Getting better: developing your game

• Get with the program
• Electronic documents
• Books
• Magazines
• Videos
• Classes and personal instruction
• Online broadcasts
• Online tips from the (Grand) Masters
• Talk amonst yourselves...
• Reloading data and links
• Gunsmiths
• Home gunsmithing and maintenance
• Stage designs
• Alternate training and practice
• More, more, more

The following is an informal list of resources that might help develop and improve your shooting game. The entries are not limited specifically to IPSC, and your favorites are certainly welcome.

If there is something you'd like to add to this list that you would like to share with others, please send a message to TASC.

Get with the program

Join the USPSA.
Become a member, get the bi monthly magazine, shoot the classifiers, earn a national classification.

USPSA Rulebooks.
It's the law, man.

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Some electronic documents

Safe Handgun Competitor: A manual for students and instructors, revised by the Richmond Hot Shots, is a complete overview of rules, equipment, and technique. (PDF)

The unofficial IPSC FAQ, by Karl Rehn.
A thorough, comprehensive, reference on the sport.


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This is a partial list of books that you might find helpful in learning about shooting and competition.


Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals, by Brian Enos. Zen and the art of pistolcraft. A guide for continuous development. You can buy it from him at his website, which includes more thoughts and information from the thinking man's shooter.

Refinement and Repetition: Dry Fire Drills for Dramatic Improvement and Principles of Performance: Refinement and Repetition 2, by Steve Anderson. Practice drills for dry fire and on the range.

Perfect Practice and Thinking Practical Shooting, by Saul Kirsch. Two books written by a successful competitor with over 20 years of experience.

Practical Shooting Manual, by Matt Burkett. A grandmaster's notebook for real-world IPSC. His site includes tips and information about classes and private instruction.

Shooting from Within, by J. Michael Plaxco. Zediker Publishing. Physical and mental principles of IPSC shooting, also with notes on practical shotgun and rifle techniques. Easy to read, to the point. You can purchase it direct: J. Michael Plaxco, 2109 Oakcrest Court, Corinth, TX 76210, 940-321-8680

Master Tips, by Jon Winokur. A 1985 illustrated collection of tips from the master shooters of the time. Some of the infomation is dated, of course, but it also contains time-tested techniques presented in a simple illustrated format.


Mental and physical development

With Winning in Mind as well as other items from the Mental Management System, by Lanny Bassham. Mental training for sports and competitive business environments. Bassham is an Olympic and World champion rifle shooter and coach.

The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey.

Sports-Vision, by Dr. Leon Revien, O.D. & Mark Gabor.

Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Taosports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life, by Chungliang Al Huang & Jerry Lynch

The Warrior Athlete: Body Mind & Spirit, by Dan Millman.
Self transformation through total training. Millman is a national gymnastics champion, coach, and writer.

Please Understand Me II, by David Kiersey.
and Your Key to Sports Success, by Jonathan P. Niednagel
These two books were recommended by Brian Enos, that exmaine how people learn and develop, particularly in relation to personality types.


Other books related to shooting

Tactical Reality, More Tactical Reality, and other book and videos by Louis Awerbuck. As the chief rangemaster for the American Pistol Institute (Gunsite) and the proprietor of his own training unit since 1987, Louis's books focus on the intelligent (and wry) study of humans and firearms, much of which is relevant to shooting for fun as well as other social purposes.

Life without Fear, by Mike Dalton and Mickey Fowler. International Shootists. Handguns, self defense, and responsibilities.

Modern Technique of the Pistol, by Gregory Boyce Morrison. Gunsite Press. Jeff Cooper's teachings and techniques as developed at the American Pistol Institute and Gunsite. Kind of like the Torah of IPSC.

In the Gravest Extreme, by Massad Ayoob.
Covers the essential issues and responsibilities of owning and wielding a firearm. Necessary food for thought.

Complete Book of Shooting, by Jack O'Conner, Roy Dunlap, Alex Kerr, and Jeff Cooper. Outdoor Life Books.
An out of print compendium on the hunting and competition shooting disciplines: rifle, shotgun, and pistol, all in one volume. Jeff Cooper's section on pistol stills reads like good, essential information.

Highpower Rifle, by G. David Tubb. Zediker Publishing.
Rifle techniques from the most successful highpower shooter in recent history.

Principles of Self Defense, by Jeff Cooper. Paladin Press.
One of the first published booklets from the man who was at the dawn of the game.


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USPSA's Front Sight Magazine and website.
Don't forget to join the USPSA! Get your classification information online as well. USPSA/IPSC, PO Box 811, Sedro Wolley, WA 98284. Phone: 360.855.2245. Fax: 360.855.0380

American Handgunner
One of the few surviving newstand magazines with any action pistol coverage.

Shooting Sports USA.
Published by the NRA Competitive Sports Division. Although it covers NRA competition (including Action Pistol). there is also the occasional article about general technique, equipment, etc. Phone: 707.267.1000.

GunGames Magazine R.I.P.
If you don't have them already, get the back issues if they're still available. The early years in particular had great articles, great art direction, and was dedicated almost exclusively to the action shooting sports.

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Practical Shooting, Volumes 1-100, by Matt Burkett
Information on Equipment and Techniques used in IPSC and IDPA shooting. Volume III includes an interview with Brian Enos. Available mostly on DVD. Now includes AR-15 and shotgun instruction.

CompetitionDVD specializes in recent major match coverage.

Shooting USA and Sighting In, back episodes are now available by Shooting USA

Double Alpha, match coverage by Saul Kirsch.

Secrets of a Professional Shooter, by Ron Avery
A three part series taking the shooter from the basics thru advanced skills essential for mastery of the handgun.

Practical Shooting with Todd Jarrett, by Todd Jarrett

CRTC Strike Force Series, by Bennie Cooley

Eric Grauffel, by Eric Grauffel

The Burner Series, by Jerry Barnhart
A comprehensive series of instructional tapes from a USPSA National Open and Limited Champion.

Shooter Ready?, with Rob Leatham, from Dillon Precision
One of the earliest of the practical shooting videos. Featuring night shooting with tracers.

Competition Reloading: Basic to Advanced, with Brian Enos, from Dillon Precision Reloading tips, including IPSC and steel, featuring Dillon products.

Brian Enos' competition shooting videos
A collection of videos specifically for action shooters.

Gun Video
Lenny Magill's collection of instructional and event tapes.

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Classes and personal instruction

A number of TASC members have attended classes taught by Michael Voigt, USPSA president, Grandmaster, 3-gun champion, IPSC Standard Division World champion, industry insider and gun-plumber. Ask around for personal experiences, which I believe are all positive. Other nationally known Grand Master shooters such as Matt Burkett, Todd Jarrett, and Bennie Cooley have taught classes in the area. Ask around and see who else might be coming to town.

Check the Big Dog web site links on the Other links page to see other name instructors such as Frank Garcia, Ron Avery, etc.

Also, see the USPSA list of shooting schools

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Online broadcasts

Online radio shows for your computers and iPods, using iTunes or Windows Media Player:

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Online tips from the (Grand) Masters and other sources

Although these are not a substitute for personal instruction, there are some great tips, techniques, and forums from the top shooters available online. So far, the following have been found:

On the IPSC mailing list, Erik once posed the question of how good shooters survive big matches...
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Talk amongst yourselves...

Bay Area USPASA. It’s a Yahoo! Group for keeping in touch with TASC announcements and discussions.

Unofficial IPSC mailing list. Lively discussions and advice on the finer (and grosser) points of practical shooting.

Forums and chatrooms are also a great way to talk to the big dogs and other shooters on the web. I know of a few so far: Brian Enos' site, Matt Burkett's, and Area II.

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Reloading data and links

Load data, edited by Jeff Maass.

Manufacturers' sites with offical load data or reloading books:

Most IPSC shooters use reloading equipment made by Dillon Precision.

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Since our state is so gun-friendly, locating a gunsmith who can build or fix your competition pieces has become like finding Waldo. Here are some people you might try in the area that we know of. If you have others that are in the area that you have had good luck with, let us know.

LimCat Custom is one the most innovative gunsmiths in the business, located in Sparks, NV.

Jardine's Custom, Hayward. John Jardine, who is a craftsman in his own right, learned his craft from his uncle, Armand Swenson, who was regarded as one of the best 1911 gunsmiths in the business in the early days of the sport.

Bruce Gray, Oregon. Bruce's 1911 experience goes all the way back to the days of Devel. He's also known for his Sig and HK work, as well as a general armorer. His competition and practical experiences shape the work he prescribes.

Shuey Custom, Mound House, Nevada. Gene has been competing, gunsmithing, and teaching for nearly 50 years, with a shooting career that goes back to the Bear Valley Gunslingers.

Irvington Arms, in Fremont, CA, offers light to medium gunsmithing work on pistols and long guns.

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Home gunsmithing and maintenance

American Gunsmithing Institute. Offers courses, books, videos, and other items for gunsmithing, firearms maintenance, even mill and lathe courses.

Gun Video also has tapes for many major firearms.

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Stage designs

Course designs and tips for budding stage designers and understaffed match directors.

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bam_thumbWhat can you do if you can't be on the range?

How can you improve when you can't be on the range? Check out the possibilities at BAM Airsoft

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More, more, more

So, how do you get to Carnegie Hall (and/or the prize table)?

  • Study up. Get some quality instruction. Ask questions.
  • Get in a lot of dry fire and live fire practice.
  • Get match experience.
  • PLEASE DO YOUR PART. This sport and this club rely on volunteer effort, and your support is essential to the survival of the game. Don't take advantage of the hard work of others.
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