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New pistol shooter...best course of action


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Hi all,

Looking for advice on jumping into USPSA or Multi-gun competitions.

I served a few years in the Marines 0311 reserves, so shooting AR15 is nothing new to me, but hand gun training is.

I am a new pistol shooter, never took classes besides hunter safety course, learned all my handgun shooting "technique" from youtube and reading other's posts on this forum. I have a glock 19 (10rd) with RMR, and a XD mod2 9mm 4". 

Should I take a few pistol classes first to get the correct basics under my belt before going to a USPSA/Multi-gun match, or keep doing live-fire drills and then go to a match? There is a Multi-gun class at a local range in the next few weeks, and I am going to attend that as well just to get an idea of what a match would be like.

Thanks for all advice

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The best way to start USPSA is to read the rule book, make sure you know the range commands/safety rules and can follow them, and then go shoot your first match with the goal of being safe and having fun. Here is the rulebook: 

https://uspsa.org/documents/rules/2019_USPSA_Competition_Rules.pdf

 

Shoot whichever of your pistols you feel more comfortable with/have sufficient gear to make it through a match. Limited minor is always a good place to start because you can shoot just about any iron sighted pistol you have and you can load your existing mags to max capacity, so you should only need a holster, belt, pistol, two mag holders, and 3 mags to start. If you have 4+ mags for either of your pistols then Production class is an option as well (10 rounds per mag max so you need a minimum of 4 to make it through a 32 round stage but 5-6 is ideal for stage planning), but then you'll need mag holders for all of them which will be more expensive to start out. 

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If you want to shoot USPSA find a local club by going to their web page and then attend a match. If you are comfortable with your gun also attend the safety class and shoot a match. 

 

https://uspsa.org/find-a-club

 

The very first thing to understand about “practical pistol shooting” is it’s a game and not some macho defensive tactical training forum. But, if you get the bug and get hooked your pistol shooting ability will become far greater than you can imagine. The top shooters in this game are probably some of the best in the world and yet they wear NASCAR style jerseys and ball caps. 

 

Look up JJ Racaza on YouTube and or do a search for USPSA to see what goes on. 

 

It s literally a blast and better than golf, IMHO.

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Are you comfortable with pistol manipulation at speed or under pressure? If not, go shoot at a static range more and make sure you get the fundamentals (both safety and your firearm's function) committed to memory.

 

Then you might want to look into a "new competitor" course at a local USPSA club. I help teach one at my local club and the students all vary in skill and competency at the start, but by the end of the class they are more comfortable with the core rules and range commands. 

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Read the rule book, focusing on the safety section. Grab whichever gun you perfer and have enough mags and a holster for and go shoot a match. It aint rocket surgery,  just let them know you are a newb and they will help you out.

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I do think that you should take at least one basic pistol class that focuses on proper grip and how to correctly perform basic manipulations safely and efficiently.

 

99% of self trained people I see have horrible grips and to say their handgun manipulation skills (draw, reholster, reloads) are sub-par is being generous.

image.thumb.png.b003889eb7b13bd58c14687158bc6f2c.png

 

It doesn't have to be a class specifically geared towards competitive shooting.  A level 1 defensive pistol class will cover the basics, which are the same.

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I tell people that are interested in uspsa to shoot a couple steel challenge matches first. It gets you used to the commands and working under the clock with less concern of breaking the 180 and usually no movement. It’s a blast too anyway.

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The places by me have “intro” courses for the matches where new shooters can get briefed on how the matches run along with safety and basic stage planning. See if the local matches near you offer something similar.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/12/2019 at 7:28 PM, Goodonpaper said:

I tell people that are interested in uspsa to shoot a couple steel challenge matches first. It gets you used to the commands and working under the clock with less concern of breaking the 180 and usually no movement. It’s a blast too anyway.

 

 

Agreed, a steel match is a great intro to competition, without a lot of gear requirements. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

You don’t need to wait until you’re completely proficient (that’s a pretty elusive ambition) before jumping into competition. But, as elguapo points out having a basic grasp of the fundamentals will go a long ways toward making competitive shooting come easier. Professional instruction may seem expensive, but will save untold frustration and probably save money in the long run. 

 

I’m in P’cola & shoot with several clubs in the surrounding area. Feel free to pm me for ideas. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as others have said, if you want to start just start. Don’t worry about all the extra gear that people may have, just pick a gun your comfortable shooting, have a holster and mag pouches for, and just focus on being safe and having fun.  All of the extra stuff will come as you learn more about the sport and which divisions you want to shoot. 

 

One of the best things you can do is listen and watch other shooters do their stage breakdowns, you’ll pick up on a lot this way. You can also ask questions but take everything with a grain of salt, theres some not so great shooters that will try to pass on their knowledge as well.

 

Good luck and welcome, this is a great sport and very addicting!

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Lots of good classes - when I first started I was told that money spent on training was much better spent than money spent on toys. It took a few years but I see that now. You can not "buy" skill, and it is tough to coach yourself.

I have taken OpSpec training, and felt it was well taught, and valuable - this was more general pistol shooting, try to get more accurate, and faster.

I also have taken competition focused classes from Ben Stoeger - good, but you really need to have a pretty good idea whats going on to get value there. He is so good, I think a beginner is literally under his radar on how to teach.

Tactical Performance Center in Utah teaches some really great competition classes that all levels will see value.

I have not been to Rogers Shooting School in Georgia, but I have heard great things, and it is on the list

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