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Bart Solo

Practice--focus on one skill at a time or do you work on several.

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Like a lot of people I watch all kinds of Cowboy shooting videos--Doc Shapiro and Longhunter have some of the best. When I watch them I often learn something new. Sometimes I learn several somethings new. Here is a question, when you think you have found more than one new skill that you need to learn do you work on all of them during the next practice, or do you focus on one and wait until later practices to learn the others? If you focus on one and wait for later to work on the others, how do you prioritize?

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Well, considering I figure that I need to improve on everything, I also work on everything: Rifle, SG and Pistols.

 

For now, I'm working on technique and speed with the SG.

 

For rifle, I'm just trying to 'focus' on front site and steadiness.

 

For pistols, I'm working on focus/accuracy because I've already got the speed.....just don't have the skills to hit at roughly full speed. But shootin GF does have its difficulties.

 

That's just me. I'm sure other Pards have their preferences that work well with them.

 

 

..........Widder

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Bart, go have fun, my friend. If you are lucky enough to have time and facilities for practice, enjoy it. Practice the skill that interests you at the moment. When it starts feeling like work, switch.

 

If your goal is to be world champion, book private lessons from those that offer them.

 

All that said, reducing transition times and shotgun loading times will improve your ranking the quickest. And don't forget to actually hit the target occasionally...

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Good time to ask. As I went out and practiced today. First time in a while.

 

Spent 30 minutes with the rifle. Mostly did one, sometimes two shot drills with a reload.

Teaching myself a new way to reload. :huh:

Having a timer REALLY helps with this stuff also.

Would start with rifle staged. At beep. Getting rifle up and first shot off. Reload

and downing the rifle the right way.

SO with just burning 2 rounds. Got to practice 4 things. Getting a good start off the beep.

Getting rifle up and the important first shot. Reload and downing it. A lot of things in there for just

2 bullets. Also did half from port arms.

Finished up with rifle shooting a few whole 10 shot strings with a reload at the end.

 

Then I went to the pistols. Worked on some transition stuff there also. One and two shot drills with gun transitions

thrown in.

If you don't break some of this stuff up. You can burn through ammo like crazy.

 

And finished working on SG loading.

So I worked on it all. But one thing at a time.

Total was about hour and 45 minutes.

(now if I just did that more often it would really help)

 

I mostly never practice a whole stage. Kind of one thing at a time. Over and over and over.

Until I get it down.

 

But that is just how I do it. That don't mean it's the correct way.

 

But did get the new reload down pretty good. And is faster than my old way.

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It depends. I'll often work on several different things, but only 1 at a time. It was very rare to actually shoot stages in practice.

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Bart, go have fun, my friend. If you are lucky enough to have time and facilities for practice, enjoy it. Practice the skill that interests you at the moment. When it starts feeling like work, switch.

 

If your goal is to be world champion, book private lessons from those that offer them.

 

All that said, reducing transition times and shotgun loading times will improve your ranking the quickest. And don't forget to actually hit the target occasionally...

 

My goal isn't to be world champion. My goal is to have fun. I have fun when I am getting better. When I stop getting better I become frustrated. That is when I drift away from an activity.

 

The good thing about Cowboy shooting is it has a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of things to polish.

 

If I improve to the point of having dreams of becoming world champion I will fly to California or Texas for some lessons. Don't look for that to happen anytime soon. :)

 

Anyway aren't topics about shooting more fun than interpersonal squabbles?

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I think that when you are learning a new skill, you can only focus on one thing at a time. Then after you have learned that skill, you can put it all together and work on other things.

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It depends. I'll often work on several different things, but only 1 at a time. It was very rare to actually shoot stages in practice.

 

When I was a youth Soccer coach I attended classes on coaching. The professionals stressed only teaching one new skill a day. Introduce the skill with some fun drill or drills, practice it and move on to practicing other skills learned in previous practices. Something about the mind being able to absorb only so much new information at a time. Introduce the next new skill at the next practice, practice the skills you learned at the previous practices. That way you don't overload the brain with too much to absorb. I have heard from several people that the real learning happens between introduction in one practice and refinement in the next practices. The goal in soccer is for the skills to be so fluid the player isn't even aware of what he or she is doing. It just happens. That frees the mind to think about what is going on around him or her. I think a similar kind of thing happens in cowboy shooting. Your mind has to be free to count shots and focus on the pattern that you were just given. You can't even be aware of the technique you use to load the shotgun. If a right hand shotgun load is called for you just do it. If a left hand gun load is needed it happens without your awareness. Based on the responses so far, the group thinks pretty much the same thing.

 

Doc when are you going to republish your book?

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When I was a youth Soccer coach I attended classes on coaching. The professionals stressed only teaching one new skill a day. Introduce the skill with some fun drill or drills, practice it and move on to practicing other skills learned in previous practices. Something about the mind being able to absorb only so much new information at a time. Introduce the next new skill at the next practice, practice the skills you learned at the previous practices. That way you don't overload the brain with too much to absorb. I have heard from several people that the real learning happens between introduction in one practice and refinement in the next practices. The goal in soccer is for the skills to be so fluid the player isn't even aware of what he or she is doing. It just happens. That frees the mind to think about what is going on around him or her. I think a similar kind of thing happens in cowboy shooting. Your mind has to be free to count shots and focus on the pattern that you were just given. You can't even be aware of the technique you use to load the shotgun. If a right hand shotgun load is called for you just do it. If a left hand gun load is needed it happens without your awareness. Based on the responses so far, the group thinks pretty much the same thing.

 

Doc when are you going to republish your book?

 

Yup, pretty much.

 

 

Not going to republish the book. The market is too small and the costs too high. In other words, I don't expect to sell enough to pay for it! However, it is available for free download on my web site. However, I am available for lessons B)

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When they asked John Dillinger(I think that's who said it) why he robbed banks, he said,"Because that's where the money is."

 

When the object of practice is to shave your stage times, rather than recreation, you should always start where the greatest amount of return for time invested can be gained; the shotgun. Most all the needed shotgun skills can be learned in your home, garage or backyard because they do not require live ammo.

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Howdy Bart,

When I practice I do one thing at a time, pistol drills, rifle drills and shotgun drills knockdowns and poppers, then I make up stages and tie them together, I have found out that doing one thing at a time is great but when that buzzer goes off the brain wants to back to what it use to, so do stages and concentrate being smooth and making your transition time effective, think about the stage then do it.

 

KK

 

PS Hitting the targets is key, so do accuracy drills.

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Yup, pretty much.

 

 

Not going to republish the book. The market is too small and the costs too high. In other words, I don't expect to sell enough to pay for it! However, it is available for free download on my web site. However, I am available for lessons B)

 

I will give you a call after my next liquidity event allows me to retire and I decide to give the world championship a whirl. In the meantime feel free to work with other students. :rolleyes:

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All of the above looks like great advice IMHO. I often try to prioritize my improvements by the worst item or the most time consuming because it reaps the most reward. As Anvil Al said a timer is very benifical. A miss is one that is often overlooked. I saw a video of Evil Roy facing the target, timer went off, he turned 360 drew a round from the belt loaded the pistol and shot the target before the 5 second timer beep. Goes to show what you can do in 5 seconds.

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Bart, I am no Doc Shapiro.

But have learned a few things from some of the best around.

And will be coming up your way to shoot your State match in June.

If you want to get together. I may be able to help you some if you would like.

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Bart, I am no Doc Shapiro.

But have learned a few things from some of the best around.

And will be coming up your way to shoot your State match in June.

If you want to get together. I may be able to help you some if you would like.

 

Right now there is a question as to whether I will be shooting or working to make sure other shooters have good time that weekend. Either way I look forward to meeting you.

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I think once a shooter sees that there is a particualr need in one area he can put more emphasis to that area, more or less singling that area out. For example, I have long been a fan of simple one or two shot drills with transitions (1 shot 1stP, 1 shot 2ndP, one shot rifle, adding one or two shotgun on occasions). I also spent a considerable time shooting four SG knockdowns until efficient at 4 under 4. I would write times down and make note of improvements. I still believe in these drills to improve reaction time and draw/pickup time, but soon realized I had much need to speed my rifle up over 9-10 shots and needed to work on shotgun in more of a stage situation rather than side match drama. As for revolvers, at 65yoa, revolvers are just not going to improve a whole lot because the "oil" in thumbs is dry and just arn't going to work as fast as some of them younger wippersnappers. (Revolvers are of course still in the practice, I just don't expect a lot of improvement in their speed.) Anyway back to point, although I still do some of the drills, for about a year now I have spenting more time (and ammo) shooting full scenerios of all sorts. To make me more match ready and focused I might choose to start practice session with one of the more difficult stages in time consumption(at least to me), lets say alternating rounds back and forth or a sweep that's a little different (ex, five targets-shoot 3 on ends two in middle one on other two, in any order). I might change up when I work shotgun into scenerio and I might split shotgun to add more trasition. Although this has required more ammo, I believe it is definetely helping me shave a tad of time. Heck, with my age, I probably use the shave time up in moving from A to B. ha.

 

Lefty, the 5 second reload is on par but certainly not adding the 360 turnaround, now that's pretty fast IMO.

 

Al, I still like to practice the reload on rifles also. Personally I find that a under 3 is good and fairly easy to accomplish, now how much under three for me depends on size of target and distance. ..typical SASS target at 20-25 steps I would say 2.6-2.7. I'm sure jothers are faster but if I am consistant with that I stay pretty satistied. By the way I load with left hand into gate maintaining my rifle in my right hand. Another item you might want to throw into your drills is starting at shotgun ready and shells close to breech, easy but not common to stages. Also, something that is getting a little more common is rifle at ready (can be aganist shoulder), while this is fast it kind of startles me for second shot..just something practice has helped.

 

Another good thread.

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:mellow: Muscle Memory..... I watched a seasoned shooter Sunday who used a Hammer SXS for years try his new hammerless SXS. On the second stage, he kept trying to cock the hammers.... We got a kick out of that as did he. Muscle Memory.... :blush:

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Hey Billy.

Yep. That is how I have been trying to change to.

Old way was hold rifle with my left and reload throught the gate with my right (lever hand)

Have watched some of you do it the other way and knew I needed to change. Worked on it a lot the last few

days. Was getting to an average of around 2.5, 2.8 doing it the new way. The way you all do it.

Think if I keep it up. Should clean that up some.

 

Also worked on Pistol reloading. Never done that before. Was staying around 3.5, 4.0 (no 360 for me)

Not great. But having never worked on it before. Was OK with it. But that was also with a big 24x24 target

at 10 yards. Reload and then shoot a smaller bonus target will add some to that.

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AA, I think you have the reload on rifle down good at the suggested times, again size and distance of target will + or - my time. As to your pistol reload, for a duelist I conside that very good. In actual stage (practice) shooting I have been running 4.8 to 5.3 shooting SASS size target at around 7-8 steps. I am transferring right gun to left hand, opening gate and putting at half cock (have to do FA this way) then reaching with right hand for cartridge as my left thumb rotates cylinder to empty chamber, load round then let left thumb do two double clicks as I grip with right hand then fire..I may not even close gate. I seem to be a tad longer if I try to make the reload on the left revolver while keeping the grip...here I feel faster if I eject a spent round after openning gate because I want to mantain grip of revolver with left, I then make cylinder rotation after load with right thumb. I know the fastest method is probably the spin of cylinder accross cylinder (probably what ER might do) however I just can not make it reliable enough to gamble on...maybe it reflects size of hands, fingers, whatever, but not a winner for me. The 1,2, 1,2 with thumb seems to work for me the greater percentage of times. If all goes right one can count four clicks of cylinder after reload, cock and know the revolver will go bang when you pull the trigger...if one click shy at least one more cock and fire should get you a bang, but if over rotated your time is going to suffer.

 

anyone else have feed as to the better expected times of rifle and revolver reloads. and I am thinking on the lines of shooter knowing the act is going to take place not ejecting a round and having the mental kick to add a extra tenths to reload.

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Was pretty happy with the reload times.

 

 

BUT!!!!!

This was practice, and not in the heat of a match. :o

 

 

On the pistols. No half-cock on mine. So that saved some time.

And I was doing it as you are. 1,2-1,2 cock, fire. Tried the rolling off my hand. But kept

going to far. Did not trust it.

But again. Not in the heat of a match. So don't know how I would do there.

 

And those times was after I did it about 50-60 times in a row.

 

Will have to see how I do when it matters. :wacko:

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