​Importance of Efficiency in Practice

Posted by Joel Park on Nov 17th 2021

There is a strong correlation between people who practice often and improvement. Finding time to live fire practice can be easier said than done when life can pull you in lots of directions, and the range might not be close to you. Regardless of how often you can get to the range, the important part is to be as efficient as possible so you can get the most done in the time you have.

The most important thing for your practice is to have a plan before you get to the range. Think about the skills you want to work on, then pick one or two drills that work on those skills. If possible, pick drills that use the same target placement. An example is setting up the Accelerator drill with targets at 7, 15, and 25 yards then doing a marksmanship fundamental drill such as Doubles on each of those targets separately after you are done practicing the Accelerator drill.

Joel Park - Criss Cross Drill
Lots of time can be lost patching the targets and resetting. There are a few pieces of gear that are almost essential for any practice session I have. The first is the CED / DAA Paster Gun. It allows you to patch targets in a fraction of the time. There are other time-saving methods such as only patching non-Alpha hits or using a marker to draw a line through each hit. The problem with each of those is the targets will get too muddy to see exactly where each bullet is going at some point. You could also miss the target completely and not even know it. The paster gun takes seconds to use and ensures you know exactly where bullets are going and what trends are occurring.

The second time saver I always keep in my range bag is an UPLULA Magazine Loader. Loading mags by hand can be tough on your hands or tire them faster for no reason. A magazine loader is a must, especially when fighting mag springs while loading the last few rounds in high-capacity magazines.
Picking up brass is my least favorite thing to do during practice. Using a CED Brass Chute saves an incredible amount of time. After setting it up, I shoot a few shots while paying attention to where my brass is landing, then I just mark a spot where I need to stand. An alternative method is using a large tarp and setting weights on each corner.

Making practice require as little energy and effort as possible is smart. It will make you want to practice more often and allow for trips to the range you might not have had time for otherwise. Hopefully these ideas will help make your practice more efficient so you can get the most accomplished in the time you have.

Joel Park
Host of Training Group Live by PSTG podcast