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Old 05-10-2018, 09:06 PM
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What is the fastest way to pick up speed during a stage. I mean pure shooting speed from shot to shot ( split times ).
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:32 PM
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Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Sounds too simple but it works -- if you can practice practice PRACTICE being smoooooth and deliberate, everything that you do will become naturally smooth and fast.

Of course, that's the whole approach, you asked very specifically about split times and actual fire. In which case... anything and everything that you can do to help the pistol disrupt your sight picture less will speed up splits:

--weaken the ammo
--radically weaken the recoil spring
--add front end weight to pistol
--add and tune a compensator

But no shortcuts are as good as putting in all the work and practice and trigger time.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:24 PM
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Improving your grip. Overwhelmingly, that's the most common problem people have.

Beyond that, whatever you personally are weakest at.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:55 PM
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As said start with a good grip out of the holster so you have the gun controlled where you're not having to adjust shot to shot. Hands as high on the gun as you can get to control recoil.
Also as said be smooth no wasted motion, sudden jerky moves usually move past where you wanted to go and you have to correct again, plan your moves and reloads and execute the plan.
Again per the ammo make the power factor but don't blow by it. A 230 grain bullet at 900 fps is a bit much to make major where you could use a 185 grain.
Plus weight on your gun is your friend, weight eats recoil. I had a Glock 24 long slide that was a whole different gun on a CCF stainless race frame that made the whole thing weigh about 50 oz. Used pewter grips on a 1911 to weight, while not forward on the gun it was still weight added.

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Old 05-11-2018, 12:55 AM
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First question: what discipline are you shooting? The rules of each discipline differ somewhat on gun weight etc.

Second question: is there a Power Factor to ammunition? And if there are different power factors involved, like IPSC, is there any advantage to changing from major to minor? I shoot IPSC Classic and while I shoot a .45 most shoot a 9mm for faster follow up shots. Interestingly the current Classic Division NZ National Champion has this year gone back to a .45 instead of 9mm.

There are a lot of good suggestions posted above, but the one that canít be beat is practice the basics. Start out with several very slow, deliberate dry fire drills concentrating on the basics, grip, draw, taking up the support hand, sight alignment and trigger pull. As was stated above, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Do at least 5 repetitions at the commencement of every practice session.

Next, shoot drills not stages. Drills will make you a faster and more accurate shooter than drills because you see each shot that goes astray and can analyse what happened.

Then shoot one accurate shot at a realistic competition distance, concentrating on getting each hit into the targetís A zone. Give yourself a generous time, say 3 seconds, and donít rush it.

When you can draw and shoot 5 single A zone hits in your set time add another second and go for 2 A zone hits. Then move back to another distance and repeat but with an extra second on each time.

When you are getting all A zone hits drop your time by 1/2 a second for each drill. After that move back each distance a bit. Repeat dropping time and move if back but if you start to miss the A zone go back a step.

It takes time and practice, both live and dry firing.

And donít trade accuracy for speed. The shooter who won my grade in our last Nationals shot every stage 1.5 to 2 seconds slower than I did, but shot more accurately. The guy who came second shot incredibly fast but was erratic with his accuracy. I had a couple of bad stages but managed 3rd place through shooting consistently.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:27 AM
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something I wanted to say earlier was when and where possible fit the gun to you. Depending on your pistol and discipline there may be restrictions but on something like a 1911 there are about endless options out there. Grips and trigger length are the 2 cheapest changes then mainspring housing and beaver-tail.
Look at some of the stock set ups used on shotguns on how those guns are fitted to the shooter and you wonder if the person is even required to be there, the gun should be able to point and shoot itself. The more natural your pistol fits your hand the better you can shoot with it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:29 AM
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The split times are one of the last areas I would try to improve my stage times. Most of the time is lost transitioning between targets (waiting to see where your shot hit) and between shooting positions (not leaving or entering the shooting position aggressively) All my new students want to have fast split times and fast draws, split times come after movement and draws come after that. Pick the low hanging fruit first.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kiwi cop View Post
There are a lot of good suggestions posted above, but the one that canít be beat is practice the basics. Start out with several very slow, deliberate dry fire drills concentrating on the basics, grip, draw, taking up the support hand, sight alignment and trigger pull. As was stated above, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Do at least 5 repetitions at the commencement of every practice session.

Next, shoot drills not stages. Drills will make you a faster and more accurate shooter than drills because you see each shot that goes astray and can analyse what happened.

Then shoot one accurate shot at a realistic competition distance, concentrating on getting each hit into the targetís A zone. Give yourself a generous time, say 3 seconds, and donít rush it.

When you can draw and shoot 5 single A zone hits in your set time add another second and go for 2 A zone hits. Then move back to another distance and repeat but with an extra second on each time.

When you are getting all A zone hits drop your time by 1/2 a second for each drill. After that move back each distance a bit. Repeat dropping time and move if back but if you start to miss the A zone go back a step.

It takes time and practice, both live and dry firing.

And donít trade accuracy for speed. The shooter who won my grade in our last Nationals shot every stage 1.5 to 2 seconds slower than I did, but shot more accurately. The guy who came second shot incredibly fast but was erratic with his accuracy. I had a couple of bad stages but managed 3rd place through shooting consistently.
This^ is solid advice. Build speed organically. You need to push it, but have to watch for signs of when you are trying too hard and throwing shots or start seeing wide POI on targets. Smooth is fast. Practice a lot, push the envelope during practice and speed will come as a result. When you are no where near the top results, compete against your previous Hit Factor and take heart in your improvement.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:51 AM
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The split times are one of the last areas I would try to improve my stage times. Most of the time is lost transitioning between targets (waiting to see where your shot hit) and between shooting positions (not leaving or entering the shooting position aggressively) All my new students want to have fast split times and fast draws, split times come after movement and draws come after that. Pick the low hanging fruit first.

I recently watched a video where Rob Latham was shooting out to 15 yards without looking at his sights. He looked at the target through his whole gun and is confident enough to score A zone hits. Few of us are up to his skill level.

I usually don't bother using sights out to a distance of 5 meters. I just point the pistol and I also hit the trigger as fast as I can for the second shot. If I slow down a little I can go out to 10 meters without the sights, but usually will just take a quick "flash" sight picture, from 5 - 7 meters and will use sights from 7 meters out.

Now a few comments on this reply.

If you are "waiting to see where your shot hit" you need to work on your accuracy. Remember you should be seeing the front sight clearly, not the rear sight or the target, and looking for your shot on the paper is not only causing you to shift your focus back and forth but slowing you down. If you're confident in hitting the A zone at 15 yards/meters in slow time you should still be doing so 75% of the time out to 20 yard/meters in competition.

Trust your accuracy without constantly checking the target.

Fast split times can lead to misses. Many years ago IPSC used to teach beginner shooters the "double tap" two shots together. Now they teach two aimed shots in slightly slower time because the second round usually went high, above the target. And fast splits can lead to triggers being "snatched".

Fast draws lead to incorrect grip as the gun is simply "grabbed and drawn" instead of being settled properly in the hand. As said before, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Speed in changing shooting positions can be a factor, but not always. One of the most consistent shooters I know is slow due to his age, but he is accurate. He usually scores 90% plus A zone hits and he strolls, more correctly he ambles, from position to position.

I try for 80% of my hits in the A zone. I usually shoot better than 70% and mostly 75% plus. Occasionally I hit the 80-85% range, but only when I consciously slow down.

I shoot Major in IPSC Classic Division, which means 8 rounds per mag max. What I do concentrate on is sticking to my stage plan. I set an ammo budget, two shots per paper target and usually, but not always depending on distance, two shots per steel, and I plan to change magazines only when moving positions unless a stage requires a static mag change. If I have a couple of bad shots and need to change mags early, I will still change again when on the move even if that means leaving a mag with 6 rounds on the ground behind me.

Others I regularly compete against are much faster than me both shooting and on the move, but only budget one shot per steel target no matter the target size or distance. When they require more than one shot (usually they have snatched the trigger on an "easy" steel target) they get into other problem areas. They run their pistols dry, meaning that they loose time having to drop the slide after a mag change. They will then move positions without making another mag change and getting back onto plan. This means they continue to run their pistols dry and loose a bit of time each mag change racking the slide.

It is not always the fastest shooter who wins.

Here is an example. Two shooters both shooting Minor shoot a stage involving four paper and four steel targets, 12 rounds total.

Shooter one fires 12 rounds and scores 10 A's, 1 C and a D for a total of 54 points in 10 seconds. He is firing on average a shot every 0.8333 seconds. His Hit Factor is 5.4000.

Shooter two misses two of the steel targets with his first shots. He fires 14 rounds and gets 5 A's, 5 C's and 2 D's. His score is 42 but he shoots the stage in 8 seconds. His average time per shot is 0.5714 seconds. His Hit Factor is 5.2500

Despite being 20% faster shooter two gets a lower score because he is less accurate.

A case of slowing down to speed up.

And the only score you should be trying to beat is your last one.

Last edited by Kiwi cop; 05-12-2018 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:06 AM
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I'm shooting Steel Challenge with my Ruger Mark IV that's been highly modified. I do find myself loosing my grip because my strength just isn't what it should be. I'm handicapped and shooting from a wheelchair.

I use to shoot revolver and my times were in t he 120s. Now I'm shooting 170s so I want to get those times back down.

Very good advice from everyone so far. Thanks. I'll be adding it to my practice and hopefully my match experiences.

Last edited by AzShooter; 05-12-2018 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:41 AM
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I'm shooting Steel Challenge with my Ruger Mark IV that's been highly modified. I do find myself loosing my grip because my strength just isn't what it should be. I'm handicapped and shooting from a wheelchair.

I use to shoot revolver and my times were in t he 120s. Now I'm shooting 170s so I want to get those times back down.

Very good advice from everyone so far. Thanks. I'll be adding it to my practice and hopefully my match experiences.
You have some things that will work for you and some that will work against you.

Firstly, Steel Challenge have set courses of fire, so that practice should be constant. And recoil is not the issue with a .22 that it can be for centre fire pistols. Finally, the .22 is an accurate round in most guns, or at least one brand of ammo will be.

What will be working against you are your grip strength and the fact that shooting from a wheelchair means that you cannot fine tune your "stance" easily.

My advice would be firstly to find the ammo that shoots best for you in your pistol. Tack driving accuracy will not be needed but it certainly won't hurt your shooting to know that your ammo is the best for your gun in your hands.

Next, get some .22 snap caps (yes they do exist) and make it a habit to dry fire your pistol for 10 - 15 minutes every day. Concentrate on trigger control and follow through but try to find that spot where your are just short of firing the pistol and then placing the last bit of pressure on the trigger without disturbing the sights.

At the range pick a stage and work at bringing your pistol up and firing one shot on each plate. When you can hit every plate with one shot then shoot the stage as a whole but slowly. Concentrate only on hitting every plate with one shot. Slowly work up your speed so that you are still hitting each plate with only one shot concentrating on the sights and trigger control.

Then time your last few runs and record these times in a practice diary.

On your next range trip start at that same stage. Go through one cycle of aiming and dry firing at each target before shooting the stage once slowly then twice more timing your run and recording the runs in your diary. Then move onto another stage and start it all over again.

Each time you go to the range have one run through of dry firing each target, one run firing slowly, concentrating on hitting each target with one shot, and two timed runs on each stage you have previously shot, recording those times.

You will see improvements in your times after a while. And you will know these are improvements because you have recorded them.

And good luck.

Last edited by Kiwi cop; 05-12-2018 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:27 AM
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I've noted the other posters here are all more than likely much much better competitive shooters than I ever was. So my advice is from a guy who was at best a mediocre C class shooter 20 years ago.
The only thing I'm going to stress one last time is the gun has to fit the shooter. The Ruger MK series is a great gun but not the only rimfire that is usable for steel. I don't know if your gun has replaceable grip panels or if something like the Hogue slip on grip would fit or even help but it might be worth a try to get what works best for you.
While at the range if the opportunity comes up try a rental or someone else's rimfire and see how it feels and works with your grip. Something bigger, smaller, more contoured, or at a different angle might help.
Keep on, keeping on.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:07 PM
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all the previous advice is right on point. The only thing I would add is more weak hand grip. You need to grip like the gun owes you money. A while back I shot with Hwansik Kim. I had heard that his whole shooting changed when he talked with Ben Stoeger about grip. Ben told him more left hand. I asked him about this and at the end of the day, we went to the safe area and I put my right hand on the gun and he added his left. He almost broke my fingers. Since then I have increased my grip (with both hands) and the recoil had gotten way more manageable. Thus quicker follow ups.

Good luck
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:04 PM
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You can only shoot as fast as you can see the front sight. Good splits @ say 10y, about 0.30sec. Great splits are under 0.25sec. Good grip, then be able to follow the front sight throughout each shot.
So how to get there? Start shooting with a timer. The Bill drill is a good one for just getting your timing & front sight picture down. From the holster, 3sec is your goal for 6 zero down hits. That is 1.5sec for the presentation to 1st shot & 1.5sec for the addl 5 shots or 0.30sec each. Just keep at it, that drill alone will improve your splits. As noted previously, push yourself, shoot as fast as yo ucan & still keep all your shots in the zero down or A zone.
I tell all my new shooters; we all shoot plenty fast, the diff is the masters & experts do the slow stuff fast. Moving between positions, reloading, transitions is a huge time suck for the shooters SS & below. 10y & under, your ideal transition is close to your splits with targets close together.
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