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Where Do I Start? How to Improve the Most When You First Start in CAS


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Another blog focusing on getting started in CAS.


Head on over to ASN and give it a read.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Or make suggestions on this subject.  See y'all over there.  
 

https://actionshootingnetwork.com/blog/275/where-do-i-start-how-to-improve-the-most-when-you-first-start-in-cas/

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I think you hit the nail on the head.  It takes 3000 repetitions to learn a fine motor skill and continued practice to maintain that skill.  As I work on improving my skills, these are exactly the areas I work on.   

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It's real simple.  Simply head out to the range with about 10,000 rounds of practice ammunition.  

 

Repeat as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary . . . . . . . 

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37 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

It's real simple.  Simply head out to the range with about 10,000 rounds of practice ammunition.  

 

Repeat as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary . . . . . . . 

You could learn to do SO many things incorrectly and then have to unlearn them to improve.  Proper practice is critical and most of that can be done dry-firing.  NOT all, but most.

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14 hours ago, The Outlaw Travis James said:


Another blog focusing on getting started in CAS.


Head on over to ASN and give it a read.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Or make suggestions on this subject.  See y'all over there.  
 

https://actionshootingnetwork.com/blog/275/where-do-i-start-how-to-improve-the-most-when-you-first-start-in-cas/

223940883_OKCorralTransition-2.jpg

Good content OTJ.

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1 hour ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

It's real simple.  Simply head out to the range with about 10,000 rounds of practice ammunition.  

 

Repeat as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary, as Necessary . . . . . . . 

 

That would equate to about 40 CASES of shotgun shells.     YEP, that sounds about right.... or atleast

close.

 

To be more specific:

5 cases:  of PROPER practice will get to a few good stage runs at the local match

and you'll get a couple pats on the back for a good SG run.

 

10 cases:   With proper practice, you'll start to find out if you got 'IT' in ya to be

competitive or not.   And also, you'll get more consistent in your SG stage runs.

 

20 cases:   With proper practice, you can start to feel 'comfortable' with your SG

and hope you can get some stages with multiple SG targets.  This will help your

scores and build more confidence.    Your competition at local matches will

start to watch and observe you when you shoot.

 

30 cases:   If you don't have any health issues that hinder you,  this will help

you compete with the top SGer's.   You may not whoop em, but atleast you'll

feel confident enough to 'play' with them.   You'll also learn that the expense

of buying 10-20 MORE cases to practice with will help you reach your goals.

 

40 cases:   Now you have a good chance to compete with those like Deuce,

Sante Fe River Stan, Aracia Outlaw, Prestidigitator, Sidekick, Copperhead Joe,

Phantom, Hell's Comin,  Missouri Traveler,  Missouri Lefty and Red Knee.

 

The key word with all this is:   PROPER PRACTICE.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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Impatience won't get you anything different.  For most, It will be at least a year or two before they've shot enough to routinely shoot stages under 30 sec.  You can speed that up if you have the time (driving, shooting reloading) and significant money to live-fire practice 2 or 3 times a week.  Dry fire and transition practice also help, without the high associated cost.    

There are video and other resources out there that are helpful, but nothing works better and faster that watching and asking good CAS shooters for help and practicing what they share with you.  They are good shooters for good reason.   There is no substitute for practice and experience.   Also it helps to commit the SHB to memory as much as possible.  Nothing ruins match ranking as fast or effectively as a DQ. 

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3 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

4000 cases:   Now you have a slightly greater than 0 good chance to compete with those like Deuce,

Sante Fe River Stan, Aracia Outlaw, Prestidigitator, Sidekick, Copperhead Joe,

Phantom, Hell's Comin,  Missouri Traveler,  Missouri Lefty and Red Knee.

 

The key word with all this is:   PROPER PRACTICE.

 

..........Widder

 

 

For me, at least, I think you dropped a few "0"s.  :P:D

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Spend $150 on a good timer with a par time option.  PACT, Competition Electronics are the usual choices. Dry fire against a challenging par time.

 

Buy or borrow Evil Roy’s DVDs.  Watch them repeatedly.  You won’t get it all the first time through.

 

Take videos of yourself shooting.  Get critique from the top shooters in your club.

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11 minutes ago, Chacón said:

Thank you so much for this.  I have a lot to l earn.  for me, safe gun manipulation > going fast at this time.  Once I get that down, I will move onto transitions.

“safe gun manipulation > going fast at this time”  You’re not wrong.

 

“Once I get that down, I will move onto transitions.” The problem with this statement is that practicing good transitions will improve your level of safety.    So don’t neglect transition practice just because you’re getting started.

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6 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

That would equate to about 40 CASES of shotgun shells.     YEP, that sounds about right.... or atleast

close.

 

To be more specific:

5 cases:  of PROPER practice will get to a few good stage runs at the local match

and you'll get a couple pats on the back for a good SG run.

 

10 cases:   With proper practice, you'll start to find out if you got 'IT' in ya to be

competitive or not.   And also, you'll get more consistent in your SG stage runs.

 

20 cases:   With proper practice, you can start to feel 'comfortable' with your SG

and hope you can get some stages with multiple SG targets.  This will help your

scores and build more confidence.    Your competition at local matches will

start to watch and observe you when you shoot.

 

30 cases:   If you don't have any health issues that hinder you,  this will help

you compete with the top SGer's.   You may not whoop em, but atleast you'll

feel confident enough to 'play' with them.   You'll also learn that the expense

of buying 10-20 MORE cases to practice with will help you reach your goals.

 

40 cases:   Now you have a good chance to compete with those like Deuce,

Sante Fe River Stan, Aracia Outlaw, Prestidigitator, Sidekick, Copperhead Joe,

Phantom, Hell's Comin,  Missouri Traveler,  Missouri Lefty and Red Knee.

 

The key word with all this is:   PROPER PRACTICE.

 

..........Widder

 

Per week

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39 minutes ago, Chacón said:

Thank you so much for this.  I have a lot to l earn.  for me, safe gun manipulation > going fast at this time.  Once I get that down, I will move onto transitions.

Breaking the Shot by Joel "Doc" Shapiro.

 

I'm new too, and I'm working my way through his book.  Do not let my apparent time in this sport make you think differently, I participate in a number of sports and none of them get the time I want to put in to each.

 

Post a WTB in the Classifieds for this book or shell out even more bucks by getting this used copy:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Cowboy-Action-Practice-Guide/dp/1893342077

 

A pard here sold me a copy for less than the amount in that listing, the classifieds here do work! Of course, when I am done with the book (not yet!) I will post it back on this forum at a pard price.

 

It is a very good comprehensive collection of information, "winning" combinations from successful competitors, a large suite of exercises/practice sessions, and more that I have just begun to dig into.

 

I have found some of the Internet resources valuable too, but having a "complete" reference for training, a roadmap even, allows putting some of the other one-off bits of advice (like a How to Load a SxS fast) into a framework.

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6 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

That would equate to about 40 CASES of shotgun shells.     YEP, that sounds about right.... or at least close.

 

Add reloading to the roadmap :lol:

 

Fiocchi "competition' shells: Whomp!..............................Whomp!

Winchester "Lite": Wham!................Wham!

Winchester "Xtra Lite": Bang!.......Bang!

Those handloads someone gave me when trying their shotgun: Puff.Puff

 

Loved Puff.Puff :D Not PoofPoof which might not knock down the targets, but just enough power for reliable knockdown. Fiocchi is painful in a SxS but just fine in a different SG in a different sport.

 

Cost may drive getting into reloading more than speed, but there may be speed gains for doing so. But fundamentals first. Safety, mechanics, repetition. If the recovery from recoil is the real speed limit, then deal with it as part of the roadmap. There are considerations for going too low in power factor, and TBH while there is easy time to pick up in reloading, it is not IMO the biggest amount of time a beginner (like me) should focus on.

 

That said, reloading will likely become another skill to add to the game if you don't have it from another sport.

 

I originally figured it into my second year, moved it out to my third.

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Another thought:  know for sure where each gun hits when you shoot it at your fastest speed.  Point of impact when shooting fast is usually different than when shooting deliberately; applies to revolvers, rifle, and shotgun.  Invest a few of those precious live practice rounds making holes in paper at your usual target distances.   I agree with those who emphasize learning to shoot fast first, but if you are missing a lot of targets, shooting at paper match speed will show you why.

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20 minutes ago, John Kloehr said:

If the recovery from recoil is the real speed limit, then deal with it as part of the roadmap.

Shot to shot time on a SxS is not super critical. Within reason, how much time is being consumed Shot to Shot?

 

Loading/reloading/unloading the shotgun is critical.

 

Some of this reminds me of a posting on FB about the advice given on the Wire...so...I'm chuckling a little bit right now.

 

Phantom

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Be safe but make yourself comfortable. Laugh at yourself on occasion. Make some friends.

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Just now, SHOOTIN FOX said:

Why so? Just curious? 

Learning to go fast...or shall I say learning to post low stages times requires that the shooter pushes themselves. Over time, misses will go down.

 

Also, when at a "Bigger" match, it's easier to notch down a step then it is to notch up a step.

 

Rule of thumb that Lead Dispencer taught me when I started is that so long as your misses don't add up to more than your Raw time, yer doing fine. The misses will go away.

 

You teach "Clean" and you're teaching mediocracy...unless the whole purpose is to shoot clean. But Speed will NOT come if you are focusing on "Clean".

 

Phantom

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6 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

Try to shoot clean, quickly and smooth. Speed will come.

 

This may sound harsh, but I'm going to use it as a teaching moment. 

 

Where will the speed come from?  It doesn't.  You want to shoot fast?  Practice shooting fast.  Yeah, you'll miss a lot.  That's expected.  Your eyes are moved by muscles.  Those muscles don't really get exercised during normal course of activities.  When you shoot faster than you can see the sights, you're exercising those eye muscles.  They get stronger (yes, you can improve your vision), they get faster.  Eventually, at the speed you're shooting, you stop missing because you can see your sights.  Now speed up again.  Keep going through the cycles.

 

If you want to shoot fast, you have to practice shooting fast.  It's far easier to teach fundamentals, than speed.  Work on the speed first.  The bad habits can be fixed.  This comes from personal experience with several shooters that I've worked with. 

 

If you want to shoot fast, you have to practice shooting fast.

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OK. I’ll buy part of that. If you shoot a 20 second stage and 2 misses equals 30 second stage as apposed to no missies less tan 30 seconds. I understand to improve, you have to push it. Starting out in anything, fundamentals first then improve. Both have merit. YMMV.

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3 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

OK. I’ll buy part of that. If you shoot a 20 second stage and 2 misses equals 30 second stage as apposed to no missies less tan 30 seconds. I understand to improve, you have to push it. Starting out in anything, fundamentals first then improve. Both have merit. YMMV.

 

At this point, stage times aren't relevant.  Misses aren't important. 

 

Speed first, fundamentals follow.  I could drop a bunch of names, but I won't.  It's far easier to teach fundamentals.  Teaching folks to shoot fast is hard.  So many ingrained preconceptions and too much fear of failure and fear of looking like an idiot.  All of those preconceptions are irrelevant. Teaching fundamentals is much easier.  Teaching someone to be accurate isn't hard.  It's very well understood.  If you want to shoot fast, you have to practice shooting fast.  There's no 2 ways about it.

Edited by Doc Shapiro
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1 minute ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

OK. I’ll buy part of that. If you shoot a 20 second stage and 2 misses equals 30 second stage as apposed to no missies less tan 30 seconds. I understand to improve, you have to push it. Starting out in anything, fundamentals first then improve. Both have merit. YMMV.

There is no argument that all other things being equal, being "Clean" will produce your best time. Key here is "all other things being equal".

 

But espousing your philosophy is not helpful to those that want to better their Stages times...to be competitive...etc, etc.

 

Phantom

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I agree with both of you about learning to shoot fast. No argument. My point was “ starting out” as mentioned in the op. No foul either way. What works for one may not work for another. 

 

Fox

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13 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

If you don’t have sight alignment and sight placement, how can you hit a target. If I am mistaken, please let me know.

 

By index.  especially at the ranges we shoot.  I still aim almost every shot, but it takes only a very tiny flash sight picture to shoot at our kinds of distances.

 

I have been shooting USPSA for 17 years, so shooting "fast" isn't foreign to me.  But shooting a gun that is completely manually operated with one hand at speed is certainly....awkward.

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Just now, SHOOTIN FOX said:

I agree with both of you about learning to shoot fast. No argument. My point was “ starting out” as mentioned in the op. No foul either way. What works for one may not work for another. 

 

Fox

Yes...of course. One size don't fit all. But Doc Shapiro addressed the point of "Starting Out". 

 

That said, do we discuss and represent one side of the argument (Learn fundamentals and focus on Clean), as equal to the other position when it's probably only workable for a very small percentage of the population?

 

I know that you believe that your method is proper and will champion it. However, the practical knowledge of Doc Shapiro should be valued pretty highly.

 

Phantom

 

 

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12 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

I agree with both of you about learning to shoot fast. No argument. My point was “ starting out” as mentioned in the op. No foul either way. What works for one may not work for another. 

 

Fox

 

I wonder if some shooters REALLY understand what true speed IS and how it is accomplished.

 

Its shooting a single-action revolver faster than someone can shoot a semi auto pistol.

Its drawing & firing 2 single action revolvers for 10 rounds in less than 2 seconds (1.68 or better).

That includes the draw time.

 

These speeds don't just 'come'.   They don't just happen to pop up one day because we put

a picture of a roadrunner under our pillow and dreamed about speed.

 

From my experience, Phantom and Doc are correct in their assessments of our game/sport 

and in relationship to gaining speed.   Ya gotta push yeowndangself.

Ye gotta go where no one thought possible..... and then still push the limit.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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When trying to increase my speed (before arthritis in my hands became a significant impediment) I simply practiced emptying my guns into the berm without aiming at a target.  Shooting only one shot from each firearm gave me good transition practice without consuming much ammo.  Emptying all four guns without trying to hit a target gave me a baseline measurement for reference.  It helped me, I offer it for consideration.

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3 hours ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

OK. I’ll buy part of that. If you shoot a 20 second stage and 2 misses equals 30 second stage as apposed to no missies less tan 30 seconds. I understand to improve, you have to push it. Starting out in anything, fundamentals first then improve. Both have merit. YMMV.

It isn't about shooting one stage or match faster.  It is about training yourself for the longer haul to keep improving.  If you can't stand to miss some in a match, then practice speed at every other opportunity.  But to shoot fast, you have to consciously push yourself to do it and that means for a while you are going to miss some plates in matches.     

 

Back in April, I shot the Fort Miller Shootout, our Club's Annual Match.  I realized after 5 stages that I had a chance at a clean match.  I fell into the trap of focusing on shooting clean.  At the tenth stage (of 12), I realized I was focused on  trying to hit all the targets and had slowed myself down a great deal.  I then sped back up and had a miss on the 12th stage.  But I ended up way down in 14th place, not because of the miss, but because I slowed down dramatically for 5 stages and lost over 30 seconds!   You cannot win matches or improve by practicing shooting slowly.   

 

 

 

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:ph34r:

 

  I believe it was Badlands Bud who said, "Just shoot fast---your eyes will catch on eventually".  Although not fast, it allowed me to decrease stage times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bad Bascomb, SASS # 47,494
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