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Crusty Knees

Practicing with a Timer

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There were many helpful answers to my shotshell reloading question, to which I thank you.

Here is another one.  I've seen comments about practicing with a timer, so I just ordered one.  It will get here soon.

What are good (not great), time targets to strive for?

Such as from holster to first shot with a pistol or a rifle?

What is a decent (not world championship), time for a 10 shot rifle string?

Pistols?

Shotgun?

 

You probably know other things to practice with a timer that I don't even know to ask about.  Suggestions?

 

Keep in mind that I'm old and decrepit!  But, I want to get better.  I've been watching the Long Hunter Videos on UTube and he's inspired me to try.

 

Thank you,

CK

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I set my par time at 30 seconds and do all my guns..

Rifle 10 rounds, both pistols 10 rounds, shotgun 4 rounds..

I set my first beep on random start.. 1 second minimum to 4 seconds maximum.

Doing all the guns will help a lot with your transitions..

That's where a lot of stages are won or lost..

Doing your guns individually will not give you transition practice..

If ya make it in  30 seconds.. Lower your second par beep on par time..

and keep going..

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin' this might help..

oh yeah.. Ya need some dummy shotguns shells..

I use the plastic orange ones..

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Posted (edited)

Just my opinion - dont strive for "times" too much when you are starting out with a timer.  When you first start using a timer - TAKE YOUR TIME.  Be deliberate and perfect.  

Check your time.

 

Dont worry that it took you 5 seconds to execute a perfect draw and a center mass hit on a target at 7-10 yards.  Be happy that you were able to do it PERFECT in 5 seconds.  The same goes for reloading drills - practice perfect and speed will build.

Do it again.  Rinse and Repeat.

Your times WILL drop as you see your times getting faster, you can start focusing more and more on speed because you will have drilled good form into your muscle memory.

 

If you strive for a "time" you might be fast - but you will probably be sloppy.   You might also find the focusing to much on speed instead of technique will mean your accuracy will be a little more erratic. 

Get used to seeing how much time it takes to execute near perfect form - over time you will notice that you can be fast and accurate.  Trying to master accuracy when your default is blistering speed is harder than getting faster with practice when you have good technique.  

 

Watch the top shooters in any discipline - they make it look easy because they do everything right.  using the timer to track how fast you can be good will increase your skills faster than using it as a 9-Volt speedometer.

 

...just my two cents -  could be wrong.

Edited by Chuck Steak

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Need some background first...

 

Are you shooting duelist style, two-handed, or gunfighter?

 

Can you dry fire your revolvers or are you using percussion revolvers (dry firing can damage the nipples)?

 

Are you using a side by side shotgun or a '97 or an '87 or a single-shot?

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Posted (edited)

Some... Interesting ... Comments here.

 

Try these times initially:

First shot pistol starting with hands at shoulder height: Under 1.2 sec. with a transition to first shot second pistol in about the same time.

 

First shot rifle from same start position: About 1.5 sec.

 

Shotgun starting in same position: first shot 97 under 2 sec. Pretty much the same for sxs. Do all four in around 5 sec.

 

These are rough times but a good starting point.

 

Do NOT listen to folks that say to focus on accuracy and speed will come. It's actually the exact opposite.

 

Phantom

Edited by Phantom, SASS #54973
Spell check sux
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I am in the camp of push yourself as fast as you can in dry fire. Hitting a target dead center is nice but if you hit 1/2” from the edge that is just as good and how can you consistently tell if the hit was dead center if you are not sending lead down range?

i am generally setting my par time at 20 secs for a 10-10-6 using a different sequence about every 5-6 rounds. Most of the time I will make it, sometimes not. It won’t take long to identify what the bobble was and which Gun/transitions need work on an individual basis. 
Regards and happy practice!

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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19 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

 

 

Do NOT listen to folks that say to focus on accuracy and speed will come. It's actually the exact opposite.

 

Phantom

 

 

One of the most difficult concepts I ever had to digest but oh so true. 

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1 minute ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

I am in the camp of push yourself as fast as you can in dry fire. Hitting a target dead center is nice but if you hit 1/2” from the edge that is just as good

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

 

 

I think it was my good friend Creeker that told me, "If you're not using the whole target you're not going fast enough. :)

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Posted (edited)

Outside of the shotgun, I wouldn't worry about "Stage" times or "String" times on dry fire. I think you're setting yourself up for failure that way. Stages vary sooooo much that I think you'll be deceiving yourself. That and running a gun with live ammo is going to yield different results.

 

Running par times with first shots with transitions will work fine. Work on Stage times at the range.

 

Your raw times should always be more than your misses. If not, you probably over ran your guns. EX: Raw time 19 secs, misses should not exceed 3. 

 

Phantom

 

PS: This is just ME! Others will have good methods...and none of us are "Wrong"...except those that think Speed will come. :P

PSS: My Mentor...who I miss a LOT...China Camp always said: Smooth is Fast, Quick is Slow.

Edited by Phantom, SASS #54973
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I was told by a NC state Champion when I was starting to get better that you need to be going fast enough so you'll have a miss or two in every local match or a hot practice.  He was correct.  

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56 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Need some background first...

Are you shooting duelist style, two-handed, or gunfighter?

For now I'm shooting two-handed.

Can you dry fire your revolvers or are you using percussion revolvers (dry firing can damage the nipples)?

I'm using Ruger Vaqueros 

Are you using a side by side shotgun or a '97 or an '87 or a single-shot?

I have a SxS and a 97, I haven't settled on one or the other yet.

 

44 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Try these times initially:

First shot pistol starting with hands at shoulder height: Under 1.2 sec. with a transition to first shot second pistol in about the same time.

 

First shot rifle from same start position: About 1.5 sec.

 

Shotgun starting in same position: first shot 97 under 2 sec. Pretty much the same for sxs. Do all four in around 5 sec.

 

These are rough times but a good starting point.

 

Do NOT listen to folks that say to focus on accuracy and speed will come. It's actually the exact opposite.

 

Phantom

Thank you!  This is most helpful.

 

2 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

Here's a link to a resource:

https://cagunslingers.com/errata/BreakingShot/BreakingTheShot.html

 

Doc

 

 

Thank you!  

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I agree with the time goals posted above, and emphasizing speed over accuracy at first.  
 

I like to dry fire practice the shotgun by shucking empty hulls first, then grabbing weighted dummies from my belt and getting them chambered before the par time beep goes off.  This duplicates the feel of shucking quickly and loading another pair of shells.  The drill:


 Start with empty hulls in the chambers and hammers down;  just as if you had fired two shots.  Hold the shotgun in shooting position on your shoulder, set the timer for a delay start and whatever par time you want. At the beep, open the gun, shuck the empties, reload with the weighted dummies,  and fire before the beep.

 

Don’t use weighted dummies in a ‘97 or ‘87, it’s hard on the extractors and ejectors.

 

As with all dry fire practice, make sure you have all live ammo secured, that you only have dummies in your belt, and keep the muzzle in a safe direction.  I’m not your mother, but you know Murphy is out there.

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20 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

During transitions BOTH hands should be doing something.  

True!

 

China Camp said running a stage is like a Ballroom dance.

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I just have trouble wrapping my head around all this "Practice" and "Dry Fire" mantra stuff.  I "Practice" diligently twice a month.  Called going to a Match.  I find other "Practice" is just too much like work.  Practice is what the Physicians do.  Sort of.  Nah.  Too much like work.

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Posted (edited)

Great info above.   I agree with Phantom, Gateway Kid and Bull (and any others I might have overlooked) about

practicing speed.   

If you ever want to know more about your individual speed capabilities and achieve speeds greater than you

thought you were capable, you gotta hunker down and go for it.

 

If you decide to use your 97, there are 3 videos of some ornery ole Cowboy 

trying to demonstrate a particular technique with a 97.    They are listed on YouTube

under:  'Widowmaker Shotgun Dryfire'.

 

Best regards

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054

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27 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Best regards

 

..........Widder

 

 Widder,

I need to talk with you about a Marlin, I misremembered your number.  Can you PM me your info?

 

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3 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

True!

 

China Camp said running a stage is like a Ballroom dance.

I've never been to a Ballroom dance.

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

I've never been to a Ballroom dance.

Yer just too grouchy to dance...

 

and so am I...

 

:mellow:

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In my opinion practicing with a timer is great for one shot drills. I've watched shooters that can burn targets down on speed events. Then they can't keep it together in a match. 

 

The goal is to get through the scenario as fast, smooth, and clean as possible.

My first goal for new shooters is to get stage times down to number of shots to the same number of seconds; 22 shots = 22 seconds, 24 shots = 24 seconds, 26 shots = 26 seconds, etc. Those are not blazing speeds, however they are respectable. The timer doesn't tell the entire story when movement, single hit targets, must shoot from one direction scenarios, etc. are thrown into the equation. There are many variables other than gun speed. 

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4 hours ago, Assassin said:

In my opinion practicing with a timer is great for one shot drills. I've watched shooters that can burn targets down on speed events. Then they can't keep it together in a match. 

 

The goal is to get through the scenario as fast, smooth, and clean as possible.

My first goal for new shooters is to get stage times down to number of shots to the same number of seconds; 22 shots = 22 seconds, 24 shots = 24 seconds, 26 shots = 26 seconds, etc. Those are not blazing speeds, however they are respectable. The timer doesn't tell the entire story when movement, single hit targets, must shoot from one direction scenarios, etc. are thrown into the equation. There are many variables other than gun speed. 

And for some of us "older folks" (yea, you and Phantom included, just not as old as me), distance from A to B.  That's one speed that enters into a stage time for sure, otherwise your goal numbers are indeed respectable if A to B then to C is not to terribly far.

 I like one shot drills also, and combination of one from each gun thrown into the session, along with a 4-6 shot shotgun run or two.  And, I'm an avid  fan of dry firing to keep transitions in tack.

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5 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Yer just too grouchy to dance...

 

and so am I...

 

:mellow:

REALLY?

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Just now, Billy Boots, # 20282 LTG-Regulator said:

REALLY?

Some say "Charlie don't surf"...I do...or did...but in my case "Charlie don't dance".

 

:mellow:

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1 minute ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Some say "Charlie don't surf"...I do...or did...but in my case "Charlie don't dance".

 

:mellow:

I can appreciate that for sure (the dance part...what's a surf).  Guess I sit behind a set of drums to many years watching others, often those who have had way to much booze, enjoy the dance floor.  I'm terrible dancing now and I am quite sure Sassy, who is awesome on the dance floor, will certainly agree.  

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Posted (edited)
On 7/16/2020 at 9:36 AM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Shotgun starting in same position: first shot 97 under 2 sec. Pretty much the same for sxs. Do all four in around 5 sec.

 

Phantom

 

My thanks to you Phantom!

 

The timer came in this morning's mail.  Unpacked it, stuck a battery in it, and even read the instructions.

 

With about 2 one-half hour sessions I was able to get down to the occasional 2 seconds to first shot with a SxS.  4.8 seconds to the third shot.   I gots a long, long way to go to make a 4 shot 5 second run.  But, I'm just beginning this journey.

 

With a '97?  Bwaaaahaaahaaha!  I was able to consistently get the first shot off in about 4 seconds!   I'm a probably years away from a 5 second - 4 shot run.

 

But what the heck, everybody needs a hobby.  I'm trying to better myself, and thank you for giving me some time targets to shoot for.

 

CK

Edited by Crusty Knees
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5 minutes ago, Crusty Knees said:

 

My thanks to you Phantom!

 

The timer came in this morning's mail.  Unpacked it, stuck a battery in it, and even read the instructions.

 

With about 2 one-half hour sessions I was able to get down to the occasional 2 seconds to first shot with a SxS.  4.8 seconds to the third shot.   I gots a long, long way to go to make a 4 shot 5 second run.  But, I'm just beginning this journey.

 

With a '97?  Bwaaaahaaahaaha!  I was able to consistently get the first shot off in about 4 seconds!   I'm a probably years away from a 5 second - 4 shot run.

 

But what the heck, everybody needs a hobby.  I'm trying to better myself, and thank you for giving me some time targets to shoot for.

 

CK

You are definitely off to good start with that new timer. Keep it up. Good luck.

bb

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If you haven’t looked up the YouTube videos from Long Hunter and Deadeye, they’re worth your time. Evil Roy has some videos as well, but you need to buy those. All really helpful if you’re a visual learner. I started with those. I’ve shot other competitions with modern guns, but not 3-gun and those videos really helped me with gun transitions and “working” these cowboy style guns. Even little things that seem obvious now were not when I started (like not wrapping the thumb around the stock when levering).  If you enjoy dry fire - do it - I enjoy dry fire and use it primarily to improve gun transitions.  I’m not a top shooter at all, but I’m only about a year and a half in so I can relate to just getting started!

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Posted (edited)

In the words of Vince Lombardi,

 

lombardi_index.jpg

Edited by Paper Chaser
correct spelling

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On 7/18/2020 at 7:20 AM, Smokey Bandit said:

Even little things that seem obvious now were not when I started (like not wrapping the thumb around the stock when levering).  

After many years of shooting first my dad's Model 94 30-30 and later my own Model 94, that is one of the things I have to try and relearn as for me it is completely second nature to wrap my thumb before trying to trip the trigger. First time I tried not wrapping the thumb in competition, I had several issues that now I can attribute to NOT wrapping the thumb and not getting the lever up far enough to release the lever safety.

 

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Like ball room dancing, technique is everything.  Dry firing with a timer with speed as your goal has a track record of introducing bad habits.  Dry fire is your best friend if technique is your initial goal with speed your secondary goal.  However, dry fire must always be checked at the range.  Shooting with a partner or a video camera can help verify technique.  Don't know what technique is?? Get some help, lots of video out there problem is many are of unknown quality.  Regardless, pure speed is really not part of the equation for success.  The equation reads more like ( Equipment + Technique + Mental Preparation x Smooth = Success)  

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1 hour ago, twelve mile REB said:

Like ball room dancing, technique is everything.  Dry firing with a timer with speed as your goal has a track record of introducing bad habits.  Dry fire is your best friend if technique is your initial goal with speed your secondary goal.  However, dry fire must always be checked at the range.  Shooting with a partner or a video camera can help verify technique.  Don't know what technique is?? Get some help, lots of video out there problem is many are of unknown quality.  Regardless, pure speed is really not part of the equation for success.  The equation reads more like ( Equipment + Technique + Mental Preparation x Smooth = Success)  

Smooth is indeed an exceptional point. To me, one of the most rewarding moments from a stage is when you know you ran it without flaw yet you felt it to slow, THEN your time is given and you are so surprised in the speed. Great feeling. 

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Hey Billy Boots.

 

I once shot a stage so fast that it amazed everyone... including meowndangself.

It was split pistol stage and It was really smoooooooth and fast.

 

It looked so good that nobody noticed I forgot to shoot my 2nd revolver......... really.  :lol:

I didn't even notice it until I was walking off the stage and told the TO...... "Hey, I think I forgot to shoot my 2nd pistol".

 

Thats what happens when Spotters don't get a raise... ;)

 

..........Widder

 

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23 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Hey Billy Boots.

 

I once shot a stage so fast that it amazed everyone... including meowndangself.

It was split pistol stage and It was really smoooooooth and fast.

 

It looked so good that nobody noticed I forgot to shoot my 2nd revolver......... really.  :lol:

I didn't even notice it until I was walking off the stage and told the TO...... "Hey, I think I forgot to shoot my 2nd pistol".

 

Thats what happens when Spotters don't get a raise... ;)

 

..........Widder

 

Exactly......but you must have tipped pretty good.

  

Did anyone say "That was sure smooth, I want to see it again"?:D

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I try to establish a baseline for different transitions (ex one shot out of each revolver, one shot out of the rifle and 4 to 6 shots out of the shotgun going right to left (for me the shotgun is the hardest firearm to master).  Once I can complete a training session time consistently,  being as honest as possible that my sights are on each target, I set the par time 1/2 to 1 second faster than my baseline.  If I am not making progress I get help from faster shooters.    Gateway Kid gave me a dry fire transition scenario a few years back that I used for over a year that added several transition techniques I was not using. Twelve Mile Reb stated earlier the importance of live firing your dry fire techniques to keep you honest.  Great luck and have fun! 

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