View Full Version : Simulating stress during practice sessions

March 10, 2011, 02:29 AM
So there is obviously a big difference between shooting at targets and shooting when your life is on the line. So I've been trying to figure out ways to simulate the adrenaline rush and the stress that would come with shooting when your life is on the line.

So far what I've come up with is this: I set up a course with my target and my shooting table. I then mark off 50 yards from my table in the opposite direction of my target. I then sprint 50 yards, as fast as I can, to my shooting table, pick up my gun and fire 6 or 10 rounds (depending if I am using a revolver or a semi).

So far its made a difference, by the time I pick up my gun my heart is racing, I am panting for breath, and I'm a little bit shaky, perhaps like I think I would be if I had a big bear, or a big mugger coming at me. My first few sessions were awful, now I am getting better.

Anyone have any other ideas to make your training sessions more "realistic" in terms of stress?

March 10, 2011, 02:34 AM
Not to sure how realistic it would be, but I've heard of people having friends throw firecracker behind them on outside private ranges and start screaming at them. I believe they got the idea from the Tom Clancy book "Patriot Games".

Glenn Dee
March 10, 2011, 03:29 AM
I call my ex wife to get stressed before a practice session.

March 10, 2011, 05:24 AM
I can't get my friends to do this to me... although my X offered. :eek:


Go to YouTube and search for "rifle stress training" or "pistol stress training" or "stress shooting". I saw a video of an instructor standing above a rifleman shooting all around him and yelling. I can't find that one. I didn't get a chance to watch all of the above video yet, (dial-up,) so it may have that bit of reality to it also.

Personally, I like to run down 200 yards to mark my targets then run halfway back then walk the last 100 yards to take the next shot... and that is just during Audette Ladder testing.

March 10, 2011, 09:06 AM
The guys that I get together to train with simulate different attacks as though the victim is being targeted in a parking lot, atm street, restaurant armed robbery, etc. We all take turns - one or two guys will be the attacker(s) one guy is the victim. We do use our actual carry guns and must carry them concealed as we would out in public.

Before some folks chime in and say what we do - using real guns is dangerous, etc., I know this, it has been discussed at length in another thread, some very good suggestions were offered in that thread and my point isn't to re-hash that 3+pages of discussion on that one issue. This is just how we try to simulate real-life stress situations.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 10, 2011, 09:40 AM
What I've found to be effective in generating real stress is just a shot timer and some competition among friends. Nobody likes to be the least competent of their peer group. You'd be surprised at how something small like that can force otherwise competent people into stupid mistakes occasionally.

This teaches good gun handling under stress; but it doesn't teach tactics very well. Good gun handling is just a small part of the overall equation - being able to think on your feet is a big one. Good gun handling aids that by making proper stance, acquiring sights, etc. and automatic reflex; but you still need to work in some scenarios that make people think while they are doing this. The most common one I know of is the target with different colors, numbers and shapes.

Deaf Smith
March 10, 2011, 07:30 PM
Get a buddy , a shocking dog collar, and let him buz you now and then while training (if your heart can take it.)


March 10, 2011, 07:32 PM
There is no need for me to simulate stress and the fear of getting shot by some idiot--all I need to do is go to a public range when it's crowded. Seriously--it makes my hands shake, and I normally have very steady hands.

Glenn Bartley
March 10, 2011, 10:13 PM
I call my ex wife to get stressed before a practice session. That is a good one!

All the best,
Glenn B

March 10, 2011, 11:11 PM
Get a large tub. Stand in the tub and have someone drop a couple of snakes in the tub.

Your adrenalin level should be quite high.

March 12, 2011, 12:27 AM
Try some competition. IDPA or USPSA. Getting timed and your targets scored changes what you get out of the shooting. Also it gives you a chance to shoot moving targets and shooting on the move, shooting around barriers, etc. that can be hard to come by at many ranges. A club will have props and targets that most people won't have themselves. Mark

March 12, 2011, 12:32 AM
Exactly- I didn't realize how bad I shot until I started competing. It was eye opening, and forced me to really start putting effort into the sport.

March 12, 2011, 12:54 AM
An easy way to start learning about dealing with stress is to simply go to a public shooting range and put up with all the things that most people complain about as distractions.

Instead of stopping your practice and stomping off the range when the guy next to you starts cranking off rounds with his .50BMG rifle or the guy on the other side starts showering you with brass from his autochucker, just keep shooting and learn to deal with the distractions and irritation.

When you've got that down pat then you can move on to the next step. Integrating physical exercise into your shooting program and/or competing. Competition is a very good way to generate stress and learn to deal with it constructively.

March 12, 2011, 08:32 PM
On a few occasions when I had a chance to practice with some marines, the drill was to run 100yds, then do push-ups and jumping jacks for 30sec each, then shoot the course.

Shooting a moving course of fire, using high and low barriers, while wearing an IBA with plates was also a pretty good way to induce some stress into shooting.

Pretty much anything that elevates your pulse and respiratory rates will help achieve the desired effect.

liberty -r- death
March 12, 2011, 11:00 PM
I have never found any stress that compares to that of being shot at. Nothing else gives you that kind of pucker factor.

That said, I too have an X-wife that may be able to help you out.:D

Hiker 1
March 13, 2011, 12:26 AM
It wasn't live-fire, but I attended an Active Shooter course using simunitions. Very stressful and very realistic.