I have found a new practice site in a near by river bed. Time for me to go back to the bucket. I have been experimenting with different trigger springs, have reworked my pre-draw routine, and developed a slight sway, all of which means that my accuracy has suffered. So it is back to the bucket. (See earlier practice tips)
I have two young shooters in training, age 8 and 6. The 8 year old is about ready to move from draw developer to the comfortable gunslinger. His draw is nice and tight, and we can't see much room for improvement until he is free of the two handed restriction. What he needs now is bucket work. His shooting height is 36 inches. So the bullet must travel upward 14 inches to hit a 50 inch target height at 21 feet. So 14 inches divided by 21 feet is .66 inches for each foot from the target. If he shoots at a 6 inch target at 6 feet it should be set at 40 inches which is 36 inch shooting height plus 4 inches (.666 x 6 = 4). Makes no sense to practice missing. His PR is .915. I will post his PR 500 rounds from now.
Bucket work for him at 6 feet will solidify his draw and move him into the comfortable stage. We shoot at a 6 inch target on cardboard set about 4 inches in front of ballistic material. The wax falls down into a bucket. The cardboard shows where the misses hit and as the shooter goes through a 50 shot session his accuracy will tighten into the 6 inch target. We want to shoot quick, but speed is not important, getting the draw comfortable and repeatable is important. Speed will come naturally was the shooter gets comfortable.
The 6 year old is still on the table and is about ready to transition to the holster. He is a point and shoot shooter and hits are important to him. Shooting at 89-90% now. I intend to hold him on the table for 3 or 4 months to make sure of his gun handling skills. I see other mentors load their shooter's gun. I think it is important that the shooter, even at age 6 on the table, load and unload his or her own gun. Loading and unloading is valuable time learning and becoming comfortable in handling their gun. They need every opportunity to exercise of their hand muscles and gain the strength necessary to be a safe shooter. Don't take this valuable time await from them.
I have a issue to resolve with the 6 year old. Trying to decide whether to move him directly to his two handed hip level shot from the table and skipping the draw, point, and shoot, stage. I see two brothers with tons of mentoring struggling with moving from point and shoot stage to hip level shooting.. It stems from their competitiveness. Even at 6, 7, and 8, they want to win so much, the target just draws them back to the point and shoot stage, especially boys.
I think I will keep the 6 year old on the table shooting point and shoot until he gets his fast draw holster. Then I will transition him to the holster directly to shooting from the hip. Will never let him shoot, point and shoot, from the holster. It will difficult for him because hits are really important to him (always has to report how he beat grandpa) but I think that is the best for him.
New adult shooters may want to consider this. Start with two handed hip shooting. Skip the point and shoot stage all together. Watching new adult shooters, they all struggle moving away from the point and shoot stage. Generally, if left on our own, we spend a lot of time learning to be quick at point and shoot, then spend years trying to unlearn this stage and move to shooting without aiming or pointing. Just skip it all together. Going to try it with the 6 year old. Will post how it goes.