Posted on January 12 2020
AUTHOR Matt Winslow / RM Training Blog / PUBLISHED: JAN-12-2020
"There are lot of ways to train nowadays. Why not train like the best shooters in the world?"
Back to the Basics
We here at Readyman are always looking to get better at our craft and pride ourselves on not getting bogged down with the mantra of "It's always been done this way, so why change?".
Why not try new gear and new ways to train?
Although i've always been more than competent with a pistol, this is a discipline that tarnishes skill fast if not honed regularly. When it comes down to it, it takes far less to maintain your marksmanship with a rifle than with a pistol.
Train Like You Fight.
I'm a big believer in training like you fight. Unfortunately, short of enlisting and deploying overseas, the most realistic of training is going to be few and far between for the average citizen. We've outlined what we feel as the next best thing in our article "Train Smarter: Airsoft as a Training Tool".
In that article, Jeff Kirkham goes into the major benefits of gaining tactical experience and trigger time on the cheap by using airsoft. From a standpoint of "training like you fight" this is one of the best ways to train.
Walk Before You Run.
This is a mantra i've heard a thousand times in the Marine Corps. From Boot Camp, Infantry School, and Combat Marksmanship Instructors School, the principles of marksmanship have been beat into my head: Body tension, sight picture/sight alignment, controlled breathing, and trigger control.
It's one thing to know them, but another to actually employ them. I've had the privilege of being surrounded by some truly great shooters in both my Military and Civilian career. Whether it's been shooting IDPA/IPSC (defensive pistol) , Service Rifle/Pistol, or 10 Meter Air Pistol, the best shooters that i've encountered all have one thing in common: they have mastered the basic principles of marksmanship.
So what does it take to master the basic principles of marskmanship? Well, to put it plainly, trigger time WITH results downrange. I'm not negated the benefits of dry fire practice as I think it's highly valuable, but without ever seeing results downrange, how can you be sure your practice is paying off?
Alot of shooting disciplines have the ability to increase trigger time and get results downrange but I feel that the absolute best for stripping it down to the basics and getting a rude awakening at how bad you suck at shooting a pistol is HANDS DOWN Olympic style 10 meter air pistol. It also doesn't hurt that the cost per downrange result is about 1/50th of a 9mm.
These are not your Walmart Special Airsoft Toys. Utilizing extremely fast lock times, crisp, 1lb triggers, and some of the most precisely machined rifled barrels out there, these will stack pellets on top of each other.... As long as you utilize correct principles of marksmanship of course!
The 10 meter air pistol target is 7" x 7" with concentric score zones, the innermost having a diameter of just .226".
International 10 meter air pistol is a fantastic way to increase your pistol marksmanship skills. Shooting from 10 meters (30 feet) using Compressed Air powered pistols. In addition to being able to shoot in your backyard or garage using a .22lr bullet trap, matches are popping up all across the country, especially at colleges. 10 meter air pistol and rifle is one of the fastest growing shooting disciplines among the college aged kids.
"How can this possibly help my defensive pistol shooting?"
An Acid Test For Pistol Marksmanship Wannabe's.
Shooting from 10 meters using hyper-accurate compressed air pistols? Childs play!
Not so fast.
While you may only be shooting from a distance of 30 feet using some of the most mechanically accurate shooting devices known to man, your target is the size of a dime. You also are required to shoot off hand with no support. AND do that 60 times in a match.
Still sound easy?
Trust me, it's not. I'm a fairly accomplished pistol shooter, with tens of thousands of rounds put downrange in a plethora of shooting disciplines and out of a possible 600 points, the best I was ever able to shoot was a 545. Olympic level shooters will post up scores in the 580's.
Yes, this is an Olympic sport with everyone but the USA dominating. WTF?
So how will shooting 10 meter air make me a better defensive pistol shooter?
Trust me, when I first was prompted to try, I thought the same thing. How can this possibly help my defensive pistol shooting?
Using a Steyr LP-10, I was immediately surprised at how long the sight radius is. This should make it easy! After dry firing several times (these pistols have a dry fire mode) I was blown away at how amazing the trigger was. These triggers will best a $5K precision rifles trigger any day of the week with some models even featuring electronic triggers.
Chambering a .177" match grade pellet, I raised the pistol, acquired a proper sight picture/sight alignment, and squeezed the trigger. A "whoosh" left the barrel; my only clue as to the pistol actually going off as the recoil is almost non-existent.
So, i'm shooting a target too small to see, with a pistol with near-perfect mechanical accuracy and no recoil. What's the point?
Well, the point is that by removing variables present in traditional firearms such as imperfect mechanical accuracy, recoil, and noise, I can now focus purely on the principles of marksmanship. Which in my opinion, makes this shooting discipline truly enjoyable. It also makes it completely relevant to enhancing skills in the other more traditional shooting disciplines.
The benefits don't stop at improving your marksmanships skills however, with each downrange result costing 1/50th of what 9mm ball costs. You can also shoot in your garage, backyard, or house if you've got a cool wife. All you need is a bullet trap.
After shooting 10 meter air pistol for a couple months, i noticed that my trigger control, sight picture, and sight alignment all improved and translated over to me shooting faster, and more accurate times with actual firearms. I was amazed at how well the front sight would track and how much smoother my trigger control was.
With 10 meter air pistol/rifle matches popping up all over the country (and world), I highly recommend you go and shoot one to see how your marksmanship stacks up.
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