Nov 282019
 

Trigger Finger an important part of the shooting equationTrigger Finger an important part of the shooting equation

In general the term “trigger control” is used to describe the act of moving the trigger and firing the gun without disturbing your aim. All of the fundamentals are rolled into firing the shot, but the two biggest fundamentals are aiming and trigger control, in that order. How you move the trigger can work for or against you. The best method of controlling a trigger, for all levels of shooters, is to move the trigger straight to the rear, firing the gun without disturbing your aim. Try using the tip of a pen. Hold it in your finger and practice like it is your trigger. Not fast like my old mentor Patrick Watts used to tell me to take out the slack and press.

It starts with the placement of the trigger finger on the trigger. The middle of the pad on your fingertip—the most sensitive part of your finger—is the preferred position for finger placement ( for the striker-fired handguns (Glock, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Ruger, Sig). For Revolvers, it takes more finger usually all the way to the first crease in your finger called the power crease.  But maintaining perfect aim as the shot is fired is much more important than putting the trigger finger in a “preferred position” on the trigger. Your best contact point might not be the same as the shooter’s beside you. How do you find it? Try this dry-firing exercise.

Drill of the Week: The Wall Drill

The Wall Drill was developed by George Harris and is one of the most effective ways to perfect your shooting fundamentals.

Like any dry-fire drill, it is critically important that you follow proper precautions. First, you must always obey the Cardinal Rules of Firearms Safety even during dry-fire practice. Also, all weapons must be completely unloaded and double-checked before the start of this drill.

Once you have cleared your weapon and verified both visually and physically that it is empty (twice), remove all ammunition from your training area and find a wall that can serve as a proper backstop in case of an accident. The wall should be blank, with no visual distractions and most importantly nothing to “aim” at during the drill.

Some people like to use dummy rounds to protect the internal parts of your handgun from excessive and unnecessary wear. Check your owner’s manual for dry firing information on your gun.

Holding your unloaded pistol in a normal shooting grip and stance, press the muzzle to the wall until it just barely makes contact, then back off about an inch. Because you are using a blank wall as your backstop, you effectively have no target. There is nothing for you to focus on except your front sight.

From this position, practice your trigger manipulation. The goal is to press the trigger straight back with consistent pressure until the “shot” breaks without disturbing your sight alignment throughout the process. Remember, that is the key to accuracy — a proper trigger press that doesn’t mess up your sight picture.

If your front sight moves around or “hops” as the trigger breaks, slow down and pay more attention to your grip and finger movement. Are you putting pressure on the grip with your other fingers as you press the trigger? Are you pressing the trigger too fast or too hard, causing it to move at the last moment? Just work on keeping everything still except your trigger finger, and move your finger in a slow, smooth, relaxed trigger press.

Practicing this and other drills will make you a better shooter and as you practice you will see the improvement. As always I am available for help and private shooting sessions.

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Oct 122019
 
Learning To Shoot-Shooting Qualifications

Student Revolver Qualification in October

Learn To Shoot-Shooting Qualifications

Student Qualification in October

 

As many of you know by now Colorado does not require you to shoot to get a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). Learning To Shoot and putting a shooting qualification in your portfolio of things achieved should be high on your list. Learning to shoot and shooting with some proper form and technique should be one of the skills that shooters want to acquire. What your dad taught you or what you learned in the military can only take you so far. When you learn to shoot with proper form and technique it gives you a starting place so you can get better. Everyone strives to be a better shot but if you don’t practice with a baseline set of skills you don’t have any way to judge your progress.

Many states around us require a person to qualify in a simple shooting test to be sure they can operate their gun and actually hit what they are shooting at. One of the simple qualifications is the LAPD retired police officers qualification used by some trainers around the country. This is the qualification they make retired police officers shoot so that they can carry their concealed weapon into retirement. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is a respected agency and being that this test is a respectable qualification. There are many other qualifications I have on my list and some of those are simple as well.

The Nevada Concealed Firearm Permit qualification being one of them. Many people wonder why the Colorado permit to carry is not honored by states such as Nevada. I have been told the real reason is that Colorado has no shooting qualification for its permits. Many states that have qualifications greater than Colorado to carry a concealed handgun do not think that someone with no training should be allowed to walk around with a handgun in public with no verifiable training. The keyword here being verifiable. Some states have gone to an enhanced permit process where someone with more training and qualifications can carry in a state like Nevada where someone with a basic permit from an enhanced state would not be able to. It sounds like a good idea to me. Students have a good time shooting the qualifications and it gives them some confidence that they are handling their firearm efficiently and effectively.

When you Learn To Shoot better it makes it much more fun!

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Sep 102017
 

Shooting Grip Is Important When Shooting
By: Rick Sindeband

Photography: Lesli Sindeband

I see many people using the old “cup and saucer” shooting grip when I am working at the range. If you’re not familiar with this check the internet and you’ll see why it’s a bad grip that hasn’t been taught in decades by reputable instructors.
cup and saucer grip method

The grip that I recommend and that the top shooters use is the Thumbs Forward shooting grip. This allows you to put a lot of flesh on the gun and when new shooters try this grip it almost always improves their accuracy. Proper grip is very important when shooting a handgun. As a handgun is fired it begins to recoil before the bullet has exited the barrel. To achieve the desired results (shots on target) it is essential that the grip remains consistent after each shot. Often I see shooters at the range readjust their grip after each shot. The first shot seats the gun firmly into the hand, readjusting the grip at that point will loosen and change the grip. Grasp the weapon with the web of the hand pressed firmly into the back strap of the grip and once the first shot is fired, do not adjust the grip. Remember if you are a Concealed Carry Permit holder – when drawing from a holster you are committed to whatever grip your hand has when the gun leaves the holster.

shooting grip 1

 

With your primary shooting hand, open your thumb and index finger. Push the web of your hand as high as it will comfortably go on the handgun grip, making sure that the barrel of the gun lines up with the bones in your forearm. Wrap your fingers around the front of the grip, making sure to keep your index finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger. This is one of the major safety violations.

 

shooting grip 2

 

Do you see some free space on the inside grip panel of your handgun? Great, that’s where the bottom part (heel) of your support hand palm goes. Put it in that open spot and don’t worry if there’s not enough room to get your whole palm on the inside grip panel. There won’t be and that’s fine.

 

 

shooting grip 3

 

Now wrap your support hand fingers around the front of your dominant hand fingers. Your support hand fingers should be high–to the point of pressing against the bottom of the trigger guard.

 

 

shooting grip 4

 

You’ll know you’ve got it right if both of your thumbs are somewhere near parallel to each other and touching.

 

 

 

 

The Grip must be consistent for each shot
A good grip enhances the accuracy
Your hand must be high on the back strap
The finger must reach the trigger
These techniques will reduce muzzle rise
A good grip lends to faster recoil recovery
You should be using a crush grip with support wrist locked
Weakside fingers should be wrapped around the strong hand
Wrists should be close together
Supporting hand heel should be in contact with the weapon grip
Thumbs should rest on top of another.
Fingers over Fingers Thumb over Thumb

When the grip is acquired in the holster, prior to draw and presentation the web of the shooting hand must be in the top of tang on the back-strap and no higher. If you are too high the slide will bite your hand. If you are too low with your grip you allow the gun to move more with recoil making sight recovery and follow-on shots more difficult and time-consuming. A key point is to have both thumbs pointing at the target. The heal of your non-shooting hand should cover the area on the grip that is exposed.

Your shooting grip is just one of the factors that go into becoming a great shot and learning to shoot well.

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Sep 032018
 

Shoot Your Pistol BetterMany people want to shoot better and they try different methods for obtaining the skill. Some work and some don’t. It’s like anything else what works for one person may not work for the other. I am going to give you a simple roadmap to success for you to shoot your pistol better.

1. Good Equipment
Get a good handgun. A reliable modern handgun can take many forms. You need a gun that fits you. You have to be able to hold the gun, work the controls, and fire it safely. Learn the proper method of loading and unloading your gun. I teach a standard method for this in my primary class for both pistol and revolver. Learn to lube and clean your handgun properly. I have free gun cleaning classes several times a year. A properly lubed, clean firearm will serve you well when you need it. If carrying a firearm for self-defense you must learn to draw from the holster. A good place to start is with a strong side belt holster and a good belt. All my primary students are eligible for a draw from the holster 2-hour session at a greatly reduced price. Don’t worry about IWB OWB AIWB and all the other alphabet inside or outside the waistband carry methods. If you want to carry a holster you have to learn Strong Side Belt Holster first. All other holster methods are an easy learning process from there. A properly holstered gun carry requires a good sturdy belt so that your gun and holster are supported properly. Other Miscellaneous equipment as you go along will include timers or cell phone apps, proper ammunition for your firearm and Tape, staplers and marking pens as desired.

2. Good Technique
All good skills with a handgun come from proper technique. To shoot your pistol better you must learn to use the right techniques for success. It’s like building a wall. The foundation must be sturdy or the wall will fall. Grip- Stance- Sight Alignment- Trigger Press is the whole ball game. Anyone who has taken my primary class is eligible for a shooting session. Take advantage of that. Once you learn these proper techniques they will be the foundation for your success in handgun shooting. A good grip and a smooth draw from the holster puts it all together while following the 4 primary gun safety rules.

3. Make A Commitment
For you to shoot your pistol better you must make a commitment to train. This training routine is no different than going to the gym. You will start out slow, remember using the small weights and then progressing to the bigger ones. The number of rounds fired will be up to you. (Quality not Quantity) I see people burning ammo on public nights at the range and they never get better. I also see people chasing the red dot on the target. You’re not on the swat team! Learn to use your sights and trigger properly. You are doing your family and friends a disservice if you are promoting the use of a laser.

4. Keep Score
If you don’t test yourself you don’t know where you are today (baseline). Then over time, you can see your improvement (where you are going) if you keep records. Just get a cheap little spiral notebook and check your progress over time.

5. Find Different And Exciting Training Routines
This keeps it fresh and training becomes fun not just punching holes in paper. Every training regimen should include a dry fire component. I have dry fire material I will share with you so you can learn to shoot your pistol better. Claude Werner(The Tactical Professor), Greg Ellifritz (Active Response Training), and many others publish some great training materials online. I will share the location of this material as we progress.

6. Keep It Simple Be Creative
I find paper plates are great targets and cheap at the dollar store. You can be very creative with them. Collect some plastic lids 4, 6 and 8-inch circles to draw around as templates. Build a target template that you can spray using spray paint. Colored index cards and 8.5×11 plain or colored paper make some great targets.

I will get you started. Sign up and I will send you some dryfire info and a practice routine every Sunday night for the next month. If you follow the program and keep score you will be on your way to being a better shooter in 30 days. Remember to follow all the rules of the shooting facility you will be using. Those rules are in place for many reasons, mostly for your safety, safety of the facility, and other shooters. If you need other help to shoot your pistol better or additional information let me know when you sign up.

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Aug 282017
 

Dry Fire Training Is Important

Dry Fire Practice Target

Here are some great Dry Fire training routines that I think you will enjoy. Download the target below and print it. This target is a great resource for dry firing. The target features 5 circles scaled to reflect an 8-inch target at different ranges when viewed from a distance of 4 yards (12 feet). There are circles for targets at 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards. you can download the target here.

Dry Fire Training

In your dry fire training practice, you will always have some wobble (infinity symbol)infinity symbol firearm training.  Learn to break the shot as your gun sites pass thru your target. Good grip and good stance are always important. As you can see in the video it is possible to practice every aspect of your self-defense shooting habits. Learn the different shooting positions and practice your draw stroke in many different situations. This dry fire training practice is essential to becoming that great gun handler you desire to be.

Dave Spaulding of Handgun Combatives was the 2010 LAW OFFICER TRAINER OF THE YEAR and he talks about ways that you can practice your skills outside of the range in the comfort of your home.

I think this target and these dry fire training routines are the best I have come across and I am integrating this into my own gun training routine.

Remember I am a dealer for the SIRT Training Pistol and I would be glad to give you a quote for any model you would like to acquire.

Why Train With Rick

 

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Apr 062019
 

Good Shooting Skills are developed over time.  Like any activity, it does not come all at once. With some effort, you can become a great gun handler and shooter. Many of these steps can be done in your own home. Let’s look at some of the steps to success and how you can get started to be the shooter you would like to be.

Let see how to develop good shooting skills-

Safety- The Four Gun Safety Rules are not optional, they apply to everything we do when we handle a handgun. Good Shooting Skills means you know these and know the number of the rule ( there are only four). Sometimes when reading an article an author will say “remember rule #3” you need to know what that means. See the safety rules here for a reminder.

Reading vs. Doing– There is a big difference between reading about skill development and practicing it. Like many sports, you must do the activity to really learn it. Many times to get good you need a coach that can help you along the way. Grip, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, and Trigger Manipulation, are all skills you should know and be practicing with every session you do. Drawing from the holster is a skill that you should learn from an instructor, not a video or a book. Someone that knows the proper way should guide you in the fine points of presentation from the holster. Remember you are building good shooting skills so that you will do the same thing every time you handle your handgun.

Dry Fire Training-you should develop a dry fire training routine. It should cover skills that you would like to improve on. Many of the drills can be done in dry fire sessions with a little imagination. Contact me for some dry fire info that you can use.

Drills & Skill Building- Mike Seeklander and Claude Werner both have great books on developing your skills (see at the end of this article). Many of the drills they use are great for these sessions. Good shooting skills are developed over time not overnight. Micro drills are a great path to How to develop Good Shooting Skills. A Micro drill is taking one aspect that you would like to work on and breaking it down into a small drill. One example would be picking up a gun properly from a table or shooting bench. You know finger on the frame of the handgun (instead of the trigger). Picking up an empty magazine and an unloaded gun from the bench and loading it is another Micro drill you can work on. Any skill that you have can be broken down into a micro drill. Like Drawing for concealment, pulling back your shirt and gripping your pistol when it is in the holster. These are all Micro drills.

good shooting skillsLive Fire- Good Shooting Skills requires going to the range and drilling and checking your progress. It is important to have a plan and keep a written log. You do not know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been. You should plan a warm-up drill, a practice drill, and a qualification at the end. It’s a good idea to start looking at acquiring a shot timer. Shot timers put pressure on you to perform in a certain specified time. Overcoming pressure is one skill all concealed carry holders need.

 

 

How often to Shoot-You should try to shoot twice a month if possible. Good Shooting Skills don’t come in your sleep. Most top Instructors state that you should dry fire twice as much as you shoot.

How much to Shoot- Most peoples performance diminishes between 50- 100 rounds. I see in sessions with students all the time that they are done at 50 rounds. Don’t continue to practice when things are getting worse you will just practice bad habits. Go back to the fundamentals and try to build the skill you a failing on. Dry firing is one of the ways you can correct problems like trigger control and pulling shots off the target. I can have a good session in 50 rounds if I plan it and it doesn’t take very long at the range.

Qualification Shooting-Qualification and Proficiency Courses are designed as a means of tracking your skill development. These sessions will prove that you are getting better and gaining those Good Shooting Skills.

With all these ideas about how to to get and keep good shooting skills, you should be able to start and pick one idea and make yourself a better gun handler than you have ever been.

Claude Werner

Mike Seeklander

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