How To Set Up A Good Inexpensive Practice Session

Training Tips – Techniques Tab

Steel targets, unlike paper targets, will give you PIR (Positive Instant Recognition), or immediate feedback, if your hit is good or bad when struck.  But, they are expensive.  An alternative to the steel target are Styrofoam 6 and 8 inch dinner plates.

When the Styrofoam is hit by a bullet, it punches a nice, easily seen hole, whereas a paper plate will close up and be hard for the “tracking” eye to see the hit.  But if you are watching your sites as you should be, then you will know if you have a good hit.  

If you do not shoot with both eyes open, you should.  No sport that requires any type of hand eye coordination has the competitor close one eye; neither should shooting.  The eye that is “driving” the sights should be your dominate eye.  Your other eye is your tracking eye.  It is seeing what is going on in front and to the side of you. A danger to closing one eye is that you lose so much of your peripheral vision (field of view).

There are a few items, one in particular, that the shooter must have if he/she is really interested in seeing their shooting improve.  That particular piece of equipment is an electronic shot timer.  The timer has a buzzer as a start, and then electronically records the sound of the gunshot down to the hundredths of a second.  This gives the shooter an electronic record for the time it took to complete the action (a draw, a reload, etc.).  It also provides the time in between shots.  The shooter is then able to understand how reloads can progress over time.  The next few items a shooter must have are:

  • Styrofoam targets both 6 and 8 inch version
  • Hearing and eye protection – anytime you are shooting
  • Staple gun
  • Something to mark the center of the plate with a dark spot no bigger than 1 inch in diameter

Your start position should be at the extended confirmed ready (ECR), aimed at the base of your target stand.  You will align you sights, then shift your vision to the spot on your target.  At the sound of the buzzer, you start driving the gun up into your eye-target-line (ETL) and working the shot.  This is a dedicated shot; something has made you determine that this “threat” was to be shot. Therefore, you are working the trigger as you approach the target.  Such as a baseball player starts his swing on the release of the ball, not when the ball is right in front of the batter.

Once you break, or complete, the shot, nothing on the gun moves for a self-count of one-one thousand, even the trigger is still pulled to the rear.  This is in the event you had missed or your first shot did not do the job, you would simply flip off the trigger and press off another shot.