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Touching Myself in the Food Court

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#81 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:11 PM

Live-fire two nights in a row.  Will probably go again tonight; since I have an evening work commitment tomorrow, this will be my last opportunity before another couple bites at the match apple.


Monday: Worked consistency at 15 yards.  Quantifiable accomplishment: Two magazines of 10 each consistently correct.  This was notable for me because I tend to spaz at least one shot, especially on that second magazine, because I'm slow and can't hit the targets (BISACHTT.)  Consistency otherwise was running around 90%; possibly the 10% were close, but it doesn't matter, because this ain't horseshoes and it also ain't hand grenades. 


There was some other good stuff, too, but that wasn't why it was a good night.  It was a good night because: "Hey, you actually shot that time.  You should try that more often." -- both the nicest thing MFCEO said to me all class, and also a thing I did on Monday.


You know that feeling when your grip is right and your trigger press is smooth and your front sight settles smoothly back into the notch and the gun is mostly flat anyway?  When all your subconscious programming is competently executing and your visual focus is exactly where it needs to be and you're shooting at exactly the speed of your sights?  Where you're letting go of all the noise and distraction and internal churn and just running the damned gun already?


That happened.  It was neat.  I remembered why I got hooked on this, and why I like it.  I had a Hallmark moment.  Then I went back to work.


Tuesday: Really just more of the same at 15 and 20 yards.  This is a good thing.  Got fancy and started working on follow-up shots (not "double taps", because We Use Our God Damned Sights.)  Also got in some good and much-needed practice on the Timer Beep Does Not Mean Coked Up Spider Monkey Time concept; a side effect of this was that I got a look at the times.  As will surprise absolutely no one, actually aiming really isn't slower when you do it right. 


At the end, did a clean batch of 10 in two-shot pairs at 25 yards with a beeped start for each.  Times in that were mostly mid-threes to mid-fours, with more threes than fours.  While I understand that most of you here could run several field courses in that time, I'm actually not displeased by it, even though they were low ready starts vs. holster draws (because team #GSSFtomaybegetpaidin2018?)  Finally, for shits and giggles, did a bastardized Bill drill with my last ten rounds.  Five headshots at 7 yards from low ready, twice.  4.11 seconds for the second run, no flinches, and yes, for where I am right now, I am pleased by that.  Because I was slow as shit, but I hit the target!


(Yes, I posted about my 4.11 low-ready n-1 Bill drill, on Doodie.  Yes, I am inviting brutal mocking, despite the typical sanctity of the Range Diary section.)


Anyway, two main training adjustments based on the above: First, I've banned myself from dry-fire trigger work for the foreseeable future, because I'm not smart enough right now to be able to tell when I'm being honest and when I'm not absent the visual feedback of holes in paper.  Second, I learned that I was actually gripping too hard, probably to compensate for my shitty trigger jerking to hold the sights aligned in dry-fire, which reduced the control over my trigger finger even more, which made me try to grip even harder, which caused an Inception of stupidity and fail.  Found a grip that works, just need to burn it in, because my wrong dry-fire strong-hand death grip still comes scuttling back at the slightest opportunity.



I'm not sure what part on the sights you plan to Loctite, but if you degrease it first, blue will usually be fine.


Just the sight screws (front and rear.)  Went with the blue.  Sights do not yet appear to be falling off.  A++++, slide continues to contain sights, would Loctite again.  Thanks.



This is money.  Thank you for posting it.  I think I'd seen it before at some point, but I guess my thought process was "herpderp this talks about ELBOWS, my problem is my WRIST."


I only have barbells, not dumbbells, so I've been using the smallest/heaviest random household objects I can find, and it's already helping a ton.  May use the work dumbbells later, or just pick up a cheap set of adjustables.


You are taking the goal of begin a self-destructve fuck-tard to entirely new levels.

I will channel Ben: "That is really ghey and you should stop doing that."


Before I respond, I gotta know: Is this in reference to a) my enthusiastic adoption of Sweet T's Pimp Hand of Sagacity as my new mantra, B) my anecdote about my friend's (and, to be fair, by extension, my own) life choices, c) my ongoing refusal to quit practicing every day, or d) some combination of the above?

#82 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 06 August 2017 - 06:39 PM

Gather round, Doodies.  It's time for another round of ShootsLikeaDog Tries To Not!


WEDNESDAY: Live fire as promised.  Worked on accuracy from low ready to 25 yards with both the G21 and the G19.  Did a lot of failing, flailing, and saying the word "fuck."  Let us never speak of this again.


THURSDAY: They tried to make me go to rehab and I said no, no, no.  And by "make me go to rehab" I mean "sign me up to teach another night class, thereby interfering with dry-fire volume."  Got home around 2300 and dry-fired.  I think it was target transitions.


FRIDAY: Cleaned poor neglected gats, stole some dumbbells from a friend, packed, and drove five and a half hours to a GSSF match; anything under 3.5 hours I'll do same-day, but getting up at 0200 is probably not optimal for performance.  Checked into the hotel to find a Sophie's choice: smoking room or no air conditioning room?  Dry-fired, focusing on grip.  Did some trigger pull work, but very carefully, working on a specific thing (pressing the trigger deliberately, with weak hand gripping as tightly as possible and strong hand pressing into the backstrap.)  


Then the burning, stabbing pain in my forearm helpfully reminded me that PT was a thing, so I did that, and took some delicious anti-inflammatories.  Speaking of, I think this round may have finally converted me to the cause of doing this shit regularly, rather than when I've just finally completely ruined myself to the point where I'm having grip weakness.  At least, it's been three days.  18 more to form a habit!


SATURDAY: Successfully applied all logistics lessons from previous GSSF matches!

  1. Arrived at the range by 0800 and queued as soon as the line began to form.
  3. Had them squad me two entries at a time one to two shooters apart so I could shoot all six entries per stage at a time, but still had time to adjust and reload.
  5. Took breaks in between stages, which I could afford to do because I was on the first page of the sign-in, because I got in at 0800.
  7. Went back to my car to reload and gather ammo/supplies for the next stage, which I put (including the gats) in a backpack, rather than hauling all my shit around all day.
  9. Stayed hydrated, took advantage of the shade, and did some PT stuff with the arm when it started getting bad.  Yes, I was taking breaks to do wrist curls at the match.  Don't hate.

Oh, you want to hear about the shooting, not just the snacks?


Are you sure?


No, I kid, I kid.  Progress was made.  To wit:

  • Dropped some points on my first strings, but took a deep breath, calmed my tits, left the past behind me, and actually shot going forward.
  • Shot a couple stage division entries completely clean.
  • Worst division total time beat my previous best division total time by 10+ seconds.
  • Laid down a sub-70 total division time.

To be fair, "20 yards" wasn't really at this particular match, but regardless, there was still definite improvement.  


Stats-wise, raw times across 6 divisions ranged from ~64 s to ~73 s and total times ranged from ~70 s to ~83 s.  Higher ends were mostly shooting the G21; the extra recoil beats up the tendonitis pretty good.  Don't have prelims yet, but will post relative percentage numbers if they're interesting when I get them.  The sub-70 time, unfortunately, was in a division where it's not going to get me anything, but the other times I laid down would have gotten me two division wins against last year's results; with that said, they may have actually put the 20-yard targets at 20 yards last year.  Upshot is I'm still not expecting to collect my G35 until I can consistently lay down something in the 65-second range, and 60 is a safer benchmark.


Finally, also got to see a dude in a tacticool shirt and a Freedom Munitions cap hat-camming his complete and utter failure to drop more than two plates, so there's something I hope to never, ever see again.


Speaking of plates, were not a high point for me either.  I haven't practiced those at all since last match, to include the dry-fire plate rack.  I still think consistent four-second runs, maybe four and a half, are low-hanging fruit if I try actually practicing.  Because I knew I wasn't going to have to go one for one, though, and because I was confident in my ability to take them all down, I shot them sloppy and needed a bunch of makeups, so I think my average plate time actually went up from last match.  


I'm going to fix that next time, because even if that was faster now (spoiler alert: it mostly isn't), building in the habit of going one for one on steel now will help me later.  With that said, we come to the "mostly": as always with me, it's a trigger control rather than a sight picture issue, so squatting there fapping to my sight picture is not going to fix things, it's just going to result in that NINE SECOND RUN.


Finally, I also stopped in between each stage to add up my raw and total times.  This was a really helpful tool, I think, because it made concrete what I already know: that I have to points it to death, and also, regardless of whether I did that or not, I then have to be like Elsa and let it go, because what's done is done.


Then drove my five and a half hours home and fell over.


SUNDAY: Oh hai remember how I gave myself tendonitis dry-firing an hour a day for three weeks so I could go to the IDPA classifier and make Expert, but instead I brought shame and dishonor on my family name and wandered in the desert of "what the fuck do I do now, how do I stop choking" and Sweet T kindly provided me with a mighty bitchslap of "you didn't choke, you just suck", which I adopted?


So clearly the thing to do was to go to another classifier two and a half weeks later because apparently I like to humiliate myself on the Internet!


And here is what I discovered: Sweet T, you are right, and also right, but also wrong.


You are right that I'm (generally) slow and I (frequently) can't hit the targets.  And you're right that I need to work on fixing that.  But in addition to that, I also need to figure out the Thing What I Have Been Forbade To Yak About, and here is why.


Because I shot an Expert-level classifier today... except for the epic-level soup sandwich I made of the first stage, to include--yes!--our old friend Two Flinched Headshots.


Then I shot the second stage, clean, faster than I needed to, because the pressure was off.  And I got what I needed on the third stage too, even with the (fewer than 10) points down.  (I use the roughly 25%/25%/50% time allocation rule for the classifier.)


I didn't care about the GSSF match because I knew I really wasn't in contention yet, and so I mostly shot around where my actual level of ability was.  I cared about this, because I know it's within my raw ability, so I fucked myself on the very first string again and then actually shot on the second and third stages.


But.  You are only as good as you are today.  Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong.  


Glumly, the newly-minted IDPA fucking Sharpshooter returns to chopping wood and carrying water.

#83 MemphisMechanic


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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:28 AM

Don't shoot the headshots unless the sights are somewhere inside the box. Simple, right?
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I won an IDPA match once. It was neat.

#84 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:00 PM

EXCITING IDPA SCORING UPDATE: I was wrong that Sweet T was wrong.  I remain both slow and unable to hit the targets.  Additionally, the IDPA SO who was scoring remains entirely unable to do the simplest of math, since somehow he, I guess, completely forgot to add a string?  Or perhaps subtracted penalties rather than adding them?  It's all a little unclear, some dark Lovecraftian magic, and I only really looked at the total stage times.  So I blew even more chunks on the first stage than I thought I did, shot the second stage clean but far too slow, and was pretty much right where I needed to be on the third (times on that one were correct.)


Yes, I still easily made it to IDPA fucking Sharpshooter.  Because all of you care about this lofty accomplishment.


EXCITING GSSF SCORING UPDATE: I guess the scoring fuckery was ripe this weekend, because in one division, I shot the stage clean in approximately the penalty time they'd listed for me, to say nothing of the two minutes extra on the timer.  The sad thing was that even with that I was about halfway up in the results.  Anyway, stats!  Which basically say exactly what I knew: I'm getting closer, but I'm not there yet.  Several top tens looking at other amateurs; percentage-wise, I'm top quarter to top half.


The really funny part is this: previously on this log, I declared I was going to win my delightful upgrade from my trusty G19 in GSSF.  Well, results from a previous GSSF match are up... and, yep, I won a random certificate.  Still deciding if I'm gonna cheat and use it or wait until I can successfully acquire a performance-based one.


EXCITING DRY-FIRE UPDATE: I lied, this isn't exciting at all.  Working on consistency of grip from draw and target transitions, forever.  When I do live-fire again, it will be draw/low ready-to-25-yards, forever.  


Saves on thinking, at least!

#85 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:35 PM

Live-fire tonight.  Got some work done.  It wasn't fun work, mostly, but fun comes when you win.  I have Max Michel's A3 video open in another window while I'm writing this, just for that extra little twist of the knife.


Draw to 25 yards, starting cold.  Objective progress was made, in that I hit the down-zero more often, but I also made progress on calling the shitty ones.  (Side note: I got so tired of running the target in and out from 25 yards that I ordered a cheap pair of binoculars.  Amazon instead sent me a box of manual pencil sharpeners.  DEAR AMAZON: I'm not taking your hint.)  After I did a couple magazines of one-shot-check-target-another-shot, I moved to two and three shots in between checking and tried to make sure I called correctly.  This made me do a lot more work on correlating the reps that felt shitty with the ones that actually were shitty.  I need to keep working on this.


I learned that there is both more and less room for error at 25 yards with any kind of speed than I was thinking.  I'm improving with jerking the trigger, though I still do it, especially when the wrist starts acting up, but the sloppy sight picture I can take at 15 or even maybe sometimes at 20 will fuck me hard at 25; sights have to settle into the notch and trigger has to be pressed deliberately rather than pulling it fast. The most important thing, though, and the thing that unexpectedly saved me several times when I got it right and unexpectedly fucked me when I got it wrong, is grip.  Specifically, consistency and correctness.  This is the variable I was missing for the longer-range stuff, I think, in terms of my inability to predict my results: the draw has to happen the same way every time, every ride, and it has to be correct.  


The cues I've been working are as follows:  Weak hand to midline.  Strong hand high on backstrap, angled in from the rear rather than fumbling over the dovetail.  Loose (not really a scoop, but not my former trembling death grip) grip during the draw.  Crush with the weak hand, relax with the strong hand.  When I did this correctly, I had some room for error with the sights/trigger even at 25 yards.  When I didn't, it didn't matter if I did everything else right.


Then did some headshots at ten yards at speed.  Kind of a shitshow.  What a shocker.  There's no excuse for this.


Finished up with a box worth (eight) of actual Bill drills (not weird perverted 10-yard headshot low-ready fuckery.)  First run was 3.96, clean.  Best run was 2.70, clean.  Ran a 2.96 with down one.  Everything else was in the threes either clean or with a down-one.  Splits were .25-.33.  Time to first shot was generally 1.4-1.6ish.  The splits are fine for where I'm at, but time to first shot needs some love.

#86 Sweet T

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:14 PM

. The most important thing, though, and the thing that unexpectedly saved me several times when I got it right and unexpectedly fucked me when I got it wrong, is grip. Specifically, consistency and correctness. This is the variable I was missing for the longer-range stuff, I think, in terms of my inability to predict my results: the draw has to happen the same way every time, every ride, and it has to be correct.

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#87 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:15 PM

Live-fire yesterday, because I spent my day off doing plumbing-type shit and then, after sober consideration, decided that I'd rather drive to the range than dry-fire.  So I did.  Of course I made this decision after the nice range had already closed, so I had to go to the poverty range that's 22 yards and sans climate control.  


Killed four target carriers, because this place is a cozy dystopian hell on earth, and was then forced to shoot at one of my abandoned targets stuck downrange because they ran out of unoccupied lanes and I ran out of targets.  I think it was about 10-11 yards?  This altered the plan somewhat.  So did some slow-fire group shooting freestyle/SHO/WHO and tried to unfuck my headshots.  Group shooting was pretty okay.  Let's not speak of the other thing.


One of those days today, but came home after my shift, got my mental shit together, and did 200 reps of decent draws.  Starting to burn in the new grip and get some speed back, I think.  Need to keep doing semi-frequent live-fire to make sure I'm not accidentally letting it mutate.  Pinched my left wrist between my watch and my belt on a couple draws cuing "slap center of belt" and now have a couple nice pinch bruises to add to my cracked index-finger trigger-guard callus on that hand.  


Felt good to do the work, but felt even better to be able to dial in the focus and get the work done.

#88 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 15 August 2017 - 05:09 PM

So after looking at the scores from my revised run at the classifier, it became clear that I was just not there yet, ability-wise.  Not only do I need to acquire some accuracy at speed, I need to acquire some speed too.  And while I was not happy with that, I was okay with it, because I knew what I had to do.


There's a local match I shoot more because it's fun than because there's any real point in me shooting matches right now.  It waitlists most of the time.  I'm typically in meetings when registration opens, so I get waitlisted a lot of the time.  I was waitlisted for this one, which was fine, because they were running the Classifier, and I was not expecting to get in.


I woke up this morning to an email from Practiscore informing me that I could now squad myself.


And I had this great plan, you know?  I'd already decided that I couldn't possibly make it, I don't have the chops yet, so I was just going to try and stay calm, shoot it clean, and let the times be what they were.  I looked at a video of some dude shooting an Expert-level classifier and I was like "that's not even that fast, you can shoot faster than that and hit the target even using your sights (in the rare event you actually do that thing)," and I still think this is true.


I handed off the tablet, I did some dry-fire, I loaded, I snacked, I ProGripped my hands, and I stepped up to the line feeling pretty cool.  My heart rate wasn't a hundred and fifty and my hands weren't trembling so badly I had trouble loading.  All of this is progress.


Then the first string happened and I did my two-two-two to the body and I did my two-two-one to the head and immediately before I broke my very last shot it flashed across my brain that "Hey!  You flubbed the headshots THREE CLASSIFIERS IN A ROW and now you can break that streak if you don't fuck this up!"


Doodie, you'll never, ever, ever, ever, in a million years, guess what I did next.


From there the prehensile tail popped out and the ceremonial crack pipe was set ablaze and that was how that went.


I think I'm getting tired of this.  And I think that's a good thing.  Because when I say "this", I don't mean dry-fire, or shooting; I mean "being a complete fucking idiot at matches."  And I think I need to get tired of that in order to do whatever it takes to not do that anymore.


In the meantime, I can continue to serve as a warning to others.


Speaking of, some dude who typically scores pretty well on actual field courses forgot to do two reloads behind cover, which cost him six seconds, which cost him making Expert.  I had thought he was going to make it anyway, because he said his points were pretty good and his times were, I thought, substantially better than mine, but apparently he did not.


"So I'm still a Sharpshooter because I fucked it all up."


"Dude, I feel your pain.  I am a Sharpshooter now, and I suck so bad I don't want to be in a class with me."

#89 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted Yesterday, 07:32 PM

Dry-fire yesterday.  More draw/grip practice that was actually consistency practice.  Every time, every ride.  Not to really get right on up there around deez nuts, but was re-reading PPR and stumbled across this gem: "Learn to be a disciplined shooter, and do what you are supposed to do absolutely no matter what."


Live-fire today.  All day, I was excited to get to the range, because I had a feeling it was going to be a good day (and even if it wasn't, I was going to learn the valuable lesson that I was practicing wrong, which past experience has taught me is a lesson to learn sooner rather than later.)  But it was, in fact, a great day.


Started with 25-yard draws cold, and most of them were alphas.  The ones that weren't alphas were because I did something dumb, and (this is the good part) I was able to identify exactly what the dumb thing I had done was and do it less.  Rocket science, right?  I should be a motivational speaker.


Moved to 10-yard headshot nemesis and was nemesed!  But instead of mewling and failing like a helpless, dying, unwanted newborn kitten cast into the river in a sack (which would also be a good username for me, but is probably a bit long), I actually diagnosed and made progress on my problem!


ONE: I can pull the trigger faster at 10 yards than I can at 25, but I cannot just whack it like a demented coked-up spider monkey who's wandered into the simian "Butts" thread.  


That is actually much less important, though, than...


TWO: My natural instinct when I draw fast is to maintain crush-grip tension in my strong hand, rather than relaxing it somewhat and allowing the weak hand to manage recoil.  Unfortunately, the decrease in fine motor control that originates with a crush grip (especially when combined with pulling the trigger fast) results in that hand jerking the muzzle and therefore its output down into no-man's-land (accompanying my hopes and dreams of ever making Expert.)


So I tried not doing that, and it was neat.  Recommended.

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