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Old August 11, 2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: March 9, 2012
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requesting input:training program?

I am new to shooting and my primary interest is self defense and home protection. My handgun is a GP100 four inch barrel in .357. The trigger is light enough in double action to allow clean smooth trigger pulls.
At this point, I have fired about 1000 rounds and I am consistently hitting groups of four inches at ten yards. This is offhand, single action, and one careful shot at a time. My goal is to hit groups in the 4-5 inch range at 25 yards in quick succession.
My question is what would you recommend that I learn and practice and in what order to get me there the quickest and with the least ammo expended.
I am a range member at my local club and I can get to the range about once a week. As a range member ammo and targets are my only cost.
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Best thing to do is find a good instructor to help you. No amount of writing from us could equal a few hours with that instructor.

If that is not available, all I can say is concentrate on stance, grip, sight picture, breath control, trigger squeeze, follow through (the most often overlooked part).

Shoot slowly, not more than 50 shots at one session, or at least take a break of ten minutes each hour you are at the range. More often if you are the least bit tired. Practice, practice, practice, concentrating on all those factors. Look for flinching. Very important. Have someone watch you shoot. Have him tell you what he thinks of your technique. But be careful -- many want to be perceived as experts so they will give eroneous advice without either of you realizing it.

That's the best I can tell you without writing a book.
Jim Page

Cogito, ergo armatum sum
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Dry fire, concentrating on your trigger control.

A laser sight on a pistol/revolver is one of the best tools made for dry firing. Get to where that red dot doesn't jump around and then go to the range for live fire.

Out side of that, without watching you shoot, I can't say much.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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Another trick is to have someone you trust load the gun for you... with fewer rounds (and in random loading) than a full cylinder, and hand to you.
Shoot like you normally would and have the trusted friend watch you, or better yet, video tape it for your own review.
It will become quite apparent if your:
Originally Posted by JimPage
breath control, trigger squeeze, follow through (the most often overlooked part).
have any issues that require attention.

I taught my daughter to shoot with this method using a 1911 and dummy rounds. She can chew the 10 ring out of a B-8 target at 25yds all day long... which is more than I can say for myself these days.

Shoulder Drive Nicholson Club
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:30 PM   #5
Join Date: May 10, 2012
Location: Georgia
Posts: 97
Practice, practice, practice.

Some skills just take time. But it sounds like you're deep in the right direction! Seek advice from any source you can get it from. Whether it be advice on stance, reaction, training simulations, or how to sweat, everyone's input can be useful (even of you determine that they're telling you what NOT to do).

My personal advice, I'll coin a US Army phrase: train as you fight. Meaning, try to simulate a home defense situation as much as possible.
Obviously, you don't want to put a bunch of bullet holes in the Sheetrock at your house, so the guy's laser suggestion is a good one. Practice timing yourself from getting out of bed all the way to taking a defensive position. Learn how long it takes to get your firearm from your safe, and know that if you just woke up, you may be groggy, have poor vision, etc. That's why repetition is important: it allows your instincts/muscle memory to take over when confusion/disorientation occurs.

Like I said, you're headed in the right direction already. Professional advice from police instructors is great, especially of you can get some personal time with them for free. If not for free, it's probably worth the time and money anyway.
Good luck, and stay armed!
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Old August 11, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
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Originally Posted by JKilbreth
Practice, practice, practice....
But remember: Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. And practice also makes permanent, so if you do something poorly over and over, you don't get better. You only become an expert at doing it poorly.

The purpose of instruction is to teach you what to practice and how.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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Old August 11, 2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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Make sure your marksmanship fundamentals are strong, before trying to go fast. The only thing worse than fast misses are slow misses!

One good drill for fundamentals is the 5 and 1 drill. Do 5 dry fire shots, focusing on your fundamentals, then take 1 live fire shot doing the same. No time limit, and go for "perfect" shots. Repeat this cycle at least 5 times. It can get mentally fatiguing.

Once you get the accuracy you want, or better, start moving to a quicker pace. Challenge yourself to shoot as fast as you can, while still maintaining your desired accuracy.
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