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Notes from the ludus


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#301 Stubb

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 08:18 PM

…do you think you're doing another part of that episode and making things overly complicated?

 

I think that my description could be interpreted as complicated because I'm attempting to build a detailed, 3-D model of something I'm experiencing at an intuitive, emotional level. If I was a poet, then I could describe it far more elegantly in verse, but I'm a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, so you're getting the written equivalent of shining a light on a 3-D object from different angles and recording the 2-D shadows.

 

I expect that one could drive to the range with buckets of ammo, shoot a lot, and git gud without thinking about any of this through trial and error.

 

My desire in writing this is that readers will catch glimpses of these things in their shooting and recognize them as markers of progress in a useful direction.


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#302 SlivGod

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:35 PM

I think that my description could be interpreted as complicated because I'm attempting to build a detailed, 3-D model of something I'm experiencing at an intuitive, emotional level. If I was a poet, then I could describe it far more elegantly in verse, but I'm a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, so you're getting the written equivalent of shining a light on a 3-D object from different angles and recording the 2-D shadows.

I expect that one could drive to the range with buckets of ammo, shoot a lot, and git gud without thinking about any of this through trial and error.

My desire in writing this is that readers will catch glimpses of these things in their shooting and recognize them as markers of progress in a useful direction.


Just to be clear, I fully appreciate and support the methodology. But it was an interesting thought exercise, for me, to imagine how results would vary if you were more analytically disengaged.

"Forget the necessities, it's the luxuries I can't live without." 


#303 Stubb

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 08:30 AM

Just to be clear, I fully appreciate and support the methodology. But it was an interesting thought exercise, for me, to imagine how results would vary if you were more analytically disengaged.

 

If memory serves me well, that would be the learning approach discussed in The Inner Game of Tennis.

 

I'm typically not doing much analysis while out practicing, that phase kicks off during the drive home.



#304 Stubb

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 10:33 AM

Did a bunch of un-timed shooting at 25 yards yesterday, working on trigger-finger isolation by trying to go six for six on Metric heads. I started with a firm grip on my Shadow 2, cocked the hammer, positioned my trigger finger just touching the trigger, and lined up the sights with the A-zone on the head box. Holding them steady, I then pressed the trigger straight back in one smooth motion, feeling for any twitching or movement anywhere other than my trigger finger, which occurred maddeningly often. Even so, results weren't bad, and I was able to shoot six-for-six about a third of the time after some initial familiarization. Perhaps another third had one miss, and the remaining third had two or three misses. Good news was that I was able to call most of the misses.

 

Group shooting has never been one of my strong suits, and it was satisfying to print groups like those in the pictures. Goal here is that such groups become routine rather than achievements, but gotta start somewhere. A next step here is to add in the timer, starting the trigger pull when it sounds and keeping an eye on shot time. Also firing pairs.

 

Trigger control at speed wasn't any better, but I did catch that some of my misses are due to over-swinging the target. Dry- and live-fire this will week will try to resolve this.

 

 

 

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#305 Stubb

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 02:58 PM

From practice earlier this week, amazing things happen when you nail your grip and isolate your trigger finger perfectly. The sight lifts and and comes down exactly on the same spot. These three pictures are all from shooting Distance Change-Up. Split times on the first two are ~ 0.45 s, and I was back on the trigger for the second shot before the gun stopped moving. There was no question that the sights were going to return perfectly. I had a couple other runs were the two shots were touching or nearly so.

 

On the third one, my grip was a bit off, and I drove the front sight to the neck instead of the ocular region on the transition, then gave the gun some pre-ignition push. Ouch.

 

Being able to transition the gun precisely seems just as important as being able to pull the trigger precisely when shooting tight partials.

 

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#306 Stubb

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 04:29 PM

Sweet T laughed at my typical draw times of around 1.05 s on Distance Change-Up and told me to get my support hand to the gun earlier. I worked this in dry fire and came out guns blazing today. Best draw on the 5-yard target to start Distance Change-Up was 0.90 s, with plenty clocking in around 0.93 s. I can feel that there's still room for improvement. Anything slower than 1.0 s felt s-l-o-w. I need to work this into my draws where I'm taking a step into the shooting area as well.
 
I often joke that if you feel like you're bending your knees and getting too low when you shooting, then you might be almost low enough. Similarly, on the draw, if you feel like you're moving your support-hand early, then you might be moving it almost early enough.
 
Despite the sweet draw, cold run on Distance Change-Up had two Mikes on the head. Ouch. Sight pictures were there, but I'm almost certain that I pushed the shots slightly to the right of the head while pulling the trigger.
 
Running the drill a bunch more times, there's a definite connection between how well I nailed my grip on the draw and continued crushing it while shooting with how much care I needed to give the trigger press. If I nailed my grip, I could practically slap the trigger twice and shoot Alphas on the head. If the gun came out of the holster slightly wonky, then I had to press the trigger much more carefully. Practically, this was the difference between a 3.10 s run and a 3.40 s one.
 
Nailing my grip also made the gun transition more precisely. Thinking back on split times, I think that most of the variation in drill time comes comes from the transition to the head. It will be 0.85 s for me on a good run but can easily creep up over 1.00 s if my grip is a bit off. A good split time for me is 0.45 s, but that can creep up over 0.60 s or so.
 
I wanted to get six clean runs in a row before moving on and had a few frustrating stumbles where I'd be on the fifth or six run and pull a head shot just a hair. This is a great way to build pressure in practice and learn to deal with it. I'm experimenting with shooting straight through vs. unloading the gun and dry firing it a few times between runs. My times are in the 3.10 s to 3.40 s range when shooting for six in a row. I'm letting the sights settle a bit more on the head for both shots and paying close attention to trigger-finger isolation, which necessarily slows the splits.
 
I think there's a lot to be said for running this or any other drill with a non-negotiable par time and paying super-close attention to everything that's happening. It's not so much the fact that shots go sideways, but seeing and feeling the details of how they're getting steered off course to drive corrections.
 
Did a couple runs on El Presidente after that. They landed a hair north of 5 s with three or four Charlies. I think that there's an easy 0.20 s that I could knock off the draw time—there's a noticable delay between the gun initially coming up on target and the shot breaking.
 
Final drill was taking a step forward while drawing, shooting two on a 15-yard open target, then transitioning onto a 4" plate at 15 yards. I'd load ten and go for three runs, which gave me one make-up shot on steel. Getting six in a row wasn't any easier here. Most of my misses on the plate came from pulling low. Most of the solution there came from gripping harder with my pinkie and ring fingers, which I find to help mitigate pre-ignition flinch.

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#307 Stubb

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 11:19 AM

"Variety is the enemy of performance."

 

—Jake Saenz from Atomic Athlete



#308 Stubb

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:59 PM

Thinking about my last practice and fiddling around in dry fire, I concluded that I've been trying advance my speed more than is doable in one step and generally pushing too hard. This seemed a good explanation for botched draws, overshooting transitions, and jerking the trigger. So I decided to try (1) backing off aggression a hair on tight shots and the draw and (2) emphasizing immediately getting my eyes to the next target after calling the last shot on the previous target. Idea was to find some consistency and acclimate to shooting at the resulting pace. 

 

This mindset gave me a clean run on my cold run of Distance Change-Up for the first time in a few weeks, with a time of 3.36 s with 5 A, 1 B. Hardly fast, but it felt extremely well controlled, particularly the two head shots. I shot the next four runs clean at a similar pace and just missed shooting the sixth clean with a bad trigger pull on the second head shot (I felt the gun fishtail as it fired). I fiddled around with pacing on a few runs, then got back to business and shot my six in a row fairly casually. I got a few runs close to 3.0 s with a draw just under a second, but most were around the cold-run speed. The big variable is the transition to the head.

 

Next I shot a couple wide transition drills where I started with the gun pointed at a berm then transitioned to a 4" plate at 12 yards, an open Metric at 7 yards, and an 8" plate at 17 yards. Visual transitions between targets, sweeping the trigger straight back, and grip mechanics all felt good, and it was rewarding to shoot the drill cleanly multiple times in a row.

 

Lastly I set up a triangle drill with three shooting positions, two open Metrics, two partial metrics (tuxedo and head), and an 8" plate. I shot the plate from every position and the paper targets from various positions for a total of eleven shots on each run. Multiple clean runs in a row happened when I relaxed and let my sights dictate my shooting speed. This meant different things on different targets: standing still with a textbook sight picture and two smooth presses of the trigger on a 15-yard head and slapping the trigger twice on a blurry sight picture while breaking hard on a 5-yard open target.

 

I'll get some video clips during Saturday's practice and see how things are looking.


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#309 Stubb

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Posted 07 July 2018 - 07:22 PM

Overall, a good practice today working on transitions and sight discipline. Cold run on Distance Change-Up was a disaster, but shooting six clean runs in a row came easily after that. I think my consistent pace on that drill is presently about 3.30 s with a 1.00 s draw and a .95 s transition to the head. I'm going to continue trying to pack the necessary motion, aiming, and smooth trigger manipulation into a shorter time window.

 
Next drill was a bunch of wide transitions, which are the first three clips in the video. This had a 4" plate at 10 yards, two open Metric targets at 7 yards, and an 8" plate at 15 yards. The necessary sight picture and trigger speed varied widely for me here. On the 4" plate, I was waiting for a perfectly centered front sight and keeping everything lined up while pulling through carefully on the trigger. On the paper targets, it was a blurry front sight in the upper center of the target and two quick slaps of the trigger. On the 8" plate, also a well-centered front sight, but I pressed the trigger more quickly. Additional emphasis was on snapping my eyes to the exact spot on the target that I wanted to shoot and transitioning the gun precisely to that spot without overshooting. Letting out the tension in my core is a big part of this. I was also very aware of having my ring and pinkie fingers locked down tight on the gun, aided by rolling up my elbows slightly. I find that this helps reduce muzzle rise and counteract pre-ignition push.
 
I finished with the mini stage that's in the last two clips. From the first position, the first target is a 15-yard open Metric, the 8" plate is at 20 yards, and the head is at 14 yards. In the second position, the 4" plate is at 10 yards, the two paper targets are at 5 yards, and the 8" plate at 12 yards. My first run was clean (came in on the 4" plate on that one), which was great. Next few were a disaster, where I was pulling a shot on a plate or the head low about every other run. That got old fast. I realized that I simply couldn't isolate my trigger finger at the speed I was trying to shoot, backed off a hair, and immediately got consistent clean runs on the drill. The last clip was my last run of the day. I had twelve rounds left, loaded up six in each magazine, and started my iPhone recording to add some additional pressure. I relaxed, shot my sights, and was rewarded with a clean run.
 
On both drills, it was fun how I could see the front sight through the entirety of its recoil cycle on the close targets and that it never left the A-zone. I feel like I could push speed a bit on the 7-yard ones.
 
My draw could stand some attention the next few days.
 

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#310 Stubb

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:03 PM

I'm not really practicing shooting when I'm going to the range lately. More like I'm trying to stay relaxed and not rush while I'm pulling the trigger. I know how to shoot. But it's hard as fuck.


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#311 SlivGod

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 08:33 PM

But it's hard as fuck.

PREACH


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"Forget the necessities, it's the luxuries I can't live without." 


#312 Stubb

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 03:06 PM

First match in a couple of months went as well as I could have expected. The accuracy work I’ve been prioritizing in training paid off with a very satisfying proportion of Alphas marred by a miss and some make-ups on steel. Wide transitions need a whole lot of work.

 
Stage 1: We started on this stage. I missed the setup on the second position slightly and had to hunt for the target after the transition. The miss came on the first target from the third position, and I didn’t call it. It was a surprise to see A/M on that target. Ouch.
 
Stage 2: Good shooting in the first and second positions. I lost a second needing a make-up shot on the steel in the third position, and the transitions onto the paper were weak. The sole Delta was on the swinger. Shooting speed on the close targets at the end was slow.
 
Stage 3: Stayed relaxed here and shot a lot of Alphas quickly. Grip was just okay on the draw but has been much worse for me on stages like this. I made it a point not to rush, just grab the gun and start shooting. During the walk-through, I was organizing my movement and reloads to put me in exactly the right position to shoot. That worked out perfectly, but my reloads were slow as a result. I think a lack of full-speed walkthroughs hurt me here. And shooting Alphas matters even on a high hit-factor stage like this one. I beat a couple of shooters who had times in the 13s but dropped a couple of Charlies.
 
Stage 4: Nailed my draw, and the gun tracked real nice on both sides of the barricade. I should have leaned out enough for all three targets on the left instead of having to reposition slightly. The guy who won this stage absolutely destroyed it.
 
Stage 5: No video from this one, but it went well.
 
Stage 6: I shot slightly cautiously from the first position due to having eleven shots, three of which were on steel. This made the shooting through the port in the second position easier, but I mostly shot this plan to prove to myself that I could do it. I messed up pressing the mag release after the first magazine and lost a bunch of time there.
 
Stage 7: Good run other than slight hesitation coming onto some of the targets. The one Charlie was on the third low target at the end—I pulled the second shot slightly to the right coming off the target.
 
Stage 8: Might have been the long day, but I never settled in while shooting this stage and felt off the whole time.
 

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#313 Sweet T

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 06:04 PM

I was jealous of your alpha count when I looked at results. So many points.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk


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#314 Stubb

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 07:49 PM

I was jealous of your alpha count when I looked at results. So many points.

 

We did talk about making an honest effort to go after every Alpha before the match

 

I'll be getting them faster next time! There's at least a second that I can pick up on each stage without spending any less time placing shots.



#315 Stubb

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 04:02 PM

Great practice today where several things I had been consciously working in dry fire happened subconsciously in live fire. Main one was trigger control. I set up a mini stage with two barrel stacks about 7 y apart, ~17 yards from the back berm, with two Classics and an 8" plate along the back berm, and another another pair of Classics at ~10 y, one on the left berm and the other on the right berm. The drill was to shoot two Classics and the steel from behind each barrel, reloading while moving between the two and mixing up target order regularly.

I started off with all open targets and found myself pasting an inordinately large fraction of Alphas after the first set of runs. After that, I paid more attention to what was happening while I was shooters and noticed that trigger speed seemed much more consistent for the pull. Pulling at a constant speed to blow through the break point without pausing or slowing down was something I had been working, but this was the first time I caught myself doing it subconsciously on mid-range targets.

On the steel, I was starting the trigger pull as the sights approached the plate, then buried the front sight in white and held it in place until the shot broke. Nailed it every time when doing that. It was only when I tried to rush the shot (cutting at most 0.1 s) that misses happened.

I partialed up two of the targets tight, and it was satisfying noticing my trigger speed slow slightly and how the sights stayed in place until the shot broke and the sights lifted, returning almost exactly for the second shot. I had my eye welded to the top of the front sight when shooting the far targets and was mostly looking through them on the close ones. Shot calling was excellent

Also did some WHO transitions across multiple targets. That’s an excellent way to work trigger control.

Earlier feelings about not really noticing the gun and really just seeing a front sight in front of me happened again.

Also notable: I shot 500 rounds with zero penalties. Don’t think I ever shot a penalty-free practice day before.
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#316 Stubb

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 08:26 PM

Shot a local classifier match with four classifiers and two field courses. I shot the match with a goal of going for all the Alphas and seeing how my times and scores turned out, particularly for classifiers with SHO and WHO shooting. Accuracy worked out well, shooting 94% of available points with no penalties. Time definitely needs to be lower.

 
I’m loosing time on transitions, particularly sitting on a sight picture too long before breaking the shot, and not getting the gun back out fast after reloads. On transitions, I’m also moving the gun slowly between targets when shooting precisely. The speed needs to always be fast, like I’m doing on stage 5.
 
State 1: Last stage of the day. I shot the stage in bullseye mode, trying to get very precise with my sights and trigger control. I’m not sure what I was doing hanging out on targets after firing my WHO shots. That was some excessive follow-through. But 17 Alpha, 7 Charlie seems good here.
 
Stage 2: This was our first stage of the day. Not bad other than the two Deltas. One was on the first target from the second position. My grip wasn’t ideal, and the sights settled cockeyed instead of lining up again. Dropped the hammer anyway. Not sure where the other one occurred. Seems like I should be getting on the trigger slightly earlier on transitions. I’m bleeding time there.
 
Stage 3: I’ve bombed this classifier a few times with make-up shots on steel, so I was looking to see white on all three sides of the front sight before dropping the hammer. Clearly I need to see that white faster. And the transition between paper targets was weak.
 
Stage 4: Good points and recoil control on SHO and WHO shooting. I need to start pushing speed in practice on freestyle shooting at this distance,
 
Stage 5: The one Charlie was the tenth shot where there’s a slight hesitation. Seems like I should be able to split all of the targets as fast as I did the last one. I’m not sure if shooting all of the targets on the move would have been faster than shooting them between quick lateral moves as I did here.
 
Stage 6: Goal for this stage was to shoot Alphas on the head boxes after the reload. I bobbled the reload by not fully pressing the mag release, then hesitated a moment before getting to work on the first head, so my time was awful. But the only non-Alpha on the stage was a close Charlie before the reload, so accuracy was on point. I’m not sure what a good shooting speed for ten-yard heads would be. Certainly faster than this.
 

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