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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've been working on my drawstroke & time to first shot. Using an IWB holster I've gotten it to a pretty consistent 1.25 seconds. With the Blade Tech belt holster I use for IDPA I can get a little under that.

But I'm stuck. No matter how much I dry fire, I can't seem to get below these numbers. It's driving me nuts. I've hit plateaus before, but I've always been able to overcome them with time and a lot of practice. I know that other folks can beat these times handily, but I seem to have hit some functional limit.

Without going into too much detail, I use a modified Farnam/Silverman 4-point draw (with the "rock 'n lock" & punch to target). It works very well for planting the sights dead on the target, even with my eyes closed, but I'm wondering if there is something inherent in this method that slows me down. And if there is, how do I overcome it?

So, speed tips, anyone? How do you do it? And how fast?

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, I've got Brian's book (I've got a book habit that would make a heroin addict wince :smile:.

Thanks for the link to Brian's site. I'll check it out.

In the meantime . . . anybody else got tips, tricks, advice, etc.?

Chad

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chad Ward on 2001-10-16 10:02 ]</font>
 

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Much of draw speed is reaction time. DUH! you say :grin:

Nothing wrong with a 1.25 sec draw from an IWB. Is that from concealment or just in the open?

How fast is your draw from a belt holster?

Any thing hovering around 1 second is very good.

Reaction time is first enhanced by being relaxed at the buzzer. You need to HEAR the buzzer of the timer and react to the first quarter of it's duration. Many folks react to the buzzer after it is done. Bad idea.

I have spent a great deal of time using IWBs. It takes a vey special IWB to get below 1 second with and some hard work by the shooter. But it can be done.

Work on the reaction time to the sound of the buzzer. Make sure your presentation grip on the IWB is clean. My goal is always to make my IWB presentation time the same as my belt holster times.
 

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Chad, go to http://www.sportshooter.com,
click on the "Improving" section and then click on Matt Burkett's article:
"Getting Started Sooner"

Good Luck in your endeavor, hope the info helps. (The article is just one of several Matt B. very obligingly did for this incredible resource of a website):

"Getting Started Sooner"
I have found that a lot of my students have been losing significant time on their draw just by having a slow reaction time to when the buzzer sounds from the timer. How do you find out what your reaction time is and more importantly how do you improve it?

Try the following. You'll need a gun, ammo, and timer

1. Set timer for a random delay between
4-8 seconds
2. Load and make ready
3. Hit go on the timer
4. Gun out in the shooting position
5. Visual focus on the target
6. Take safety off
7. Place finger on the trigger and take
up the slack (Don't AD!)
8. Tune your audio focus to listening for
the start of the tone
9. When buzzer goes, fire a shot
10. Check the clock for results
11. Repeat, trying to react as fast as
possible
Most likely your first reaction times will be .30 or longer. Work on the exercise until they are consistently under .20 and you will already have removed a minimum of a tenth of a second from your draw!

(A reaction time of .16-.20 of a second is optimum. My personal best is a .11 at Shooters World in Phoenix during a class with Chris Dysart. Chris went from a .34 to a average .18 of a second. That was a savings of .16 or in other terms it moves a one second draw down to an .84!)
 

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Hey brother, I am a student here and not a teacher, but I say this: If you can go 1.25 seconds from concealment consistently and hit what you are aiming at then you need to Zen out and quit worrying about doing better and just do that well. 1.25 from concealment whips ass. Are you going to get better? Yes, with time. Like all martial arts though, once you reach a certain level then the progress is going to be very slow and not noticed from day to day. I wouldn't even worry about it. I would just dry practice a bunch. I think you will get faster on all your own without even trying. If what you are doing is sound and you do it a whole lot you will get very good at it. Someday, maybe next week or maybe next year or maybe 5 years from now you will take the next step in this process. Getting anxious and frustrated will only hinder the progress. I leave you with this piece of advice from a Russian expression: (It comes from a honeymoon joke) - "Its not how fast you do it; its how well you do it".

Again, I am a student, but I say turn up your situational awareness and trust to your 1.25 second draw time. It will speed up and grow all on its own. You should be proud if this is what is troubling you most about your defensive skills. Good luck, let us know when you break through.

Jake
 

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Find a book on speed strength. Your tech. in the draw may be the best your body will allow you to accomplish. So change your body and reach your goal. If you can make yourself physically faster you may be able to improve your draw times. There are many ways to train and improve speed strength, I help many clients get faster. It takes some work but not hundreds of hours like you might think.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On 2001-10-16 11:43, Dane Burns wrote:
Much of draw speed is reaction time. DUH! you say :grin:

Nothing wrong with a 1.25 sec draw from an IWB. Is that from concealment or just in the open?
<Sigh> Not from concealment, but my time really isn't that much slower with a light jacket or shirt for cover. I practice with my timer set to a par time of 1.25 and a random delay start. I can make the 1.25 (barely) with a cover garment, I just have to work harder at it. And it feels sloppier, probably because I'm rushing.

How fast is your draw from a belt holster?
Dunno, exactly. I haven't really set my timer lower to see what I can and can't make from the belt holster (Blade-Tech). I'd guess that it's probably about 1.10 to 1.15 or so. The hammer drops just before the second beep on the timer rather than during the beep as it does with the IWB :smile:.

Reaction time is first enhanced by being relaxed at the buzzer. You need to HEAR the buzzer of the timer and react to the first quarter of it's duration. Many folks react to the buzzer after it is done. Bad idea.
Aha! That's something I really need to work on. If I could drop a couple of tenths from my reaction time, which I suspect is pretty slow, I'd be a happy camper.

I have spent a great deal of time using IWBs. It takes a vey special IWB to get below 1 second with and some hard work by the shooter. But it can be done.
Yep, I struggle a lot more with the IWB. When I switch to the belt holster everything seems to glide into place. However, the IWB, a Sparks Executive Companion, is at the same depth and rake as the belt holster, so the transition isn't too awful. It just seems "tighter" and more snug to my side. That's just what I want in an IWB, but I do have to work harder to make the draw.

Work on the reaction time to the sound of the buzzer. Make sure your presentation grip on the IWB is clean. My goal is always to make my IWB presentation time the same as my belt holster times.
Thanks for the help and advice. I'm really looking forward to the class in Dallas next week. I expect you, Tom and Jim to have me doing sub-2 second Bill Drills from concealment by the end of the weekend -- that's part of the guarantee, right? :razz:

Chad

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chad Ward on 2001-10-17 10:11 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On 2001-10-16 18:06, Jake Salyards wrote:
Again, I am a student, but I say turn up your situational awareness and trust to your 1.25 second draw time. It will speed up and grow all on its own. You should be proud if this is what is troubling you most about your defensive skills. Good luck, let us know when you break through.

Jake
Jake, thanks for the encouragement. I realize that getting wrapped around the axle about this is probably a little silly, but not making progress really bugs me :smile:.

I'm pretty comfortable with my shooting (although my last IDPA match really pointed out the need to work on shooting on the move). And I'm also reasonably comfortable with my mindset/tactics. I'm taking the Burns/Higgenbotham/Givens Bataan Death March and Shoot 'n' Scoot class next weekend, so I'll have a chance to brush up on both -- and probably have some sense beaten into me :smile:.

It's just the plateau that's bugging me. I hit the same wall a couple of years ago with my guitar playing. I play bluegrass, which can move along pretty quickly, especially on fiddle tunes. I stalled out at about 240bpm and couldn't keep up with a couple of banjo players I know. Bugged the crap out of me. So much so that I put my guitar away for almost a year. I'm just now getting my calluses back :eek:.

So I'm trying to avoid massive frustration and self-flagellation. But you're right. I should probably just relax and stop worrying about it. The speed will come.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On 2001-10-16 17:51, thor wrote:
Chad, go to http://www.sportshooter.com,
click on the "Improving" section and then click on Matt Burkett's article:
"Getting Started Sooner"
Thanks for the great resource. I'll check it out.

Chad
 

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Fairly simple: Smooth is Fast. You can be very quick and jerky getting your gun out and approximately on target, but lose time in centering the sights, or you can a little slower and smoother and when the gun gets to the full extension of the arms, it will be in the correct firing position and time will not be needed to center the sights. By slow and smooth, you actually have more control than quick and jerky.

I shoot with a couple of guys, one is 23 and the other is in his mid 60s. The guy in his sixties really just can't move that face. The young guy is really fast in movement. Side by side on the line and you have what looks like the tortoise and the hare. The young guy's gun is out first and he may get the first shot off, but the old guy won't be more than 0.25 seconds behind the young guy and the old guy's shots will be great. For close up shooting, the young guy would win every time. Backing off to 10 yards and all of a sudden the tortoise starts beating the rabbit because using the sights becomes more critical. The young guy's shots are all over the chest area and the old guy is still placing them in the dead center.

Smooth is Fast. Quick and jerky is slow if you ever have to actually aim you gun.
 
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You may be spending a little too much time at the end of the drawstroke verifying that your sights are aligned. It's a habit that I have and while not necessarily bad, it does slow you down a little.

Try this experiment:
Make a negative target by cutting out the entire -1 zone of an IDPA target. Time your draws on that target, which will not require you to do much sight alignment to get a hit in the negative (cutout) area. If your draw times are faster than before, then where you are losing time is not the draw, but rather in triggering the shot at the end of your drawstroke.
 

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Chad wrote;
So, speed tips, anyone? How do you do it? And how fast?
--------------------

First off, while I would never say stop trying to get better (the good guy always starts from behind so you cannot be too fast unless it is hurting your marksmanship), you should realize that you have made quite good progress to get to 1.25 (if that is from under a normal concealment garment).

I don't know many people who can do faster than that with that kind of presentation - and there are good reasons for doing it that way though I don't myself. The old "5 count" draw going through the ready, rather than going to retention, is actually slightly faster if speed is the only goal (I don't think it is).

Also you did not mention the range and target. If your target is at 7 yards or more you have some part of that time consumed in a somewhat more dificult sight acquisition that you need for most real world encounters which happen at 10 feet or less.

This is one of the things that makes most "practical" competition irrelevant BTW... shooting at 3 yards is not "easier" than shooting at 10.. it is *different*!

Keep practicing, remember "smooth is fast" and above all relax because tensing up your muscles for a really quick time can make it hard to get them in motion.. making you actually slower on the clock than your are when you don't anticipate.

Good luck and best regards,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Chad wrote;
I expect you, Tom and Jim to have me doing sub-2 second Bill Drills from concealment by the end of the weekend -- that's part of the guarantee, right?
-------------------------

We do indeed guarantee you can Drill Bill in under two seconds... but he might object :grin:

Onward!
Jim H.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jim Higginbotham on 2001-10-21 22:49 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Claude & Jim: You might have a point. I'm using a 12" stuffed Opus (anybody remember Bloom County?) at 5-7 yards as my dry-fire target. I've been counting the shot as a failure if the sights weren't close to perfectly aligned and within the circle of his nose -- approximately 4".

Thanks for the help, advice & encouragement!

Chad
 

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I went back and checked some old targets I saved that had the times posted for each shot of a Mozambique drill. These were measured using a timer with a delay start.

From a cold start, no warm-up, and from concealment, my times to first shot were 1.8-2.05 seconds. The final shots of the series occurred between 2.1 and 2.58. Target distances were 5 and 6 yards (depending on the day and setup). I only had 6 of these starting targets with times recorded. Interestingly, as I got warmed up, the times dropped considerably. Some of my times to first shot were between 1.4 and 1.5 seconds. I was able to complete some Mozambiques within 2.0 seconds where the COM shots were actually COM (not gut, not shoulder, etc.) and the head shot was solid.

As much as I would like to be able to boast being able to shoot a Mozambique drill at 6 yards with proper accuracy in less than 2.0 seconds, the truth is, I probably won't be able to do this in an actual defensive situation. The cold start times are probably more realistic as estimaters of real world performance than those sets where I had warm-up up, adjusted my holster to the ideal position, retucked my shirt to as to not interfere in any way, etc.

Timing is a nice way to guage training skill, and that is about all the stock I put into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hmmm, more good thoughts. The 1.25 times generally come "warm." I start out with the timer set for a 1.75 - 2.0 par time, depending on how I feel that day, and work my way down. My cold time would probably be 1.5 to 1.75 or so -- a more realistic representation of true reaction/draw times.

Ah screw it, I'm not going to worry about it anymore :smile:. As I've said, it's not so much the times that bug me as the lack of progress. Hitting a plateau is annoying, but I'll get over it.

I'm really looking forward to the class in Dallas this weekend. I'll be the one tangled up in my cover garment :grin:.

Chad
 

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Chad, I had a vest on which I had to pin closed the inside pocket. About every other time I would sweep the vest back in my attempt to reach my gun, I would find my hand securely placed inside the pocket, useless. Maybe I will unpin the pocket and wear it on Saturday. That way you will have company in being tangled.
 

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sorry, guys,

I don't care how smooth we all are and my cold times to the first shot w/ my P7 are virtually always at 1.3sec; if my gun isn't already out, I'm dead meat: action beats reaction, and proximity negates skill. And I best not ever forget it that cardboard doesn't move.

tony

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tonylfi4 on 2001-12-12 18:15 ]</font>
 
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