AR15.Com Archives
 How to improve my first shot speed
AzNooB  [Member]
2/29/2012 7:16:08 PM EST
From the draw, it always takes me a hair of a second to get my sights on target. On a timer, I'll take about 1.4 seconds to make a solid hit (down zero) at 7 yards from the draw, sometimes in the high 1.2s. When I try to push any faster than that, I miss and hit outside the circle. What are some things I can do to improve my first shot time? Those GMs can do it in half the time it takes me to do it.
Paid Advertisement
--
sandboxmedic  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 1:19:31 AM EST
I was always taught that speed comes with accuracy, not the other way around. That said, work on your draw and your aiming. One of the men who taught me (ex Federal LEO) used to wear his gun (unloaded of course) while watching TV and he'd draw and dry fire hundreds of times during a show. Another thing he'd do is put targets out and have someone else call them. He was an amazing shot (with a rifle and a pistol) when I worked with him over twenty years ago; to the best of my knowledge he luckily never had to shoot anyone though.

The other thing I'd recommend is shooting some IDPA competitions- they add stress to the equation and will help make you a better shot. I'll probably get flamed for saying it, but I know a couple of shooters who use airsoft replicas of their carry guns to practice in their garages or backyards when they can't get to the range.

Whatever you do, keep safety foremost in your head so we don't get to read another "ND in my leg" thread.
patchz  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 3:48:44 AM EST
+1 practice, practice, practice. Anytime I changed guns or holsters to something new, I started out slow
and methodical, gradually increasing speed over time. You did not mention distance to target, but when
very close, under seven yards, I often instinct shot instead of bringing the weapon completely up to eye
level. Again, this takes a lot of practice, but you will develop muscle memory after a while and your scores
will improve, as well as speed.
JohnRippert  [Member]
3/1/2012 4:24:16 AM EST

Practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute.
Troll_account  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 4:46:53 AM EST
Losing lots of weight helps too. Fat people suck at IWB draws. When I lost allot of weight I no longer needed to fight with my spare tire to get my pistol.
Afterwork_Ninja  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 5:04:33 AM EST
Dry-fire presentations, a lot of them.
Tanren37  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 12:09:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By AzNooB:
From the draw, it always takes me a hair of a second to get my sights on target. On a timer, I'll take about 1.4 seconds to make a solid hit (down zero) at 7 yards from the draw, sometimes in the high 1.2s. When I try to push any faster than that, I miss and hit outside the circle. What are some things I can do to improve my first shot time? Those GMs can do it in half the time it takes me to do it.


Just in case you haven't seen this forum; wealth of information.

http://www.pistol-forum.com/

Are your times from concealment or open carry? I'm running roughly the same times, so, not much room to talk. That said, right now I'm trying to speed up my reaction time from the buzzer while not compromising my initial grip.

Break down your entire process and find the weak points then build it up slow and smooth then smooth to fast.

And of course watching guys like Dave. Damn he's good.
EDIT: Watch his time to first shot; 1:36 on both runs. But then he fired a follow up, reloaded, and fired 4 more in around 2 seconds.

olivers_AR  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 12:30:38 PM EST
Get a good timer so that it will do random starts. Also run a video camera of yourself when you practice or compete, best way to observe what your doing.

Echo shoot USPSA/IPDA, etc great for developing/sharping skills.
ALPHAGHOST  [Team Member]
3/1/2012 12:40:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By JohnRippert:

Practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute.


HighAltitude  [Member]
3/1/2012 2:15:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By AzNooB:
From the draw, it always takes me a hair of a second to get my sights on target. On a timer, I'll take about 1.4 seconds to make a solid hit (down zero) at 7 yards from the draw, sometimes in the high 1.2s. When I try to push any faster than that, I miss and hit outside the circle. What are some things I can do to improve my first shot time? Those GMs can do it in half the time it takes me to do it.


Your first hit speed is fine, work on recoil management/follow up shots/mag changes etc.....

Better yet, concentrate on what ever is the weakest part of your skillset, work on that. Once it is no longer the weakest, work on what has become your weakest link and keep doing that over and over.

It takes practice, practice, practice........... and practice, lots of it.



Andyd  [Member]
3/1/2012 7:03:21 PM EST
Practice is always good but smart practice is better. There are many good tips on competitive action shooting over on the Brian Enos Forum.

There are also ways to shave some time off without firing the gun, and the easiest is to react faster to the beep; download a timer, like R U Ready, and run it on your computer, or use a real timer with the par function set to 1.2 sec. Set the par time shorter as you get faster.

Finally, you have to accept, that there is a limit for everybody and that some people are just faster. Despite all the hard training, I could never shoot as fast as my oldest son when he was 16 - and he barely practiced off the range.

If you stay under one second from an openly carreid holster you do well.
AzNooB  [Member]
3/1/2012 9:55:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By HighAltitude:
Originally Posted By AzNooB:
From the draw, it always takes me a hair of a second to get my sights on target. On a timer, I'll take about 1.4 seconds to make a solid hit (down zero) at 7 yards from the draw, sometimes in the high 1.2s. When I try to push any faster than that, I miss and hit outside the circle. What are some things I can do to improve my first shot time? Those GMs can do it in half the time it takes me to do it.


Your first hit speed is fine, work on recoil management/follow up shots/mag changes etc.....

Better yet, concentrate on what ever is the weakest part of your skillset, work on that. Once it is no longer the weakest, work on what has become your weakest link and keep doing that over and over.

It takes practice, practice, practice........... and practice, lots of it.



I'm pretty content with my other skills for now. My reload speed is about as fast as it will get until I get a mag well (not legal for SSP/Production). I'm pretty decent at follow up shots too. My biggest problems are the first shot from the draw and transitioning from target to target. I feel like there's some kind of hang up or pause after I push out from the draw and before I squeeze the trigger during live fire. With transitions, I'm having trouble stopping exactly where I want to.

Originally Posted By Andyd:
Practice is always good but smart practice is better. There are many good tips on competitive action shooting over on the Brian Enos Forum.

There are also ways to shave some time off without firing the gun, and the easiest is to react faster to the beep; download a timer, like R U Ready, and run it on your computer, or use a real timer with the par function set to 1.2 sec. Set the par time shorter as you get faster.

Finally, you have to accept, that there is a limit for everybody and that some people are just faster. Despite all the hard training, I could never shoot as fast as my oldest son when he was 16 - and he barely practiced off the range.

If you stay under one second from an openly carreid holster you do well.


I practiced today from an open carry holster and was able to get it under a second while keeping my sights in the A-zone about 50% of the time. The other 50% was a C-zone hit or too slow. I've done this before in the past, but I can never break that 1 second par time in real life. Is it some kind of mental barrier?

I do shoot USPSA/IDPA here and there, and have one a local match in CDP. I'm just trying to get better (would like to become a GM one day). Maybe I'll check out those other forums, as they will probably have more pistol-specific knowledge than ARFCOM.

John_Wayne777  [Team Member]
3/2/2012 3:13:11 AM EST
If you're already at 1.2 seconds hitting an IDPA A zone, you're already going pretty fast. Working on a press-out might help you get faster in the long run, but it requires going slower than you're used to for a while first.
FMJ  [Team Member]
3/2/2012 6:11:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
Originally Posted By JohnRippert:

Practice, practice, practice. There is no substitute.




another +1

also dry fire

practice without the timmer somtimes
COSteve  [Team Member]
3/2/2012 11:18:06 AM EST
There are also a few websites with instructional videos such as:

Shooting Coach Channel


Andyd  [Member]
3/2/2012 7:00:58 PM EST


I practiced today from an open carry holster and was able to get it under a second while keeping my sights in the A-zone about 50% of the time. The other 50% was a C-zone hit or too slow. I've done this before in the past, but I can never break that 1 second par time in real life. Is it some kind of mental barrier?

I do shoot USPSA/IDPA here and there, and have one a local match in CDP. I'm just trying to get better (would like to become a GM one day). Maybe I'll check out those other forums, as they will probably have more pistol-specific knowledge than ARFCOM.



AzNooB,

have you had a video taken of your draw? There has to be "economy" in motion, the perfect path with no wasted inch of way. A good holster helps and treating a plastic / composite holster with Armour All can also make things ever so slightly faster. Taking up the slack during the movement is getting harder and harder as the speed improves - and that takes co-ordination that needs practice, lots of it.

Go for it, with the proper practice, there is no reason why you should not go to 0.8 seconds!

training aid
gotigers  [Team Member]
3/3/2012 3:16:33 AM EST
Practice with a timer, drawing and shooting at a silhouette. Maybe at 10 yards. Start slow for accuracy. Slowly increase speed. Let the timer and your hit placement tell you when you are good. Remember focus on the front sight. Do this at least monthly.
DixieOnepercenter  [Team Member]
3/3/2012 5:25:37 AM EST
I found this a couple of years ago at http://www.zenshootists.com/zenarticle.htm , and thought it might be relevant:

Zen And The Art Of Combat Pistol Shooting
*Thanks to Greg C. for the following information:
"The author's name is Massod Ayoob. You can find a lot of his articles in "Combat Handguns" magazine. He is a also the founder of "Lethal Force Institute" located somewhere in the North Eastern U.S."

Zen has always been associated with various marital arts, including archery and swordsmanship. But more and more, we are beginning to apply much of the same Zen principles to enhance our shooting skills. Zen is difficult to define. Yet ask any player of sporting games to explain their peak performance and they'll tell you that in a special moment, the mind, the body, the goal, the tool and the result are simply one.

To accomplish something without thinking - it merely occurs - this is Zen,

Like the Zen archers of Japan and the sword masters, we train to excel at all times with any firearm at the limits of human speed, distance, and against all adversaries under any circumstances. To achieve this level of proficiency, we must learn to become one with the pistol, we must learn to shoot without thought. The physical act of firing the pistol must blend with the mental aspect of con­trol, planning, and discipline to achieve the desired goal.

The shooter must be in control of him­self, not just the pistol. He must have a clear mind that is perfectly still. Most shooters' minds are like a stream of rapids filled" with self-doubt, fear, and irrelevant thoughts.

The relationship between the shooter and the pistol.

The shooter in control of himself does not display overt reactions to progress or lack of progress.

He is not worried about what others think of his ability. He is not elated at success and disappointed at failure. To do so is to be a child of circumstances.

To master the art of combat pistol craft, the shooter needs to become one with the pistol.

Think about a musician for a moment, When he performs there is no player and instrument. The player and the instrument are in harmony and music is created..

If makes no difference whether it's a musical instrument, a basketball or firearm, the true master spends time to the point where the instrument becomes an extension of the hand.

If you spend as little as 15 minutes a day handling your pistol, dry firing, practicing your draw, working on your indexing abil­ity, sight alignment and trigger pull, you'll be amazed at the results.

When practicing your gun-handling skills it's important that you visualize your­self executing proper tactics as well as your shooting skills.

Conditioned reflex.

When learning to type, a typist reads the letter, mentally selects the correspond­ing key. and consciously directs a finger to strike the key. After training, the typist automatically sees and types a letter without thought. The mental thought process has become a conditioned reflex.

This reflex action is the subconscious mind evaluating the situation, making the decision of whether or not to release that shot, and without conscious thought on your part, starting the trigger finger to move and continuing pressure until the hammer falls.

Your goal should be to fire a shot when the sights are properly aligned and on the target without making a conscious decision to pull the trigger. If you have to stop and think about aligning sights and squeezing the trigger, you're going to lose the fight.

You must learn to shoot in the present tense. This means that you are aware only of your shooting as it is taking place, one shot at a time. If your mind is on the last shot, next target, or anything else, you are not going to shoot well.

Can you ever practice too often?

The answer is no. However, a practice session can be too long. This can be a danger. If you get overly tired and start missing your shots, then you risk training yourself to miss the shot. So train daily, if possible, but keep the sessions just long

enough to cover the important elements.

Many people find it difficult to main­tain a regime of daily practice. The list of reasons (excuses) can be endless. To handle this problem, make a list of excuses as to why a goal cannot be accomplished.

Here's a few examples:

1.1 don't have time to practice.

2.1 have no one to instruct me.

3.1 lack the knowledge of what to do.

4. I don't know how my pistol works.

5.1 can't shoot well under stress.

6. And the list goes on.

The objective now is to take each ex­cuse one-by-one and work to eliminate it.

For example: "I don't have enough lime to practice" is an excuse that can be eradi­cated with a little thought.

1. Substitute air pistol practice at home during free moments.

2. Practice dry firing every day, even if you have to do it in front of the television. (Warning: When dry firing always make sure the pistol is unloaded and the ammunition stored safely in another room.)

3. Organize your leisure time to create time for live fire practice.

4. Rearrange your priorities. If you are going to carry a pistol, perfecting your shoot­ing skill should be high up on your list.

5. Use visualization to improve your shooting skills and augment your live fire practice.

The systematic elimination of excuses allows you to focus on building your skill and achieving peak performance.

When you shoot, avoid being judgmental, just shoot.

In training for combat shooting, the shooter must not think beyond the shot. If you are expecting a hit, or already making excuses for a miss, or if your mind is in­volved in self-criticism, you will not be able to focus on controlling yourself.

The mind cluttered with thoughts pre­vents you from achieving your goal. When shooting you must learn to be in the moment only.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Perhaps you will find this helpful. I hope so. I did a search, and did not see where it had been posted before.
Jim

John_Wayne777  [Team Member]
3/3/2012 5:40:44 AM EST
The aforementioned suggestion about using video is useful...as video has the power to show you what you are actually doing as opposed to what you believe you're doing. I've made gains from just a couple of brief clips of myself drawing at a practice get together with some friends. In the video I identified several things that were slowing down my draw considerably. After tweaking some of that stuff I improved dramatically and last time I was at the range I shot a 5.36 FAST drill...which is pretty quick.
Andyd  [Member]
3/4/2012 7:42:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By gotigers:
Practice with a timer, drawing and shooting at a silhouette. Maybe at 10 yards. Start slow for accuracy. Slowly increase speed. Let the timer and your hit placement tell you when you are good. Remember focus on the front sight. Do this at least monthly.



To really build up speed practicing once a month isn't enough, once a day is much better. Most people do not have the time or financial resources to go shooting everyday and that is where the training aids, like computer timers, come in. Even softair guns can be used to improve many skills.

Afterwork_Ninja  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 7:48:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
The aforementioned suggestion about using video is useful...as video has the power to show you what you are actually doing as opposed to what you believe you're doing. I've made gains from just a couple of brief clips of myself drawing at a practice get together with some friends. In the video I identified several things that were slowing down my draw considerably. After tweaking some of that stuff I improved dramatically and last time I was at the range I shot a 5.36 FAST drill...which is pretty quick.


That's very fast. Is that with the P30?

For anyone not familiar with it here's the F.A.S.T Drill and some times:

http://pistol-training.com/drills/the-fast

http://pistol-training.com/fastest
John_Wayne777  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 7:56:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By Afterwork_Ninja:
That's very fast. Is that with the P30?


Yup. P30 V2 LEM pulled from a CCC "Shaggy".

shomestyle  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 8:00:53 AM EST
I just ordered this after some feedback from one of the classes I took. It may help you as well.

SIRT pistol
I ordered it with an extra mag as well to practice mag changes. However, you get direct feedback as to POI and tons of reps. I should have it in this week and am looking forward to lots of dry fire practice with it.

they also have an AR bolt as well to perform the same simulation.
Afterwork_Ninja  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 8:36:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By shomestyle:
I just ordered this after some feedback from one of the classes I took. It may help you as well.

SIRT pistol
I ordered it with an extra mag as well to practice mag changes. However, you get direct feedback as to POI and tons of reps. I should have it in this week and am looking forward to lots of dry fire practice with it.

they also have an AR bolt as well to perform the same simulation.


Let us know what you think. I like the idea, but not the price.
Enigma102083  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 9:19:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By shomestyle:
I just ordered this after some feedback from one of the classes I took. It may help you as well.

SIRT pistol
I ordered it with an extra mag as well to practice mag changes. However, you get direct feedback as to POI and tons of reps. I should have it in this week and am looking forward to lots of dry fire practice with it.

they also have an AR bolt as well to perform the same simulation.


Mike is a great guy.
John_Wayne777  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 11:08:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By Afterwork_Ninja:
Originally Posted By shomestyle:
I just ordered this after some feedback from one of the classes I took. It may help you as well.

SIRT pistol
I ordered it with an extra mag as well to practice mag changes. However, you get direct feedback as to POI and tons of reps. I should have it in this week and am looking forward to lots of dry fire practice with it.

they also have an AR bolt as well to perform the same simulation.


Let us know what you think. I like the idea, but not the price.


They're a cool piece of kit with a lot of possibilities.

Maybe one day they'll make a cheaper red-laser only version for a hundred or so bucks. That would be killer.
AzNooB  [Member]
3/5/2012 3:40:22 PM EST
I've seen those and while they look awesome, the price tag keeps me away for now.
manowar669  [Team Member]
3/5/2012 3:50:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Troll_account:
Losing lots of weight helps too. Fat people suck at IWB draws. When I lost allot of weight I no longer needed to fight with my spare tire to get my pistol.


ARFCOM has spoken.
Paid Advertisement
--