Friday, June 13, 2014

A Sure(Dry)Fire Course Of Improvement

So I've decided to work on improving my shooting skills.

Since time constraints prevent me from going to the range daily or even weekly, the solution is a dedicated course of dry-firing in addition to range trips whenever I can fit them in.

Two tools are going to help me with this.

The first is this:

Yes, it's the Pocket Pro II timer. It's been great on the range but it's really shining as a dry fire aid. You may think you're fast and smooth, the timer will tell you differently.

With the help a random start setting (or the world's cutest RO pressing the button) and the par time option, you can use it for dry-firing by setting the interval to perform whatever drill you're doing and try to accomplish it within the par time, before the second beep sounds. The timer does the job very well indeed, and it doesn't lie.

Now you shouldn't just dry fire aimlessly, though there's nothing wrong with some un-structured dry-firing from time to time, but you should have a plan for improvement and use it to work on your skills. Dry firing needn't be boring, and it should be challenging.

That's where tool #2 comes in:

It's a book: Champion Shooting: Guaranteed Results in 15 Minutes A Day by Jay Hirshberg and Ben Stoeger, both champion shooters.

This book is awesome - a comprehensive dry firing course that when done for 15 minutes a day will help you improve.

Each page has a different dry-firing routine, and each routine has variations to work on specific skills like drawing, sight-picture, reloads etc. Each variation has suggested beginner, intermediate and advanced times, and they're not easy. On most I can do the task in the intermediate time, but a few I'm stuck at beginner and for a very, very few so far, I can make it in the advanced times.

For example, a dry fire El-Presidente (3 targets, facing up-range on beep turn and two shots each target, reload, two shots each target) has the following suggested times: Beginner 5 seconds, Intermediate 4 seconds, and Advanced 3.5 seconds. That's pretty darn fast.

In four days I've gone through 6 of the exercises, and I'm going through the book in order. While you can pick and choose the drills as you wish, I figure I need improvement in everything so I might as well start from the beginning and make my way through to the end.

We'll see how well a dedicated course of dry firing helps out at the next match.


Keads said...

Very nice! I'll have to get the book. Sounds like a great companion to the LaserLyte training cartridge.

Karl said...

Sounds like a fun way to spend 15 minutes a day.

I hope I don't see a future post called "Drywall Repair."

Aaron said...

Keads: Yep, it's been very good so far.

Karl: Yep, I figure I can squeeze 15 minutes per day to do it rather than some less necessary or enjoyable task.

As to additional holes in the wall, hopefully not. Between having a room designated as the dryfire-only area where no ammo is allowed, and triple checking the firearm and magazines every single time before they are moved into the room, I should be good. Knock on wood and all that.

Six said...

+1 on both of those purchases. My shooting times and accuracy really improved when I went that route. If I can ever get to a Stoeger competition class I'm going.