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How good a shot before starting USPSA?


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There is a ton of great advice here. 

 

As I'm sure you can tell, very few try this game without getting hooked and then evolving and getting better. As mentioned, being safe is paramount. So for your first match just relax, breath, except the nerves (they will be there) and be safe. Simple as that. Inherently you are a good enough shot to be successful (6" groups at 15 yards is more than fine at first) but you'll learn that the little "beep" at the beginning of a stage miraculously makes you forget every shooting principle you ever knew :)

 

I'd definitely learn the manipulation of the gun, holstering, unholstering etc. Simple stuff like this seems common sense but I've seen several new shooters that aren't even good here so make sure you're solid. Just be safe.

 

The thing about shooting competitively though is that by doing it, you will get better. As mentioned by Sarge (who is great by the way, read his stuff) and others the first step is the most important and that's just getting out and going to a match.

 

This game is fun. Trust everyone who has told you that. The benefit of competition is the pressure (of the clock and performance to others) as well as doing things you likely haven't done much of before. Plus shooting at speed forces you to have to get better at the fundamentals.

 

What I'm trying to say in a long winded post is you're good enough already, shoot some matches, and you'll soon find yourself getting much, much better. Again, first and foremost just be safe and have fun!!

 

J

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Go shoot. 

Nobody “SHOULD” care how you look, as long as you look SAFE and look like you are having fun. 

 

If you have to worry about disdain or disparaging comments from others, you are shooting with the wrong group of people. 

 

I have almost always found the other shooters to be the best type of folks you could ask to meet. 

Always helpful and encouraging. 

 

So if anyone is worried about “looking silly”, just toss those worries and get out there anyway. 

 

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As j1b said, there's lots of good advice here, the most pertinent for a newbie to the sport being  to stop worrying, just go shoot, be safe, and have fun.

 

That being said, I'll add something that a European champion (Saul Kirsch) teaches. Paraphrasing, it's a game of both accuracy and speed, where the faster you go, the more accuracy you give up. Kirsch points out that you have to have the accuracy in the first place, so that you have something to give up to go faster.

 

So, for me, that means developing accuracy as well as the other skills as you progress.

 

My $.02

 

ETA: If I haven't already, I'll see you at RRGC.

Edited by kevin c
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Chances are your views on being a good shot, what kinds of groups you should have, how you achieve accuracy especially when shooting fast -- will all change after you've shot a dozen matches or so.

 

Some people who have shot a good bit on their own come to the competition range with a decent skillset.  But with no exceptions they learn new things when around better shooters and all the rest that comes with participating in matches.

 

Bottom line, get out there, learn the safety rules, the scoring rules, the etiquette and how to be a good club member.  You'll figure out how to not look too much like a newbie soon enough.  Enjoy the fantastic camaraderie and fun atmosphere.  The experience is rich and you'll get better.

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Safety > Accuracy.  We see lots of new shooters who shoot 10" groups and quickly bring it down once the bug bites.

 

We'd rather have 10 new shooters who are safe and tape than 20 who don't tape and run the ragged edge of safety to shoot a slightly better group or a couple seconds faster.

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On 12/31/2018 at 1:06 PM, matir said:

How good a shot were you before you started shooting in USPSA?  How tight should my groups be?

 

I just got a CZ-75 SP-01 (my first full caliber pistol) and I'm very excited about trying competition, but right now my groups are still pretty terrible (6" at 15 yds).  How tight should I be getting them before I start competing?  I'd rather not look foolish at my first match, after all.

Do not sweat it - practice will help so get to shooting and have some fun !

Also - your groups when you are standing in a lane, and your groups when you are running amok, after some one beeps a timer in your ear will be vastly different things, so you need to go and try and see what happens.

And the "A" zone ( and the "C" ) are pretty big so in general if you can consistently identify " downrange" and be safe, you will be fine. 

Remember, its a journey - you are not starting as Max Michel and no one expects you to be

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I shot my first USPSA event yesterday. 

 

I was really hung up on accuracy. I  should have started shooting earlier. For a first event (shooting CO), I ended up 46th of 51 shooters. Interestingly though, I was 7th if you look at pure target scoring. And the top shooters were shooting 2.5 times faster than I was. 

 

Accuracy without speed didn’t do crap to help me. 

 

I’m shooting my second event in two weeks. Since I’m having fun learning, I’m going to all but do the opposite of my first match and push hard for speed at the expense of some

accuracy. I’ll then have a better feel and comparison as I try to find my own cadence. And hopefully one that doesn’t put the squad to sleep. 

 

Go shoot. Have fun! Learn all you can. Dry fire drills at home. If your area is anything like mine, even the big boys and girl will kill themselves to help you and cheer you on. 

Edited by Zoomie517
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I was ok accuracy wise just standing and shooting a stationary target, but I was horrible shooting while transitioning to multiple targets and moving and shooting. It will all start to click the more you practice and the more local matches you go to. 

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As mentioned, it is not so much a matter of how well you shoot, but how SAFE you handle your firearm. Skills will come, but not if you are hideopulsy unsafe and get DQ'd or kicked off a range. As I get older, being around other people who have firearms in their hands worries me more than when I was young and bullet-proof. Be safe, go slow, learn, and have fun.

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On ‎12‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 2:06 PM, matir said:

How good a shot were you before you started shooting in USPSA?  How tight should my groups be?

 

I just got a CZ-75 SP-01 (my first full caliber pistol) and I'm very excited about trying competition, but right now my groups are still pretty terrible (6" at 15 yds).  How tight should I be getting them before I start competing?  I'd rather not look foolish at my first match, after all.

I was pretty terrible. The one piece of advice I have is to start now regardless of your skill level. I wish I had started a long time ago. Everyone I've met at matches are extremely helpful and gave me advice. Everyone I've met wants to help promote the sport and introduce new shooters. I even bought a second rig so that I could loan it out to new shooters to introduce them to the sport.

I do have to say I have seen a lot of new shooters shoot one or two matches and then never come back. And I think it has to do with ego. Ego is not your amigo. A lot of guys I think get embarrassed about their performance and then never come back. And so you have 1 of 2 options...commit to getting better and ignore being slightly embarrassed (keep in mind everyone had to start somewhere). Or option 2, let the embarrassment get to you and never come back.

Also keep in mind everyone will make mistakes. And its ok. Even the all-time greats still make mistakes.

 

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I purchased a bunch of books, watched videos, did all the drills in the bay at my range and dryfired a ton.

 

Then the buzzer goes off and I forget targets, run dry, drop a mag, etc.

 

There is definitely a learning curve.

 

As long as your safe and go slow, you'll be fine. My main take away is no one is impressed by how fast you go. What does feel nice is hearing alpha, alpha, alpha..

 

If you can't do it slow, you sure as s#!t can't do it fast.

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i used to be a bullseye shooter long before i started action shooting, and realized that my skills from bullseye do not translate well to this sport...it was almost counter productive to have prior experience in anything other than action shooting

 

when the time comes to teach my son shooting, i will tell him to slap that trigger fast and make sure he hits the targets too!

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On 9/24/2019 at 7:41 AM, lroy said:

I purchased a bunch of books, watched videos, did all the drills in the bay at my range and dryfired a ton.

 

Then the buzzer goes off and I forget targets, run dry, drop a mag, etc.

 

There is definitely a learning curve.

 

As long as your safe and go slow, you'll be fine. My main take away is no one is impressed by how fast you go. What does feel nice is hearing alpha, alpha, alpha..

 

If you can't do it slow, you sure as s#!t can't do it fast.

 i think this is a wrong advice given to beginner shooters (to go slow and get your hits)

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3 hours ago, Tango said:

 i think this is a wrong advice given to beginner shooters (to go slow and get your hits)

 

It's a balancing act.  You have to have some basic bedrock skills which can only be learned with deliberate, aimed fire.  So I disagree with you about having a raw beginner go pedal to the metal right out of the gate.  IMO it's a waste of ammo and it's demoralizing when the new shooter sees a target with maybe two holes out of ten shots.

 

HOWEVER, once the fundamentals are relatively well established it's time to put the hammer down and push into the learning zone.  People who never shoot faster than a pace they're comfortable with never get faster.  So I agree with you that staying with the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" BS and hoping for speed to come is a fool's errand.

Edited by elguapo
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1 hour ago, elguapo said:

 

It's a balancing act.  You have to have some basic bedrock skills which can only be learned with deliberate, aimed fire.  So I disagree with you about having a raw beginner go pedal to the metal right out of the gate.  IMO it's a waste of ammo and it's demoralizing when the new shooter sees a target with maybe two holes out of ten shots.

 

HOWEVER, once the fundamentals are relatively well established it's time to put the hammer down and push into the learning zone.  People who never shoot faster than a pace they're comfortable with never get faster.  So I agree with you that staying with the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" BS and hoping for speed to come is a fool's errand.

The bedrock skill relevant to action shooting is pulling the trigger fast and straight to the rear so that the sights don't move much, no? The bedrock skill for bullseye shooting is increasing the pressure on trigger until it breaks in a surprise, which sometimes can take up to 10 seconds to do properly. These are completely different skills and not related to one another.

 

I was able to print a 1 inch group from 25 meters with a 9mm target pistol before I started shooting USPSA. This skill did not help me at all in USPSA. So, my suggestion is a) learn what sight alignment and sight picture are; b) grip the pistol hard and c) pull the trigger fast and straight to the rear on demand, so the sights don't move much when the shot breaks

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All I care about with new shooters is safety. Action pistol isn't just getting a fast sight picture and a fast trigger pull. It's a a lot of muzzle control that many shooters prior to starting in this sport don't ever need to practice or never think about given the movement involved

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1 hour ago, Tango said:

The bedrock skill relevant to action shooting................

The bedrock skill for bullseye shooting................

 

I'm talking about basic handgun marksmanship.  Not anything specific to a particular discipline.

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On 7/7/2019 at 3:52 PM, cas said:

For me, USPSA made me a much worse shot. Sloppy, undisciplined... lazy shooting.  :(


I kinda had the same experience. I was pretty good at tearing up the 10 ring on a target with my G19. Once I shot competitively a few times I developed a problem where my shots would go left a lot. Took me a year to correct! 
 

Like mentioned before, try to get some vids of your first few matches. They’re very entertaining to watch later once you improve and have been doing it a while. 🤣🤣

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9 hours ago, elguapo said:

 

I'm talking about basic handgun marksmanship.  Not anything specific to a particular discipline.

Yep. You need to be able to hit what you need to hit. When you have that, you should start reducing the time it takes to get that hit.

There's Practical Shooting stages where you really need to aim and squeeze - and then there's targets where it is enough to see the pistol between you and the target. I suppose there's people who only need to see the (pretty close) target, and can hit it by feel.

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On 7/7/2019 at 3:52 PM, cas said:

For me, USPSA made me a much worse shot. Sloppy, undisciplined... lazy shooting.  :(

 

No one who is successful to any degree in this sport is sloppy, undisciplined, or lazy in their shooting.

 

Help me understand your statement.  Sloppy, undisciplined, and lazy compared to what?

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12 hours ago, Malarky112 said:


I kinda had the same experience. I was pretty good at tearing up the 10 ring on a target with my G19. Once I shot competitively a few times I developed a problem where my shots would go left a lot. Took me a year to correct! 
 

Like mentioned before, try to get some vids of your first few matches. They’re very entertaining to watch later once you improve and have been doing it a while. 🤣🤣

Practical pistol competition is a very good way to find flaws in your fundamentals of marksmanship.

 

Flaws that almost never show up on the static range shooting at black circles.

 

So I don't think USPSA degraded your skills or made you develop a problem of shooting left.  I think your problem was there from the start and practical shooting just found it for you.

Edited by elguapo
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On 3/27/2019 at 8:16 PM, j1b said:

There is a ton of great advice here. 

 

As I'm sure you can tell, very few try this game without getting hooked and then evolving and getting better. As mentioned, being safe is paramount. So for your first match just relax, breath, except the nerves (they will be there) and be safe. Simple as that. Inherently you are a good enough shot to be successful (6" groups at 15 yards is more than fine at first) but you'll learn that the little "beep" at the beginning of a stage miraculously makes you forget every shooting principle you ever knew :)

 

I'd definitely learn the manipulation of the gun, holstering, unholstering etc. Simple stuff like this seems common sense but I've seen several new shooters that aren't even good here so make sure you're solid. Just be safe.

 

The thing about shooting competitively though is that by doing it, you will get better. As mentioned by Sarge (who is great by the way, read his stuff) and others the first step is the most important and that's just getting out and going to a match.

 

This game is fun. Trust everyone who has told you that. The benefit of competition is the pressure (of the clock and performance to others) as well as doing things you likely haven't done much of before. Plus shooting at speed forces you to have to get better at the fundamentals.

 

What I'm trying to say in a long winded post is you're good enough already, shoot some matches, and you'll soon find yourself getting much, much better. Again, first and foremost just be safe and have fun!!

 

J

 

i suggest ignore the title of this video (which is gross hyperbole), but do listen to Rob Leatham describing how to shoot action pistol:

 

 

 

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