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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 17 August 2017 - 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.

#90 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 19 August 2017 - 06:15 PM

Live-fire yesterday.  10-yard headshots: return of headshots.  25-yard pairs: return of 25-yard pairs.  Low-ready start in honor of GSSF, and both with the G21 and the G19.  Spent a while sucking (changing between the full-size and the compact really affects me because I'm not very smart or competent) and then sucked less and then at the very end did 30 (yes, in a row) 10-yard beeped-start headshots with 100% consistency.


So that was nice and left me feeling good, which only made the inevitable failure all the better.


Overheard: "Run it out to 100 yards!  That's what the rifle's zeroed for!", at the 50-yard range, but the 50-yard range with a target carrier that measures in feet.  Ah, the sweet taste of self-delusion.


Today, GSSF in some hellhole north of the Mason-Dixon line.  Target distances were legit.  Doesn't matter, because I successfully ruined my whole match at the first stage.  The monkey hopped out of my backpack (#TacticalCartConscientiousObjector) and lit up.  Thanks to that, four of my total times were in the 90s; the other two were in the 80-85 range, so that whooshing sound is my chances of winning anything.


Apparently I'm not yet tired enough of being a fucktard.


Positives: Shot a stage entry clean.  Shot a few strings of plates clean.  Shot a sub-four-second plate string.  No mikes.  Did well coming back from the epic fuckery on the first stage; didn't shoot the second one clean, but didn't go full monkey.  Occasionally used the right grip and trigger control, once or twice even at the same time.


Oh, and one more positive: as of 17 Aug, I have been dry- or live-firing every day for four months, so I'm a third of the way to being able to quit!

#91 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:29 PM

Hey, Doodie, long time no chat!  I decided that causing myself permanent physical damage while investing nontrivial amounts of money and time in the pursuit of nonexistent progress at an irrelevant and niche hobby was actually kind of stupid, so I quit!


jk lolololololol of course I didn't do that, are you high.


Prelims for last GSSF foray are up.  Zero heat showed up, save for the climate.  If I'd left the monkey home on that first stage, I'd be awash in BOXES OF GLOCKS.  Hell, if I'd just transplanted the least-monkey-oriented performance into a different division (same gat), I'd have had a solid win.  But if pigs had wings, bacon would be a hell of a lot harder to catch, and that would be a Homeresque tragedy, so we keep swimming.


Or, in other words:


Attached File  you_and_success.png   63.41KB   41 downloads


DRY-FIRE: Mostly draws with an eye towards grip consistency.  Spent a while trying to get my grip consistent, made progress, tried to speed it up, and the wheels came off.  Just as accuracy at speed appears to be an entirely different skill/motor pattern from slow-fire accuracy, draw stroke at speed vs. draw stroke with no sense of urgency seems to be too.  So Friend Timer has returned.  I think I'm around 1.3 seconds for a consistent, honest draw to a 10-yard target with a good grip.


I'm dizzy with accomplishment that I'm under 2x the time goal!


Continuing to work on pushing that down.  Occasionally I get sick of that and treat myself by doing something else.  Did a couple days of dry-firing plate rack with a focus on leading transitions with eyes and snapping to next point.  Also did an odd day of reloads, which haven't degraded as much as I would have expected.


LIVE-FIRE: Mostly just validating dry-fire and observing. Lots of draw-to-25-yard work, with some 10-yard headshots mixed in for obvious reasons, occasional Bill drills for shits and giggles.  Broke 1.5 sec, draw to 10-yard alpha.


RANDOM NERVE DAMAGE: Surprise!  Decreased volume helps a lot.  Gonna try to scale the volume back up to suck less before the year 2087, but that'll have to wait for when I'm not spending 14 hours a day at work.

#92 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:09 PM

Live-fire yesterday and today.  Mostly the All 25 Yard All The Time channel, because--surprise!--I'm still slow!  And--another surprise!--I still can't hit the target!  I've mostly given up on fixing "slow" right now, save the barest fig leaf of "not bullseye."  Because, as previously discussed, bullseye mode vs. not-bullseye mode seem to be two completely different skills for me.


But I would enjoy someday being able to consistently hit the target.  That would be nice, I think!  At the least, I'd save money on the Sharpie I use to circle the misses.  (Sure, I could buy pasters, but I don't think I could afford that many pasters.)


Was fucking around with my grip trying to fix it and noticed something: at speed, I seem to be pulling the trigger fairly low down, with my finger laid across it at an angle.  This seems to result in jerking the muzzle downwards as well, probably because it sets me up to not pull the trigger straight back.  So I started trying to index my trigger finger to the very top inside the trigger guard, above the serration on the trigger itself.  I combined this with counterpressure and pushing high into the backstrap with the strong hand, then relaxing tension in the strong-hand grip and cranking down on the weak hand.  


When I do all of these things correctly, and also actually aim, it seems to mostly work.  More data are required.  Chop wood, carry water.  If it was easy, everyone would do it, right?


Which, speaking of: apropos of nothing, and being serious for a moment (run!), I've been meaning to note how thankful I am to the GMs who still keep logs here, and to a lesser extent everyone else who logged at one point or another.  If you've posted in here (and in many cases if you haven't), and you have a log, I've read it.  


Clearly, not everything is applicable to Derp Class over here; the problems are different when you get to the point of being competent.  But even though I don't anticipate my biggest problem being shooting 25-yard partials on the move anytime soon, there's a lot of pearls that do still apply.  I don't post in said logs to say thanks because of a desire to avoid degrading the signal/noise ratio When The Adults Are Talking, but if you're reading this and you've done a log at any point, thanks for sharing.  


Finally, located a range where I can actually practice live fire in a non-stand-and-shoot format, and started the process of joining.  Next month!  Next month I can start my Obsessively Practice the IDPA Classifier regimen!  


It will be like Christmas for, as Trigger Warning said, OCD autistic people.

#93 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:39 PM

So I started trying to index my trigger finger to the very top inside the trigger guard, above the serration on the trigger itself.  I combined this with counterpressure and pushing high into the backstrap with the strong hand, then relaxing tension in the strong-hand grip and cranking down on the weak hand.  


When I do all of these things correctly, and also actually aim, it seems to mostly work.  More data are required.  


10 headshots, 25 yards, sequentially, Not Bullseye Mode.


It's easy when it works.


Perhaps relatedly, finally have the balls to post the new goals:

  • IDPA Expert in CCP
  • Win a hunk of perfection in GSSF (for realz)

Both of these by 1 Nov 2017.  (Though right now the only classifier posted is 10 Nov, so that might be a problem.  We'll see.)

#94 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:20 PM

Decided in light of my new and glorious trigger press (now with at least 62% less fuckery!) that it was time to get my ass kicked again, so I did a local USPSA match.  With my cookie-legal gear, because too lazy to swap, which led to shooting Limited Minor with a Glock 19 because I only have two of those mag pouches.


And don't get me wrong, it was a complete and hilarious clusterfuck, but not in the ways I've been working on.



  • Two rounds on three-round targets.  Rectified before end of stage.
  • Have been practicing reloads with mags loaded with 10 124 gr dummy rounds.  Weight of 15 147 gr rounds sufficiently different that I failed to seat all the way and it fell out when I fired.  ... Twice.
  • Still doing that thing on reloads where I tilt and snatch the spent mag out of the gat like some kind of mentally deficient toad.
  • Let's not even talk about my position entry/exit skills because I don't practice it and it's not good.


  • Stage planning got better, in the sense that I had a plan, that even included reload points not dictated by "whoops no more ammo in the gat", and mostly executed it, and also in the sense that I was seeing/incorporating things in stage planning that some of the guys who could actually shoot were doing.
  • Only one mike, and it wasn't a spazzy trigger issue, it was a "NEWS FLASH: try to aim at the top of the bottom target instead of the bottom of the top target when aiming at a stacked tuxedo" issue.  Zero no-shoots.
  • Corrected grip/etc on the fly when necessary.
  • Moving reloads were good in that I was a) running during them and B) despite a), there was typically ammo in the gat when I arrived wherever I was going.
  • Didn't get rattled by that which was described in CLUSTERFUCKERY; just fixed the problem and kept shooting.

The stage where I was actually quasi-competent was about 60% of division winner (A-class dude who was HOA and beat at least one master.)  We won't speak of the rest of them.


Progress.  Slow progress, but progress.

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#95 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:00 PM

Guess who went to a sanctioned cookie feast on two days' notice?

Guess whose ass got kicked worse than a one-legged dude in a contest on that topic?

Guess whose soul is black with despair?


You're all so smart!


But SLaD, why the fuck would you waste a sanctioned match fee worth of ammo on proving how bad you are?  Are you high?


No, this match was brought to me by a natural disaster!  One of my buddies couldn't shoot it thanks to the hurricane.


It was 80% humidity and 90 degrees; did you wear your Tactical IDPA Concealment Hoodie?


I did not!  I went to Target the night before and purchased a three-sizes-too-big short-sleeve button-up in the world's most annoying color and pattern off the clearance rack.  Then I wrote "[SLaD]'s +3 Concealment Garment of Tactical Victory" inside the collar with a Sharpie, because I think I'm the funniest person I know.


Did it work?


Not even a little bit!  


Well, I wasn't actually last, just functionally last.  So I suppose maybe it did?




Being serious, good things:

  • I had enough discipline to shoot my sights, despite this being my second sanctioned match.
  • I beat most of my squad on one stage because I had the discipline to shoot my sights.  (Naturally, this was the stage that got thrown out.)
  • I shot a pace where I could make my hits; several stages were completely clean, and there were only two stages where I dropped more than five points.  I know what happened in each case: One was a 45-yard standards stage where I got cocky because that should have been my bag (I practice 50-yard shots), and one was the stage where I went first.
  • I executed two stages relatively competently.  Both had props (a swinging bridge in one case, a dummy in the other.)  Not Flipping My Shit over this is a substantial accomplishment.
  • Continued to adjust my grip and trigger press on the fly when it started getting crappy.  I'm starting to know what it feels like to do it right, even under pressure.
  • Dealt with a drop turner and two swingers on the same stage and mostly even hit them.
  • Occasionally turned up the speed to something resembling competence.

Things that sucked:

  • Movement killed me forty-seven times straight and then pissed on my corpse.
  • Slide-lock reloads from cover killed me another three times after that.  (I have been practicing reloads, but not from cover or at slide lock.)
  • My slide lock not locking killed me again.
  • Visualization (or lack thereof) killed me another five or six times from behind.

So here's the thing.


Objectively, I realize I should be OK with all this.  I shot with discipline, I shot my sights, I (mostly) shot accurately, and I followed my plan.  All of the things I fucked up, I haven't been practicing and have specifically chosen not to practice until I get the accuracy under control.  There's no reason that working on accuracy to the exclusion of all else should also improve my stage visualization and movement skills.  Sure, I didn't win, but I wasn't ever going to win and I knew that going in.  And I made definite progress at getting better at the two things I've been trying to get better at!


But I also got my ass roundly handed to me by people whose fundamental shooting skills... kind of don't exist.  Even less than mine do.  By a substantial margin.


And yet, I now have objective proof that they're better than me.


Bitter cup of something, that.


Oh well.  Back to dry-fire.  Still have 40 more reps.

#96 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 27 September 2017 - 06:12 PM

That feeling when you're packing for the GSSF match you decided, at the last minute, to fly to, and your suitcase + empty Pelican case + ammo by themselves are north of 45 lb on your uncalibrated bathroom scale.


Guess 115s and 200s are my new match ammo!


(Also, daily dry- and/or live-fire continues, but nothing is either amusing or worthwhile enough to share.  Mostly refining grip and grip from draw (including surrender draws) and SHO/WHO, because I let my SHO/WHO get disgraceful even for me and this just will not do.)

#97 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:12 PM

Six months today.  I have neither quit dryfire nor irreparably broken myself.  But events have occurred!


Dog's Amazing Airline Adventure


So as teased in the last post, I decided to fly to a match for shits and giggles, and also because I didn't want the first time I figured out the logistics of flying to a match to be the first time I was actually competitive.  Delta both ways.


Outbound: Left from IAD on this end.  Suitcase (carry-on-legal size) contained a Pelican case with two Glocks, 440 rounds of 9mm, 220 rounds of .45, 16 magazines in a plastic box, ears/eyes, and absolutely nothing else.  Wound up tipping the scales at 49.4 lbs.  Per Doodie wisdom, I put the following sign on it:




Per both Doodie wisdom and common sense, when I arrived at the airport, I said, "I need an unloaded firearms declaration form," not "I HAVE A GUN."  Agent was polite, professional, and utterly helpful.  Didn't care about ammo.  Didn't want me to open the case.  Slipped the orange tag inside the mesh pocket and walked me over to the TSA.  TSA guy scanned it and came out.


"You going to a match?"




"Thought so.  Lot of ammo in there."


Translation: That is way more than 11 lbs and both of us know it, but I'm in a good mood today and that's an airline policy anyway, not mine.


Picked up my suitcase at the baggage office on the other end.  They'd ziptied the zippers shut.  Naturally, my knife was inside the suitcase.


Return flight: Agent was still polite and professional, but told me to unlock the case.  Did so.  Showed her the firearms.  She told me to leave the case unlocked until it went to TSA.  Fine.  She then weighed my ammo.  Which was, by now, under 11 lbs.  #winning


Unfortunately, I'd lingered a bit too late at the match and was sweating a bit for time reasons on top of the amount I'd already sweated into the clothes I'd worn to the match, because I hadn't had time to shower or change.  This, of course, meant that the TSA guy was very interested in all of this.  He poked at my suitcase.  He poked at my magazine box.  He poked at my filthy clothes.  He poked at my toiletries.  He then explosives swiped my Pelican case.


"Lots of stuff in here."


"Yeah, just shot a match."


"I wish you'd told me that BEFORE it popped positive on the explosives swab.  Now we have to wait for my supervisor."




We stood around for a while, onlookers staring and occasionally bumping into things due to their staring.


"Damn, dude.  Do you have enough clips?"


"You can never have enough magazines, sir."


More staring.  More waiting.


"This is your gun cleaning kit, isn't it?"


"No, that's my toothpaste."


"You went to a match and didn't bring your cleaning kit?  How often do you clean your guns?"


"Uh, not often enough."


In the end, I made the flight.  Barely.


I reported to the baggage office as soon as I arrived.  Bag wasn't there.  15 minutes pass.  Bag comes around the door.  Bag enters through the door.  Bag goes straight past me and into the back.  You see, they had to do this to it before they could release it to my custody:





#98 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:24 PM

Dog Joins a Real Range


Until my first IDPA match, all of my shooting experience was cubicle ranges.  Never have I ever before been left unsupervised in an area where I can make things go bang while scampering about like a coke-addled Pomeranian.  It turns out that perhaps this is not optimal for skills development.


There are multiple cubicle ranges within 10-15 minutes of my work.  But we've seen how that's working out for me.  So I located a real live range, pretended to be a responsible adult for long enough to persuade some poor misled sucker to sign the Sponsor line, and attended the membership meeting.


It was quite an experience, especially since my only previous exposure to cowboy action shooting was the picture of Evil Roy on the box my timer came in.  Apparently, in much the same way as Timmies like to dress up in fishing vests and pretend to clear their houses, cowboy action shooters like to dress up in chaps and pretend to defend people's honor with their six-shooters.  It's like the Ren Faire, but with more firearms and fewer deep-fried turkey legs.


After taking the RSO test (required) and learning all about cowboy action shooting from my enthusiastic soon-to-be-compatriots (theoretically but not practically optional), I introduced myself.  "Hi, my name is [Dog], I live in Montgomery County and I want to join all of you because I'm tired of dry-firing around the linen closet."  I then waited a month and returned, with bated breath, to determine whether my background check had been approved.  Since 2008, every single one of my many and copious jobs, has run a background check that is thorough in rather the same way as a colonoscopy, but I was kinda hoping that I had some kind of Jekyll/Hyde thing going on.  If in fact I do, it seems that my alter ego is good enough at leading my life of crime to not get caught.


Anyway, I got my card and, delirious with excitement, scuttled out to the range with targets, pasters, and other associated shooting materiel.  It was raining, but my enthusiasm was dry, partly due to reasons that will be chronicled in the episode entitled Dog Fucks Up The Classifier, Again


Despite the rain, the being told that there were target stands, the not buying target stands because of being told there were target stands, the target stands all being locked up, the large random frame that was my only hope for target stands being covered in the Ghost Targets of someone who was not present and not signed in, the removing the Ghost Targets, the spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to untangle the distance guide I made out of nylon string and threw unspooled into my bag at 0330 that morning, the arrival of the owner of the Ghost Targets, the re-placing of the Ghost Targets, the chatting with the owner of the Ghost Targets, the continued untangling of the distance guide while watching the owner of the Ghost Targets try out his red dot, and the re-placing of my targets...


... it was seriously fucking awesome.


Every so often I remember how much fun this can be.  That was one of those days.  Not even, necessarily, because I was shooting particularly well; just because running around shooting at things working on whatever you want to work on is pretty cool.


And even though I was not shooting particularly well for where I want to be, there were definitely a few moments when I shot a string clean and aggressive and went "damn, this would have been indistinguishable from magic six months ago."  That was nice too.

#99 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:51 PM

We interrupt the cacophony of failure to note that I put the DK Custom kit in the G35 and I'll now be spending the next several weeks trying to figure out how to make love to a trigger kit.

#100 ShootsLikeaDog


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Posted 06 November 2017 - 06:29 PM

Dog Fucks Up The Classifier, Again


(Note: This happened about a month ago.  I'm behind on my Doodie flagellation.)


I wasn't expecting to succeed and I squarely met my expectations.


Good things:


  • Last time I was at that range, as a freshly-minted Marksman who had been shooting IDPA for all of a month, I earned myself my first (and, to date, only) trip to DQ.  With a leftward-moving reload.  Which I then went home and practiced until I was confident I could pretty much not ever do that again.  But still!  I successfully didn't!  GOLD STAR.
  • Made all the headshots!  TWO MORE GOLD STARS.
  • Took ten seconds off my previous time!  UP TO FOUR GOLD STARS, EH EH EH.
  • Calmed my tits and shot the third stage well!   A FIFTH GOLD STAR!

Bad things:


  • Replaced missing headshots with missing body shots.  At seven yards.  Because I'm a complete fucking idiot who once again crumbled like a sand castle under pressure!  MINUS THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-TWO GOLD STARS.

Doing the math, my total for that particular event is -367 gold stars.  PROGRESS?




Thoughts from recent training:


Grip tape.  Cadence drills.  Trigger straight back.  All of these things are money.

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