JeremiahD

Jeremiah's Ladder

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5/27 - Buckeye Blast, first level 2 match.

I'll update the range log with observations Monday but one of the most important things I wanted to get down at the moment was this:  

 

Last match I was lowest C.  After that I said: Goal for next match is not to be Tail End Charlie.

 

I finished my first L2 66/105 in C class.  Yes, its remarkably average, but its NOT last.

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Posted (edited)

5/27 - BB:

Ok, what a time.  Great squad, great weather, great staff from the score guys to the Match Director (Thank you SARGE).  My wife came out to watch and paste and had a good time. She was gracious to take video to critique so I have lots of great feedback. 

Goals for my first major match were: NO DQ, make major PF with my newbie handloads (*whew*), NO tail end charlie, apply lessons learned, use your head, keep upbeat and positive and have a good time.  Goals met.

 

Highlights:

  • I was sweating the chrono, upped the load I was using 0.1 grain.  Tested in at 187. Should get bonus points for shooting 20+ over major limit LOL...
  • Had the pleasure of shooting with some very talented shooters of different backgrounds, including an excellent  'A' SS shooter who was all class.  Took video of him to see what I'm doing right/wrong by comparison.
  • Had a very frustrating stage (V for victory) where I planned well, and other than having two makeup shots force slide lock reloads at suboptimal places it went fine... until I got to the last two easy targets because I went dry.  i walked back and found a full mag on the ground.  I thought I had dropped a full mag after reload as I did a few weeks back and cost myself 3 penalties and a procedural because of it. I was so pissed off I couldn't see straight.  After watching the video, I see now I stayed with the right plan, I just knocked the last mag out of the carrier on my second to last reload.  I had been putting off buying more carriers, so its still on me, but wasnt the mental screwup I thought it was. Learned to thank the RO's, walk away, take a breath, come back and paste.
  • Had the most trouble in memory stages, particularly where entire arrays would go hidden. Got flustered on one by not paying attention to shooting order (my fault) and had to wing it with a partial plan.  Missed a target/FTE
  • Had the most fun (and did surprisingly well) on athletic stages that required movement, odd starting positions, low ports, platforms, kneeling etc.  I'm still not fluid or as decisive with my movement as I'd like but I did well. Hit the Dirt and Charlie Dont Surf were a blast. 
  • Was dialing speed back some for fear of a DQ.  Let go more on the final stage (Charlie Dont Surf) and pushed the speed back up for fun. It paid off well and I think I'm sticking with that,  No need to fear the speed if you stay focused.
  • My gun is adequate for playing around at this, but I'm rapidly catching up to its limitations.  Pulled low C's and D's on long shots with the trigger, high misses on a couple others overcompensating for it.  On one stage with a headshot at range I found my wide front sight completely obliterated the target area. Had to eat two mikes rather than keep eating up time and hope I got a lucky shot on it.  New gun has moved up the priority list this year.
  • Overall the hits were good: 199 A, 6 B, 77 C, only 10 D (3.5% of my overall hits),  2 procedurals (both FTE, 1 turned off brain, 1 lost the mag).
  • 11 Mikes, which is unacceptable.  5 weren't engaged at all (!), 2 my front sight obliterated the target, 2 were low into no shoots (trigger), and 2 I lost on the move. Interesting, I can still remember every one of them..
  • Times need work. Its really holding me back.

Lessons Learned/reinforced:

  • I'm still "slow" but I know where to put some effort during PT. Match videos are helping.  I'm starting to regain some fast-twitch muscle fiber and my joints are improving.
  • On DF "stage" days, I need to work in complex stages that require memory.  I may ask my neighbor to occasionally set them up so I only have a few minutes to plan before practicing..
  • Staying positive is key.  Leave the bad stage in the bay and move on to shoot. Dont overthink, analyze at home. 
  • If someone in your squad is down/negative, bring them up.
  • Pasting is (still) good therapy
  • THERES ALWAYS A PLAN.  Yes, even for 8 round mags. Find it, rehearse it,and shoot it until its nonviable then adjust!

Mag carriers have been ordered, videos posted and analyzed, more targets, bases/stands, and a barrier made up on sunday for DF.  

 

 

Edited by JeremiahD

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week of 5/29- 6/3: DF- still following the stoeger plan, concentrated especially on practice stages since I was off and I had some time to set them up and reloads because my new carriers came in and I need to continue erasing the bad habit I drilled.  Practice stages are definitely helping me move better around a course. Reloads are about back to normal. Making sure I practice "around the belt" to work all the mags.  Speaking of, I reached a landmark this week and wore out two "new" mags.  Had to reset the feed lips in a vice, would no longer drop free.  Mags retired to range use.  Overall, NOT impressed with Wilson ETM mags between the follower issues and the feed lips. Yes I know its a consumable item..

PT- still frustratingly slow progress, and as a result of getting rid on distance running I've put on five pounds (and not in a good way). I will not change course for six months on the lifting etc, it takes time to see results but annoyed w/ weight gain.  will watch the snacking, improve the diet. May add a long, slow run/ride day

 

Friday 6/2, live fire. Worked target transitions and reloads in a modified bill drill for an hour. I'm pulling the first shots low and left on T1, both shots better but low on T2 and dead on on T3. Not sure whats up.

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Posted (edited)

6/4 Oxford match - Results in attachment. Went in with no goals or expectations, just packed my stuff and went to have fun. Ate well, hydrated (85F), caffeinated, and stayed motivated. Good squad, good match. Went surprisingly well. First stage (2) gun had multiple (like 5...) malfunctions. 1 was my failure to seat a mag (arg), the rest were FTF. Kept it together and got my hits. Second stage (3) I started crapping out on my follow up shot accuracy. 1 FTF. Disassembled gun and found it was pretty dry on the rails. Had switched lubes, this one didn't last.  I lubed it up nice and wet and it ran without an issue the rest of the day.  Will stick with wilson ultima lube in the future.

Did reasonably well on the classifier (el presidente) but had a brain malfunction and it took me a full second to pull the trigger on T1 after the turn.  no idea. I was on the sights, just froze.

Last stage was a blast. gave myself fits trying to split it into 8's during the walkthrough, said screw it and threw in 2 more mag changes.  practice is paying off, nailed them and got a respectable time and a 6.4399 HF

 

Need to work on follow up accuracy, getting right back on the sights and pressing the trigger.

Need to stay with a thick lube in the summer

(still) need to improve speed

 

keep on keepin' on

 

 

oxford.bmp

Edited by JeremiahD
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PT note- Core work last night showed how much I need to put back. Good form demands good core but does not build it.

Note for when I reevaluate.

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Am totally 'off the reservation' on PT, and only doing %50 DF days since last tues, and it shows. Worn out from home improvements, etc. pulled a muscle in my back and not sleeping well due to it. Will do mon, tues, wed this week stretching, alternate cycling, and some light (very) lifting, cutting DF back to just 15min/day to make sure I do it daily. will rehab back

 

Still evaluating gun options.  Leaning towards an off the rack gun with a trigger job until I make mid-B at which time I'll go full custom and keep it as a backup. 

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Back is improving.  Looking forward to getting back to actual exercise.  Have added a total of 6 pounds around the waistline.

 

I reestablished my DF constancy this week.  As a matter of fact, I'ce had to hit it pretty hard in the last 24 hours as I (finally) picked up a 5" 1911.  

  I'm sure I'll catch flack about it but my reasoning is this: I need to keep building basic skills.  A full custom gun may well be a better investment in the long run but I'd be out the cash now and have a 5 month wait, use the same gun I vave until then, and by then the season is over.  I could have gone with a standard STI or Wesson plus trigger job, but then its back to >2k for a gun that will eventually be relegated to backup status in the next 12 months.  Instead I picked up a Kimber eclipse target II for a song, added my Dan Brown backstrap and magwell for now.  Dawson front sight and ICE magwell being ordered this week, and a trigger job/pin safety is in the works.  This gets me a full size 1911 of decent quality (not concerned about the MIM parts, most being replaced anyway..), target rear sights/FO front/magwell/full-on trigger job by a reputable smith etc for well under 1500.  As it is now, I can now put a full mag on a head target at 75 feet no problem. That was an issue at Buckeye.  

As soon as I make mid-B, I'm dropping the $$ on a custom ground-up build.

 

The good:  decent sights (front could be thinner, replacement coming), 5" barrel, better sight radius

The bad: very mediocre trigger. (I'll live with it until the smith can get it in.)  Out of spec slide lock lever (filed for now, replacement on the way) some MIM parts (most will be lost during the trigger job, grip safety will get pinned.)

 

I've been beating the hell out of this thing since I picked it up tuesday.  Straight home for a detail strip, daily (sometimes twice..) range trips (going back again friday for final function check, then detail strip again.)  Nightly DF trying to acclimate myself to the weight, heavier front end, extended safety, sights etc etc etc.  To me Everything is Wrong about this gun... but I suspect its because I've shot nothing but my commander for ages.  The gun is too heavy, swings too wide on transitions, grips wrong, trigger sucks, etc I hate it lol

(not really:) The fact is, I'm just not used to it, from the way the frontstrap bites my fingers to being a slacker and rebuilding my grip on the way up (baaad habit I'm about to break..) to the weight and the momentum the longer front end gives to the sights, its all just change.  I am having to start over and work hard at the basics to get acclimated to this gun and return to a level of proficiency I'm comfortable with.  To that end, 2 weeks of DF Elements, minimum :30 daily to reboot.  Focus on grip in particular.

 

PT: slowly return to running.  Will be cycling on mondays and fridays to work as time permits. Otherwise, weight training returns fulltime next week.

 

Miamisburg match is Sunday.  Will shoot the new gun, will focus on basics and run the match at half-speed.

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Posted (edited)

another hour plus of DF, another 100r at the range for a total of 600. Getting more comfortable with the new gun, but it still feels completely alien to me. Replaced out of spec mag catch with a Colt part, otherwise gun is good functional. will see this weekend. Concerned about lack of practice with it, I wont be acceptably good with it for months

Back is good to go, some minor twinges. Going for an overdue run in the am. 

Killed the last of the Wilson ETM mags, by the way, into the parts bin. Kind of a cool landmark in my DF

Edited by JeremiahD

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Posted (edited)

6/18 - Miamisburg match.

 

Having a hard time finding anything positive to say about this, and wanting to blame the new gun, but fact is the new gun ran flawlessly, shot well, and had no issues.  Wish I could say the same for myself.

 

The Good: Gun ran great.  Got a chance to redeem my garbage performance on V for Victory at Buckeye and shot the same stage again today completely clean, smooth, and fluid for a HF 7.2323. Shot the indoor stage completely clean, timed mag changes perfectly, moved well and finished slightly faster than a local B shooter I'm watching and aiming to catch up with.

The Bad; everything else. Am very disappointed in my performance today, but I'll own it.  Penalties, procedurals, misses abounded. I actually zeroed a stage. several misses or m/ns from transitioning poorly or taking eyes off sights to transition.Fumbled reloads at the belt.  Memory stages are an issue. Two Interesting problems I think I've developed issues in DF: 1- I reload while moving, always,Once I drop a mag, I want to move now. 2-  I shoot Left to Right or vice versa all the time. I dont ever practice engaging targets over 120-130 degree spreads (corner shots), then reengaging targets dead ahead. on one stage, I FTSA one target, on another stage I missed FOUR WIDE OPEN TARGETS DEAD AHEAD. Had a great plan, once I transitioned to the right target array and went to reload, to rushed to the next position rather than doing the standing reload and engaging center array, THEN proceeding.  It did not help the array fell outside the peripheral vision range of my glasses and was then not visible.My handling with this gun needs serious improvement (expected that). My distance shots need improvement. My mental game needs serious improvement.  Forgot to eat.

 

Side note,  I need to start looking for a mentor/coach or at least take classes.  Shooting & DF alone with no feedback other than match results only points out my bad habits after I've drilled them in

 

Things I learned (and should have known.....):  1- Focus, focus, focus. 2-  Look at the sights, stay on the target, and call your shots. 3- I desperately need to focus on the fundamentals with the new gun until its at Least as familiar as the commander, then return to the stoeger plan I was following, and ONLY then.  4- I need a mentor, group, or coach to help me identify where I need to apply myself.  5- I need to return to focusing %100 until I've shot. No chit chat, no screwing around with gear or taking a leak or whatever. 

 

DF and PT return full time this week, no residual issue with back pain today.

 

DF Goals for this week:

  •  I WILL Draw from the holster to point of aim at 21 feet focusing on establishing a shooting grip AT the holster 100x (or until my form begins to deteriorate) 4 DAYS (M-Tr)
  • I WILL Slow fire trigger control 100x 4 DAYS (M-Tr)
  • I WILL Transition random target arrays focusing on managing the extra 1/2 pound of gun, extra barrel/slide length, and momentum 100  at least 200 targets (or until form deteriorates) MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY 
  • I WILL Reload 100 magazines working completely around the belt TUESDAY AND THURSDAY
  • I WILL live fire a modified el prez 20x focusing on draw, trigger control, transition, and reload to build on this weeks DF on FRIDAY
  • i WILL Reassess Friday evening, and plan the following 7 days.  Next week will look very similar

 

PT Goals: 

Return to original schedule, drop weight to %80 last week lifted.

Edited by JeremiahD
increase Transition goals

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DF observations:

100 target transitions is not many, particularly when dealing with an array of 9-10. Its only 10 reps from draw. Can be doubled at little cost in time. Given how much I need practice, I will do just that.

Focusing on grip at the holster has shown me why initial point of aim with the new gun tends left: Beavertail  makes less contact with left side of hand/thumb. commander grip safety is practically buried in my hand, no movement lots of support.  Have established a much better, much higher grip on the new gun that does the same.

Found a great 'line' to draw and present. Just drill it in.

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DF observation: I'm dipping low land left, indicating a bad trigger pull or reflexive grip when pulling (?). I know its not the trigger pull. Will try the trigger pull while holding a tennis ball drill a bit this week and see if I can isolate the grip more.  Cant figure what's different about my grip on this gun, its identical (other than the aforementioned beavertail issue).

 

DF this week (forgot to update this weekend) stays the same as last week. Am adding in 50-150 rounds of live fire every other day this week to build on DF and to check progress.  Have returned to slow-fire bullseye type shooting for half of that to maintain good trigger discipline and sight alignment basics.

 

PT- going badly.  No progress, muscle loss, weight gain.  Not sure whats going on, will take a hard look at what I'm doing and what results I should expect.

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