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Getting my Sh#t Together

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#441 Will


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Posted 08 October 2017 - 07:49 PM

Off set a shitty gun tooning session with a productive live fire session today.


I'll chronicle the marvels of fine italian craftsmanship in another thread. That said, for as long as these fuckers at Tanfoglio have been making guns you'd think their quality would be better... My experience today thoroughly convinced me all the engineers and mechanics that could barely scrape a "D" average went into the firearms industry... It's 2017, who the fuck uses 'roll pins'? Even the Turkish made replicas have hard steel pins...


I didn't give a rats ass it was raining today - I tossed my shit in the truck and headed out as I wanted to reverse the slew of bad luck. After I sighted in my new front sight, I set to work with four aces @ 7 yards:


My best run was 7.98 HF, 4 alpha, time was 2.61, draw .94, reload 1.23

My first run was 7.01 HF, 3 alpha 1 charlie, time was 2.71, draw 1.06, reload 1.31

My average was 6.77 HF, 70% alpha, 2% bravo, 16% charlie, 11% delta, no mikes, avg draw 1.01, avg reload 1.28

My worst run was 5.17 HF, alpha, charlie, 2 delta, time was 2.51, draw was .94, reload was 1.22


For the past 3 months, virtually all of my dry fire is untimed. I'm more focused on feeling or what my sights are showing me vs. the timer. So when I started recording reloads today starting at 1.31 and dropping all the way down to 1.19, I was pretty surprised. I only had one flub that was 1.63 and many runs in the high 1.2's. So I am capable of some fast reloads, I"ll keep working the consistency. My grip could have been better as I flubbed it a few times with my slowest draw being 1.15; that said, i recorded .94 times 3 out of the 10 runs. I'll keep practicing to improve my consistency.


Next up was steel poppers at 12 yards (2 regular size and 3 minis):


Run 1 was 7.02 @ 8 shots, run 2 was 6.46 @ 8 shots, run 3 was 5.31 @ 7 shots, run 4 was 5.21 @ 6 shots, run 5 was 4.68 @ 6 shots, run 6 was 4.07 @ 5 shots.


Looks like my index, trigger pull and grip need work. Although I did have a new front sight, I should be more consistent.


Finally was Bill Drill at 15 yards:


My best run was 8.47 HF, 2.95 seconds, 1 alpha/5 charlie, draw 1.4

My average was 6.33 HF, avg time 3.03, avg, 29% alpha/44% charlie/22% delta/4% mike

My worst was 1.45 HF, 2.75 seconds, 2 charlie/3 delta/mike, draw 1.38


Confirmation of my grip and trigger control need more work. 

#442 Will


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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:17 PM

10/15 Match at Bradford Action Shooters


Fun match at Bradford as we adopted a Halloween theme for most of the stages, my performance was ok but I learned where I need to focus my training for the next few months.


The good:

  1. My stand and shoot skills are improving as I posted decent results in melody line classifier (69.9% or a high B - 10 alpha, charlie, delta @ 8.63 seconds), and I posted two strings for 4 Aces at 5.6 seconds with a 6.57 HF and scored second on that stage in the overall standings behind our club master (he beat me by .6 in points). My practice no pressure pace is rougley 2.5 to 2.6 so its a decent result for me given my current skill level
  2. I starting to do better in memorizing stage plans and did not miss any targets
  3. I got to design a fun halloween themed stage called "who flung poo" with an image of Cartman flinging poo at the shooter and Kenny flicking you off on the final target as he is a non shoot. I overheard a few guys saying it was a fun stage to shoot so I'll take it


The bad:

  1. My overall placing was 17 out of 28; two poor stages really sunk me in the overall standings 
  2. Weak hand shooting needs work and I hardly practice these skills. So it should be no surprise to me when I burned two rounds into a cover target (this is part of the reason why I placed so poorly and my accuracy slid from the last match)
  3. Hard lean shots really screwed me this match as one stage had some extreme leans; it was a good stage, but several older guys that are good shooters couldn't make make these shots and gave up 


As I look ahead at my training plan I need to make some changes:

  • Although my overall percentage of alphas shot in the last 3 matches has remained consistent between 69% to 70%, my charlie percentage increased by 17% and my deltas increased by 3%. So more accuracy work is in order which equals live fire training of dots drill and bill drill at 15 yards. I'll also bake in some weak-hand practice
  • Transitions need work so I'll keep hitting el prez in dryfire and live fire, as well as, blake drill and small plate rack in live fire
  • Position entry and exit needs work so I'll start dryfiring entry and exit with a quick transition to a hard lean. I'll lift a live fire drill from Stubb or Sweet T as they have some solid drills for these skills


I'm hoping to get in one more match before the end of the season so I'll post some post season thoughts, as well as, goals for the upcoming season and practice plan to get there in a future post.

#443 Will


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:41 AM

For the past week I've been focused on these these skills: trigger control, front sight focus vs. target focus, shooting on the move, tight shots under time pressure. My practice routine involved roughly 4 days of dryfire ranging between 30 to 40 mins and two live fire sessions consisting of 150 rounds. The logic for the lower round count comes from observations Stubb, Sweet T, and WJM have made around getting better quality reps out of fewer rounds.


It's been a while since I performed distance change up so I started with this drill as it allows me to work most of the skills I'm focusing on. The two close targets were set at 7 yards and the 6 inch round was set at roughly 11 yards. Walking into the session I didn't really set a goal other than "to go fast" and be consistent. Thinking about the next live fire session I'll set a goal like: 80% of the runs should be under 2.7 seconds while attaining 80% alpha hits. The last time I shot this drill was two months ago and here's the results:


  • First cold run was 5.57 HF, draw 1.06, 3 alpha / charlie, time was 3.41, transition from paper to steel plate was .6
  • Best run was 8.08 HF, draw was .98, 3 alpha / charlie, time was 2.35, transition from paper to steel plate was .42
  • Average run was 7.12 HF (-.37 from last session), draw was 1.03 (improved by .3) 61% alphas / 2% bravo / 32% charlie / 2% delta (alpha percentage dropped by 8%), time was 2.6 (dropped by .4)
  • Worst run was 1.43 HF, draw was 1.04, 2 alpha / charlie / mike, time was 2.79, transition from paper to steel was .49


I normally don't video my practice session but I thought i'd give it a try. The second and third runs on the video were pretty good (second was 7.63 HF, draw was 1.05, 4 alpha, time was 2.62; third was 7.25 HF, draw was .93, 2 alpha / 2 charlie, time was 2.43). Overall I was struggling with my grip as you can see in the last run my weak hand trigger finger found its way to the front of the trigger guard vs wrapped around my strong hand like normal. This was the primary cause for my negative slide from my last run as it also caused the slight dip in my alpha percentage. It really is evident in the one run I left in the video where it took five hits to drop the steel plate.


The second drill in the video was a movement drill that starts off with two shots to the head box at 12 yards, running forward diagonally 11 yards to the large rock and engaging it when I'm within 12 inches of where it sits (mandatory reload), the target on the left is an alpha zone only and the target on the right is open with both targets sitting at 5 yards from the large rock. (note - I don't have a wide angle lens on my phone so the start position is off camera)


The things I'm focused on in this drill are getting my head shots from the draw, moving to the next position as fast as possible while reloading, setting up on the open target when I'm within 3 steps of the engagement distance, and no mikes on the open target or the alpha only target. Hitting a head box at 12 yards under time pressure is pretty challenging at my current skill level. When I did this drill earlier in the week I was only able to pull it off 44% of the time, the highest probability came when overall time was above 7 seconds. The videoed runs that were recorded 3 days later reflect only a 50% hit rate but it was achieved with the overall time at 6.5 seconds. The movement also improved from the start position to the second position: roughly 3.3 from the first session vs. the videoed session recorded 3.1. Mikes from the fist session on the second set of targets were 22% whereas the recorded session 3 days later produced no mikes. On the video you see I'm falling forward on most shots as I did not fully stop my momentum. Next time I'll perform a few more shuffle steps to slow down which should produce a higher percentage of alphas on the open target as I only recorded 75% on the recorded runs.


The last drill is the one I perform the best at, the bill drill at 7 yards. The first run on the video was 1.82 but hits were sloppy with 5 alpha and a mike for a 7.57 HF and a 1.82 time. The second run was the fastest I've recorded with 2 alpha / 2 bravo / 2 charlie for a 14.94 HF, 1.74 time and a .93 draw; even for a limited major shooter the shots are sloppy. The final run was 4 alpha / bravo / charlie for a 15.81 HF with a 1.77 time, and .91 draw. Good hit factors but my shots are everywhere which reaffirms I need to work on my grip. 


#444 Will


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Posted 04 November 2017 - 12:46 PM

Since my last post I've completed 4 live fire sessions and 12 dry fire sessions.


For these sessions I've been focused on accuracy under speed, strong / weak hand shooting, and target transitions. My round count for each session has been lower between 150 and 200 as my time has been limited and I need to get the most out of fewer rounds. When I practice, I record virtually every shot, tape my targets after every string, and record the results. This takes a lot of time so a typical range session for me is 2 to 2.5 hours.


For accuracy I've been focusing on 15 yard bill drills and the goals I've set for each session were 80% of runs below 3.5 seconds and no mikes. For the two sessions I achieved this goal as my average time for the first session was 3.12 and in the second session I improved my average time down to 2.81. Ideally I'd like to run this drill at 2.5 but I'm experiencing some grip issues that's preventing me from hitting this par at 15 yards. Unfortunately I did not achieve my second goal as I recorded 1 mike in the first session and two mikes in the second session. The reason why I had a mike in both sessions is I'm pushing performance beyond how I'd perform in a match; to be clear, I push hard until I break or just barley break. When I say break I mean my hits are mostly deltas or I get a mike. I have a pretty extensive spread sheet of all of my practice sessions including some classifiers I've shot in matches and I can see my practice pace is roughly .5 seconds to 1.5 seconds faster than my match pace. I'm more conservative in the match as I'm trying to maintain a high level of consistency to achieve a better placing. I know this isn't news to you guys/gals that are M or GM, but my hypothesis is if I can continue to push practice hard and gain new speed and accuracy results in practice my slower match pace and results are better than most of the competitors (that is my hope...). Here's the accuracy for the sessions:


Session 1:

42% alpha, 6% bravo, 35% charlie, 10% delta, 6% mike


Session 2:

50% alpha, 11% bravo, 33% charlie, 3% delta, 3% mike


The next drill I worked on was the 3 grasp drill @ 7 yards and the goals here were 50% of runs below 3.5 and no mikes. I set a more aggressive par below what MFCEO outlined in his video as I need some work on this skill. So I failed the first goal for both sessions as run 1 had an average of 4.57 and run 2 improved to 4.21 but still fell short. Failed the second goal as well as I recorded mikes in both sessions. Here's my overall accuracy:


Session 1:

60% alpha, 5% bravo, 29% charlie, 4% delta, 1% mike


Session 2:

44% alpha, no bravo, 37% charlie, 13% delta, 6% mike


I gained some speed at the expense of accuracy; however, I also improved my transition to my strong hand from .41 on average to .3 and from strong to weak hand from 1.4 to 1.29 on average.


What I learned from these sessions is I really need to improve my grip so I've started to 1. grip the shit out of the pistol in dryfire to where I feel like I'm stretching my strong hand thumb as far forward as possible on the pistol which results in digging the palm into the backstrap. I'm also trying to mimic the feeling of palm through the backstrap for the weak hand. Unfortunately I can sustain this for about 20 mins in dryfire until my hands are gassed. So I have a ton of work ahead of me.


The last drill I'll document here is el prez. I had a few mikes as I was pulling off early for the reload for the second string, but once I got collected I posted a new best result for me: 9.15 HF which is a high A class at 84.71%, 7 alpha, 3 charlie, 2 delta with a 1.43 reload. Although it was a new best result, the accuracy needs to improve.

#445 Will


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Posted 05 November 2017 - 05:38 PM

Since my last session ended with rain and a shitty performance, I set out today to see if I could post a better result.


My first drill comes from something I gleaned from Stubb's diary: draw to a 15 yard head box. My goals were to obtain 50% alpha hits, less than 50% mikes, 50% of runs below 4 second par. This is one of the hardest drills I perform aside from the 3 grasp drill and it packs my lunch every time... I only obtained 27% alpha and 27% bravo; however, I did score 47% mike. Out of the 15 runs I recorded, I only had 4 clean runs - ouch. My average time was 3.9 seconds and my average draw was 2.33. I have a very hard time getting an equal hight sight picture under speed - with 11 out of 15 first hits, I'm doing something wrong with the follow-up shot as I only had 4 out of 15. With no time limit, I can get 80% clean runs, but this is a struggle when it's timed...


Next up was El Prez. Goals here were greater than 50% alphas, no mikes, and 50% of all runs completed in under 6.5 seconds, which is .2 below what i recorded at a match 3 months ago. I was able to record 53% alphas across the 5 runs I completed; however, I had one mike on the final run when I pulled off the target too soon for the reload - but I still recorded a 7.24 HF for that run. Looking at the par time, my average was 6.22 and my average HF was 7.97 which is the second highest I've recorded since I started my diary (I recorded a fluke M run with a 9.75 HF). Reloads were ok as my target is between 1.3 to 1.5 seconds whereas today my average was 1.6. Here's my accuracy:

  • 53% alpha
  • 37% charlie
  • 5% delta
  • 1% mike

Final drill was the Blake Drill. For this one, the only goal was no mikes but I was aiming for as many runs at 2 seconds that I could string together. No mikes were recorded during this drill and I only had 1 of the 6 runs at 2 seconds (.93 draw with 3 alpha, 2 charlie, 1 delta). My average time was 2.13 and my average draw was .98. Accuracy was:

  • 53% alpha
  • 42% charlie
  • 6% delta

I need a better grip so I can increase my alpha percentage to 60%. I also need to stop looking over the gun as sometimes I'm prone to doing this, especially when I'm pushing for speed. I may try shooting some minor loads to see if I can keep the speed I'm at while increasing my alpha percentage. I like all the neat things you can do to the gun in the limited division but I'm getting tired of the recoil as I know it screws up my follow-up shots. 

#446 Will


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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:58 PM

Despite shitty weather, Wrapped a great match at Bradford yesterday. Jack, Berry, Wade, John, Jerami, Bill and the guys there are awesome and the stages the team builds just keep getting better.

My overall placing was 10 of 18, 6 of 7 B class shooters, and 3 of 5 limited shooters. I'll provide a full season analysis in another post but here's a summary of what was good and what sucked:

My hand and foot speed is competitive with guys that are 15 or 20 years younger than me
Draws and reloads are solid
Almost shot a clean match - only two mikes but that's way too many

What sucked:
My stage planning is costing me time
The harder problem to fix, I'm not confident in my shot

Fixing one of these items is hard enough, I'm very worried about fixing these two intertwined issues.

My planning sucks for two reasons: 1. I'm not counting my shots, instead I'm counting targets; I don't know how I picked up this dumb ass habit but it's stuck for the season. I'm pretty confident I'll get rid of it in dryfire and in training. 2. My plans have too much non shooting time. Better shooters are hopping from target to target across the entire stage so they don't have dead time. My plans are very linear as I don't want to forget a target, which use to be a major problem. Other than shooting a bunch of matches, I don't have ideas on how to fix this problem.

Confidence in my shot: I knew I was slower than others but I didn't know where my slow performance issues resided, until this past match when I shot the last stage of the match. The stage was very straight forward as it was 20 yards long, all 5 paper targets were on the right no more than 5 yards from the shooting box with the exception of 2 falling steel targets at the end that were about 12 yards away. So the goal was to go as fast as possible. Although I blasted through the paper targets just as fast as the winner and other top guys, I had 2 extra shots on the steel plates which slid me down to 5 of 18 overall. Then I though about my earlier performance on the classifier 'on the move', which sucked dick, because my sights showed me two hits on paper but the lack of holes on the target Produced the only two mikes of the match. Then I though about my practice sessions where I was struggling with timed 15 yard head boxes from the draw as I can only record a clean run 20% of the time, with 50% of the shots result in mikes. In a nutshell I think I'm struggling to see the front sight, But I'm not sure if the problem is 1. my 47 year old vision, 2. tracking the sights during recoil of major, 3. something else. I have a few ways I'll test these theories in the near future.

I know I'm capable of better performance and I need to figure this issue out. While have no illusions I'll be on a super squad nor is that my goal, I would like to consistently place in the top 10 of my local match in the overall standings. Unfortunately these two issues are pretty significant issues to overcome.

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