Howard

IDPA / USPSA - how do I get better ???

34 posts in this topic

Yea, I know be more accurate and shot faster and don't make dumb mistakes.  Thanks.  Now for those that really want to help, here is the situation.  I am a fairly new shooter and have practiced at the range for accuracy taking as long as needed to make a shot.  Obviously I am finding that does not work very well in competition, but I have a hard time not taking time to line things up "perfectly" and when I try to go fast the accuracy goes to hell too.  I participated in the USPSA match at Shongum in August and did less than stellar.  My percent of points was 86% without penalties and only 76% with penalties, but my hit factor was only 2.27.  Yesterday I tried it again and did somewhat better, I had no penalties so my percent of points was 93% but my hit factor only improved to 2.50.  So, what if any suggestions can you pro's make to help me increase my speed.  Thanks.

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So I can give one piece of advice I'll give to anyone who is serious about learning to shoot faster and learning how to decide when to go for speed and when to go for precision and states in between:

 

Buy a book named Practical Shooting: Beyond the Fundamentals by Brian Enos. His book at be at times a bit zen and a bit dense because he isn't really a writer, but his chapters on the types of sight pictures and focus are very very good.

 

Also if you are seriously interested in practical shooting the forums at brianenos.com are probably the ultimate place to learn about the games we shoot.

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Howard,

 

Vlad beat me to it, lol!  And one other item:  Ergonomics and how it affects "point-shooting".  Grip size, grip angle, size of hands all have to mesh together.  "Gun Fit" is the ability to pick-up a gun and instinctively shoot it at nearby targets without looking at the sights.  Pure eye-hand coordination to get 2 Alphas at moderate to close distances and the ability to look at the next target WHILE your "hosing" the one right in front of you.  Knowing where your shots are gonna hit PRIOR to pulling the trigger.

 

Smooth IS FAST, so glean all you can from Enos  and instead of watching a good shooter's HOLES appear in the targets, watch his/her body language, feet position, head direction, arm extensions, angle and height of the gun at the reload, etc.  Anybody can count holes in the paper AFTER the gun is cleared...it's HOW the holes GOT THERE that counts!

 

Good luck and don't be too hard on yourself.  I have some arthritis and will never make Master.  But I get lots of Alphas without looking at the sights!  Especially UP CLOSE!

 

Dave

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I made my own target stands and started practicing at the range. That doesn't mean just unholstering and shooting a few shoots at a target. That means unholstering, running and getting your heart rate up, shooting, run to another target, shoot, etc etc.

 

That really prepares you to what matches entail, but also to defensive situations as well.

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Take a class,  The money you spend will be much less than the money wasted trying to figure it out yourself.

 

A perfect sight picture is rarely needed in uspsa, an acceptable sight picture works 90% of the time.  Last match it was only 6 shots hat needed a good sight picture

Proper trigger press is far more important and keeping the sights on target as the shot breaks. 

 

But speed doesn't really come from shooting faster.  It comes from efficient movement and transistions

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I dryfire many times a week. Usually for five to ten minutes at a time. Some days i will do that five or six times a day.

 

Dryfiring improved my draw speed and mechanics. It improved my target acquisition speed. I get to pull the trigger and watch the sights, then get them right back on target for the second shot. It helped me transition from one target to the next much faster. And reloads, my reloads are super fast now.

 

How many times a week and for how long are you dryfiring now?

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 A class is in the future.  As for dry firing, a couple of times a week.  I never found much value in it before as I was just holding the gun and pulling the trigger and the sights never move like they do with real ammo.  But now I have started doing it with drawing from a holster and aiming at multiple targets and reloading and it seems to be helping quite a bit.

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Awesome,  how fast were you able to get them down to?

 

like SUPER duper fast ! :maninlove:

 

 

2alpha makes alot of good points, watch some videos of some good master / grand master shooters they arent techincally shooting much faster ( splits ) - But they waste no time in between shooting, working on your transitions, sight picture, and being effecient in every movement you make can add up ALOT.

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like SUPER duper fast ! :maninlove:

 

 

2alpha makes alot of good points, watch some videos of some good master / grand master shooters they arent techincally shooting much faster ( splits ) - But they waste no time in between shooting, working on your transitions, sight picture, and being effecient in every movement you make can add up ALOT.

All good and helpful points.  My biggest problems are waiting for the perfect sight picture and then looking where the shot went before taking the next shot.  I know I have a lot to learn being new to this.

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 A class is in the future.  As for dry firing, a couple of times a week.  I never found much value in it before as I was just holding the gun and pulling the trigger and the sights never move like they do with real ammo.  But now I have started doing it with drawing from a holster and aiming at multiple targets and reloading and it seems to be helping quite a bit.

Dry-fire practice can seem pointless and boring.  I recently purchase a SIRT trainer, which fires a laser light at one's target, so at least you can see where it's hitting.  You can buy a Laserlyte cartridge which will fit your own gun, but with that one you will need to re-rack the slide after every shot.  In addition, you can pick up laser targets that are helpful, and can make practice more fun.

http://nextleveltraining.com/content/sirt-specifications

http://www.laserlyte.com/collections/lts

 

They appear to be somewhat pricey, but are not really so bad, when you consider the money you can save on ammo, and how much more realistic practicing you can do without having to leave your home.  

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Dry fire can take you very far! It can teach you everything except for recoil management and true shot calling if you are honest with yourself

 

Get yourself a timer or timer app. Do some draws and reloads and work up the speed a little by pushing it. Record yourself or watch in a mirror and see how smooth you are.

 

You can also work on target transitions with dry fire. Make some small targets and plates and tape them to a wall.

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Dry firing is great it you are doing it correctly.  Unless you know what is correct and what is not, you will just develop training scars that will do nothing but cost you time and money to fix.  You will get faster even with bad technique, it tricks you into believing that you are on the right path.

 

Howard, you have a great opportunity to learn correctly from the beginning, many of us have struggled and still struggle to unlearn poor technique. 

 

I would recommend taking a class with www.dvcperformance.com  Aaron not only knows how to shoot, but knows how to teach.

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I would recommend taking a class with www.dvcperformance.com  Aaron not only knows how to shoot, but knows how to teach.

 

Thanks for this info.  Just sent in payment and application for a session.  I didn't know there were USPSA type instructors here in the PRNJ.  I figured I would have to travel to get that.  I know there are bullseye instructors, but that type of shooting holds little to no interest for me.

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Dry firing is great it you are doing it correctly.  Unless you know what is correct and what is not, you will just develop training scars that will do nothing but cost you time and money to fix.  You will get faster even with bad technique, it tricks you into believing that you are on the right path.

 

Howard, you have a great opportunity to learn correctly from the beginning, many of us have struggled and still struggle to unlearn poor technique. 

 

I would recommend taking a class with www.dvcperformance.com  Aaron not only knows how to shoot, but knows how to teach.

Might be worth a look see, where are they located?  I could not find that on quickly looking at the web page.

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When I used to compete, some of the worse times were from bulls-eye shooters who were used to taking a lot of time between shots. However, once they learned to shoot face they became very good action shooters. There is no secret other than just practice shooting fast. When you get faster, practice shooter a little faster and so on. Get a timer if that helps.

 

I found that shooting Steel matches helped a lot because you did not have to concentrate on hitting any zones but just hitting the steel anyway. That will get you used to shooting fast and perhaps point shooting a little more. Someone once told me that the sights should be used to confirm what the eyes see. That basically means that you should be able to just point your gun where you want to hit and the sights used to just confirm that you are pointed correctly rather than being used to line up your shot.

 

That will also serve you well in a real life defensive shooting situation. I train a few guys a year and the biggest problem I have is that they think that shooting at paper targets at their own speed, prepares them for the defensive use of a gun. It does not. Until I started competing, one second seemed like a very short period of time. Then I watched as others made multiple accurate shots in one second and knew it was possible to do so I kept practicing shooting faster and faster until it became second nature. The major hang up seems to be trying to get the perfect sight picture. Practice so that when you present your gun, it is already pointing to the A zone and you glance at your sights to confirm this and then fire.

 

The other thing to practice is to develop muscle memory so that after you shoot, you bring your muzzle back to where it was for the follow up shots without have to do much aiming. This do becomes easier the more you practice as your hands will bring that muzzle to where it started without thinking about it for a while. That is all I got. The rest is talent. In some sports I excelled, in others no matter how hard I tried I never got better than middle of the pack. You will never know until you put in a good effort first so try as hard as you can.

 

BTW, when I shot at Old Bridge, David Olhasso gave me tips when I asked and improved my shooting. JJ Racuza also shot there and I watched him and asked questions. Most are very helpful and can teach you a lot if you ask.

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Might be worth a look see, where are they located?  I could not find that on quickly looking at the web page.

 

Aaron shot with us at Shongum this past Saturday.  You were in the other squad this past weekend but I'm sure you've run into him before.

 

I confirmed that the training is at Shongum.

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Yup, I found that to be the case when I tried steel two weeks ago and about half-way through (I guess I am a slow learner) a light bulb went off and I said to myself just shoot aim really did not matter that much.

.....I found that shooting Steel matches helped a lot because you did not have to concentrate on hitting any zones but just hitting the steel anyway. .....

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I am going to do a full write up on my blog (see my signature), but I wanted to make a quick post here.

 

I took a 4 hour class with Aaron today.

 

I can not say enough good things about the entire experience.  I am in training to be a motorcycle instructor, and I have taken lots of classes.  I appreciate a good instructor.  Aaron is one of the best I have encountered.

 

He was well organized, had a written class plan and has a very agreeable manner.

 

We went over several areas of shooting proficiency, with and without ammo, dry and live fire.

 

Each area was well covered, and well taught.

 

One of the most important things is that Aaron assessed my skill level at each point in the training and taught to that level.  I was better at some things and needed more improvement in others.

 

The pace was excellent, the instruction spot on and the improvements in my game were immediate.

 

We set up a stage at the beginning of the class.  He asked me to run the stage.

1st Attempt:

13.88, 13 Alpha, 3 Charlie

 

I felt comfortable with that score.  I did the stage pretty well and did exactly what I had planned (minus the 3 Charlies, of course)

 

At the end of the class, we ran the stage again.  I incorporated his stage planning tips, the skills we worked on, and the pointers he had imparted along the way.

 

As a side note, it felt like I moved slower and shot slower.  I am confident I could have gone a little faster and still kept my accuracy.

 

Result:

10.89 All Alpha.

 

So yeah, money WELL SPENT.

 

I will be going back after I have incorporated the training I have received into my game.  I feel that I am vastly improved.

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