How do you practice?

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Jan 6, 2009.

How do you mostly practice?

Poll closed Feb 6, 2009.
  1. Slow fire target shooting only

    6 vote(s)
  2. Rapid 'defensive' fire, no jacket

    5 vote(s)
  3. Rapid 'defensive' fire, inc, jacket

    9 vote(s)
  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Most who carry practice. Most who practice slow fire at 20/25 yds, but do you practice drawing your sidearm from under a jacket using the exact holster and rig you do for the street?

    If so, how does it go? Do you have any tips for others?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2009
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    try to match my practice to a real life situation. rapid fire while drawing from under a jacket,coat or shirt depending on the weather. praying also enters into the equation.

  3. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    DAV, Deep in the Pineywoods of E. Texas!
    I practice two ways. The first is just target practice, and is only done every now and then. The form of practice I do most is to set up 1, 2, or 3 targets. Usually these are set up at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and 2 or 3 o'clock. Sometimes I face one target first, then the next time I face a different target. That means that sometimes one is right in front, with one each, on my left and right. Sometimes I face the 3 o'clock target putting two on my left, etc. Distance from targets varry, but never more that 10'. I try to draw and fire, double tapping all targets as fast as I can. I live out in the country, and can practice when ever, or however I want. I also do some distance shooting with both rifles and hand guns. I have some old plow shares hanging in the trees, and they make great targets for distance shooting. You might not see a bullet strike at 50 - 100 yds on paper, but you can sure hear it strike those peices of metal! I use a spotting scope when shooting paper at those ranges. I might add that anyone trying this should use caution! Speed is not critical! Getting the gun out, and on target is most important. No matter how fast you are on the draw, if you can't hit with those first shots, you ain't helping your cause!
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  4. combatvampire

    combatvampire New Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    I set up targets in my garage and use an Airsoft replica of my weapon to pratice, proper draw, front sight picture, ect. Can't affored ammo to shoot all the time, but BB's are cheap.
  5. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    IDPA was my venue for practice, so it would be rapid fire w/jacket.
    Same rig I use everyday, except I don't always carry that many mags. ;)
  6. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I like this idea, while gas or airsoft cant replace practice with a firearm I can see it as a valuable training aid. Certainly if it is about the same weight as your firearm it is no different to dry fire practice, only less forgiving when the shot goes wide.
  7. With my carry weapons, I always practice the way I might have to use it. Oh, I will do a little bullseye shooting with those weapons too, just for fun, but the emphasis is always on real world use. I don't know about you, but I have never been attacked by a bullseye. :D;)
  8. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    When at the range (due to safety and controls), I probably do what would be considered squared, in between fast and slow fire.

    When I can get out in the open desert, a friend and I often practice a drill we have both seen in training materials.

    One person acts as the caller while the other is the shooter. Four to six targets are set up in a line. Ideally the targets are each different either in color or shape, or have an identifying number or character. The shooter should wear as normal of clothing and carry gear as possible.

    The shooter walks in a circle or figure-eight preferably around an obstacle like a barrel 7-15 feet from the target line. At random intervals, the caller calls out a target identifier like "GREEN!" The shooter then must identify the specific target, draw and place two to three rounds in the target to be combat accurate. After hitting a target, the shooter returns to low-ready, scans for other targets, re-holsters and continues to walk. The shooter should practice combat re-loads and evasive movement (sidestepping while drawing / re-loading) and clearing malfunctions when necessary.

    The caller may occasionally call a bogus target ("GREY!" where there is no target). This is to test the shooter in quickly identifying targets. Hitting a target and then realizing that no existing target was called is a sickening feeling.

    The caller may also call for a specific action like "COVER! HEADSHOT!" indicating that the shooter should crouch behind the obstacle and shoot around it with a greater accuracy requirement.
  9. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Training is a balance. Here's my philosophy to disregard, sharpshoot, or take away what you like.

    1. Target practice, and even plinking, with a carry sidearm builds confidence and skill. It's nice to know without a doubt you can hit a pepsi can at 25 paces with your CCW. It also builds reflexes and makes you highly familiar with your weapon. Enough target shooting and you'll know all the things that make the weapon hiccup or get sluggish; totally memorize all the edges, doohickies, and thingybobbers; and in a low stress target shooting environment you can analize what you and the weapon are doing and re-create things that you like or want to check.

    When I was a drill sergeant, one of my buddies would tell the privates, "When you get bored, play with your M16's. Dry fire, lock the bolt back, realese the bolt, insert mags, remove mags, aim at things in different positions. Every time you manipulate your weapon, you are learning to fight with it."

    The most high-speed place I ever worked, when we started shooting, I expected some really high-sped coolguy ulta-hooah shooting techniques to learn. What I got was NRA targets, black and white tape, and a basic weapon with iron sights. Not in a multimillion dollar shooting complex, but someone's old field. We shot over and over. All 5 principles of marksmanship, step by step, over and over. 10 rounds, score tape. 10 rounds, score tape. Compare scores to yesterday. Compare this afternoon to this morning. Day after day. Just the basics...all day every day...over and over. The first day I thought, "damn there must be some catch here; they're gonna have us shoot until exhausted, then shoot even more, to see how we shoot under fatigue." Nope. We took long lunches to rest and early afternoon, hey yall boys is getting tired so lets sit down and talk about ballistics. I came to understand later why: No matter how advanced you get, you are only as effective as your lowest level of training.

    Don't master anything else until you master the basics. As I was taught, you can be highly proficient at a skill, but cannot yet claim to have mastered it until you have effectively taught it. Food for thought.

    Don't underestimate target shooting.

    2. If you always shoot targets standing still, when you get on the two-way lethal target range you will stand still there too!

    The thing about people trying to kill you is they move a lot. Convential targets are static. 99% of us focus on the front sight to aim. When you transition from static targets to a real live moving targets, there is an execution failure that occurs: you focus on the threat and sight picture is not achieved. (This is how police with expert qualification on paper miss with every shot when engaging an armed man.)

    Some people try to get around this thing by learning point shooting. But that junk takes forever to learn and you're screwed if you need to place a precise shot.

    Practice shooting on the move. Practice against moving targets...balloons on strings, pop-ups, multiple distances, targets floating on water, targets pulled on clotheslines. The reflexive fire drill LurpyGeek described is good; that is similar to the circle/triange/square drill the Army uses.

    Firing moving to cover; firing and reloading behind cover; achieving a C-clamp on cover for stability and recoil management; firing in prone, alternate-prone, supine, sitting, kneeling, and fighting stance; presentation and firing while pushing; single hand fire; presentation and firing while kicking off threat, standing and supine....

    3. If most deadly confrontations occur in the dark, why do most people train in the light?

    Do nightfires, they are humbling.

    4. Fighting is very hard work. Professional warriors get exhausted in short time even after intensive training. A pro football player doesn't exert as much energy by halftime as you may need in a couple minutes of fighting. If you are not conditioned to moving at 100% speed or firing up those fast twitch muscles, what makes you think they will work when you need them? We used to run 5-9 miles a day, but I've been smoked fighting from the street to the second floor. You cannot think if you cannot breath!

    Physical stamina is essential to a clear mind under stress.

    Do pushups until muscle failure, then load and fire. Keep score. You will get better.

    Sprint 100m, 200m, 300m. Present and fire. Your heartbeat over 100 beats a minute will ruin your accuracy at first. Keep score. You get better once you learn where to squeeze the trigger in your wobble zone.

    Wrestle a partner until exhausted. Shoot under fatigue. Keep score. You learn to hit under a wobble zone of a wounded man.

    5. Time limits and critical problem solving equal stress in training.

    The most realistic stress to put in training is the clock. No one naturally knows how to function under extreme stress; it is learned. Practice against the clock often.

    Competition is the best measure of your ability. You don't have to be the best, just never be the worst.

    Everything you do in a fight that isn't a reflex is very deliberate and slows you down. Your fingers suddenly don't work anymore. The most simple task becomes very long and complicated. If the task (immediate action, reload, change position, C-clamp, AIMING!!!! etc) is not conditioned into a reflex by practice under stress, it is unreasonable to believe it will happen under life and death duress.

    Everything is hard to do when someone is killing you.

    6. Train exactly as you fight. If you wear a suit and shoes all day, why train in blue jeans and boots? Buy a suit at Goodwill and get it dirty.

    7. To engage in a fight does not instantly remove you from harm. You are now 100% in harm's way. You can count on getting shot, stabbed, burned, or beaten before you stop the attacker/s. Learn how to control bleeding. Practice.

    8. Make a habit of rehearsing a battle drill mentally everywhere you go. If one somewhere is tricky, re-create it on the range and practice it. That's how the El Presidente came to be.

    9. When I went through personal protection training to do bodyguard details, we never trained alone. Get a partner to wrestle you while you attempt to present your unloaded CCW, airsoft, or rubber duck. That is an eye opener.

    Practice presenting supine, on knees, and standing while trying to get distance from a partner trying clinch you, cut you with a 'sharpie pen', or hitting you with a foam padded stick.

    If you carry OC spray along with CCW, it's a good idea to learn to present with some OC on your forehead. (Don't spray actual stream in your eyes!)

    10. Getting your weapon back in the holster in a safe condition without any accidental firing is as important as drawing and firing fast. Practice clearing, decock, whatever etc every time. Finger off the trigger....all that.

    After a fight you're going to have to answer to somebody. A lawyer on your contact list in your cell is a good idea. Putting a family or friends # in the phone listed as ICE (in case of emergency) will help authorities get someone to you if you are incapacitated or can't call yourself. After a deadly fight, you don't want to be alone.

    Surviving life can be harder than surviving death.
  10. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Delta, I dont know what you are training for but I want to be far, far away.
  11. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Sorry. If I had a card, it would say Manager of Violence. Cheers. Who dares wins, and all that.
  12. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Peoples Republic of the Pacific Northwest
    Delta is absolutely on target with his comments. I'll reemphasize a point; any training, even if it is not combat oriented or does not teach "best practices", is better than none.

    I've been acquainted with many people that were highly trained in the use of firearms, mostly in law enforcement of some sort, that rail against IPSC shooting because it teaches bad habits. Perhaps it does, but for the average person who must defend himself or herself, reacting with well practiced bad habits when the chips are down can save your life as opposed to not reacting at all. We all have our busy lives, me included, and for most of us, time to train with our defensive firearms is limited. The main thing is do what we can.

    I'm primarily a target shooter, high-power rifle and some bull's-eye pistol, but I've really come to enjoy IDPA matches. It's focused on using our usual carry pieces and the scenarios change every time for variety in training. It's really become a bridge for me from formally shooting at black circles to shoot and maneuver.

    Another trick I've come up with years ago is shooting empty shotgun shells with my .22 revolver. I have a S&W model 15 in .38 Special for defense and a matching model 18 in .22 for practice. When I have time I'll go out to a gravel pit where people commonly shoot; there are always empty 12 gage hulls lying around. I'll set them up on end on the ground where it's safe and practice drawing and shooting them at anywhere from 5 to 25 yards in various shot series; draw and shoot one, draw and shoot three, draw and shoot two, etc. I figure that if I can hit a shotgun shell, I can place a round center mass if I need to.

    Delta, I also have practiced with the El Presidente drill for many years, although I've never heard Jeff Cooper associated with it; as I learned it the drill was developed by the secret service equivalent a South American country and all shots were double-taps to the head (could be all the same though). Train for the worst case and hope for something better.
  13. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    USMC, Col Cooper liked El Presidente, I should know I shot it with him a couple of times.

    As for what they get up to in South America, who knows ;) It's an interesting place and mostly with no rules. Not for the faint of heart, or anything to loose.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2009
  14. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Peoples Republic of the Pacific Northwest
    Knowing and shooting with Jeff Cooper had to be quite an experience, I'm jealous...

    I also spent a bit of time in South America, back in the early 80's, mostly in Cartagena, Columbia. A bit of a wild and wooly place, and not somewhere to be loosing your wits.
  15. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    And your right to be so.

    I cannot call him a friend, that was not the case, but I met and shot with him a few times. I was also quoted as one of the 'faimily' on South American matters in his Guns and Ammo magazine column. (For those that remember that).

    A few years ago I had a visit planned, only for him to pass away just before I got there. A sad loss indeed. He was one of the great shooters of my time. To sit and discuss handguns or rifles with him was a pleasure. As you may know he was in the USMC in WW2 and I think was at Midway (I am not sure about that but seem to remember a comment).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2009
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