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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

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  #1  
Old 07-20-2020, 11:01 AM
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Default Simple Dry Fire Drill (EDIT: it is in Brian Enos' book)

Posting here first, it's a pretty small forum so would like to hear some feedback...

Short version:

1) Close your eyes, draw as you would to the usual acceptable sight picture using your usual par time, open your eyes, assess the sight alignment.

2) Same as (1) above, but pull the trigger with eyes closed, open, assess the situation.

Long version:

Thinking about predictive vs. reactive shooting concepts, where you pull the trigger on the second shot on a paper target without enough time to make a conscious decision about reading the sights before the pull (only observing them as the decision to shoot is already made), I wanted to see how well the predictive shooting concept works and whether I can test it in dry fire. The idea behind predictive shooting is that you *know* where the sights will end up (roughly) and you don't go through "confirm sights - shoot" loop, but instead use "know where the sights will be - shoot - confirm the sights" loop. You cannot simulate this on the second shot on a paper target, obviously, because there is no recoil.

But, if you think about it, you can analyze the predictive shooting concept during your draw. On fast and close targets, you make decision to fire that first shoot before the sights are fully aligned, the same as you do on the second shoot on a paper target. That is the only way to get super-fast draws. (It also happens to be in Enos' book as a concept, so I'm not crazy here.) With a draw, you don't have the recoil, but you do have indexing from a very far position (holster) with a lot of movement. Your index has to be good enough for close targets if you want to draw fast (and if you want to be fast on hosing targets, it's a type of target focus).

So, here's what I did - closed my eyes and started drawing at a blank wall on a timer. I am mentally making a decision about when the gun is in it's final position and it's easy to tell whether it beat the par time. After the second beep, I open my eyes and give a numeric score to the sight picture: 10 - if alignment is "equal light, equal height," 9 - if it's acceptable for an A hit at 10 yards, ..., 5 - if one of the vertical or horizontal alignment is decent but the other sucks, ..., 1 - if I can barely catch some small part of the front sight in the rear notch, and finally 0 - if no part of the front sight is in the notch.

It's very important to assess the specific score, not just look at the sights. You're analyzing what you're seeing so you can compare it from draw to draw. A scale gives you a way to measure what you're doing.

In part two, you also pull the trigger. Be aware of whether you beat the par time AND be aware of what the sight picture looks like when you open your eyes. This part adds the element of the trigger pull - if your trigger pull is not good enough, you'll have discrepancy between the two drills. If it's good enough, the pull won't affect the sight picture and your scores should be similar. A simple and good comparison will tell you a lot about your trigger pull.

Interestingly, with eyes closed, I was acutely aware of the quality of the grip on the gun and the feel of the final position of the hands and arms. Since there was nothing to see and distract, I was observing my own feeling and was correlating that feeling to what I see when I open my eyes. I was surprised how much information I could extract about the draw process once the visual input was removed as a distraction.

If you try it, let me know how it worked for you. If you think this is silly, let me know too...
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Last edited by IVC; 07-31-2020 at 7:44 AM..
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:00 PM
Rez805 Rez805 is offline
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I tried #2 as #1 looks like the prototypical index drill.

I don't sweat my draw too much, but I agree that I felt a bit more aware of how my grip was developing during the draw. I found that I had very inconsistent "draw speed" (I set my par time to 2 seconds as flat out speed wasn't the goal). I did find my grip getting better as time went on and as I stopped worrying about pure speed. Perhaps the first handful were garbage (front sight not in the notch at all). Elevation was a bit quicker to correct, but I was still slightly left or right.

Eventually I got in the groove so I reduced the par time to 1 second. Not surprising to see myself perform poorly at first (racing the clock and noticing the wild swings in draw "speed" again).

It was interesting. I never really looked at my draw and admittedly get a bit jealous when I see people post about a .7 draw in a class.

While I don't see many stages that start with a draw to a target directly in front of you. . . I kind of like the addition of taking a shot and then opening your eyes. I'm not sure if I'm "missing something" fundamental by taking a "blind shot" (it could be that my initial sight picture would be deemed "unacceptable" but by some miracle of messing up the trigger pull I ended up with a good sight picture). But if you're confident about your trigger pull not disturbing the sight picture this could be a nice little drill to reinforce your index.

One big thing: I made a conscious effort to simulate the way I shoot (i.e., slap the trigger with a full release).

Thanks for the drill.
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Old 07-21-2020, 2:34 PM
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I will give it a run through this evening. Thanks
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Old 07-29-2020, 6:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVC View Post
If you try it, let me know how it worked for you. If you think this is silly, let me know too...
I am WAY OFF when it is coming from the holster...

From the step #3 of a 5-point draw (retention) - mostly a 9, with a few 5s...

This is hard!!!


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Old 07-29-2020, 6:47 PM
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Not sure what the drill is supposed to accomplish, could you clarify the end goal?
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Old 07-31-2020, 7:26 AM
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I have to take it back... sort of - just finished reading Brian Enos' book "Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals" and on pages 169-171 he talks about this specific drill and adds transitions. It's a very valid drill, but it's been "invented" before and by someone else. I didn't know about it, or I would've directly credited him.

So, I feel good not only about figuring out this drill and its role on my own, but also about having the confirmation that it's an important and valuable drill. On the other hand, I feel bad that this can be seen as simply plagiarizing since I didn't give credit to the famous shooter who talked about this in 1990. I didn't know it when I posted, but I do know now and am giving him the full credit - it's an "Enos Drill."
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Old 07-31-2020, 7:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USPSA GM View Post
Not sure what the drill is supposed to accomplish, could you clarify the end goal?
The core of fast shooting is "shooting sooner" which requires gun to get on target and settle down sooner.

This goes for transitions, reloads, draw, entering positions, splits... Any time the gun moves, either because you move (entering positions), because you move the gun (draw, transitions) or the gun moves by itself (recoil recovery), if you can get the sights lined up and gun settled quickly you will be able to shoot sooner and you will be faster. This assumes that you can recognize the sight picture and that you can pull the trigger correctly, but that's separate story.

To get gun into shooting position sooner, you need to be able to look at any spot and have the gun appear there in (mostly) correct alignment, so the only time you "waste" on the target is for settling down to the acceptable sight picture and not for fishing for the sights and aligning the gun. There is no need to have gun mechanically misaligned as it moves around, you just have to work on it. That's what this drill is about.

Think about it this way. If you had to run a course of fire and only point at each target with your finger, how fast would you be? Probably as fast as the top GMs. This is because you can look at a target and point your finger as fast as you can move your arm. So, if you can do this with a gun, you'll be right there with the top guys (of course, you still have to pull the trigger correctly, call the shots and everything else, but driving the gun is the foundation that enables you to shoot sooner).
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Old 08-01-2020, 9:50 AM
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IVC,
I don't think anyone thought you misrepresented your thoughts on the drill. It was an honest error. I have read Enos' book more times than I can remember. Your point about pointing a finger is valid. Enos talks a lot about seeing what you need to see for any specific shot. I have also heard JJ talking about breaking the shot at the moment you see that. Meaning the trigger has to be at the wall before you get the final sight picture so when it happens it is instant. He does a drill where you prep the trigger to the wall. On the beep, you break the shot. The goal is for the timer not to register the shot.

None of these things are in my current skill set.
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