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How to get better at competitive shooting


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Hello all,

 

I’m starting my journey into USPSA and would like tips for improvement. I’m working on my technique in dry fire and running drills based off of Ben Stoeger’s dry fire book. Going to the range is your typical no drawing from holster and limited to shooting at one target. I’m sure shooting 6 shots rapidly won’t get me kicked out. I do use the rifle sight in targets to practice transitions and lately printing out A zone sized targets with a smaller circle in the middle. The smaller circle helps with giving me something to focus on and anything outside of It is what I try to limit. I used this setup to practice doubles and controlled pairs. 
 

What else would be worth focusing on? With the price of ammo I’m shooting twice per month. One range session and one match. Any tips for shooting at an indoor range and getting some quality practice. 
 

Thanks! 

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Take a class from a pro shooter.

 

or become buddy-buddy with a local GM who would be willing to show you the ropes.

 

as far as practicing on a single target at an indoor range, you can always try stronghand only shooting snd then weakhand only shooting.

 

and/or buy a .22LR conversion for your pistol

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I wish I was back in TX but I’m in Rocket city USA haha well most of the outdoor ranges close by you can’t draw form holster and I doubt you can set up more than one target. Maybe you can. Only place is a bit of a drive for me ( hour or so). Right now time is precious. I have a toddler and stay at home wife. The indoor range I go to is really close so I have to make do for the time being. 

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You could always ask at the range, tell them you want to work on some competition drills and see what they say.  My local indoor range has a no-draw rule as well, but the instructor there told me I could do it as long as the range isn't busy.  They just don't want casual shooters seeing someone else doing it and decide to try it without any training.

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Skip the live fire at the range completely. Do more, much more in dry fire. Draws should be a minority of your practice anyway. But at home you can set up multiple targets, draw as much as you want, reload however you want, have movement, set up a mini stage in the yard or garage.

 

If my available range, indoor or out, only let me do stand and shoot I would stop going as it wouldn't add any value to my performance on match day. The only thing worth doing there is shooting groups at 25 yards.

 

Even as someone new you can still learn to be safe, be effective, be quick and self aware just doing a lot of intense and varied dry fire at home.

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Strong hand, weak hand. Some targets have multiple circle targets on one sheet and you can practice mini-transitions or dot drills. Dry fire is necessary but, sooner or later, you have to get used to the bouncing muzzle. Your grip will also not get quite dialed in unless you are shooting live ammo.

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I'm in the same boat as you, G-Lo. I've managed to become good buddies with my local range officer, as I come every Saturday and Wednesday to get more familiar with my Shadow II and have brought my timer to measure transitions between zones on a target and el prez drills.

 

He asked me when I was bringing my belt rig to practice draws last week, and let me work on some live holster draws while helping instruct my most recent session. He said I'm now free to do holster work whenever the range isn't busy. 

 

My advice- make friends with your local range officers. You never know, they may let you start working on more advanced stuff technically "outside of the rules". 

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well.. Ive been playing hearts and speed sudoku on line - to exercise my mental processing speed and memory.  
while driving Ill play little games snapping my eyes from signs to cars and back - to exercise my eyeballs.
on occasion Ill airgun the fridge / tv etc -  on the move working on keeping my airgun and eyeballs smooth and level.

while gun handling is part of the game.. foot work, eye work and brain work matter too..  and saves on primers.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/5/2020 at 2:56 AM, scroadkill said:

well.. Ive been playing hearts and speed sudoku on line - to exercise my mental processing speed and memory.  
while driving Ill play little games snapping my eyes from signs to cars and back - to exercise my eyeballs.
on occasion Ill airgun the fridge / tv etc -  on the move working on keeping my airgun and eyeballs smooth and level.

while gun handling is part of the game.. foot work, eye work and brain work matter too..  and saves on primers.

John, at your age you need to focus on driving, not eyes jumping around.

jk

lol

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  • 1 month later...

I had the same problems here on near indoor ranges, but finally I found a dedicated outdor shooting range at 40 km from my location. There you have to put some little target into the big one and shoot them..... from standing, knelling, transitions, etc..... if this is possible. Dry fire at home is a must, tring to replicate competion scenary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You can do everything in dryfire other than recoil control.

 

On the range i would go for 50/50 drills und doubles drill. Remember your best grip, stance etc. from live fire and use it in dryfire.

 

You can get pretty good if you put in quality work in dryfire, even without beeing able to run around on the range.

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On 10/28/2020 at 11:53 AM, rowdyb said:

Skip the live fire at the range completely. Do more, much more in dry fire. Draws should be a minority of your practice anyway. But at home you can set up multiple targets, draw as much as you want, reload however you want, have movement, set up a mini stage in the yard or garage.

 

If my available range, indoor or out, only let me do stand and shoot I would stop going as it wouldn't add any value to my performance on match day. The only thing worth doing there is shooting groups at 25 yards.

 

Even as someone new you can still learn to be safe, be effective, be quick and self aware just doing a lot of intense and varied dry fire at home.

 

19 hours ago, rovpilot337 said:

Do lots and lots of dry fire. Quality dry fire. Use some of the Steve Anderson and Ben Stoeger drills. 

 

I think both of these are pretty spot on in terms of advice.

 

I believe Ben Stoeger essentially got to GM and won a few Nationals with an almost entire regime of dry fire. 

 

My opinion here - but I think the important piece of dry fire is to have clear goals and objectives with your sessions. I will be making mine relatively short but definitely focused. 

 

There will be times when I'm not pushing the speed and just dialing in on my technique. There will be times when I'm am almost entirely focused on accuracy. As has been mentioned by others there will be sessions focused on strong hand and weakhand. Plenty of movement drills to work on once the weather gets a little better.

 

Even within those sessions I will be intentional about "am I getting all my hits" or "am I pushing my limits with speed" It's pretty critical, for me at least, to be real about what I'm seeing and knowing if I'm "past the edge" or not. I do see value though in pushing well past my "real" limit in an effort to increase that "real limit" threshold. 

 

I normally have a baseline drill I start almost all sessions off with - something like 10 draws on a 7 yard target, 10 draws on a 15 yard target. Some transition drills. Some reloading drills, and some strong hand/weakhand stuff. And then it'll just be ten or 15 minutes of "what do I really want to work on today." During match season that invariably comes from things I didn't like from the past match.

 

With where I'm at in my shooting if I could get a mere 5-7% better than where I'm at today I think I'd be much more pleased with my shooting. And I think that can all come from dry fire. 


Have fun!

 

J

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