Dec 7th, 2019 we organized and hosted a 1 day Rifle Practice session.
What was expected to happen?
This practice day was set up following our successful Pistol Practice day in November. Nothing too fancy, no “teaching”, just a group of shooters getting together to practice and #dowork. The idea is to observe and provide feedback to each other to improve performance… and maybe meet a few new local shooters who share the interest of getting better (whether that is for work, competition, defensive purposes or just for fun).
What actually occurred?
We met as a group at 9 am out at the range. All week leading up to Dec 7th, the weather was predicted to be wet and cold, but much to our surprise (and pleasure) it turned out to be a beautiful, partly cloudy day. Most everyone was on time and excited to shoot! After a general safety briefing (a group effort, as embarrassingly I forgot my outline) we walked through the drills that we had set up for the day, which included:
- ZEE cold start
- BAER Slutions Standard
- Head to head dual falling tree
- Collateral Drill
- A variation of the “T-drill”
- “Know your zero” work from 50-400 yards
Really appreciated the chance to practice and wring out some new equipment. I was able to figure out few things that didn’t work (pouch arrangement on battle belt, how I was doing mag changes under pressure, useful sling layout) as well as validate a few other things and get greater confidence in my abilities. I’d never shot past 200 yards before and to be making hits at 300 and 400 with a 1x red dot felt great! Thank you for setting this up.
There were no official groups, but the larger group quickly split into several smaller groups across the various drills to maximize our opportunities to shoot throughout the morning and early afternoon. Several shooters left around lunch time and we were wrapped up, packed up and headed out by around 15:00.
What went well and why?
As with our previous events, shooters did a great job in helping each other. One of the main purposes of these events is to practice with someone else watching and providing feedback. Even with friendly competition in some of the drills, everyone was willing and able to provide constructive feedback for each other.
Thanks for the fun and educational day, monies well spent.
It was nice to see some familiar faces (that have attended other Pew Pew Solutions events previously) and it was also quite nice to see a few new faces! This is an indication that the word is getting out and we seem to be attracting shooter who are serious about improving (or at the least maintaining) their skills, but also passionate about meeting other shooters of a similar mindset.
What can be improved and how?
Host / Organizer
I was a bit behind setting up the drills ahead of time, and thus we were not able to start until about 20 min after 09:00. Although I doubt it ruined anyone’s day, I much prefer to be able to actually start when I said that we would. I need to be a bit more prepared for new drills (some of these I have never actually set up or shot either!).
I would also like to provide a bit more information ahead of time, a list of “learning resources” perhaps. Articles, videos etc etc from people who know a lot more than me – I think this will give those who would like to a chance to get a bit more out of these practice days.
My general suggestions for this largely depend on what the participant hopes to get out of these practice days. If the participants’ goal is to just come and have a good time, then I think the group agrees, mission accomplished. If the participant is to improve as much and as quickly as possible, I would like to stress my two follow up questions:
- What was one thing you did well and WHY did you do it well?
- What is one thing you would like to improve, and HOW will you improve it?
(You may recognize these two questions from the AAR format I have been using). Learning does not always happen with what has happened in that particular practice session or even discussed afterwards – it often requires follow up and application in future sessions. Without identifying and focusing on the WHY and HOW in the questions above, our progress will be unnecessarily impeded.
My more specific suggestion for this day in particular, would be to re-run the “know your zero” drill we had set up. Although it was not useless in anyway, it seemed as though by the time we got around to running this drill, most of us were pretty well spent on the idea of “deliberate practice” and just wanted to have some fun slinging 55 grains out to 400 yards… 🙂
As expected, our rifle practice day was an all around success. Fun was had, deficiencies were identified and specific improvements were made. I am quite happy with the quality of shooters showing up to our events thus far… not just because they are safe, good shooters with a desire to do better, but because they all seem to be genuinely cool people and fun to hang around with.
Until next time…