Shooting in the Outdoors

RANDI ROGERS - Shooting in the Outdoors

Should You Only Hit In Practice?

One question I think most people face when they practicing a lot is: should I always hit? A hit is defined by the sport you shoot- if you are shooting Cowboy Action it is hitting a 12″ target, IDPA 8″ circle, 3Gun anywhere on he target twice etc. I have mixed feelings on always hitting or allowing misses.

Pro Reasons for Allowing Misses:
1) I know I am human and that I will miss sometime in the future. I hate to admit that but it will happen. If I allow misses in my practice I can get used to how that feels and how to let it go and move on.

2) Mental Health- this is a 2nd piece to part 1 but expanded. I have seen so many shooters have a bad stage or a miss and they get so discouraged. Have a strong mental game and being able to move on and focus on good rather than bad will make your shooting better.

3) Missing allows you to push your boundaries. If you let yourself push the boundaries of what you know you can do you will surprise yourself by doing more. Shoot faster and in time you will hit faster.

Pro Reasons For Always Hitting:
1) When it comes to performing under stress I have heard a great saying that you don’t rise you fall to the level of your training. If you always train to hit then your odds are much more likely that you will hit during a competition when you are under stress.

2) While allowing misses and pushing yourself can help you improve your speed, there has to be some discipline and ability to turn that down and find your sights while shooting match. Some people (myself included) struggle to dial back and be patient with the sights.

After years and years of practice here is what I have found works for me. I allow misses in practice- I train hard and push myself so that I can get better. However, I have two rules. First, I always end a practice hitting, if this means I have to dig under the seats of my car to find that elusive dropped bullet, that’s what I do. Second, when it come to important matches a couple of weeks before I transition my practice to perfecting skills. I don’t try to get faster, I work on perfecting. Those last couple of weeks I want to make sure I can execute draws, reloads, movement, swingers, hardcover, no-shoots and accuracy.

Learn to hit, know in you heart that you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you have a non hit that is not like you! :)

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

3 Lessons From Swinger Practice

I don’t personally own a swinger. I know, I should buy one, but up until recently I didn’t have a place to keep it etc, etc. So, I practiced with some friends who own one and I here where a few things I learned.

I wanted to practice the swinger because in the upcoming Area 8 match book they had what looks like a pretty wicked set up- a swinger that only shows when it is vertical, bookended by no-shoots and then bisected by a wall. See photo. Not a set up I shot before and wanted to give it a try.
 While practicing here are a few things I picked up:
 1) Make Sure to Make the Easy Shots! I set up a “mini” stage with the activator, a couple pieces of stationary paper and then the swinger. The first couple times I shot it I rushed my first shots in anticipation of the swinger. Don’t rush the open targets- they are easy points.
 2) Remember- Sights on Target. This sounds basic, and it is, but even being experienced I found myself struggling at first. Regardless of if you are shooting a still or moving target you must have the sight lines up and on the target. If you get to watching the target and don’t look at your sights you will have a non-hit. If you line up your sights and point them in the general direction hoping to hit the target you will have a non-hit. The trick is to see a good sight picture and when the target edge appears behind it pull the trigger- don’t wait for the whole target or it will swing out of the way before you react.
 3) Call your Shots. This might be the hardest thing for me personally. During practice I kept shooting three shots and walking down to three hits- usually 3 A’s or 3 C’s- always three good hits. I saw the hits knew they were on target but shot a third anyway. I was struggling in trusting myself- I wanted to put another one on there “just in case”. While it is always better to have more shots needed than not enough, I didn’t want to practice putting in time for an un-needed shot. So before I was done I made myself shoot two good shots and move on- and they were there.
 Bonus Tip: The best way to learn to shoot a swinger is to shoot it. While money, space and time are all precious I will be going out to buy my own swinger, find a place to keep it and take the time to set it up, occasionally. :)
 What are your rules of thumb when it comes to shooting swinging targets?
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Which Mag Do You Draw First?

 The past week I got to do two fun things at the range: prepare for Production Nationals and test out Comp-Tac’s new PLM Magazine Pouches. The magazine pouches were great! The practice- even better.
 While setting up a little stage to practice I discovered something interesting.
 Starting position gun empty on a table, magazines on your person.
 At the buzzer load your gun and shoot the 14 round stage.
 Now shooting production I have to reload once on this stage.
 Here is the interesting part- I shot the stage 4 times. The first two times I drew a mag from the back of my belt. My first shots were 2.99 and 2.83. Then I saw my practice partner was drawing his first mag. Why? His reasoning was- he only had to reload once, drawing his first mag was faster and it only put him going to his second for the reload.
 So, the next two runs I tried it. Times for the first shots were 2.58 and 2.4. Now you could say I was just going faster because I had practiced it 4 times- but 1/2 a second is significant.
 Moral of the story- on a short stage with an unloaded start-
 I am going to draw my first mag.
 Not sure which mag you should draw first? Pull out your timer and see. What are your times for drawing different mags?
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

How Fast Should You Shoot?

clockI don’t get to do as much 3Gun as I would like, but I am starting to get ready for the couple matches I will go to this year. So, I break out my rifle to do a little practice and I discover something. I can’t hit anything with my rifle! Ok, so I know I hit some things but I was having a terrible practice. Now, mind you I haven’t shot much rifle yet this year, but still I know I can hit a targets at 65 yards and yet- I wasn’t! Then, someone at the range with me said- well why don’t you slow down and just aim. Duh! I swear I was doing that- but obviously I wasn’t, so what was happening?

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