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Live fire or dry fire??

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Viking357, May 26, 2019.

  1. Viking357

    Viking357 Member

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    When you practice how often do you practice and do you go to the range or do dry fire at home. I am trying to get a system down, would like pros and cons of each. Thanks in advance.!!
     
  2. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    When I shot competition, I shot a lot. Both dryfire and live fire I shot a lot. Live fire reinforced if my reload and technique were acceptable, dryfire reinforced if my aim, trigger pull and follow through were proper.

    Live fire is self explanatory. My dry fire technique is simple. Find a blank wall or mount a piece of blank paper. Align your sights and manipulation the trigger. The sights should not move. If I het do, try again until you can fire a full string and not have the sights wiggle.

    Kevin
     
  3. Soupy44

    Soupy44 Member

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    Doesn't really matter the discipline you shoot, the ability to operate the trigger without the gun moving will be key. I'm a bullseye shooter and I dry fire 3-4x a week, live fire once a week (usually), and use an electronic trainer once a week (TRACE).
     
  4. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Dry fire is your friend. You can get in tens, even hundreds of thousands of dry fires in your home at no cost. You'll never be able to afford the ammo needed to become really good if you never dry fire. When you get to the range live fire is certainly necessary too.
     
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  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    There is a saying that goes like this: Dry fire is for learning, live fire just confirms that you have been doing your dry fire correctly.

    Now, it’s a little more complicated than that. There are definitely things that can only be learned in live fire. But the vast majority of shooting can be learned in dry fire.

    You need both. As much of each as you can get if you’re trying to get better. Most people can dry fire more and more frequently than they can live fire.

    There are a number of good resources out there about good dry fire habits and drills to run that are specific to practical/action shooting. Ben Stoeger and Steve Anderson have written extensively on the subject.
     
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Both.

    And thoroughly structured.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What competition? A benchrest rifle with a 2oz trigger, that your going to fire free recoil doesn’t require much shooter discipline in the trigger pull department. Shooting a revolver DA in competition requires much more trigger time to develop the skills necessary.

    The pros for dry firing is that you can do that anytime at home for less cost and less noise that live fire as well as watch the sights through firing without any movement that would occur due to recoil.
     
  9. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I believe the OP has a couple of other recent posts indicating that he is getting into USPSA pistol shooting. In addition to the trigger-straight-sights-don't-move stuff, dry fire is the way to work on draws, reloads, and gun manipulations of all sorts... and, perhaps most importantly, building a good index. It's as much dry gun-handling and dry gun-pointing as it is dry firing specifically.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    For pistol gun games it is quite valuable, I would also include a timer that does par time and random start. Helps to be able to quantify improvements.
     
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  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Particularly for people new to that game, "feel is not real." For lots of folks, it's very, very difficult to get up to competitive speed on things like draws and reloads without a concrete time "push" to force speed. They have to "feel" how fast they need to move in order to learn to move that fast... and then learn control.

    This is the opposite of the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" approach that some people (mostly people coming from a lowest-common-denominator, training-has-to-work-for-everyone background) advocate. That doesn't really work when it comes to competition... at least not until the competitor's internal "clock" is sufficiently quickened.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  12. Viking357

    Viking357 Member

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    Thank you all for your thoughts on my post. Much appreciated.!!
     
  13. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    That wasn’t my experience. Action targets are big, and while a DA pull is long, it didn’t take nearly the discipline to deliver on targets as it did to NOT screw up a good group in BR.

    Fundamentals matter in every type of competition.
     
  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’ve experienced this paradigm firsthand in action shooting, as well as precision rifle (are we action shooters too?).

    I still use draw stroke drills to improve my proficiency with my concealed carry pistols, but they were absolutely invaluable when I was doing more action competition. Especially in cowboy action shooting where there was a hammer stroke involved between beep and bang.

    For precision rifle shooting, when I started, I would commonly “time out” on multiple stages per match, meaning I was too slow to fire all of my shots within the time limit. Halfway through my first season, another shooter turned me onto a practice method he had heard in a Jim See podcast - the 11 second drill. For any position, and precision rifleman should be able to establish position and break their first shot within 11 seconds. I timed myself on video, and I was taking nearly 20 seconds on average to build positions. So I went to my basement barricade and tank trap, designed my practice sessions around building position in 11 seconds or less. All of my practices were designed to have a LOT of dynamic movement, changing position often, and always on the clock. Now, during matches, I feel like I have all of the time in the world in the glass. I ran an 8 window stage last weekend in under 75 seconds, and cleaned the stage - 8 porthole positions and 8 shots on target in under 75 seconds. Two years ago, I would have timed out with 2-3 rounds left in my mag with a 2min time cap, and probably have missed 2 shots on rushed triggers, a year ago, I would have finished, but would have dropped a couple or few points on bad triggers (knowing that, because that kind of stage is pretty common). Forcing myself to shoot fast forced me to learn how to build positions to be stable, then learn how to build them QUICKLY. Once I became comfortable building position, I noticed I was losing time by breaking my cheekweld to dial my optic for range. I was losing time rebuilding my cheekweld and shoulder position behind the rifle, so I practiced that away too - now I don’t lose that extra second to second and a half on every dial just to dial and find my target in the scope again (plus, I’m safer at the range, since I stay on glass and on target more, instead of maybe floating my muzzle up into the wild blue yonder above the berm).

    I mention those to particular aspects I have worked to improve in MY game as examples of the kind of aspect anyone might need to find in their own game.

    Another example: when I started shooting 3 gun in 1997/8, I was spending a lot of time with my sights ON TARGET, before I broke my shots. I wouldn’t start my trigger stroke until I was on target, such I had an extra few seconds in every stage where I was on target and could have shot, but hadn’t yet. I asked Jerry Miculek about it at a trade show once, and he said he wants his shot to break as soon as the sights are on target, so his trigger is moving as he is moving to the target. After a brief stint of shooting dirt on the transition side of the target (breaking too early), I was able to find my groove where I broke my shots as soon as the sights cleared onto the targets. My split times dropped considerably.
     
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  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    A lot of BR is when to shoot, if you are disrupting the bagged firearm pulling a 2oz trigger, you would have your work cut out for you though. Certainly more issues than just trigger pull.

    Valid points on trigger prep in USPSA at first transitions seem to gain in speed best in waves. Where speed is increased to the point accuracy suffers then the accuracy is established and the speed can be cranked up again, repeat.

    Kind of a practice at 120%, shoot your match around 90%. At least that’s how I won most of my wood.
     
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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Same way catchers practice throwing down the second base, practice faster than you do it in the game. Try to get faster in practice and then do it only as fast as you are capable without screwing up in the game.
     
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  17. z7

    z7 Member

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    Move fast and shoot “slow”

    Dry fire teaches so much,

    With any gun it builds trigger control muscle memory when done correctly but it should be more than that

    it refines and perfects: strong hand grip, support hand grip, sight alignment, Body position, sight picture, transitions, and weapon manipulation, what each of these looks like depends on the platform

    With a precision rifle it teaches, as @Varminterror Discussed, building a solid and stable shooting position and establishing a the natural point of aim on the target, anecdote here, I am more stable/accurate and fast from a standing supported shot (barricade) than I am kneeling or sitting because i practiced that more
     
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