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Effective Training Sessions

Woody Allen

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I find that extended sessions of practice, such as 600 to 700 round of slowing down to shoot all A's and then speeding up past your limits, and then slowing down etc, leads to improvment. As opposed to 200 to 400 round sessions.

To be more specific. A three target transition drill, 2 A's on each reload and 2

A's on each. I only seem to improve after an extended session (600 to 700 rounds). Anybody else find this to be true. Any suggestions?

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My training was always live fire, 200-300 round 2-4 times a week. This would continue for the 6-7 months that it was warm here in Michigan. The winter months I would sit around wishing it would warm up so I could shoot. My shooting really did not improve.

Last year I started dry firing 4-6 times a week through the winter months and only live fire twice a week during the summer. I found that my shooting actually improve from where I left off the previous year. I really believe that dry fire helps develop technique through repetition.

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  • 1 month later...

My normal practice session is 150-250 rounds and takes about 90 minutes.

Which available range facility I'm using dictates what I'm practicing. (I can do a much greater variety on the outdoor range)

In general, distributed practice is better than mass practice for skill development. 100 rounds a week is better than 400 rounds once a month.

Once in a while I shoot more than that -- it depends on how much time I have available and the persistance of my mental focus. I quit shooting when my attention begins to drift too much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My practice sessions are a little unusal. I start with a .22 Browning. I go through a set routine that includes transitions, moving & shooting, going into a box, and weak hand drills. A minimum per set is between 60-90 rounds. So this puts the round count at 240 to 400 rounds.

After this I use my .40. The drills are varied from day to day but usually no more than 100 rounds are fired. I like ending the session with some plate shooting usually at 20 yds. I started out at 10 yds and progressed to the 20 yrd mark.

I use the .22 because I want to focus on practicing the skill and not be bothered by recoil. I find the .22 extremely helpful in repetitive movement drills.

I have only done a couple of extended training sessions but in all honesty the improvement came because I was doing them with a GM and he keep track of our times and scores. IT was intense. He would offer tips for improvement.

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i practice (shooting actually) once a week shooting about 80 shots in 2 hours.

twice a week... i just practice balance (since i do standing)

once a week i use a wobble board...

where first i lift only like 2 pound weights.. (its harder then it seems)

then i pick up the gun and dry fire for 10 shots...

i just started that a couple weeks... but it helping me on my standing position, which i hear is the hardest out of all of them

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"then i pick up the gun and dry fire for 10 shots..."

Interesting. I do some balance drills I found on a basketball web site, but I never thought about incorporating dry fire drills with the balance drills. Thanks for the insight.


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Care to share those excersises, both of you?

Being basically broke, my training sessions consist of mostly dryfire. When not dryfiring, I have a tencency to manipulate my gun constantly, like while moving from the kitchen to the dorm room, I do it like if it were a COF (I'm alone most of the time, before you ask, and this particular handgun is unloaded).

When actually on the range, I like to practice doing various drills I think "on the spot" or some short COFs.

I'm also fond of "weird shootoffs", like for example 2 shooters start side by side with their backs to the target, on signal run a couple yards to a set of chairs where gun and magazine are located, load the gun and fire away at a series of pepper poppers, the last 2 rigged to overlap when they fall. I like to complicate this shootoffs by adding lots of things to do, mandatory reloads, holding something in the strong hand and shoot weak handed and whatever nuisance I happen to think at the time. But I don't think this counts as practice, only fun. :D

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I recently have experienced a jump in performance.

I dry fire four times a week for about an hour using Steve Anderson's exercises. I always do drill #1 (basic sight indexing) as a warm up and then divide the other drills into the four sessions trying to get some of each skill (SHO, WHO, turns, etc.) in each session. I can't do more than this because when I first got Steve's book I did more and developed tendonitis in my elbow because I am "old."

I live fire, weather permitting, twice a week. I use a combination of drills I have collected over the years (Avery, Burkett, Enos, this forum, and, most recently, Kirsch). Each session is right around 300 rounds. Each session stresses some combination of basics (accuracy, draw, reload, transition, recoil control, etc.) and what I call a "special" skill (swinger, barricade, movement, ports, etc.). I have 27 different drill sets.

I think the main point is this: I know what I am going to do when I start a training session and each training session fits in with the larger picture of the other sessions so that each skills gets an appropriate amount of attenton. I am not so regimented that I don't throw in something unplanned now and then just because it sounds fun. Also, if I am really nailing a drill, I keep at it and ingrain that good performance into my psychie.

One other thing I do is after some matches I will set up stages or partial stages I think I could have done better and re-run them a couple of times.

I have to stop typing now. My elbow hurts.

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we constantly play games and stuff to improve... it makes it more fun, but it still helps you as well...

but we do serious shooting as well... its a once in awhile thing so we don't get bored with it... but also, it helps when you travel a bit, we don't travel that much i guess i suppose (actually we dont)

we go to a couple, then we rest are just home... its because we give funding to practically any retard who wants to go...


we're sending like at leat10 competitors to Toronto... that's the most out of everyone who goes... even though most of them suck ass.... most people dont really care to do good, cause they knows they're going to get funding anyways...

theres only me, my brother and Len (top shooter) that are half decent at it right now... i dont know... is it just more or is it stupid?

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oh, i know how to do those,

not to be Cocky in any shape of form...

(i really not sure what to use as a word to be honest... Mean? i don't know)

but those are really easy, we had to do those on a stupid balance beam that are pretty high off the ground :ph34r:

I dunno i tend to do some the incorporate flexibility or shooting (like dry firing on a crazy wacky board that likes to tip) flexibilty as in like doing the scorpion (which is wear you put your foot behind your back and touch your head...)


like so...

its actually pretty hard to balance....

or handstands...

i dunno...

not very many people can do them.... so i tend to keep those ones to myself... (which i failed miserably right now to do so)

another one most people can do is put your feet together and your hand to your side... and try to stay in the center (its hard then it seems... for some people)

theres one for people who don't have much space.... then close your eyes... and do the same.... then out your hands up slowly until you have your hands grabbing eachother..... hold it for ten seconds.... open your eyes... and bring them down...

after that you put up one leg... and do the same thing again....

im not really sure if anyone got that...)

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Having a plan for your practice session is a must. It's not science until it's measured and you can't track measurements unless you record times and have a defined drill. I actually figure my factors and throw them in a spreadsheet so that I can trend graph it week to week. Geeky I know but I end up learning what needs improvement.

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Having a plan for your practice sessions is a must. It's not a science until it's measured and you can't track measurements unless you record times and have a defined drill

That's a fine thought. And most shooters stall out in their skill development because they don't have a plan when they practice. They just go "shooting".

One of the previous posters mentioned the use of a .22 to warm up. I have conversion units for my Beretta M9 and Glock 19 and also a Colt Ace O frame .22 pistol (to go along with my M1911A1) and a S&W 18 (as an understudy to my S&W 15) and I have always found the use of .22s to be good for skill building and skill maintenence.

I found best results when I shot on 1/2 or 1/3 scale targets, to make me really focus on accuracy. Otherwise, shooting the .22s is just too easy.

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