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How do you get the most out of your range time? Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted
I used to only get to shoot once every two to three months or so. My recent job change has opened up a lot more time in my schedule for shooting, and I find myself getting out there at least once every other week, and sometimes as often as twice a week. I know the increased trigger time alone is helping me improve, but I'm looking for ways to get the most out of my time and ammo. I've started doing some dot drills, and (when I can get access to a range that allows it) incorporating some movement...mainly the box drill. I think that has helped some, but am curious what kinds of things the rest of you are doing beyond just throwing lead downrange.
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First, I load ALL magazines the day before. This way, I don't spend any time on range loading.

I do the things you do but I also load snap caps in with some magazines to practice malfunction drills. That's the only extra time I spend, digging through the brass looking for my snap caps.
 
Posts: 920 | Location: County 18, OH | Registered: April 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First identify your goals. Do you need to bec9me faster to the first shot on target? Do you need to make smaller groups? Do you want to enter competitions like 3 gun, Or ones more like bullseye? All of these things require different disciplines of practice.


I work on sight picture, trigger control, and small groups almost every time.
 
Posts: 2723 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I usually only use 3-4 mags at a given range session. At some point, I'll load each with a random number of rounds, usually anywhere from 1 to maybe 4 rounds. Then I will scramble them up without looking at them (I'm usually by myself at the range - if shooting with a buddy, they can do the scrambling of the mags) and put them in my mag pouches and the weapon and start firing and reloading as-needed. The pistol will run out of ammo sooner and I'll be "surprised" to an extent when it happens...get to practice reloading a bit more that way.

May sound silly but it does mix things up a bit, and stretches a box of ammo a bit longer than just blasting away full-mag after full-mag.



"The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli." - George Costanza
 
Posts: 5005 | Registered: September 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Plan in advance. Know what you want to work on before getting to the range. Bull's eye? Smoothening the draw? From concealment? Positions? From a barricade or behind cover? Dots or numbers? Etc. Becomes too easy to settle in and just blast a box or ten...
Challenge yourself. Our qualifier is fairly easy on a standard Q target so I try using a bull's eye target for score. Humbling...


Semper Fi
Madmatt

SIGs, HKs, BHPs, 1911s, S&W 625 45 ACP 4", HK/Benelli M1S90, Colt 6721, Steyr SBSs, Emerson Knives, Rubicons, Harleys & APBTs
 
Posts: 306 | Location: USA | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It helps me a lot to know the purpose of the current range visit.

1. To test a new gun, and get familiar with it.
2. To keep my shooting skills current.
3. To have fun and unwind.

I sometimes do get #3 mixed up with #1 and #2.
No problem, I recognize what I did and schedule another trip to meet my goals.
Trying out a new gun and finding out it's really cool often slides #1 to #3.
 
Posts: 9 | Registered: April 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Some good comments thus far, but any suggestions will ultimately depend to a degree on what you can do. You mention movement when the range “allows” it, and that indicates that you’re subject to some restrictions. If, as some people are, you’re limited to standing in one spot and firing at 15 and 25 yards with no movements, or shooting at speed, drawing from the holster, etc., worthwhile drills are likewise going to be limited. There would be no sense in describing the sorts of things I do if they wouldn’t even be possible for someone else.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 36191 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by TheFrontRange:
I usually only use 3-4 mags at a given range session. .......May sound silly but it does mix things up a bit, and stretches a box of ammo a bit longer than just blasting away full-mag after full-mag.


I do the same. IMO, the most important shots are the first 1-3 out of the mag. Beyond that, is kind of wasting ammo.

In a real situation, if the threat is still coming after the first 2-3 rounds, dumping the rest of the mag quickly may be exactly the wrong response. Your rounds are either missing the target, hitting in non-vital places, or being stopped by body armor. In any of those situations, doing more of the same and hoping to get lucky is a poor choice. Slow down...aim carefully....perhaps try for a headshot.
 
Posts: 5728 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have a plan. I plan on stuff that I need to work on based upon shortcomings in performance. If I fumble some reloads, my next range trip will work heavily on reloads.

HOWEVER.

I am not convinced that extra "trigger time" is more beneficial than just taking the same amount of time and dry firing with a plan. I've proven with other people over and over that a good, reliable, driven dry fire program will pay larger dividends in a shooters ability than the equal amount of live fire.


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"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011

"There are only two reasons why a proven technique doesn't work under stress: the shooter isn't adequately trained in it's application, or he/she doesn't really believe it will work because he/she is programmed for failure to begin with." BG


 
Posts: 29382 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Thanks guys, this is some good input. jljones, I really like the dry-fire idea. Working night shift, I have lots of time at night after the family goes to bed on my days off, so I could do a lot of that. And I imagine I could work drawing, moving, and reloads into it as well as trigger control.

As some mentioned, there are definitely different reasons for each range visit. I reload, so sometimes I'm just testing out a new load, or a new gun. Other times it's just to unwind, but with the ability to go more frequently, I've found more time for serious practice.

As to my "training goals", I'm trying to become a better defensive shooter. A local club hosts USPSA matches, and I've thought about joining and getting involved in that...The problem is I'm not at all familiar with the sport, and I'm not sure I'm at that level yet, but I'd like to get there. I think I'd enjoy the competition, and it would help further develop my skills as a shooter.

I have a couple of different ranges available to me. The only one that I can currently go to whenever I want, by myself, has some stupid restrictions about target distances (10yd only), paper only, and no drawing from the holster. When I shoot with my buddy, though, we go to his place and can do pretty much whatever we want. So Sigfreund, I'd be interested in hearing what you do, as even if I can't do them one place, I could at the other.
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
Thanks guys, this is some good input. jljones, I really like the dry-fire idea. Working night shift, I have lots of time at night after the family goes to bed on my days off, so I could do a lot of that. And I imagine I could work drawing, moving, and reloads into it as well as trigger control.

As some mentioned, there are definitely different reasons for each range visit. I reload, so sometimes I'm just testing out a new load, or a new gun. Other times it's just to unwind, but with the ability to go more frequently, I've found more time for serious practice.

As to my "training goals", I'm trying to become a better defensive shooter. A local club hosts USPSA matches, and I've thought about joining and getting involved in that...The problem is I'm not at all familiar with the sport, and I'm not sure I'm at that level yet, but I'd like to get there. I think I'd enjoy the competition, and it would help further develop my skills as a shooter.

I have a couple of different ranges available to me. The only one that I can currently go to whenever I want, by myself, has some stupid restrictions about target distances (10yd only), paper only, and no drawing from the holster. When I shoot with my buddy, though, we go to his place and can do pretty much whatever we want. So Sigfreund, I'd be interested in hearing what you do, as even if I can't do them one place, I could at the other.


Go watch a match, look, learn, ask questions...then come back with a good belt and holster and a few extra magazines...you dont need to buy all the gear or fancy belts holsters first...USPSA is a great time. and you will subliminally learn good training.



"because skittles." Swain0351


 
Posts: 4174 | Location: 35-46.02N 077-55.54W | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I tape my target constantly. It's rare that I will shoot more than 10 rounds without taping. If one is simply filling the target with holes, there's little ability to relate what you did and felt with the result you achieved.

Dot drills are also great as they allow more shooting between taping or target replacement.
I use the 8" circles and the "Various Circles" targets I get from here : Task Force Targets
Note: That's a Canadian company, so I've no idea if it's practical to order there. But the target concept is what matters.



I always start with basics of accuracy at various ranges ( 7/15/25 meters) before anything else. If you can't shoot accurately, there's nothing to be achieved by attempting to miss faster (speed drills).

Dot targets to start. Then I switch to IDPA targets.
 
Posts: 370 | Location: Southern Alberta, Canada | Registered: April 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Phelen_Kell:
First, I load ALL magazines the day before. This way, I don't spend any time on range loading.


This is what started doing as well. I have found I enjoy the range so much more now that I'm not spending time loading every few magazines.
 
Posts: 6580 | Location: NE Ohio | Registered: July 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Variety of "drills" with the main gun (DA/SA CZ P-07). Single shots from DA, decock, repeat; DA/SA double, triple, sometimes quadruple shots; two-handed, one-handed (right) and occasional weak-handed; varying distances from 3-15 yards. All shot strings start with double action. With the little LCP BUG, in keeping with my anticipated usage for it, quick shots one-handed into the torso or head at 1-3 yards. Having an Uplula loader for the big gun's magazines saves a great deal of time as well as fatigue on my fingers. I'd like to do more draw and fire from the holster, but I'm not sure the range would let me. They probably would as long as I'm safe, but there is no explicit policy.



Now here's something we hope you'll really like.
 
Posts: 17984 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
So Sigfreund, I'd be interested in hearing what you do, as even if I can't do them one place, I could at the other.


Because I have the range that makes it possible, much of my training consists of a course of my own design that I fire regularly.

The course consists of 30 rounds fired in 11 stages and uses three modified IDPA targets set at 3, 7, and 15 yards. The stages involve clearing failure to fire malfunctions, proper use of cover, proactive and reactive reloads, left and right one-handed shooting and reloads, transitioning among targets at different ranges, and semi-precision shots. The scoring tries to balance speed and accuracy by incorporating a penalty-neutralization scheme that encourages the shooter to be aware of the effects of his shots.

Although the course does not constitute end-all, be-all training, it does offer several benefits. I’ve worked to incorporate most of the self-defense skills I consider to be reasonably important and yet I don’t waste time and ammunition running bizarre drills dreamed up by a bored match designer. Because I record all my scores I can compare sessions and monitor my (hopefully) progress. The stages are each only a few rounds at most and without competition time pressures I can think about and analyze each one individually. In addition I usually shoot the course with a friend, and that helps ensure I don’t get lazy about doing my best.

Focusing on specific skills is important, but I find it very useful to combine practice and self-testing that provides a degree of pressure.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 36191 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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quote:
Focusing on specific skills is important, but I find it very useful to combine practice and self-testing that provides a degree of pressure.


I really like this thought. Thanks for sharing.
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Go as early as possible on days that not many others go. Having the range to oneself is quite helpful.


--------------------------------------
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard
 
Posts: 17049 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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quote:
Originally posted by Black92LX:
Go as early as possible on days that not many others go. Having the range to oneself is quite helpful.


This is precisely the reason I've been able to shoot more lately. The great thing about working nights on a rotation is that the range opens at noon daily...so I can get up and go on weekdays when everybody else is at work.
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
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I try to go when I have the range to myself. Early morning and rainy days are good. I load LOTS of magazines before I go. I go to shoot, not reload. I find too many guns confuse things. It is best to keep it to 2 or 3.
 
Posts: 4040 | Registered: March 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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If my purpose is to “get something out of” a range session, i.e., to improve or maintain my skills, I use no more than a single gun of a particular type. Sometimes I run drills that require transitions from carbine or shotgun to handgun, but never multiple handguns. I believe that concentrating on one gun is the best way to achieve the benefits of a session’s lessons.

Shooting 15 or 20 rounds each from a half dozen guns may be fun or at best familiarization, but that’s all it is.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 36191 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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