Author Topic: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?  (Read 808 times)

Offline mikek

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Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« on: March 04, 2022, 02:17:22 PM »
There are many great articles/posts about preparing for an Appleseed, but not much on preparing for a Appleseed Pistol Clinic. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

I've purchased PQT's, Pistol Red Coat from the store, and some pistol drill targets from the AS store. But, I typically only use them at the range. (live-fire)

I cannot find any info on "steady hold factors" or what kind of dry fire exercises to do before attending. I want to get the most out of the event, so any info would be appreciated.

Online Moylan

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2022, 04:50:50 PM »
This is a great question.  We teach the modern isosceles, and the class has no holster work.  So as far as figuring out steady hold factors, you could get ahold of something as simple as the NRA's book that goes with its basic pistol class, where the isosceles is presented pretty well. 

The most important dry fire drill would simply be a focus on trigger control.  Depending on your background and knowledge, you might find it useful to work on reloads.  We do reloads on the clock, as you can see from the PQT's, so put your spare mag on a table next to you, or otherwise easily accessible and you can practice one-reload-one drills dry, where you simulate firing a round, do a reload, get on the target again and "fire" another round. 

You can also work transitions dry.  Set up two or more targets and work snapping your eyes to the new target after the shot breaks, and then following your eyes with your gun.  Aim to get your eyes moving as soon as the shot breaks (and you call it good) and make that transition snappy.

I don't know from your post where you're at as a shooter, or what equipment you have, or whatnot.  So I want to stress one thing about dry fire that is very important.  You can take multiple "shots" even with a dead trigger.  If you've got a Glock or something where the trigger's only good for one dry shot, you can keep pressing the dead trigger to simulate a trigger press.  So, working transitions, the first shot is on a live trigger.  Then simulate a second shot on the same target by just re-pressing the dead trigger, do your transition and take the two more shots with the dead trigger.  (You're working on the transition, not the trigger press.) 

By the same principle, you can run whole dry sequences of the PQT.  It's helpful if you have a feel for what 15 seconds actually feels like.  The more comfortable you are with the time, the less likely you are to rush and blow shots, or straggle and not get all your shots off.  Just some quick thoughts before I run off to work my church's fish fry.  :)
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Offline Herme

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2022, 03:48:51 PM »
You can also try a SIRT laser training pistol.  Mine has removable magazine for reload practice.  You can adjust the laser projection to the sight picture.  I use LASR software to setup a variety of drills.

Offline TallSteve

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2022, 06:55:37 PM »
Moylan posted some great suggestions.

I have limited experience with Appleseed Pistol Clinic, however I did qualify at the Appleseed Pistol Clinic IBC event I attended.  My wife and I also regularly instruct/help shooters.  From that experience I offer:

For myself and my wife, we used Browning Buckmarks  for the event.  They worked fantastic.  However, magazine changes with that gun are significantly different from our Glocks and other defensive pistols.  The angle, and handling of the magazine is just different enough to have slowed us down.  Once we got that down, it all came together.

Use quality ammo that works well in your handgun.  Right now, I strongly prefer CCI and Federal for the mainstream brands.

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed -- where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees*. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

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Offline mikek

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2022, 03:16:14 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate it.

I wish I could find a product like https://www.dryfiremag.com/product/dryfiremag-for-springfield-xd/ for one of my pistols. I'm sharing that link because others might benefit from it.

I have found I do best with a Beretta 92F and this video *really* helped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol65kenk_2Q

I did quite a bit of dry firing Saturday night and did amazingly well yesterday, Sunday during my training session. Perhaps a hidden secret to shooting well is doing dry fire practice the night before? (well, and as often as you can, of course)

With regards to the PQT, I could not do stage one with my 92F in under 15 seconds, with a mag change. (I even gave myself a second since I was timing myself, so I was using 16 seconds.) The most I could do was 8 shots before I ran out of time. I was not doing double action, but I would reset to single action every time. Perhaps I should try using double action next time. (for dry firing practice)

I also read that you need really good grip strength, so I've ordered a set of these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HJ6CSXM I try to do 20 reps on each hand 2-3 times/day. (I'm on the easy one still, if that gives any indication as to my strength, rather weakness.)

I do have a Sirt, but the trigger is really not that good. (at least the one I have) It is useful for some training.

Luckily, my ammo has not been an issue as I've been using my reloads. I'll take factory rounds as well, just in case something weird happens on Saturday. (the actual Appleseed Pistol Clinic for me)

Last thought: 15 seconds is not a lot of time!




Online Moylan

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2022, 05:12:17 PM »
With regards to the PQT, I could not do stage one with my 92F in under 15 seconds, with a mag change. (I even gave myself a second since I was timing myself, so I was using 16 seconds.) The most I could do was 8 shots before I ran out of time. I was not doing double action, but I would reset to single action every time. Perhaps I should try using double action next time. (for dry firing practice)
Yes, you can just dry fire the whole sequence in double action, and that's not a bad thing.  The DA/SA transition is sometimes difficult for shooters to master, and many times you will drop the second shot low if you don't practice the transition.  But you can really only practice the transition in live fire, so in dry I often simply ignore it.  (I'm a DA/SA shooter myself--CZ P07.) 

However, another way to approach the transition dry is to fire your first shot in DA, and then only release the trigger a little way, so you can simulate SA presses on subsequent shots.  This is like what I described in my first reply above, just continuing to work the dead Glock trigger.  Only with the DA/SA gun you can move the trigger a little out and then back.  Again, this is not intended to help you with your trigger technique, it is intended to help you work other issues.  It does not, in my experience, lead to any bad habits in live fire.  (It's not my idea, by the way.  I got it from Ben Stoeger's book Dryfire Reloaded.) 

Be extremely careful with the grippers!  You will give yourself tendonitis awfully quick with those things if you're not careful.  Speaking from painful experience, I'm afraid.  I can't recommend highly enough this discussion of shooter's elbow and the recommended exercises to treat/prevent it.  They also will increase your wrist/hand/forearm strength.  https://spinalflowyoga.com/shooters-elbow/  The iron mind grippers and similar are highly recommended by lots of great shooters, including people like the late Ron Avery, but I am once bitten twice shy on them.  YMMV, as they say!  :)
The chief mark of the Declaration of Independence is the theory of equality.  It is the pure classic conception that no man must aspire to be anything more than a citizen, and that no man should endure to be anything less. 

--GK Chesterton

I believe in liberty very much as Jefferson did, allowing for the fact that a hundred years of history and experience have taught me to believe a little more than he did in original sin.

--also GK Chesterton

Offline Charles McKinley

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2022, 10:56:45 PM »
The SIRT trigger is very close to a Glock trigger.
Last evening, it occurred to me that when a defender of Liberty is called home, their load lands upon the shoulders of the defenders left behind. Just as the Founders did their duty for Liberty, every subsequent generation must continue their work lest Liberty perish. As there is no way for the remaining adults to take on the work of those that die, we must pass the ideals and duties on to the children. -PHenery

Offline Monkey

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2022, 09:20:11 AM »
FWIW - I had the opportunity to attend a Charter Pistol IBC with malabar this weekend.  Fantastic event - learned a metric butt ton about intent and execution of the Appleseed Pistol Clinic.

The problem posed in this thread was also noted during the CPIBC; malabar took that down as an issue for resolution.

Now...if somebody would like to take some initiative, collect some of these, and make them into a coherent document - that would be super awesome and super helpful.  Because most of the folks that write the manuals, edit the manuals, etc. are super-maxxed out with other equally pressing things. #AppleseedGuideline13

I even know a few folks that may be willing to lend a hand...  ;) :)
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Offline mikek

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2022, 04:55:56 PM »
Just attended a Appleseed Pistol Clinic in Parma, ID. I really enjoyed it. I suck at pistol shooting, but I enjoyed it.

The instructors were terrific.

What I wished I knew before hand:
- Any pistol will work, but might have an advantage with something like a Ruger Mark IV because it is a 22lr and has little to no recoil. The ammo is cheaper, less noise, and I might be able to focus on the fundamentals more. Other 22 pistols might be good, too.
- The PQT is *hard*, especially if you are not very accurate. Flinching or anticipating the recoil is a bad habit that needs to be overcome. I've since learned of the "wall drill", so I need to start doing that. I also did not see anyone score anywhere close to a Pistolero. I think 191 was the highest score yesterday, and that was an orange hat trying to qualify. He was using a 22lr pistol. (hint hint hint)
- The "ball and dummy drills" were eye-opening, too. (again, flinching) We talked about how we might be able to practice that at our range by ourselves on the drive home. Get multiple magazines and a few snap caps. Put some snap caps in different places in the your mags, close your eyes, mix up the mags, then put one mag in at random and shoot at a target. If/when you hit a snap cap, you'll see if you flinched. Plus, you get the "what if the round malfunctions" practice, too.
- Focus on the front sight is always stressed as being important - but what I learned was I kept looking at the target after I pulled the trigger. That is a really bad habit that is hard to break.
- I cannot believe how sore I feel. I thought that since we were not doing the up/downs of the AQT that it would be less stress on the body. Boy, I was wrong! My back, shoulders and arm are really sore. I'm not sure what exercises I can do to strengthen them, but I'm going to try to figure it out.
- Dry fire, dry fire, and more dry fire. I pasted up the 2 PQTs on my wall and did lots of dry runs with my gun, timing myself before the event. Like the AQT, there are mistakes you'll make on the PQT. Be sure to hit those mistakes in prep before going to the Appleseed Pistol Clinic. (examples: wrong round count in the mag, wrong count on the stage (ex: ejecting mag at 4 instead of at 6), not knowing the course of fire for a PQT very well, forgetting that some timed stages you need to go fast and some stages you need to slow down, if you miss any one of the fundamentals, you will miss the shot, etc.) Finger discipline is important to practice, too, even during a dry-fire practice of the PQT.
- The laser training pistols (like the Sirt) are great for helping with sight alignment, sight picture and some trigger work. But, you need to send lots of lead downrange for pulling it all together.

There are lots of things to learn from a Appleseed Pistol Clinic. I recommend everyone attend at least one. Because, if you're like me, you're going to need more practice (great excuse to go to the range more), and will probably end up signing up for more Appleseed Pistol Clinics. :-)

I heard that it takes 2-3 Appleseeds to qualify as Rifleman. I didn't hear how many Appleseed Pistol Clinics it takes on average to get before qualifying as Pistolero. Does anyone know? I'm thinking it has to be *at least* 3. (unless you're already a competition pistol shooter)

Online Moylan

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2022, 01:18:49 PM »
Great post, mikek!  I do not know the answer to your question about how long it takes for people to shoot the pistoleer score.  Sounds like you learned a lot and got some good ideas for continuing your practice before the next time you take the class.  I expect if you put in some good, intelligent dry fire practice, you'll get there soon!
The chief mark of the Declaration of Independence is the theory of equality.  It is the pure classic conception that no man must aspire to be anything more than a citizen, and that no man should endure to be anything less. 

--GK Chesterton

I believe in liberty very much as Jefferson did, allowing for the fact that a hundred years of history and experience have taught me to believe a little more than he did in original sin.

--also GK Chesterton

Offline mikek

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2022, 03:36:08 AM »
Just found Snow Snake's writeup: https://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=59022.msg381912#msg381912

I really wished I had known about using a 22 at the Pistol Clinic (with a green dot), while I'm learning/trying to qualify on the PQT. I plan to use a Mark IV on my next pistol clinic and eventually transition back to 9mm.

Offline Charles McKinley

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2022, 11:47:10 PM »
Yes a 22 and a dot allow you to focus on fundamentals and the flow of the course of fire.  Now that you have experienced it and can practice with your SIRT of 22 on the timing and mag changes it will be easier.  Then adding the increased recoil of a centerfire.  I took me 2 or 3 shoots.
Last evening, it occurred to me that when a defender of Liberty is called home, their load lands upon the shoulders of the defenders left behind. Just as the Founders did their duty for Liberty, every subsequent generation must continue their work lest Liberty perish. As there is no way for the remaining adults to take on the work of those that die, we must pass the ideals and duties on to the children. -PHenery

Offline Twineagles

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2022, 12:23:31 PM »
A fiber optic front site can be a game changer. Mag changes are important. Tip on getting better and faster with them: stand where the mag will fall on something soft and practice in the dark with unloaded mags.

Mike
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Offline Not Sure

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2022, 01:21:30 PM »
Not really necessary, but here's a link to printable practice targets thanks to Maximum Ordinate.
https://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=61707.msg394646#msg394646

My best advice is to use the time given, especially on the last stage.  Most people will be done in less than 30 seconds.  Two minutes is 12 seconds per shot.  You have time to fire each shot individually.  Rest and check NPOA between shots.  Stages 1-3 are a little pressured for time but use what is given.

Respectfully,
Not Sure

Offline mikek

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Re: Appleseed Pistol Clinic prep?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2022, 11:23:01 PM »
Thanks. Will have some printed at Kinko's. I may just leave some at our local range... <stealth marketing>... ;-)