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Thread: Practicing to Increase Speed and Accuracy

  1. #1
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    Practicing to Increase Speed and Accuracy

    I've started in the local scene shooting some USPSA matches, been to a couple run and guns, steel challenge, and tried IDPA a week ago. Pretty much whatever I can get my hands on. Recognizing that USPSA is generally much more gamer oriented, the IDPA crowd is comprised of mostly older guys. There's fairly good reason why I finished in the middle of the pack vs the bottom end.

    However, I'm on the quest to sort out how to improve skills. I've spent probably more hours than I should watching videos on YouTube from just every anyone and everyone I can find, but have some more specific questions.

    What kind of practice, drills, etc can one do to improve speed in splits while maintaining accuracy, and improving the ability to engage targets and make transitions without falling completely apart? Where I see myself struggle the most is not on stages with barriers and movement, but more on the stages with three to six targets and one, maybe two, shooting positions. Mostly in the 7-15 yard range. Maybe I'm wrong, but I do also generally find that running at speed, I either don't intentionally find my sights at 5 yards and in, or it's very rudimentary.

    The other thing is the USPSA and IDPA matches are all indoor, and I shoot at home outdoors. Those matches are the only time I'm indoors, and I really do not prefer it at all. The other thing is I can have a tremendously difficult time finding my front sight coming out of the holster on the first target. After that it's generally not an issue.

  2. #2
    Member HopetonBrown's Avatar
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    Sounds like 3 issues.

    Proper index

    Splits

    Transitions

    Proper index. We did a drill with Bruce Grey where we'd start at count 3 and you had to break the shot at full extension. Go as slow as you want, but there can't be any hesitation by count 4. You can begin to add time in live and dry fire.

    Splits. Just fire rounds into the berm as fast as you can press the trigger, focusing on your sights and what they're doing. This isolates sight tracking.

    Transitions. Lead with your eyes, not with your sights. As the 2nd shot breaks and the gun lifts, don't wait for it to settle on the same target, transition to next target immediately.

    Most of this stuff can be practiced at home.

  3. #3
    Member Alpha Sierra's Avatar
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    Major killer to fast splits: pinning the trigger back with your finger during recoil then letting it out to reset AFTER the gun is back on target. Let that trigger out and start prepping it for the next shot WHILE the gun recoils. You don't manipulate the trigger faster, you manipulate it sooner.

    Sights are optional at 5 yards and in if your index is good. How are your hits?

    To fix your index: pick something to aim at, close your eyes, draw and point the gun with the eyes closed, open your eyes. Fix every detail of your grip and draw until the sights are aligned with each other and on target when you open your eyes. Yeah, it's hard work. No, I don't know a more effective way to do it.

    It's normal to have only indoor matches during this time of the year. What part of Kansas are you from? There's gotta be outdoor matches starting up in late March or early April. I always wear earplugs and ear muffs indoors.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopetonBrown View Post
    Sounds like 3 issues.

    Proper index

    Splits

    Transitions

    Proper index. We did a drill with Bruce Grey where we'd start at count 3 and you had to break the shot at full extension. Go as slow as you want, but there can't be any hesitation by count 4. You can begin to add time in live and dry fire.

    Splits. Just fire rounds into the berm as fast as you can press the trigger, focusing on your sights and what they're doing. This isolates sight tracking.

    Transitions. Lead with your eyes, not with your sights. As the 2nd shot breaks and the gun lifts, don't wait for it to settle on the same target, transition to next target immediately.

    Most of this stuff can be practiced at home.
    Making any effort to keep the pistol on target, .25-.28 splits are fairly normal. Say running a Bill Drill. However, running a clean Bill drill is not where I'm at yet. Just shooting fast, with no real regard to sights, .18-.22 is doable.

    Transitions. That's something to work on at the range here. I don't know why I didn't think of that on my own. Set up multiple targets and shoot transitions. The ones that kill me the most are the ones a couple yards apart. Side by side isn't such a problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Sierra View Post
    Major killer to fast splits: pinning the trigger back with your finger during recoil then letting it out to reset AFTER the gun is back on target. Let that trigger out and start prepping it for the next shot WHILE the gun recoils. You don't manipulate the trigger faster, you manipulate it sooner.

    Sights are optional at 5 yards and in if your index is good. How are your hits?

    To fix your index: pick something to aim at, close your eyes, draw and point the gun with the eyes closed, open your eyes. Fix every detail of your grip and draw until the sights are aligned with each other and on target when you open your eyes. Yeah, it's hard work. No, I don't know a more effective way to do it.

    It's normal to have only indoor matches during this time of the year. What part of Kansas are you from? There's gotta be outdoor matches starting up in late March or early April. I always wear earplugs and ear muffs indoors.
    I don't remember if I ever really did much trigger pinning, but after seeing Ernest Langdon's video on the subject, I became very aware of not doing it.

    Close up targets, I get solid A's, some C's. That falls apart more when the range gets further out and the targets get further apart.

    I live an hour and a half SW of Wichita in the boonies. The USPSA crowd mentioned there's an outdoor match at Larned, I believe, but that's nearly two hours out. Ponca City is an hour and a half, as well.

  5. #5
    Member Alpha Sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence View Post
    Close up targets, I get solid A's, some C's. That falls apart more when the range gets further out and the targets get further apart.

    I live an hour and a half SW of Wichita in the boonies. The USPSA crowd mentioned there's an outdoor match at Larned, I believe, but that's nearly two hours out. Ponca City is an hour and a half, as well.
    Yeah, anything farther than 5 yards and someone at your skill level needs to focus not just on sight picture/alignment but also on a clean trigger press to be successful.

    Your drives to outdoor matches are not hateful, particularly for KS. I used to live in Wichita.

    Where I live now (SW OH) I have to drive 1 hr or more to most outdoor matches.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Sierra View Post
    Yeah, anything farther than 5 yards and someone at your skill level needs to focus not just on sight picture/alignment but also on a clean trigger press to be successful.

    Your drives to outdoor matches are not hateful, particularly for KS. I used to live in Wichita.

    Where I live now (SW OH) I have to drive 1 hr or more to most outdoor matches.
    I get it, it's just hard to have an extra three hours windshield time several times a month when you already drive 4500-5000 miles a month as is.

    I don't know that it's relevant to the discussion at hand at all, but this was this afternoon. 15 rounds, from 8 yards. 1.85 to first shot, total 4.67. Splits .18-.22, averaged right in the middle around .20.

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  7. #7
    Member Alpha Sierra's Avatar
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    @spence have you thought about buying some of the books by Ben Stoeger and using them to self coach?

    He also offers a subscription video coaching service: https://www.practicalshootingtraininggroup.com/

    I think both resources will flatten your learning curve quite a bit.

  8. #8
    Member Alpha Sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence View Post
    I don't know that it's relevant to the discussion at hand at all, but this was this afternoon. 15 rounds, from 8 yards. 1.85 to first shot, total 4.67. Splits .18-.22, averaged right in the middle around .20.

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    What were you working on while shooting this exercise? What was the goal?

  9. #9
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    @Alpha Sierra I do have one Ben Stoeger book someone here suggested. That was before attending any matches, I should indeed go back and reference it again. Probably wouldn't hurt to look into some of his other material, as well.

    Goal was derived from the statement below. I was looking to see what it would look like on paper to run the pistol at the fastest pace I could at a distance where where using the sights is necessary.

    Splits. Just fire rounds into the berm as fast as you can press the trigger, focusing on your sights and what they're doing. This isolates sight tracking.

  10. #10
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Go for the low hanging fruit first. When you do the math, splits aren't going to move you up in match performance until you get to the higher levels of the sport. In fact, trying to smash 0.15-0.20 splits will probably result in worse hits. The people I see moving up to B class and competing effectively at that level (not an easy thing to do) usually slow their splits down. A lot. That's because they have moved from pulling the trigger twice with one sight picture (maybe not even that) to being able to track the sights through recoil, stabilize as needed, and fire an accurate second shot. Obviously you can't be a complete turtle, but I do not recommend worrying about splits for quite a while.

    Try working on these:

    -Stage planning, memorization, visualization. See yourself shooting the stage in detail at least 10x before you do it live.

    -Shoot Alphas (or A&C's if you're shooting Major). Do not shoot Ds or Mikes. This seems obvious, yet most newer shooters lose a ton of points. Make sure you see the target in terms of your scoring zone, not just a big brown thing.

    -Transitions: Are you pulling off targets before you're done shooting them? Shooting before your gun is on target? Or are you slow? Work on these things for Yuge improvements.

    -Movement: gun up and ready to shoot before you enter a position

    -Marksmanship: are you confident in hitting far steel and tight partials?
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

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