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Glock26Toter

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Everything posted by Glock26Toter

  1. I did a lot of shooting this past week. 5 Days in a row and I think I paid the price by day 5. I shot Wednesday night steel, Thursday night USPSA, practiced Friday morning. Then shot a full steel match on Saturday and USPSA on Saturday. I was going strong and shooing pretty good by Saturday. Had an improvement in steel scoring a 114 overall. That's a couple of seconds faster than last time as I recall. But the Steel Challenge results page really sucks and I can't find my last scores. I'll just have to see how my classification changes, if at all. I'm fully aware it's only a marginal improvement and I won't be getting out of A class, but for the first time a while I scored some stages in A class. But then came Sunday. I really fell apart. Like worse than I think I ever have. I was simply going through the motions. I remember the gun just not tracking well, and I was just like. Pulling trigger knowing damn well I hadn't properly lined things up. Moving out of positions well before the shooting was done... it was a mess. By stage 4 I had racked up 5 mikes, and 2 noshoots and some pretty slow times to boot. I almost went home, but decided to just go into practice mode and try to shoot all alphas on the next stage. Get my gun handling under control, and just shoot. It went well, and even on a 20 yard head shot I was able to reign in the gun and score 2 charlies. Not too shabby for a bad shooting day. The net was 25 alphas 7 charlies. An above average points stage for me. It was at the cost of speed and the stage had a lot of movement so that was not the time for full on accuracy mode. So I still only got 3rd place on it. But it was still a victory for me to have brought gun under control and stayed in the game when I was so close to throwing in the towel. It was a humbling match. A reminder that at none of our skills can be taken for granted and if you aren't paying attention and thinking about all the s#!t you have to think about it can go badly in a hurry. It was practice for mental toughness. We can't let these things get to us or it will taint our enjoyment. It's just a game, and it's a fun one. I'll do it all over again after a few days off and this match will be nothing but a lesson.
  2. Heck yeah. Can you send me the JPGs? You know my email yes? Thanks!
  3. Since my last entry I've been able to execute and refine all 4 of the drills. I had to skip a week for work due to travel, but have got baseline performance recorded for all 4 drills. I've got them setup to where I shoot one drill, then move the targets or rearrange them a bit for a different drill. This makes for some efficient use of time and targets. When I'm done with the shooting only drills I use the same targets and do some random movement drills with the remaining time/ammo. Another thing I've noticed recently is my level of physical fitness is really getting good. I'm down to 181 lbs consistently and often, I'm hitting 180. That's from 204 about 5 months ago. I've noticed that tracking my weight almost daily there's a fluctuation of about 3 lbs. Probably hydration, also, but surely seems like the gluten, or dairy always add instant weight. At any rate, I'm running at a decent pace now and feel invigorated by running and not tired. My knees don't ever hurt anymore and neither do my elbows. I think this is helping a LOT with my ability to move through stages and maintain accuracy. I also, just plain feel good. The diet program we have adapted to is simple. NONE of: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy, gluten. Less of: meat, processed foods. A LOT more of: Vegetables, natural foods. Alcohol was easy, I pretty much didn't drink anymore anyways. We are practical about the "None" group. We just don't make it daily. If we decide we want a hamburger (with bun) one day, we get it. We just don't do that again for several days. If we want a hamburger in the next day or two we do it with lettuce instead of a bun. Alright, enough about food. I just wanted to lay it out there and re-affirm that although we've changed our daily diet we aren't on some extreme diet that makes people cringe every time they want to go to dinner. We are just a lot more conscious about making healthy choices and I'm find it easy and don't miss any of the food from convenience stores. We've coupled that with a decent routine at the gym and have been challenging each other to up the weight and running routines. It's been good, and it's all been motivated (at least for me) by shooting.
  4. It's been a while since my last entry. I've been slacking on my journal, but not on training and shooting. I also shot the Area 6 match this past weekend. It was a heck of a fun and challenging match. Just like the last Manny Bragg involved match it has humbled me, and motivated me to update my training plan. In recent practice sessions and local matches I've become aware of something. Through keeping track of some of my bad shots I've found that I have a tendency to throw more detltas and mikes when transitioning right to left. I setup some drills recently where I shot an attack - control - attack scenario. This is in 2 open papers at about 10', a steel plate at about 20' and another paper at about 10' I also did another similar drill with different distance and found the same thing. I've done it enough now, that I'm pretty sure I have a weakness in my right to left shooting. I also have seen this in my Steel Challenge performance. So the evidence is mounting that I'm better in one direction. Today, in dry fire I did some work and found that it may be because my weak hand grip seems to lighten up and not be nearly as aggressive when moving that direction. Makes sense. Moving into the hand that is gripping harder would be easier than moving against it. In dry fire, if I concentrate on maintaining the same grip structure in both directions it's much easier to equal the transitions going both ways. To digress a bit, I've also become aware that my weak hand grip has been historically flawed. I've previously thought that a strong but equal grip was important. I spent a lot of training hours trying to reach a point where both hands are equal in strength. I'm very close to that goal, but it was not getting me the results I thought. In recent months, it seems the harder I grip with my weak hand, the better my control is, and especially the better my trigger control is. When I get done with a very aggressive and accurate array I almost always look down at my hands and can read every line of the texture in my left palm and right 3 fingers. Not so much in the right palm. Also, when shooting I notice that I'm crushing my right fingers. I know many people have expressed this same thing and it's nothing new. For me though, it's a discovery of what works for ME. Most importantly I now know exactly what it feels like to get a grip that will result in accurate and aggressive shooting. I'm still convinced that training for grip strength as equal as possible is a good idea. This way, feeling and obtaining the proper ratio of left - right grip force is much easier. So, did that help me this weekend at Area 6? Looking at the Area 6 video I like what I see (mostly) from a movement perspective. I'm smoother than I've been before, and I see a decent amount of acceleration control when it comes to switching between attack and control targets. As recently as 6 months ago, looking at my video you would not be able to really tell whether I was shooting a 35 yard partial, or a 20 yard open target. I've gained a lot more control recently. On one particular stage that did, in fact have 35 yard partial targets, some 20 yard zebra targets and involved a ton of in-and-out foot work I was very happy with most of the shooting. It's not in the vid, but I made sure to squeeze very hard with my left hand. On 2 of the targets I shot 4 alphas. On the third one... not so much. A delta/mike-noshoot was the result. The bad news is, I was unable to successfully call those hits. The good news is, out of 7 partial targets that were well over 20 yards out, I shot all alphas. The other stage with that type of challenge yielded the same results. An uncalled mike-noshoot, but a bunch of good shooting on all the other targets. I was pretty bummed at that when it first happened, but later when reviewing the entire match I focused on the fact that I only lost my s#!t on those two targets on the hardest stages of the match. Now, the rest of the match went the same way. Mostly successes, but did manage to blast 2 more close noshoots and hang up on a steel array for like 5 extra shots. All in all, it was not a good showing, but a match full of lessons and motivation to train more. So now, I'm going to create a new training plan with some measurable drills that I'll hit 10 times before moving on. I usually do a drill once, maybe twice before moving onto something else. (speaking of times repeating the same drill in different training sessions, not of repetitions of the drill.) So really, until now I have had a training "direction" but not a documented plan. The plan: I've got a list of 4 drills and will work to repeat them each 10 times over the next 20 training sessions. 2 drills per session. They will be repeated 6 times. 3 Left to right and 3 right to left. This will be to test if I'm correct about my weakness, and maybe correct my weakness also. It will require some serious patience, but I really want to measure my performance and progress. Not just guess at it. We shall see.
  5. I've had some time off with a mini vacation to Texas so no matches this past weekend. However, I did make it out to a practice session last Wed morning and shot a steel match last night. My primary focus for the practice session was to feel the prep and break the shot with accuracy. After a couple of fairly poor runs on a 25 yard plate rack, I sighted in. I found that the gun was about 4" low at 25 yards. This is definitely a tad concerning since I thought I had it all sighted in only a couple weeks ago. I did mess with it far beyond my normal conservative routine of only adjusting the sight 3 times before moving on. This time, in 2 adjustments I had a 3" group that was only about 1" high at 25 yards and all within a paster at 15 yards. After that, I hit the plate rack again at 25 yards. While 4" low should not cause a super poor performance I did find that I was trigger mashing so anything that should have made a below center hit was a miss. Even when consciously feeling the prep I had a tendency to break the shot with too much force on the trigger. After making sure I was careful to "just" break the shot my accuracy was pretty darn sweet and I was easily able to clear the 25 yard rack in the 5 second neighborhood. Not blistering fast, but I reinforced the conscious pause at that prep, the instant the previous shot broke. Each run that I was able to get back to prep BEFORE getting to the next plate was a success. This was reinforced when moving on to some partial, and head shots at the same distance with the same success. It felt good to show myself I can be an accurate shooter as long as I enter "trigger mode." I had a break of several days transporting artwork from Heather's Santa Fe gallery to her Fredricksburg gallery and a weekend with friends in San Antonio. Last night was a mini steel match (4 stages) and I reminded myself that it was just an organized practice session. No concern for time, and no concern for steel strategy. Prep and transition were top priority. It was a pretty successful run and although I did have some rough plates, overall it was one of my best times. On one stage in particular I had 3 runs that were the best I've shot since starting steel. As expected, no concern for score resulted in my best score to date of 51.6. Had I kept that pace up for another 4 stages it could have put me in the low 100's. Maybe I'm learning something. Tonight is the Thursday night, hoser match so I'll be able to REALLY put my trigger work to the test and see if I can maintain a heightened level of accuracy with wide open, drive-by targets tempting my double-tap habit. Goals: Call EVERY shot. Conscious trigger prep. Transition the instant the final shot breaks. Take notes on any bad/missed shots.
  6. I would not say it was consistently the second shot, but I've been working on decreasing my double tapping habit and my transition speed. You aren't the first one to point this out. While there are plenty of deltas and mikes from various scenarios the majority must be from not calling the second hit. This is for sure a major issue I've been working on. So to take this a bit further, my shooting goal list should look something like this. 1. Call EACH shot. #1 will work better having fully called all the shots on the target. 2. Work on transitioning off of the target by seeing the "transitional dot track" after the second shot. 3. On long, accurate shots allow time to feel the prep of the trigger before breaking the shot. (i.e., do all the work needed to call that shot.) You are correct though. In order to attain these three goals I need to take some notes during the match to ensure I capture EACH poor shot and the circumstances around it. 4. Take notes on EACH bad shot. Thanks Cha-Lee!
  7. I've been keeping up my dry fire and shooting routine pretty nicely with a steel match, Thursday night match, and USPSA match on Sunday. The new tweaks to the gun are spot on. The trigger feels awesome and the shock buffs are a keeper. I wasn't shooting particularly well on Sunday, but that sure wasn't the gun's fault. I wound up with about 3 mikes, and probably 10 deltas. The shooting required some decent accuracy and I'm still just not dialed in enough to really get a 25 yard plate rack with authority in a match. On the stage that had said plate rack, I got a crappy grip and didn't really realize it until the end. I had plenty of opportunity to fix it and just let it go throughout the entire stage. Need to work on my ability to adjust things as needed. I may have been more successful had I concentrated on that instead of all the other elements of the shooting. From a movement perspective I feel like I'm smoothing out quite a bit. In situations where I want to make aggressive, harsh movements I'm keeping the gun up, and making smooth movements. The latter causing the the gun to get running much sooner than the former. This was proven to everyone on my squad when one match had a 3 box stage where you engaged 3 targets from each box. Pretty much an extended, paper version of Outer Limits. Everyone broke down their shooting platform, moved aggressively and then started shooting again in the next box. I just shot, kept the gun raised (almost still looking through the sight) and moved quickly to the next box, breaking the first shot the instant my trailing foot touched inside. My time was 9.5 seconds with decent hits. The next fastest shooter who tried that same technique, but not as well, was maybe 12 second. My running is also noticeably faster. Something that has always throttled my running in the past was limited arm movement due to exaggerated muzzle discipline. I've been concentrating on getting more comfortable running, and allowing my arms to really swing while allowing a narrower margin of muzzle discipline. So, the bottom line is. I've got my gun dialed in to where I really like it. Now I just need to see about making some real improvements in my shooting.
  8. In the last couple of weeks I've had a fairly slow match attendance. Busy with work on the weekdays, and last weekend was a match at WAC that was full. I've practiced a couple of times and continued my dry fire routine. I went for a training session Tuesday morning and found that I had not properly sighted it in last time. I've realized just how much play there is within the close range to allow adjustments at the farther ranges. My experience on Tuesday was that when I got onto the paster at 10 yds, I could still move the sight an additional 8 clicks before I was consistently shooting the bottom portion of the paster. That equated to bringing an 8" high group into a 1" high group at 36 yds. (the farthest I could get on that berm.) This may be a duh for some, but for me it was an eye opener on just how well an accurate gun can be adjusted. Obviously, at 36 yds with a 6MOA dot it's not possible to get a super tight group. I was shooting about a 4"-5" group, but that's not bad. After that I blasted a plate rack with pretty decent success at 30 yds. Maybe 7-8 shots to clear it. I only ran it about 3-4 time as I ran out of time. But this is some accuracy I can work with. I also added some shock buffs and saw a slight difference in the dot travel. The gun is stroked, as I understand it to where I can put 3 buffs in and that's just what I did. I'm going to run it for this weeks' matches and see how it goes.
  9. It's been a while since I wrote in my journal! Been having a ton of fun shooting the new Axiom Ethos, and getting used to it. I think I made a very wise decision to try the ntro fxn thumb rest and have not even felt like looking back for an instant. I lightened the trigger a touch so it's sitting at 1lb 2oz and have really increased my ability to shoot fast. Still lacking on live fire, I did start working the trigger with much more finesse during dry fire and feel that has helped a lot. One thing I like to do, is to just press against the wall during drills without actually letting the hammer drop. If I accidentally drop the hammer, it better have been on a target if I was doing it right. Then, sometimes I'll let that accidental hammer drop be a "reload alarm." So I'll be working the take up during the drill and if I go "click" then BAM, do a reload and keep going with the drill. I've also been really having fun at the steel matches. I've shown myself on so many occasions that if I can just get the prep done BEFORE I get on the next target the hit, is always good, and very fast. I'v found that if I don't prep, then the likelihood of a miss is high. Then, I can get in this ridiculous cycle of trying the makeup shot before I've prepped the trigger, but have brought the gun back on target. This causes the same mistake. Like, when people over correct when their car breaks loose on the ice. Over correct, it swings the other way, over correct the other way..... you will never straighten out the car like that! My video from the Mark 7 steel match shows a few instances of that! I feel like I'm on a steady path of increasing ability at very tiny increments. Need to continue to work on trigger prep and be patient with it. My movement is smoothing out considerably also. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing!
  10. I've been having an issue with my RTS2 recently. The dot seemed dim, and had a U shape to it. Definitely not the way it started out. Fairly new to it, I've read lots of posts about dim dots, non-circular dots as well as cleaning ideas with varying effectiveness. I was getting ready order some tiny swabs to attempt cleaning the diode, but thought they would be too soft. My old CMore Slideride modules needed to be scrubbed a bit, so I wanted to come up with something more firm than a tiny sponge. I decided to sharpen, and bend a cotton swab handle. Thinking the paper would be more aggressive, and very precise. I worked GREAT. I dipped it in acetone, and scrubbed from several angles for a bit. I used a flashlight and looked through the glass so I could see exactly where I was scrubbing in the center of the module. You can see how much dirt was picked up off of the module in the pic of the very tip. Now my dot is as bright as day 1 and a perfect circle. Just thought I'd pass it along.
  11. OZ, LBS... what's the difference? HAHA. I guess I didn't think about the return just being the pre-travel. But I did measure it. Looks like I'm about 9oz return. Measuring my old gun the comparison is more like: Axiom - 1.4 lb pull and 9 oz return. Hulk - 1.6 lb pull and 8 oz return. I think I didn't measure carefully enough when I posted last. So I can feel the difference in the two more so than the actual weights, I guess. At any rate, so far I've been pretty unable to shoot super fast at some of the hoser type targets, and have been missing a lot of steel with this new gun. Although the trigger is silky smooth I think I'm developing some bad trigger habits by mashing the trigger. This is what I need to work on next. I need to understand and work this trigger like it deserves to be worked. That said, I'm not sure it's any worse than the old gun, i.e., I haven't gotten any worse but feel like the issues I'm having with this gun are more trigger focused since it tracks and cycles more smoothly than the old one. Trying to sell my old one, I had one guy ask if it "handles OK being a shorty." I thought this was an interesting question and thinking about it, this is a very tough question to answer. I'll get all kinds of people saying one thing or the other about full length guns vs short ones. But, I believe the only way to tell would be to have the same gun outfitted with two barrels (and all the other stuff) to really tell the difference. I think there's more to it than just deciding one is better than the other. It's like trying to decide if you like Chevy transmissions better than Fords. There is an entire drive train to consider in how the truck feels so it's not really fair to compare just one component. Having said all that, I sure am having fun lately with my new hardware. I'm still getting dry fire in almost daily and can tell the value of that in my confidence and manipulation at matches. For instance, even some sketch reloads are not disasters due to so much practice. Surrender draws are MUCH more consistent, and table starts don't bother me a bit. All this is due to repeating them almost daily. What I'm lacking is live fire practice. Can't seem to get out there like I would like. I've done a good job at disconnecting myself from expectations, or a score mindset with the Wednesday night steel matches so they are pretty darn close to practice. I no longer care, or am even trying to get a particular score there. It's about prepping the trigger BEFORE I get to the next target and calling the shot. I don't care about time. Thursday night matches are almost there too, although I get wrapped up sometimes and make decisions based on strategy rather than what I would practice. But these matches are always hoser matches and this is where I'm noticing that I can't shoot some of the targets as fast as I should be able to. Something worth noting, is that I think the trigger manipulation is actually suffering due to a lopsided dry fire / live fire routine. In dry fire, I've notice that I'm slamming the trigger hard. This, I believe is translating into the lack of prep during live fire. So, now I've started lightening up on it, so that I'm moving very fast, yet barely pressing the trigger. This should help reinforce the isolation of movements, rather than blend it by allowing myself to smack the trigger. So moving forward the goals look like: Work on trigger manipulation, both for prep - control targets, AND attack targets. Know the difference! Work on very light, controlled trigger work during dry fire. Don't let yourself smash it! Keep working on transitions. Still a weak point.
  12. I've made it to a couple of matches, and one practice session since last entry. The practice session was a bit abbreviated as it was a morning session. I ran a few bill drills, but mostly ran the plate rack. I was able to get a couple of times into the 2.8 - 2.6 time range without much practice at about 11 yards. While these times aren't exactly blistering they aren't exactly slow either. The main point being that the gun was tracking nicely. The Thursday night match was pretty much a s#!t show. I was making mistakes and handing over points by the bucket load to my competitors. I found that for night matches, it's not really possible to get the RTS2 to get dim enough. Those darn preset levels are pretty limiting. On one stage in particular I had it on the 2nd to lowest setting. For some closeup targets it was tolerable, but when it came to some dimly lit 25 yard shots I just couldn't successfully call the hits and racked up 3 mikes. On another stage, while the sight was turned down all the way, I still found it difficult to call some tight shots and on one steel target in particular just lost my cool and wound up stepping out of a shooting area while continuing to fire. That stage sent me another 30 points into the hole. I also shot the Wednesday night steel match and found some difficult to call hits there as well. This gun is definitely NOT a night shooting rig. I'll need to give it more time and see if I can get a handle on that big ass dot. The Sunday match went considerably better. My main competition didn't show up that day, so I'm missing a reality check. However, for the most part the shooting went well. I was able to keep the dot tracking in a straight up and down path and didn't do anything particularly stupid. With the exception of one stage, I felt really good about all the shooting and moving. The match as mostly a hoser match, so I could afford a tad less on shot quality to get moving some more. However, I find that on targets (especially within the same stage) that require higher shot quality I'm still unable to reign it in and make sure I get the hits. My gear shifting ability between attack and control is still lacking. I believe the reason for that attack/control problem still lies in my transitions. I still need to practice bouncing off the previous target so that I can land on the next one sooner, judge the shot quality, and break the shot. If I can do that while keeping a pace that doesn't cause me to feel like I'm dragging ass, I should be able to make some progress. More drills, more practice. On a technical note, I'm very happy with the current configuration of trigger, thumb rest, and the rest of the recipe. No tinkering needed at this point. Just to get more live fire practice in. From a dry fire perspective I'm still able to get it in almost every day, and it sure feels good. I can swap magazines between big stick, and 140 and never know the difference in loading. I can also perform all the other manipulations better than ever. Switching hands, reloads from every angle, and draws from every position, are all on the list of dry fire routine. I've never done this much before, and would say that it's probably one of the best decisions I've made in my shooting.
  13. There have been some changes since my last entry. After a couple more matches, I determined there was no way I could move on with that G.P. thumb rest. I tried a buddies gun with a different rest, and liked it right off the bat. With my gunsmith waiting for me to get it to him for some other changes I took this Sunday off from shooting and headed up to his shop. So, I got a new thumb rest. (Nitrx Fxn) and a new Gxppxrt trigger. Along with a custom fit job for the sight mount this gun is ready to rumble. (EXACTLY the configuration that the new gun will come in... so it's a true half of a twin now.) I took it to the range this morning and sighted it in, then ran a few bill drills along with some plate rack practice. I'm VERY happy with the ease at which I can keep the dot tracking straight up and down with this thumb rest. There were a few times where I landed awkwardly on it and saw a decline in stability. But generally, I was able to land on the thumb rest with the tip of my thumb way past it so that I only put a moderate amount of pressure on it, and this helped to guide my thumb without acting as a control point. I think that's the key on my thumb rest situation. I need to have a nice landing pad, without allowing me to add too much unintentional force into the gun. Of course, I need a lot more trigger time to see, but at least I have a setup now that like from the start. Figuring out whether it causes problems down the road? Well, that's what down the road is for. Along those same lines, I had a new trigger installed. This is the "short" version of that particular brand, and is quite a bit longer than anything I've had before. This is my first straight trigger and I like it right away. The bow obviously fits way better. It glides like nothing I've had before, feels solid and doesn't have any slop. It's an aluminum one, rather than the plastic that was in there and I think this is really why it feels so much better on my finger. It's also solid so it has a decent amount of weight as compared to say, an SV trigger. But the gliding is amazing. I can feel it hit the prep-wall, but then with no extra effort I can feel the sear sliding for just a moment before it breaks. It's the smoothest trigger I've ever had. Art has somehow, gotten about a 1.25 oz trigger with a very strong return. Not sure how I can measure that, but it returns probably twice as hard as my old trigger. I still need some work, but I can certainly slam a bill drill easier than I could before. I'm VERY excited to continue getting used to this new hardware and see where it takes me.
  14. Just like all the other aspects of our training, you have to make it part of the "work" that makes you perform the way you want. Once I decided working out was a necessary part of shooting, just like buying bullets and dry fire it made things much easier. Schedule your work out with just as much importance as gun maintenance and you'll do fine.
  15. This, to me hits the nail on the head. I don't know how to try to get Level 1 match staff to take #'s 2 and 4 more seriously. If we were used to seeing this stuff, then when we volunteered for RO positions at major matches we might know more about how to properly execute our duties. Actually, that's probably the case for all the issues. It boils down to training, and we need to have the training at Level 1, so that we can properly execute at Level 2 and 3.
  16. It's been a busy work schedule, but I managed to get down to the range on Friday afternoon, put 2 mags through the new gun and walk the stages for the 2018 Custom Gun Classic on Sunday. I shot the new gun and was really excited by how this thing handled. I could really feel the extra weight and longer barrel. I didn't notice it in transitions and they all seemed to go fairly smoothly. The biggest thing I noticed was that with less up/down movement of the gun I really started adding some trigger control issues in. There were several called shots that were not where I called them. This tells me that I'm adding in trigger movement at the moment I want the shot to break. For the most part it was an awesome gun to shoot and I'm very excited to get some more trigger time on it moving forward. After the match I met with the original owner and swapped sights as promised. This weekend will be my Thanksgiving with some family coming in, so I'll probably just sight it in and chrono my current rounds. No match. Shooting the Custom Gun Classic was a hoot. It was a fun match that had some hosing, and some good challenging shots as well. I racked up a total of 10 deltas and 2 mikes by the end. Not too great from an accuracy perspective. However, the norm was a decent level of accuracy. About all I could expect from a gun that I was shooting for the first time. I wound up 2nd Open by 2 points. Had I reigned in one of my wayward shots I would have had HOA. Rarely have I been involved in a match this close. The 3rd place shooter was 3 points behind me as well. I'm seeing a positive impact from my upswing in dry fire as I didn't fumble a single reload, and felt like all my gun handling was spot on. The errors I made in this match were NOT the same gun handling issues I saw at Nationals, that's for sure. I still need to continue to work on accuracy, through better trigger control. Transitions continue to be an equal priority so I can gain that trigger control without giving up time.
  17. Lots of things have happened since my last post. I've been much more excited about dry fire and have fallen into the routine of wanting to, and executing daily dry fire. I can tell that the basic skills are smoothing out. I also got my "new" open gun. Or, actually my backup. So there was a guy that had purchased an Axiom Custom gun before me. He's decided to sell a few of his guns to beef up his PCC game, so the gunsmith connected us as it's the exact same model as the one he's building for me. So I wound up picking that gun up. Like 1700 rounds through it, still white. It's sweeeeeeet! I'll shoot it this Sunday at the Hansen Custom Gun Classic, but it's still got a C-More slide ride on it. On Sunday I'll swap sights with him (as it was unavailable when I made the deal last weekend) and then it will be the exact gun I need. Then, my primary gun will still be done in a month or two. Yes, look for my old guns for sale very soon. Soooo, I shot The Monster Match last weekend. I dressed as a UPS guy, and of course had to figure out to use my cowboy hat. So I broke out my old brown one and put a UPS hatband on it. So I was a UPS guy with a cowboy hat. HAHA! I ran out of bullets and all help from this great community was too time consuming to keep me on schedule. People are awesome. They offered to meet me in the middle, put bullets on their tabs at shops. It was cool, but I just didn't have time to spend hours running around then loading. I decided to do a one-off and shoot C.O. with Heather's gun. Here's a few stages from the match. Wow, what a learning experience that was! I found myself unable to adapt to the trigger and continually called alphas that wound up charlies, deltas and a few mikes. On 2 stages, toward the end of the match I finally was starting to get a handle on getting to prep BEFORE(or just as) the sight landed on target so that when it settled, I could break the intended shot. I realized that I have a looooong way to go before I can be a versatile shooter and adapt to massive equipment changes while maintaining optimal performance. Luckily most of the match was a total hoser match, so it was more about speed, and with close open targets the cost of my trigger struggles was low. Overall I didn't do too bad, and it was an awesome outlaw match. But that ship has sailed for a bit as I've been hitting the new open gun with a LOT of dry fire. I'm genuinely shocked at how much better this grip fits me, and the aggressive texture is so "sticky" that I can easily and comfortably get a first shot on target within .75. I can consistently close my eyes, and draw to alpha which is something I've never been able to do before. Other things, like reloads, one handed shooting, and all of it just feels better. I suspect it's not that much better, but isn't what a brand new toy does to all of us? Makes everything better? I'm really excited to get on with shooting this gun in matches so that I can see what's possible in "real life." While I'm realistic about what a new tool can (or won't rather) do for my game I have no doubt that the extra work I've been putting in WILL begin to help. Couple that with my shiny new tool, and pain free arms and I'm in for a heck of a ride for the winter shooting season.
  18. To me, this is only a problem if you make it a problem. I'm also left eye dominant, right handed. I did develop a head tilt years ago, and when someone noticed it and pointed it out I corrected it. Our sport is bi-directional. Don't tilt anything and just train yourself to present to the left eye. This way, leaning left, or right or whatever side the targets are on you can just engage and not have some kind of preference. Seems like you have a grip, trigger control issue more than anything. Possibly you are better at shooting with your "weak hand" because you are more careful about the trigger manipulation because it's less habitual / familiar than the strong hand. Or to put it another way, you have let some poor (i.e., rushed) trigger prep habits creep into your right handed shooting. So to sum it up. This seems like this is just an issue of more trigger time, and getting more accurate with your right hand. Have fun!
  19. Well, Nationals is over. In an effort to stop thinking so hard about everything I'm not going to review my performance in detail. In short, the match was a poor performance for me, but not so much from a shooting perspective. I messed up stage plans, fell out of shooting areas, and dropped magazines. The shooting, and general movement was actually not too bad. Although I would still not file it under good. Basically, I was just not ready. Having taken a break this year, and cancelling most major matches this was really my only major match. Strategically a terrible choice, unless you spend all year preparing for it. But I did not. By day 3 I had really come to terms with that, and honestly had a lot of fun and engaged in some of my best shooting that day. But when the shooting was over, the damage was done by days 1 and 2. My placement was pretty poor. So what now? Work! Like Cha-Lee said in his reply to my last post. There is a lot of work ahead of me to get marginally better. No, I don't expect to compete at a pro level, but I just want to get better than I am now. Another way to put it, is that I'm in a spot in my shooting where I get the least return for my practice investment. That means, the dry-fire that I started to do a week before Nationals probably had a more detrimental effect than a helpful one. I just need to keep working, and training. It will eventually lead to better performance.
  20. I shot a match this weekend at Hansen range. No videos. It was another hoser match. It seems that's all they do at Hansen now with the exit of a certain individual that put on all the "hard" matches. I basically shot so carefully, and slowly that I was way down on the results on some stages. I really only had one stage that was good, and that one was a 30 point stage where I was able to do the slap-load saving a second or two over my competition. So the shooting is NOT where I won that stage. So I went to lunch with a buddy afterwards and we talked for quite a while. The gist of the conversation was something I've only heard about a billion times. How much are you willing to work for improvement? Now that I'm on an upswing with motivation it's really time to decide. I've been mulling this over since Sunday. The question for myself is: Are in a place where you just want to have fun and not worry about improvement? If that's the case, keep doing what your doing, but stop giving a crap about performance. Are you ready to look at the "work" as part of the fun and make some adjustments to your life to fit that work into your schedule? Let's see. I've spent 10's of 1000's of dollars on equipment and training. I've moved across the country in part to go where there's more shooting. I've hired people to do the things that would normally fill a weekend so that I can shoot. I've changes my lifestyle to include daily physical fitness and tendinitis recovery, so I can shoot better. I currently "practice" 1-2 times a week, and/or shoot 1-2 matches a week. I dry fire maybe/sometimes twice a week. All that, and somehow I look at resolving my "strategical dumbness" as the work I'm NOT willing to do in order to get better? Well, the things I need to do for that are actually the simplest and cheapest to resolve. I'm going to do it and here's how. Get the gym by 7:15 every morning. Heather is certainly on board with this and so far, that's been easy. After the gym, dry fire (for real) for 30-45 minutes. I've done Steve Anderson's 12 drills over the last 3 days and already see a marked improvement in my basic skills. Take dry fire on the road. Can't let travel get in the way, and it's even more important due to the lack of live fire during the week. I'm going to take my backup gun with me and a basic dry fire kit. PUSH in practice. I often practice with no timer or don't really keep track of whether I'm improving. I'm going to setup specific drills and record my times. This is where the strategically dumb portion will end. How fast can I do a Bill Drill? I don't freaking know. How fast can I shoot a plate rack at 25 yards? No clue. Does that stuff matter in a match, well NO because all you can do it shoot it as well as you can. But, trying to beat your old time is the best way to push yourself. Without it, I'm finding that all I do is shoot the same thing over and over and while I may get better at it, that's just from repetition. Not from pushing the limits of human function and showing yourself that those limits can be extended. A good example of this is my draw. Just from the last 3 days of solid dry fire with par times I find that I can jerk the gun out of the holster as fast as I can possibly move my hand. I mean, I'm honestly amazed at just how consistently fast my draw has become. Both from hands relaxed and from surrender. It's like, the instant my hand touches the gun I can just jerk my hands out in front of me and boom. The sight lands on target. Easily obtaining a first aimed alpha hit of around .8 seconds. What if I really push to beat that? While I've been able to obtain that speed for a while now, the point is I can do it easily, smoothly, and comfortably EVERY TIME now. It's really starting to sink in as 2nd nature. OK, so this is all s#!t that we've all heard before. And at some point in my shooting career (around A class) I was like. This is worth the work to put into reaching GM. And all the work to get this far was fun and seemed natural. I guess I'm just at the next plateau and need to look at the "strategically dumb" thing as something that has to be brought into the "fun" realm of my shooting to get to the next level. Writing it down like this, sure makes me accountable for it. I guess I better get on it.
  21. I went to the range on Friday and practiced with a buddy. We setup some "hoser" targets and ran by them a bunch of times while maintaining an A hit. While not perfect I feel like I made some headway in practicing that scenario. We watched splits/transitions and while I was occasionally able to get them close, I'm still suffering from fast splits and slow transitions. I guess I just need more work on it. On Sunday, the match looked pretty much exactly like our practice range. There were several stages with 4 shot arrays down the side berm(s). There were also some of the situations where you lean out and have to engage several arrays pretty far apart for a very wide cone of fie. Since they were easy targets this fit right in with my weakness. I got two stages on video. The video, obviously doesn't show the hits, but I was very happy with my hits throughout the day. Yeah, I missed a couple of opportunities for making sure I was in the A Zone. But for the most part I felt like I maintained control, executed each position as well as I could. There were two out of control moments. The first one, I really came out hot. I shot 5 times at a very close target and was just looking for the dot. Without seeing the dot, I saw several holes in the target and moved onto #2. Since I was already in "hole watching mode" I saw two hits on that target and while moving to the third target of the array became pretty sure my dot had failed. The next one was a partial no-shoot. Although close, shooting that one without having any idea where the dot was, or whether there even was one was NOT an option. A brief pause and I found my dot and moved on. I was able to complete the stage without issue. The win, in this scenario was that I was able to finally get things under control, forget about the 3 target hiccup and continue the stage without thinking about that. Not the best run ever, but a disaster was avoided. The second one was a very similar scenario. I had just finished a partial no-shoot array and went into a pretty easy, shoot while moving barrel gap. I pulled two shots off while starting to really accelerate and failed to call them. Pretty sure that they had gone into a barrel, or at least the delta zone. I came to a stop, developed a good stance, shot the two targets (re-engaging that first one) and continued to execute the remaining positions smoothly, without stopping again, and while calling shots the entire time. I sacrificed maybe 1.5 seconds on that situation and also didn't pick the best plan so not such a great score on that one. But again, the win was that I recognized a train wreck, prevented it, and moved on without thinking about it. On a positive note, I think I made some good movement choices that didn't sacrifice accuracy. Keeping movement smooth and not adding "extra positions" into engagements has been something I've identified as part of the problem with my close shooting. Feet shuffling and knee movement between arrays is costing me big-time in my transitions and shots because the gun has to settle for each target. I also made it a point to visualize and consciously work on transition. Rather rehearse "bang-bang," "band-bang." My thought process has been more like "bang-bump-bang-bump." Attaching the targets together with a visualized instant transition. I could feel myself execute this just like that in several arrays. But overall, I felt good with many of the movement situations where I eliminated extra, inefficient movement and replaced it with smooth and minimized movement. I'm going to ditch a goal list for a while. This seems more like a time, where I have all the tools. I just need to figure when, and how to use them effectively. Analyze, execute, and just let myself shoot like I know I can shoot.
  22. This may be a good case to keep some of my checklist sheets if there is a particular thing I want to replicate. Maybe I'll use the back of the sheet to make the notes you are talking about. I don't keep my phone with me (for the same reason. I'll look at an email and instantly switch to "WORK MODE.") I like the idea of throwing it away, but I may gain more value, and the same mental picture by just shoving the thing into my bag knowing it's off my mind. In particular I can think of two positions. Both had a hard lean into a port on a wide open target and resulted in a mike on both. This means I need to replicate this and either practice shooting angled into a port, or find a better stance when dealing with this type of port. And, I think you are correct in that "double tap" scenario. I think I'm failing to understand what I'm not seeing on those targets. You can't argue with the absence of holes! For sure, that's my next practice session is to setup some fast shooting scenarios and see what's up. For some reason, I've never really setup that type of scenario and practiced it before. Maybe because of my reluctance to blow through the rounds on such a session. Maybe because I've failed to properly recognize it as a weakness until now. Either way, it's time to dedicate the lead, if I want to turn this weakness into a strength! Thanks buddy!
  23. I shot matches on both days this weekend. On Saturday was the Adam Jobbers Miller Legacy match. It was a charity match. Adam was a Fort Morgan Police Officer that was killed in the line of duty and although I didn't know him, a few of the shooters at Hansen Range did. Also, he was an officer of the law and I'm all about supporting the people that sacrifice everything to try to keep us safe. On a positive note, the match brought a whole lot of new shooters from the law enforcement community and maybe some will get hooked and get better training. Maybe we'll meet some new friends. The match it'self was setup for new shooters. Everything was wide open, with stage plans that didn't leave a lot to the imagination. Speed shooting? Wasn't this recently on my list of weaknesses? Like, ONE post ago? Well, I racked up 5 mikes on the first two stages. Stage 3 came around and I was an emotional wreck. Determined to shake it off and NOT get any mikes on the next 40 point stage I shot it the only 100% guaranteed no mike way. Sloooooooow. After that I did, in fact successfully shake it off and went on to finish the last 3 stages at the top of the stats, and win one of them. I spent the drive home wondering how I had managed to botch my first 2 runs so badly. As noted before, a large area for improvement is, just what this entire match was. Close, wide open targets with open positions you can breeze through. My new, untested trigger and failing to recognize just how challenging this scenario is for me, was a recipe for disaster. The fact that I let it happen once is not what got me thinking. It wasn't even the fact that that I let it happen again. What bothered me, was... well. How bad it bothered me. Why did I let it affect my mental game so badly? I haven't been this upset since I determined I needed a break a year ago. So I have identified that speed shooting is something I need to work on, and just haven't been able to really practice it. No biggie. More importantly, when I do have a disaster what can I do to "let it go?" This IS something I've been working on. Well, I also just read (listened to.) Freedom Flight by Lanny Bassham and Attainment by Troy Bassham. The Attainment one is really good and exactly what I needed to hear. The main thing I took from this book was that I needed to come with a plan for what I would think before, during, and after my performance. For me, it's the after that I have a problem with. I dwell, and this causes those thoughts to spill into the before of the next stage. So the plan, after reflecting on my old archery competition days is this. Allow myself to process, and to think about my performance. Just let it happen. I'm going to think about it. I'm going to beat myself up, identify my areas of improvement, find my positive outcome, and then feel better. This is what I do every time I write this journal, and every time I compete. It's what I used to do for every arrow in archery. The thing is, in archery it was ONE shot, and like 3 minutes to think about it before moving on. I just don't have time for that at a match. I have too many data points to think about, and too much to do during the match for that. How can I review all those data points quickly? So, I made a checklist with all the data points I think about after a stage. Draw, grip, arms, stance, planning elements. All that s#!t. Troy Bassham style, I setup a table with Great, OK, Needs Work. After the stage, I just check off what I felt about each item. I left a space at the bottom where I can write a couple sentences about the stage and reflect on what went well. Then I throw it away in a physical act of "letting it go." Next day was the Mini Monster Match. 200+ rounds in a 4 stage match. A good chance for me to get back on the horse and try this reload paper thing out. After every stage, I filled out my checklist, wrote a note, and then threw it in the trash. It felt great. Yes, I had a couple of mikes. This really helped me identify what had gone wrong and more importantly what the actual skill was that I had forgotten to employ when the mike flew. More importantly it was a constant reminder of the skills I was remembering and allowed me to adjust my though process to the skills important for each challenge. I went on to win that match by 8.5% After reviewing the video and thinking about how that technique works it was really laid out to me what it looks like to treat each stage as a new match. It also helped me to take that step further and really look at each array, position and target as a separate performance. Some targets require an extra emphasis on a particular skill set for that challenge. Nothing new. But executing it like it's unrelated to the rest of the stage? Not something that comes so easily to me. Laying it out in front of me after each stage shows that to me in a way that I can truly get my head around. So, I'm going to do this for upcoming matches and see if it helps me develop a good plan for what my mindset will be before, during, and after each performance. Now that I'm done blabbing on about the mental aspect. I do see some items that I can work on with movement. There are several times, when I shuffle my feet to address remaining targets in a position that I didn't need to do that for. I could have either, stayed planted or flowed into the exit movement. One such event is the first stage, at 0:18. I shot 3 different positions there. NOT one flowing in and out. This means my transitions are slow as it's really a different setup for each target. If those targets were wide open begging for that position to be driven through at a ridiculous pace they would have been shaky hits indeed. That's how you can mike a hoser target. I do see some good things too. Like stable platforms and remembering to index properly and maintain my grip and arms while engaging risky arrays that for sure can't be blown through on the move. Stage 2 at 0:53 was one such array. These are things that were reinforced by my checklist. So, overall I went from a crash an burn, to a new plan for what to think before, during, and after a stage run. Hmmm. "Only positive outcomes."
  24. I'm going to check that out for sure. Along those same lines. I also just finished listening to Lanny Bassham's "Freedom Flight" and Troy Bassham's "Attainment." Both VERY good. (also non-solicited)
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