Highpower Training Sessions


May 29, 2003, 10:46 PM
OK, when you (good) Highpower shooters go to the range to practice, what's your routine?

Due to time constraints, I usually get out to the range sometime in the week prior to a match. I'll work on the offhand portion first, since that's my weakest target. Normally, I'll get about 20 rounds off in practice (taking my time and resting quite a bit).

I'll then drop to prone and shoot just enough to confirm my zero and make sure I'm hitting where I should be. I follow that with ten rounds (2 then 8) of rapid sitting, repeating that again if I have time and/or if I didn't shoot the first string as well as I liked.

That's about it. I go home, clean the rifle and check my gear, then put everything away until the match.

BTW, I just got one of the Creedmoor data books, which I'd like to start using for the next match. Looking through it, I understand all of the fields. However, WHEN do you actually use it? For the slow fire stages, do you actually fill it out as you shoot, or once you are done?

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Steve Smith
May 29, 2003, 11:13 PM
I hope some good Highpower shooters come around and post!

Jon Coppenbarger
May 30, 2003, 01:29 AM
there are a few better than me here but I will tell you what I usually do and how this year has gone.

as far as practice goes I do dry fire alot in the winter and it is mostly off hand about 70% with 25% sitting and only about 5% prone.

last year I did not get alot of 300 and 600 yard stuff in but this year I spent a few days at the range camping and get 3 to 5 days in at 200, 300 and 600 about once a month.

being able to do that with hardly ever nobody around you can get alot done.

I will start off and dry fire 20 shots off hand and then do that for about 3 or 4 sets before I will ever put one down range as practicing off hand just dryfiring I get all the feed back I need to know.

in the rapid sitting I will load 4 to 8 mags with with sometimes 2 in a mag and just do 2 and 2 drills and maybe 1 and 2 drills for about a box of 50 with MAYBE the last 10 at 2 and 8.
all I'am trying to do there is to get my muscle memory totally down where everything comes as natual and as comfy as you would ever want and the mag changes I can do in my sleep till they are smooth and quick.
I hardly practice rapid prone as to me it is a extension of my 600 yard prone. but I do set aside about 1 day a month to practice it alone and it is mostly to get my breathing down correct so it comes easily.

at 600 I usually wait till I can shoot with someone as its nice to pull targets for each other and it is what most folks come to practice anyway.

during this time of year I get enough matches in that it is hard to get much practice in but I do find the time as much as I can.

I use matches to practice new things also as my positions are being corrected and fine tuned all the time.
sometimes you have to go backwards to go foward.

I have shot so far this year 840 shots in matches alone with 13 matches with 9 at 200 yards reduced , 3 xtc and 1 600 yard only match.
out of the 840 rounds my average is 95.7%
8 of the 13 were approved or registerd matches with a average of 95.6% and the other 5 not approved matches my average was 95.9%.
now that I have started to get my final positions down for the next few months the average has been just above the 97% range the last month and should go up in the next few months.

I have to plan my ammo out to keep ahead of the reloading and it is going to be fun.
between just camp perry and the state and regional here the round count will be at 876 between now and middle of august and that is only about 1/3 of what will go down range in betwen also.
I need to turn in now but you get a ideal what I feel I need to do to get ready and to improve.
as I know and my friends know they may beat me but I will always be close at the end.
dang you steve you should answer these questions.
thanks for letting me babble on. jon

Jon Coppenbarger
May 30, 2003, 01:32 AM
sorry forgot about the book.
its like a good thing to have and if you look at mine you think he does not have much in there and it may look like that.

I usually get good zero's for each line and range and temp. and light condition as that is what's most important to me.
when I do write the scores down in it its because of how the match is run and if the guy in the pits is doing the scoring I want to make sure we are on the same page as they do mess up alot.

Steve Smith
May 30, 2003, 09:24 AM
Going over my scores, I think my average is right at 94.2% barely making MA... IMHO you shouldn't worry yourself with a data book until you hit Expert class. Your shots aren't consistent enough until then to make any sense of it.

May 30, 2003, 05:08 PM
Book drill:

1. Record day, place, rifle and ammo data before the prep period.

2. Record your sight elevation settings before or during prep. Observe wind, dial in windage, and record it in your book.

3. Record light and time for the sighters if not a Leg Match, for the first shot standing if EIC.

4. Slow fire: Record the light at the beginning of the string. For each shot:
a. observe wind and dial it in. Write it down now or after the shot breaks.
b. Fire the shot
c. Record the shot call with a dot in the box with the circle.
d. Record your sight picture in the wind/light box & circle (do only once after the first shot).
e. Watch the scope for pit service.
(1) Mark the shot with its number on the target diagram.
(2) Write the shot value in the little box in its position in the string of boxes. If OFF your call, mark it with an x in the box with the circle.
(3) Look again, make sure it's really your target, and observe the wind.
f. Think and correct sights if appropriate.
g. Write your sights data in the appropriate box(es) for that shot.
e. Fire the next shot.

For rapid-fire, you just record for the sighters as above, then record the shot values off the the scoreboard at the end of the string. I usually note if there was a wild shot by its call, and any other unusual conditions or events. Many of us check the wind during the reload, and glance at the flags around shot #6.

IN my notes, I also record sling position and other factors affecting the shooting experience.

May 30, 2003, 07:28 PM
Haven't shot a HP match since the service, but most important part to me was mental prep time. Once you shoot enough matches the mechanics become second nature. Gear, rifle, and ammo prep is easy (once you find what works for you.) Girlfriend leaves, dog dies, stuck in traffic too long, a$$ of a boss etc... If you can't leave it at home then don't bring it to the range, you'll have a bad day. Mind set the last issues a lot of shooters think of. As one of my PMI's at Parris Island said "you should be able to take a nap at the 500yd line while in the prone." I use to treat practice the same as a match if you don't you can't measure your self, if you can't do that then how are you going to improve. If you shoot better at practice then take it to the match and vice versa.

My match/practice routine for the day was like this

1. Make sure I got enough sleep.
2. Wake up
3. Jog 2 miles (easy pace) instead of coffee
4. Shower as hot as I could stand it (lowers blood pressure I was told)
5. Eat a light breakfast fruits/carbs 50/50 mix
6. Pack car/go to range
7. Shoot match/as in a match (relaxing as much as possible, deep breaths, blank mind, stretch a lot etc...)
8. Talk with coach to see what might help improve (was lucky here)
9. Go over scorecard with data book in hand, check notes log stats
10. Go home and ready gear for next match

Now this was a while back and I am just now looking to get back in to HP comps (from scratch actually) so I hope you take this with some salt and use what works for you to improve your score.


May 30, 2003, 10:43 PM
Thanks much for all the responses!

I definitely plan to add a little more structure to my training and go out with a specific plan ahead of time. Up until now, I've largely just gone to the range and worked on things in a somewhat random fashion.

However, I really want to start shooting some better scores.

JC121 - I appreciate the detailed reponses. I really need to work more on the dry-fire practice. Tonight I think I'll make some scaled-down "targets" of the appropriate size that I can put on the wall and aim at in my basement.

Grump - The book drill you outlined makes sense. I'll give it a try at the next match and see if I can get any (even somewhat) meaningful data. If it all looks jumbled at the end of the year, then I'll stop keeping track until I get more consistent.

Duckfoot - I agree with you about having a pre-event routine. This is something I learned racing bicycles several years ago. Now that I've got a few matches under my belt and have gotten comfortable with my gear, I'm able to focus a lot more intently on the actual shooting. In other words, I've run out of excuses for poor performance.

Steve Smith
June 2, 2003, 09:19 AM
You do what you want, but there is enough for a beginner to do and remember without having to take care of a book. Again I suggest you just leave it out until you are an Expert.

Jon Coppenbarger
June 2, 2003, 03:09 PM
the only time I bring my book to the line is at a range that I'am still trying to get real good zero's for and most of the time I never get it out but to write changes in the elevation zero's for the different temps or light at a given range.

I can walk up to most ranges and with my zero's I'am in the x centered most of the time and at the worst a little high or low in the 10 at the worst for elevation.
knowing that about the only concerns that I get is the wind factor.
here is what a typical 600 yard slow prone would go like.

#1 set equipment up and adjust spotting scope scope so that all I have to do is just turn my head ever so slightly to see down range.
#2 find my npa and try not to move my left arm (right handed) unless I have to.
#3 look at he mirage at the target and see direction and value
#4 look at the mirage at the 300 yard line and check direction and value
#5 check flags at all the ranges to see what they are doing
#6 watch the flags and get the pattern of pick-ups and let offs and how long it takes for the wind to pick up.
#7 if real windy my first shot wind value will be somewhere about twice what my 300 yard zero was. and that is why I take a reading of the conditions at 300 yards by looking at the flags and wind speed and conditions of the grass and other items that may be there. it will get me close.
#8 I will pay more attention to what the wind is doing at the 200yard & 300 yard line and back toward me as that is what will effect the wind the most.
#9 before I get on each shot I will look at the flags and get my wind adjustment down and get on the sights and take a quick look right before you really get on it to make sure it has not changed and then break the shot in a known condition.
#10 the first thing after the shot and follow threw is to look at the wind value to see what it was after the shot so when the target comes up you should know where the shot is in the 10 or x ring and the spotter is used only as a reference to where you adjusted for the wind and NOT a indication of what to adjust to for the next shot (do not chase the spotter).
#11 repeat it all over again so you see I really do not have alot of time to spend on the book as it is not going to tell me where my next shot should be when I should be looking at all of the conditions.

a few hints to help you:

#1 if you missed the wind call take a quick look at the targets around you as they most likely missed it also and the next time the condition is like that and it usually will be you will be inside of the call.
#2 only shoot in a known condition or as close to it as you can.
#3 always try to shoot on the build up of the wind as the mirage will lay over and it will build slower than the let off of the wind.
#4 try to get the major wind down like if it builds up to 15 mph but is at 12 to 14 most of the time that is where you should try to shoot as because even if you are off by a mph or two all it should do is move you around in the 10 ring at the worst.
#5 shooting as fast as you can at 600 yards is sometimes good but NOT if it is changing on you as it does no good to shoot fast if you have one shot at 5mph and the next at 12mph with the same setting.
#6 you might have to take up most all your time on a windy day and sometimes even wait a couple of minutes till the wind gets back into a known condition and if it does not you start over at what is the new current prevaling condition.

good luck and that is why I do not use a book alot.

Steve Smith
June 2, 2003, 06:28 PM
Shoot on the downwind side of the x. That way if there's a letoff you might still get a wide 10 on the far side. If you center the x, or shoot on the upwind side, if it lets off you're in 9'sville or worse.

June 7, 2003, 05:10 AM
I don't know that I'd consider myself a "good" Highpower Shooter, and I don't know that you'd want to follow my regimen since it's built around a severe lack of practice time, but if you're interested...

I have two little kids, and both my wife and I have busy careers. While Highpower is my passion, it takes a backseat to Work and Family, thus I get out to practice once a month if I'm lucky, and shoot a match every other month. As a result, I've streamlined my practice to try to get the most out of my range time;

1) I enjoy shooting standing and shoot standing nearly every session I get out. Most times I'll only shoot one or two strings but I focus on the fundamentals and work on specific areas such as reducing my wobble or breaking the trigger clean. I haven't found shooting more strings improves my scores. It only takes more time.

2) Rapid fire. I don't shoot Rapid Fire for every session. If I do, I'll start by shooting multiple 4 shot strings typically. I want to practice dropping down into position, establishing my NPOA, the magazine change, then resetting my NPOA for the second 2. Most times I'll finish off with a full string.

3) Prone Slow Fire. I usually try to work on specific problem areas. Trigger, front sight focus or different sight pictures. 10 shots and sometimes 20.

When I started out, I dry-fired only standing at home every chance I got. Mostly without the Jacket. I shoot a decent standing and am inconsistent in my other positions - Probably reflective of the time spent dry firing in each.

I almost never get to even dry-fire at home now. My scores have remained the same though. Similar to many others I've compared notes with, focused practice will help you improve your scores (particularly when you're starting out). But it takes remarkably little to maintain those scores once you've gotten a handle on the basics.

As an example of how little it takes, I shot a match in January. I didn't touch my rifle (literally) until a match in March. As I stepped to the 200 yard line in March, I was worried my rustiness would show most in Standing. However, I focused on executing fundamentals and shot a 99. (I followed it up with a 91 because of the sweat streaming into my face after that through).

Should beginners use a Score Book? I say absolutely. Plot your shots, and log your sight settings. It will help you keep track of your Zero's. It's also nice to track progress (which is a nice motivator for many).

Last tip; Always, always, look your best on the range. You neva kno wen da hot Mama's will be dea. BlingBling is always worth extra X's!

Steve Smith
June 7, 2003, 10:00 AM
Mr. Rat is a better shooter than I am, so follow his advice!

June 7, 2003, 01:36 PM
Fo shizzle my nizzle.
Last tip; Always, always, look your best on the range. You neva kno wen da hot Mama's will be dea. BlingBling is always worth extra X's!

Jon Coppenbarger
June 7, 2003, 06:40 PM
blind rat is a very good shooter and he has hit it on the head with once you have it you have it.
I'am not quite there yet but working on it alot.
it has been a bad week for me at matches but even on those days you have to look at what went right and do not dwell on what you can not control and if you can control it work on it.

last sundays xtc match my second stage went south on me so you had no ideal what the trigger was going to do and when.
it was a good leason on not putting your finger on and take up slack on the trigger untill you are ready. I fought it from about mid way in my off hand and it cost me at least 7 points out of the last 7 or 8 shots.
now in the rapid sitting it was my worst of the year at 189 but their was not much I could do as it got worse as the day went on.

back at 300 yard in my rapid prone I was on target and was using the proven method of holding the trigger in untill I was setting up on the next shot.
well it only grabbed me once for a 7 out the top on the first string and then it was a miss off the target up top on the second string. that stage ended up with a 187-9x with that 7 and miss.

then it gets better as we had rain and strong wind at 600 yards, it went like this
#1 sighter 10 at 11
#2 sighter 10 at 1
dropped sight down 1/4 minute
first shot miss and I have no ideal where it went but somewhere over the target into the berm.
but to put it this way in the strong wind and rain my final score at 600 yards with my ar15 was a 188-9x and out of those 12 points I lost 11 that was due to that dang trigger and 1 due to a let off in the wind that came alot faster that it had in the past but was only out of the 10 by about a 1" but that was my fault all by it self. but it was still a master score with a miss.

the point here is that no matter what goes wrong you can still do it right once you have it close to being down.
yes I could of changed rifle's or just lowers as I do take back ups of both with me at all matches and I wanted to do it with that rifle that was giving me problems because I want to learn to shoot threw it and do well and I have learned what to do and what to not do in that case.
the trigger was still safe and the first stage was working fine and the next day I worked on it and tuned all of my trigger 's back up to where they break right a little over 4 1/2 and are smooth and crisp.
it did most likely cost me a high master card that day but I really do not care at this point as I'am still in a learning curve.

todays reduced course 200 yard 50 shot match was another leaning curve as it was windy and heavy rain to start.
it was a tough off hand with only a 93 to start.
then I wanted to try the cross ankle position in my sitting to see if it would work and it was not working so after the 4th shot I switched back to crossed leg and ended up with only a 97-4x but those 4 you could cover with a dime.
now the rapid prone with rain on my glasses I only managed a 98 but the 2 that were out I knew it when I pulled the trigger it would be close and they were real close.
at the slow prone target which I personal find tougher than the 600 regulation yardage target. at least the rain had stopped and was starting to get a little sun. ended up with a 195-9x with 2 8's and a 9 but they were all out left to right cause of the lighting changes and my not catching it when I should of. the end of the day it was still a 483 out of 500 well below my 50 shot course score's but I learned alot from it. and shot it with a 6 o'clock hold for the whole course instead of a center hold in those light conditions.
what all of this means is that even with out alot of practice you can even learn alot about shooting and conditions and what light and other items can effect what happens and what not to do and what to do and what happens with each. and sometimes in practice you do not get all of the different things that can happen and do happen in a real match
remember EVERY SHOT IS PRACTICE FOR THE NEXT SHOT and if you do not learn something from every match or experience you are not moving foward.
I have not shot a perfect score for the whole match yet and maybe never will but it is not because I stopped learning it is because I have not learned enough.
now these next two weeks are dedicated to getting a little more zero's down with different target and frame holds at different yardages as for the regionals and states come up and after tommorrow I do not get a break as matches are every weekend day untill the travel weekend in august on the way to camp perry. that means two regionals and one state before perry and I do plan on being ready by then. (I hope)
thanks and keep practicing jon

July 29, 2003, 06:17 PM
I'm just learning too. My big problem WRT the score book is that although I shoot right handed, I write left handed. Not coordinated enough to scratch numbers or marks in the tiny book spaces.

I downloaded the Marine book from biggerhammer.net, and printed larger versions of it, but still have problems.

Recently I pasted a 100 yard reduced center (MR-41C for slow prone) on a piece of corkboard, and I use numbered push pins to mark my shots. I also drew numbered tracks vertically and horizontally, so when I change my sights I move a push pin along the track forwards or backwards to keep track of the clicks. Now I can return to my "baseline" zero without getting screwed up.

Grump-- slow fire allows 60 seconds per shot. How much of that time is taken up by the scoping & writing? I'm still at the point where I use too much time per shot-- but I won't learn anything by just blasting away.

I got a .22 rimfire upper so I can practice indoors. That helps.

Steve Smith
July 29, 2003, 06:23 PM
Shouldn't take you more than 15 seconds to do what Grump outlined.

Most can be done while the target is on its way down or back up.

Fire the round.

After follow though pick up the next round and lay it on the follower.

Mark your call.

check target/wind

If target is up write down your score and shot placement. also note wind changes, light changes and such.


Watch wind again and make adjustments

Close the bolt.


Done faster than typing it.

If target service is slowish, I will close the bolt when the target is on its way up and knock it down again.

July 30, 2003, 04:24 PM

What Steve posted. I remember it as taking 20-30 seconds tops. I can shoot a string of 22 in 15 minutes if there's no need to wait for the wind.

Steve Smith
July 30, 2003, 05:54 PM
Was thinking about this while I was driving earlier. If you are taking the full minute for each shot, how long are you on the sights? If you spend very long at all, your sight picture will get worse and worse. Your best sight picture is usually the first one you see.

July 30, 2003, 11:29 PM
Spending most of my time trying to see the holes thru the &)(&)*%^$ scope.

Be interesting if someone compared the 60 mm Swift Lynx vs the Kowa 60mm

After 10 shots the nerve pain in my palm gets bad; glove/hand position is that othe topic.

I don't hesitate to put my head down or glaze over & stare at the grass as often as needed. Using a less powerful contact lens is helping that. Need to try another quarter diopter less power and see if that's too much.

Used to have to rest my neck, but I think raising the sights helped that a lot. Still get stiff in the lower back.

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