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If a shooter were to shoot in either a IDPA or IPSC , what kind of shooting exercises should he do?
What distances should one train at and what are decent group sizes for shooting at targets, let's say 25 meters away, at the standing position?
 

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Originally posted by Ripper:
If a shooter were to shoot in either a IDPA or IPSC , what kind of shooting exercises should he do?
What distances should one train at and what are decent group sizes for shooting at targets, let's say 25 meters away, at the standing position?
Ripper I can't comment on IPSC due to lack of experience it is a totally different animal and requires different practice. Go look on American Shooters website. They have a series of lessons from Rob Leatham on there that give you some good tips and drills. Also try the IPSC section of sportshooter.com for some tips from the masters.

For IDPA, every stage is shot from concealment and usually requires a reload in their somewhere. Practice drawing from concealment and firing 2 rds. at 7-15 yds or less. It is rare for a stage to have longer ranges than that. Then practice your tac reloads till they are smooth. You can practice changing mags as part of your dry practice at home. At the range load a mag with 1 or 2 rounds in the gun. Fire to slidelock, reload, fire again. You want to be smooth and minimize the time between the last shot of mag 1 and the first shot from mag 2.

A shot timer is essential to measure your progress, I like the Pact Club Timer.

A tip on timers. They start counting at the beginning of the beep, so you should start moving then. A lot of shooters wait for the beep to stop. You have already lost a few tenths when you do that.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give you the best answer I could.

Oops, left off your question about group size. Others may disagree with me but I think it is less important in IDPA. The A zone is an 8" circle located COM on the target. As long as they are inside the circle it doesn't matter whether you have 3" groups or 6" groups, they score the same. As you shoot faster your groups will open up. The one contradiction to my statement is head shots. You will occasionaly have a stage where the BG is behind hard cover and you have to make a head shot. In that case group size matters and you should slow down and get a good shot.

[This message has been edited by WaltherP99man (edited 10-13-2001).]
 

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You should be able to cover your 25 yard groups with your palm when fired from a rest.

Learn all the safety rules of firearms and your chosen shooting sport inside out and follow them

The best practice is to set up simulated stages and practice those. Then break down the different aspects such as draw, double tap, target to target transistion and reloads. Try to decrease the time it takes for all non-shooting movements. Moving from position to position, reloads etc.

Do your home work. Make little minatures of the targets and put your gear on and simulate all the above activities as you dry fire with an EMPTY WEAPON. You can improve every aspect but the shooting at home.

Have fun, make all the above enjoyable and keep a positive attitude.

Here's some advice an old shooter told me when I started, "You must reload, buy an 8 pound keg of powder and when you use that up you have begun to be a student of marksmanship."

Best regards,
Keith
 

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The advice above is spot on so I'll just add a couple of things...

Never plink! Make sure every shot you fire has purpose. Plinking causes bad habits to creep back in.

Until you reach a level you are happy with, set a goal for each match or practice session. For instance, you might work on your draw from concealment - then when that's ok you work on target acquisition, target to target speed, accuracy at speed, etc. Shoot a classifier as fast as you can without overly sacrificing accuracy, then shoot one again as accurately as you can without sacrificing too much speed. They sound the same at first but there will be a difference in score. It's a mental thing you have to work out. It will dictate your "mind-set" when you approach a match (mine worked out best as the latter).

In a pure practice session, set a goal based on a reasonable improvement (in time or accuracy) and stay focused. Practice the things you are worst at (shooting on the move or shooting going to the left or around a barricade) whatever gives you trouble. Whenever practical, practice at twice the distance you expect to shoot in a match. Your match scores will improve.

Good shooters don't have magic in their hands, they have simply put more rounds down range (with purpose). If you can't afford to shoot your "real" gun a lot then get a good quality 22 pistol (as close to your primary gun style as possible) and shoot thousands of rounds with it. The fundamentals are the same.

Mikey
 

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Compete in lots of matches, both IDPA and IPSC. There is nothing like actual competition. Travel if need be. When you have your weaknesses identified, practice between matches to improve or eliminate them.
When someone asked Samuel Clemens how to become a writer he said, "Write."
 

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Mikey is dead on, as usual. One other thing that I would add is, don't swap around from gun to gun every week or so. Stick with one, learn to shoot it, and stay with it. I've seen more shooters with a lot of potential watch their scores plummet due to swapping guns on a regular basis.

Steve
 

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The most important piece of equipment you can get is a timer. It's essential - without one you'll never know how good you're getting and will have nothing to compare your progress with. I practice using a Pact Club Timer 2 and am very pleased with it. Clip it to your pocket - push the big green start button and get into position to draw when the random beep sounds, usually 3 seconds after being pushed. No need to look at it again until you're done with your stage. Great piece of equipment and it allows you to practice solo. I even use it to draw and dry fire at home by setting a "par" time of so many seconds and then trying to draw, aim and fire before the second beep sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the useful tips. I am very new to competitive shooting and didn't even know about tools used, like timers.
 

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I started shooting in competition because I needed the shooting practice. Now you want to practice to shoot in competition? Wow, there's a concept, practice before a match!

Just kidding.

There are a certain number of things you cannot refine with the timer running at a match. No one can really tell you what those are until they see you shoot. You may be able to pick up a few things on your own, but your best bet is to make an honest friend that can help critique your shooting to guide your practice.

As has been said before, participate in as many matches as you can stand. A great deal of this craft is mental. You'll have to get yourself beyond the physiological and psycological reactions to the stress induced by the game. That only comes with time.

Have fun. If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.
 

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I disagree about practicing at long distances. Zero your gun at 25 yards, preferably from a rest, and then don't worry about long distance shooting until you get really good. The majority of your accuracy work should be done on dots at 5-7 yards.
There is an excellent drill for this at http://www.brianenos.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard//topic.cgi?forum=5&topic=1

When you shoot at long distance, you get no immediate feedback about how you are shooting. The only way to get around this is to use plates instead of paper. Ross Seyfried used plates to warm up. When you shoot at dots at close range, the size/distance relationship is the same, but you get immediate feedback on when you blew a shot.

When you are starting out, don't spend too much of your time with a timer. A timer is useful for some things, but it is much more important that you learn to do things smoothly and consistently. Using a timer too much tends to be conterproductive when trying to learn smoothness and accuracy.

------------------
Claude
Shooterscoach.com
 

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For a pretty good, first time lesson in drawing, firing, and reloading, there is a video that helped me out. It's called "Shooter Ready" by Rob Leatham and is available from Dillon for $16. I know that there are others, but this one helped me when I was starting out, and I still watch it.
 

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Originally posted by HeadHunter:
When you are starting out, don't spend too much of your time with a timer. A timer is useful for some things, but it is much more important that you learn to do things smoothly and consistently. Using a timer too much tends to be conterproductive when trying to learn smoothness and accuracy.
Oh contrair!! I didn't want to suggest that a new guy run thru the stages with a timer, BUT a timer can work wonders with maintaining interest and keep track of progress in the various points that make up a course of fire - such as grip - draw - aim - and reloads. My interest in the shooting games was beginning to wane until I bit the bullet and decided that I needed a timer. I still swear by it - it's the greatest thing that I've acquired to keep my interest and let me practice solo without that "wonderful - all knowing - objective friend" (who's advised me to get an M-60 or use a shotgun) that's never around when I feel like practicing drawing and reloads. First - get a timer!
 
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