Stages for dry fire


New Member
Being a beginner, I'm trying to practice for SCSA (and USPSA) at home, mostly inside. Setting up a stage using scaled targets somewhat cumbersome and requires lots of time and/or space to change stages. So far I heard a recommendation to use some type of screen (e.g. for a projector) to attach scaled targets, but still it's really hard to approximate scale and positions using photos. Assuming that's the only way to proceed, I'm trying to create templates for each SC stage, and I need help with checking my calculations. There is my web app at generates PDFs of the stages (based on height and distance to the poster), e.g. , that can be glued from smaller pieces and used a template.

So questions: Am I overdoing it and is there an easier way? Can somebody with good muscle memory, observation skills, a stage on a backyard (and time to print and put stuff together) check if I'm too off in my calculations?


Active Member
Buy the book "refinement and repetition" by Steve Anderson. Do the drills in the book and dont worry about scaling targets and distances. Just use regular size uspsa targets or paper plates at the distances described in the drills. You will improve drastically in a short time. You will undoubtedly experience some frustration initially just keep doing the drill. When you get bored you will start to notice things that you couldn't before.


New Member
Tony G said:
Buy the book "refinement and repetition" by Steve Anderson. Do the drills in the book and dont worry about scaling targets and distances. ... When you get bored you will start to notice things that you couldn't before.
Thanks. That's exactly it. While working on a trigger pull and setting a proper grip during a draw, I noticed if add more than 2 targets to practice transitions (which is part of the fun in SC), I tend to "overdrive" way past following targets. And until I started scaling targets, I didn't realize that I was engaging hard targets too fast (e.g. large 18x24 stop plate at the Speed Option has the same "size" as far 12" plate).


Founding Member
yury said:
So questions: Am I overdoing it and is there an easier way?
Yes, and yes. Spend less time worrying about whether it's exactly accurate. The main thing is that your dry-fire scenarios need to be AT LEAST as difficult as what you'll see in a match. If there's any question about size or scale, go with smaller targets placed farther out. If you practice transitioning quickly and efficiently between 3" plates, when you go to a match, the full size plates will make it feel like you're shooting at the side of a blimp and everything will be easier. The same principle applies when training for USPSA. Push the difficulty level as much as you can in practice, and matches will seem easy compared to what you train on at home.

I can say with 100% confidence that your shooting will improve faster if you take the time you're spending worrying about the accuracy of these setups and instead spend it dry firing.

Refinement and Repetition is great. I'd say Ben Stoeger's books are a little better since he spends more time explaining each drill and what you should be trying to accomplish while doing it. Either way, get a work book and start doing daily practice and recording your results. That's a sure path to improvement.


I shoot.
The purpose of dryfire is to improve on mechanics and fundamentals. USPSA and SC use the same skills but are two different animals because you have set stages in SC and you dont know what your going to get at different USPSA matches. Depending on what you are specifically training for you can tailor your dryfire practices:

SC - Its not a problem training specific steel challenge stages in dryfire but understand that setting and running the stages should be the "test". You need to break down the individual skills required and work on those, pay attention specifically to those in each session. The main mechanics of SC are draw to first shot, transitions between different size/distance targets and shot calling. I would set up my training schedule to work on say...draw to first shot on the different size/distance plates that you start on each stage in one session. Transitions between targets in another session. I would set up the full stage on the last couple sessions before a match.

USPSA - As mentioned above, there are books that line out training drills that hit the different skills for USPSA very well. Creating a balanced training schedule that works on all the different skill sets usually works best unless you have a specific problem you need to work out.

If you are shooting both every month, use the books. You will get plenty of the SC skills from them. Depending on the size of your training area, you can scale the target size. I use 1/3 and 1/6 scale cardboard laser cut targets but you can print 1/3 and 1/6 scale paper targets online.


New Member
I tried printing one of my templates, gluing and painting "targets" using white paint -- took me about 5-10 minutes. Last competition, I also took a photo of a stage to compare. Attaching the photo with comparison.

It takes less than as minute to hang this thing and it looks really close to the real thing. Not sure I'll be using it in dryfire yet, but just looking at it thoughts started flowing on what shall I work on at this moment.


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