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Thread: Basic competition shoot - what drills would you incorporate?

  1. #1
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    Basic competition shoot - what drills would you incorporate?

    For about a year or so I was the lead (only) instructor for the local rod and gun club. They’ve had various iterations of a program, that, in its current state, is called the “Marksmanship Program.” When I took it over, it’s only function was to run club members through Marksmanship Program 101 which was a basic certification course that had to be completed to allow members to use a holster when on the range. Previous iterations had done slightly more advanced training, but that had been shut down. When I took over, I created two more “classes” - MP 100 and MP 102. 100 was as basic as it gets, because there were club members who had never shot a gun. 102’s POI was vey similar to 101, but since 101 was a certification in safe weapons handling, I chose to stay away from creating efficiency and honing accuracy for that class. 102 began working on that stuff and the intent was to create a 201 to work the VTAC barricades and stuff like that.

    The MP101 included a few iterations of Hilton Yam’s 1+1 and 4+4 drills with both pistol and rifle then finished with the TMACS transition drill. Total round count was 40 rounds of pistol and 32 rounds of rifle. 102 had the Bill Drill, more 4+4 drills, TMACS transition drill, and typically finished up with the VTAC 1-5. There was more flexibility on repeating and/or choosing other drills, but it called for 100 rounds of pistol and 82 rounds of rifle. I do not know if the POI has been changed at all.

    I should be moving back to the mainland in the next few months so I was replaced by someone who won’t be leaving any time soon. However, they did ask if I had any ideas for a competition for the Marksmanship Program so I’m trying to figure out what drills would be best to use, given the restraints below.

    1. Shooters: I expect somewhere between 5-10 members to compete, but there could be many more. They variation in experience and proficiency is about as large as possible. All of them will have to be MP101 card holders, but that could be the extent of their training. Most are current or former military but a lot are older, bench rest type shooters. I’ve yet to see someone that has the same experience and proficiency as I do, but I’m not that great so I’m sure the club has some guys that could put me to shame if they came out.

    2. Time: Typically the club can only shoot between 1000-1500 and most guys like to do some stuff on their own so two hours is probably an ideal time for the whole thing.

    3. Range: This is the hardest one. We use Army ranges so we have to deal with range control. We’re not allowed to shoot on the move at all nor are we allowed just about any type of reactive target (to include steel). Weapons have to be on line and pointed down range at all times. I have bent the rules there with holstered and slung guns. The range that I think we’ll use is about 70 meters long and is essentially a big grass field. There are VTAC and other barricades available, like mock windows but condition is unknown. Targetry is all over the place as it’s almost entirely supplied but the shooters. There are a few club targets but they’re typically shot to shit so just having consistent targets will be tough.

    4. Powers that be: Along with the range constraints, there are also management constraints. I no longer run the program so I really don’t have any authority to bend any rules. Even when I did, I couldn’t get away with much. There have been multiple iterations of the program because guys kept doing stuff that range control didn’t allow and got caught, so it gets shut down for several months at a time. Club leadership is understandably trying to prevent that for numerous reasons and even if they weren’t, most of these guys are crusty bench rest dudes who use it as more of a social thing than anything else. I’d be tempted to try shooting then moving drills, but I doubt that’d work either.

    With all that being said, what do you guys recommend? I’m thinking something along the lines of Bill Drill, Redback One ORT, and VTAC 1-5 but this was just mentioned so I haven’t been able to put a lot of thought into it yet. Scoring would would be along the lines of Virginia scoring IIRC, with only specified round counts and time added as a penalty for any miss.


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    Last edited by Wake27; 09-06-18 at 01:24.
    Sic semper tyrannis.

  2. #2
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    Yeesh. It sounds a lot like our local range.

    Lots of rules, very little leeway in format.

    With handgun- I've been doing a very similar version weekly, of what you describe for the past several years, with about the same cross-section of shooters.
    We have an opportunity to shoot rifle/carbine on a (very) irregular basis.

    This range (one of three at our facility) was constructed with "horseshoe" berms to originally allow 180 degree range of fire- into the back and side berms.
    It was used in monthly USPSA and PPC matches when we constructed it.
    Now the club "powers that be" are primarily Bullseye and precision bolt gun shooters. We have been limited to shooting into the back berm only, targets must be in a static line, behind railroad ties, just in front of and parallel to the back berm. This makes coming up with new, different courses of fire difficult.
    (The pisser is- we shoot on a range I designed with two other shooters 30 yrs. ago. It was designed as a "run and gun" range originally)

    I have arrived at a frame of mind where I strive to be content with instructing/sharing basic gun handling skills to newer shooters and feel lucky to have a couple that are actual studs that you'd trust to cover your ass.
    We also regularly practice shooting on the move (nearly always L to R due to range constraints and Right Hand shooters), work on familiarity with "strong hand/support hand" shooting, (proper) barricade use/prone, etc.
    We do a LOT of static drills at varying ranges which are simple; 3 shoot targets at 35 yds/20 yds/10 yds/3 yds- shoot 2 rds. each target, reload 2 rds. This may have two or more positions combined for movement, or simply shot as a "Standards Exercise" from each position.
    A timer is ALWAYS used. It introduces an additional element of stress while shooting.

    I have learned that a match/course of fire does not have to be elaborate or complicated to be of benefit- although it is more fun.
    I try to remember that trigger time, done properly, is always beneficial. It is gratifying to see new shooters that were complete limp dicks with handgun/carbine become proficient and confident with their abilities.
    (I am fortunate that I have land where we can shoot with zero constraints- other than "don't shoot the cattle". Unfortunately the logistics/location make it a seldom used asset.)
    Remember Wake- if you don't make an effort to pass it on, it will cease to exist.

    Add; the "2,2,4,2,2" drill "1-5" drill are all fun- but don't instill "sight picture/trigger control" with new(er) shooters. But hey, everyone loves to shoot fast.
    Several of K. Hackathorns drills are pretty basic, but require focusing on basics. Gotta have a solid foundation on which to build your skill set.....
    Last edited by gaijin; 09-06-18 at 10:18.

  3. #3
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    Basic competition shoot - what drills would you incorporate?

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijin View Post
    Yeesh. It sounds a lot like our local range.

    Lots of rules, very little leeway in format.

    With handgun- I've been doing a very similar version weekly, of what you describe for the past several years, with about the same cross-section of shooters.
    We have an opportunity to shoot rifle/carbine on a (very) irregular basis.

    This range (one of three at our facility) was constructed with "horseshoe" berms to originally allow 180 degree range of fire- into the back and side berms.
    It was used in monthly USPSA and PPC matches when we constructed it.
    Now the club "powers that be" are primarily Bullseye and precision bolt gun shooters. We have been limited to shooting into the back berm only, targets must be in a static line, behind railroad ties, just in front of and parallel to the back berm. This makes coming up with new, different courses of fire difficult.
    (The pisser is- we shoot on a range I designed with two other shooters 30 yrs. ago. It was designed as a "run and gun" range originally)

    I have arrived at a frame of mind where I strive to be content with instructing/sharing basic gun handling skills to newer shooters and feel lucky to have a couple that are actual studs that you'd trust to cover your ass.
    We also regularly practice shooting on the move (nearly always L to R due to range constraints and Right Hand shooters), work on familiarity with "strong hand/support hand" shooting, (proper) barricade use/prone, etc.
    We do a LOT of static drills at varying ranges which are simple; 3 shoot targets at 35 yds/20 yds/10 yds/3 yds- shoot 2 rds. each target, reload 2 rds. This may have two or more positions combined for movement, or simply shot as a "Standards Exercise" from each position.
    A timer is ALWAYS used. It introduces an additional element of stress while shooting.

    I have learned that a match/course of fire does not have to be elaborate or complicated to be of benefit- although it is more fun.
    I try to remember that trigger time, done properly, is always beneficial. It is gratifying to see new shooters that were complete limp dicks with handgun/carbine become proficient and confident with their abilities.
    (I am fortunate that I have land where we can shoot with zero constraints- other than "don't shoot the cattle". Unfortunately the logistics/location make it a seldom used asset.)
    Remember Wake- if you don't make an effort to pass it on, it will cease to exist.

    Add; the "2,2,4,2,2" drill "1-5" drill are all fun- but don't instill "sight picture/trigger control" with new(er) shooters. But hey, everyone loves to shoot fast.
    Several of K. Hackathorns drills are pretty basic, but require focusing on basics. Gotta have a solid foundation on which to build your skill set.....
    All good points, thanks.

    Bumping this for more feedback.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sic semper tyrannis.

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