Progression stalled & not sure how to get it moving again

Progression stalled & not sure how to get it moving again

This is a discussion on Progression stalled & not sure how to get it moving again within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello All. I read exponentially more than I post on the DC forums, but I would greatly appreciate any advice or insight the members of ...

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Thread: Progression stalled & not sure how to get it moving again

  1. #1
    New Member Array Zell959's Avatar
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    Progression stalled & not sure how to get it moving again

    Hello All. I read exponentially more than I post on the DC forums, but I would greatly appreciate any advice or insight the members of the board can offer me on my current [lack of] progress with shooting & shooting related skills.

    When I first started shooting, it wasn't hard to figure out how to spend my time at the range. I took a first steps pistol class before I even fired a single shot and learned the basics. Then I headed to the range as often as I could and just shot a whole bunch while constantly keeping track of my fundamentals. "Focusing on front sight? Check. Slow & smooth trigger pull? Check." and so forth.

    This early part of my learning process seemed pretty successful, as I was satisfied with my initial accuracy and the rate at which I saw it improvement in the early months.

    I've been shooting for about 10 months now and the problem I'm having lately is that my range time, while enjoyable, doesn't seem as productive as it once was. I feel sort of stagnet in terms of improvement when shooting at my usual range & speed (7-12 yards, 40-60 rds/min). Under those parameters, I'm pretty consistantly managing to keep each shot of a 15 rd magazine within a fist sized group that usually includes one or two 3-5 shot strings tied into a single ragged hole.

    Thing is, I've been shooting the same fist sized holes for months and they don't seem to be shrinking any.

    Also, I'm shooting much poorer groups anytime I try to switch things up & shoot a bit faster or shoot a target further away or throw in a random element like having my partner call out a target instead of selecting it myself.

    Even though I do not use a firearm for duty and my shooting is likely to always be recreational in nature, my long term goals definetly still include gaining ability to shoot defensively at a high level because I want to be prepared if I'm ever put in the awful position of needing to use deadly force to protect the lives of my loved ones or myself.

    With defensive shooting as one of the primary goals, my short term plan was to reach a solid performance level in basic marksmenship, then seek out specialized training at that point.

    But I'm now realizing that I never really made a plan for HOW to ensure continuous improvement up until that point, as I had just kind of assumed putting enough rounds downrage while minding the front sight & trigger control would get it done. It helped, but it hasn't been quite enough and I'm not sure if I just need more time or if I need to be doing different things to push for more improvement.

    So, I guess what I'm asking for is advice on how to help myself break through this plateau and/or how to best prep myself to start learning defensive shooting skills down the road.

    Thanks in advice to anyone willing to offer their thoughts.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    "50-75 rds/min"



    You got to go slow to go fast.
    My range requires at least 1 second between shots.....
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're ready to take some formal courses...Something beyond the basics. Since you're in NJ, you're going to have to travel for this training. I would do a Google search on firearms training and go from there. Look for training where they will teach you how to draw wearing a cover garment, shoot close targets (<1M), shoot far (5M) targets....move...shoot from a supine position (on your back)....

    In the meantime, try different targets....some that I've used have playing cards on it. Throw some malfunction drills, tactical reloads, and slide-lock reloads while keeping your eyes on the target. Change it up and have fun.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  4. #4
    New Member Array Zell959's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZX9RCAM View Post
    "50-75 rds/min"



    You got to go slow to go fast.
    My range requires at least 1 second between shots.....
    I'm gonna revise the estimated ROF as you've made me realize I got turned around a bit when I ballparked the math. I'm generally shooting 1 shot every 1-1.5 seconds.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    since the topic of time between shots was brought up..
    everyone i see shoot i think is going to fast if what they are going for is accuracy alone.
    watch a bullseye shooter. in slow fire the time between shots is amasing. there is a lot to do between each shot!
    if i am practicing bullseye / target shooting, my average time between shots is more like 5+ seconds. with a break after a few rounds.
    if accuracy is what you want to work on, get a good bullseye manual. practicing breathing is by far the most important thing (other than looking at the front sight, etc)
    there is always more to learn and lots of things to work on. high accuracy bullseye, long distance, rapid shooting, idpa style stuff, etc.
    you will be shooting your whole life and never stop learning. as far as how quickly you progress, that will always slow down after the first 6-12 months for sure, just keep working.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    since the topic of time between shots was brought up..
    everyone i see shoot i think is going to fast if what they are going for is accuracy alone.
    watch a bullseye shooter. in slow fire the time between shots is amasing. there is a lot to do between each shot!
    if i am practicing bullseye / target shooting, my average time between shots is more like 5+ seconds. with a break after a few rounds.if accuracy is what you want to work on, get a good bullseye manual. practicing breathing is by far the most important thing (other than looking at the front sight, etc)
    there is always more to learn and lots of things to work on. high accuracy bullseye, long distance, rapid shooting, idpa style stuff, etc.
    you will be shooting your whole life and never stop learning. as far as how quickly you progress, that will always slow down after the first 6-12 months for sure, just keep working.

    +1
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    If he's practicing defensive shooting...controlled-pairs (i.e. double-tap) in less than 1 sec to COM is appropriate. They don't need to be right next to each other...but should be about a hands width apart to cause the most trauma to the body.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    My 10 shot strings at 10 yards look like I shot a round of 00 buck
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The continued endeavor for improvement in a given area often produces plateaus befor achieving elevation to the next level. Evaluation and continued effort will usually provide the desired rise.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    "With defensive shooting as one of the primary goals, my short term plan was to reach a solid performance level in basic marksmenship, then seek out specialized training at that point."

    If defensive shooting is your goal then standing in one spot and shooting for tight groups is not what you need to be training on. It sounds to me that you have the basic marksmenship down. It is time to move on with some training on gun fighting not target shooting. There are instructors out there who can get you started with what you need. I went with "Suarez International", but there are others out there, just make sure they teach you how to fight with a gun not just how to shoot a gun.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    My 10 shot strings at 10 yards look like I shot a round of 00 buck
    i was thinking the same thing...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zell959 View Post
    Hello All. I read exponentially more than I post on the DC forums, but I would greatly appreciate any advice or insight the members of the board can offer me on my current [lack of] progress with shooting & shooting related skills.

    When I first started shooting, it wasn't hard to figure out how to spend my time at the range. I took a first steps pistol class before I even fired a single shot and learned the basics. Then I headed to the range as often as I could and just shot a whole bunch while constantly keeping track of my fundamentals. "Focusing on front sight? Check. Slow & smooth trigger pull? Check." and so forth.

    This early part of my learning process seemed pretty successful, as I was satisfied with my initial accuracy and the rate at which I saw it improvement in the early months.

    I've been shooting for about 10 months now and the problem I'm having lately is that my range time, while enjoyable, doesn't seem as productive as it once was. I feel sort of stagnet in terms of improvement when shooting at my usual range & speed (7-12 yards, 40-60 rds/min). Under those parameters, I'm pretty consistantly managing to keep each shot of a 15 rd magazine within a fist sized group that usually includes one or two 3-5 shot strings tied into a single ragged hole.

    Thing is, I've been shooting the same fist sized holes for months and they don't seem to be shrinking any.

    Also, I'm shooting much poorer groups anytime I try to switch things up & shoot a bit faster or shoot a target further away or throw in a random element like having my partner call out a target instead of selecting it myself.
    First off, welcome aboard. Lots of good information here for those willing to research the posts and learn.

    Next - as others have suggested, go seek professional training. If you're in northern NJ, there is the Smith + Wesson Academy in Springfield MA; also, check out the web site for Defense Associates in CT - either is an easy drive for you. Even a 1-day course with pros is money well spent.

    If you can't find a suitable course nearby, or the one you want isn't scheduled to happen for some time, than do this: Slow it down. Limit your range sessions to one hundred rounds. More than that is just ballistic masturbation - you're feeling the kick and smelling the gunsmoke, but not making progress on your skills.

    Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch has a column in American Handgunner, and a couple of years go he ran one called "One Hundred Rounds" - different drills to hone different skills. I won't post it here, but if you PM me I'll be happy to send you a summary of those drills.

    You are wise to recognize that your progress is erratic. I can't tell you how disappointing it is to see a guy in the next port cranking off mags full in rapid fire, but the silhouette target looks like buckshot fired from 50 yards. If you can keep all your rounds on a paper plate at 15 yards or more, that's better than half the shooters out there.

    It is axiomatic that we tend to practice the things we're good at, and let slide those we're not so good at. This is just a mental trick, but in your range sessions, warm up with the easy drills, then move into the ones that are challenging for you. But always finish up with the drills that are confidence-builders, the ones you've mastered, so you end your practice on a good note. Don't leave the range frustrated.

    Ask lots of questions. In the meantime - stay safe.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Check out this link: http://www.martialartsresource.com/firearms.htm

    And here's a list of training facilities in NJ: New Jersey
    Constitution Arms
    Defensive Firearms Academy
    Firearm Training Center
    International Security Instuctors
    New Jersey Firearms Academy
    Shoot NJ, LLC Firearms Instruction
    Shoot Smart Training

    It looks like you have several training facilities that would be worth your while to check out for Defensive Pistol Training..JMO
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  14. #14
    Member Array carguy2244's Avatar
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    Like any exercise, continuing the same protocol causes a plateau. You have to train things that you absolutely fail at miserably. Long shots, weak hand only, in the dark, moving, prone, kneeling, even different weapons and calibers. Anything to avoid the staleness that's occurred. Eventually, force on force, hand to hand full contact. Your marksmanship skills are a stepping stone to becoming proficient in defense. Time to go to work.

  15. #15
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    Standing at a range firing one round every five seconds doesn't cut it with me. People can shoot targets all day, it is enjoyable and one can improve the skill. However, that's not what is going to be needed in a Wally World parking lot at night.
    Can you pull a gun from under your shirt and put two rounds in a target that is 3' - 7' away without even thinking about your sights? Have you ever fired from retention?
    You might want to consider the "Threat Focused Training Systems" information located at the top of the page. Point shooting made a believer out of me. Brownie, the instructor, does trainings all over the country...contact him, and you'll be on the right road to SD.
    You don't need sights to defend yourself, and the odds are that you won't have the time to use a flashlight, laser, or sights if the wrong thing happens at the wrong time.
    I'm just sayin'...OMOYMV
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