; its the execution of the shot plan you developed leading up to the match. If you talk to probably 99% of free pistol shooters they will all tell you they have shot the ground. More than once :l)    but from practice they learn how to place their finger on a 2 oz trigger confidently. Shooting BE is the same way. I start squeezing before the targets turn and I'm squeezing the trigger immediately after restting the trigger as I'm recovering for the next shot. You have to keep the trigger moving. Reflect back on your best timed or rapid target and I bet you shot it faster than your typical average time you take to shoot timed or rapid. I've never shot a 100-10x that I tried to make pretty. They all came from 5 shots that broke almost immediately as the pistol settled back into the center of the target. The trigger was moving and the shots fired almost as if on auto pilot. I've been working on my constant trigger squeeze and just letting them break. It works for sf and sustained. It's a confidence thing as well. You have to know and believe that you're going to shoot well when you execute a continual squeeze until shot breaks. So practice is about breaking eggs and learning from the mess.
Jon

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by SmokinNJokin on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:41 pm

john bickar wrote:
BE Mike wrote: I've seen many top ranked shooters who just shot ok (mid 80's) in slow fire, but cleaned the short line, break 2600.
Well, you would have to average 89 at the long line to be able to break 2600 by cleaning the short line, but you're on the right track Razz

I don't get much range time, especially not with bullseye, and especially especially not with the .45. I dry fire quite a bit, and when I do get range time, I essentially work on one concept:

Start the trigger moving before the front sight/dot is in the aiming area, and keep squeezing through my arc of movement.

That's for both slow and sustained fire, and that's pretty much bullseye in a nutshell.

The simplest, best trigger control advice ever. I have spent my last 6 months working on this concept with a roll trigger. So simple, but so difficult!

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

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