I reserved the training bay at the local indoor range last night and put about 600 rounds of .22 down range:
I had noticed something when I watched Master and Grandmaster class shooters. When they transition between targets they move the gun much faster than I do. Why don’t I do that?
I set up the simulated steel challenge stage with paper targets with the largest possible angle I could get in the range and still keep the bullets in the berm from 30 feet away:
The stop “plate” is the center target so I could test shooting left to right and right to left. And a secondary test was an order of shooting question I had wondered about for years (1, 2, 4, 5, 3 versus 1, 2, 5, 4, 3).
First I shot as I normally do and found the order of shooting didn’t make any difference. And although it was more comfortable for me to shoot left to right it didn’t make a measurable difference in my time. It was always between about 4.6 and 4.9 seconds.
I tried swinging the gun faster between targets. Maximum acceleration then stopping on target long enough to fire an aimed shot then maximum acceleration to the next target. I found it took me quite a bit longer to get the gun settled on the target compared to the way I usually do it. The end result was that I ended up with essentially the same times.
But I kept trying. At about 300 rounds my time just dropped by a full second. It wasn’t gradual. It was just the same as usual on one string of fire and the next was a full second faster. It continued to be in the 3.6 second range and when I sometimes messed up with a target acquisition and it took something like 4.5 seconds it seemed like forever. 4.5 seconds a few minutes earlier would have been a good run.
I pushed a little harder and even had a few runs that were in the 2.8 to 2.9 range. That’s almost two seconds off my previous times. That a reduction of about 40 percent! I backed off some so that I was consistent and was steady at about 3.6 seconds per string. I continued shooting until I ran out of time trying to condition my brain and muscles to make this a comfortable habit.
My gun got so hot I couldn’t hold onto the barrel and I found out when I cleaned it tonight the front sight had come loose. The heat had probably degraded Loctite on the threads.
The gun also got quite dirty on the outside as well as the inside:
I’ll find out at the steel match tomorrow if the training stuck. If it did and I can shoot as fast and accurately tomorrow as I could last night I will be very pleased.