View Full Version : What are your goals at the pistol range?

March 15, 2006, 10:56 AM
I seek to be able to hit the bullseye with one hand at a 2 inch grouping in Double Action at 50 yards with my revolver 6 times out of 6.

At the range, most people out there do 3 yards or 7 yards. I sight in my gun that way, but for the most part I sling the target back as far as I can get it (the indoor range I go to typically has 20 yards) So far I can at least hit the target center mass 80-90 percent of the shots

March 15, 2006, 11:30 AM

Had I not started shooting at longer distances with my gun myself, I would have said that you are just doing it to show off. I still start at 7 yards and move the target further back after I get warmed up. I see people who put the target all the way back when they can't even group at 7 yards. Then they get all happy when 1 round strikes the bullseye even though most of their other shots don't even hit the target.

I feel that shooting at longer distance forces me to concentrate more on sight picture and trigger control as the greater distances amplify my errors. Your goals seem pretty lofty and my hats off to you if you can acheive them. I still feel that long distance shoot outs for the common concealed population are highly unlikely and that the range time might be better served by practicing other drills such as one handed shooting, weak handed shooting, double taps, drawing from concealment (if permitted), and timeing drills. I feel that timing drills are very important since they force you to get back on target very quickly. That in turn forces you to learn rapid sight acquisition and to some degree how to point your gun instinctively.

Thats my $.02 anyways.

March 15, 2006, 12:22 PM
1. Make sure my trigger pull is still good.
2. Make sure I can still hit the target.
3. Work on several things while there (reloading, jam clearing, double taps,weak hand shooting,ect)
4. Work on moving while shooting (depending on the range as most don't allow it)
5. If allowed work on draw and fire in singles.
6. My last thing is to fire a handful of shots from some distance.

Usually 100-150 rounds per session usually once a week.

March 15, 2006, 12:31 PM
For me:

I don't shoot bullseye targets with my handguns.
I shoot only B-27 or BLEA-1 (WA State Law Target)
I practice:
draw from concealment and shoot 3 shots
Double Tap
Reloading using individual mags loaded 5 rounds each.
Weak Hand
Injured Strong Arm Drill (Drawing and firing with Left Hand from RH Holster)

I shoot at 7 yards, 15 yards, and 25 yards.

For 7 yards and 15 yards I shoot two COM and 1 Head,

At 25 yards all are aimed COM

The last session I shot 150 rnds and had only 4 rounds miss COM and 2 missed head.

This has been my drill for over 30 years.

March 15, 2006, 12:33 PM
I'm a CCW holder and an IDPA competitor, so my goals at the range are typically to do more dynamic shooting, rather than shooting for accuracy at further distances.

I typically will work on a particular skill during a session -- weak-hand only or drills kneeling behind cover, slicing-the-pie -- that kind of thing.

Since my next local match will be the IDPA classifier, that's what I'll be doing for the next couple of weeks. The furthest shot in the classifier is 20 yards, and I don't normally practice that distance. Anything past that gets into long-gun territory...

March 15, 2006, 12:34 PM
Ideally - I get the range to myself. I unload my gear, then set up the target(s). If necessary, I load and holster, spare mag too. Walk towards the target till I am about 7-10 yards away. I stop, draw and fire a string of 2 or 3 rounds, holster and repeat, swap mags and fire - sets, double taps, etc.

Later I will move back to 15yds or so, and repeat thru some more mags, move up to 3 yds or so and "point" shoot as fast as possible, try some multiple targets, angles, & moving. I try some weak handed somewhere in there too.

My goal is to group all of these rounds in say a 4 or 5" circle centered on my aiming point. Tighter is always better.

For the most part I save bull's eye shooting for checking accuracy, or for the times when there are other shooters. I really just don't like firing slow.

Capt. Charlie
March 15, 2006, 01:54 PM
I practice a lot of the drills mentioned, plus a few others, but my goal is to leave just a little bit better than when I arrived ;) .

March 15, 2006, 02:05 PM
My goal at the range is to share a hobby of mine with a friend that has never shot a gun before. To teach them how to safely handle, load, fire, and clear. Since I bought my gun, about 3 weeks ago, I have been to the range every satuday. Each time I have taken a different person who has expressed interest in firearms but have never had the opportunity to "play". Two out of three now own there own guns. The third, my girlfriend, just uses mine.

March 15, 2006, 02:18 PM
mine is sort of 2 parts.

1) I can consistantly hit 1 inch groups with my .22 at up to 30 or so yards and can usually have at least 3 of 5 touching with my .45 when I shoot supported. meaning i'm leaning on the table. I want to be able to do the same at 15 yards (give or take) unsupported. mainly I have to work on my breathing I think and get a steadier hand.

2) I want to make HUGE progress with the 500. I think a lot of it is that I need to step back to shooting the 350gr or smaller loads but for now I'd be happy is I can keep all 5 shots on a 3 inch target at 15 - 20 yards.

oh, and #3 have fun!

March 15, 2006, 02:36 PM
Can someone define "slicing the pie" -- I have never heard this term. Thanks.

March 15, 2006, 02:36 PM
My goals tend to vary a bit with each visit to the range depending on the type of drills I want to do and the weapons I may be firing.

If I'm working on honing firing technique I try to shoot at a minimum of 10 yards under the premise of aim small, miss small. If I can keep a reasonable group at 10 yards, 15 yards, and 25 yards, I shouldn't have much of a problem with closer ranges.

If I'm working on target acquisition I use multiple smaller targets spaced in a 'V' or 'X' shape at 10 or 15 yards and rapid fire through the targets.

In both cases I don't really count shots as much as keep track of rough % in the 10 ring, inside the 5 ring, and flyaways.

Once in a great while I'll work purely at 20 and 25 yards and count points just to fine tune my aiming skills.

If I just want to have some fun I'll throw up a silhouette target at 10 or 15 yards and do 2-COM, 1-Head shots. I don't really count anything there...just get ticked if I miss or have a fly-away.

If there's one over-riding goal I'm going for it's consistency and some level of improvement over time no matter what the drill is.

March 15, 2006, 04:00 PM
Increase my control over the recoil out of a snub 357 on consecutive shots. Talk to the Range Master and get pointers as well as chat with other shooters. Also enjoy taking family and friends who do not own guns but would like to squeeze off a few rounds and learn something. If I can hit consistently inside of 10 yards I feel good. I don't think I'm going to be able to take someone out at 25 yards (accross a dark parking lot) in real life no matter how long I practice with a J Frame.

March 15, 2006, 04:39 PM
I don't worry about bulls-eye shooting, and in fact I don't own a pistol that would be considered a target pistol. I practise trigger control, and shooting with both hands. I generally shoot at 25 yards and try to keep everythihng in the 10 ring (center mass). My goal in consistancy, not tight groups.

March 15, 2006, 04:42 PM
Usually I'll warm up a little with 5-10 yard target practice working on trigger control.

Most of my session is training 'shoot to failure'.

1) Draw
2) double tap to the COM
3) one to the head
4) reholster
5) repeat

I make sure that if I ever have to utilize my CCW it will be muscle memory. 2 COM and 1 to the pumpkin.

March 15, 2006, 05:00 PM
What are your goals at the pistol range?

After my last experience at a public indoor range, the most important goal is to try and avoid being shot by some idiot. :p

Main goals are just to have fun and relax.

March 15, 2006, 05:11 PM
so far this year i've made it to the range twice. had about a 2 month hiatus due to working too much, cold weather, getting sick, and that first time i could not hit diddly squat.
last weekend it all seemed to come back to me. shot alright, nothing spectacular, but better than average. so i finished up the day trying to hit the steel plates at 50 yards. more misses than hits.

March 15, 2006, 06:07 PM
..to improve and consistently hit my intended target under the most stress that I can simulate in that environment. To become proficient with my pistol skills and continue to maintain this level of proficiency.

March 15, 2006, 06:10 PM
After my last experience at a public indoor range, the most important goal is to try and avoid being shot by some idiot.


March 15, 2006, 10:49 PM
First I shoot a couple magizines. Then I find aroom for improvent in my shooting that I want to work on. I work on that untill my arm gets too tired to shoot well anymore, about 250-350 rounds. Then I shoot about 50 more just point shooting, just to see how I do.

March 15, 2006, 10:57 PM
"I seek to be able to hit the bullseye with one hand at a 2 inch grouping in Double Action at 50 yards with my revolver 6 times out of 6."

...you're a better man than I, Gunga Din. :)

Doc TH
March 15, 2006, 11:10 PM
Have done bullseye competition on Navy pistol team (long ago). So, will occasionally try it again to see how close I can come to the accomplishments of my youth (generally, not too bad).
These days, main interest is self-defense competence, so abandon the bullseye distance for the 20-30 feet rapid reaction shooting drill. Strong hand, weak hand, two hand. Am a revolver person now, so shoot almost exclusively double action 38+P and 357.

March 16, 2006, 12:20 PM
My basic object was to practice my ability to hit the target. To do this, I tried various positions, all standing but none from the draw. I shot both with one hand and two hands and now and then, with my weak hand. Also slow fire and rapid fire but no practice at any sort of tactical reloading. Over time I tended to do more firing at 25 yards because that required the most practice to do well. I probably used autos as much as revolvers and tried to fire all the common calibers that I owned. I also mostly fired my own reloaded ammuntion and sometimes the object seemed to be that the shooting was done to support my handloading operation, rather than the other way round.

I also found that some more difficult to shoot handguns were just as fun or even more fun than more ordinary handguns, provided expensive ammuntion wasn't needed. I had more fun with an old Beretta .22 for a while than anything else. Some guns that were otherwise very nice, like a blued 4-in Model 29 (that would have been in my Elmer Keith phase), ended up being rather frustating because of certain faults of that particular gun. The Model 29, for instance, tended to bind after a cylinder full of shots, for some reason. Another interesting thing was to use those targets printed with those little sihoulettes. Not so easy to hit at 25 yards.

This was all at an indoor range. An interesting exercise is to measure 25 yards somewhere outside, say from your back door, and see how much different it looks from the way it does at an indoor range. Also, try turning off the light in your lane at an indoor range for something a little different.

I've never shot at a moving target at the range, though when in the army, I got to shoot a 105-mm howitizer at a moving target.

Ultimately, the goal was to enjoy the shooting and have fun. Then one day, for some reason, it stopped being fun and I haven't shot anything since then!

Big Calhoun
March 16, 2006, 09:34 PM
-Profieciency with all my firearms
-Consistent double taps
-Effective trigger control and form

Ultimately, I'd like to be able to punch out the 10-ring at will. For now, I settle for landing my shots where I place them with a variety of pistols. Also, I shoot for the fun of it...gives me an excuse to get out of the house every now and then.

March 17, 2006, 07:32 AM
...gives me an excuse to get out of the house every now and then.


In addition to my above post. I also try to work on "speed". The range I go to does not allow firing from draw so I just set it on the bench and try to pick it up, get my sights on target and fire as fast as safely possible.

March 17, 2006, 09:55 AM
Not hurt myself, hit target, not hurt myself, see if firearm functions correctly, not get hurt, test ammo for suitablility for firearm and of course not get hurt.

March 17, 2006, 11:26 AM
Blue Train,
Then one day, for some reason, it stopped being fun and I haven't shot anything since then!

Since I began shooting competition the regular (lame) shooting at the range is no fun anymore. I must force myself to go at times. The costs, the rules at most ranges (especially the close to home ones), punching holes in paper, just kill the fun. I gotta go though to stay sharp.

March 17, 2006, 03:26 PM
Actually, there were several things that seemed to happen around the same time that dampened my enthusiasm for shooting at the range, which I still visit frequently and where I still buy guns. I even have one on layaway at the moment, a rifle.

For one thing, my shooting buddy moved away. Then large pistol primers became scarce for a while, which was particularly frustrating. And a few highly publicized shootings didn't help either. Probably going by myself was just less fun and, anyway, shooting at a commercial indoor range or, for that matter, outdoor range, can be somewhat restricting.

I certainly haven't lost interest in guns, however.