Nimitz

Nimitz's Journey To GM

796 posts in this topic

Hmmm ... Guess I forget to mention I plan to make GM in SC PCCO this year as well ...  I'll probably shoot the odd USPSA match as well ....

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Good luck. Are you planning to shoot Nationals in March?

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Good question ... not really sure what my Majors schedule for 2017 will be yet ...

Edited by Nimitz

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With the end of my winter break it is time to return to my normal training routine this week .... unfortunately it was 51 degs when I woke up on Mon so tomorrow will be my first live fire session ...  with my first level 1 match of the year this Sat I'm going to just do some stage shooting for the rest of the week.  i need to tweak my new training plan anyway so I'll wait until Sun to start that ... GO PATRIOTS .... :)

 

As you can see from the pic I changed barrels on my Buckmark.  Over the last year I've become aware that the gun feels nose heavy.  While the gun has always been that way it's only since my skills have developed that I've noticed it's affect on my shooting.  I've only done a little bit of dry fire but the new feel of the gun is profound.  I no longer feel like I'm holding something in my hands when I shoot ... the gun & hands feel as just one object which allows me to float the gun as I shoot in a manner I couldn't do before.   A lot more training is needed in this configuration but I think ultimately its going to be a significant change.

 

I also completed my PCC build and now the long wait for my tax stamp .... the gun is a Sig MPX, Hiperfire 24c trigger, 12 MOA C-more, lancer carbon fiber hand guard & a spiral lightening cuts barrel extension.  Once my tax stamp arrives I'll add the Magpul UBR 2.0 stock & be done ...  at the moment I'm just doing load development since the gun is a legal pistol without a stock.  I'm hoping I can find a single load that I can use in both my STI & MPX.  Since the MPX is a gas operated PCC, using a slow power like you would for an open gun with a comp appears to be the way to go.  Once I get a load fine tuned for it I'll run it in my STI & compare it to my current load.

 

My 5th and final article in my 5-part series on becoming a better SC shooter appears in the latest issue (Jan/Feb) of Front Sight.   The magazine has also agreed to have me continue to write a short Steel Challenge piece for every issue.  It will still be called "The Steel Challenge Shooting Corner" and my plan is to alternate between discussing skills & strategy each issue.  First up for the Mar/Apr I decided to talk about the hallmark skill of Steel Challenge: the draw or 1st shot.  If anyone has something they'll like me to talk about shoot me a PM and I'll see if I can incorporate it into what I have planned for the year.

 

Lastly, work on my training book is still on schedule with palns to release by late spring/early summer ...buckmark1.jpg

 

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This morning I ended up shooting both 5 To Go & Speed Option.  Cold stage run for 5TG was 10.16 secs & 11.74 for SPO.  For most runs I was averaging in the 2.6-2.7 sec range with some coming in a sub 2.5 secs. first shots were all .7-.75 with the occasional at sub .7 sec.  As to be expected, it's still very noticeably that the gun feels very different in my hands without the  slightly nose heavy barrel.  Focusing on my grip and ensuring max pressure with my weak hand and minimal pressure with my strong hand is helping, as is ensuring my trigger finger is all the way in up to the first joint.  My training program beginning next week will be more focused on transitions and less on stage shooting while i continue to get comfortable with the new balance of the gun.  I'm also going to keep a better eye on the lead buildup in my comp so I don't have the same situation develop as I just went through.  I spent a lot of time chasing an accuracy issue which I thought was a result of  a skill issue when it turned out that my comp was just badly fouled ... lesson learned there. The other major focus will be in learning to execute the Mental Management Program Lanny Basham developed for me at 100% during a match.  I expect this to be a significant effort, similar in scope to making GM .... he told me that for his students who successfully learned to do this it took upwards of 2 years to master.  While certainly a sobering number it was good to learn that I should not expect to quickly master this and see dramatic results.  It will help keep things in perspective on the journey ahead.

Keep Calm & Carry On ......

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Is your new barrel configuration utilizing a Browning barrel cut 3 1/2 inches, or is that a Tac-Sol?  what kind of barrel were you using before?  I really enjoy you Front Sight articles.  They have provided me a great deal of help on improving my game.  Doug

 

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Glad they are helping!   My original barrel was a TacSol 5.5" fluted barrel.  I got it for 2 reasons:  it significantly reduced overall weight and it looked cool.  The 4" barrels don't come fluted and I wanted a fluted barrel ... I didn't know enough or was a good enough shooter to recognize any potential problem.   Over the last year where I developed to the point that I'm now very sensitive to small changes I finally figured out that the gun felt nose heavy and that's when it dawned on me I should just switch to the factory 4" TacSol barrel.  I briefly toyed with the idea of cutting my 5.5" barrel to 4" but because these barrels are steel sleeve aluminum I discarded that idea after talking with a gunsmith.  Below is a pic of my original configuration

Open rimfire Buckmark.jpg

Edited by Nimitz

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This morning was my first live fire training session with my new focus on less stage shooting.  I shoot 3 drills; 1-2-3-4-5 drill, random transition drill & Pendulum 1st shot +1 drill.  1-2-3-4-5 drill was 10" plates at 15 yds.  Going L-R my ave time was 6.08 secs & going from R-L it was 6.17 secs. Each rep of this drill is 9 shots and I did 8 reps total.  Next up was the random transition drill which doesn't have any time goals, just vision goals of ensuring my eyes move to teh next target each & every time before the gun starts to move.  This is a pass/fail drill on each rep.  You must move you eyes first on each transition to pass.  Each rep of this drill is 5 shots with 5 targets setup at random distances & for each rep I call out a random order to shoot the plates & then shoot the rep in the order. I finished up the session with 35 reps of the 1st shot + 1 drill for Pendulum. Ave time for the 2 shots across all reps was 1.07 secs with a couple of sub 1 sec reps.  Fastest first shot was .55 secs.

 

Overall good training session with the gun beginning to feel more nature in my hands as I get more used to the new balance.  Since I'm going out of town starting on Wed I'm going to shoot again tomorrow so I get at least 2 sessions in this week.  Also taking out my Benelli M2 shotgun to put a few rds through it as well since a couple of friends and I are going to shoot a round of Sporting Clays on Sunday ... should be epic as I've never done that so I'll definitely be bringing my visor mounted POV camera ... :)

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Completed my first full week of live training focusing on individual skills rather than shooting stages.  I plan to make a slight adjustment in how I approach this by only including complete stage shooting on Wednesdays & shooting just individual drills on Mon & Fri.  My non stage training sessions consist of shooting the 1-2-3-4-5 drill, the random transition drill & than the 1st+1 drill for one of the stages.  My times for the 1-2-3-4-5 drill were 5.25 secs & 5.9 secs going L-R & 5.29 secs & 5.89 secs going from R-L.  What's important to note here is the difference between L-R & R-L shooting order on a particular day vice comparing the times between different days.  When you do that you see that there is only a .04 sec difference between the directions on the first day & .01 secs difference on the 2nd day.  This of course is really good news as it shows that I can shoot consistently in either direction on any given day which in turn allows me to exploit any strategic advantages by going one way vs another depending on the stage in question.

For the 1st shot +1 drill I did pendulum  & speed option.  For Pendulum my ave time across 24 reps was .99 secs.  For Speed Option my ave time across 33 reps was 1.00 secs.  With the exception of Smoke & Hope, Roundabout & Showdown if I can keep my 1st shot +1 times to 1 sec or less I'm in good shape.  Getting a solid aggressive start on any stage is critical to putting down fast times.

  I'm looking at whether to do one more week where my transition drills are set at 15 yds with 10" plates before moving to 18 yds with the 10" plates for all drills.  I'm leaning to leave it the way it is for one more week.  Also, I'm toying with the idea of getting only using 8" plates as well.  I remember something I read about Max Michel's training routine a couple of years ago where it was reported that he usually never did drills with targets inside of 15 yds & usually out to 20+ yds.  There are obvious different between USPSA & SC needs but I'm starting to believe that I need to make my individual drill training a lot harder than what I see in a match to help combat a couple of concerns I have ... we'll see where I go with this ....

 

Now if only my SBR tax stamp would arrive in the mail ..... :)

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finished up my 2nd week of focusing primary on individual skills (transitions & 1st shots) vice shooting stages and I'm starting to see payoffs.  I'll be continuing with this focus as i gradually move the targets farther back & make them smaller.  Starting with this coming week I'll be moving the targets from 15 yds to 18 yds (10" plates).  I thought about changing to 12" plates but decided against it as that size target doesn't enable me to push as hard as I need to.  I also plan to pick up some 8" plates from GT Targets and will be moving to those probably in a few weeks.  for actual stage training I believe its important to shoot the stages exactly as they are but for individual skills training its important to make it hard and push yourself.  I remember something I read about Max's training a few years ago where he said he does most of his training at fairly long distance.  i think there is merit to this approach as long as it is balanced and you have very specific purposes in mind.

  My new weekly training schedule will have me doing stage shooting on Weds & individual skills training on Mon/Fri.  For dry fire I still shoot complete stages but don't set any par times as i trying to focus on my vision (always move the eyes 1st to the next target) as well as focusing on the gun not moving when the shot breaks.  Not setting a par time allows me to do that.  I'm looking to build consistently more than more speed at this point.  I also spend a lot of my training time working on my MM program.  That requires at least as much, if not more work, at the moment to perfect it.

 

On the PCC side I'm continuing to work on load development while I wait out the long unending months for my tax stamp .... my first few attempts were failures but at the moment I'm not sure if I need to change the load.  The gas port on the Gen 2 MPX was closed down from the Gen 1 & lots of people have reported difficulties shooting low PF (under 130 ) loads.  My MPX is still brand new with under 100 rds through it and folks have said to run 300-500 rds of factory (high PF) through to help break it in which I need to do.  however, since I have the time I've decided to send the gas port off to have it opened up to gen 1 specs.  hopefully, that plus getting through the break in period will work.  The few rds I've shot at below 130 PF were amazingly soft as compared to the blow-back PCCs I've shot but they all had FTEs.  the gun cycled reliably at above 140 but that's not what I am looking for.  I'm sure I'll get it worked out long before I can shoot the gun so I'm not  too worried about it at the moment.

Edited by Nimitz

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this morning was my first session doing generic transitions at 18 yds with 10" plates and I was quite pleased with the results.  For my 1-2-3-4-5 drill L-R & R-L times were within .07 secs of each other and times were only less than .2 secs slower than when the targets were 10" plates at 15 yds, confirming that even as the distances increase I can shoot in either direction at basically the same speed/accuracy.  I continue a steady improvement in having my eyes always lead to the next target after calling a good shot on the current plate & that is helping sped up my transitions as it should since the 'eyes first' technique for transitions is a speed enabler.  I also shot the '1st shot +1" drill for Accelerator; ave time for 32 reps was .93 secs with 7/32 runs being sub .9.  slowest run was 1.01 secs.  Ran a few '1st shot +2" reps with an ave time of 1.45 secs for the 3 shots.

Next range session will be Wed where I'll be stage shooting for the session.  Not sure yet which stage it will be although since we'll be shooting Outer Limits for this month's match on Saturday that is probably what I'll shoot ...

I'll be staying with 10" plates @ 18 yds for the next couple of weeks before switching to 8" plates.  I'll probably put down my RFPO gun some time in April to do some USPSA training with my open gun in prep for 4 days of training with Ben since I don't want to look too silly when he shows up .... :)

Edited by Nimitz

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finished off this week with my monthly SC level 1 match.   Shot a 74.71 sec time for the 7-stage match which included Outer Limits.  Overall I was quite happy with my performance, shooting very consistently across the stages.  Work continues to go well on perfecting executing my match mental management program and I estimated that for this match I executed it at approximately 80% across the day.  Even though I'm only shooting stages 1 day/week now as part of my live training I saw no degradation in my ability to shoot the stages well and plan to continue this process.

 

This week I'll be continuing with transition training at 18 yds with 10" plates and I'll most likely be shooting Roundabout for my stage training day as that was the stage over the weekend I was the least happy with.  I've also got a couple of boxes of relatively high PF factory 9mm to run through my Sig MPX which most suggest be done as a break-in period and will shoot those this week as well.  I'm also going to try and get up to the Volusia County SC match this Saturday which I haven't been to in a while since it's an 8-stage match where I don't have to worry about any MD duties and can just focus on shooting

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Posted (edited)

Just returned from the 2nd of my 2 regular monthly level 1 matches today and the match was the culmination of a very good week of shooting.  Shot the 8-stage match in 80.49 which represents my 2nd best match time ever.  I had a new personal best on Showdown at 7.48 along with sub 8 sec times on Roundabout & Smoke & Hope.  I also shot 3 other stages within .25 secs of my personal best for each of them.  The most important thing out of the match was that I estimate that I ran my mental program at about 90% which was definitely a factor in shooting as consistently as I did throughout the day.

On the training side this week I had what I can only describe as not 1 but 2 epiphanies in dry fire  with respect to how I shoot 2 of the stages.  I was looking forward to seeing if they up held themselves in live fire and so far both of them have worked out the same way.  I suspect that most of the elite shooters in the world already know what I discovered as well as many others but I'm just glad I finally figured them out.  They will both be included in the strategy chapters of my book however.

 

During training this past week I shot Roundabout for my stage training day with an 8.01 cold stage run & an ave stage time across 29 strings of 1.78 secs.  For the other days I shot Pendulum, 5 To Go & Roundabout for 1st shot +1 drills with ave times of 1.15 secs for Pendulum & .89 for Roundabout & .99 for 5 To Go.  Accuracy was 88%, 96% & 100% respectively.

 

next week I'll be continuing with my current training regiment, working 2 days of transition & 1st shot work & i day of stage shooting.  My main focus in training continues to be 100% on developing consistency in my shooting under pressure.  I'm really not concerned at this point with pushing speed as I've shown many times I can lay down significantly fast stage times but I need to work on being able to do it consistently on command with today's match certainly a step in the right direction.  I'll probably take a break from training tomorrow and then pick up my normal routine again on Monday ...

Edited by Nimitz

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Unfortunately this week turned into abbreviated live fire training as the AA at my range was closed for part of the week for berm deleading and with this morning's arctic-like conditions  I didn't get out to shoot.  My monthly SC organized practice is tomorrow so I'll get some shooting in but I typically don't factor in that session into my normal training plan as I'm not free to do whatever I want.  I'll probably spend most of the time reinstalling all the in-ground target stands I had in the bays which had to be removed as they worked on the berms. There may have been as many as 20 that I'm going to have to reinstall before my next match on 1 April .... ya .. hoo ....

For the one session I was able to do, my ave time on the 1-2-3-4-5 drill dropped by another .1 secs on both L-R & R-L runs with a 94% accuracy rate.  I'm probably still going to do a couple more weeks of 10" plate at 18 yds before switching to 8" plates for generic training.  I shot Showdown for my '1st shot+1' training with an ave time of .81 secs from both the left & right boxes.  Accuracy across the 31 reps was 94%.

Next week everything should be back to normal, including the weather so I expect to be back to a normal schedule with Speed Option for my stage shooting day.

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Recap for the last 2 training weeks ...

last week in addition to my normal generic transition training drills I shot Speed Option for my stage shooting day; cold stage run was a 10.79 with an average string time of 2.59 secs.  I also shot Accelerator & Pendulum for my 1st shot +1 drills.  Accelerator came out to a time of .85 secs with 91% accuracy & Pendulum was 1.11 at 89% accuracy.  For the 1-2-3-4-5 drills my times have dropped from 5.35 secs to 5.15 secs.  On a relative basis, Pendulum is still my weakest 1st + 1 times so I plan to spend some extra time working on this as there is no reason it shouldn't be approaching 1 sec.

This week my stage for 1st shot +1 training was 5 To Go with an average time of 1.04 secs at 85%.  for stage shooting I did Accelerator with a cold stage run of 10.71 secs and an average run time of 2.35 secs.  I also shot the individual strings in groups of 5 to simulate match runs and my stage times were: 9.15, 9.02, 11.91 & 8.75 secs.  Slowest individual run was 2.48 secs & the fastest was 2.18 secs.  this morning, since I needed to finish resurveying Smoke & Hope for tomorrow's match, I just decided to leave it up and do a stage training session on it.  This gave me a great opportunity to test out the new things I discovered about shooting this stage in dry fire.    Cold stage run was 7.36 secs followed by stage runs of 7.18 & 7.49 secs.  slowest run was the very first of the morning at 2.17 secs & the fastest was 1.81 secs.  That first run was the only non sub 2 sec run of the session.  It would appear that what I discovered does indeed work ...

Tomorrow is the monthly match I run and it looks like we just picked up an additional bay in our AA which will allow me to permanently add Outer Limits back in so we can run monthly 8-stage matches.  I'm looking forward to be able to shoot OL twice a month in matches ...

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Just returned from one of my 2 monthly level one matches that I shoot and the match capped off a great shooting week ...

 

I shot a new 7-stage personal best time of 66.90 secs and a new personal best time for 5 To Go (I'm slowly creeping my way to the 100% classification mark ... :))

 

I had 2 stages where I shot 5 perfect strings and 3 stages where I shot 4 perfect strings as well.  I'm very happy with the way my mental management program is progressing during a match.  All the work I'm spending on the mental side of the sport in training is starting to pay off.  I am shooting much more consistently now from day to day & match to match where the difference between my best and worst times is shrinking, the goal being to get to where my best and worst times equal each other.

 

I need to think about pulling out my STI shortly in training as Ben will be here in less than a month and it would be nice to not embarrass myself too much during the 4 days ...  I have another SC match this Saturday so I'll probably stick with the Buckmark for Mon &  Wed & then maybe bring it out starting on Friday ...

 

Our club is also having their first Action Steel match this Sunday which I've signed up for which would be useful to attend as well ...

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today was my other monthly level 1 match that i shoot at the Volusia County Gun & Hunt Club ... shot an 82.92 sec 8-satge match despite getting off to a slow start on the first stage.  My continued emphasis on my mental program helped me get back on track quickly.  By time teh match was over I had shot 3 stages perfectly with 5/5 strings at my current ability and also a new personal best on Outer Limits.

 

In order to help with my focus on shooting consistently I've started tracking what I call 'consistency metrics'.  I addition to tracking stage times to be able to compare them month to month I'm also keeping track of my high, low & running ave for each stage.  What I'm looking for is for my average score to be as near to my lowest score as possible since this will be both the most consistent as well as the fastest times.  I've only got 4 matches of data at teh moment but it already shows some interesting trends:  for example, Showdown is: 9.21/7.48/7.98 which means the difference between my ave & best time is only . 5 secs.  For Speed Option () the difference between my ave & best times is only .06 secs.  clearly I don't need to be working on these stages as hard as some others like 5 To Go where the difference is 1.51 secs which represents much more inconistency on this stage.  It should definitely be a useful tool for focusing my training in the coming months.

 

This week I'm giving a private lesson on Tues down near Okeechobee and I need to start thinking about getting ready for 4 days of shooting with Ben.  I know my STI is lying around somewhere ... :)

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Looking at consistency is a Great Idea - wish I had thought of it ...

 

Thanks for the tip   :) 

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yep, I don't need to get faster,  I need to shoot my fast times on-command ..... very different

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On 4/9/2017 at 8:42 AM, Nimitz said:

yep, I don't need to get faster,  I need to shoot my fast times on-command ..... very different

I feel like I'm having a similar experience.  In practice I've surprised myself from time to time by exceeding my par times by a good bit, though I'd rather be more consistent with my first shots of the day than put up better "warm" times/scores.  

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The only stage times that matter in training are cold stage runs.  Tracking any other times gets you believing you are faster than you really are.  When shooting complete stages I also only record strings in groups of 5.  Having 3 world record time strings in a row means nothing if you have a miss on each of the next 2 stings ...

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