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View Full Version : Shooting Help at Firing Line, Huntington Beach


runway1
08-02-2011, 6:58 AM
My son will attempt to earn the Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon next Summer. He's been shooting his 92FS pretty good, but inconsistent and not to the requirements needed for the ribbon. Sure he'll "pass" with no problem, but he wants the ribbon.

I was wondering if there's an instructor type shooter in the Huntginton Beach area that would be willing to help him out a bit. I'll throw in a couple boxes of ammo for you and maybe you can help out for session at the Firing Line, Huntington Beach.

Any other thoughts on how to best develope his skills, let me know. Thanks!

Matt P
08-02-2011, 8:14 AM
Talk to local ranges/gun shops and see who they would refer you to.
Do you know what the drill/test is to earn such a ribbon?
If you can get that, practice, practice and more practice of that.
Todd Jarrett Handgun Tips (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48)
As long as the test is done all supported, (with both hands) Todd Jarrett will help you with the most common problem for those with lack of control on a handgun.
GRIP.
Strengthen his support grip, do not lock elbows, raise his left elbow in a effort to cam in tension on the left side of the frame. (Or the opposite of that if left handed)

runway1
08-02-2011, 9:33 AM
Matt, thanks for the tip. Also had a very generous offer from a fellow in the valley area. Thanks to you both.

Rotting
08-02-2011, 9:48 AM
This may have changed since I took the test. I took the test in 1999 Air Force ROTC "Summer Camp" (Cadet Field Training), and we shot at a slightly oversized human silhouette. 60 shots, all must be on paper, 54 in the center of the mass (about a 20-inch diameter circle). 7 yards, 10 shots standing, 10 shots around barrier to the left, 10 shots around barrier to the right. 15 yards, 10 shots standing, 10 shots around barrier to the left, 10 shots around barrier to the right. I think you had 30 seconds to shoot each section.

I qualified expert the first time I took the test (the first time I had ever shot a handgun). I didn't think the test was that difficult at all. Some buddies of mine took the test as lieutenants and they said that the test was slightly different but just as simple as the way I described. BUT...things can change a lot in 12 years, so it may be more difficult now.

CAL.BAR
08-02-2011, 10:09 AM
Honestly, unless your son's stance and technique are really poor or he's trying to compete in a "game" like IDPA, IPSC etc., no one can "teach" you to be an expert shot. It is a skill that is learned over time through lots of practice. (IMHO) Buy a thousand rounds, and have him hit the range a few times a week. His shooting WILL improve. The more he practices, the better he will get.

Milspec714
08-02-2011, 10:37 AM
Does your son know the qualifications required to shoot for Expert? What target is being used? If not, its attached... Study it, learn it, live it ... and tell him good luck :patriot:

Kelvrick
08-02-2011, 12:22 PM
Honestly, unless your son's stance and technique are really poor or he's trying to compete in a "game" like IDPA, IPSC etc., no one can "teach" you to be an expert shot. It is a skill that is learned over time through lots of practice. (IMHO) Buy a thousand rounds, and have him hit the range a few times a week. His shooting WILL improve. The more he practices, the better he will get.

Honestly, I think you're wrong. I think 100 rounds with an instructor (or more experienced shooter) is better than 1000 rounds at the range by yourself.

Do another 900 dry fire drills and you'll get even better.

I would think option B below would result in a much better shooter.

A
1000 rounds of say 9mm = $200.

B
100 rounds = $20.
Instruction class ~$150
Dryfire time after the class = free

wu_dot_com
08-02-2011, 12:41 PM
is he require to shoot with 1 arm or 2? if its 1, i may be able to give some lessons learned from me.

Matt P
08-02-2011, 1:02 PM
I would have to agree with kelvrick.

You could also do a word search for Dry Fire Practice Drills.
If the test is slow fire, then Dry Practice, even with a horrible grip will still help him smooth out his press of the trigger.
Try the balancing a dime, or empty shell on the front sight as he works on his trigger control.
And good for you runway, for wanting to help your son, help himself.. Thats a good Dad!!

wu_dot_com
08-02-2011, 1:46 PM
I would have to agree with kelvrick.

You could also do a word search for Dry Fire Practice Drills.
If the test is slow fire, then Dry Practice, even with a horrible grip will still help him smooth out his press of the trigger.
Try the balancing a dime, or empty shell on the front sight as he works on his trigger control.
And good for you runway, for wanting to help your son, help himself.. Thats a good Dad!!

shooting accurately is actually about multi tasking with acute mental focus.

the physical dry fire stability is one, maintaining sight picture relative to the bullseye during trigger pull is another, and the mental focus of merging those two activities together as one with no other thoughts in mind is the third.

doing simple dryfire practice is useless unless you practice with the other two aspect in mind.

locosway
08-02-2011, 10:59 PM
My son will attempt to earn the Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon next Summer. He's been shooting his 92FS pretty good, but inconsistent and not to the requirements needed for the ribbon. Sure he'll "pass" with no problem, but he wants the ribbon.

I was wondering if there's an instructor type shooter in the Huntginton Beach area that would be willing to help him out a bit. I'll throw in a couple boxes of ammo for you and maybe you can help out for session at the Firing Line, Huntington Beach.

Any other thoughts on how to best develope his skills, let me know. Thanks!

I wouldn't mind helping him out for free given the circumstances. If you're interested just send me a PM.

jmsenk
08-02-2011, 11:25 PM
I shoot pretty regularly at Firing Line (I am a member there) I'm NRA Pistol Instructor, and I qualified Expert with an M-9 in the Army, but those are different standards than USAF. PM me and I'd be more than happy to lend a hand!

runway1
08-03-2011, 5:45 AM
Does your son know the qualifications required to shoot for Expert? What target is being used? If not, its attached... Study it, learn it, live it ... and tell him good luck :patriot:

Yes, we identififed the requirements but thanks. Nice to have it in a PDF.

runway1
08-03-2011, 5:48 AM
Thanks all! Lots of good sugesstions and generous offers. I (he) certainly appreciates them. He'll consider these all and likely PM some for a round at the Firling Line.

Again, a big thanks for all the inputs.

viet4lifeOC
08-03-2011, 7:56 AM
shooting accurately is actually about multi tasking with acute mental focus.

the physical dry fire stability is one, maintaining sight picture relative to the bullseye during trigger pull is another, and the mental focus of merging those two activities together as one with no other thoughts in mind is the third.

doing simple dryfire practice is useless unless you practice with the other two aspect in mind.

This probably goes against public opinion, but I agree with your assessment about dry firing. Only usefulness of dry firing IMO is to smooth out the trigger itself.

Dry firing in of itself for me did nothing to improve my shooting since I knew there was no recoil.

Biggest help for me was what many calgunners suggested when I first started off: load a snap cap randomly in a full magazine and fire away. Nothing opens your eyes as when you actually see yourself "flinch."

locosway
08-03-2011, 8:29 AM
This probably goes against public opinion, but I agree with your assessment about dry firing. Only usefulness of dry firing IMO is to smooth out the trigger itself.

Dry firing in of itself for me did nothing to improve my shooting since I knew there was no recoil.

Biggest help for me was what many calgunners suggested when I first started off: load a snap cap randomly in a full magazine and fire away. Nothing opens your eyes as when you actually see yourself "flinch."

Dry firing helps a lot, whether you see it immediately or not. There's many things going on when you're shooting, recoil is only one of them. I've heard some say that dry fire should be 90% of your practice, with only 10% being live fire. The reason for this is trigger time. If you've ever shot hundreds of rounds at a time you know that fatigue sets in, and your groups become lousy. When you dry fire, you can do so a hundred+ times without a lot of that fatigue. And it doesn't cost you money. You can also do it multiple times a day.

Every competition shooter, and every school I've seen uses dry practice/fire to help train. If it wasn't useful, so many successful shooters wouldn't be using it and suggesting it to their students.

Paradiddle
08-03-2011, 8:54 AM
This probably goes against public opinion, but I agree with your assessment about dry firing. Only usefulness of dry firing IMO is to smooth out the trigger itself.

Dry firing in of itself for me did nothing to improve my shooting since I knew there was no recoil.

Biggest help for me was what many calgunners suggested when I first started off: load a snap cap randomly in a full magazine and fire away. Nothing opens your eyes as when you actually see yourself "flinch."

Nearly every professional competitive shooter would disagree with your statement. You aren't supposed to anticipate the recoil - when you do you flinch - when you flinch you miss or your groups look like a map of the stars.

Dry firing will train your brain as to the exact release point of your trigger, plus you work on drawing from a holster, presentation, relaxation, and proper grip all for free in your house.

When you apply those muscle memory techniques to shoot live ammo you will see an improvement.

locosway
08-03-2011, 9:32 AM
Does your son know the qualifications required to shoot for Expert? What target is being used? If not, its attached... Study it, learn it, live it ... and tell him good luck :patriot:

That's what the USAF is teaching? That's scary...

wu_dot_com
08-03-2011, 10:26 AM
to be honest, i still disagree with the general emphasis of dry fire practice. form a precision shooting standpoint, i have concluded that limiting improper dry fire practice will actually improve accuracy. here are the reasons why.

keep in mind that my goal of dryfire practice is to improve accuracy for bullseye or standard pistol accuracy.

1. effective dry fire practice should only be done when the shooter assumes his stance position. he should follow through the motions, the thought processes also need to be follow as if he is standing on the firing line. he should have a reduce size target for aiming. sitting on a couch watching TV while clicking away is counter productive.

Reason: the AIM of proper dryfire practice is to condition the mind to develop proper habits. good habits can only be developed when you reinforce the proper technique. mixing the dryfire sequence with other non shooting related activities will only confuses the brain and distract the shooter from developing the proper shooting sequence.

2. as with everything else, you need a measurable results to determine if your inputs is effective. shooting live rounds will give you such a result. with dry firing, unless you have a trainer equipment, their is no way for a low experience shooter to determine the effectiveness of his/her's input. so for all they know, they could be reinforcing a bad habits which is much harder to cure at later stages.

3. dry fire practice also does not allow you to perform string practices. like loco indicated, mental / physical fatigue will play huge factor when you shoot a 5 shot string. the mental sharpness, the body position, the iris focus (when shooting iron) will deteriorate at an exponential rate as you prepare to let off the 4th to 5th shots.

4. dry fire practice does not allow you to practice shot to shot rhythm. every gun and every kind of ammo have its natural rhythm combo which is unique to the shooter. if the shooter finds the rhythm, he can put shots after shots in a circle thats no bigger than a quarter 25yds out (i have done this on more than once, but it comes and go). this rhythem consist of the perfect timing for settle, pull, aim, (recoil), takeup, settle pull aim. it cannot be achieve through planning or conscious control. it is attain through clear mental awareness of the current environment and subconscious input modification. to put it in plan English, this is the testament of "living in the moment"

so from my own experience, the general consensus puts too much emphasis on dryfire practice w/o understanding the aim or the desire results.

in my opinion, dryfire practice is a key fundamental that must be learned, but it should only be about less than 10% of the total shooting training regiment. stance stability, breathing control, sight picture focusing, hold, settling, grips consistency are all part of that fundamental. meanwhile, the most important part of any extreme sport is mental focus (mental focus is what governs all the fundamentals in one smooth and seamless execution w/o effort). personally, thats where i put most of my training energy on. matter of fact, i can prove to you that even if i have sloppy stance, breathing pattern, and hold, as long as i am mentally focus, i can still shoot reasonably well strings. however if my mental focus is off, my shots will be in close groups but not on bullseye.

locosway
08-03-2011, 7:41 PM
to be honest, i still disagree with the general emphasis of dry fire practice. form a precision shooting standpoint, i have concluded that limiting improper dry fire practice will actually improve accuracy. here are the reasons why.

keep in mind that my goal of dryfire practice is to improve accuracy for bullseye or standard pistol accuracy.

1. effective dry fire practice should only be done when the shooter assumes his stance position. he should follow through the motions, the thought processes also need to be follow as if he is standing on the firing line. he should have a reduce size target for aiming. sitting on a couch watching TV while clicking away is counter productive.

Reason: the AIM of proper dryfire practice is to condition the mind to develop proper habits. good habits can only be developed when you reinforce the proper technique. mixing the dryfire sequence with other non shooting related activities will only confuses the brain and distract the shooter from developing the proper shooting sequence.

2. as with everything else, you need a measurable results to determine if your inputs is effective. shooting live rounds will give you such a result. with dry firing, unless you have a trainer equipment, their is no way for a low experience shooter to determine the effectiveness of his/her's input. so for all they know, they could be reinforcing a bad habits which is much harder to cure at later stages.

3. dry fire practice also does not allow you to perform string practices. like loco indicated, mental / physical fatigue will play huge factor when you shoot a 5 shot string. the mental sharpness, the body position, the iris focus (when shooting iron) will deteriorate at an exponential rate as you prepare to let off the 4th to 5th shots.

4. dry fire practice does not allow you to practice shot to shot rhythm. every gun and every kind of ammo have its natural rhythm combo which is unique to the shooter. if the shooter finds the rhythm, he can put shots after shots in a circle thats no bigger than a quarter 25yds out (i have done this on more than once, but it comes and go). this rhythem consist of the perfect timing for settle, pull, aim, (recoil), takeup, settle pull aim. it cannot be achieve through planning or conscious control. it is attain through clear mental awareness of the current environment and subconscious input modification. to put it in plan English, this is the testament of "living in the moment"

so from my own experience, the general consensus puts too much emphasis on dryfire practice w/o understanding the aim or the desire results.

in my opinion, dryfire practice is a key fundamental that must be learned, but it should only be about less than 10% of the total shooting training regiment. stance stability, breathing control, sight picture focusing, hold, settling, grips consistency are all part of that fundamental. meanwhile, the most important part of any extreme sport is mental focus (mental focus is what governs all the fundamentals in one smooth and seamless execution w/o effort). personally, thats where i put most of my training energy on. matter of fact, i can prove to you that even if i have sloppy stance, breathing pattern, and hold, as long as i am mentally focus, i can still shoot reasonably well strings. however if my mental focus is off, my shots will be in close groups but not on bullseye.

You're confusing substitution with addition. It's good to add dry practice to your shooting regiment, but it's not good to substitute dry practice with live fire. You can disagree all you like with dry practice, but it does work, and different military have used it to aid in training. Competition shooters use it to keep their skills sharp, etc.

For a precision shooter who doesn't care about SD/HD, then maybe they won't get as much out of dry practice sessions. However, the average person who's working on techniques and other areas will benefit immensely, and for free!