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jmac2112

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  1. Went to the range again yesterday. Worked mainly on Doubles, around 250 rounds, shooting at 3" circles at 15 yards. Payed close attention to my grip, especially locking my wrists, and worked on shot calling. I noticed a bad tendency for the second shot in each pair to go low, and usually to the left, so that I would end up with only four or five shots in the circle. Gripping as hard as possible with my left hand basically solved that problem, but it's hard to keep doing that without wearing out my forearm. I hope it's just a matter of pushing too hard against the recoil with my right hand, but I'll have to experiment further. Also took slo-mo video of myself shooting doubles. Sure enough, most of the time the second shot in each pair was going low, and a couple of times the gun dipped really low. Grip seemed pretty good, though--the gun wasn't moving around in my hands.
  2. Practiced at the range yesterday. Group shooting went very well, usually keeping 4 out of 5 shots in the head box A-zone at 15 yards (freestyle), 10 yards (SHO), and 7 yards (WHO). Time to move back a little. "Doubles" and "Practical Accuracy" drills were a learning experience. Tried doing Doubles at 7 yards using 3" circles, as Ben has been recommending lately. Didn't use the timer, just watched the sights and tried to pull the trigger on the second shot when the sights were back on target. I have some work to do. The horizontal variation was not terrible, but there was a lot of vertical stringing, especially upward. I gained a new appreciation for how much information the sights give me, and noticed that I tend to pull the trigger before the front sight has fully returned into the notch. Prior to this I have seen the front sight bobbing around out there, but I haven't been seeing the sights with the level of detail that will allow me to precisely time each shot. This is going to take a while.... Tried shooting the classifier "High Standards" again. I'm getting better at keeping all the SHO/WHO shots on the targets, but I have a lot of work to do. I get flustered when I'm on the timer, and when I go to grip the pistol SHO/WHO after a reload I usually flub it pretty badly and end up slinging shots all over the place because of my poor grip coupled with anxiety about my poor grip. I need to work on this in dry fire, especially transferring the gun to my weak hand after a reload. That's the part of my live-fire performance that is downright comical.
  3. Ah, I think I'm beginning to understand! Within Production, the "other guy" won more points, largely because he won the stage with the most points. Overall, however, some PCC guy probably won every stage (I'll have to go back and check). Am I on the right track? I can see I have more pondering to do.... Thanks, John
  4. Just when I think I understand the scoring rules.... One disclaimer before I begin: As much as I like to win, that is not what this is about. I am genuinely puzzled by something. I shot an indoor match a couple of days ago, and I can't seem to understand what Practiscore is telling me. According to the "Overall" view, I came in ahead of all the other Production shooters. However, when I switch to viewing just the results for Production, I find that I'm in second place. I understand how HF is calculated, and my HF is slightly higher than the HF of the shooter whom I may or may not have beaten. To get rid of some decimal places and simplify things a bit, my HF was 6.1 and his was 6.0. If I understand correctly, match placement is determined by dividing one's overall HF by the winner's overall HF to determine what percentage of the overall points one receives. I'm not a great mathematician, but it seems to me that a shooter with a higher overall HF should always come out ahead of a shooter with a lower HF no matter what. So what am I missing? Here's a fact that might be relevant: The match consisted of three classifier stages and one longer stage. The long stage was worth almost as many points as the combined points of the classifier stages, and the "other shooter" in question did significantly better than I did on that stage. Could that fact be relevant here? Thanks! John
  5. Shot an indoor match last night. Three classifiers, one longer stage. Came in 2nd out of 10 in Production, but the competition was not exactly stiff. Everything went well except for the first stage, which was "It's Not Brain Surgery," a six round classifier involving head shots only. Took a mike on the first target. Didn't even see it in my sights, because I wasn't paying enough attention. This seems to be a weakness of mine when it comes to first stages. It's like I forget some of the fundamentals of good shooting on the first stage, and I need a mike or a NS to remind me to get my act together. I've also never shot from a seated position before, but I doubt that had much to do with it. On the plus side, the other stages went well, and I shot 72% on El Presidente. Probably my best El Prez ever, and I'm glad it happened during a match!
  6. Mikey: I realized a while back that grip and trigger control were very important to shot calling when shooting iron sights, in the sense that it's really hard to call the shot if my sights are whipping around in a blur of motion, not tracking consistently, and I sometimes can't even see the front sight at all because it has moved down or sideways and is completely obscured by the rear sight at the moment of ignition. I've had good success overcoming that problem when shooting freestyle, but shooting one-handed is still a big challenge. My experiment with my CO pistol (above) proved to me that I am steering the gun out of the A zone with practically every shot when shooting one-handed, either because I'm flinching or just mashing the trigger clumsily. Anyway, I'll be working to eliminate that weakness as I move forward.
  7. I went to the range yesterday and payed special attention to shot calling. I tried shooting a couple of mags into the berm while tracking the front sight up and down, and while it was an interesting exercise, I don't yet understand how this will help me to see the front sight lift off the target at the moment of ignition. That seems to be the one thing necessary, and it's the one thing I'm missing. But judging from many things I've read, I trust that being able to do that is somehow dependent on an awareness of the movement of the front sight throughout it's up-down travel. I will keep doing this exercise whenever I go to the range. I've been shooting one of Ben Stoeger's drills called "Doubles," which involves shooting six strings of eight shots, in pairs, on an open target at different distances. There is a requirement to shoot at a predetermined pace based on distance, and to pause only long enough between pairs to let the sights settle a bit on the target. This is supposed to mimic transitioning, but without the actual transitions. Yesterday I shot at 15 yards with splits around .25. Stoeger says you should be able to get 80% alphas in these circumstances, and I shot roughly 85%, with nothing worse than a charlie. Clearly I am doing something right. I can definitely see the front sight bobbing up and down, and I can tell that some of the shots are going low and/or left (a besetting problem of mine related to grip and trigger control). At that pace, I couldn't tell you which ones are going where exactly, but I can tell I'm shooting some charlies. I also did a close-medium-far drill where I shot pairs on each target in succession, strong hand only and weak hand only, but without striving to maintain any particular pace. I just shot as fast as I thought I could hit the targets. Single-handed shooting is where my shot calling deficiencies become very apparent, as I keep yanking the shots off the A-zone and I don't even see it in the sights. Right-handed shots go left, and left-handed shots go right, presumably because I'm rushing the trigger press and steering the gun with my finger. I don't do this in dry fire, but live fire is a different story. Anyway, I wouldn't even be upset about the crappy accuracy if I could at least see what was happening. At one point I got out my Carry Optics gun (which I don't shoot very often) and shot the same drill. I was amazed to see the dot streak off into the C or D zone as I pulled the trigger and then shoot straight up when the shot broke! Now THAT'S shot calling. My goal is to be able to do that with iron sights. I'm definitely going to start shooting my CO gun more often just so I can see what it is that I'm not seeing when I shoot irons.
  8. Are you saying that shooters who are calling their shots during a match are actually moving their eyeballs up and down as the front sight rises and falls in .20 seconds or less? Sorry to seem obtuse, but I always find this topic confusing. The way to master other shooting skills can be described pretty simply, but shot calling seems to go beyond skill into the realm of mystical insight!
  9. I can use all the help I can get! If I understand you correctly, you are talking about a drill to increase general awareness of what the front sight does in recoil, as opposed to the specific skill of being able to see the front sight as it begins it's upward journey and knowing from that where the bullet will hit the target. Is that right? And are you saying that I should try to maintain visual focus on the front sight while firing shots into the berm (i.e. actually track it with my eyes), or that I should try to maintain mental focus on the sight (i.e. awareness of the sight) as it moves up into my peripheral vision and then back down?
  10. Thanks for the input! I have tried that many times, and also the drill with the shot-up target on the front and the new target on the back, and the one where you turn away after shooting and mark on a target where you think the shots went. Over the last year I have developed a certain amount of skill in predicting where the bullets are going while I'm practicing, but I tend to lose it when the buzzer goes off during a match. The most annoying thing is that I haven't been able to keep my brain from shutting off at the moment the shot fires. I can see where the sights are right before that happens, and I can follow the path of the front sight in my peripheral vision as it goes up and returns, but I don't actually "see the front sight lift" (or see whether or not the sight moves off target right before ignition, for that matter). As I mentioned above, I have video evidence (and the testimony of others) that my eyes aren't blinking, so I assume that my brain must be "blinking."
  11. Been working on paying attention to my sights during dry fire lately. I have always had a tendency to place less emphasis on this during dry fire, but I now realize that I'm not doing myself any favors by being sloppy. I can't work on bona fide shot calling in dry fire due to the lack of recoil, but I should definitely be able to tell exactly where the bullet would have gone by watching the sights.
  12. Shot an indoor match on Sunday. Two classifiers, two regular stages. Managed to come in second in Production (out of eight shooters) in spite of having two A/M/NS. Aside from a problem with my mags not dropping free fast enough, pretty much all of my issues come down to the fact that I'm not seeing what I need to see in my sights. I have a general awareness of the sights that is sufficient on open targets and even close partials, but my continuing problem with mikes and no-shoots is proof that this is not working for me on partial targets past about 10 yards. It's tempting to think that I just need to slow down on those targets, and to some extent that may be true. However, if I could call my shots accurately, I would at least be able to turn an A/M/NS into 2A/NS or A/C/NS. Good shot calling also implies a level of visual awareness that would probably prevent a lot of bad shots, and it would allow me to diagnose problems with my grip. I have put quite a bit of effort into learning shot calling during the last year, and there has been some improvement. Still, the phrase "seeing the front sight lift" remains a mystery to me. My eyes are open, but my brain is simply not able to process the visual information that fast. I have a tendency toward anxiety that is amplified when I shoot a gun, and I think that is a big part of the problem. The best shot calling I ever did occurred when I had a bad cold and felt like I had cotton for brains. I think it put a damper on my central nervous system, and I felt like I couldn't miss. This is obviously not a long term solution, however. Dry fire has been going well lately. I've been starting a lot of drills in Accuracy mode, then running them in Speed mode, and for some reason that seems to help a lot.
  13. Anyone know where I can find early episodes of Ben Stoeger's "Practical Pistol Show" podcast? I can find them back to about episode 200, but then I lose the trail. Any help appreciated! Thanks, John
  14. Went to the range today. Did quite a bit of accuracy work. I can shoot pretty accurately freestyle (3-4" groups at 20 yards), and shooting Stoeger's "Practical Accuracy" drill freestyle at 10 yards went well (only one C). One-handed shooting is a different story, however. SHO is actually worse than WHO when shooting groups; I couldn't get under a 6" group at 15 yards today. Then I tried shooting the classifier "High Standards," which involves freestyle, SHO and WHO shooting. I had intended to see where I stood on this classifier, but I couldn't keep all the SHO/WHO shots on the target (15 yards), so I decided it would be too depressing to calculate hit factors. Time to get to work....
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