My First Precision Air Pistol Training Program

Ramon at the range

After a shooting test to see my trends, my coach sent this as a first generic training to get going before we met (I live 1800 km away). There are two training programs, one for home and one for the range. I’ve blocked three days a week to go to the range. This is complemented with one day training at home (total 4 days of shooting training per week). Physical training is not included in this.

Home training plan

  • At least five minutes of body warm-up exercises and light stretching.
  • 20 dry fire shots using a small target as reference (a rifle target or a sticker) with feet together (to work on balance).
  • 20 dry fire shots with a pistol target alternating with eyes closed and open. Aim, close your eyes, pay attention to how you are gripping the gun and your wrist lock, then on your finger in the trigger. Remember the sensations and use on shot with eyes open.
  • 30 dry fire shots with a pistol target.
  • At least 10 minutes of stretching.

If you don’t have time to do all the shots, keep the proportions and reduce the total number of shots.

Range training plan

  • At least five minutes of warm-up and light stretching.
  • 24 shot warm-up: first dry fire with eyes closed, then dry fire with eyes open, then real shot.
  • 20 real shots or dry fire on a thick horizontal line (to work on a problem of my rear sight having a slight tendency to drop to the left).
  • 40 shots on pistol target: for each shot under 9 two dry fires.
  • 6 hold exercises: use a thick marker on the 3 line of a pistol target. Place the target 3 meters away from you (as you get better, increase to 4 meters). Do your aiming routine and, when you arrive to the space between the line you sketched and the black portion of the target, slowly lower your gun without touching either of them and keeping your aim. When you arrive to the bottom, breath a few times holding your aim and then slowly raise your gun around the other side. Do this alternatively clockwise/counterclockwise 3 times each side (a total of 6 times).
  • At least 15 minutes stretching.

Evaluation

After two weeks of training, do a 40 shot control and evaluate. My results of the test and meeting the trainer where that I need to work on my balance, the strength of my shoulder and the lock of the wrist.

My Shooting Stats Tracking Spreadsheet

Luckily for me my shooting range has air pistol electronic targets connected to a printer. Following the advice of Jean-Luc, from my very first day I’ve kept a copy of my results everytime I’ve shot a 60 shot competition in training.

After a while, as my addiction to pistol shooting grew, I decided to keep track of these stats in a spreadsheet. Namely to make sure that I never lost them, that I had quick access to them anywhere, and hoping that I would be able to get some useful insights from them.

The stats

Following what is said in the book The Psyche of the Shot: Sport Psychology and Competition that I’m reading, to increase the psychological pressure of my trainings I’ve decided to make my shooting stats public.

Sorry for the mix of languages. I’m sticking to English now.

Evolution tab

The first tab you will find is a series of graphs and averages to help me visualize progress.

Progress graphs

The top two graphs show the same data in different ways. I’ve not yet decided for one or the other. They are based on the averages per day of shooting. Somedays I’ve shoot once, some up to 5 times (yes, over 300 shots).

Averages

Underneath on the left side you will see The averages of my last 30, 20, 10 and 5 competition shots (by competition I mean 60 shots, training or during a real competition). Green, means better than before; orange, same as before; red, worst than before. The decimals are rounded, this color scheme gives quick insight without having to read long numbers.

White target groupings

This graph tracks my white target exercises: I use the back of a paper target and shoot 10 shots focusing on the sights where it feels natural. Then I use a transparent scoring sheet to see how tight is the grouping. The numbers correspond to the equivalent outer ring of the target.

Air 10m tab

This is the tab that has more data so far. I’ve only started shooting with a .22 a few weeks ago and have not really started training with it: I just shot a box of ammo the first day, and then participated in a 20 shot interclubs competition the second day.

I’ve written down a lot of information. Some of it I think is irrelevant now for my level, like pellets. I think that when you are starting your skills are not good enogh to have a really small difference in the pellets matter. Keeping a list of the ammo that does not work at all is usefull.

X are inner 10. S1 through S6 are the averages. Then you have total points and shooting average per 10. After that I track ear protection and the kind of competition (mensuel is the monthly competition within my club). The notes contain a mix of notes and the beginnings of my shooting diary (which is now a separate paper notepad).

Interclubs Air

Results of air pistol Interclubs competitions. This is a small regional competition where we only shoot 20 competition shots.

The test tab is just to check that the number I write in Total and the sum of the series are the same. This helps me detect errors.

Interclubs 22

Same as before but with a .22 gun. I need to add a lot of info here for my first competition. I only started the page and added the results.

White target

Tracking of my white target exercises. The graph is the same I keep on the Evolution tab.

Carabine Rond 2 30,5

This is an exercise available on the air pistol electronic targets. I shoot with a paper target for pistol, but the scores (1 or 0) are for shooting inside the black part of a rifle target. This is the equivalent of a 9. I did the same exercise with a pistol setting, but I got 100%.

After shooting a few 60 shots series I got bored of this exercise, so I reduced it to three series. This is why you see a three series percentage (3 %) and six series percentage (6 %). I don’t want to loose the data, but I don’t know what to do with it.

Pellets

The pellets I’ve tested so far. Just stay away from Gamo and Norica and you’ll be fine.

Guns

The guns I’ve used. When you see a ‘La defense’ number it means that it is a club gun that I use. Until I bought my airgun I shot with different guns to see which ones I like the best. My favorites are Walther, Hammerli and Steyr. I still have to add the .22 guns. I don’t know if I’ll do it in the same tab or in a new one.

Progress

As you can see, I’m currently a bit stuck, but things are getting better and all the new things I’ve added to my shooting technique are starting to feel good. Better results will follow soon 🙂

Do you track your scores too? Do you have ideas on how to improve my stats and get better insight? Share them in the comments!