SSPC regularly organise training, coaching and other sporting shooter related sessions.
Be sure to checkout the Course and Events Booking page HERE for session types and dates.
The page also contains important course/session terms and conditions and cancellation policies.
Marksmanship Fundamentals Session
Considered the “Next Step” for intermediate and experienced shooters and is used to hone existing skills or expand the skills of new shooters in a controlled environment and specific to the “fundamentals” of accurate pistol shooting.
The session is presented under the strict guidance and control of Mario Mori, and awarded National and International champion shooter.
- Mario is a previous Grand Master in IPSC Standard Division and past Australian Champion.
- Mario’s class will be a small group (max of 8 attendees) and will cover Marksmanship Fundamentals.
Topics covered include:
• Sight Picture
• Trigger Control
This is an interactive course so we suggest you bring at least 150 rounds.
If you do not have your own firearm, that’s OK, we can supply a club firearm.
Who should do this course?
This is a marksmanship Fundamentals course and is suitable for new members or any member who wants their score to go up!! It suits members from any competition discipline.
How much does it cost?
The cost per attendee is $50.00
This covers Mario’s time, targets & patches
How long does it go for?
The course goes for at least 2 hours.
Minimum numbers of 8 are required for this session.
For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org and request “When is next Marksmanship Fundamentals Course” in the subject header.
Introduction to Reloading Session
This session is designed for new and experienced members who have the desire to start reloading their own ammunition.
The session will cover:
- Reloading Safety Precautions
- Primer & Powder Selection
- Projectile Types & Selection
- Different Types of Reloading Equipment
- Equipment Required for the Reloading Process
- How to Setup & Safely Operate Reloading Equipment
- Reloading Storage Information
The session is presented by Mario Mori of Saffire Trading who currently reloads all the SSAA Springvale Range ammunition.
NOTE: All attendees for the session will receive a 10% discount on all reloading consumables (excludes presses and equipment) purchased on the night!
Minimum numbers of 8 are required for this session.
For more info email email@example.com and request “When is next Introduction to Reloading Session” in the subject header.
Introduction to IPSC Course
Note: This course replaces the “Holster Qualification Course”
The Introduction to IPSC Course is specific for those licensed shooters (No NORI shooters) who want to compete in “holster requirement” competitions such as IPSC and Police Service Match at SSPC and external club matches such as Steel Challenge and Action Match.
- This course is intended for basic to intermediate level shooters,
- It does not include detailed practical instruction on using a holster,
- It is a prerequisite of this course that you have a Provisional Category H Licence and have participated in at least 3 months of regular ISSF Range 1 competitions at SSPC Springvale. This ensures that you have a basic understanding of handgun safety and manipulation.
- You MUST have a completed ALL Training Competencies and have signed off your “Training for Your Handgun Licence Book” as record BEFORE booking into the Introduction to IPSC Course.
What Does the Course Cover?
The course covers both theory and practical aspects of safely drawing and shooting:
- Standing Upright to the Kneeling Position
- Standing Upright to the Prone Position
- Standing Upright Behind a Barricade to the Right Side of the Barricade
- Standing Upright Behind a Barricade to the Left Side of the Barricade
- Standing Upright Behind a Barricade to the Right Side of the Barricade
- Standing Upright Facing Down Range (180 degrees)
- Standing Upright Facing Cross Range (90 degrees)
- Standing Upright Drawing and Moving Forward 5 Paces to Engage a Target
The course assessment criteria covers both the theory and practical application of:
- Trigger Finger and Trigger Guard Position
- Handgun Safety Catch Operation
- Muzzle Direction
- Sweeping of the Body or Hand with Handgun Muzzle
- Muzzle Direction whilst Moving Around Barricades
- Muzzle Direction Whilst Moving To Engage Targets
- Finger on Trigger Whilst Moving Between Shoot Positions
How much does it cost?
The cost per attendee is $50.00
This covers Range Officer time, targets & patches
Each attendee will be required to supply 180-200 rounds of approved ammunition if using a club gun, or their own compliant ammunition if using their own handgun.
If using a club gun, attendee will require club belt rig, magazine pouches, handgun specific holster and magazines. If using their own handgun, it is expected that they will have their own discipline specific belt rig, handgun specific holster, magazine pouches and additional magazines.
How long does it go for?
The course goes for 2-2.5 hours on range with the theory component to be completed in attendees own time prior to attending.
Anyone presenting for the course without having completed the theory section/s will NOT be permitted to attend for the practical session and forfeit their payment.
Course numbers are currently LIMITED to 4 due to safety and practical nature of the session.
Please contact the Club Training Officer – via firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE attempting to book this course for information and confirmation on what you need to bring on the day.
.Course numbers are LIMITED to 5.
Some Basic Notes for ‘first time’ Handgun shooters
There are a few basics that you need to know and a few facts to consider before shooting a handgun.
The first thing you need to know that most handguns are not accurate enough to shoot all bulls-eyes even if locked in a vice so they can move between shots!
If you add any errors you make yourself, simply wobbling and poor sight alignment, the average first time shooter should consider they have done well to get all their shots on the target.
Even most of the shots in the black is an outstanding first shoot.
When you compare a pistol and a rifle, the first and most obvious difference is, its a lot shorter than a rifle?
It also has open sights rather than a telescopic sight.
The combination of a short barrel and open sights mean that any error in alignment of the sights is magnified, about 150 times by the time the bullet reaches the target!
This means that if you are 1mm out of alignment on the sights, you may be lucky to hit the 4 ring, when you aimed at the centre of the target.
So, how do you get all (or most) of your shots on the target?
There are about 20 things you can do wrong, if you do all of them right, you should have a perfect score.
Lets look at the primary 7 Fundamentals.
(1) Failure to maintain the proper sight picture. Something people find hard to accept is, you must stop focusing your eyes on the target. Its impossible to focus on both the sights and the target at once, if you keep trying, you will end up looking at the target when you squeeze the trigger and not looking at the sights. Whats the answer? Never focus on the target!! You will be amazed how tight a group you can shoot on a completely blank target, with nothing to aim at. Simply watch those sights and aim for the middle of that blurry blob and I guarantee you will do better than if you focus on the target!
(2) Jerking the trigger. Have your Range Officer show you the correct placement of your finger on the trigger and concentrate on a smooth squeeze while watching the sights and aiming for the centre of the blob. If the shot goes off and surprises you, you did it just right and didn’t jerk it.
(3) Anticipating Recoil. After a few shots of a 9mm or .38, most new shooters start to unconsciously start to push the gun gently forward as they squeeze the trigger, in an attempt to counteract some of the recoil. What you end up doing is pushing the shot into the ground. You must learn to love the recoil, control it with the proper grip and stance but don’t fight it.
(4) Blinking or flinching. Real men would never admit to flinching but our brain tells us that if we close our eyes we wont hear the bang! If this is happening (you need somebody to watch your eyes while you shoot), try a pair of ear plugs under the earmuffs. Block out the bang and the blinking generally stops.
(5) Failure to follow through. Its important to let the gun recoil then come back onto target before you relax and lower the gun. If you don’t do this, you start to relax and lower the gun while the bullet is still in the barrel!
(6) Incorrect stance. Stance is a personal preference thing and every shooter has to find their best stance. What we teach for new shooters is called the isosceles stance Both arms forward in an isosceles triangle and both elbows locked. The locked elbows is not always the most comfortable but it ensures that every recoil is met with an equal amount of resistance. With bent elbows, every shot is different and every shot hits the target in a different place.
(7) Incorrect breathing. The movement of your chest while breathing can cause the handgun to rise and fall in your hands. To minimise this movement, make the shot at the bottom of your breathing cycle, when you have finished a normal breath out. Do a couple of normal in and out cycles then stop at the bottom, don’t force the air out, just stop and hold your breath. You will have 5 to 7 seconds to squeeze off your shot, if you cant get it right in that time, breathe again and restart the cycle. Don’t waste a shot by squeezing it off at the last moment.
That’s probably enough to get you started, many of our Range Officers are qualified coaches and all are willing to help those that ask for help. Have fun and safe shooting.
Grip, Stance and Recoil
It’s not always made clear to new shooters, how important both grip and stance are in controlling recoil!
You first need to understand that recoil is not just something that happens after the shot is fired. The gun starts to move backwards (and up!) the moment the bullet starts to move forward.
This means that recoil is happening while the bullet is in the barrel. The amount of resistance you apply to counteract this recoil, and the tendency of the barrel to rise (, twist slightly) and come back has a major influence on where the bullet hits the target.
If you take it to the extreme and visualise a gun floating free in space? You cause that free floating gun to fire a shot. It would probably fly up and shoot a hole in the roof or worse come back and shoot you standing behind it!
While this might be a little extreme but is intended to show that you have the option of anywhere between a free floating gun and one ‘locked’ in the same position, with the same amount of weight to overcome the recoil, every time you shoot.
First and foremost, your grip. Your grip should be as high on the grip as possible. The ideal place for your hand would be directly behind the line of the barrel but this is not possible with conventional handguns.
Every millimetre below the line of the barrel, gives more ‘leverage’ for the gun to move in your hand, so as high as you can comfortably manage up the grip between the thumb and forefinger of your hand. If you own your own gun, try different grips till you find one that lets you stay high and comfortable.
After getting your grip in the right place, then think about how tight to grip. There is no perfect answer, it must be firm without ‘strangling’ the gun and making your knuckles go white. Just firm enough to hold the gun. With an empty gun, have somebody bump the barrel upwards to simulate recoil.
See how it feels, does it move in your hand, try different grips and compare the results. The US Army manual of bulls-eye shooting suggests you fit the gun to your master hand, high and firm and maintain that grip ‘for the duration of the match’! It is that important.
Now we come to the rest of your body! Everything, right down to your shoes can effect your shooting. Different shoes can make a small but noticeable difference in accuracy. Expert shooters will have a pair of shooting shoes and always use them for competitions.
Generally these are soft, flat leather soles with good ‘feel’ of the ground so that you can feel any tendency to sway. More immediately, you should be thinking about your stance and the amount of resistance your stance applies to combat recoil.
For all new shooters (particularly shooting centrefire) we recommend the ‘isosceles stance’. Stand square on, facing the target, feet about shoulder width apart and both arms out with elbows ‘locked’, forming an isosceles triangle. This is not always the most comfortable stance and you might ultimately choose another or modify it slightly, but please at least try it first.
The reason we suggest both elbows locked is so that you will always apply the same resistance to the recoil, any backwards movement under recoil must move the weight of both arms, your shoulders and essentially the rest of your body before the gun can move.
Any variation with only one elbow locked or both arms bent, opens up a world of variations in resistance to the recoil. This allows a world or different places for your shot to hit the target.
Remember, every single thing you change between the trigger and the ground, can change where the bullet impacts the target!
Just moving your hand around a little on the grip between shots will change the point of impact.
Every time you shoot, do a little inventory from the ground up. Feet in the right place? Check. Standing straight and square – on to the target? Check. Arms out and elbows locked? Check. Grip high and just firm enough? Check. I am placing my finger on the trigger in the correct place? Check. The sight picture is correct? Check. Squeezing gently’ etc. These last few items are covered in other handout notes. Talk to your RO / Coach about any of them.
Without a doubt, this should be listed as Shooting Problem No 1 as there is no more important lesson to learn in shooting handguns.
What is Sight Picture? It is exactly how you see the world through your sights, how the sights are aligned and their relationship to the target behind them.
The average handgun has about 250mm between the front sight and the rear sight (often less but for ease of mathematics!). If you are shooting at 25M that means that any misalignment of sights is magnified at least 100 times (often more like 150 times).
This means that if your sights are only 1mm out of alignment, a shot aimed at the centre of the target, probably won’t even be in the black!
Let me say that again. Just 1mm error on the sights can mean right out of the black area of the target (in any direction!).
The ideal ‘sight picture’ is shown above. This is showing ‘six o’clock’ aim, (see another sheet regarding sighting alternatives). You will note the target is a blur in the distance and the sights are nice and sharp. That is the way you should see things. Your eyes should never leave the sights to go for that ‘perfect’ spot on the target. The sights should be level across the top and the front sight should be central in the gap of the rear sight. You may even need ‘shooting glasses’ to achieve this sharp focus on the sights.
Olympic standard shooters know that you cannot focus on both the target and the sights at the same time. In fact even if you try and shift your focus between the two, you will end up letting the sights drift out of perfect alignment while you are searching for that ‘perfect’ spot on the target. You will think you have found the perfect spot and quickly ‘jerk’ off the shot and go wide.
It’s a difficult concept to accept but it is possible to accurately pick the centre of even a blank sheet of paper and put all your shots in a very small group with absolutely nothing to aim at. You are ‘forced’ to bring your focus back to your sights and just ‘approximate’ the centre of the blank sheet. You will be amazed how accurately you can guess it every time. That’s what the Olympic shooters do.
They pick a general area (generally) below the black, judge the centre line and continue squeezing sights while ever they stay in that general area. The sights are adjusted so that aiming quite low like this they are actually wandering around the 9 and 10 rings of the target. Their ‘average’ of more 10’s and 9’s gives them better scores than anybody who tries to shift their focus between target and sights.
Ask your Range Officer how a particular gun is sighted, see the sheet on Sighting Alternatives and act accordingly. In reality, it doesn’t matter where the gun is sighted provided you shoot the smallest group possible.
Trigger Action and Follow Through
Most of us don’t think a lot about where we put our finger on the trigger, there are a lot of other things to think about and some times it’s a totally automatic thing. What happens is you sometimes have your finger too far through the trigger and other times just on the edge like a rifle trigger action.
The ideal ‘amount’ of finger depends on what you are shooting, shooting ‘double action’ needs a little more strength and you may move your finger through to the first joint and work it there. Single action needs just the middle of the first pad on the trigger and a smooth ‘backwards’ motion on the trigger with as little sideways action as possible. Sideways movement tends to push the barrel sideways as you squeeze.
The next step is possibly more important, the long slow squeeze. Once you have the right sight picture you should start a gentle, slow squeeze of the trigger. It should become a continual process of wobbling and squeezing at the same time, keeping the sights in alignment, where you want them on the target.
If you do this well, you should be almost surprised when it goes bang and you should also know if you were high, low, left or right at the moment it went off, there was no conscious pull at any point.
Follow Through: Unfortunately your job does not stop with the bang!
You must continue to control the handgun throughout the recoil and gently bring it back onto target before you relax. Failure to do this can result in a different amount of recoil control for each shot and a tendency to ‘relax’ and start lowering the gun before the shot has left the barrel.
Online Coaching Files – NEW 2017
- All credits to original material producers, media owners, presenters and shooters.
- No rights to materials are assumed or implied by SSPC in the presentation of the material and is done so on on an “as is” basis.
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- Thank you and enjoy!
Safe Shooting and See You On The Range!
With any firearms discussion we must first talk about the four Firearms Safety Rules:
- Treat ALL Firearms as if they were loaded.
- Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Know your target and what is beyond it.
Before you begin any of the dry fire practice drills, please read:
- Unload your gun. You must look and feel for an empty chamber. Look away and then look and feel again.
- All live ammunition should be in a different room.
- Put up some sort of a target. Area behind target must be able to stop a negligent discharge. Just drywall does not work!
- Once you are ready, check your gun again to make sure that it is unloaded and say to yourself, “I am starting dry fire practice”.
- Proceed with your practice.
- If at any time your practice is interrupted, you must go back to step 1. Distractions lead to potentially destructive or deadly mistakes.
- Once you are done. You must say to yourself, “Dry fire practice is OVER”. This is to keep you from doing JUST ONE MORE part of a drill with a potentially loaded gun. This has happened. Someone finishes, loads their gun for duty or conceal carry, gets a phone call and comes back and says, “Just ONE MORE DRAW”. But this time they are presenting a loaded gun.
- Once again, if at any time your practice is interrupted, you must go back to step 1. Distractions lead to mistakes.
* This is merely a guide. If you shoot yourself, something or someone else it is your fault. Do NOT practice with a loaded firearm!
Recoil/Muzzle Flip/Trigger Control – Rob Leatham
Dryfire Practice Drills – dryfirepractice.com
Practice and Training – (PDF) – Matt Burkett
Action Shooting Tips