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I challenge you

And by you, I actually mean me.

The last few times I’ve shot a handgun have been awful. Lately, I just shoot them terribly. And I know why: lack of shooting. We all get busy and have to do stuff to feed the mouths in the house. And my shooting has been slacking off. And, in my case, when I go to the range I usually have a gaggle of newbies or kids that I take and I spend time teaching them. So, the range and I need some alone time. With that, starting next week, I’m going to make it point to hit the range at least once a week, shoot at least 100 rounds and do that until I run through this case of ammo I got sitting in the basement.

Why 100 minimum and why once a week? Because it’s a pretty small time commitment and I have no excuse for not sneaking it in.

Update: And no tag-alongs or newbies. Shooting by myself so I can focus on shooting.

23 Responses to “I challenge you”

  1. HL Says:

    Be sure to practice your transition from Carbine to Pistol while no one is watching.

  2. Jay G. Says:

    Unc, that’s a fantastic idea.

    I’ve noticed the very same thing, naturally.

    The worst part is that my gun club has a 24/7 indoor range. I really need to make better use of that.

    I may join you in this challenge…

  3. j t bolt Says:

    been thinking the same thoughts and am going to the range after work today. Already arranged.

  4. Rivrdog Says:

    Very well, you convinced me (actually, I had an appointment to go shoot anyway).

  5. Andy Says:

    This year, I’ve been doing 1000 rounds of 9mm a month. The Dillon 650 is running overtime. I’ve noticed a big improvement in draw time, first shot time, and reload speeds. Using a shot timer is a great way to gauge progress and performance. Best of all you can get a free one, for the iPhone, from Surefire.

  6. The Duck Says:

    Even with the range 100 yards from my door some weeks getting a 100 rounds in can be a challenge.

    The point though is not to shoot a 100 rounds, the point should be to shoot a 100 rounds well. Write up a simple 50 round course of fire and follow it, the second fifty have fun.

  7. DirtCrashr Says:

    I’m not sure I actually can afford that on my allowance.

  8. Patrick Says:

    I’m with Duck. I got a range 100 yards from the house outfitted for me and the wife and we’ve used it maybe 4-5 times this Spring. I suck with the .40 now – it was never my strong caliber, but I’ve never shot it so bad as I did last week.

    I’m setting aside some time to double-down and recommit.

  9. Mad Saint Jack Says:

    I have only been out a few times this year.
    Need to get back to basics with .22 LR.
    Think of it as a warm up exercise.

  10. molonlabe Says:

    Shooting by myself is what KEPT me from going to the range consistently for some reason.

    This year I hooked up with the husband of someone I work with who is equally as dedicated to improving his shooting as I am and so far I’ve shot more this year than probably the last 2 years combined. Plus, it doubled the range availability since we both belong to different shooting clubs.

  11. Calimero Says:

    Dry-firing can help, when you really don’t have time to pack your stuff and drive to the range and back.

  12. A girl and her gun Says:

    Great idea. Very doable goal.

  13. ExurbanKevin Says:

    Won’t take that much. 15 minutes of dry fire every other day, one match a month (IDPA or USPSA and 150 rounds a month of dedicated, purposeful practice worked wonders for me.

    And having non-newbie shooters with you to make the process enjoyable makes a BIG difference.

  14. mikee Says:

    Went to the range for the first time in about 6 months this past week, and shot my .22LR Ruger Mark II and my Glock 19. My eyes have gotten worse, and the front sight is out of focus both in a shooting stance both for the upper and lower parts of my bifocals. Without them, the whole gun is a blur.

    I shot enough to agree fully with the idea that I’m getting worse, not better, with time. Also that shooting more would be a good thing.

    In the range next to me was a 20-something young lady, shooting a Sig .380 and a Sig 9mm, being coached by a crusty old gent who works at the range. She was trying to decide what pistol to buy, and he was suggesting different trials such as isocoles stance, one handed, double taps, and so on with each pistol. She shot better weak hand than I do with a firm two handed grip.

    It may matter less how often one shoots than how well one shoots when practicing.

  15. Dann in Ohio Says:

    Good challenge… I’m fortunate to have our own range here at home, so I try to take two or three magazines of ammo out back and shoot once or twice a week for practice…

    We shoot a lot of other guns too pretty regularly.. but you’re right, sometime just shootin’ by yourself is the best practice…

    Dann in Ohio

  16. The Learned Sergeant Says:

    Good point. Since I started law school it seems all my shoots have ended up being social outings where everyone is taking their turn dumping a mag or helping newbs famfire than decent marksmanship training. I’m in.

  17. Gerry Says:

    I shoot IDPA so I Don’t Practice Anymore.

    And it shows.

  18. Social Media Sebastian Says:

    If you shoot 100 rounds a week…you’ll be shooting 100 more in that week than the average BPD officer shoots in a year. Excellent!

  19. Action45 Says:

    Same thing happened with me recently. I hadn’t been in a while, and I needed to break-in the new Hi-Power Practical I picked up a few weeks back. It’s a different trigger pull than I’m used to, but that’s no excuse, I could tell I was anticipating the recoil and compensating just before the break. I found myself going back to basics saying, “this thing is going to fire, just maintain your sights, and stay consistent.” It’s frustrating…but after about 200 rounds I got back on track.

  20. Dave Says:

    I usually get 2-4 steel matches and a USPSA club match in monthly. I’ve found that the competitive pressure has elevated my shooting very quickly.

  21. SE Says:

    I think it depends on what you do with those 100 rounds. Going to a range, standing stationary at a lane, and shooting at targets from a stationary position could just reinforce bad habits and not help with the skills required at matches.

    I would recommend finding a good training company / trainer and have them work with you to identify bad habits, correct them, and improve your technique if they see any opportunities. I find a few hours of drills with a good trainer once a month or once every other month to be much more valuable than a trip to the range by myself.

    I thought I was shooting fairly well until I attended a personalized class with Phoenix Tactical Solutions here in Los Angeles. Compared to their standards and expectations, I was embarrassed with my shooting. They watched every shot I took and called every shot–slow draw, sloppy draw, bad grip, jerked the trigger, no front sight picture, not using trigger reset, etc.

    They corrected several bad habits, diagnosed several issues with my shooting, and after just 4 hours, my shooting improved dramatically. My performance was much better at the local Steel Madness pistol matches after just one intense class.

    I now make sure to attend a half day ‘skillbuilder’ class every few months to do drills, stay proficient in proper technique, and get rid of bad habits that pop up. This includes pistol, rifle, and shotgun.

  22. Patrick Says:

    This post made me head out last night a work out some kinks with my recent shooting. I didn’t rush through the session. I went all basic and started 3 ft from the dot and moved back slowly. By the end of session I was shooting good enough from 20 yards, though slower than in the past. Now I need to do it all over again a few more times to tighten groups and extend range a little more. Then I can start moving around.

    Starting close made me realize all the things I needed to unf_ck from my prior lack of attention. I have also spent so much time introducing newbies the safe operation of a gun that I have lost focus on the little nuances of technique required to shoot well. My only real concern with newbies is their control before, during and especially after the shot. They can hire a real trainer to shot well.

    I’ll be out again today. I still got a lot of work to do.

  23. Jon Says:

    You know what – I’m in. I have time free during the day when the ranges are empty and access to 2 different ranges in different parts of town. Thanks for the idea!

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