Thursday, December 8, 2016

GSR: Evidence Of Training

Do you have any GSR? No that is not a disease, or a new gun cleaner, it stands for “gunshot residue” and it is used by CSI investigators to determine if someone has shot a gun recently. Technically speaking:
Firing a weapon produces combustion of both the primer and powder of the cartridge. The residue of the combustion products, called gunshot residue (GSR), can consist of both burned and unburned primer or powder components, combined with additional residues from the surface of the bullet, surface of the cartridge case, and lubricants used on the firearm. Residues can be either inorganic or organic in nature.
So if you were tested for this would you pass? Would you be able to prove that you have shot your gun in the last day? The last week? The last month? More?
I would never pass this test.
I shoot sometimes 3 times a week. I think I probably sleep in GSR. Don’t tell my wife, she’ll wash the sheets every day.
Practicing anything is a matter of time management, desire, and responsibility. It’s like exercise. We all know we should do it, but until we are fully committed, we’ll be sporadic.
Here are some tips to plan and execute your training program.

1 Choose a time
How often do you want to shoot? How often can you realistically shoot?
I have shot for many years and have been an instructor for several years. I shoot at least once a week to keep my skills where they should be. But I dry fire daily to keep the basics up. I choose different drills and mix them up when I go to the range. My dry fire is a set routine. Remember safety in all things, especially dry fire. I use a training gun.

2. Find a location
I would highly recommend dry fire because it can be done almost anywhere, but safety is always a factor. You may be limited in your choice of gun ranges. If you know someone with property or a farm or ranch, they may give you permission to shoot there. Remember the 4 safety rules and make sure you have a safe range.

3. Choose drills that work on your weaknesses. Do an honest evaluation of your shooting skill. Or go to a good instructor and get his take on your skills.
4. Use dry fire as much as possible. Dry fire is safe, cheap, and effective. There are only a few things you cannot work on dry firing. The most important in my opinion, is trigger work. How well you use your trigger affects everything else. Dry fire can help that. Make sure to do it safely if you use a gun other than a trainer gun.
Here are basic drills that can get you started.
Walkback Drill (Live fire)
Skill Focus: accuracy, trigger control, sight alignment
Distance: 3 yards and greater
Target: 3×5 card
Instructions: Place a standard 3×5 white index card three yards away. Fire five rounds at the card with no time limit. If all five shots hit the card, move to the seven yard line and fire five more. If those are all hits, keep repeating the drill, moving back an additional yard after each successful 5 shot string. The goal is to go as far as you can without missing a shot. Once you miss, end the drill or start over at three yards.
A lot of shooters get sloppy with their marksmanship standards, often because they simply use targets that are too large. If you only ever practice shooting at an 8-inch circle or a large silhouette, it’s easy to get slack about proper sight alignment and trigger manipulation. This simple drill will show you pretty quickly if your fundamentals need work. It’s also a good way to check the zero for your carry gun. As you back up from the 3×5 card, your point of impact might start to shift up or down, and you’ll need to adjust accordingly. If you’re able to make it past 15 or 20 yards with this drill, the 3×5 target will probably be stretching the limits of the mechanical accuracy of your gun and ammo.
This drill was originally developed by Todd Green
The Wall Drill (Dry fire)
This drill was invented by George Harris, a former Sig Academy instructor. According to him, he came up it with while in the military. He called it the Wall Drill when he taught it to his students and the name stuck. The point of the drill isn't speed of draw or target acquisition per se, but rather developing trigger control, leading to muzzle control and thus greater accuracy. For this dry firing exercise, start with an unloaded firearm and a blank, ideally lightly-colored wall. For the sake of safety, do so in a safe direction with sufficient backstop; a basement is ideal. Bring the firearm up and align the front and rear sights, with the muzzle an inch or two away from the wall. Don't focus on a target, but rather the front sight through the rear sight. Once aligned, operate the trigger. What should happen is the gun will "click" and the front sight should not move. If the front sight moves, your trigger press is causing the pistol to move, which it shouldn't. Harder triggers tend to move the other fingers with the motion, so you want to adjust and refine your grip and trigger press until the front sight (and therefore the muzzle) doesn't move with the trigger press. The benefit of this dry fire drill is that if the muzzle doesn't move when you actuate the trigger, your accuracy while live firing should improve considerably.
There are many ways to practice. Find some simple ways that will work for you. Re-evaluate yourself often and change your training to meet your needs. Work as simply and realistically as possible. Practice often and you will have GSR to prove you are a shooter.
Semper Paratus
Check 6