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Basic Firearm and Defensive Skills and Training Discussion Section.
#24790
I’m new to this forum, but a huge fan so far!

I built a range on my property a few year ago to plink whenever I felt like it. I’ve never trained formally, most of my skills come from a mix of bad habits and tips from my military buddies.. I bought a combat elite a few months ago and love shooting it so much I bought another for my boy, and he loves his too!!

I’m looking for info / suggestions on how to better setup my range for training and a good resource to help me teach my son and I the right fundamentals with the thought of checking out competition shooting one day.

My range is currently mostly hanging steel targets at the same height and distance. With random washers/dryers and car parts.. so wondering if there’s a better setup for height / distance transitions or something..

Any advice is appreciated!!
#24792
Check out Steve Anderson's book, "Get To Work; the practice of more points per second".

He explains how to get better and has a bunch of drills to run both dry fire and live fire.

Seeing as I'm still layed up, I'm reading it for second time. Good stuff. He also has a pod cast.
#24799
My advice would be to join a competition asap. This will show you exactly what to expect and train for. You will also meet great people that actually shoot matches and are more than happy to help and offer useful tips to a guy with a range in his yard. Mr Miyagi was right. You can't learn karate from a book.
#24823
Lots of good resources out there if you have that kind of access to a place to shoot.

Not to start by directing you to another forum, but it’s hard to reinvent the wheel. Pistol-forum.com has sections on mindset, competition skills and recommended drills.

Of the useful YouTube videos out there, I think Travis Haley has some of the better drills for getting someone to practice fundamentals of grip, sighting, cadence, etc. His Venti drill seems super simple, but it does force a person to concentrate on fundamentals.

The Dot Torture drill is another that uses a single piece of paper, but includes several micro drills on it to force someone to drill down on different skills, like presenting from the holster, multiple target transitions, double shot drills, weak hand, etc.

You can find lots of drills on YouTube, Larry Vickers, Ken Hackathorne and other have several drills on there that should keep you occupied for a session or two. I do recommend buying a shot timer to help you measure improvement in executing the drills. (Many of them have a time limit associated with them.

When it comes to competition there are several types and levels and styles as well as focuses. You can get involved in bullseye shooting to help hone pure marksmanship skills, or you can get into “practical” shooting which involves scenario based shooting supposedly to help with defensive pistol skills. A few categories of this exist. Club level events, that have their own rules and restrictions. Usually these are somewhat relaxed, and casual, with firearms and rigs that run from very cheap to very expensive. Usually the prizes are just bragging rights and learning more about employing what you’ve got.

Here’s the area where I’m guaranteed to piss off a good portion of competitors.

USPSA is a US division of IPSC. These guys are the formula 1 crowd of the pistol competition community. To compete effectively here, modification and race specific equipment is a pretty major factor in how far you can go. Power factor of your ammunition loads are calculated as part of your score potential. Competition “Bat belts, loose fit holsters that sit away from the body, maximized capacity magazines and bulky, speed aiding magazine pouches are more the rule than the exception. The point is to push gun and shooter performance to its upper limits.

IDPA is generally more like rally racing or Baja. It ain’t pretty, but at its heart it is about employing carry gear you would actually carry, potentially concealed and getting the most out of it. More shooters show up with compact guns, single stacks, low power factor pistols, leather holsters, AIWB/IWB and pancake holsters. 1-2 mag pouches a holster, a handgun and street clothes are all you need.

You can probably tell I’m more of a fan of the club and IDPA style competitions. For me I want to know how to employ what I actually carry in the most effective way that I can. I like to find areas I need to improve in using what I would actually have on me most of the time. A two pound trigger with short reset teamed with a red dot equipped pistol in a non retention holster sticking out from my hip with a half dozen mag pouches is not likely a part of my wardrobe on a run to the store or downtown Seattle. A polymer framed DA/SA Pistol with a 7-8 lb Double action and 3.5-5 lb single action, in an AIWB kydex holster, with maybe 1extra mag is a lot more likely for me to have on those ventures.

But, I understand the race bug, and the hotrodding appeal as well. People who dig it should be free to enjoy it. It does offer transferable skills.

So, there is a wide spectrum of drilling and competitive resources out there. Enjoy you personal range.
#24844
SSGNDoc wrote: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:12 pm .....

Here’s the area where I’m guaranteed to piss off a good portion of competitors.

USPSA is a US division of IPSC. These guys are the formula 1 crowd of the pistol competition community. To compete effectively here, modification and race specific equipment is a pretty major factor in how far you can go. Power factor of your ammunition loads are calculated as part of your score potential. Competition “Bat belts, loose fit holsters that sit away from the body, maximized capacity magazines and bulky, speed aiding magazine pouches are more the rule than the exception. The point is to push gun and shooter performance to its upper limits.
.....
In my area USPSA matches are more prevalent. Just because every one else spends $3,000 on a gun to compete doesn't mean you have to. If what you want is improvement and experience handling your gun then you can get it here. You are really only competing against yourself. You can shoot limited with almost any gun. You just need a good belt, a holster and mag holders. I use two double mag pouches and a Balde-Tech holster and competed with my Glock 17 last summer. I will be shooting a Canik this summer :-BD . In the matches I was at last summer there were a lot more Fords and Chevys than Formula One cars.
SSGNDoc wrote: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:12 pm IDPA is generally more like rally racing or Baja. It ain’t pretty, but at its heart it is about employing carry gear you would actually carry, potentially concealed and getting the most out of it. More shooters show up with compact guns, single stacks, low power factor pistols, leather holsters, AIWB/IWB and pancake holsters. 1-2 mag pouches a holster, a handgun and street clothes are all you need.

You can probably tell I’m more of a fan of the club and IDPA style competitions. For me I want to know how to employ what I actually carry in the most effective way that I can. I like to find areas I need to improve in using what I would actually have on me most of the time. A two pound trigger with short reset teamed with a red dot equipped pistol in a non retention holster sticking out from my hip with a half dozen mag pouches is not likely a part of my wardrobe on a run to the store or downtown Seattle. A polymer framed DA/SA Pistol with a 7-8 lb Double action and 3.5-5 lb single action, in an AIWB kydex holster, with maybe 1extra mag is a lot more likely for me to have on those ventures.

But, I understand the race bug, and the hotrodding appeal as well. People who dig it should be free to enjoy it. It does offer transferable skills.

So, there is a wide spectrum of drilling and competitive resources out there. Enjoy you personal range.
What type of competition you do will depend a lot on what's available in your area. Sign up for PractiScore and you can find clubs and matches in your area. Do an internet search and find local gun clubs in your area and check out their calendars. Then go back to your PractiScore account and add the clubs that have events to the clubs you follow, because many of the matches will use PractiScore for registration.

Watch some youtube videos of matches and check your local area for classes that introduce you to USPSA or IDPA.

And don't forget Steel Challenge matches. For me the steel matches are the most fun.
#24851
I agree, become active in competitions. You might be able to join a local club that put on several in a year. I would add there are several types of competitions, I would try them all. As said before they tend to teach you what you need to learn and improve. Don't become discouraged just have fun, learn and be safe.
#26453
TacoTyrant wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:27 pm Cool! Thanks for the advice!
There's a club just north of you in Bandera that has regular Steel events and IDPA matches. Like most clubs, you don't need to be a member, you just pay $5 more.

Here's a small snipet from their Practiscore match this weekend:

"REGULAR Hours in effect:Anywhere
8:00 a.m. Setup. All help is welcome!
9:00 a.m. Registration begins.
9:20 a.m. New Shooter's meeting
10:00 a.m. Registration closes and Match begins.

Beginning shooters welcome! Please read this article about getting started in IDPA:
https://www.pewpewtactical.com/getting-started-idpa/ "

https://practiscore.com/bandera-idpa-cl ... 1/register

If nothing else, just go to watch and talk to people your first time...

I'm not a huge IDPA fan, but to each his own. The "D" in IDPA is Defensive, so the stages are geared as if someone is shooting back at you. If you like rules, you'll love it.
USPSA does not have a defensive aspect, so it's a bit less complex. Shoot lots of rounds, hopefully fast and accurately.
Steel Challenge is owned by USPSA and is a structured speed shooting series with 8 repeatable stages. Anywhere you go, a participating club will setup from 4, to all 8 stages, depending on their property size. It's much easier to watch a youtube video, than to describe it. "One at a time" Steel Challenge stages would be a great fit for your home range. I'm in the process of building my own.

All three series have divisions for pretty much any firearm, and any skill level. All are very welcoming, and encouraging to newcomers. With safe gun handling skills, they'll love to have you join them.
#26454
BentAero wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:57 pm
TacoTyrant wrote: Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:27 pm Cool! Thanks for the advice!
There's a club just north of you in Bandera that has regular Steel events and IDPA matches. Like most clubs, you don't need to be a member, you just pay $5 more.

Here's a small snipet from their Practiscore match this weekend:

"REGULAR Hours in effect:Anywhere
8:00 a.m. Setup. All help is welcome!
9:00 a.m. Registration begins.
9:20 a.m. New Shooter's meeting
10:00 a.m. Registration closes and Match begins.

Beginning shooters welcome! Please read this article about getting started in IDPA:
https://www.pewpewtactical.com/getting-started-idpa/ "

https://practiscore.com/bandera-idpa-cl ... 1/register

If nothing else, just go to watch and talk to people your first time...

I'm not a huge IDPA fan, but to each his own. The "D" in IDPA is Defensive, so the stages are geared as if someone is shooting back at you. If you like rules, you'll love it.
USPSA does not have a defensive aspect, so it's a bit less complex. Shoot lots of rounds, hopefully fast and accurately.
Steel Challenge is owned by USPSA and is a structured speed shooting series with 8 repeatable stages. Anywhere you go, a participating club will setup from 4, to all 8 stages, depending on their property size. It's much easier to watch a youtube video, than to describe it. "One at a time" Steel Challenge stages would be a great fit for your home range. I'm in the process of building my own.

All three series have divisions for pretty much any firearm, and any skill level. All are very welcoming, and encouraging to newcomers. With safe gun handling skills, they'll love to have you join them.
Thanks for the info Bentaero! That’s not far from me at all!! I’ll try to check it out this weekend if I can. If not I’ll definitely check them out!
#26466
Man, I wish I had my own range!

Don't know if you reload or not but one of the worst things is picking up brass. It's a lot easier to find it if you have an old scrap of carpet on the ground. I usually haul a piece to the range with me but if you have your own range you could just leave it next to your shooting position. Saves lots of time and effort picking up brass.

Also, I like to use old ironing boards for range stands. Washers and dryers are ok but they're kind of heavy to move around to different shooting positions. And you can pick up ironing boards at yard sales for a couple bucks. You can adjust the height up or down and put your ammo, timer, magazines etc. on them.

If you start shooting competition and help with set up and tear down you can usually get the old targets. They're not always in the best shape but you can get a few more practices out of them. While it's more fun to shoot steel I find that whenever I practice on steel I start flinching. Always good to shoot paper so you can see where you're hitting. And you'll need to get some target stands so you can move your targets around and practice indexing.

And practice the safety rules you learn at the competitions. Don't get careless just because you're on your own range; practice them just like you would use them at a match. Be careful of the 180, don't sweep yourself, things like that.

Hope this helps.
#26469
45shooter wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:59 pm Man, I wish I had my own range!

Don't know if you reload or not but one of the worst things is picking up brass. It's a lot easier to find it if you have an old scrap of carpet on the ground. I usually haul a piece to the range with me but if you have your own range you could just leave it next to your shooting position. Saves lots of time and effort picking up brass.

Also, I like to use old ironing boards for range stands. Washers and dryers are ok but they're kind of heavy to move around to different shooting positions. And you can pick up ironing boards at yard sales for a couple bucks. You can adjust the height up or down and put your ammo, timer, magazines etc. on them.

If you start shooting competition and help with set up and tear down you can usually get the old targets. They're not always in the best shape but you can get a few more practices out of them. While it's more fun to shoot steel I find that whenever I practice on steel I start flinching. Always good to shoot paper so you can see where you're hitting. And you'll need to get some target stands so you can move your targets around and practice indexing.

And practice the safety rules you learn at the competitions. Don't get careless just because you're on your own range; practice them just like you would use them at a match. Be careful of the 180, don't sweep yourself, things like that.

Hope this helps.
The carpet thing is a great idea! I have an old washer and dryer out there. I keep my ammo in the them since they’re water proofed so I don’t have to lug it back and forth from the house.

I’m looking forward to getting involved in competition soon so I can learn more!!
#26474
TacoTyrant wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:07 am I have an old washer and dryer out there. I keep my ammo in the them since they’re water proofed so I don’t have to lug it back and forth from the house.
:-? ...I thought the washer and dryer were for washing and tumbling brass!!! :lol:

Lots of good replies!

Second Travis Haley drills for fundamentals.

For competition, nothing beats the real thing. You can go to the matches, and then setup similiar stages on your range for practice. Cheap to make the stands and walls, cardboard targets aren't that expensive. With a timer...you'll be all set.
#26476
GlennSFX wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:20 am
TacoTyrant wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:07 am I have an old washer and dryer out there. I keep my ammo in the them since they’re water proofed so I don’t have to lug it back and forth from the house.
:-? ...I thought the washer and dryer were for washing and tumbling brass!!! :lol:

Lots of good replies!

Second Travis Haley drills for fundamentals.

For competition, nothing beats the real thing. You can go to the matches, and then setup similiar stages on your range for practice. Cheap to make the stands and walls, cardboard targets aren't that expensive. With a timer...you'll be all set.
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