Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Skills and Drills: For the Practical Pistol Shooter Paperback – December 9, 2013
|New from||Used from|
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Ben Stoeger is a three-time U.S. practical shooting champion. He competed in Athens, Greece on the US pistol-shooting team in the 2011 World Shoot, in which the U.S. took first place. Ben travels the country teaching pistol-shooting classes to the masses at all levels, and has seen dramatic results from his students.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Long version, below is my relatively short journey in the shooting sports so far:
I bought my first gun in 2012 having never shot a gun before in my life. I mastered and got bored shooting paper targets in an indoor range fairly quickly and decided to try the practical shooting sports. I shot my first IDPA match in Aug 2012 and was immediately hooked. I wanted to get better and bought Ben's dry fire beginner books and dry fired my ass off for 2 years while shooting IDPA and USPSA club matches every few weeks. This got me to an SS/EX level in IDPA SSP and B class in USPSA production. This is where I started to plateau hard. I would finish top 6-15 regularly in club matches and never seemed to really get any better no matter how much I dry fire. I would have a top 3 finish in some stages and completely blow others. I just could not find any consistency and my confidence would waver between stages.
I bought Skills and Drills to see what it had to offer and when I first read it I thought it was just an extension of the dry fire books. I didn't have a range where I could do these drills anyway so the book sat gathering dust for a few months until I had an opportunity to take a class with Ben in Feb 2015. At the class Ben was very complimentary of my skills and could tell I was regularly dry firing. He asked me what my training consisted of and I sheepishly admitted I only dry fired daily and shot club matches once or twice a month. He cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow at me and kind of hinted that I needed to do live fire training. Ben's class was a huge eye opener for me and I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity and are interested in raising your game to take the the time and sign up for one, but this is not a review of his class.
I realized after taking Ben's class I would need to start skipping some club matches and do live fire training instead. A range nearby now allowed the kind of practice that Skills and Drills required. I decided to practice hard at least once a week for an hour. This is where Skills and Drills came in. The book breaks down every facet of practical competition shooting to the fundamentals and provides insight on each skill and more importantly repeatable drills and standards to grade yourself on and to track progress. I took notes, I worked really hard on the weaknesses that Ben pointed out to me at the class. (This is where the class is invaluable) I strove to hit the times Ben recommends for the core skills and four months later I'm finally able to hit the times regularly.
The following is what I was able to improve in four months:
S&D prepares you to do really well on classifiers since the drills are pretty much broken down classifiers. I regularly shot in the 60-72% range prior to starting live fire training. My last 2 classifiers I hit 85% and 90%.
2) Movement and shooting on the move.
This is the most intimidating and difficult skill for me to practice but S&D has solid drills to work on this. I measured improvement by having two boxes. I shot 2 targets from box A and hauled ass to box B and shot another 2 targets and set that as my par time and compared that to shooting all four targets on the move and beating the buzzer once I got to box B all hits need to be in the A zone to qualify. I can easily beat that par time now with seconds to spare.
3) Stage breakdown and flowing through a stage.
The insights on how to "read" a stage, group targets, how to set up on a shooting area, identifying targets that you need to slow down and focus more on etc are invaluable. S&D has the drills to help you get better at this.
After 4 months of regular consistent practice I shot a club match and placed 4th overall and 1st in production beating guys who regularly wipe the floor with me. I shot a completely clean match where I would normally have 4-8 penalties. I had a stage win on the classifier stage (99-13) with a 9.2652HF beating out A/M/GM even open shooters that normally dominate. Now I probably just got lucky, this was a fluke, and I just had a really good day but I would rather believe that I performed well and had the confidence to stay calm and collected on each stage because I put in the work and followed S&D. You can count me as a firm believer in the Ben Stoeger school of competition shooting.
This is no magic pill, you have to put in the work! So If you want to get better, and are willing to do the work but you're not sure how to, do yourself a favor and buy Skills & Drills now!
I read and reviewed this book 3 years ago. A lot has changed. I was a B class shooter then, but have worked my way up to M class. I can partially attribute this movement upwards to this book. I used it often and it really helped me to improve. I am adding this update because I feel this book is as important, or more important now than it ever was. I just took a weekend class with Ben Stoeger a few days ago. He gave me another copy of this book and stresses that everyone should use it. Yes, I have worn out my original copy and had plenty of notes in the margins as I would keep the original book in my range bag and use it and take notes at practice. Then, maybe about a year ago or more, I took it out of my range bag and stopped using it. I am not sure why, but I did. Well now I am back to using it again. After working with Ben I realized this book still has many skills to teach and improve upon. Yes having him there in person was great, but it really just reinforced that I need to hit these lessons again even harder now to continue to improve. ***4/5/17***
This is probably the best training book I have come across so far, especially if you shoot USPSA. Sometimes you read a book from someone that is at the top of their field and you feel they give you tidbits of information but never really tell you everything. This book is different, I actually believe he is telling us everything he knows. And he knows a lot.
Just reading up til page 12 you will learn quite a bit. Ben dispels some myths, a few that I had believed because that's what everyone said, but after practicing them Ben's way I have seen almost immediate improvement. An example is my draw times on 2 shot Alphas are down considerably. And my accuracy is still great.
Now you are not going to get better just by reading this book, you will have to do the work. A lot of work. But most of it will be done at home on your dry fire range. Uh, you do have a dry fire range, right? You would laugh if you saw all the targets, obstacles, and taped squares I use for shooting boxes in my basement. My main focus in the last two weeks has been 10 minutes of dry fire draws, on the timer, in the morning. Then in the afternoon I do another 10 minutes where I work on reloads, transitions, and moving into boxes while engaging targets. I feel that two 10 minutes sessions a day is easy enough to do, but also helps immensely.
Now what about live fire? Sure you need to do that, but by following his drills and focusing on specific skills for each live fire practice you will actually shoot less but learn and improve more. In the past I have gone to the range and practiced a few drills. Then did some other drills. Then some more shooting. Now I go to the range with a focused plan. No more wasting valuable time and live ammo on anything that is not getting me closer to my goals.
Ben talks in detail about the important things in competition shooting. It is all based on the fundamentals. First you can't shoot if your grip sucks. You must also dry fire enough to the point where you are consistent, where you grip the gun the same way every single time. Where you have drawn it so many times the sight picture automatically comes right up into your line of sight for a fast first shot. You must also pay attention to your muscles, you cannot be fast if you are not relaxed.
Another thing I like about this book is Ben lists dozens of drills, and then gives times you need to shoot for, along with the times you should strive for at different distances. He also talks about why you should do a certain drill. And what your objective and expectations for the drill should be.
Many of the drills in this book are classifiers, or based off classifiers. Now I hear a lot of people say "you should not practice on classifiers because then you will end up as a paper Master", or A, or B shooter, etc. That is a load of crap. They are classifiers because they are a reflection and a tool to measure basic skills. A stage is basically a string of classifiers spread out over a larger area. I have also noticed that some of the people that say this have reached their potential or feel intimidated by new shooters training harder then they do. Not all of them, but a few of them.
Where do you stand?
Are you a new shooter with drive and determination to excel? Then get this book and start putting in the time and effort.
Are you a veteran shooter that has reached a plateau? Did that plateau start about the same time you stopped dry firing, or giving honest effort at improving? Well this book is for you too.
Have you been steadily improving all along? Well there is still a decent amount in this book that can help you too.
Good luck. See you at the match.