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About Glock26Toter

  • Rank
    Calls Shots
  • Birthday 02/07/1970

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  • Location
    Aurora CO
  • Real Name
    John Arenas
  1. This weekend I shot the 2017 Mile High Showdown at the Ben Lomond Gun Club. I also volunteered to setup and RO. It was a pretty brutal schedule and the guys that actually do ALL the work have my utmost respect. Thanks a whole bunch to Cha-Lee, Jerry Westcott and the other heavy hitters that make matches like this possible. I've known Cha-Lee for quite a few years now and I understand a bit about where he comes from when dreaming up his shooting challenges. If you can master the skills required to make it through one of his matches clean you are truly ready for some serious shooting success down the road. Other matches will throw in boats, rubber chickens and feats of math or engineering before the shooting starts, but the Mile High Showdown is about making the SHOOTING fun and hopefully that tradition will continue with whoever takes up the baton for next year. I was only able to get 3 stages on video as there didn't seem to be any people on my squad to “trade work” with. Paul Clark Jr, grabbed the GoPro for what we got on video but I didn't want to make him video all of them so when he was distracted, it didn't happen. 3 Stages is enough to see what I need to see. I see a lot of areas for improvement to be sure. In the spirit of how I like to analyze my performance we'll start with what went well first. I was able to hang onto 3 stage wins with some spicy runs that went very well for me. The first one is Stage 2 (my first stage and the first stage on the Vid). There are two areas that I performed well on this stage. The first was not getting too hung up on the start position. To me, doing a “one foot in, one foot out” scenario only added complexity and to get all that steel way downrange I wanted to have a comfortable, stable shooting platform. That required a foot position for both feet that didn't line up near the X's so no advantage was gained by destabilizing the start position. Although I still missed said "stable" position for a fairly mediocre one, I slaughtered that steel and gained a significant time advantage over my competition. It was a good thing too because my movement into that final position was slow, and non-aggressive. But the shooting was accurate so my points, and time gained on the steel was a solid run that held up against everyone else. The remainder of the shooting, mostly on steel was good and I was happy throughout the day with my shot calling. I was also not deterred by some of the more significant challenges. On the single shot stage it was challenging not to rush that shooting. The “1 per” targets were spread out and the stage was super wide causing a sluggish feeling to the shooting that could easily cause serious rushing by the end. With far targets to finish up on, there was probably a lot of misses on those last targets. I made it through without issue and was proud to have performed well on that stage as well. So, without stretching this out too long, suffice it to say I mostly kept my shit together despite several costly mistakes. I mostly performed some good shooting and moving. Now, looking at the vids I can also see a laundry list of things that didn't go so well. Mostly they are movement issues that I'm still working on. I see that I'm beginning target engagements way too early and stretching them out beyond necessity. Looking at people like Chris Tilley, the dude has a clear handle on how long he takes for a setup and unless he's in that setup window he's hauling ass. I frequently miss that and spend too much time setting up... or not enough time sacrificing aiming quality. Although on average that works out reasonably well, the true GM can get that window correctly set and executed on each engagement. The other issue I see is that I'm still making strategical errors. (I.e., bad stage planning... or more accurately, engagement planning within a stage plan.) There are several engagements where I chose to (or accidentally) took risky targets on the move and hammered a no-shoot as a result or paid the penalty in time for stretching the engagement out. Also , I STILL lost my shit on the last stage of the day. I missed SEVERAL calls and wound up giving up 2 mikes, 3 deltas, and countless charlies on the last stage. (actually it was 12) This cost me the first place win. In reality, eliminating any ONE of my mistakes that day would have netted me the first place spot for open. Clearly, there's still a lot to learn!
  2. With the cancellation of one of the matches this weekend I only made the match at Pueblo West Sportsman's Club this weekend. I had managed to dry fire every night since being back home last week. Not a lot, but at least performed some reload drills where I reloaded 10-12 times out of #1, then the same out of #2 and #3. Then did some reloads out of all three consecutively This coupled with some draws seems like a good drill to keep the basic skills on the upslope. For the match, there was not a single reload issue. Most of the shooting was fine and with my Gopro down (dead battery) I'm not able to really analyze movement. However, I did concentrate on getting super aggressive in movement and posted some good times on most of the stages. All but one stage was successful on shot calling. Several instances I called marginal shots and when we went downrange I verified those calls. Until the last stage I had one no-shoot. It was basically an AD, where I was settling into a position after running hard on a reload. When I was coming into position a came up on an open target between two no-shoots. I just saw brown and allowed the prepped trigger to let one loose while the dot was still on the white, heading over to the intended target. The good news out of that is that by the time I did get my dot on-target and called the next two shots I had forgotten all about it. The cadence just sounded like an instant make-up shot and I avoided internal (or external) self talk and just moved on with the work I had to do for that stage. I had actually successfully forgotten all about it until scoring. Once again, I let my composure fall completely apart on the last stage of the day. We had several new shooters on the squad and after I ran my plan had a few discussions with them about their plans. Then, I was almost last in the order. I just lost focus and didn't stay mentally in the game by the time my turn came around. I failed to call several shots and racked up 2 mikes and 5 detlas on the stage. As a bonus, I also did it very slowly. This is the third or so match where I feel like I didn't stay in the game and have given up copious amounts of points on the last stage. For sure something I need to work on and avoid things that remove my attention from the match until I've scored my last points.
  3. I was not aware of who brought the treats. Thank you! I've now promoted you to "Stand up dude, in my book." HAHA.
  4. I think the common thread here is "Work." As most are saying, M class takes work. You need to begin identifying your areas of weakness and training to eliminate them. How you go about it is up to you, and full of recommendations on books, drills, and the like. You need to try them, see what works, and keep trying them until you find that either some, or a collection of them all eventually work for you. But all that is... well, work! What most GM's will tell you, is that for every live round fired many, many more were dry-fired. My dry/live fire ratio is very low and I spent a lot of time "just having fun" and not taking matches very seriously. I had been shooting USPSA for like 8 years (with about a 3 year hiatus) before I made A class and did that about 1 year after adopting a serious attitude. 4 years later, I've been a GM for almost a year now. Meanwhile, Big Panda made GM in a couple of years. (can't remember exactly, but it was fast). I'll bet his dry/live fire ratio puts mine to shame. I know the number of books he's read and classes he's attended does. As does he, when we compete. I'm OK with that because the work I was willing to put in has made me the shooter I am today. No more, no less. Either way. Work/experience is what it takes. And since everyone is different on how much time and at what level of work they can (or are willing to) put in this is not an easy answer.
  5. Over the years I have figured out that I need 6-7 hours of sleep. I would think it's different for everyone so I recommend figuring out what your best amount of sleep is and trying to stick to that. Since quitting almost all alcohol intake many years ago I have not needed an alarm clock. It was not quitting drinking that made that happen. I started doing it anyways, but I found that alcohol disrupted that ability and it could not be relied upon until I quit drinking. Vary rarely when traveling in a time zone that's more than a 2 hour difference I wake up with an alarm, but at home I don't need one. And generally, at a hotel I still wake up and turn it off before it starts making noise. From that experience I can say that "I know, for me" that alcohol disrupts sleep. Anyways, I also agree that sleep is a waste of time and if I could just skip it altogether I would do that. I mean, really? I've got to spend hours on end with my eyes closed? Missing EVERYTHING! I've never been a person that enjoys "sleeping in." I have however enjoyed the hell out of some Tequila.
  6. Stage planning is an advanced technique over all the safety considerations. What I mean by that is, don't worry about executing even the simplest of plans while dealing with a safety issue. Turn and draw for example. Turn after the buzzer. Then execute your stage plan. Eventually, like when you are classified D and ready to try for C you can start to worry about executing "stage plans." (btw, that "trying to execute stage plans" NEVER goes away!) Until then, if you have to do something backwards from most other shooters just ensure you don't DQ then so be it. If you rack up 3 FTE's then it's no big deal. It's what you had to do to ensure you finished, safely. When I first started I ended a few plans early because I had not gotten enough mags on my belt yet. I still had fun and called myself "the perpetual D classer" because I never really cared if I purchased enough mags and holders. I also never anticipated shooting a gun other than my sub-compact Glock 26. I was just having fun! Oh how things have changed over the last 14 years! Have fun, and don't put pressure on yourself. Stick to the safety plan over the strategy plan, and your 'first two' matches will be nothing but a distant memory.
  7. It was an awesome weekend shooting the Rocky Mountain 300. Always a fun match, this year I was lucky enough to be on a super squad with JJ Racaza, Bob Krogh, Paul Clark Jr, and Spencer Stein. I was a sponge this year watching JJ do his thing along with all the other top shooters on my squad. We learned from each other, and had a good time strategizing and giving each other crap. I hope that the other shooters on my squad got as much out of shooting with this group as I did. Reviewing my performance (Here's the Vid) I see PLENTY of areas for improvement. Then again, I wound up placing 3rd overall so it wasn't all bad. In Lanny Basham style, let's look at some of the good stuff. First on stage 1 (and the entire day) I never lost rhythm in my splits. Any slow splits were necessary because I was waiting for the proper sight picture. Especially on the stage 1 hosing. I was able to keep things moving along nicely when it came to the shooting and aiming necessary to make it through... for the most part anyways. On stage 3 I really liked my hit quality and despite making a huge strategic error the shooting went well. Especially on the steel array. I hammered it with authority and probably beat JJ for that single engagement. (OK, maybe not. It's still going in the + column) Stage 5, despite a slow start I picked things up on the 2nd star and finished with quite a decent time on that stage. (40 seconds, to JJ's 34 seconds ain't too shabby) Now, to look at the negative column. It's been a bit since I recorded an entire match. It's also been a while since I reviewed the entire video with the mindset of actually searching for what I'm not doing so well. I've also NEVER had the opportunity to watch as a world class champion performs the exact same stages showing me exactly what I missed. JJ is super cool as a squad mate and we talked a lot about strategy and why we made some of the decisions we made. First, something that has fairly recently really crept into my performance. Verbal outbursts. The problem with verbal outbursts is two-fold. One, is that it's a family sport and I enjoy posting my vids to Facebook and other places. They don't need to include me swearing or otherwise making "in the moment" colorful comments. Secondly, I believe this drags out the error into the next moments. To say something takes a hell of a lot longer than to think it. The mistake I made on the memory stage was minor. I had lost count in the port and leaned way over in the following port before I realized I was not seeing the views I had programmed for this stage. I yelled "shit!" and by the time I did that, I was reloading into the next port. While still dwelling on my previous mistake from verbalizing it I went into the next port and screwed that up worse. I wound up taking 2 mikes (due to an undetectable FTE) on that stage. The slowdown cost me additional points and I literally handed over the 2nd place position to my competition with that move. Secondly, I need to dry fire a LOT more and a LOT more seriously. The thing that's missing from my movements is that decisive, robotic like movement that comes from extreme confidence in motion. How do you get extreme confidence in motion? By repeating that motion a crazy number of times. Also, you get that confidence by never doing that motion differently. I noticed that when JJ pulls a magazine out of his mag pouch it's the same every time. The same way he does it in a match. There's never a lazy, slow grab and there's never a time when the magazine is in his hand with a different grip than the proper grip. EVERY draw of the magazine or gun, is a practice draw for the match. EVERY TIME. If it's to clean, or check it the proper grip is followed by this other action. But if you just zoomed in on his hand grabbing the magazine you would never know whether it was during a match, or to reload that mag. Also, the reverse of that motion is exactly the reverse of that motion. Putting a magazine in the pouch is not done with some different action. If you play a video of JJ putting a magazine in his pouch, in reverse, you would think it was a regular video of him pulling it out. While this is somewhat anecdotal I'll bet he would agree that this will help to build and maintain that "muscle memory" that makes the top GM's not have to do something fast, to be faster than everyone else at it. This is not just goal, this is a shift in my thinking and overall style that I'll work to integrate with urgency. It will take dry fire, and it will take discipline. Reviewing my video there are several instances of this lack of "muscle memory." First is the obvious jacked reload on stage one. That cost me a full second and while the reload fumble may have been caused by my looking back at a target I thought I missed, it was REALLY caused because that was only my 10,000th time reloading. It was probably JJ's 100,000th reload. There are many others, but most notably are the draws, and pushing off from a given position. Some are pretty decent, but again. Only having pushed off as hard as I possibly can say, 5000 times I often forget to make that ONE TIME the hardest I can push and to apply the proper "foot plant and spring out" technique to get my ass moving. I need to do it say, another 5000 times before it sinks in. Wow, this is getting long. Need to wrap it up by summarizing how I'll execute this moving forward. 1. Prioritize dry fire. With no gun (such as when traveling for work), practice movement. With a gun practice all the other stuff. Every night if possible. My awesome wife has vowed to help with this by prefacing anything she asks me to do after work with "After you dry-fire.... " (she's freaking bad ass.) This is also made better by the fact that tomorrow the basement get's carpeting. I can move better and mags won't get the shit kicked out of 'em by hitting concrete. The new house WILL have a space that's made for dry-fire. I never prioritized a space and made sure it was setup properly. It doesn't have to be dedicated, but does have to be properly setup and easily convertible. 2. Control my "retard valve." When that valve opens up, SHUT IT DOWN before it reaches my mouth. This is a good one for professional life also. Without realizing, I've been working on the same thing at work. When I want to say something like "you're late" to a contract tech, I just need to shut it down. It doesn't help anything. They know they are late and bitching only drives a wedge between them and me. They are ultimately my teammate and teams don't need that stress. This is the same with screwing up at a match. Move on, (silently) and continue operations as programmed. The next major match I'll get to try this at is the Mile High Showdown in 2 weeks. I'm excited for another major, and well run match!
  8. This weekend had me at 2 matches. Aurora Gun Club on Sunday and Clear Creek County Sportsman's Club on Sunday. Both matches wound up with very nice weather and some decent blasting for me. On Friday night, I was cleaning my guns and found that the trigger return pressure on #1 was very light. I checked my trigger pull and it was sitting at 6 oz. This would explain some issues I've been having with rhythm when shooting very fast lately. I increased the pressure which also brought the pull weight up to about 1lb-2oz according to my scale. I figured I better give that a try and see what happens. #2 was not an option since it had it's old C-More on it, but not sighted in yet. Well, the new weight felt like I was pulling very hard during the match and evidence is shown in this video from Saturday. While the run was pretty decent, I just didn't seem to be able to pull a fast split due to a perceived delay in when I wanted to break the shot, and when it actually broke. Our squad finished super early. Since I'm on the board I took the extra time waiting for everyone else to finish and sighted in the #2 gun. It had not been sighted in since swapping back to the C-More on it. (they are both green now, so I can't call one the Hulk!) It only took like, 30 rounds to sight in the #2 (C-More's eh?), and I verified that the #1 gun had only drifted 1" low since last zeroed. So now I have 2 working guns again! Since I was all bent out of shape about the trigger situation I headed on down to Rick's so he could get the triggers setup the way I needed. A few minutes later I left with 2 triggers at 1lb 6oz (according to his scale) and a decent amount of return pressure. I went home and put them on my scale, only to find they measured 1lb 1oz. This confirms that my scale is way off... but now that I know that I can adjust accordingly. I'm not too worried about what the actual weight is... I just need to know if it's gone out of whack or not. I can't trust myself to just feel it and as this has happened before I find that when I lose fast shooting rhythm I want to blame myself, but often find it's a trigger issue. Now I'm a bit more educated about how to identify and confirm the issue. So the next day I had a chance to check things out at the Clear Creek match. I was relieved to find that all day, I didn't have a single rhythm issue. All my splits were nice and crisp and I shot a very solid match. I only had one fubar moment when I dropped my mag on the last target of the last stage. The match was way more rounds than usual and the only spare ammo I had was 9 rounds in one spare magazine on my belt. While I consciously knew that would finish things up, my unconscious mind read "NO MORE AMMO, YOU NEED THE ONE ON THE GROUND!" So I picked it up, very quickly determined it had not picked up enough dirt to cause a problem, loaded and completed the stage. However, my foot had not gotten the memo and had stepped out of the shooting area to retrieve the mag. So, no misses, but a considerable amount of time and penalty points were my final moments. Oh, and all the people on my squad laughing their asses off... there's always that! So, why I dropped the mag is something I'm going to write off. The last position was an awkward, upgrange run with a crazy spin into position. In all that twisting and changing grip I just didn't rebuild a solid grip on the gun. With extended releases like we run, we sometimes pay the price for poor grip. That was one of those moments. Anyways, I'm getting ready for the Rocky Mountain 300 this weekend and look forward to my first major match of the year. I really feel like I'm missing out this year with such a light schedule. But after the move, and some additional "time in grade" I think next year is really going to be a bang up year for me!
  9. Even at the metal recycler brass gets $1.20/lb here in Denver. That's just over $100.00 for a 5 gallon bucket.
  10. I love the 155mm mags. I use one 170mm and two 155mm's in my belt. (the 2nd 155 is the Oh shit mag) The best part is, for me anyways. I can't tell the difference between 155's and 170's when loading on a stage run.
  11. Well, with the Colorado winter we've been having this spring there was only one match this weekend. Weld County had a "shotgun leftovers" match and both the weather and the match turned out great. By shotgun leftovers, I mean that the stages were all setup for a shotgun match on Saturday and then just converted to USPSA the next day. This means lots of movement, and big props like vehicles, staircases and I think 3 plate racks, a star, and various other steel. This was my second match since ditching the DPP sights. Back on the old C-More feels better than ever. I tanked one stage because I didn't give enough credit to what it takes to hit mini-poppers on the move and ran dry by the end. I wound up with 2 mikes and an FTE, but this certainly was not the equipment's fault. I was happy with dot tracking and grip all day long. The rest of the stages went well for me and on a few steel targets (one particular plate rack and then again on a popper through a 12" sonotube) I was reminded just how well I can handle that C-More rig on occasion. Watching the dot glide into position from the previous recoil and breaking the shot just as it lands on target is a hell of a good feeling after weeks of frustration. I'm not saying I'm suddenly elevated in any way. This was evidenced by my extremely mediocre classifier run, that was both slow and contained 2 deltas. But hey, at least it didn't contain any mikes like everything I had shot while the DPP's were mounted. I've ordered a Cheely mount for the other gun from a buddy in Alaska and will soon be back to C-More's on both guns. Experiment over for mission critical gear. I have enough data and ideas for a new experimental gun down the road. Back to some goals: Work on aggressive transitions. (away from "just engaged" targets mostly) Keep the grip work up. Now that I'm aware of thumb pressure on the C-More mount learn how it works and work on consistency with it. (this explains a lot about how I would perform differently with the two guns.... they had different mounts) Practice! Summer is almost here, another couple of months and the snow in Colorado MIGHT stop. Get to the range when you can!
  12. The main thing with regard to speed is that you should not run it faster. What I mean by that is, I see a lot of people giving about 1 second's worth of time in a position for a 4 second array. Likely you will never get a full speed run due to people in your way, but at least try to do the shooting rehearsals as close to speed as possible. The next part that I try to do at speed is exits. This helps reinforce the "explode out" method in my head. The last thing that I do at speed is some entrances. Like Focker said. Sometimes you need to see the view unfold at speed for decision making. Sometimes you don't get low enough if you are not coming in at speed and can give yourself some false information. For the most part, getting the exact speed isn't as necessary as getting the motions, views, and stances right. And for sure avoid rehearsing faster than you are capable of shooting.
  13. I just shot my first match at Boulder Rifle Club with the C-More mounted back on the gun. I also put the extended mag release on so the unit is exactly back to before I started this grand experiment. The first two stages were the famous indoor stages. I guess it was quite a bit of a shock to be shooting the old C-More and I tanked the first stage with 2 deltas, 2 mikes and a noshoot. Oh well, onto the classifier. I performed the first string without issue, but upon picking my gun up for the 2nd time I hit it with my finger and it slid forward while rotating. I didn't want to just grab for it. I just kind of watched in horror as it slid to the far side of the table and stopped at about the 170 degree line. By the time I started shooting I really was only thinking about how lucky I was to still be in the game. I racked up another mike-noshoot combo for a spectacularly crappy start. With the attitude, of "hey, at least the dot is tracking well" I moved onto the remaining stages. I was able to shake off the crappiness and perform to my expectations the remainder of the match. I was very successful at keeping the dot working in a consistent pattern, and maintaining a firm grip on the gun. I could feel my thumb pretty firmly implanted on the C-More mount as I was crushing a couple of plate racks. It feels really good to be able to see the dot track in a predictable manner and keep the run running in full control during shooting. A couple more matches should really show me whether I fully understand my grip and the effect of the C-More as a part of the assembly. In case anyone cares, here's a link to the stages. (No, I didn't get the indoor on vid... luckily.)
  14. I put one of my guns back today. C-More with Cheely forward mount. I went to the range to sight it in and got it all zeroed. Once I started firing very quickly, with a firm grip I was easily able to keep the dot tracking in a consistent vertical path. The entire thing feels like a different gun and with a good strong grip I could transition aggressively and call shots while watching a predictable vertical path in the glass. Only a quick practice session, but it sure feels better to be back on to familiar ground. I also decided to test the Eggleston bullets with the new load so I ran some "through" the Chrony with mixed results. The good news is, I missed it enough times to verify a 170 PF. The bad news is two fold. 1. My trusty Chrony has gone to that big shooting range in the sky. 2. The Egg's are still super inaccurate, with no noticeable improvement from the first time shooting them. I'm actually going to pack them away and just concentrate on making it through the next few major matches and life changes for now. At some point in the future I'll get back to testing with HS-6 to see if there's any hope of shooting cool green bullets. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day with my old gun back.... and maybe I'll find a great deal on a brand new chronograph.
  15. My personal experience, especially recently is that my grip force has more impact on sight tracking than any thumb rests or grip technique. (assuming the base grip is already a good one.) When I first started concentrating on increasing my grip strength I was battling tennis elbow and on a good day could almost close a COC .5 (120lb) without pain. Now I can close the COC 1 (140lb) 4 times. (I mean the handles touch solidly) Since increasing grip strength I've seen a dramatic increase in recoil control. I have no doubt about the correlation between top shooters and top grip strength. It's easy enough. Buy a COC that can't close. Buy a set of the Expander bands also. Keep them where you'll use them... car, work, TV... For every two sets of expander bands, do a set of COC grip as hard as you can. When you can close the gripper solidly about 6 times, buy the next one up. Keep going until you are a GM or look like Popeye! or both. What can it hurt? p.s. The expander bands is to keep from increasing one side of the muscle too much and causing tennis elbow.