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Thread: Improving Target Acquisition Speed

  1. #1

    Improving Target Acquisition Speed

    I just competed in my first big sanctioned IDPA match. In a lot of areas I feel I was competitive with the higher level shooters, but the big low hanging fruit holding me back is target acquisition time. What I mean by this is: when I'm coming around a barricade/cover/simulated building/wall it takes me a second to visually find and orient my gun to the target, plus an additional half-second when I need to sort out targets from no-shoots.

    What are some drills I can use to improve this weakness? Just shooting partials on a square range doesn't seem to cover it since I know where the targets are before I draw my gun and don't have to deal with changing up the angle of my body to aim and fire. I mostly shoot on private land so I do have the ability to move around at different angles, but can't generally post the targets themselves at radically different angles.

    I know one answer would be to improve my stage planning skills so I have it rehearsed in my mind exactly what angles I will be pointed at when I come out of the cover/barricade/etc, but I'm hoping there will be some other a way I can improve this since IDPA discourages walk-throughs.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    You still end up walking through somewhat before the shooting, and during taping. That helps.
    I always wanted to have gun up and high, at my eyes level, when I was coming to a barricade. Basically, I wanted to start aiming at the expected target direction before clearing the barricade, as opposed to getting there, looking for a target, then lifting the pistol and starting to aim. Assuming multiple targets available, I want to be specific what target I want to enter on and what is the further shooting sequence. Stopping smoothly reduces gun bounce and allows to shoot earlier. That's all I can think of.

  3. #3
    Member
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    Walk through as many times as you can until you memorize what your doing. "Visualize" shooting it. Play it back "Like a Movie." This is what I learned from Steve Anderson

    In general the more you shoot or dry fire, the more you draw present, look for targets the faster your mind begins to process and orientate to that kind of information. 5 years ago I would look at a stage and it would seem like it would take forever to figure it out. Now it can take only a few minutes.

    I shoot the occasional outlaw 3 gun match that loves "blind stages" and even in the middle of the stage you can just kind of put it all togther.
    A71593

  4. #4
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    I'm not an expert by any means, but the most recent IDPA magazine, the Tactical Journal, discusses Stage Markers and Stop Markers. You're already familiar with the concept, but I believe these techniques are very useful for stage planning. Here's a link. http://www.idpa.com/tactical-journal

    Look for the 3rd quarter 2017 issue.

    If you don't want to scroll thru the whole journal, a nearly identical article is posted on this blog:

    http://blog.shooting-performance.com...age-breakdown/

    As YVK mentioned, you get to walk through the stage to score or tape. Additionally, if you get there early, it's often a good chance to look at all the stages beforehand in a low pressure environment.

    And it probably helps to just get a ton of practice.

    (Disclaimer: I'm a complete newb to IDPA. On the up side, I've been thinking a lot about similar paths to improvement).

  5. #5
    Thanks Mark, I actually get the IDPA magazine but didn't bother to read the last issue. The article was very brief but useful, it tracks well with the info I found in this thread:
    http://forums.brianenos.com/topic/21...omment-2343809

    In addition to more precise stage planning, it looks like I need to work on looking at the next target during a transition instead of keeping my focus on my front sight the whole time. I'm going to work on transitions over the next month and hopefully will see a big improvement during October's match.

  6. #6
    Member StraitR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TicTacticalTimmy View Post
    In addition to more precise stage planning, it looks like I need to work on looking at the next target during a transition instead of keeping my focus on my front sight the whole time. I'm going to work on transitions over the next month and hopefully will see a big improvement during October's match.
    Some good information on Transitions... https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....ut-transitions

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    You still end up walking through somewhat before the shooting, and during taping. That helps.
    I always wanted to have gun up and high, at my eyes level, when I was coming to a barricade. Basically, I wanted to start aiming at the expected target direction before clearing the barricade, as opposed to getting there, looking for a target, then lifting the pistol and starting to aim. Assuming multiple targets available, I want to be specific what target I want to enter on and what is the further shooting sequence. Stopping smoothly reduces gun bounce and allows to shoot earlier. That's all I can think of.


    YVK for the win. I think this is it.

    But, you also mentioned, "additional half-second when I need to sort out targets from no-shoots." So you might also consider doing specific exercises to train you eyes to dial in on what you need/want see. Your comment suggest you may initially have a "soft" focus that includes the entire target array. YVK has suggested how to be ready sooner but I found for myself that I also had to be looking for/at the correct spot once I started aiming sooner.

    You can train your eyes to dial in the things that are important to you. At first it is a very concious effort, much like looking for red lights as a new driver. As a more experienced driver it may take less effort.

    Begin simply. Place a full or reduced size target a few yards apart. Stand or sit looking at a specific spot, perferated A/-0, on target 1. Then snap your eyes to target 2, again to the specified spot, perfereated A/-0. Go back and forth.

    Try this for 2-3 min Every few days for 1-2 weeks. Report back.
    Last edited by Hrhawk; 09-25-2017 at 04:05 PM. Reason: I can't spell.

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