What kind of dryfire practice do you do?


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sturmruger
April 20, 2005, 01:00 PM
I have been shooting in the USPSA Production division now for about a year. I read over on the Enos forum how great it is to dryfire practice, and have been trying to get 30 minutes in per day.

Here is what I nomally work on with a shot timer.

1. Draw and fire at IPSC target 7 yards par time set for 1.4 seconds

2. Draw, sight picture, drop and reload magazine, and fire. Par time 3.4 seconds.

3. Draw, sight picture, drop and reload magazine 4 times. Don't remember par time.


I am planning on ordering Steven Anderson's book on dryfire practice, but until that comes in the mail I would like to come up with a few other drills to work on at home.

What kind of practice are you doing at home? What has helped you out?

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bradvanhorn
April 20, 2005, 01:27 PM
I don't practice using plain old dry fire anymore. About a year ago I bought a Laser Blaster training device ( http://www.laserdevices.com/training.asp ) (see attached pictures). The device is a bit pricey, but I think it's well worth it in the long run. Basically you insert the device into the muzzle of your gun, and it projects a red dot when the hammer drops. With double action guns you can just pull the trigger at your leisure; single action guns are a little more work, as you have to recock the weapon each time. As long as you're not in bright sunlight, the dot will reflect on just about anything (and there is a reflective target you can buy for difficult light conditions). Now I don't just go through the motions of pulling the trigger, but can actually get feedback as to where the rounds would be impacting. It's a cool gadget for training at home, especially when practicing in the dark :)

Ankeny
April 20, 2005, 02:10 PM
I have Steve's book, but I usually end up doing my own thing. For me, the beauty of a timer is doing decreasing par times. Let's say your par time for a draw is 1.4 seconds. Warm up doing smooth drills at 1.6 seconds. Do a few at 1.5 seconds. Do the majority at your current level of 1.4 seconds. Then finish up doing the draw at 1.3 seconds. The same goes for the reload.

Jeeper
April 20, 2005, 02:26 PM
I also have steves book. I use many of the drills from there but also change it up. Sometimes I do classifiers or field courses through my house. I mainly do simple things where I can try to speed up times. Mainly I do draws, reloads, simple drills (el prez) and target acquisitions from various points.

sturmruger
April 20, 2005, 03:39 PM
If anyone wants to get rid of Steve's book since you have already read it PM me.

Island Beretta
April 20, 2005, 05:17 PM
a coupla a points..

1. the laser training device: i do not support this as it trains you to 'look for your shots' ala the laser beam. Let your sight picture tell you how you are breaking that shot..

2. i have steve's book as well... the best thing about it is that it teaches you to practice breaking the shot with your vision (by not having you pull the trigger on dry shots)..

3. there is a website that gives stages, i think it is stageexchange.com...build up a few of these stages or versions thereof (garage IPSC) and run it dry (if you can film yourself, then it is even more beneficial)..take accuracy as a must and work on smoothness and eliminating jerkiness and redundant motions..

4. recoil control and shot calling you have to fine tune in live fire drills..

outa here...

bradvanhorn
April 20, 2005, 07:00 PM
1. the laser training device: i do not support this as it trains you to 'look for your shots' ala the laser beam. Let your sight picture tell you how you are breaking that shot..
I do train to look at my shots, which at the most common pistol distances is in my opinion a perfectly acceptable method. I'm one of those heretics that uses target focus most of the time; I use sights for long range slow fire shots (25yds and beyond mostly), not for speed shooting (mostly 15yds or less). After all, it's where the rounds are impacting that counts, not your sight alignment.

This isn't very profound, but how you train is how you train. If you want to focus on your sight picture, then do so. If you are sight focused when using the laser you still get the fuzzy red flash downrange on the target, which in turn lets you know if you are in fact on target. Without the laser you get nothing but sight picture, and sight picture offers no feedback during dry firing.

Jeeper
April 20, 2005, 08:58 PM
Without the laser you get nothing but sight picture, and sight picture offers no feedback during dry firing.

I think that every competitive shooter that dry fires would disagree completely with this statement. Dry fire is mainly about target acquisition and then transition once the aceptable sight picture is reached. The feedback can be time to acquire and other things. Pulling the trigger and watching your sights not move is also feedback. Hell EVERYTHING you do while dryfiring provides feedback!

Ankeny
April 20, 2005, 09:24 PM
Jeeper pretty much nailed it. In dry fire, I always look for that Kodak moment, perfect sight picture and good sight alignment. I use dry fire to train my vision. I get a ton of feed back from the sights in dry fire, including grip information, how the gun is being presented, natural point of aim, biomechanical awareness of the relationship of the bore to the target face, and so on.

When I shoot I use several different sight focal points ranging from a target focus to a hard front sight focus. Of course, my index was developed using the sights. :)

bradvanhorn
April 20, 2005, 09:51 PM
I think that every competitive shooter that dry fires would disagree completely with this statement. Dry fire is mainly about target acquisition and then transition once the aceptable sight picture is reached.
Well I disagree with you're statements, and I know a few champion shooters that will disagree as well. And, your description of what dry fire is about is much different than any I've ever seen or heard.

Use the laser, don't user the laser... I don't care what you do, but it is a good option and this thread asked what we do when we dry fire, so I brought it up. I've dry fired weapons in the Marine Corps for almost 17 years, and I never really learned a dang thing from it. Intro the laser and now I can actually see what the heck is happening when I dry fire. Also, someone pointed out they don't like the idea because they thought it could lead to bad habits. I'm pointing out that it can help diagnose and correct bad habits.

Here's the gist one more time...

With the laser you see the "impact" based on where your barrel was pointing when the hammer dropped. If you are referencing your sights, and you had good sight alignment/picture, then the red flash should've been where you placed your sights. But it doesn't always work out that way. When watching students dry fire with the laser I've seen practiced shooters [unknowingly] jerk the trigger (heck I still do it on occasion myself), which turns the red flash (a dot) into a red slash, or the flash (dot) appears down and left, or up and right, or whatever. The shooter made an error, but without the laser they wouldn't have had the visual cue to let them know they did something wrong.

Without the laser you can have perfect sight alignment/picture, and after you pull the trigger you still have no idea where the "shot" actually went. You assume it went where you wanted it to, but my point is that you don't actually know where the shot went without the laser, but with the laser you do. With the laser you'll learn to recognize bad trigger control, or improper index, or whatever. Without the laser you continue to run drills based on sights, index, or whatever, but you don't have a visual "hit" with which to know you've done it right or wrong.

Jeeper
April 20, 2005, 11:36 PM
I am not saying whether the laser is good or bad. Everything can be used for good. I am just disagreeing with your statement that sights dont offer feedback. Everything offers feedback. You can feel the tension in your hands through the triggerpull and get feedback. Or the tension in your back, wrists, legs.....Everything is feedback if you are aware of it!

And, your description of what dry fire is about is much different than any I've ever seen or heard.

I am curious as to what the purpose of dry fire is to you.

I shoot USPSA and Handgun Sihlouettte competitively. I dry fire for each differently. For USPSA dryfire I rarely pull the trigger. I am more concerned with getting an acceptable sight picture on the target fast and then moving to the next target. When I do pull the trigger I watch the sights. If they dont move then the shot went EXACTLY where the sights were. This is the same in live fire or dry fire. It is the concept of calling your shot.

For sihlouette shooting I always pull the trigger since that is the point. I get into position and get the sight picture and then pull the trigger. If the sights dont move then once again I can call the shot.

I've dry fired weapons in the Marine Corps for almost 17 years, and I never really learned a dang thing from it.

You must have a lot of will to do something for 17 years that you get nothing out of.
I can understand that you might not get anything out of dry fire if you arent aware of what is happening. A laser might just point out what is happening a little more loudly than the sights do. Both of them are doing the same thing. One of the best ways to learn trigger control is to slowly(and I mean slowly) pull the trigger and watch those sights intently. You can see where you jerk or push the gun. This is how I usually teach people to shoot. It makes them realize how their trigger pull affects the gun throughout the trigger travel. It also teaches followthrough.

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 12:39 AM
With the laser you see the "impact" based on where your barrel was pointing when the hammer dropped. If you are referencing your sights, and you had good sight alignment/picture, then the red flash should've been where you placed your sights. But it doesn't always work out that way. When watching students dry fire with the laser I've seen practiced shooters [unknowingly] jerk the trigger (heck I still do it on occasion myself), which turns the red flash (a dot) into a red slash, or the flash (dot) appears down and left, or up and right, or whatever. The shooter made an error, but without the laser they wouldn't have had the visual cue to let them know they did something wrong.

Without the laser you can have perfect sight alignment/picture, and after you pull the trigger you still have no idea where the "shot" actually went.

Sure you do. You have a sighted in gun that puts rounds where the sights point when the trigger is pulled. That is the whole point of calling one's shots.

Looking for the laser's dot trains you to look for visual confirmation of the hit (the "hole"). That is not the way to shoot fast.

-z

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 05:19 AM
Well folks, you're doing your best, we we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I'll offer one last response. If you still don't appreciate my point of view, feel free to come join us at TSA in Surry, VA; I'll be there from 1 to 8 May doing advanced training and finishing my instructor training.



I am curious as to what the purpose of dry fire is to you.
My perspective is dry fire is a muscle memory drill. It is used to counteract flinch and jerk by giving the shooter the opportunity to go through the motions without the recoil and muzzle blast; things which lead to flinch and jerk. Ostensibly the shooter learns to control the weapon without recoil/muzzle blast by dry firing, and then is not bothered by it when live firing.

One of the best ways to learn trigger control is to slowly(and I mean slowly) pull the trigger and watch those sights intently. You can see where you jerk or push the gun. This is how I usually teach people to shoot. It makes them realize how their trigger pull affects the gun throughout the trigger travel. It also teaches followthrough.
I was originally taught using the very principles you describe; crap in my opinion. I went back and relearned to shoot without sights, without slow steady squeeze, without natural pause in respiration, etc., etc. It requires a change in mindset, one which most shooters are unable or unwilling to make. But once I did, my shooting dramatically improved.


You must have a lot of will to do something for 17 years that you get nothing out of.
Trust me, there are a great many of us trying to change the system. Problem is the system as it is was developed by guys who preach the very same techniques you have, and which many of us agree are not in the best interest of combat shooters. Guys like Pat Rogers are working hard to make valuable improvements (not necessarily my improvements, but improvements nonetheless), but you can't change things overnight.


You have a sighted in gun that puts rounds where the sights point when the trigger is pulled. That is the whole point of calling one's shots.
You are still making assumptions. Did you flinch? Did you jerk the trigger? You're focusing on the sights, so are the sights correctly on the target? What if you can't see your sights?


Looking for the laser's dot trains you to look for visual confirmation of the hit (the "hole"). That is not the way to shoot fast.
First your assuming that I'm looking for the dot, which in this case is more often true, 'cause that's how I train, and it works for me. Second, use of the laser does not require you to target focus if you don't want to, which is what I clearly pointed out earlier. Also, I want to be fast and accurate, not just fast. If you don't check your target, then you may have been fast, but how do you know you were accurate? Your way of shooting fast is not my way, nor the way of others I train with, so believe whatever you like about what is fast and what isn't.

Jon Coppenbarger
April 21, 2005, 08:45 AM
I have a good friend here who uses one. He went from a beginner 3 years ago to winning two matches outright at the nationals at Camp Perry last year.
I think anything that will help you and if you use and apply it right can help you.
It has taken awhile but I know what happened on every shot I take and why the results turned out the way they do.
But you must remember you Must have the trained skills from anything that will get you those skills. If it took 17 years of just going threw the motions untill something cames along to awaken you so be it. Then you can move on from there.
Not everyone will be a national champion or gold medal olympic shooter.
I see a problem with who helps train us as you end up shooting like or picking up skills or bad habits of the one who trains you.
I have learned over twice more in the last 3 years of shooting since I started again after a 9 year layoff than in the 10 years I shot in matches before I stopped. I really think you have to address what you want out of what shooting sport you are doing and use the tools that are out there for you to attain it.
Coaches teach the way they shoot or learned right or wrong but they are trying to help and just like a laser or coach you use that to get the most out of it and move on.
Very few of us get the chance to learn from a really top coach. I know I never did. I have a few close friends and some of them are winners and some just know how to teach a skill but I listen and watch and practice what works and apply it to what I do. Throw out what does not work for you or change it to work for you. When I teach something I explain right up front this is my way and not the only way but I will tell them why I use it and what it does for them if they use it right.

You NEED the to learn the basic's and get the motor skills down by what ever method you chose but if you just rely on one thing and use it as a crutch you may hold your self back.
Maybe lots of dryfire. I myself find no help dryfiring at a distance that does not give me the feed back I need to give correct feedback. How many of you dry fire a rifle or handgun at home and think man I got it now just to go out to the range and wonder what the hell happened as all week at home I was ready to win a gold medal. I think the laser might just be the answer to that and wish I had the funds to do it but I don't.
It is the beginning of the year for highpower here in CO and I did not dryfire hardly at all this winter but I did not stop practicing shooting. Maybe I did not go out to a range or shoot at home but I fired that shot over and over and over many more times in my head than I could ever of done dryfiring or going to the range. Yes once it was time to get out to the range this spring I did dryfire a little but it was more of getting the muscle memory down for the positions and yes they were rusty. Once I started to go to the range and actually dry fire at the totally correct distance I was able to get feedback to adjust my positions to get the results I wanted. THEN I went back and dryfired in those positions untill they were sunk into my sub consence.
A beginner needs to practice allot and get those skills down before he can move on to where is wants to go. Just like golf as you all know if you play that #$#& game is that if you get a bad habit you might play hell fixing it. Goes the same for shooting as if you learn from the beginning a bad habit you may not know you are doing it or it may be hard to correct. How many times in any sport did you change something someone told you to fix a problem and it did fix it but you went back to a bad habit just a few minutes later.
That was because you have trained to do it so much that when you are now concentraiting on the shot you let yourself go back to what ever method you trained for the position.
You new shooters get the skills down right at the start and you will get better allot faster. That is why a properly trained junior you start from scratch if they are dedicated gets good real fast.

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 11:43 AM
Brian Enos' "Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals" has a lot to say about different types of focus and dry firing. I highly recommend it.

You have a sighted in gun that puts rounds where the sights point when the trigger is pulled. That is the whole point of calling one's shots.
You are still making assumptions. Did you flinch? Did you jerk the trigger? You're focusing on the sights, so are the sights correctly on the target? What if you can't see your sights?

Reading is fundamental: I said nothing about focusing on the sights.

Calling shots is about observing the sight picture as the shot breaks, which means you know without target confirmation where the bullet goes (except for environmental changes like wind for long range rifle shooting). This works when you're doing practical shooting (eg, IPSC/3Gun) where you might or might not be focusing on the sights, and precision rifle or High-Power, where you will have an different optical arrangement and focus.

Re: your comments about dry firing rifles. If you're dry firing a rifle for 17 years and not learning anything from it, you're not thinking about it right. One of the best ways to improve positional shooting technique is to dry fire. Yes, dry firing can help diagnose gross errors like yanking the trigger, but it can also improve more subtle things like managing take-up, breathing, heart rate & timing, NPOA, etc, etc.

Second, use of the laser does not require you to target focus if you don't want to, which is what I clearly pointed out earlier.
Again, I said nothing about target focus. I said that using the laser like you say (observing its flash) puts you in the habit of transitioning from whatever focus you're using for the shot to looking for the hit indicator on the target (a flash or a hole). Even if you already have a target focus for the shot, it takes time to look for that hit, and that will slow you down.

Jeeper
April 21, 2005, 11:58 AM
Bradvanhorn,

Do you shoot competitively? If so what types?

My perspective is dry fire is a muscle memory drill. It is used to counteract flinch and jerk by giving the shooter the opportunity to go through the motions without the recoil and muzzle blast; things which lead to flinch and jerk. Ostensibly the shooter learns to control the weapon without recoil/muzzle blast by dry firing, and then is not bothered by it when live firing.


I agree competely. And they way you can tell that you are not moving the gun is to WATCH THE SIGHTS! If they dont move then your shot went where the sights were. Laser just makes it obvious for someone not paying attention to their sights.

G. David Tubb (The best competitive rifle shooter ever in case someone doesnt know) talks about dryfire in his book. He goes over many of the things said here about dry firing to become aware of everything from trigger pull to stance.

I was originally taught using the very principles you describe; crap in my opinion. I went back and relearned to shoot without sights, without slow steady squeeze, without natural pause in respiration, etc., etc.

I am impressed that you can shoot without sights on your guns! I have no idea what you mean saying that you shoot without sights. Slow steady sqeueeze isnt necessary but it is a great way to learn trigger control.

Most of my dryfire knowledge somes from USPSA Grandmasters. You could take this to mean that they can only shoot fast. But that is the farthest thing from the truth. Accuracy matter just as much as speed. These same people are also the ones that are paid to teach special forces instructors how to shoot fast. That is how most of them actually support themselves.

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 12:06 PM
Jeeper,

I have no idea what you mean saying that you shoot without sights.
Sure-- you can use your "index" instead of using a sight focus. This will be the fastest way to shoot some types of targets.

-z

Jeeper
April 21, 2005, 12:13 PM
Sure-- you can use your "index" instead of using a sight focus. This will be the fastest way to shoot some types of targets.


I realize that is ok for some targets but it sounds like he means most or all. Maybe out to 10 or 15yrds tops on wide open targets.

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 12:24 PM
Agreed

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 12:51 PM
I am impressed that you can shoot without sights on your guns! I have no idea what you mean saying that you shoot without sights.
Index shooting, point shooting, whatever you'd like to call it, that's what I'm talking about, and it's not that hard. I do have sights, but they are supplementary; index first, sights second. D.R. (who taught me) does in fact shoot a gun that has no sights on it, and last time I visited he was still dinging the target at 50+ yds (coming out of the holster, not bullseye/slow fire style). Come visit us at TSA and we'll gladly demonstrate.



You have a sighted in gun that puts rounds where the sights point when the trigger is pulled.
Reading is fundamental: I said nothing about focusing on the sights.
So the sights just align themselves and cover the target without you?



Ah hell, you know what, I give up...

Jon Coppenbarger
April 21, 2005, 03:08 PM
Zak
You would of liked the match we had on sunday up in Bailey at BCGC.
It was open to pretty much anything centerfire up to 338.
We had 27 shooters.
We let everyone shoot in there own class like high master, Master, expert, sharpshooter, marksman and unclassified.
We had 5 shooters in the unclassified and all 5 of them used scoped bolt guns and 3 of them used bipods. We let them shoot against each other in that class this time. Asked them to bring a sling next time or they would shoot F-class. Two were Army snipers. It is nice to get new guys out.
The light was a typical CO day (Bad) with 3 relays and wind from slight to moderate with good gust switching directions. All fired at 600 yards, 60 shots in 20 shot strings.
The match was won by a guy shooting a scoped 300 wm match rifle with a 591. Second was a service rifle ar15 open sight cmp rifle with a 590. Third was a open bolt match rifle with a 588 and I finished 4th with a 587 with my ar15 service rifle ar15. All the other service rifle guys were like way below that except one other guy going to the AMU team in two weeks with a 581.
Yes a scoped rifle won but was followed very closly by ar15's and other bolt rifles. A few national champions also.
I made 11 mistakes out of 60 shots and they were all very correctible with practice and dryfiring. Almost all points I lost were due to wind or not having the perfect NPA combined with the wind. It will KILL you every time knowing on recoil that the shot went left or right. Calm day they are solid 10's but on a windy day if you are off a little on the wind call you get 9's and as for me two 8's. A good light day it is not bad as you can keep up on the wind a little better. It kills me with bad light and a open sight ar15 to have the rifle recoil off to a angle when you knew you built the best NPA you could of but because of that dang post combined with the light it cost you.
Do I watch the follow threw yes. I want the target to drop straight out the bottom of the sight and return to exactly where it began the process. Watching the front post I get all the feed back I need on what I am doing.
We must know what it feels and looks like for the perfect shot.
When I shoot fast like a NTIT match I know that those 25 to 30 shots have to be correct and if you have no ideal of the feed back and what to do with that info in a flash you will not get a very good result. Target goes up at 600 yards to start a NTIT match I shoot the 1st shot and it tells me if I am on my correct position and NPA and if it is ever so slightly off it will get corrected before the next shot and fine tuned for the 3rd if needed. Never has taken me no more than 3 to get it right. 30 shots on a B target at 600 yards in 50 seconds. If want want a good score you better know what the sights are telling you and know what to do. (That comes with practice and dryfiring The correct way).
Just like if a truck pulls out in front of you while you are driving.
You might put on the breaks or swerve or something else. Now you did not need to think about that you just reacted in the proper way for the situation. Same goes for shooting what you practice is what you will get come match day.

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 03:17 PM
Jon,

I'd love to try that match. I need to get a lot of practice in before August since I'm shooting the bolt gun at ITRC this year.

Could you shoot me an email with the schedule and details?

THANKS!
Zak

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 03:36 PM
Jon, sounds like that match was entertaining. It's been a long time since I shot a rifle match; I suspect my urban/CQB mindset would wear me out in a long range match.

Also, good comments re: rifle practice; I generally agree with what has been posted here re: dry fire and rifles (for longer range). However, my rifle and pistol techniques are completely different (except at CQB ranges), and thus my dry fire techniques are completely different as well.

Ankeny
April 21, 2005, 04:53 PM
I was originally taught using the very principles you describe; crap in my opinion.

Well I guess you know what folks say about opinions. :rolleyes:

The stuff Jeeper is talking about isn't crap, it's what is being taught by the best practical pistol shooters in the world. I am talking about guys like Rob Leatham, Todd Jarrett, Matt Burkett, Brian Enos, and the list goes on and on. Like Enos says, "It's all right there in front of you to see." Just because the masses can't "see" what is right in front of them, doesn't mean we are all full of crap, lol.

BTW, this is a competition shooting forum. If you want to get all preachy about how the competition shooters are preaching crap, you would probably have more support in the tactabilly forums. ;)

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 05:55 PM
Well I guess you know what folks say about opinions.
Yup :rolleyes:



If you want to get all preachy about how the competition shooters are preaching crap, you would probably have more support in the tactabilly forums.
For some reason I thought I was commenting on dry firing and the comparison between dry firing with visual feedback and without visual feedback vis-a-vis the laser vice the sight picture. I disagree with "front sight, press" mentality, but you are welcome to it if that's what you like. I never said competition shooters were preaching crap, and if you took it that way, well that's not the case. If you want to get into a who's thing is bigger contest I can look up the match results where my guys beat your guys, but that wouldn't convince you anyway, so why should I bother? As to your "tactabilly" nonsense, whatever... :rolleyes:

Oh to hell with it, let's throw out some results anyway, I'm beginning to enjoy the abuse...

2000 National IDPA Championship

Top Overall
1. Ernest Langdon
2. David Sevigny
3. D R Middlebrooks
4. Rob Leatham

2003 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship results:

IDPA Division (overall)
1. Daniel Horner
2. Matt Burkett

2004 Winchester World Challenge results:

Stock Gun Division (overall)
1. Rob Leatham
2. Daniel Horner
3. Dave Sevigny
(Note: Daniel and Dave were in IDPA trim, Leatham shot a longslide with a speed rig)

IDPA Division (overall)
1. Daniel Horner
2. Dave Sevigny

2004 American Handgunner World "Man vs. Man" Shoot Off results:

Stock Gun (overall)
1. Rob Leatham
2. Dave Sevigny
(Note: Dave was in IDPA trim, Leatham shot a longslide with a speed rig)

IDPA Division (overall)
1. Daniel Horner
2. Dave Sevigny

D.R., Dave, and Daniel are examples of guys who don't use "front sight, press". Another example is Rick Simes, who has been runner up behind Dave Sevigny for the past two years at the IDPA Nationals. Rick shoots a [compact] Glock 19, whereas the competition is generally shooting full-size guns. Oh well, what do match results have to do with competition... :rolleyes:

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 06:04 PM
BVH,

"Frontsight-Press" is a red herring you've brought up. Nobody including myself, Ankeny, or Jeeper are advocating it.

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 06:19 PM
"Frontsight-Press" is a red herring you've brought up. Nobody including myself, Ankeny, or Jeeper are advocating it.
We are talking about handgun shooting technique, yes? And we are talking about what the "top pro's" are using, right? Maybe our definitions of FSP are different, and maybe not; as far as concept of technique, I think we are talking about the same thing. Also, I'm not redirecting the discussion, Ankeny tossed out the "what the top pro's are teaching" reference and I countered with guys who are just as good but shoot using different technique.


Speaking of red herrings...
Re: your comments about dry firing rifles. If you're dry firing a rifle for 17 years and not learning anything from it, you're not thinking about it right.
I've been looking at all my posts which precede this comment (after all, you told me reading is fundamental), and I have yet to find a reference I made to rifles; we were talking about pistols (per the original post), and I certainly hope you know the difference between the two.

OF
April 21, 2005, 06:48 PM
Ankeny tossed out the "what the top pro's are teaching" reference and I countered with guys who are just as good but shoot using different technique.The people you mentioned use precisely the techniques that are being discussed. You won't find a laser pointer in Sevigny's barrel, I guarantee it. Dryfire practice for Leatham isn't all about overcoming flinch and muscle memory. It's full-on training and practice, exercising damn near every single aspect of high-speed accurate pistol shooting. If you want to see what dryfire practice really can accomplish, you need look no further than Tatsuyo Sakai.

From reading this thread, it would seem to me that what we have here is a failure to communicate.

The point is that if you want to get the most from your dryfire practice you need to ditch the laser. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. It doesn't "work for some people" it's keeping you from realizing the full potential of dryfire practice. Advocating a laser-pointer in the barrel seems to work for you because, per your own admission, your dryfire practice is very narrowly focused and in one aspect has produced zero results for you in 17 years of trying. Your technique is lacking, not your equipment.

Steve Anderson and Brian Enos have advanced the concept of dryfire into the stratosphere from where it was just a couple years ago. If you aren't well versed on the state-of-the-art in dryfire technique, what they are teaching and expanding on, you really don't understand what is going on. And from that, have no standing to comment on whether or not a laser-pointer is appropriate or not.

I'm not trying to be unnecessarily condescending, but you seem to be having no trouble dismissing the comments of people on here that are as plugged into what is humanly possible with a handgun as just about any you'll ever meet.

If you really want to explore what this laser-pointer can or cannot offer in terms of dryfire and its place in high-speed pistol shooting, you really, seriously, need to head over to the forums at brianenos.com and discuss it. You will not find a more serious collection of the fastest pistol shooters on earth anywhere else on the web.

And as far as the 'agree to disagree' truce, these threads are about more than just the people involved in the discussion, there are many many people that read these discussions, and we're really talking to them. It's obvious you think you've got this all covered, and that's fine. I just hope we can enourage anyone reading that is thinking about seriously working with dryfire to look critically on this laser nonsense and get educated on what is, really, the state-of-the-art in dryfire training doctrine.

andersonshooting.com is the place to start, and brianenos.com is the place to finish.

- Gabe

Zak Smith
April 21, 2005, 06:50 PM
re: 17 years and rifles. You're right. Mea culpa. Maybe I should rephrase: if you're dry-firing for 17 years and not learning anything...


"Frontsight-Press" is a red herring you've brought up. Nobody including myself, Ankeny, or Jeeper are advocating it.
We are talking about handgun shooting technique, yes? And we are talking about what the "top pro's" are using, right? Maybe our definitions of FSP are different, and maybe not; as far as concept of technique, I think we are talking about the same thing.
Nobody mentioned FSP until you brought it up. Here's what the rest of us have been saying:
Dry fire is mainly about target acquisition and then transition once the aceptable sight picture is reached.
Jeeper pretty much nailed it. In dry fire, I always look for that Kodak moment, perfect sight picture and good sight alignment. I use dry fire to train my vision. I get a ton of feed back from the sights in dry fire, including grip information, how the gun is being presented, natural point of aim, biomechanical awareness of the relationship of the bore to the target face, and so on.

When I shoot I use several different sight focal points ranging from a target focus to a hard front sight focus. Of course, my index was developed using the sights.
Calling shots is about observing the sight picture as the shot breaks, which means you know without target confirmation where the bullet goes (except for environmental changes like wind for long range rifle shooting). This works when you're doing practical shooting (eg, IPSC/3Gun) where you might or might not be focusing on the sights, and precision rifle or High-Power, where you will have an different optical arrangement and focus.
Sure-- you can use your "index" instead of using a sight focus. This will be the fastest way to shoot some types of targets.

FSP implies a type of focus, where focus is both an intensifying of mental awareness and physical optical focus. FSP is one type of focus to achieve an acceptible sight-target relationship (or think bore-target relationship) which may be optimal for certain target/accuracy types. Ankeny aluded to some other methods or inputs when he said, "how the gun is being presented, natural point of aim, biomechanical awareness of the relationship of the bore to the target face, and so on".

The type of focus used for any particular target does not necessarily determine what you physically see, but what you are mentally most aware of. This is why it is possible to index on a target with a target focus yet observe where the shot breaks in your peripherally-aware vision or through kinesthetic/biomechanical awareness.

-z

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 07:06 PM
From reading this thread, it would seem to me that what we have here is a failure to communicate.
Agreed.

Shoot well.

Jon Coppenbarger
April 21, 2005, 07:15 PM
Shows you how little I know about what you were talking about. When you said laser for dryfire practice I automaticly thought about beam hit and the others.
You know the one that when you pull the trigger it registers on the target where the shot hit. Hook some of them up to CPU's and track everything from before to after the shot.
I get it now. Sorry I went off into rifle stuff.
Would like to try handguns some day but man my sport is hard enough and I do not think I would live long enough to get good at handguns. Plus got allot of things I still want to do with rifles.

I went out and watched a couple of those idpa matches and they looked fun but that is something that I may try some day but not for awhile anyway.
I can just see another hobby to spend money on. Dang.

jon

bradvanhorn
April 21, 2005, 07:48 PM
Shows you how little I know about what you were talking about. When you said laser for dryfire practice I automaticly thought about beam hit and the others. You know the one that when you pull the trigger it registers on the target where the shot hit.
No worries mate; despite my "huffiness" (I like making up new words) the discussion is all good. We have a system like that in the Marine Corps, known as the ISMT (Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer). The ISMT is a very good tool for practicing (when it works :( ); much better than drills on the "snap-in" barrel in my opinion :).

Jeeper
April 21, 2005, 09:29 PM
Jon

If you are into rifle stuff then any book by G David Tubb is where to begin if you havent already read his stuff. He talks a lot about training.

I can see the use of a laser in acquiring a NPA(Natural point of Aim).

I tried to find the "beating a dead horse" smiley but I couldnt. :)

Jon Coppenbarger
April 21, 2005, 10:49 PM
I read parts of his first book as Steve Smith has it and I read most of it.
Not much to disagree with his way of things and he has proven it time and time again.
Have not read his new book . The one that came out a few years ago. I might switch to bolt guns in a few years (for long range anyways) and will go back and review his and a few others.
All books like his and others offer a great deal of info. I find I like to cycle threw the books ever year or so. I feel as you grow in the sport things become more clearer and you pick up more things from them. A example would be that you read and kinda pass over the things you already think you know fairly quickly. Then the things you are working on are a great intrest and you read with the goal of learning what you are working on and maybe a few things you pick up to try.
The big thing I find by going back after around a year or so is you see something that hits you like a ton of bricks. You might of read it like 4 or 5 times before but it did not mean anything to you at that time. But now it is like a light coming on! It is good to re-read them over and over.
But I like to read allot of them. Not to much right now that the season has started.
I pretty much have my prone and sitting positions down to exactly what I like. Where it is fun is the off hand. I do have my main position to what I like and I have my windy day position if it is real bad. The thing that is hard for me is adjusting my position for certain ranges. Targets that are high are not a problem or ones that are even with me but those ones down hill give me fits. Can not practice on them till the match. I still do ok at that one range but it took me like 3 years to realize what the problem was.
The thing that all books or any book that I have read on shooting does not cover the mental game. The only book that helps but reading it I had a problem asorbing it was Lanny's book.
I knew it was what I needed to pursue but the book did not cut it. Do have the tapes on mental management and the 7 hours or so of somebody talking about it was a real awakening. That is what I have worked on all winter is my mental approch to my shooting. That is why I shoot all those practice shots in my head every day. I do not take a bad shot in my head and I work on getting that perfect mental focus when I get ready to shoot. Now it may take me a few months after I start to start to get cleans again on a regular basis but that is because of my timeing and breathing and my need to slow down.

Ankeny
April 21, 2005, 11:19 PM
Front sight press? I can barely see the front sight and I slap the trigger. Good grief.

Jeeper
April 22, 2005, 09:17 AM
Jon,

I liked Lanny's book OK but I really really liked "golf is not a game of perfect" and "the perfect games of tennis". Those two really clicked in my mind more than any others. The tennis one is my favorite. I sat down and started reading it one afternoon and didnt stop until I was done(late night) because I was so into it. I highly recommend both.

Island Beretta
April 22, 2005, 10:38 AM
i am back...i see the party got very busy whilst I was away..

a coupla things:

1. This is a statement from Michael Plaxco overheard sometime ago:

Imperfect practice gives imperfect results.. be careful what you are teaching yourself to do.....

2. I see those stats with Daniel, Dave and DR so often now over the different internet forums I have started to wonder what the point is????

3. As Brian Enos would say 'don't become too results-oriented'..it is not where the shot hits that matters, it is doing what is necessary to ensure that the shot hits wherever you want it to..whenever you want it to..

4. Target focus is good but not for every type of shooting challenge..don't limit yourself..the good shooter is the one who can address certain challenges, the great shooter is the one who can address any challenges..

bradvanhorn
April 22, 2005, 12:57 PM
Imperfect practice gives imperfect results.. be careful what you are teaching yourself to do...
Agreed. This is why I think the laser is a helpful tool. It is not the only tool however, and there is obviously a great deal of disagreement here over it's application. I'll add only this - try something new once in a while; keep it if it works.




I see those stats with Daniel, Dave and DR so often now over the different internet forums I have started to wonder what the point is????
The point is these guys (Daniel, DR and Rick for sure; Dave I'll consider putting a buck on it) do not train and perform the very same techniques as the other successful [professional] shooters, and yet they are getting results that are just as good. This is not proof (nor is it an attempt to prove) that one way is right and another way is wrong, but that one technique is just as good as another if you are willing to consider alternatives.




...it is not where the shot hits that matters, it is doing what is necessary to ensure that the shot hits wherever you want it to... whenever you want it to...
Agreed. Though in my mind the later is already implied by the former, so making the distinction is unnecessary. Regardless, how you accomplish this is almost certainly different depending on which techniques you use and practice. Again, it is not about right vs. wrong...




As I mentioned above, try something new once in a while; keep what works. Shoot well.

Zak Smith
April 22, 2005, 01:04 PM
"Let's all get a long / Agree to disagree" is a cop-out often used when an argument has been soundly refuted and its proponent won't admit defeat.

GRD's post says all that needed to be said about dryfire.

Control Group
April 22, 2005, 01:32 PM
OK, I'm one of the aforementioned "many many people" who read this forum, and I'm a novice - I haven't even managed to get over the hump of beginning to shoot competitively (though I will eventually, honest!).

With that said - to me, the laser-in-the-barrel device sounds like a good idea, and I kind of want one. Before anyone jumps down my throat or uses me for justification (yeah, right), let me explain.

Some people have said that the sights after the trigger pull tell you everything you need to know about the hypothetical shot. This may be true, but only if you know how to read them! I do plenty of dry fire practice, but all I can tell is if I've twitched the gun during my trigger pull (and I probably did). This is good information, of course, but I have no idea where an actual round would have gone. None. The key here is that I'm unsure of exactly what my sight picture means: I don't have enough experience to read it accurately, and certainly not enough to have confidence in my ability to read it accurately. A device which gave me feedback telling me whether the sight picture I had is the sight picture I wanted would be ideal.

I have to admit, I don't see how getting feedback on exactly what just happened can be a bad thing. I can see how lots of people would find the laser useless, but not how it is actually harmful. I mean, if getting feedback on your shot leads to bad habits, then that implies that actually shooting the gun is terrible practice! This is so counterintuitive to me that I find it hard to believe.

Additionally, one point I think has been missed, is that what's good practice for the absolute best shooters in the world may not be good practice for a novice or mediocre shooter. To analogize, I love baseball, but I'm as unathletic a guy as you're going to find, and I'm certainly no pitcher. A guy like Greg Maddux spends a lot of training time working on his grip to fine-tune a curveball. I can work on my grip all I want, it won't make me a better pitcher - I need to work on being able to reliably keep the ball catchable on the other side of the plate. Training the way the pros do is a great idea if you're close to being pro-level yourself. If you're not, though, you'd be better served building up all the basic skills they take for granted first.

bradvanhorn
April 22, 2005, 02:09 PM
I don't think your dilemma is all that unusual. Frankly I felt I was in a similar situation last year, although I had at least been shooting regularly as part of Marine Corps training, and have confidence in employing various weapons systems.

First, it will probably help to read some of the books that are readily available by internet/mail order, such as from Brian Enos. I haven't read Anderson, and his book is still waiting a reprint. Matt Burkett has some interesting videos. I also recommend DR Middlebrooks, but he is very controversial.

Second, take a class, preferably from someone who is both recommended by others, and who teaches to your interest (competition, self-defense, or whatever). I have no personal knowledge of anyone teaching in WI, but I'm sure someone here can recommend an instructor.

Third, be open minded about what people are recommending and teaching. Brian Enos, et al, are experts in their field, but that does not mean there are not different ways to "skin the cat", despite (or perhaps in spite of) what is argued here.

Last, the laser device may work for you and it may not. For what it's worth, I don't think it would hurt you to use it.

Zak Smith
April 22, 2005, 03:10 PM
I can see how lots of people would find the laser useless, but not how it is actually harmful.
In my first post, I explained one aspect of how using the laser can reinforce a bad habit:
Looking for the laser's dot trains you to look for visual confirmation of the hit (the "hole"). That is not the way to shoot fast.

Control Group
April 22, 2005, 03:20 PM
Point taken. But, as bad habits go, I think "looking for the hole" is less problematic than "I don't know what I'm aiming at." I'm in the latter category, and that's my point. If you can take proper reading of your sight picture for granted, then I guess the laser isn't for you, but that doesn't make it useless for everyone.

In any event, I still don't see how seeing where your round would have hit with a laser is any worse than seeing where your round did hit in real practice - you ignore the hole in your target, you could ignore the laser flash, too - but I can accept that I only don't get it because I'm not experienced enough to understand it, and trust that you're right.

Ankeny
April 22, 2005, 03:22 PM
Comments about Sevigny, Middlebrooks, etc. not training but getting results as good as guys like Rob Leatham is a down right crock and everyone knows it. For crying out loud, all of those guys have trained hard for years and years. To assert that "your guys" never train and don't look at their sights, but can get results as good as the best practical shooters on the planet does little more than rob you of all credibility. :banghead: :barf: :cuss:

bradvanhorn
April 22, 2005, 03:33 PM
To assert that "your guys" never train and don't look at their sights, but can get results as good as the best practical shooters on the planet...
Please quote where I said this.

bradvanhorn
April 22, 2005, 03:46 PM
Ankeny (Apr 20th, 09:24 PM) = In dry fire, I always look for that Kodak moment, perfect sight picture and good sight alignment.

Ankeny (Apr 21st, 11:19 PM) = Front sight press? I can barely see the front sight and I slap the trigger. Good grief.
Please explain to us how you get perfect sight picture when you can barely see the front sight.
Talk about contradictions and cause for ( :banghead: :barf: :cuss: )

Correia
April 22, 2005, 05:27 PM
Ok boys, time to take Ol' Yeller behind the barn. This one is done.

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