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Shooting different types of events help or hinder?

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What's the consensus on shooting multiple disciplines?

I shoot USPSA, IDPA, Falling Plates, Speed Steel, Bowling Pins, etc.

One could argue that I will very slowly advance in each as I'm not focusing on any one event.

On the other hand, I'm practicing to throw lots of lead reasonably accurately down range.

To be fair, I'm not in a rush to "make" GM, and I do enjoy shooting various guns/games.

Other than giving my wallet and my Dillon a workout, what are the pro's and con's of shooting lots of different games?

 

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I started out shooting any sort of "gravel pit" match I could find.  Eventually, Pins, led to falling plates, then to USPSA, Bianchi, and later IDPA.  I say try them all and progress in each as they fit your needs. Its all good. 

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I agree with Sam and Dr Mitch.  I shoot IDPA and USPSA.  In order to limit the differences from screwing me up, I shoot IDPA as close as possible to USPSA.  I Don't try to figure out if a tactical or retention reload might net me that extra tenth and screw around with them.  I shoot to slide lock, dump the mag where the rules allow me, reload and go.  For 2017 the rule changes will allow the two to be even closer.  They are adding fault lines, dumping mandatory RWR, can reload anywhere as long as you aren't exposed to a target that has not been engaged.  I remember the short time IDPA had the flat foot reload rule, how stupid that was and how many times it caught me.

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I shoot it all, except IDPA - that one just didn't work for me.

 

I even shoot Multi-Gun, with just a TruBor OPEN 9mm Major    :) 

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My first match ever was a local SC event. Naturally first time jitters and nervousness. Then started USPSA matches. Then 2 & 3 gun. Now that I'm used to multi gun, pistol is relaxing and SC seems like a day on vacation. Probably just me getting more experience but I feel they all compliment one another. I can see the logic in overextending oneself in too many disciplines and never reaching the point where you excel in one. Personally, I feel participating in different style events keeps you more adaptable. Plus if I shot the same thing every weekend a little ADD might kick in. I really enjoy the variety. 

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Like you said, you'll probably improve at all of them vary slowly.

 

The only draw back is the slowly part, and if you're having fun and not worried about progressing quickly then have at it. If you want to get better faster you're better off practicing and running drills at the range instead of shooting so many matches. Dry fire daily, live fire weekly and shoot a match monthly. Maybe twice a month and your skills will skyrocket.

 

I you get really good at something like USPSA, you'll also find you are pretty good at all the others.

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Do it all!. Time on the trigger can always be beneficial. After taking some time off I went back to plate night matches just to get used to firing under pressure.

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Thanks all for the input.  Very few of the USPSA guys up here shoot any of the other games.  They have many reasons/excuses.

I can see the point of focusing on a single event to progress faster.

Good to know I'm not alone on playing all the games :-)

I feel your pain Jack!  I'm not a fan of IDPA either.  Our club doesn't shoot true IDPA we call it concealed carry and ditch the stupid parts.  Keeps it fun and folks can focus on working the stage how you might for real if you had to.  It is tough for me to switch mentally between concealed shooting and USPSA, and it is much tougher to shoot my carry gun than my play gun, but it adds a cool variety to my shooting.

 

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I think Steel Challenge is a valuable game, regardless of what other games you shoot. The draw, presentation, wide transitions... under pressure on the clock are helpful. Another facet is that many shooters with iron sights tend to miss steel poppers & plates in the other games because they are only infrequently seen and their different size/color/shape can have shooter focusing on the target instead of their sights. Steel helps there, although it's not that big a factor for optical sight shooters because they are already in a 'target focus' mode.

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I'm just happy to be shooting!  I'll go to any type of match I can find locally. Big steel challenge coming up and I'm registered. I'll probably finish last!! BUT IM GOING!

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any match you can shoot will help (normally).   The scenarios will be different and will get you more well versed in the different areas.   Each type has its pluses and minuses that will help you see what you need to work on more.

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Good point GOF, I like it when there are poppers and plates in USPSA matches :-)

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I shoot USPSA, Steel Challenge, and 3 Gun events.  I feel shooting across multiple disciplines has made me a better shooter in all three.  I attribute it to more overall trigger time.  Lots of folks disagree, but it works for me. I will include I use the same handgun for all three.  I see other guys using different pistols for each event, and they always seem to struggle with pistol.

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5 hours ago, Towens said:

 shooting across multiple disciplines has made me a better shooter .  I attribute it to more overall trigger time.

 

That's what I do as well - I'm NOT disciplined enough to practice (dry fire) - so the only trigger time I

get is at matches and some limited live fire practice.

 

BUT, if you want to get really good, most M's agree that disciplined dry fire, done correctly, is much

better at improving you (from an A to a M) than matches.

 

Depends on where we are on the USPSA food chain - shooting matches WILL improve your scores

IFF you don't put the time in to practice correctly (Like me) :(

 

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I think you have the right idea.  You're doing a lot of shooting on the timer and with an audience.  Performing under stress should help your overall performance in all of the disciplines.  Now, when you get to the upper classes, you may have to focus more on one over the other.  I'm finding after 8 years of USPSA, adapting to certain IDPA rules can be challenging when the timer goes off.  

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How many of the top shooters from USPSA do you see at things like Steel Challenge, Bianchi Cup and IDPA nationals? Historically quite a few. To me, whether it helps or hinders you is entirely in your mindset and how you approach your practice and training.

 

Shooting one type of match doesn't make you get better faster. It makes you more comfortable doing that one thing, not necessarily better at it. Getting better isn't a result of shooting one type of match. Getting better is a result of focus, attention, exercise, dry fire, study and work.

 

How do I define good shooting? Doing the basics, at speed, perfectly, every time and under conditions not of your choosing. Those things are exclusive of sanctioning bodies, rule sets and types of targets.

Edited by rowdyb

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58 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

How many of the top shooters from USPSA do you see at things like Steel Challenge, Bianchi Cup and IDPA nationals? Historically quite a few. To me, whether it helps or hinders you is entirely in your mindset and how you approach your practice and training.

 

Shooting one type of match doesn't make you get better faster. It makes you more comfortable doing that one thing, not necessarily better at it. Getting better isn't a result of shooting one type of match. Getting better is a result of focus, attention, exercise, dry fire, study and work.

 

How do I define good shooting? Doing the basics, at speed, perfectly, every time and under conditions not of your choosing. Those things are exclusive of sanctioning bodies, rule sets and types of targets.

This is a great way to put it and exactly how elite military operators teach.........

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I started uspsa only.  Then I found out about steel plate match on Friday nights.  It's heads up 5 plates first on knock down wins.  And also a local match that's only 60 rounds. It consists of five scenarios that are timed. You shoot 6 round in a certain order do a mag change and then shoot six more in a certain order... usually get about 12 seconds to do it. Both of these are standing in place.  I found that these two matches have improved me drastically in USPSA. They have made me a faster shooter and my mag changes are getting very quick.  In my opinion any chance to get lead down range can't hurt.

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Speed events all require a common skill set, precision events a slightly different skill set.  Mixing it up will make you a better overall shooter, but if there isn't a lot of overlap in the skills or equipment required, it will hurt your performance in any given event.  Which might be fine, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

 

When I was seriously shooting international-style free and air pistol, I stayed away from any events that weren't exclusively slow fire.   Now that I'm retired from serious competition, I'm doing more of the speed events, and having more fun with the diversity of shooting challenges.    I'm a lot worse at free and air pistol now, but I'm ok with that.

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if you really wanna get really good in something, just gotta practice, practice, practice with it only....with that said, although shooting different events with different gears and rules is fun, I think it will be hard to reach your full potential.  If for fun, shoot whenever and whatever events you want.   If you wanna shoot for competition seriously, then specialized....You've probably heard the derogatory saying "Jack of all trades, master of none." It implies that by trying to learn many things, you give up mastery of any of them...just my 2cents

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