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I am thouroughly discouraged. I have been really working on my shooting and have noticed a considerable improvement in my abilities, but I can't seem to improve or cross that level. I know greatness is notseen in a month, but I feel like I should be shooting more competetively than I am.

In Columbia, SC this past weekend, there was a large toys for tots upsa shoot. My training partner and I went there. There were two stages with a Texas Star. The luck of the draw, I started out on these two back 2 back. I have never shot the star before and my IDPA equipment (more than three mags on the line at once) threw me, but I know how to shoot the star based on watching others and reading this very forum.

But all in all, I shot both stages in 40+seconds, the average was about 18 seconds, the best was in about 12. There were other arrays, but the star hung me out to dry. I find that my ability to shoot static accurate has increased, my ability to shoot on the move accurate has not- I don't get to practice that though and my lack of rythm is to blame.

My buddy- who has been practicing two years longer than I have- wins time after time. Since we started practicing, he has noticeably improved- and I lose time after time I just want to give the whole thing up- I won't but I need some encouragement and some of Enos' patented Zen.

I think my whole issue is I tend to grab the whole gun instead of pulling the trigger. But how many thousand draws and dry fire do I have to do before I stop?


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I'm not sure how long you have been shooting but I have 6 words for you, Dry fire, Dry fire, Dry fire. It works! When you are practicing, practice your drills. If you don't know which ones get Jerry Barnharts Tapes. Your house is only as strong as your foundation. ;)


PS check out my signature, ( NO dryfiring ) will put you in this select few! ;)

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Overhung, the problem with goals is that they don't have any "isness". They only exist out in the murky darkness of what we want to become. By setting our focus on the future, we sometimes become discouraged with the present. Forget about the goals for a while and just watch yourself shoot without criticizing. Trust yourself. Answers will come to a relaxed mind like iron filings to a magnet.

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I shot the same match. First time I've run across more than 1 star in a match so far.

What has helped me in dealing with the star is simply shooting the plate rack at my home club, normally at a minimum of 15 yards. Plates are a great training aid because they are a very honest target. You either hit them or you miss them. No C or D zones to catch that pulled/pushed/plain old bad shot.

A lot of people want to just hose a star. Time spent on the plate rack will clue you in that hosing does not work. A fast application of aimed shots is what it takes to clean a rack or star, and any hosing is purely folly. Just check the timer.

Spend some quality time on a plate rack and you'll see what you have to do to hit plates. Even though the plates tend to be moving on the star, you'll find it's no big deal and you can stand back and be amused by the hosers. You'll also find that when you shoot the next IDPA match, your bullets will end up in the -0 zone a lot more often.

Like the man says, you have got to practice what you're not good at. Practicing on close range paper (I don't know what YOU practice) can result in some noticable improvement when you first start competitive shooting, mainly because a lot of folks at the matches don't even practice. However you have to practice with plates, at longer ranges, weak hand/strong hand, or whatever else eats you up at matches.

I did a little hosing myself on those 2 stages, but in the L-10 division I won stage 4(18th overall) and came in 2nd on stage 5(26th overall). I haven't shot the plate rack in a couple of months and I paid the price. However, I was more prepared than at least half of those at the match.

I always practice shots at 25 yards as well. Did you notice how many people got eaten alive with penalties on stage 2 with that 25 yard array with no-shoots all around the targets? My B class self managed to pace 17th in that stage and beat a heck of a lot of Open and Limited shooters. Unfortunately my #1 opponent in L-10 was also prepared (A class) and took about 1 second less time aiming. Crap!

At any rate, I was very happy with my performance considering my current skill level (sort of old, slow, and tend to forget what the sights are for). Working on what I'm not good at is the only reason I finished as well as I did. Hooking up with a much better shooter for practice sessions could also be a big help (read mentor).

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Welcome to the forums, Overhung. You'll learn a lot here.

All the advice above is on the money. I'll add this: expecting to do well on a mover that you've not had a chance to work on is expecting an awful lot.

Movers are to the advantage of those clubs who can afford them and use them regularly in matches or practice. If you don't see a mover but once in a blue moon, it's gonna kill ya, no matter how good the advice you get or how good your game plan.

The star is especially tough because, unlike drop turners or swingers, familiar or not, how it turns - direction, speed, and changes in direction and speed all vary with how each person shoots it. Even the same order of hits will result in a different pattern of movement, if not done exactly to the cadence of the previous shooter.

Don't beat yourself up on something that borders on random chance. Concentrate first on the basics of fast accurate shots, fast accurate recovery, and seeing what you need to see. Movement while shooting, shooting a moving target, and movement while shooting a moving target, are skills that will come after a LOT of time and practice.

Oh, and for what it's worth, here's my .02 on shooting a star (this from a B class shooter). What works for me is to first shoot one or two plates in the position and order that will get the star turning in a predictable fashion. Then shoot the remaining plates in order to keep the star turning in the same direction. Remember that each plate as you shoot it off makes that side of the star lighter, and the remaining plates should then swing through the position just shot. Just leave the sights where you shot that 2nd or 3rd plate, and let the other plates come to you, shooting them as they swing through your sights. This may not be the fastest way to do the star, but it works for me and isn't too frustrating at my skill level (which isn't improving much on the star since our club keeps ours locked up except for matches).. Try hard to avoid chasing the plates back, forth or around - it's nigh on impossible to get the hits.

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