Shoot Better at 25 Yards
It’s hard to shoot small things far away with a pistol. We’ll talk about how to get better today. Because the ammo is hard to come by, I’ll show you how to get some good practice at 25 yards with less than a full box.
Most pistol shooters lose confidence when the target is between 15 and 25 yards away. So most of the time, we shoot our pistols at close range. This way is easier. It’s more fun because we can shoot faster. And for self-defence or even action pistol competition, these shorter distances are much more important.
You can do some good work at 25 yards and farther with iron sights. But you can’t say enough about how much easier it is with a red dot. I’ll say more about that in a minute. Let’s move on to the practice.
Check Your Zero
First, fire five rounds with no time limit from a bench rest. Not fancy. Use a table and your range bag. These may be the five most important practice rounds, so I’ll pause.
We want to establish our zero and shoot a tight group with these five shots. If you can’t get five rounds in the black from the bench, attempting to pass the Defoor hat qual will be difficult, and you won’t learn anything. So instead, we must diagnose the problem.
Trigger control or recoil anticipation are likely causes. Either will affect our visual alignment. Small sight alignment mistakes may be exacerbated at 25 yards. You’ll miss 25 if you don’t push the trigger straight to the rear without upsetting the sights. Mastering the trigger press may be its own book, so I’ll stop there.
Check Your Zero
If your trigger control was strong for the first five shots, but your group is off centre, particularly with bullets outside the black, check your sights or optic.
Few handgun manufacturers zero at the factory. With the sights, you can usually hit an 8-inch target at 10 or 15 yards. At 25 yards, our target is a 5.5-inch black circle. So your zero might be crucial.
If you’re ahead, we’ll continue. We’ll get up and alternate dry and live fire. Unset timer. Take just as much time as necessary. With dry repetitions, we’re becoming accustomed to retaining the sight image and pressing the trigger smoothly without disrupting it as the shot breaks.
Take a rest, then continue. Repeat 10 times. Then shoot five times. Slow fire, unlimited time. Rest between rounds by lowering the pistol to a low or squeezed readiness. We want to check that our dry fire strategy will work.
Unsupported Slow Fire
Check the target after five shots. Don’t discharge more than five rounds without aiming during practice. I have 20/20 eyesight and can just see some 9mm holes at 25 yards in good light. Most of us must venture downrange to witness our hits. Without input from our rounds, we’re not advancing. Firing 20 or 30 bullets before seeing what happens when we pull the trigger is useless.
If you fired any bullets outside the 8-ring, perhaps you phoned them and recognized something was wrong. If you’ve removed many rounds, repeat this step. Slow-fire till you can repair it. If you don’t have enough ammunition to finish, that’s alright. Still worthwhile.
Working on Pace
Patch holes or create a new B-8, then complete 10 dry repetitions. Don’t over-confirm the sights this time. You can execute a nice trigger press if you’ve won the last five. When you see a good sight image, go. Get the shot, then.
Five live rounds after ten dry repetitions. Now string them together. I’d recommend setting a timer, although you’re not limited by time. Five quick shots to remain in the black. Check your split timings to see how your pace compares to the Defoor test.
10 rounds in 20 seconds; thus, you should be under 2 seconds between shots. 1.7-1.8 at most. Don’t let the timer control you. Before worrying about the timer, find out why you’re not receiving hits.
Slowing down may occasionally reduce accuracy. Don’t overthink your sights or trigger push. You don’t want to be visually, physically, and intellectually exhausted. If you go for it, your group size may immediately reduce.
Working on Pace
Go check your target after five shots. It’s pasted. Repeat five dry repetitions and five live-fire shots. If your first five-shot string looks nice and you feel like you’re on a roll, I believe that’s acceptable. If you need five dry repetitions, do them first.
We’ve shot 20 bullets. Five off the bench, five individual shots standing, and two 5-shot strings with a timer indicate our pace.
Add the Drawstroke
Ten live bullets from the holster. We’ll start dry. We’ll repeat the first dry repeats but add the draw stroke. Draw swiftly, shoot carefully. At 25 yards, sight alignment and trigger push need more attention than at 7 yards. The draw stroke shouldn’t be slower, however. So draw quickly and get the gun out.
My draw stroke suffers first when I haven’t practised recently. Slower and inconsistent. I did more than 10 dry repetitions. On any of them, perform dry reps. Nothing. Don’t become too tired or sloppy.
Add the Drawstroke
Already 30 rounds. You might be at 35 or 40 rounds if you made bench changes. The last 10 rounds will be the Defoor Hat Qual. 10 bullets from the holster in 20 seconds.
Yesterday’s attempt: That low draw stroke shot made me apprehensive, so I took my time. Three seconds was probably too long. However, I felt good once I started and shot quicker than in practice. In 16.06, I got 95.