Perishable skill?

This is a discussion on Perishable skill? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As instructors, we do not get to shoot as much as we'd like especially since we have a class every weekend. Outside of demos in ...

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Thread: Perishable skill?

  1. #1
    Member Array PhoenixTS's Avatar
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    Perishable skill?

    As instructors, we do not get to shoot as much as we'd like especially since we have a class every weekend. Outside of demos in class, we make every attempt to designate shooting days for us to maintain skills.

    We just had a shotgun 1 class and I ran the assault course a couple of times and was not particularly happy with my runs. The shotgun is a platform that needs consistent and good training.

    Work those muscles and train...otherwise the shotgun Gods taketh what they giveth.
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    The instructors where we used to go to school in Missouri had the same problem with lack of personal shooting time.

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    This is why I try to shoot weekly. If not , I at least do some dry fire drills or other similar activity to keep up my skill.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    This is an unfortunate reality. Toss in the high cost of ammo and it is even worse.

    Currently, I am involved in rewriting a tactical carbine class and a basic sidearm refresher defense course, both with a concentration on conserving ammo and both with added emphasis on advancing on a 'target' (Anti-Tyranny Tactics).

    Also, I am including 4 hour "strategic' classes offering discussions on 'Utility Weaponry Requisites', Organizing with other 2A thinkers, establishing, maintaining & updating 'calling-trees' in case of a "crises" whether major or minor, Ammo needs & ammo as an investment &/or ammo-currency, public utility alternatives (short term), etc.

    With Tyranny lurking around the corner, local Instructors need to teach people how to quickly & effectively organize if martial law, civil unrest, etc., should 'suddenly' occur.
    In the 4 hr class, one criteria is to exchange at least 4 phone numbers &/or emails from other classmates (in addition to a growing list on the wall) with continuous updates available.
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    Skills fade isn't limited to instructors. Everyone who takes a class to increase their effectiveness with any firearm should understand that taking the class is simply the starting point. Regular practice is required to get your level of proficiency up (and keep it up) with even some of the most basic fundamentals.
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    Think about how boxers have 'ring rust' in only a few months off -fighting- (they're still doing gym work).

    I had not used my Ruger 9mm, LC9 in a while, took it from the safe to trade it in - I couldn't remember how to work it. It was PATHETIC!! (hangs head). So many little knobs and stuff, and I just wanted to clear it and lock it open.

    So yeah, handle your firearms, dry fire, clean them, practice drawing safely with snap caps.

    We got the laser target but it turned out to be ST00Pidly designed...still it's better than nothing.

    Even at 50 rounds/visit for two of us, three times a month is STILL 1500 rounds a year only going 10 months. It's hard to afford, hard to find, hard to store, sheesh, but it's a FUN HOBBY, my good buddies.

    (who cares about self-defense - pffft, I'm renting an out-of-work SWAT team)

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    I couldn't remember how to work it.
    I touch mine daily. Sorry inside voice, inside voice.

    You are correct the skillset does go down when the teacher fails to train before he trains the student.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Laser training, more laser training and laser training again. It allows you to train at home or office when you have a few minutes of time on your hands. Run through a few drills keep the skills sharp.

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    Same problem here, weekends when I work the Appleseeds takes away from my practice time. I do learn from my students but its not the same as my own trigger time.
    Sadly I am going to work less Appleseeds this year and shoot in more matches.
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    Senior Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    I find the first thing to go is eye-hand coordination. If I don't shoot for about two weeks, it really shows. I tell my students to remember that these skills to indeed fade if not practiced and this is as true for instructors as with anyone else.
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    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    My experience is...

    Shooting skills are indeed perishable. I've found that the longer I've been shooting, and the frequency of range visits does slow down the loss of skills. IMO Anyone who takes their shooting skills, and defense capabilities seriously should have a practice regimen, and stick to it.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixTS View Post
    As instructors, we do not get to shoot as much as we'd like especially since we have a class every weekend. Outside of demos in class, we make every attempt to designate shooting days for us to maintain skills.

    We just had a shotgun 1 class and I ran the assault course a couple of times and was not particularly happy with my runs. The shotgun is a platform that needs consistent and good training.

    Work those muscles and train...otherwise the shotgun Gods taketh what they giveth.
    If you dont use it you will loose it. I shoot every class, not just demos. During the lunch break I am out on the range. I get a solid hour of shooting drills and try to keep myself as sharp as I can. Another thing I like to do is take 2 to 5 classes every year myself. I am not a full time instructor, but come spring time thru the fall, I stay pretty busy.

    IMO you need to make time. I do not allow people to steal my time. If I am on the range, students will have to wait. Its not being mean, but it is a lunch break, Q and A time is done in the class for the benefit of the class....
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

  14. #13
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    OP,

    I worked with a group of 8-15 instructors over the years and what I noticed was that even though we did not get to shoot very often because of class load, all of them could easily score expert on courses. Now the courses weren't that "hard" but it really surprised me for a while. I finally chalked it up to the fact we taught rifle or pistol every day and were constantly manipulating and dry-firing the firearms as part of the class demonstrations.

    Now for firearms that may not be taught as often, I would certainly recommend getting out and working with them a few days prior to class. Though you may be a little rusty, I think you'll find it possible to get back in "shape" relatively quickly, IF you built a high level of competency in the past. If you can do it, plan some instructor train-up time into your schedule.

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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Some individuals are great athletes because of natural ability, some develop those skills through persistence and practice but never become great, some people, no matter how much they practice, will never become even a mediocre athlete.

    I suspect this is the same for shooters. Unfortunately I fall into the latter category. Fortunately (for me) mastering a skill is not a prerequisite for enjoying the activity (i.e. marksmanship and golf) or a prerequisite for enjoying watching those individuals who are very accomplished.
    Last edited by Hodad; January 27th, 2014 at 10:06 AM.
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  16. #15
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    I layed off the guns for just about 5 full years once, between 94-99 I think. I'd been shooting 2-3 matches a weekend and my range sessions while working two jobs totaling 80-90 hours a week on the streets. After several yeas of that, I'd had enough, shooting wasn't fun anymore, shooting had become "work", so I hung up the guns. Still carried every day for work, so I was handling firearms but not shooting them except to qual once a year [ which I didn't consider shooting at all the courses were so dumbed down at the time ].

    When I finally did take the shooting box out and hit the range, I noticed the skills had degraded about 25% from where I was when I hung em up. It was easy enough to determine based on standards drills which I had the times for over the years. I attributed the 25% degradation as being no more than that to the fact my "base" was substantial to begin with. A little slower on the draw, a little slower on the splits and transitions [ 25% ], the accuracy didn't degrade but about 15% on the threat focused defensively skills. There was no discernible degradation on slow fire precision shooting with the pistols at 50-100 yrds, the handhold, trigger control and sight alignment was spot on after not working on those elements for 5 years. I also attributed that to the substantial base I worked from.

    So yes, it's a perishable skill but how perishable and how fast will depend on ones base they are working from. At the time I laid off the guns, I probably had close to a million rounds downrange in various pistols. Figure 60K+ a year in just comps and practice [ 5K a month ] shooting for 8-9 years between mid 80'd and early 90's. That's a 1/2 million or so right there, and I'd been shooting heavy volumes of loads every year since 71.
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