Hosted by Bobby Carver
Practice without a purpose is just wasting time and ammo, right? So, what skills/areas do you practice (low-ready to first shot; splits and transitions; precision/Groups) and how (dry, live, and on a 'straight ahead only' indoor range for those who can't set up stages)?
You’re correct, “practice without a purpose IS just wasting time and ammo."
It’s important to have an objective to achieve each time that you practice. Your objective maybe as simple as getting use to the “feel” of the recoil if you haven’t shot in a very long time. I’m listing below some primary objectives you may wish to accomplish with some of your practices:
• Sight and alignment
• Trigger control
Now these objectives look familiar don’t they? They are 4 of the most important basic objectives of accurate shooting. Now, some more advanced objectives you may wish to achieve, using all of the above:
• Double tap shots at 5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards, 20 yards and 25 yards, measuring the accuracy of the “second” shot
• First shot accuracy and speed
• Transitions from target 1 to target 2, measuring the time from the last shot on target 1 to the first shot on target 2.
• Plate shooting, putting emphasis on the 2’nd shot or 3’rd or 4’th or 5’th or 6’th.
• 5 to Glock
• Glock M
It’s important to have an objective whenever you practice with live ammo at a range, indoor or outside, but you can also modify these objectives by developing objectives from “dry firing” indoors or outside. “Dry firing” objectives could be:
• Trigger control by watching the front sight to make sure that it does not move when you squeeze the trigger and the striker falls
• Using the “par time” option on your timer, setting it to 1.0 seconds or less, practice achieving your first shot by dry firing from the low ready position
• Transition practicing by setting your timer on “par time” at ,50 or less. Have two sighting spots on your wall and begin aiming at the first spot, when the first “beep” is heard, transition or swing to the second spot and squeeze the trigger BEFORE the second beep. (Notice what happens to your front sight when you squeeze the trigger) Make adjustments to the par time as required.
So, what skills/areas do you practice (low-ready to first shot; splits and transitions; precision/Groups)
The objective of my practices depends upon the area I need to improve. I believe that you need to analyze your shooting, breaking it down into first shots, splits, transitions and groups. These 4 areas of technique require different practice skills to improve. I will shoot through each match, 5 to Glock, Glock M and the plates a few times, analyzing these 4 segments of my technique. For example, I will shoot the 5 to Glock and will microanalyze each shot on the timer. If you have EXCEL, email me for a worksheet to be used for analyzing your shots.
After you have recorded your times from the timer, calculate your Splits and Transitions, then record the score with a description of the area where your hits were. Once you have developed this chart for each run, then decide what you need to work on. From this example, I would want to focus upon using more time on my second transition and third split to improve my hits on the 3’rd target, so I may choose to focus upon shooting targets at that distance more than trying to shoot all of the targets. I would focus upon improving my groups and accuracy by slowing down. (This is just an example)
Once you have analyzed the results of your shooting, then choose the area or areas that you need to focus upon for that practice session or for the “next” practice session. If you are planning your practice sessions, also plan how much time you plan to practice and how many rounds you will need to achieve your objective. Avoid trying to achieve more objectives than you have ammo and time to complete. This will set you up for failure and will frustrate you when you feel like you need more work and you are either out of time or ammo or both.
…..and how (dry, live, and on a 'straight ahead only' indoor range for those who can't set up stages)?
I suggest that you try to accomplish as many objectives from your analysis from “dry firing” that’s possible. Why? Well, it’s cheap and you can do it at home or at the range, depending upon your time or choice.
If you are practicing at an “indoor range” that has shooting lanes, you will need to be creative to accomplish your objectives. After analyzing the segment of your shooting that needs more work, plan how you can practice that segment at that range. For example:
If you are wanting to practice on transitions when shooting the Glock M and you have found that the targets that you score worse on are the 20 yard targets, position your target “heads on” at 20 yards and practice, at the sound of the beep of your timer, “shadow shooting” the first target the steel and then shoot the paper target at 20 yards with two shots. Then try it from the other direction, left to right or right to left.
I do some practice at an indoor range and the owner will allow me to use multiple shooting lanes, when he is not busy. I will station myself in the center lane and will send a target downrange from two other lanes and practice the 20 yard targets just like I would see them in a full scale setup. This is possible when shooting the 5 to Glock by putting the target “straight ahead” at 25 yards, then the lane to the right of you, position a target at 20 yards and the lane to the left of your lane, position a target at 15 yards. (As we all know, these are the most difficult). You may even ask the range’s owner when his business is the slowest and ask him if you could setup up multiple targets to practice during those times. I have found that most range owners will work with you. Remember, they are in business to sell range time and ammo, etc.
I hope that these “tips” have addressed your inquiries. In summary, analyze the area that you feel that you need to work on and focus upon that using the amount of time, ammo and setup possible. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org