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Getting my Sh#t Together


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#41 GuanoLoco

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 07:06 AM

Goal is to have ALL 2+ shots on 2" circle, 6 times in a row. If you can do it or come close, add shots and/or distance.
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#42 Will

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 09:03 AM

Live fire summary - 4/21 - 4/27 about 300 rounds down range

 

I'm really starting to see improvements in my grip and my ability to see at speed; this may sound simple, but when I get these things right my shots are solid for where I am in my learning curve.

 

Grip learnings:

 

This Saturday while in CCW class, I tried a version of the dot drill during the CCW shooting test. The test is pretty easy: using a 23"x 35" target - 10 shot strings at 3, 5, and 7 yards (30 total). 85% of my shots were in the X ring just left of the X, the remainder were just outside the X ring. The instructor, super cool guy and did a great job with a dry subject, was telling me before the test how a weaver stance would be more beneficial and he'll teach me how to shoot accurately with this stance; after I shot the test he told me to forget everything he told me as I was doing just fine.

 

That said, I was disappointed I did not drain all my shots on the X. The next day during dry fire, I noticed the new pistol I've been training with requires a solid grip to prevent shots from fishtailing around. To be more specific, the pistol I'm using has an island barrel so there is a bit if weight on the front end of the gun; if I don't pinch with my strong hand and firmly squeeze with my weak hand my shots will float around. I know this is the case for any pistol, but this one is far more sensitive than my Edge.

 

Seeing at speed learnings:

 

I was scheduled to shoot my first IDPA match last Sunday; however, since I burned 8 hours in CCW class - I had no more time in my weekly shooting time allocation and had to skip the match (happy wife = happy life). That said, the guy that owns the range left all 5 stages up for me and another student to practice on and I shot it yesterday. I did not focus on time, just on getting good hits and I was able to shoot 3 of the 5 stages before the sun went down.

 

It will take up too much time to describe the stages I shot, so I'll just focus on what I learned. Out of the 22 targets across all stages, I shot roughly 70% in down zero, hit 3 no shoots, and had no mikes. I need to take this with a gain of salt as this result was produced with no match pressure, plus I'm shooting with USPSA garb and rules (note - my equipment is configured for USPSA and is not legal, when I shoot IDPA it will be for no score).

 

As for the stupid stuff I did: standing reloads, mental flubs of losing count of shots fired and running dry, flubbed reload, and some other crap. That aside, my eyes were tracking very well and I felt confident shooting each stage. All in all, it was a blast!!

 

Going forward, I'll start setting up mini stages to better improve my grip, seeing at speed, and ability to move within a stage.

 

More to come!

 

Will

 

PS: Guano, I will get the dot drill in next time!



#43 GuanoLoco

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 09:34 AM

If you are going to shoot IDPA get used to a lot of slide lockreloads, and using standing reloads or suffer the pains of procedural penalties.  There just aren't that many stages where you get to reload-on-the-move and none where you get to drop loaded magazines.  Just like USPSA you should have a reload plan and try to stick to it.

 

Also, weaknesses in accuracy add up quick in time plus scoring.  Even a -1, you can do a lot of aiming in 0.5s, and a WHOLE lot in -3/1.5s.

 

What's an "island" barrel?


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#44 Will

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 05:10 AM

The island barrel is designed to keep the gun flatter during recoil. It does this two ways:

 

1. The design consists of extra metal on the top of the barrel from the from the tip to just past the first quarter of the top of the barrel

2. The front sight is mounted to this extra metal rather than the slide, as a result the front sight is not moving as the slide cycles

 

Here's a video of the gun I'm using (e.g. STI Apeiro in 40 s&w)

 

 

I think someone said it earlier, "limited is stupid", sometimes I totally agree with this statement - LOL..



#45 Will

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 06:21 AM

5/4 – Live fire 276 rounds

 

I’m really starting to understand the type of grip, sight picture, and trigger control I need for various targets at different distances. Here’s a summary of what I learned:

 

In my rush to get to the range today, I forgot to bring my target array for the dot drill; so I did a modified easier version. Shooting at 7 yards, drive 6 shots into the alpha head box within 5 seconds – basically a Bill Drill to the head box. Holly shit this is this hard! I was only able to hit the alpha about half of the time and my time averaged roughly 3.5 to 3.7 seconds. I performed this drill 6 times and I could not string together a successful run; however, I hit the target every time and I was able to understand the sight picture and grip I need to improve.

 

Next I assembled a mini stage as I wanted to incorporate movement, grip, sight picture and trigger control. The stage was comprised of 6 targets, 2 shots each, with the final target having a 50% no shoot running along the vertical from the head box to the bottom of the target. Although the stage only had 6 targets, it was very spread out and it took 16.8 seconds just to walk the stage and point at each target and saying “bang, bang”. When I shot the stage, I averaged between 27 seconds to 22 seconds with roughly 78% alpha hits with all distances being 10 yards or greater (note these scores were cumulative across 240 shots).

 

The first two targets were at 13 yards and were spaced about a foot apart and I was able to hit a draw between 1.8 to 2.1; I hit the left target with 80% alpha and the right with 70% alpha and the remaining shots were all Charlie on both targets. Then I had to run 15 yards to engage the next two targets: a 20 yard target and I hit alpha 70% with the remaining shots Charlie, and I had to swing to my left 90 degrees to shoot a target at 14 yards and shot 75% alpha with 4 charlie and 1 delta. Then I had to move forward 6 yards, go around a corner, and shoot a target at 10 yards and shot 95% alpha with 1 charlie. The last target required me to swing around 180 degrees and engage the partial target at 12 yards and I shot 80 alpha, 2 charlie and 2 mikes. The last shot was the hardest I was usually a bit winded and it took some time to stabilize the gun as it was floating around a bit.

 

As I looked at my targets, the groups were pretty tight and there were no low flyers on 5 of the 6 targets. The tightest groups were on the partial target and the widest groups were on the 20 yarder with most shots being low. I think I may have been looking over the gun a bit as I have a habit of doing that.

 

More to come…



#46 Will

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 08:26 AM

Just looking at my first post for the results of the bill drill heads version:

"Heads Drill – 6 shots fired, time with front sight focus 6.57 seconds. Break down of hits 1 alpha, 1 bravo, 3 charlie, 1 delta with a draw of 2.01 and splits of .8 to .9."

Although the distance I did yesterday was at 7 yards vs. the 10 of my first test, looks like I reduced the time by 3 seconds, increased alpha hits by 200%, and eliminated Charlie hits.

Next time out I will rerun my tests from my first post to see how much I've improved.

#47 Will

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 01:16 AM

5/6 – Live fire 250 rounds (200 of 40 s&w, 50 of 9mm)

Things I need to improve = weak hand grip needs to improve, looking over the gun more than I should, draws suck balls, reloads suck balls

To improve I’ll use these drills = dot drill (thanks Guano – great drill), El Prez, and assemble some short free style stages to work on movement. Dry fire drills come from MF CEO's manifesto.

Benchmarked drills I shot on 3/21 to see how I've progressed - here's the results:

Blake Drill @ 10 yards as of 5/6 = out of 42 shots fired – scored 39 alpha and 3 charlie. (3/21 results 12 alpha, 10 delta, 8 charlie). Average draw = 1.8 seconds (3/21 draw was 1.4). Average time 4.7 seconds (3/21 was 3.6).

What went well = even though my draw and overall time slowed, I’m very happy with my hits.

What I need to fix = My splits were .5 but transitions were 1.2. I’ll try to get my splits and transitions to match; as well as, improve draw speed by .3

Bill Drill @ 10 yards as of 5/6 = out of 54 shots fired – scored 49 alpha and 5 charlie (3/21 results 4 alpha, 13 charlie, 1 delta). Average draw was 1.7 seconds (3/21 draw was 1.58). Average time was 3.8 seconds (3/21 was 3.49).

What went well = same as above – really happy with the hit improvement and I’ll work on speed; especially since I’m shooting 40 s&w in major.

What I need to fix = weak hand grip, looking over the gun, improve draw speed by .3

Bill Drill Heads @ 10 yards as of 5/6 = out of 54 shots fired – scored 5 alpha, 39 bravo, 10 charlie, 1 mike (3/21 results 1 alpha, 1 bravo, 3 charlie, 1 delta). Average draw = 2.1 (3/21 results 2.01). Average time 5.8 seconds (3/21 results 6.57 seconds)

What went well = good over all improvement vs. 3/21 benchmark.

What I need to fix = although strong grouping in bravo – however – leads me to believe I’m looking over the gun or my rear sight is 1 to 2 clicks too low. I’ll check this in the next live fire session.

I tried the El Prez for shits and giggles as I’ve never done it before. Out of 24 shots fired – scored 22 alpha and 2 charlie. Average draw was 2 seconds and reloads were 2.3 seconds; average overall time was 10.65. That puts me at upper end of the C classification with a hit factor of 5.4.

Finally, I’m ramping for my first IDPA match and I picked up a fully loaded M&P 9 with apex trigger and storm lake barrel, 2 mag pouches, holster, and 2 extra mags for $550 – great deal. Shot about 50 rounds through it and it is much easier to shoot than my hard kicking 40; I was easily drilling alpha head box shots and I’m looking forward to having fun with this gun! First USPSA match will be the middle of June.

#48 GuanoLoco

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 07:33 AM

It's great to establish a live fire baseline.

The beauty is that you WILL see great improvement with a regular dry fire schedule.

Nice score with the M&P - did Vag negotiate for you? What % did he want for his services?
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#49 Will

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 09:00 AM

Lol! Reading Vag's posts he seems to be a smooth talker and totally capable talking people out of their money.

The M&P is a laser beam. This may sound stupid, but I think it shoots just as well as my over priced STI blasters.

Don't get me wrong I love shooting my STI's, but I could have saved an ass load of money had I just bought a worked M&P.

#50 Will

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 06:42 PM

5/8 – Live fire 240 rounds (200 of 40 s&w, 40 of 9mm)

 

Since I'm on vacation - spent a bit more time live firing this week. Ran El Prez a few times with the focus of getting my transitions and splits to match.

 

What went well: got pretty close to matching splits and transitions to a .5 pace; was able to run the drill in 8.8 seconds - almost 2 seconds slower than my 5/6 baseline

 

What I need to improve: my groups opened to 45% charile, 45 alpha, 10% delta. Draws and reloads still suck.

 

Dot drill @ 5 yards - when went well: best I could do within the time was 5 out of 6 hits in one circle in 5.01 (this drill is freckin hard - does anyone consistently clean this thing?). Was consistently hitting at least 3 out of 6 in the circle.

 

What I need to improve: weak hand grip, less looking over the gun

 

Off to dry fire to improve sight alignment, grip, draws, and reloads. 



#51 Will

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 05:57 PM

Back at work this week so I’ve switched up the program – more dry fire and less live fire (about 300 down range vs. the 900 last week while on vacation).

 

In dry fire, I’ve knocked down my draws from 1.7 to 1.4. I’ve done this two ways:

 

First I drove down my buzzer reaction time from .8 to about .6

 

Second I’m “lifting: the gun from the holster vs. slapping my hand on the grip then lifting up (when I was watching foundations I noticed Ben uses this method and it is working well for me).

 

Finally in an effort to improve my transitions I’m using a metronome to speed up my transitioning across multiple targets. I can get a good sight picture across three targets simulated at 15 yards using 100 bpm; however, when I get past 110 bpm my vision can’t keep up and the sight pictures are sloppy. This method is helping me feel what its like to get different sight pictures at different speeds.

 

Getting ready for my first IDPA match at my home range this Sunday. 2 weeks after this match, I'll participate in an USPSA match.



#52 GuanoLoco

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 10:39 PM

Dude you are slow as Christmas on the draw, but on the positive side matches aren't won with draws.

Spend a week or even a month working draws. I like the Anderson technique for this. Baseline your draw. Do 10 @ +0.2s, 10 @ +0.1s, 10 @ par, 10 @ -0.1s, 10 @ -0.2s. You will improve far faster than you would think. Don't neglect hands up/down, facing up/downrange, stepping forward/backward/left/right into a shooting box (more typical), etc.

Do the same for reloads. Bill and Blake Drills. Put it together for 4 Aces drills, El Prez or whatever.

Then realize you aren't going to win on standing draws and reloads. But it is a useful exercise to teach yourself to drive to goal times. Then you can work on more important stuff.
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#53 Will

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 08:24 PM

Lol - my old baseline was recorded when I'd use a plumb bob, Saxon, and dowsing rods to get a clean sight picture. With some instruction and a bit of practice, I'm doing better now and just wrapped a dry fire session tonight where I was hitting a 1.25 second draw about 70% of the time.

Awesome tips and I'm still trying to clean the dot drill but she is a mean bitch and ain't giving me any love.

#54 GuanoLoco

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:29 PM

Put the dot drill down, pick it up, put it down again. Rotate across different skills. There are lots of skills in just the stuff I mentioned. All basic stuff in Ben's book(s).

Next time you come back to it you will be better positioned to progress.

It's not good to get too wrapped up in any one drill. Do it a little while and move on. If you record some baselines you may be surprised at how much improvement you can get when you eventually cycle back to it.

Some things like standing reloads and reloads on the move just take a LOT of reps.
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Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Doodie Project?

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#55 Will

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 06:56 AM

5/23 Dry fire summary

In anticipation of my first IDPA match tomorrow, I've been pretty focused on improving my transitions and reacquiring my grip as I break from one target group to the next.

I'm feeling good about my sight alignment and my grip pressure, and I'll practice these things when I warm up later today on the range. I'm gonna keep the session pretty light and start 50 rounds with my 40 s&w for shot placement and recoil, then finish with the gun I'm competing with tomorrow, the m&p 9mm.

I've recently found Mr White's training diary on another forum and I'm impressed with his approach to improving his pistol skills. (Insert nut hugging comment here) As I practice today I'll use the method I've seen in his diary several times where he's shooting 2 rounds to the lower half of the alpha and 1 to the upper alpha in the head.

After the match, I'm sticking around for the IDPA classifier to see how I stack up; I've never shot the classifier before so it should be fun!

Next match will be in USPSA within the next 2 weeks.

#56 GuanoLoco

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 07:36 AM

A few tips:

Do what it takes to get your hits. You can do a lot of aiming in the accuracy penalty times of -1 (+0.5s), -3 (+1.5s) and -5 (+2.5s).

Practice draws and reloads from concealment and IDPA legal gear not USPSA gear.
Practice shooting from cover and 'slicing the pie' **while keeping a good base** not standing on one foot.
Practice the standing reload from slide lock.

Learn the difference between tactical priority (use cover, slice the pie, the default) and tactical sequence (aka 1-2-1 or 1-1-2-1-1).
You will occasionally have to shoot on the move - get low and focus really hard on your sight picture.
You will occasionally have to shoot SHO/WHO - grip extra hard, get a good sight picture, don't yank the trigger.

Don't hit the non-threats - 5 sec penalty
Don't skip or fail to neutralize targets - 5 sec penalty
When you drop a non-empty magazine or empty magazine with a round in the chamber get used to a 3 sec procedural.
If you cross an opening with an unloaded gun get used to a 3 sec procedural.
When you get the inevitable subjective cover call, adjust your footwork a little to avoid the 3 sec procedural and try not to blow a shot. You may still be out of cover but they usually won't call it twice.

The Classifier will cut you a slice of humble pie. Especially Stage 3 on accuracy at distance while using cover. It's well worth setting up and dry/live firing.

And remember, IDPA is dumb, but when in Rome try to be less dumb than the Romans and you will do OK.
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#57 Will

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 02:33 PM

Lol!! Awesome advice and thanks a million!

#58 GuanoLoco

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 03:12 PM

And don't duck back behind cover for your reloads or even the FOGs will chuckle. Keep your eye on the threat and re-engage when the reload is complete.
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#59 Will

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:22 PM

After 6 hours in the 80 plus degree heat, I wrapped my first match and IDPA classifier.

I did not get DQ'ed, only had one procedural, quite a few misses, and stage 3 of the classifier served me a big dose of humble pie. I'll post the results tomorrow as the club was back logged entering scores of the 40 plus shooter. Hopefully I did not come in dead last but i don't give a fack as I had lots of fun!

Guano, huge thanks to you Sir for taking the time to share your knowledge, I tried my best to take my time and get my hits. If you are ever in NC, steak dinner on me Sir (end of nut hugging statements).

I'm pretty spent mentally, physically, sun-burnt and tired. I'll put up more info tomorrow.

#60 GuanoLoco

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:31 PM

You are welcome. I appreciate the sentiment, no need to reciprocate.
Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Doodie Project?

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