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Thread: Stoeger's New Book

  1. #1

    Stoeger's New Book

    Ben Stoeger and Joel Park have just put out another book called "Practical Shooting Training," and I've finished reading my copy so I figured I'd bring it up here.

    The book contains some general concepts re: training that I think most people would benefit from, and then goes into detail on drills and par times for 4 different levels of shooters.
    Level 1: Goal is to complete a club match without penalties
    Level 2: Goal is to get to B class
    Level 3: Goal is to get to Master/GM
    Level 4: Goal is to achieve competitive excellence (i.e. win major matches like Area matches or Nationals)

    In each level, there is a series of standard exercises with appropriate par times for various distances, and with varying par times for live and dry fire, as well as adjustments to make if you're shooting major power factor or a red dot gun. These standards are all shot on the same standard target array for consistent performance measurement. There are also specific drills that aren't shot on the standard setup, with detailed instructions on what to do, and what to look out for to improve. The instructions given and the focus of each drill varies from level to level. The descriptions for these drills are written for live-fire practice but it is easy to adapt them to dry fire where applicable. Most of these will be familiar to people who follow Ben's recent material on PSTG, with a few minor improvements (movement drills have been reorganized so that there aren't separate drills for position entries and for position exits, instead the distinction between drills is based on the amount of distance covered in the movement). Some of the stuff from previous books is not mentioned at all, like the idea of dryfiring draws, reloads, and transitions without pulling the trigger.

    Some minor gripes: There are some typos and other mistakes in the text, and a few of the par times are kind of fucked up (i.e. breakdowns for drills not adding up to total par time, a couple of the par times for level 3 are actually harder than the ones for level 4, etc.), but you can generally figure out what Ben and Joel meant. One general criticism is that it is pretty hard to look at this book and concretely figure out a training plan if you do not already know how to train. The sample plans in Dryfire Reloaded had their limitations but I think some example plans would have been useful in this book.

    Overall, highly recommended if you care about shooting a pistol and are willing to read a book. For better or for worse this is the only book of its kind, so you'd have to be stupid not to read this one. Furthermore, I have become a big believer in the efficacy of Stoeger's material. When I first read his books a few years ago I was not impressed, thinking that his way of describing everything sounded too simple to be true. However, over the course of a year, following his training methods has taken me from finishing around 70-80% at my club match to 98% at my most recent match, so I can't argue with results.

  2. #2
    Member MVS's Avatar
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    I enjoy his books. I have just started this one. One problem I have with him (besides the obvious to some people personality issues) is that he always talks about how easy it is to become a Master. He has repeated it many times in his books that all it takes is a little practice to make Master class. Not only I have I not found this to be the case, but I don't think C class in USPSA would be so bloated if this was true.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MVS View Post
    I enjoy his books. I have just started this one. One problem I have with him (besides the obvious to some people personality issues) is that he always talks about how easy it is to become a Master. He has repeated it many times in his books that all it takes is a little practice to make Master class. Not only I have I not found this to be the case, but I don't think C class in USPSA would be so bloated if this was true.
    I think with the changes to the HHFs becoming Master is about as tough as becoming a GM used to be. I will say this book is significantly more honest about what effort it requires to make Master/GM than in some of his older material. Off the top of my head, he says for level 3 it is common to train 5 days a week, potentially for multiple years, and to expect to expend 20k rounds per year.

    IMO C class is not that hard to escape. Most of the people I see in C class are either not training or are training in ways that are counterproductive or inefficient.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MVS View Post
    I enjoy his books. I have just started this one. One problem I have with him (besides the obvious to some people personality issues) is that he always talks about how easy it is to become a Master. He has repeated it many times in his books that all it takes is a little practice to make Master class. Not only I have I not found this to be the case, but I don't think C class in USPSA would be so bloated if this was true.
    I made M in production. I live in the North and really only shoot in the spring, summer and fall. Needed to dryfire about 5 times a week and shoot twice a week to get where I was. Not sure if that should be considered easy or not, it's near daily effort but probably 10 hrs a week or something. I'm not sure he means it's easy, just that all it takes is an amount of work. Someone can tell you what to do, and you will get the card if you put in the effort.

    I will say the classifiers have become a lot more difficult in the past few years. I haven't shot a M classifier in a long time. Life has gotten in the way and I haven't been practicing either.

    To me C/B is bloated because that's where you get if you rarely practice and just shoot fairly regularly for a few years.

    Most people I know don't practice and rarely if ever dryfire. I'm not talking about people that aren't into the sport either. I am talking about people who shoot at least weekly and several big matches a year.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MVS View Post
    I enjoy his books. I have just started this one. One problem I have with him (besides the obvious to some people personality issues) is that he always talks about how easy it is to become a Master. He has repeated it many times in his books that all it takes is a little practice to make Master class. Not only I have I not found this to be the case, but I don't think C class in USPSA would be so bloated if this was true.
    I donít think anyone thinks itís easy to get M.
    But I agree and have found ďanyone without a physical handicap can get M if theyíre willing to put the work inĒ to be true.

    I made A after 6 months and M in CO six months after that (with the new adjusted harder HFs).

    It took a fair amount of work, but there wasnít doubt about being able to do it.

    It doesnít make people feel good, but C class generally doesnít dry fire and if they do, theyíre not focusing when they practice. ďAĒ class is where you point the gun and itís pretty close to where you wanted it to be and the trigger press isnít throwing the gun all over the place.

    Again, sorry to those that feel poorly about it, but if you want something you can get it if you work hard and smart.

  6. #6
    HAS ELECTROLYTES LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Itís not on Amazon yet, I looked. Any other recommendations on his books? Iíve heard nothing but good things about them.
    #RESIST

  7. #7
    HAS ELECTROLYTES LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCN View Post
    I donít think anyone thinks itís easy to get M.
    But I agree and have found ďanyone without a physical handicap can get M if theyíre willing to put the work inĒ to be true.

    I made A after 6 months and M in CO six months after that (with the new adjusted harder HFs).

    It took a fair amount of work, but there wasnít doubt about being able to do it.

    It doesnít make people feel good, but C class generally doesnít dry fire and if they do, theyíre not focusing when they practice. ďAĒ class is where you point the gun and itís pretty close to where you wanted it to be and the trigger press isnít throwing the gun all over the place.

    Again, sorry to those that feel poorly about it, but if you want something you can get it if you work hard and smart.
    Well, humble you are not So youíre saying the biggest handicap to making M is getting primers? (I make joke)
    #RESIST

  8. #8
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLebowski View Post
    Itís not on Amazon yet, I looked. Any other recommendations on his books? Iíve heard nothing but good things about them.
    Breakthrough Marksmanship is a must have

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1091416818/
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You donít really graduate from certain problems or certain thingsÖ like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JCN View Post
    I donít think anyone thinks itís easy to get M.
    But I agree and have found ďanyone without a physical handicap can get M if theyíre willing to put the work inĒ to be true.

    I made A after 6 months and M in CO six months after that (with the new adjusted harder HFs).

    It took a fair amount of work, but there wasnít doubt about being able to do it.

    It doesnít make people feel good, but C class generally doesnít dry fire and if they do, theyíre not focusing when they practice. ďAĒ class is where you point the gun and itís pretty close to where you wanted it to be and the trigger press isnít throwing the gun all over the place.

    Again, sorry to those that feel poorly about it, but if you want something you can get it if you work hard and smart.
    As someone with a goal to go from noob to A class in a calendar year after I finally get vaccinated I find this post motivating.

    Coming a from a BJJ background your logic is straight from the same training and consistency playbook. Also, from my admittedly limited experience, most shooters don't train like most semi-serious BJJ hobbyists.

    5-10 hours per week of dryfire as a part of training shouldn't be considered a lot of commitment compared to most other combat sports, IMO.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLebowski View Post
    Itís not on Amazon yet, I looked. Any other recommendations on his books? Iíve heard nothing but good things about them.
    Here is an Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Sho...1521253&sr=8-1

    For some reason Amazon has the authors confused so this book is by "Benjamin Stoeger" and not Ben Stoeger like the others.

    I think for people who want to get good at USPSA matches, Match Mentality is a must read. Practical Pistol Reloaded also holds up surprisingly well, despite being one of the older books. I go back to it every once in a while and it provides a very good general survey of what someone needs to know to get better at USPSA.

    Shooting wise, out of the older books, I would still read Dryfire Reloaded, because I think there are certain concepts discussed in it that aren't explained in as much detail in Practical Shooting Training. Some of the less useful individual drills in Dryfire Reloaded have been dropped from the latest book, and the categories of drills in Dryfire Reloaded have been dropped too, which I think is a good change because those were unnecessarily confusing. If you read Dryfire Reloaded and then read Practical Shooting Training I think that will cover all the bases as far as actual shooting training goes. I liked Breakthrough Marksmanship as well, but I think almost all of that material has made it into Practical Shooting Training.

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