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Getting my Sh#t Together

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#461 Will


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Posted 25 August 2018 - 07:22 PM

Summary of 3 days straight of live fire and a practice match prior to tomorrows USPSA match.


Although I made some progress in my individual live fire practice, my best results came from today's practice match hosted by our club production master. It was an awesome session and if you are in Texas look-up "North Texas Lead Farmers" as they host an awesome match!


The stage we shot was 11 targets (22 shots), 85% of the targets were 6" steel rounds, 2 tombstone steel targets that was the size of the alpha/charlie sections, a USPSA steel head/alpha/charlie steel target, and a nasty thin steel target that was 1/4 the size of the USPSA steel head/alpha/charlie sections. The last time I had formal training was when I attended MFCEO's class 2 years ago back in NC. Here's the results I recorded today:

  • First cold run, no coaching, was 32.8 with a 3.48 HF - 3rd out of 4 CO shooters for this stage and 7 out of 16 in the overall
  • Second run same stage, coaching: get faster on targets and use 2 reloads rather than 3 = 31.37 with a 3.7 HF - 1st out of 4 in CO and 5 out of 16 overall
  • Third run same stage, coaching: don't charge into positions - glide in, set your feet so its easy to exit toward next position plus coaching listed above in second run = 29.07 with a 3.78 HF - 2nd our of 4 in CO and 8 out of 16 overall
  • Fourth run same stage, coaching: prep the trigger, engage bigger/closer targets first, shoot out of positions into next, hustle into the next position, plus coaching above - 25.92 with a 4.24 HF - 2nd out of 4 in CO and 3rd out of 16 overall

When I decided I was going to crack the shot as soon as I had a got dot on target, that's when I recorded my best results which was on the fourth stage. I could see how all the little things were coming together to consistently shave time across the stage.


I'll report results of tomorrow match later in the evening. All that said, this was eye opening and I'll be changing my practice routines as a result of what I learned today.

#462 Will


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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:33 AM

My match results are in for Collin County:

  • Overall = 49 out of 79 shooters - 56% of the winner, and I was 72 seconds slower than the top 10 (176 seconds for me and the winner was 104))
  • CO Division = 8 out of 10
  • My classification (currently U) = I finished 10 out of 24 shooters
  • Shot a 5.08 HF on the classifier "the upper pad", which is a C classifier (I took 3 extra shots which put me high in the c percentage)
  • The way I'm shooting, I'd guess I'd finish at the lower end of the C classified group

Shooting CO I am accurate as I only had 1 delta the entire match, but I'm slow. In terms of shooting Alpha / Bravo shots, it appears only 16 of the 48 folks that finished ahead of me shot more alphas and no one shot more bravos than I did. I'm over aiming, slow on transitions, but most importantly I'm not reading my dot. In dry fire this morning I verified all of these things with a simple blake drill using pasters. I simply set the par timer at 2 seconds and I could see all of these problems.


Needless to say, I'm on the "slow but accurate" plan from dry fire reloaded and I have some time scheduled this Thursday with our local M to work on the items I listed above. The main thing I want to learn is if I can keep the same level of accuracy going 25% faster (yes I'd like to go faster but I'm setting realistic goals). With the gun out of my hand, I'm 90% confident I could out run and jump 80% of the 79 competitors, I need to translate that into my shooting.


As for the match, it was awesome. It's been awhile since I attended such a large match but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of new shooters. Although attendance was high, participation in setting up the event was low as they only had 2 of the 6 stages set when I arrived. So I pitched in and helped set-up three stages; as well as, I signed-up to help them set-up next months match. The stages were fairly technical and emphasized shot placement as there were lots of NS and partial targets, a few steel arrays between 15 to 20+ yards, and 1 memory stage. All that said, nothing there that scared me or made me feel like "I wonder if I can do this". I also had no problem memorizing all of the stages and I no longer need to draw stages on little index cards to memorize them.


Looks like I got some work to do...

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#463 Will


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Posted 31 August 2018 - 06:58 PM

In my quest to stop shooting like grandma with a club foot, I scheduled a lesson with our Club Master. I told him my goal is to keep my current level of accuracy while going 25% faster before the next match. I shared my performance stats with him, I was lucky cause we shot on the same squad last week, and we got to work in finding the things that are causing me to bleed time.


We covered tons of great information, but these are the big things (which are kinda small things that are sucking time in every stage) and fixing them will get me higher in the overall standings. 

  1. My stance sucks. He had me take my stance, shoot some shots, and simulated the slide moving back which proceeded to push me straight back. Nice... This is one of the reasons why I'm slow on my shots cause I'm rocking back and forth more than Michael J. Fox at a Jenga tournament
  2. Prepping the trigger - which is something I never do. Gee, I wonder why I miss? Not only do I need to prep the trigger, I need to do it quickly. I've attached a good video from JJ Racaza that explains this concept. 
  3. I'm charging into positions like a baby buffalo. I need to glide in, set my feet correctly so I can get the gun up and trigger prepped for a clean fast shot. Rinse and repeat...

In live fire, I'll work on 1 and 2 with 20 yard bill drills on a 6 or 8 inch plate. I'll also get some dot drills out of the way like MFCEO told me to do over a year ago. As for 3, I'll work that mostly in dry fire at first and then I'll use some of Stubb's drills so I can see how my times stack up to his; I'll try to get these on video so I can take advantage of that snazzy new service Kimy and MFCEO are creating.


Yesterday was an important reminder: although it is critical to put in the homework using resources like MFCEO and others have assembled, formal instruction is critical component if you're looking to improve.


#464 Will


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Posted 01 September 2018 - 07:20 PM

Sept 1, 250 rounds live fire - focus trigger control.


The array I used today was a 10" steel plate at 20 yards so I could practice: 1). prepping the trigger from the draw for the first shot, 2). prepping for follow-up shots. Usually I'm pretty diligent in recording my results; however, I slacked off as I was trying to get in a rhythm.


Bill Drill

  • Slowest clean run: 7.22
  • Fastest clean run: 6.48
  • About 50% of the runs were 6 hits on steel

Two at 20

  • Slowest clean run: 3.14
  • Fastest clean run: 2.85
  • Same as about - 50% clean runs

Strong Hand & Weak Hand (single shots)

  • WH slowest time: 5.06
  • WH fastest time: 4.89
  • SH slowest time: 3.05
  • SH fastest time: 2.96

Although I found it easier to prep on the draw shot, I struggled to prep follow-up shots. What was hard was trying to prep during recoil and be right at the wall once the gun settled down. Part of it could be attributed to the major ammo I was using, but the bigger part was not having the skill to pull this off. I felt a bit faster on target off the draw, but there is more speed I can acquire through more practice and learning to read the dot better.

#465 Will


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Posted 03 September 2018 - 07:23 PM

Sept 2 and 3 - Live fire on the 2 and dry fire on the 3rd: focus trigger control, sight tracking, and speed in movement from position to position


On the 2nd I ran the same 20 yard Bill hoping to get a slight improvement and I didn't see much of an improvement from the day before, (50% of 100 rounds fired hit the 10" plate 6 times and slow and fast runs were similar). For the next 100, I closed the distance down to 10 yards and used 3 steel plates to form a Blake array: the right plate was 12" square at 4' high, the center was the 10" plate for Bill drills and its 2.5' high, and the left is 1/4 the the width size of an Alpha zone at 4.5' high. It was a pretty tough array so I engaged from right to left for 100 rounds as it gave me the best chance for a clean run. The best I could muster was 2.31 with 5 out of 6 hits. About 60% of the runs were 4 out of 6 as I was purposely trying to get just a flash of the dot on the target to take the shot. I had a number of misses off the draw as my grip was not aligned correctly and the next highest miss was the target on the left, 1/4 Alpha zone. Towards the end I was tracking the dot slightly better on the center plate and the second shot of the 1/4 Alpha, but I struggled off the draw to get clean pictures. I wanted to feel what a 2.2 second run felt like so I tried to shoot to a split cadence of .2; however, I'm not as good with the Glock trigger as my limited Tanfo and my splits were either .16 or .30. I think I'll try this drill a few more times as I really need to get the sense of what speed feels like while pushing for Alpha hits.


For my dry fire session today, I wanted to practice fast movement between two positions. So I set-up 2 shooting positions that are 5 yards apart and each position I was aiming for a 2" round at about 5 yards away, COF was to engage each target with 2 rounds 4 times total. To create a par time, I walked the course in about 23 seconds and I figured I should be able to complete the COF in half the time, so my goal became to finish on or before the end of the buzzer at 11.5. Here's the breakdown of those runs:

  • Number of runs performed = 8
  • Number of times goal was achieved = 5
  • Number of times I finished the COF before the buzzer = 2
  • What factors caused goal achievement = stretching out my stride on the first few steps, having the gun up at eye level entering the shooting box, have the trigger prepped entering the shooting box, repeat this process 3 more times

I was pleased with my performance and I wondered if I could go faster with the same COF, so I dropped the par and the new goal was to finish on or before the end of the buzzer at 10.8:

  • Number of runs performed = 7 (my hamstring started to get tight on the 7th run so I stopped)
  • Number of times goal was achieved = 4
  • Number of times I finished the COF before the buzzer = 0
  • Factors for success = the same as above, but this time I added the additional factor of ensuring my W/H wrist was canted forward which seemed to help a bit more

I wrapped up this session with some draws at the same 2" circle from 7 yards with a par of 1 second, but I was not successful in finishing on or before the end of the buzzer. I was pleased with this performance as not even 2 months ago I would barely be able to complete 3 runs as I was outta of shape pretty bad. After losing about 12 pounds and getting better conditioning, I was able to complete 15 runs of the 2 position drill.


I'll stick with this dry fire routine for a few more weeks as I'm curious if I can go faster than 10.8?

#466 Will


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Posted 09 September 2018 - 06:59 PM

Sept 9, 2018 - Focus: trigger control at speed, transitions, and entering positions


Within Training to Win at roughly 1 hour and 26 mins there is a drill set-up like this: 3 targets at 10 yards, 1 shooting box to engage one of the targets, 4 barrels acting as a vision barrier, and the other two targets are on the left side of the barrels (this second position looks to be 3.5 to 4 yards from the box). The purpose of the drill is to practice getting the gun up and ready as you enter the second position, as well as, moving between the positions. MFCEO's time ranged between 3.8 to 3.5 and Hopkins ranged about 4.3 to 3.8. So my goal was to beat Hopkins performance of 4 years ago as the video was released in 2014:

  • First run was 4.69 seconds, HF was 6.39, 6 aplha
  • Best run was 3.80 seconds, HF was 7.84, 6 alpha
  • Worst run was 5.8 seconds (light striker hit), HF was 4.82, 5 alpha 1 charlie
  • Average run was 4.39 seconds, HF 6.06, 71% alpha / 26% charlie / 2% delta

I assume MFCEO scored roughly 8.57 HF consistently so I tried to emulate some of the things I saw him do on video: prep the trigger for that quick first shot, stepping hard between positions, gun up & trigger prepped coming into the next position. Only once was I able to pull all these pieces together which yielded the 7.84 HF run, but I was not consistent with the trigger or stepping hard between both positions, which resulted in my 6.06 HF average.


The next drill I ran was one of the most difficult for me, the classifier eye of the tiger. I chose this one as I wanted to see if I could consistently prep the trigger for a tight shot and transition aggressively between targets. The ideal time for me was somewhere between 3.5 to 4 or a 7.4 HF to 6 HF. Unfortunately I could not pull off those scores; the closest I got was 4.03 with a HF of 5.95. The center head box is my nemesis as I plugged a no shoot just below the bravo zone on my first run, had I not did that I was have recorded 5.7 HF which would have resulted an in overall B classification vs. the average of all runs equalling a C classification. On the good news side, I was .25 faster on average than the last time I shot this drill on 8/11 (today's average 4.25).


To wrap my training session I ran a Bill Drill at 7 yards where I'm almost back to performance I consistently ran in Limited (today was 2 seconds flat with 12 HF, 4 alpha/1 charlie/1 delta); I also ran a Blake Drill in 2.2 seconds with a 10.81 HF (3 alpha and 3 charlie - the third best result I recorded to date). What helped with this drill was prepping the trigger so I could get a fast first and follow-up shot, cracking the shot as quick as I got the dot on the spot I was aiming for, using my legs to drive transitions vs. my upper body & shoulders.


Although I'm getting better with the Glock, I don't enjoy shooting it as much as shooting my Tanfo. Not saying I hate it, but the Tanfo was a better experience. So I called the folks down at Patriot Defense and ordered up a Stock 2 that can accept my DP Pro. Assuming all goes well I should have it by the first or second week of October.

#467 Will


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Posted 24 September 2018 - 06:36 PM

Match got rained out this weekend - I was bummed as I was looking forward to testing my practice.


In both live and dry fire I've been focused on "closing gaps in dead time". Things like:

  • Prepping the trigger for the first and follow-up shots
  • Reading the dot rather than over hovering over a shot and losing time double checking my work
  • When the second shot cracks start the transition to the next target
  • Dig hard the first few steps but glide into positions - plan where my feet go and which one should go down first
  • Practice my walkthrough more 
  • Pre score a notional hit factor in my mind

Today I'm not doing any of these things, which is a big reason why I'm still and under classman; but honestly I don't give a fuck about my classification. I'm focused on placement in the overall and within my division. Notice I'm not saying "speed -up" on purpose, it's just cutting down on the dead time which is where I'm losing a metric shit ton of points in time. The only place I do really need to speed up is digging out of positions. I've got long legs and I need to use them...

#468 Will


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Posted 30 September 2018 - 05:15 PM

9/30/20 - Results of Collin County USPSA Match:

  • Overall placing = 32 out of 56
  • CO placing = 3 out of 4 (I was edged out of second place by 38 points - I hit two no shoots on the last stage which screwed me)
  • Classification "U" placing = 7 out of 18


  • 75% Alpha (10% increase over past match)
  • 1% Bravo
  • 22% Charlie (10% increase over past match)
  • 2% Delta
  • No Mikes (same as last match)

I felt I did decent in today's match as I made some headway in going faster. Coming in I focused on pushing the speed in terms of my movement on the larger courses as I was bleeding the most time on these stages. 


The goal I'm aiming for is to break into the top 10 overall placing. Although I am far away from that goal now, I did make some progress from my last match. Looking at my performance in the last match on 8/26, the 10th place overall finisher was 30% faster than me on average. Looking at today's performance, the 10th place finisher was only 20% faster than me. I know its not an "apples to apples" comparison, but it's good directional information.


Looking at stand and shoot classifiers, the 10th place overall finisher was roughly 10% faster than me; while the field courses reflected they were 25% faster than me. Although I am losing some time in aiming, I'm bleeding more time moving from position to position. Given this info, it seems I need to incorporate more movement into my dryfire to supplement my stand and shoot training.


To combat moving like grandma with a club foot, I'll need to find a good "movement" drill I can use in live fire; Stubb has a few good ones I've used in the past and I'll give one of those a whirl to see if I can come close to his time. For dryfire, I do have a good drill I can run and I need to start running it at least 3 times a week. I'll also use the speed ladder to help improve my foot speed. While I add these new drills, I need to continue pushing on stand and shoot drills.


Lots of work ahead if I want to get my shit together...

#469 Will


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Posted 02 October 2018 - 08:23 PM

Dryfire 10/2 - focus movement and entering / exiting positions

My legs are weak and my flexibility sucks; those are the main reasons why I'm slow. I could barley do some basic stretches, one leg squats suck, and the results of basic balance tests were really fucking horrible. When I performed these tests over a week ago that's what I learned.

For the past week I've been performing stretching, plyometrics, and weight training for my legs and I thought I would run my movement dryfire drill to see if I've improved (2 targets comprised of a 2" round at about 5 yards away from each other; COF was to engage each target with 2 rounds 5 times total; best par time 10.8 seconds).

I ran the drill 6 times and I recorded a 10.5 on runs 5 and 6. The first 4 runs I was learning how to push harder exiting the positions and I finally got it on the last two runs. I really have to dig for the first two steps and coast in to the position, then repeat the process. I was pretty gassed after six runs.

Since I've blown out both calves, I've been afraid to push hard and my legs have become weak. I know it's only a weeks worth of training, but my calves felt stronger so I thought I'd push hard to see if I've made progress.

When I hit live fire this week I will try a variant of this drill: two Blake arrays five yards apart. One array will be 7 yards and the other will be 10 yards. The logic is to string together fast entries and exits with fast trigger times. Will be interesting to see what kind of hits I can get at speed when I have to shift gears between the two positions.

#470 Will


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 07:46 PM

Dryfire and Live Fire Summary 8/7/2018


I've been working hard on entering and exiting positions, as well as, transitions as these are the spots where I'm bleeding the most time. Since I set a new personal best on my dryfire drill for entries and exits, I was curious to see how close my live fire time would match dryfire. So I set it up and recorded a few runs:




The set-up is 2 shooting boxes that are five yards a part, two targets are set out at 10 yards directly in front of the shooting boxes - you'll move 5 times. The goal is to get your alphas off a quick draw, move as hard as you can between positions, coast into position so that you are not falling over and get your alphas as fast as you can - repeat the process. Lots of things happening in the drill and I'm pretty gassed after about 5 passes. The best I've run this drill in dryfire is 10.5 seconds which roughly calculates to 4.76 HF assuming all alphas. Here is what I posted today:

  • 12.77 time - 6 alpha, 3 delta, 1 mike - HF = 1.8; I'm pushing pretty hard and almost fall over coming out of the second position (my first cold run and my best time)
  • 13.32 time - 7 alpha, 2 charlie, 1 delta - HF = 3.3 (no video)
  • 12.88 time - 8 alpha, 2 charlie - HF = 3.57; An extra step in the 4th position added an extra 10th otherwise I would have match my best)

I was aiming to get my shots off the moment my second foot touched, which I pulled off pretty good in the first run. I also could have dug a little harder with my first 2 steps out of the box, and finally my hits on the second position need to improve as that is where I dropped the most points.


After I wrapped this drill I ran a few passes of the Blake Drill but I did not record that session. I was aiming for a 2.5 par as I was at 10 yards and I hit that goal 4 out of the 7 runs. On average my time across all runs was 2.66, average HF was 8.2, and my hits were pretty equally split across Alpha and Charlie.

#471 Will


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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:21 PM

Just picked up my Stock II in 9mm milled for CO complete with all the fixings from Patriot Defence (bolo trigger, tooned, light weight guide rod, springs, striker, palm swell grips). I've never shot a DA/SA trigger so it will take some work, but the single action is really nice as it's light and had hardly any travel. I put my new rig side by side with my Tanfo Limited Xtreme and I think the Patriot worked trigger is better than the Xtreme

Since I've joined the 9mm master race I'll be retiring my 40 s&w stuff; I may pickup limited someday in the future.

The block was decent, but I missed the Tanfoglio platform and happy to be shooting it again.

#472 Colonel_klink


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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:32 AM

couple things that jumped out at me.

00:15 sloppy exit from second box. Firearm ends up pointed over the berm. Just something to keep in mind.

00:56 I think. Entered right box with right foot forcing a stutter step to get planted.

A ladder drill will help with lateral movement, also getting your center of gravity lower and detaching your top half at the waist and not turning your whole upper body while moving and staying mostly square to the backstop will probably help in this situation. It seemed like most of the time your hips were chasing your shoulders and putting all that to a sudden stop can lead to an awkward shot setup #tallpeopleproblems.

One last thing, I did notice your head turning looking for the box instead of the target. Try to rely more on peripheral vision maybe. don’t have to be dead center in the box just have to be in it right?

Take all that with a grain of salt as I’m probably the last person who should be handing out advice.
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#473 Will


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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:08 PM

Good stuff, good eye on muzzle over berm. Gotta get stronger for sure; not as easy at 48 as it was when I was 28.

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