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Old February 11, 2013, 12:53 PM   #26
Frank Ettin
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As Clint Smith wrote in the January/February 2008, American Handgunner:
Quote:
It's alway argued that in a fight shooters will not look at their sights. I strongly agree -- if no one has ever taught them otherwise. To say that people don't, or won't, look at their sights is wrong. People have, they will in the future, and they'll hit the...target too. The correct alignment of the sights is a learnable skill. Is a textbook perfect sight picture available in every fight? Of course not....In fairness, the sights are only part of the issue -- the jerked on trigger doesn't improve anything.
With the proper training and practice, it's amazing how fast one can acquire a flash sight picture and hit accurately. Learning those techniques and developing proficiency in the use of those techniques also gives you the flexibility to deal with targets at pretty much any distance. And whether you use the sights or point shooting techniques to direct the muzzle of the gun in line with the particular part of the target you want to hit, if you don't have trigger control, you will miss.
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Old February 11, 2013, 02:39 PM   #27
redhologram
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Thanks for starting this thread. I have the same issue and am trying to work my speed up as well.
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Old February 11, 2013, 02:49 PM   #28
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http://haleystrategic.com/downloads/hsp_shift_gears.pdf


Check out that drill for balancing your speed and accuracy. It's a pretty good drill, and you can print out that sheet on a normal sheet of paper and use it.
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:20 PM   #29
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ShamrockArmory,

That looks like a good drill. Thanks for posting it -- I'll use it next time I'm at the range!

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Old February 11, 2013, 05:27 PM   #30
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You'll have to coax yourself to shoot faster. Extend your limit's. You can back off your shooting speed alittle during competition; while you think your shooting slower, but other people around you, will think you are shooting very fast. If your shooting range --- does not allow you to shoot fast --- find another range that will.

You will have to shoot a string of at least six shots --- very fast in succession --- to see if your stance or grip is failing you; especially with a shotgun.

"Two shots...in 1.5 seconds --- touching together {say a heart area}, is effective --- but six shots...in 1.5 seconds --- all over the torso area, is alot more efficient." Quote from: Magpul's Art of the AR-15 #2, DVD.

Some DVD's on the art of pistol craft --- check out: Jerry Miculek, Matt Burkett, Magpul's --- Art of the Pistol and one DVD titled: Three Grand Master's, that you can buy at Dillon Free Press.

Last edited by Erno86; February 11, 2013 at 05:33 PM.
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Old February 11, 2013, 06:03 PM   #31
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It is a good idea, to open your shooting session with "slow accurate fire."

Remember to breathe, relax your shoulders and press the trigger.

I prefer the modern isosceles stance for most of my shooting, but practice with other stances and grips as well. With the isosceles stance ...your firing hand, should be far up on the grip, while the support hand --- with a semi-auto pistol or rifle --- should be slanted downward, at a 45 degree angle, with the thumb inline with the barrel --- just underneath the semi-auto pistol's slide; inorder to help control recoil.

Shoulders forward, weight on the balls of your feet, feet squared toward the target {a slightly flared stance is preferred} wrists locked, arms forward {unless in close encounter's} elbows slightly unlocked, and knees slightly unlocked.

Last edited by Erno86; February 11, 2013 at 06:16 PM.
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Old March 2, 2013, 03:17 PM   #32
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Went to the range this week. Was very cold and windy but I went anyways.

I tried to focus on the things we've been discussing in this thread.

I started off slow and steady, trying to just focus on the basics.

By the end of the session, I was able to rapid fire and keep all of my shots in the 8 (edge of the 9 ring, this was a target 12" wide) at 7 yards and regularly busting clay pigeons set up on the berm at 10 yards. (no not on top if it) I know some of you can do better than that and it's not a long distance, but that's an improvement for me at a distance I consider very practical for self defense and I'm very happy with it.

How did I improve?

I already had a decent: stance, hand position, sight picture, trigger press before

What I focused on this range trip was maintaining that while focusing on improving my grip (gripped the gun harder) and most importantly for the first time since I've been shooting handguns (I'm ashamed to admit), I only shot to the reset on the trigger. I read people talking about the reset on triggers before and honestly, I don't think I "got" what people were talking about or why they cared. I understood the reset they were describing, but I didn't think I needed to use it as I shot good groups, but I didn't shoot good groups fast which is what led to this thread.

Hands didn't work exactly right in the cold and wind, but it was some good training this morning.

Best way I can describe what I was doing before vs now is:

BEFORE I'd make the shot, then my finger wouldn't just ride the trigger out to the reset but all the way out. Then on the next shot I'd have to take up the slack to the break to make my next shot. I was doing this after reacquiring my sight picture. So it was basically an added step and took more time.

NOW I'm viewing my finger on the trigger almost as part of my grip (only when firing of course). I press the trigger, make the shot, then it just comes out to the reset. By the time I've got my sight picture back, I'm ready to press the trigger again and can get to the break quicker as I don't have to work through the take up in the trigger. It's one less step, saves time, I think even improved my group and had great results.

Thanks all! Hopefully someone else benefited from this thread or stumbles upon it in the future and it helps them out.
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Old March 4, 2013, 10:47 PM   #33
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You did not indicate what type of pistol you are shooting. The pistol grip is important. Most of the molded grips with finger cutouts create problems if your hands are not in the 25 percentile. I find them to be a hindrance as they do not fit my hand. I have fat short fingers and large palms.

Develop a rhythm in your shooting. Do everything in the same order until it comes second nature. Trust your grip and muscle memory. As long as you keep the sites aligned you are going to hit the target. Lon Wiggers used to warm up by firing a 22 at 25 yds and never look at the target and never get out of the 9 ring.

Speed comes with confidence in yourself and your equipment. As you learn your pistol you will find that you do not need the sites out to say 20 yards.

My pistol instructors SSG Schongert and later SFC Reed both beat the following into my head. Shooting is 90% mental and 10% muscle.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:20 AM   #34
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lots of good advice but mostly lacking the thing the guy needs, Good coaching. Get in an good class. one that uses personal one on one shooting coaches.
I have just finsihed coaching a class, and took 2 families for dead zero to high speed accurate shooting in a 10 hour training done over 4 nights.
i learned one thing myself. Young women love the 1911 45ACP. They shoot up all my ammo(reloads). Time to run the press again.
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Old March 5, 2013, 05:19 PM   #35
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Re: How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

I've had coaching/classes suggested here and elsewhere. Appreciate that someone more proficient could instruct me and point out my flaws.

I am improving on my own, probably not as fast I could be with formal training. Right now its not really an option for me. I have improved though just by shooting, critiquing what I'm doing. Talking to friends and posting here.

So long as improve even a small amount each time at the range I call that good progress.
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Old March 6, 2013, 09:13 AM   #36
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With the cost of ammunition right now, it's amazing anyone can afford to practice without getting some good coaching first to be sure they're practicing the right things.

According to Schmidt in Motor Learning and Performance, it takes roughly 300 to 500 repetitions to ingrain a motor program to the point you no longer need to think your way through it every time you do it. However, to erase a previously-learned program and replace it with a new one takes 3000 to 5000 reps -- literally ten times as much work!

Also, that second number goes up dramatically when the earlier program has been "overlearned," that is, when it has been trained to the point of true automaticity. The rule is, the more thoroughly you have learned the first program, the more work you have to do to erase that old program and get yourself up to speed with a new one.

Of course you can teach yourself to shoot. Here's the math on that: you first spend a couple hundred rounds figuring out how to do the skill. You will hit on a way to do it, but probably won't find the most efficient, safest, best way to do it. You'll find something though; it will be an improvement over what you were doing before. So you have something that works, and you practice that.

You keep practicing that workable-but-not-best method, say for another thousand rounds. That's a year of shooting for most people. Most of us on TFL are shooting more than that, and some of us are shooting a whole lot more than that. If you do any dry fire, you can probably multiply those numbers by a factor of ten.

That means that when you finally do get into a class or hire a coach, you'll find two things:

1) There's almost certainly an easier, more efficient, better way to do the things you want to do, and

2) The brand-new shooter standing next to you will spend a whole lot less ammunition learning them.

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Old March 6, 2013, 10:17 AM   #37
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Re: How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

I suppose that's the good thing. I'm pretty new to the game so I haven't ingrained any bad habits. I read about what works, try them out and keep what works and get rid of what doesn't. Making slow improvements each time.

As far as ammo shortages, I bought enough before and shortly after this crazy shortage began. I have enough for the slow progress im making and the once a month trip to the range. Ill be good for awhile. I respect that to become a real pistolero ill have to send way more rounds down range and improve vastly over time.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:56 AM   #38
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As a new shooter, you haven't yet developed any bad habits. Didn't mean to imply you had. What I was saying is, if you keep practicing without getting some in-person coaching under your belt first, you almost certainly will develop those bad habits.

Sorry for being unclear.

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Old March 6, 2013, 12:01 PM   #39
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Quote:
If you are talking for a combat situation then you should not be looking at the sights. If you are aiming you are dead.
Great advice! I'm going to remove the sights from my gun! I certainly don't want to die.

/sarcasm

After shooting studies shows that the shooter who takes aimed shots is usually the one who survives. This is why point shooting is usually not taught in police academies. Police are taught to take deliberately aimed shots.

Now, if you're talking about the fact that you should be able to pick up your front sight quickly enough to where you're not taking a significant amount of time to aim, then I agree with you. But you should always aim...always.

Here's a good post on aiming in SD situations on truth about guns:

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/201...fense-tip-aim/

He talks mostly about shotguns, but the idea still applies. My favorite line:

Quote:
If you doubt the veracity of that assertion [that is, aiming], ask yourself why gang bangers are so intellectually challenged (a.k.a., stupid). If they aimed their gun at their rivals, colleagues or (god forbid) law enforcement, natural selection would have given us a more intelligent class of criminal. Bad guys who’d use their brain to avoid gunfights.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:15 PM   #40
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Re: How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

Peace...pax. No worries.

I respect that I will hit a wall in my ability to keep improving on my own and I do plan to take some formal class eventually, sooner than later hopefully.

I have already had to unlearn my rifle stance when I started shooting pistols, so I know what you mean, those automatic habits are hard to break.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:20 PM   #41
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make sure you learn the fundamentals first.

a lot has been covered in the post already. If your shooting quarter sized groups at 15 yards - push yourself faster - but don't violate the fundamentals

fast accurate shooting is the fundamentals done quickly.

DRY FIRE ( a lot) but dry fire with discipline - don't just bring the gun up and pull the trigger - consciously acquire that front site and and discipline yourself to get that additional site picture before bringing it down - your shot sequence ends on an additional sight picture - period

and OF COURSE you aim in a combat situation - instinctive fire (looking at where you want it to hit) is for close in shooting (under 7m or imho under 5m) Use that flash sight picture . (see DRY FIRE)

practice then practice then practice some more
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Old March 15, 2013, 11:02 PM   #42
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Take it from a chapion pistol shooter

Get a shot timer. They even have apps for your smart phone. What feels fast or slow is not reliable you need to time it.

It takes a lot of practice but learning not to flinch or even blink is Key!

Dry fire and practice with a .22 almost all of your learning can be done like this. Dryfiring everyday is better than going to the range once a week.
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:33 AM   #43
breakingcontact
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Re: How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

Interesting. And...as civilians we can't afford to miss.
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Old March 26, 2013, 07:59 AM   #44
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Great reading and lot's of good advice. Like has been said above...

Don't blink. Watch the brass fly and see the front sight go up from recoil and come right back down on target. If it does not come down on target, your grip or stance is wrong for you. See the muzzle flash too, then you know your eye's or eye is are open. A 22lr pistol is good for learning this. Once you know your grip and stance are right, start dry firing with your same grip and stance.

I have land where I can step out the door and practice whenever I want. I have lot's of 22lr ammo and an M&P22 which is what I use the most.
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Old April 22, 2013, 04:47 PM   #45
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I have found this informative. 94 pages about shooting....

u.s.army marksmanship - pistol marksmanship training guide.pdf

http://archive.org/details/firearms-...hip-training-g

Last edited by Vanya; April 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM. Reason: added link.
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:16 PM   #46
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Two hundred rounds a week for two years.
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:06 PM   #47
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Re: How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

Glad to see this thread is still alive and has helped others. At this point I need to just get to the range. The ammo shortage has kept me away but I have enough to get out. Just need to make the time. Especially before this Texas summer comes on full blast. Maybe this weekend.
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Old April 25, 2013, 12:50 PM   #48
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General fitness and gender specific upper body fitness will help anybody. Getting the correct grip out of the holster is so important. i.e. not having to readjust. Don't neglect your core muscles as they add stability to the whole body. Coordination before speed, coordination and speed before power and speed. Practice itself does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. GL everybody!
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:45 PM   #49
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Sometimes I get the impression that the suggesting of training without using sights implies, "using sights is bad." That's not exactly the case.

I think you need two kinds of training: aimed and unaimed fire. Sure, you should aim if your attacker is 20-25 feet away or more - if you can remember to do it under stress. Note: I'm NOT talking about battlefield situations where you're shooting at enemy 50 yards away from cover. I'm also not talking about police shootings, which are totally different from a civilian self-defense shooting.

But the vast majority of civilian self-defense shootings happen at very close range, like 5 to 7 feet. They may happen instantly, by surprise, when you're not expecting it, in the dark, when it's windy and cold, and when you're looking at your watch wondering when you need to take that roast out of the oven.

The BG may already have his gun in his hand and you may have a fraction of a second to either put him down or die. What will save your life in that situation is NOT hunting for the front sight, but quickly drawing and firing.

I've practiced quickly acquiring the front sight just fine: I used to shoot Steel Challenge.. but I can also draw and fire 3 shots into a sheet of typing paper at 8 feet in under a second.

Either way, sights or no sights, is important, but it's a mistake to go off thinking there is only ONE way to do it and ignore the other. That kind of thinking can get you killed.
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Old May 2, 2013, 10:46 PM   #50
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How to improve speed while maintaining accuracy with semi-auto pistols?

Quote:
Originally Posted by milito227 View Post
Get a shot timer. They even have apps for your smart phone. What feels fast or slow is not reliable you need to time it.

It takes a lot of practice but learning not to flinch or even blink is Key!

Dry fire and practice with a .22 almost all of your learning can be done like this. Dryfiring everyday is better than going to the range once a week.
Wow. It took 42 posts before a shot timer got mentioned! . There's also a surefire iPhone app that you can plug in an earbud under shooting muffs. It's not as good as a Pact timer, but it's less than 3% of the cost.

I'm by no means a fast shooter, yet. But I heard a quote from one of the many esteemed shooters/instructors paraphrased,"I can take an accurate shooter and teach him speed easier than I can take a fast shooter and teach him accuracy."

At least 2 of the drills mentioned are refinements of the "Dot Drill" or "Dot Torture" drills.

Good stuff. Buy a reloading press. You're going to need it.
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