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  1. #1
    Sharpshooter
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    N. Side of Indy
    Posts
    717

    Going in cold....

    I have just recently started shooting Friday Night Steel Matches and USPSA and I LOVE it. However, I am having one problem.....showing up to these matches COLD having not shot in weeks sometimes and having to come right out of the box shooting.

    How do others deal with this? I rarely have time to get out to the range much (wife/young kids) so warming up the day or couple days before is hard. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Master gregkl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bloomington
    Posts
    4,810
    People tell me I should be dry firing daily. I have tried a few time, but so far haven't been able to get into it much. I am going to set up a spot in my basement with a target on the wall and some decent lighting and will try it again.
    If an undertaking was easy, someone else would have already done it.

  3. #3
    Plinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    128
    Dryfire for sure. I'm not able to get into it to the extreme some people are. I generally try and get a gun in my hand for dryfire 3 or 4 times a week. Usually it's for 15 mins or 20, sometimes longer if I get in a groove. I've got a few targets on the walls and mainly work on drawing, reloading, and transitions between targets. It seems like something that doesn't really help but I can promise you, if you do it, you WILL get better. So much of USPSA has to do with competent manipulation of the gun, probably as much or more than actually firing shots. You'll probably get more out of ten 20 minute dryfire sessions in between matches than you will from a single live fire practice session. Also right before the match spend 5 or 10 mins at the safe table (with empty mags!) and so 15 or 20 reps of draws and reloads- or in the morning before heading to the range. Either will help.

  4. #4
    Master gregkl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bloomington
    Posts
    4,810
    ^^^Thanks. I do know I need to practice picking up that front sight and getting it properly aligned with the rear and the front post on target. I am definitely hunting around for a good sight picture!
    If an undertaking was easy, someone else would have already done it.

  5. #5
    Grandmaster halfmileharry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South of Indy
    Posts
    7,314
    Make up a mental check list and adhere to it. I've been in the same position and the hard and fast routine becomes automatic even starting off cold.
    The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in battle.

  6. #6
    I like to practice moving into and out of shooting positions. My foot work needs help!

  7. #7
    Plinker longbeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    142
    Do what you can and try to enjoy the process. A book of drills can be helpful. Ben Stoeger has a pretty popular one out there.

  8. #8
    I do think getting to an indoor pay range for 30 minutes, one or two days before the event is worth the $13. Most of them you can't draw from a holster, but that's a pretty small part of the "time equation" in everything except classifiers anyway. If it's a no-holster range, I have found that 50 or 100 shots of putting the gun down in front of your body, then presenting it quickly and getting off a rapid pair, over and over, works on sight acquisition and just generally getting the gun presented on target quickly and being able to take a shot fast without jerking the sights (most of the time in competition, you're presenting the gun from some kind of lowered hold position, anyway, not the holster). Even if the range has rapid fire restrictions, I have never yet seen one object to rapid pairs if they're separated by some interval of time (putting the gun down to re-set the drill), and you're keeping the bullets where they're supposed to be.

    Another thing you can easily do at an indoor range, is take the standard "torso" paper target they always offer you, and at the push of a button you can move it to different distances, and see what effect different "tempos" of shooting pairs has on your ability to keep hits in the A-zone at different distances. If you're new to the sport, you'll find that a _ton_ of shots in USPSA are taken at a distance of 10 yards or so, and learning how much of a sight picture you need to get a quick pair of As at that distance is something you can visualize and use over and over in your competition shooting.

    In addition to dry-fire practice on things like reloads, getting in and out of positions, I think if you can do the above you will find you don't lose too much ability over the winter, even if you're not able to go set up multiple targets outdoors and do drawing and movement scenarios. Dry fire is very important, but I just don't think there's any good substitute for putting holes in paper. Good shooters can probably maintain themselves with mostly dryfire over the winter, but I think the newer you are, the more you need real holes in paper.

    (And I'm not a "good" shooter, just somebody who's been doing it a couple years, just got my B-card, and is trying to figure it out like you are).

  9. #9
    Tired Of Winning
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Monroe County
    Posts
    15,713
    I've been known to shoot matches cold as practice and skills tests. Determining how well my gun handling might work for self defense.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Done, done, and Iím on to the next one...
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  10. #10
    Burl is spot on as usual, let your cold performance be an eye opener. Your cold performance is your real performance.


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