Over the past few months I have noticed that my progress as a shooter has stalled, and I am not gaining any speed at matches, and my scores are staying in the same place, while those around me are gaining traction, and getting better all the time.
I do not have access to a range where I can setup stages and drills and run them live, so getting more practice that way is out of the question. I’ve been reading some different items written by different “pro” shooters, and it appears that everybody who is anybody practices some sort of dry fire.
Some time ago I borrowed a CED 7000 timer from a friend meaning to use it for some things on the blog here, and this is the perfect thing to use it for. I headed over to USPSA Grand Master Ben Stoeger’s website (www.benstoeger.com) and checked out his dry-fire program. I’ve seen Ben and others write that making Master in IDPA is incredibly easy, so I’ve set a goal to make IDPA Master by the end of 2012.
With that being said, I measured out some scaled yardage on my garage floor, created some 1/3 scale USPSA targets, and printed off all of the different drills listed on Ben’s site. I figured I’ve been shooting for a while, and from time to time I can squeeze off a win at a club match, so I should be able to start the par times at the “Expert” level.
The first drill I started was a simple draw and fire 2 rounds into the A-zone at 7 yards. The par time was set to 1.0 seconds (the expert time). No sooner did I get the pistol out of the holster did the second beep go off. Yeah, I’m not making the expert times by any stretch of the imagination. I backed the timer off to the novice time (1.7 seconds) and I’m able to make few of the repetitions under the allotted time. It is definitely a challenge right now.
I did take the timer to the range with me, and I fired 5 reps, only one of which was under the par, at 1.63. Gotta start somewhere, right?
I’ve learned a couple things so far, after 3 days of running this program:
- The egg shaped grip on the S&W M&P requires a perfect grip every time.
- Going full speed, I’m not nailing my support hand grip when bringing the two hands together. This is not something that I had a problem with in the past, but again, in the past I was not pushing myself on the draw stroke either.
- The draw stroke that I have been using forever is incredibly inefficient. I’m tweaking it here and there to get it where it needs to be.
So, for the record, I’m currently classified in SSP SharpShooter, and I’m generally finishing in matches middle of the road with the Experts, and sometimes near the bottom of the Masters, so I definitely have some work to do. My goal here isn’t to practice the classifier over and over again, but to work on specific problem areas I have, and become a better shooter overall.