What do you practice at the range?

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What do you practice at the range?

Post by Sa-tevp on 10/16/2013, 10:43 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 10/18/2013, 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by CR10X on 1/28/2017, 8:19 am

A couple of items from my process, use or disregard as needed. I spent a lot of time shooting to try and get better when I started shooting bullseye.  I was mistaken when I thought repetition was the path to improvement (for me). For me, the path was dimly seen when I finally took the time to actually see the front sight, to the exclusion of working on anything else.  That lead me to the difference between practicing and training. 

So, I rarely practice, I do train almost every day.  (Here goes, you can quit reading now if the previous paragraph does not agree with your perspective, we're all different and its OK.) 

Practice for me is setting up on the bench and shooting just like a match, be it Slow Fire, a full NMC, or a full 900 (rarely a full 2700).   Prep period, no sighters, full 10 minutes slow fire (you ain't going get shorter time at Perry or large Regional), scoring, etc.  Basically, practice like a shooting a match. Letting everything come together and just shooting. This is not the time to identify or "fix" things but just shoot and observe. Then the practice / match will be evaluated on basis of score, group and overall performance.  This is where most of the notes are made on things like lighting, weather (rain, extreme heat / cold, wind issues, food, physical condition, what's needed in the box, come from.  There will be some notes on areas for improvement, but its not to find out "what I'm doing wrong" but to identify the parts that need training.  Most of the notes are on what is needed and what worked right. 

Training on the other hand, is for each dryfiring or range session.  A specific area is identified for training session (grip consistency, trigger process, focusing on front sight / dot, trigger timing, seeing the process to the minimum wobble area, etc.)  There may be one, two or more sessions for each trip to the range, but only one thing is trained on for at a time.  [For example, 10 shots with complete, consistent, un-interrupted trigger operations; 5 shots with absolutely consistent and completely even grip pressure; closed eyes drill, raising the gun and then visually checking the location of the dot/ sight, on the target or in the tube, etc. etc.]

The notes on these sessions are very specific, only about that specific training area since that was the goal of that session.  I'm not scoring specific shots or groups for most of these, just the actual specific action and its level of success. Here is where everything gets very specific about that one thing.  Keep separate the training area from actually scoring the shot.  (For example, I don't think you can "train" on calling the shot, what we should train on is seeing the front sight or dot relationship to the exclusion of everything else, when we see that, we will be able to call the shot.)  

Move from "where did the shot go" and "what did I do wrong" and concentrate on "I did it correctly that time, let's do it again".  (And that IT should be very specific when training.) 

I have noticed that the better I shot SF, the better TF and RF actually became, because its the same shot process (timing on the trigger), just a different level of acceptable wobble.  Basically, the better the trigger operation is for TF and RF (smooth, continuous, ahead of the sights), the better I can shoot a single SF shot.  The better I can see the wobble and understand the minimum wobble movement for SF, the better the TF / RF shots become because I can better see the dot moving into the acceptable area and therefore do not hesitate on the trigger.   

The important part of practice or training for me is the opposite of something mentioned above.  After each shot, string or session; the review is on what went right when the specific shot or part was completed correctly.  Pen and book are always there for notes after the 10 or the group without a flyer. Make the notes on the thing or shot that was right.  Spend the time studying the 10's and X's, let the other shots fade away.  (Sometimes during a match, when I go down to score,  I've already forgotten those shots outside the 9 - 10 ring.  When scoping, the last thing I look at through the scope before the next shot is the "X". Since that's where I want the next shot to go.)

Good shooting (Hope this wasn't too verbose).

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by mparker on 1/30/2017, 9:12 am

I do not always take the same guns to the range. I usually shoot:
100 rounds of 22LR Slow Fire
100 rounds of 22LR Rapid Fire
A practice 600 with my FAS 6004 .177

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Wobbley on 1/30/2017, 9:46 am

I split my training with 22 and a center fire.  Most often a 45 but about every third time it is my 52 particularly if the session is indoors.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by robert84010 on 7/30/2017, 11:29 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.
Just taking this thread back to the top since it has great fundamental training routines and key points to focus on.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by joy2shoot on 7/31/2017, 8:26 am

robert84010, thank you for resurrecting this post. 
 
I have a question regarding trigger control.  Which part of your mind is controlling the trigger?  The conscious or the subconscious?
 
On page 43 of The Pistol Shooter's Treasury, Bill Blankenship (seems) to say a person's conscious can only think about one thing at a time (which I agree with).  Therefore, he trained his subconscious to control the trigger while he uses his conscious to control the aiming (focus on front sight, maintain perfect sight alignment, etc)
 
However, I have heard from other elite shooters and they say the conscious should be all about trigger control.
 
My analogy is turning a car.  My conscious mind decides to turn left and maintains visual control of the turning area, giving the subconscious constant feedback.  And the subconscious is turning the wheel, easing up or pressing on the gas pedal, etc.
 
Hope my question makes sense.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Magload on 7/31/2017, 8:49 am

I am glad this thread was brought back to life as I have not read it before.  Now I am thinking I have been approaching my BE training all wrong when I comes to live fire.  When i go to the range, normally indoor 20yd, I fire 50 rounds of slow fire at a 20yd SF target.  Pasteing after every 10 round string.  The goal is to shoot a 10 round string in the black but I always seams to pull 2 when I am shooting my best.  I sort of figured if I couldn't do this SF then I didn't need to be sustained fire yet.  I do this at least 4 times a week.  Am I wrong?  This month I went to the range one time I am surprised that they didn't send out a missing persons flyer as I been doing the 4 times a week for 2 years now.  The first year and a half was learning two hands IDPA stuff.  I spent the month at home with dry fire and holding drills I can't wait to see if it has helped.  Don
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Chris Miceli on 7/31/2017, 9:06 am

Magload wrote:I am glad this thread was brought back to life as I have not read it before.  Now I am thinking I have been approaching my BE training all wrong when I comes to live fire.  When i go to the range, normally indoor 20yd, I fire 50 rounds of slow fire at a 20yd SF target.  Pasteing after every 10 round string.  The goal is to shoot a 10 round string in the black but I always seams to pull 2 when I am shooting my best.  I sort of figured if I couldn't do this SF then I didn't need to be sustained fire yet.  I do this at least 4 times a week.  Am I wrong?  This month I went to the range one time I am surprised that they didn't send out a missing persons flyer as I been doing the 4 times a week for 2 years now.  The first year and a half was learning two hands IDPA stuff.  I spent the month at home with dry fire and holding drills I can't wait to see if it has helped.  Don
you are missing some kind of sign that its a bad shot when you send those outliers. You've felt a shot that you knew was dead center and when you looked it was there..hoping it was a shot you didn't have to save, it all just went right. Strive for that every slow fire shot. You gotta learn to abort shots that aren't gonna be great ones. No one aborts all the bad shots and after you save a few it becomes harder to abort them. 

Mike mentioned to me something someone told him... get up there and if you feel and knows its about to be a perfect shot, abort it... if you can abort a perfect shot, aborting bad ones becomes easier.
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by robert84010 on 7/31/2017, 9:45 am

joy2shoot,
I suppose I tagged John Bickar's post specifically because it does highlight what I train and have migrated to in thinking, that trigger is king and once you perfect that pull through the shots go in the middle. I do try and reduce my arc but the trigger pull is where my thoughts stay.


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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Froneck on 7/31/2017, 10:21 am

When I was younger and climbing the ladder of classification I would practice what I did poorly at in the previous match. However I would always finish with a 900, if time didn't permit 600 if totally no time the at least a 300 match course. I worked on my problem but didn't want to end without shooting the other parts of a match.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by jmdavis on 7/31/2017, 10:29 am

For what its worth, the Bassham's recommend starting and finishing a training session with elements that you are strong in, and working on weaker areas in the middle. Starting and ending with success builds confidence and self-image. 

So if one were strong in sustained fire one might begin with 10 or 20 shots of timed, then work on slowfire or process ot whatever, then finish with 10 or 20 shots of rapid.
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by joy2shoot on 7/31/2017, 10:42 am

There is a big difference in training if you are trying to train your conscious to control the trigger and sight alignment at the same time.  Or you are trying to train your subconscious to control the trigger while the conscious controls aiming.  I train for the latter, but I am interested in other perspectives.


Last edited by Rob Kovach on 7/31/2017, 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Just a little housekeeping to keep everything on track.)

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Magload on 7/31/2017, 10:56 am

I was always told to quit on a good target and not finish on one you didn't feel good about.  One day last month my first string of 10 SF @ 20yds was 9 blacks and one just out of the black with the Nelson.  I put it back in the box and got out the LB.  Don
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by robert84010 on 7/31/2017, 10:57 am

joy2shoot, You didn't cause this post to degenerate one bit.

I asked the question a while ago are you a trigger shooter or sight shooter? John and Jon both answered that trigger is where the focus needs to be. At the time I focused on the sights and let the trigger start, John stated he does the exact opposite. I knew that is where top shooters focused but I did want to ask and see their input in writing.
I actually think the Lozoya and Zins concept of "marrying the fundamentals" is probably what all the top guys do since you do have to hold within the X ring and have it cleanly break there to shoot the scores and X counts they do. I have moved over to making the trigger as smooth and consistent as possible, which is basically what Jon and John, and others have always said. Start the trigger WAY before everything is perfect, don't stop once you commit to the shot. Stop the shot if it all isn't settling in, before you commit, like you know it needs to be.

I think in this game X's are perfection, 10's are excellence. To quote David Tubb "Don't ruin excellence chasing perfection"


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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Chris Miceli on 7/31/2017, 11:14 am

I think the best thing for training is to have someone at the range every once in a while watch you shoot. They might notice something that you never knew you were doing. An example from me was during slow fire i was tending to sway after some time on the target...never felt it in my body but at times the movement arc was growing. I made a slight position change with my feet that helped a little, but it was adding another breath above the black before lowering(and applying trigger pressure) onto the target that really helped.
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by dronning on 7/31/2017, 11:52 am

Video is a good tool, it helped me catch that I wasn't following my shot process 100%
- Dave
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by chopper on 8/1/2017, 11:17 pm

Chris, I sway sometimes also. I've tried spreading my legs apart further, but that makes me feel unbalanced and doesn't always work. When you say positioning your feet, are you talking angle like feet 45 degree of each other? It's kinda funny I don't notice any swaying while firing sustained. Tomorrow I'll try the extra breath, but I wonder if I'm locking my knees subconsciously or something.
   Glad someone resurrected this subject, I'll have to do a search on dry practice and trigger control. I usually don't do searches because it says " can't find"or something like that.
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Wobbley on 8/1/2017, 11:26 pm

If you sway, then you are probably tilting your head.  You can turn your head but if you tilt it you will sway.

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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Chris Miceli on 8/2/2017, 3:45 pm

chopper wrote:Chris, I sway sometimes also. I've tried spreading my legs apart further, but that makes me feel unbalanced and doesn't always work. When you say positioning your feet, are you talking angle like feet 45 degree of each other? It's kinda funny I don't notice any swaying while firing sustained. Tomorrow I'll try the extra breath, but I wonder if I'm locking my knees subconsciously or something.
   Glad someone resurrected this subject, I'll have to do a search on dry practice and trigger control. I usually don't do searches because it says " can't find"or something like that.
  Stan
I opened them up a few degrees more than 45 maybe 48. Tilting your head or ducking it can do weird stuff too. A little while ago I caught my self doing it through a string of rapid fire. With a little bit of work was corrected easily .

I'd wouldn't say my knees are bent loose or locked/ hyper extended more like they are firm. Also I tend to distribute my weight in the middle of my feet and even in both legs
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

Post by Oleg G on 8/11/2017, 6:06 am

I propose making this thread a sticky. It's just too good to let fall into obscurity of the back pages. Many thanks to all who contributed - I often come back to this thread to read some of the suggestions and include them into my training plan. In no small measure, this contributing to me shooting personal best in the last two consecutive matches and having my next classification (Sharpshooter) tantalizingly close.
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Re: What do you practice at the range?

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