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D Class: Focus on slow A zone first?


leam
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I've been in and out of shooting, and never really got past D. We ran a couple of classifier drills yesterday and my accuracy, formerly my best skill, was bad. Multiple Mikes and NSs. Found myself jerking the trigger and moving the gun SHO/WHO, even when focusing on an A zone sight picture. Am I correct in thinking that my training focus should be on slow A zone hits?

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I'd pick up an Anderson's or Stoeger's book on dry fire drills.  You can make big gains without firing a shot.  They will help with all aspects, including trigger control.  Good luck to you...

Edited by BadShot
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2 hours ago, leam said:

I've been in and out of shooting, and never really got past D. We ran a couple of classifier drills yesterday and my accuracy, formerly my best skill, was bad. Multiple Mikes and NSs. Found myself jerking the trigger and moving the gun SHO/WHO, even when focusing on an A zone sight picture. Am I correct in thinking that my training focus should be on slow A zone hits?

Slow can mean different things to different shooters. I once told a new shooter to focus on getting hits and not worry about time. Shot a 20 second stage in about a minute and a half.😊

Now I usually just say try to shoot alphas as fast as you can and when NS or hard cover are involved shoot for the center of the brown. 

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If you have been in and out and not getting past D in qualifiers I think you need to stop and regroup and find some qualified help . as in an active IDPA or USPSA shooter, not a tactical Timmy.

While I can get being D class at matches due to physical issues, most classifiers tend to be stand and shoots with limited movement.

"Practice doesnt make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect" D.R. Middlebrook.

Not knocking you in the least, you are obviously here to get better. I just think you need a fresh look to get you on the right track to more perfect practice.
Could also be a gun, sight, ammo, issue.. Think you should start from scratch.

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5 hours ago, Sarge said:

Slow can mean different things to different shooters. I once told a new shooter to focus on getting hits and not worry about time. Shot a 20 second stage in about a minute and a half.😊

Now I usually just say try to shoot alphas as fast as you can and when NS or hard cover are involved shoot for the center of the brown. 

 

Some years ago I was an IDPA SO, and we had a new guy show up. Lots of enthusiasm for "run and gun", not much in the way of accuracy. He ran fast and may have hit once or twice, not sure. I took him to another bay and *walked* him through a stage. Emphasis on "walk".   :)

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51 minutes ago, Joe4d said:

If you have been in and out and not getting past D in qualifiers I think you need to stop and regroup and find some qualified help . as in an active IDPA or USPSA shooter, not a tactical Timmy.

While I can get being D class at matches due to physical issues, most classifiers tend to be stand and shoots with limited movement.

"Practice doesnt make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect" D.R. Middlebrook.

Not knocking you in the least, you are obviously here to get better. I just think you need a fresh look to get you on the right track to more perfect practice.
Could also be a gun, sight, ammo, issue.. Think you should start from scratch.

 

Hey Joe, I hear what you're saying. However, as a former NRA instructor and current USPSA RO, I can assure you that it's the trigger monkey. I did actually make C in Steel, but haven't shot that in a while. There are at least two core issues; "lack of practice" and "zero natural talent". Can't change the latter, but working on the former should compensate.

 

In yesterday's practice I went past my speed capability. For example, in 03-18 I had 15 A, 7 C, and 2 D with times of 18.96 and 17.95. That was my first run of the day, and I wasn't really settled mentally. The Sig P320 fits my hand nicely, and most of those A hits were because of the fit. In the second setup (03-11) I tried to go faster and the No Shoot paid the price.

 

Really, at less than 30 yards I should not have anything besides lower A hits if there's no time pressure. Mentally accepting that I'm physically not created to be an "operator" should let me shoot within my limits. Figuring out how to deal with the over-active conscious "stay on target, squeeze trigger, stay on target, squeeze trigger" loop will help.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Joe4d said:

If you have been in and out and not getting past D in qualifiers I think you need to stop and regroup and find some qualified help . as in an active IDPA or USPSA shooter, not a tactical Timmy.

While I can get being D class at matches due to physical issues, most classifiers tend to be stand and shoots with limited movement.

"Practice doesnt make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect" D.R. Middlebrook.

Not knocking you in the least, you are obviously here to get better. I just think you need a fresh look to get you on the right track to more perfect practice.
Could also be a gun, sight, ammo, issue.. Think you should start from scratch.

 

What he said

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18 minutes ago, leam said:

Figuring out how to deal with the over-active conscious "stay on target, squeeze trigger, stay on target, squeeze trigger" loop will help.

 

Dude, that right there is your problem.  You need to put in the work so that your fundamentals of marksmanship (grip, sight picture, sight alignment, trigger press) are running in your sub-conscious.  Until you do that, you will never be able to make significant progress.

 

@Joe4d advice was dead nuts on.

 

You can't walk yet.  Don't even try to run.

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  • 3 months later...

I came from an Archery background where the center of the bullseye was the most important factor.  Timing was so liberal that it never was an issue.  

 

When I took up guns about 40 years ago I still knew what it takes to shoot the center of the target.  That is what I would call the most important thing.  Know where your shot is going to hit before you shoot it.  Practice this until it's second nature. 

 

Once you start shooting a stage: be it Steel Challenge, USPSA or IDPA your hits are still very important.  You've now added the clock but shouldn't worry about it until you are pushing A or even the top of B class.

 

When the clock goes off don't slow down to hit all A's.  They will come as long as you practice the fundamentals.  Speed needs to be practiced too and pushing yourself at a match, if you can't practice stages, is the second most important thing.

 

YMMV

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/27/2021 at 6:34 PM, Ccampo1129 said:

All alphas means you’re going too slow. No hits too fast. Try to be in the middle. Then push. 

So half Alpas hall Mikes?

 

This does not sound like good advice. The OP needs to work on the fundamentals of shooting before being concerned about what classification he’s shooting. As Sgt. Shultz said, fundamentals are where it’s at. Once a shooter has very good basic skills, then they can add other components such as moving, fast reloads, transitions, etc. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

All of this is decent advice. IMO as one who has shot USPSA for 4 years and was a decent c class shooter for most of it, now low b class I will say the 2 things that got me into b class were dry fire and commitment to it. I never believed people about dry fire until this year when I made a personal choice to do it and stick to doing it. 

 

I started analyzing what was costing me the most time on a stage and worked on that first. Being I was ahooting Single stack and sucked at reloads I dry fired those exclusively for a while. Then sight acquisition from target to target. Neither of which included drawing the gun, or even pulling the trigger. The third step for me and maybe should have been second was getting my grip correctly on the draw. 

 

I found one very interesting thing durring dry fire reloads. Being left handed I always found hitting the mag release a big issue. Well one time I decided to try a few different ways and found one that worked really really well for me, allowed me to break grip but be able to get right back on grip very fast. 

 

When I got to the range for live fire practice I worked on recoil management from shot to shot, shooting on the move, I still suck at it, but have gained confidence in doing it at matches through practice. 

 

Another big thing for me was sticking to one division. Yeah I still went to limited around the 3/4 of the season mark but being as SS and limited are pretty close it wasnt a huge deal. And my new limited gun was to nice to just let sit around. Lol

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've been thinking alot about my own shooting lately and some of these questions.   Two names that are sort of premminent in the uspsa training thing are ben stoeger and steve anderson.   Both of them reject completely the notion of going slow to get your hits, anderson even suggests(and I think he is definitely right) if you "slow down to get your hits" you will slow EVERYTHING down, your loads, your transitions, your movement etc etc...so its super counter productive.

 

I have as of late watched this video literally 50 times in the last few days, on youtube "Ben Stoeger Teaching Speed Shooting Fundamentals"  its like 55 minutes long but the first 25 or so addresses the core of what you are asking.

 

In this he talks very plainly about the visual feedback loop of shooting in a way I have never heard it expressed quite like, and its really directly stuff from the Enos book(letting the gun recoil, look where you want the bullet to go and let your vision put the gun there) work trigger, letting the process happen vs trying to force it.   That last bit is something I have only experience a few times, shooting as fast as you can see, not as fast as you can consciously do it,  the dot/sights are telling you what is happening and hands adjust to it, etc...

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2 hours ago, testosterone said:

I've been thinking alot about my own shooting lately and some of these questions.   Two names that are sort of premminent in the uspsa training thing are ben stoeger and steve anderson.   Both of them reject completely the notion of going slow to get your hits, anderson even suggests(and I think he is definitely right) if you "slow down to get your hits" you will slow EVERYTHING down, your loads, your transitions, your movement etc etc...so its super counter productive.

 

I have as of late watched this video literally 50 times in the last few days, on youtube "Ben Stoeger Teaching Speed Shooting Fundamentals"  its like 55 minutes long but the first 25 or so addresses the core of what you are asking.

 

In this he talks very plainly about the visual feedback loop of shooting in a way I have never heard it expressed quite like, and its really directly stuff from the Enos book(letting the gun recoil, look where you want the bullet to go and let your vision put the gun there) work trigger, letting the process happen vs trying to force it.   That last bit is something I have only experience a few times, shooting as fast as you can see, not as fast as you can consciously do it,  the dot/sights are telling you what is happening and hands adjust to it, etc...

 

IMHO one needs to be able to actually hit the target before doing all of that which you've mentioned.

 

When someone has a multitude of mikes and no shoots, he has zero fundamental skill and no progress can be made by just hitting the throttle.

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15 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

IMHO one needs to be able to actually hit the target before doing all of that which you've mentioned.

 

When someone has a multitude of mikes and no shoots, he has zero fundamental skill and no progress can be made by just hitting the throttle.

 

fair enough, I am assuming, probably incorrectly,  slow fire no time limit OP is able to hit things because he specifically mentions jerking trigger with a good site picture on a timer, so the issue is doing the stuff "at speed", sounds like aim-aim-aim-NOW to me...

 

 

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8 hours ago, testosterone said:

 

fair enough, I am assuming, probably incorrectly,  slow fire no time limit OP is able to hit things because he specifically mentions jerking trigger with a good site picture on a timer, so the issue is doing the stuff "at speed", sounds like aim-aim-aim-NOW to me...

 

 

 

The OP, by his own admission, has never been out of D class.

 

Based on the D class shooters I've seen, that indicates no grasp of the fundamentals.  But I could be wrong because I've never seen the OP shoot.

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14 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

 

The OP, by his own admission, has never been out of D class.

 

Based on the D class shooters I've seen, that indicates no grasp of the fundamentals.  But I could be wrong because I've never seen the OP shoot.

 

Well, not seeing me shoot probably saves you the mental turmoil of "Ohh...he's awful!"   :)

 

Your 14 March comment on this thread is the key; I've not dry-fired enough to make the process subconscious. Because of that, trying to make conscious decisions at speed fails to provide success.

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14 minutes ago, leam said:

Your 14 March comment on this thread is the key; I've not dry-fired enough to make the process subconscious. Because of that, trying to make conscious decisions at speed fails to provide success.

 

At the end of a run I cannot tell you what my dot was doing on any one target other than if I called a shot that I  knew the dot was not where I wanted it when the shot was fired.  In other words I called a Delta or worse a Mike and/or No shoot when I pulled the trigger, but made the conscious decision to move and roll the dice on the exact placement of that shot (sometimes the feet moved me out of position and it did not make sense to go back).  The mechanics of aiming, pulling the trigger, and calling the shot is all sub conscious now.  It took two years to get to that point.  I can honestly say it would have happened faster with more dry fire practice.  

 

I watch people get upset with their performance at matches all of the time.  Typically that person is the one that shows up to 1-2 matches a month and never practices.  On a rare occasion I am not happy with my performance, but I always go back and ask myself.  "Is my performance a direct reflection of the effort I have put into the sport?"  The answer is always yes, I performed to the level that is commensurate with the amount of time, energy and practice I put into it.  That is what I love about shooting USPSA.  Its rare anything affects shooters performance other than the effort they put into it.  

Edited by Boomstick303
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8 hours ago, leam said:

 

Well, not seeing me shoot probably saves you the mental turmoil of "Ohh...he's awful!"   :)

 

Your 14 March comment on this thread is the key; I've not dry-fired enough to make the process subconscious. Because of that, trying to make conscious decisions at speed fails to provide success.

 

Well, I'm glad one of my comments was helpful. 

 

I think you have the right attitude to improve and have identified a key issue that's holding you back.  Now muster the motivation to make it happen and you'll see success.

 

I have a lot more respect for guys like you who lay it out there and take advise than I do for those who take their ball and go home when they get comments (from better shooters) that run counter to the what they think they need to be doing.

Edited by SGT_Schultz
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Shot my first match in a long time, today. You can rightly assume my stage skills were lousy and my energy level was drained by the end, but I didn't shoot myself or anyone else. It was good match. I focused on A zone hits and got the most Alphas and least Charlies of all 26 shooters. Of course, I tied for the most NSs too.  ;)

 

 

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On 10/9/2021 at 5:29 PM, leam said:

Shot my first match in a long time, today. You can rightly assume my stage skills were lousy and my energy level was drained by the end, but I didn't shoot myself or anyone else. It was good match. I focused on A zone hits and got the most Alphas and least Charlies of all 26 shooters. Of course, I tied for the most NSs too.  ;)

 

 

hahahaha its all about the silver linings

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