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PRACTICAL SHOOTING SKILLS AND DRILLS, Ben Stoeger AAR

October 29th & 30th, 2020

Written by “Freedom”

The class is two days, limited to six students, with an approximate round count of 1500. The class consists of a stage built in one bay, and different drills performed in another. The sample stage is open, and can be ran or used to work on specific skills throughout the class.

Day one starts with running the stage cold and receiving feedback. With only six students, it shouldn’t take very long. The class then moves into different drills in the adjacent bay. It starts off with Practical accuracy, learning to shoot the instant sights return to the target. Even though it’s using uspsa targets, it’s important to not to think of the target as being the center of the target, or even merely the A zone, but a very specific spot. Stoeger will insist on this all weekend. Your prize for putting all the shots where you’re told is being pushed to go faster. A common theme is you will be pushed on every drill until the wheels fall off. Doubles, designated target, go stop and others are used to highlight everyone’s personal failings. At a couple of points, the class gets another crack at the sample stage to put what the drills emphasized into practice.

Day 2, the sample stage was changed, starts with another cold run. Drills focus much more on transitions, shooting in the move and leading everything with your eyes. It ends with a final run on the practice stage and a talk about how to tailor practice sessions to you based on what your personal failings are. The class is basically a guided tour through his book, Skills and Drills Reloaded. This isn’t the class for someone looking for validation or attaboys. Ben is brutal and sees more than any instructor I’ve taken. At one point he got onto me for over transitioning a target by 4″ in dry fire on a 15y target. Not overshooting the target by 4″, but the perforated A in the center. He was spotting my muzzle hitting the A/C line before coming back to the center. Every student received the same treatment. You will not get away with anything. You might not even believe him at first until you start paying more attention to what you’re doing and realize he’s right. His ability borders on omniscience and is downright spooky.

The class won’t make you better, but you’ll leave with an understanding of what it takes and what to work on to get better. It’s two days of guided practice to become a better practical shooter. Every drill and exercise is designed to highlight failure and the skills and tools needed to overcome it.

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