I am frequently asked what I do when I go to the range to practice?
In these days of less time and even less money for things like practice and ammo, my personal rangetime is precious to me. And ammo? Well, if you have been a gun person for a while – you probably value ammo beyond the $0.20 or so that goes poof with every bang.
I have been using a couple of drills lately to make my range time more effective. Anything else is just blasting ammo downrange.
One of them is a slow-fire drill I like to call Accuracy vs Speed. Like the robed martial artist dude in the park doing slo-mo moves, I like to concentrate on my presentation from the holster all the way through to sending lead downrange. This is very much like dry-fire practice at home but when there is actual recoil it verifies the work of the home practice sessions.
The idea is to really work on the fundamentals of hitting ‘small.’ By that, I mean that I draw small circles on my big targets and do not accept anything outside the small circles as good. By taking the time (2-4 seconds from the holster) to present the gun at 40% speed and really concentrate on front sight focus, grip tension, slack out, steady … and BANG – I can feel and identify where I am fumbling and then fine tune from there.
I have done better, and worse, but today I verified that the dry-fire work I have been doing to brush up on my fluidity is paying off. The other thing is that when you prove to yourself that you can repeatedly hit 2″ and 3″ circles at 8 yards (measured) it gets harder to come up with excuses later when you hit those ‘performance valleys.’ This was done this morning, (showing it to you warts and all) and it cost me $8.75 worth of ammo and about 40 minutes or so.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999“]”… forces me to value each shot and only run my gun as fast as I can make the shot…“ [/quote]
Also, this 3-2-1 drill is fun. It has both speed and accuracy built into it and reveals your strength(s) and weakness(s) for further refinement. The way it works is that you pick the distance and start with the middle sized circle and hit it with 2 shots in 2 seconds (or so, depending on you) from the ready position. When you can do that, that is your benchmark ‘comfort zone’ distance. The smaller sized one will require extra concentration and time (3 seconds) and the large circle is easier to hit so you can speed it up a touch (1 second). The only requirement is that you have to hit all six shots inside the three circles! Hint – once you have a comfort zone distance, start with the smallest one first. If you start too fast with the big circle it is harder to slow down for the smaller ones.
This type of practice, forces me to value each shot and only run my gun as fast as I can make the shot. It is very easy to fall into a rhythm trap of speed and then be too slow on easy targets and too fast on ones that require more concentration. Don’t spray and pray – ammo and time are way too valuable in a gunfight to waste.
Let me know how these drills work for you, and I will see you on the range.
CONTACT me and I will email you a printable 8.5″x11″ 3-2-1 target for your practice.
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