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jskd82

Draw, first shot speed

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My observations have been around the speed of the weak hand is paramount to a faster draw.  I have seen a lot of shooters be slow with their weak hand getting in front of their body before the gun leaves the holster. Their gun is out looking for the support hand.  I would suggest the support hand is ready to grip the gun before the gun leaves the holster or about the same time.

 

Try moving both hands in conjunction with each other during dry fire draws i.e., the weak hand at the center of your chest (or there abouts) when your strong hand is gripping the gun.  

 

Just one of many techniques to increase your draw speed.

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In order to be fast and accurate, you need to work on accurate first. Forget speed for now. Just practice getting the gun between your eyes and the target smoothly, with the sights aligned on the target. You need to start slowly and really focus on the movement and and where the gun "WANTS" to point. If the gun doesn't WANT to line up on the target without adjustments, you need to take a good hard look at your grip. You can do all of this in dry fire any time you have free time. Put a 1" target paster on a wall. stand back 15 ft and practice drawing the gun to that spot. Focus on the dot and bring the sights to your line of sight straight. The more you practice that, the easier it will be to do it faster. In the end you'll be doing it dead on without even trying. THAT is when you'll get fast.


I can think of a number of top instructors who would disagree with you there.

Your advice sounds awefully like “slow down and get your hits”


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That's precisely what I'm saying. And many instructors would agree with me. In fact there's a man who wrote a book and started an internet forum who got famous for that.

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1 hour ago, perttime said:

"Get your hits" is pretty important for getting a good score.

 

Indeed. I see so many people fall into the trap of, "If I'm fast enough it will make up for all the misses". It simply doesn't work that way. Far more important to build a system of stance, grip, trigger control and a gun that indexes well, Then hitting you marks becomes almost automatic. Never shoot faster than you can see you sights on the target and if you can't call your shots as they are happening, you're going too fast.

 

EDIT:  Just remembered the best piece of advice I ever got from a competitor who beat me. It was the second steel match I ever shot and I was sprayin' and prayin'. Smoke & Hope was never a more appropriate stage name for me back then. I finished the stage packed my gear and as I walked off the firing line the man who was leading the match stopped me. He said, "You need to learn how to NOT squeeze the trigger."

 

It was 6 months before I understood what he meant. Don't squeeze the shot off til you see your sights centered on the target.

Edited by Dranoel

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There is one problem with "getting your hits" - it's great advice for those who are serious about their training and want to advance, but it is also a trap for those who are stuck in the D/C class. 

 

I've seen way too many shooters who use the "I want to get my hits" as an excuse for not getting faster. Everyone can shoot a USPSA course accurately enough to get all A-s. Targets are large and distances are moderate. It's not a bullseye competition. A person who cannot shoot an A on any given random target has no business owning a gun. The problem is "shooting an A fast (enough)." That's where virtually all USPSA training is - being able to do simple tasks fast.

 

 

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Really great dialogue going here. And a little different than what I often hear.

The mantra often is "go fast because you can't overcome time with hits." At least i see this posted quite a bit. It seems there is some truth in it but I think it's based on the assumption that the shooter is competent enough to shoot decently at speed. A newb taking heeding this advice will not fare well I suppose.

I have spent a long time with training focused on getting the tightest groups possible. I think this is what a lot of new gun owners that train aspire to do. Then I found some USPSA matches on YouTube and said, "WoW. I want to do that." I changed my training.

My big struggle right now is the transition between shooting tight groups at a leisurely pace and learning to shoot well under the pressure of time. One thing I really struggled with is learning what a "good enough" sight picture and get my brain to break the shot. I was so used to trying to get that perfect aim to get the perfect bullseye that my brain just would trigger that message to my fingers to let go. I've gotten over this but now sometimes I shoot too soon, before I see that my sight picture is acceptable. And hell, I sometimes have thrown shots where I don't even remember seeing my front sight.

The thing is that it's not that I'm not looking at my sights. I am. They just don't register sometimes. It may be that this is very new to me so I kind of still have the deer in headlights thing going on. Just brain overload.

The one good thing is that I can manage to hit some part of the target even when I'm throwing shots. I can index my gun pretty well so the muzzle is at least in the vicinity of the cardboard. As someone said, if you can't hit a USPSA target you probably shooting be competing.

Sounds like I just have to find that balance where I am just on the edge of shooting too fast. Like with anything. You get to where you are really good and then you pushed just a little more so you have one foot on the side of "chaos". That's how you get better.

Also, focusing on doing everything fast when you're NOT actively shooting so you make up time to slow down when you are.

What do you all think? Is my theory correct?

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Read Steve Anderson's dry fire book(s) where he talks about "accuracy, speed and match modes of shooting." Understanding the three modes will give you the insight you're looking for. 

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In practice, if you are fast and missing, you will be painfully aware of the lack of performance and what you need to work on. If you are slow and accurate, the lack of speed won't be nearly as obvious until you get to a match. It's just much easier to get stuck with being slow than with being inaccurate. Just my 2c. 

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11 hours ago, anonymouscuban said:

... ...
Sounds like I just have to find that balance where I am just on the edge of shooting too fast. Like with anything. You get to where you are really good and then you pushed just a little more so you have one foot on the side of "chaos". That's how you get better.

Also, focusing on doing everything fast when you're NOT actively shooting so you make up time to slow down when you are.

What do you all think? Is my theory correct?
 

 

I think you are on the right track. However, I'd try to stay away from the idea of shooting fast or slow. Instead, I'd focus on seeing just enough. See fast: find the target, see enough to put your bullets on that target, or on the A/C zones.

 

What exactly you need to see depends on the target: how far it is, awkward position, possibly also any hard cover or N/S targets.

 

Last season, I got my best percentages at stages that had tight shots, and it was obvious to me that I had to take my time to get the hits. Longer distance and/or N/S targets. My worst were when I just thought I could hit those targets when I saw them, but rushed so that I didn't see my sights on those targets. I did just OK on targets where seeing the shape of my gun on the target was enough.

 

Not wasting time when not shooting is an obvious place for improvement. I can scoot when there is some distance to cover - but I take a long time to get the first shot when I arrive.

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14 hours ago, IVC said:

There is one problem with "getting your hits" - it's great advice for those who are serious about their training and want to advance, but it is also a trap for those who are stuck in the D/C class. 

 

I've seen way too many shooters who use the "I want to get my hits" as an excuse for not getting faster. Everyone can shoot a USPSA course accurately enough to get all A-s. Targets are large and distances are moderate. It's not a bullseye competition. A person who cannot shoot an A on any given random target has no business owning a gun. The problem is "shooting an A fast (enough)." That's where virtually all USPSA training is - being able to do simple tasks fast.

 

 

edit: IVC is right, didn´t read the first sentence ;) 

Edited by bimmer1980

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