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Old 07-04-2013, 11:55   #1
DanaH
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Training for a GSSF outdoor match

Several months ago I bought a G17, and I've been practicing with it rather regularly at a nearby indoor range. I learned about the GSSF and have seen some clips of various matches, so I decided 'what the heck' and am planning to make my first effort at competitive shooting in a couple of months (in the Senior category, soon to be Super Senior).

My question is this - since I can only practice at an indoor range on one target - should I continue to concentrate on hitting the center of a standard target at various distances? To simulate Glock the Plates I've been using an 8" diameter target at about 33' trying again to get to the center. (At 25 yards, my work leaves a lot to be desired.)

And how do you tell where the rings are on the target that GSSF uses?
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:15   #2
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In your mind if you can picture the target folded in half top to bottom and again folded in half side to side where the creases meet is the center. You don't need to see the scoring rings. All you need to do is keep your hits in a 8" circle at whatever distance you want to practice at. There is some conventional wisdom that to practice is to cheat, however not all shooters subscribe to that logic.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:17   #3
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Practice controlled pairs at 5, 10 15, 20 and 25 yards. Hope you dan make the 8/16/13 match in Topton, PA (near Allentown).
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:23   #4
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Ok, there are no rules about this, so I think I'll be safe in answering.

I also practice at an indoor range and use a paper D-1 target. I mostly shoot that target at 25 yards and shoot slow enough that I can concentrate on sight alignment and pulling the trigger straight back. There IS a small A in the A ring that I aim at and I'm hoping that muscle memory will eventually kick in while at the matches. To simulate the plates, I use a target that has (5) 6" circles. That will give you practice moving from plate to plate. If your range doesn't have that target, you can buy 6 to 8" paper plates and staple 3 to any target.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:32   #5
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EDE - I really like that idea! Thank you! I can even do that without my glasses (I think)!

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Old 07-04-2013, 12:34   #6
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Practice controlled pairs at 5, 10 15, 20 and 25 yards. Hope you dan make the 8/16/13 match in Topton, PA (near Allentown).
Controlled pairs - never thought of that. Thank you. And the match in Topton is the one I'm going to. It's a 2-hour drive and am trying to decide whether to go mid-day Saturday or Sunday morning.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:39   #7
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Ok, there are no rules about this, so I think I'll be safe in answering.

I also practice at an indoor range and use a paper D-1 target. I mostly shoot that target at 25 yards and shoot slow enough that I can concentrate on sight alignment and pulling the trigger straight back. There IS a small A in the A ring that I aim at and I'm hoping that muscle memory will eventually kick in while at the matches. To simulate the plates, I use a target that has (5) 6" circles. That will give you practice moving from plate to plate. If your range doesn't have that target, you can buy 6 to 8" paper plates and staple 3 to any target.
OK, Melissa. There you go again - "there is a small A in the A ring that I aim at" - are you extremely farsighted or do you share some genes with an eagle? As to the multi-circle target - again, it never occurred to me to move from one to another. I'll try that. (As to rules - as they said in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" - 'Rules? Rules?! We don't need no stinkin' rules!')
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:44   #8
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EDE - I really like that idea! Thank you! I can even do that without my glasses (I think)!
Glad to help, sometimes you just need to filter through what I say to get to the good stuff. Mostly I just talk for my own amusement.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:53   #9
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OK, Melissa. There you go again - "there is a small A in the A ring that I aim at" - are you extremely farsighted or do you share some genes with an eagle? As to the multi-circle target - again, it never occurred to me to move from one to another. I'll try that. (As to rules - as they said in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" - 'Rules? Rules?! We don't need no stinkin' rules!')
I also wear glasses but the A looks like a black fuzzy spot on the target.

About the plates, try to train yourself to not look at the plates while they are falling. Just keep shooting at the next plate and then when you get to the end of the rack, look back to see if you missed any. Then shoot those. I've shot 7 matches and still have not mastered that. Those plates are SO pretty when they are falling.
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Old 07-04-2013, 13:43   #10
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Glad to help, sometimes you just need to filter through what I say to get to the good stuff. Mostly I just talk for my own amusement.
Hey, we find it amusing too!

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Old 07-04-2013, 13:52   #11
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. Those plates are SO pretty when they are falling.
Oooo, PRETTY! CRAP! There's 5 more!



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Old 07-04-2013, 13:57   #12
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look at your sights IN FRONT OF THE PLATES

if the plates are clear you are not looking at your sights.
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Old 07-04-2013, 14:09   #13
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I've done a lot practice for GSSF matches with the limitations of an indoor range. You've already said/heard the obvious: shoot controlled pairs at D-1 targets from 5-25 yds and pratice with 8" targets at 33'.

Besides that, there are other things I think will help improve times/score. First, every time you adjust or change targets, start over in low/ready position and use a random prompt if you can (I believe there's an iPhone app for shot timer/buzzer) to tell you when to shoot. Initial reaction to the buzzer and settling behind your sights from low/ready is something you should practice over and over.

Also, don't just shoot at one 8" target. Standard indoor range lanes should let you shoot at least 2 or maybe 3 8" targets next to each other (horizontally, of course). Practice transitioning left-to-right over and over and over. Hitting the first plate is easiest, but controlling your sights and trigger after sweeping to the right is much harder. At least it is for me! Again, always start from low/ready and use a audio prompt if you can.

If you are used to shooting until slide lock, you might want to also practice clearing the gun with a partially full mag and one in the pipe. Of course, it's not something that's scored, but when I first shot GSSF, I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be the guy who accidentally broke a safety rule or worse, actually endangered someone.

Good luck.
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Old 07-04-2013, 14:27   #14
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Originally Posted by GlockinNJ View Post
I've done a lot practice for GSSF matches with the limitations of an indoor range. You've already said/heard the obvious: shoot controlled pairs at D-1 targets from 5-25 yds and pratice with 8" targets at 33'.

Besides that, there are other things I think will help improve times/score. First, every time you adjust or change targets, start over in low/ready position and use a random prompt if you can (I believe there's an iPhone app for shot timer/buzzer) to tell you when to shoot. Initial reaction to the buzzer and settling behind your sights from low/ready is something you should practice over and over.

Also, don't just shoot at one 8" target. Standard indoor range lanes should let you shoot at least 2 or maybe 3 8" targets next to each other (horizontally, of course). Practice transitioning left-to-right over and over and over. Hitting the first plate is easiest, but controlling your sights and trigger after sweeping to the right is much harder. At least it is for me! Again, always start from low/ready and use a audio prompt if you can.

If you are used to shooting until slide lock, you might want to also practice clearing the gun with a partially full mag and one in the pipe. Of course, it's not something that's scored, but when I first shot GSSF, I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be the guy who accidentally broke a safety rule or worse, actually endangered someone.

Good luck.
I have received some great advice here and want to thank you all - including 11-shot, eagle-eye Melissa. Maybe it could be condensed into a sticky? (Wouldn't the Plates be more fun if they were china?)

And the audio prompt is also a great idea. I can imagine myself jumping out of my skin the first time the buzzer goes off next to my ear (assuming it's a tall RO behind me).
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Old 07-04-2013, 15:02   #15
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Training Video

I just found this and since we've been talking about training I thought you all would find this to be a wonderful training video. Don't skip through it. It builds to a fascinating finish.

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Old 07-04-2013, 19:17   #16
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Originally Posted by ede View Post
Glad to help, sometimes you just need to filter through what I say to get to the good stuff. Mostly I just talk for my own amusement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PM720 View Post
Hey, we find it amusing too!

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Yeah, Ed likes to make some 'thought provoking' comments now and again. One of his latest... in the Reloading Forum in the thead "Anyone here reload 147grain 9mm? "... Ed replies "When did they start making 9mm in 147?"
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Old 07-04-2013, 19:33   #17
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Okay Dana - here is a tactic to think about - even if you cannot fully practice it indoors...

You should be thinking quick transitions (time between targets) and controlled splits (time between shots). Danny implied the controlled part above. Don't think of those 2 shots as a double-tap - think about control between shots.

Now, transitions... I view transitions as free time given to a competitor within a string. There is little sense in taking a lot of time to get from one target to another - or in getting up and on target for your first shot. Some competitors start sweeping and have no singularly perceived transitions. Regardless, you will find that most successful competitive shooters do not zig-zag around the array and shoot l-r or r-l as the target appears in their sights. Zig- zagging around a target array will only slow you down and add time.
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Old 08-19-2013, 21:36   #18
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Okay Dana - here is a tactic to think about - even if you cannot fully practice it indoors...

You should be thinking quick transitions (time between targets) and controlled splits (time between shots). Danny implied the controlled part above. Don't think of those 2 shots as a double-tap - think about control between shots.

Now, transitions... I view transitions as free time given to a competitor within a string. There is little sense in taking a lot of time to get from one target to another - or in getting up and on target for your first shot. Some competitors start sweeping and have no singularly perceived transitions. Regardless, you will find that most successful competitive shooters do not zig-zag around the array and shoot l-r or r-l as the target appears in their sights. Zig- zagging around a target array will only slow you down and add time.
Kitty - I want to thank you and all the others in this thread who gave me useful advice that I tried to use at my first match in Topton yesterday. I rather surprised myself. Having bought the G17 in March and having only four months to work on (one day a week more or less), I was pleasantly surprised to see that I ended up in the middle of a pack of 122 in the AmCiv division (rather than down towards the end) and 62 out of 89 in the Competition (which was my warm-up division - something someone else suggested).

This was also the first time I fired the pistol in daylight where I could actually see the front sight (kinda dim in that indoor range). Quite a change!

On the other hand, I do believe that 25 and 20 yard targets need to be set at a closer 25 and 20 yards. On a couple of runs I found that the safest place to be was in the center of the target. I've been having a heck of a time with consistency (or lack thereof) on targets at those distances.

Did enjoy the plates, though. I'm still trying to figure out one string where my first six shots missed the plates (well, personally I think the hinges were rusted) even though I could have sworn the sights didn't move off of them when I fired.

Thought of a stripper mag but instead loaded 10 rounds for 5 to Glock and 11 for the other two, kicking out a round of the next magazine when I didn't empty the first.

Again, thank you all. Your help was helpful and welcome.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:52   #19
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I remember my first match at Eagle Creek. I walked up to the first stage and that 25 yard target and told the RO, "Wait, I forgot my rifle". Back then I was going to an indoor range and setting my target at whatever distance had the least bad light. I have no idea how far out that row of lights was but it wasn't 25 yards, more like 25 feet.

Glad your practice paid off.
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