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jmac2112

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  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. 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."
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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....
  8. MATCH ANALYSIS Here are some things I've learned during recent matches: THE GOOD Yes I CAN shoot while moving! I was afraid to try it in a match for a long time, but after sufficient dry fire and live fire practice, I've been able to let go and shoot on the move. I feel confident on open targets out to about 10 yards, and I can take the really close ones at a dead run. If I have to slow down to the point where I'm just creeping along, however, I figure it's better to just stop. I can shoot very accurately if I go slow enough. Until recently, I would often end up with more alphas than anyone else at the match, but I wasn't finishing very high. I am getting more comfortable with the fact that it's OK to shoot charlies in the interest of going faster, as long as I watch my sights and make up any shots that look like they could be deltas (or worse). My mental game is getting MUCH better lately, mostly thanks to listening to Steve Anderson talk about analyze/strategize/memorize/visualize ad nauseam. I'm getting really good at the first three, but my visualization is still kind of weak. I have a hard time really seeing the movie in my mind with the necessary level of detail. Do I just have a weak imagination? I should close my eyes and practice this whenever I get a chance throughout the day. I'm really catching on to the fact that doing things sooner is a big part of this game. I'm getting much better about keeping the gun up when entering a position, snapping the eyes and moving the gun more aggressively when transitioning, starting to leave a position as soon as I can, etc. THE NOT-SO-GOOD Although I have learned to pay attention to my sights when shooting, I am not able to "call my shots" in the sense of actually seeing the sights lift off the target. I am sure that I am not blinking (I have video evidence, and I've also asked other shooters to watch my eyes), but my brain can't process the visual information that fast. Yet. I'm not awesome at dealing with moving targets. Got some good advice from a former national champion regarding tracking the type of swinger that moves across the top of the barrier and then disappears, and Ben Stoeger has some good advice on moving targets in Practical Pistol Reloaded, but nothing can take the place of having access to such targets for practice. Maybe I can at least rig up a swinger for dry fire practice. One of my biggest weaknesses is far targets/partials. I've heard Stoeger on his podcast make the point that you can really see the big boys pull away from the average shooters when it comes to being able to shoot such targets quickly AND accurately. I can shoot them quickly OR accurately, but not both. I've just started doing a drill from Skills and Drills Reloaded that I think will help with this ("Practical Accuracy"). Once I master this out to 20 yards or so, I think it will make a big difference in my scores. My target transitions are getting better, but I have a bad tendency to overswing or underswing (usually the former). I am working on this in dry fire, and it's just going to take time. I really need to work on decelerating smoothly and coming into a stable stance when running to a new position. This is a perfect thing to work on in dry fire. My reloads are OK in isolation, especially in dry fire, but things quickly deteriorate as soon as I add other elements. For instance, this is what really slows me down when shooting El Prez (both live fire and dry fire). Gotta keep working on this, primarily in dry fire. My draw-to-first-shot times are not very sporty, especially on far targets/partials. Nothing to do but put in the work in dry fire and then confirm in live fire. I need to work on shooting from awkward positions. Anything that messes with my stance causes problems. Nine times out of ten we're talking about leaning or squatting, but this also includes things like going prone or balancing on a beam. Recoil control is the big issue, so I need to work on this in live fire more than in dry fire. RANDOM STUFF Another shooter at a recent match pointed out that when shooting stacked targets, it's a good idea to start with the bottom target first. That way your view of the target you are transitioning to is not blocked by the gun, and the recoil is going to drive the gun upwards anyway.
  9. Close attention during dry fire lately has revealed some basic flaws: GENERAL --tendency to tense up, which makes all movement slower and less precise --tendency to grip gun weakly, especially with weak hand TRIGGER CONTROL --not pulling trigger straight DRAW --lack of good indexing with weak hand when drawing, both in terms of: a) consistent stopping place when bringing hand over toward gun, and b) consistent timing of, and placement of, hand on gun before pressing out --a tendency to "fish" (and sometimes "bowl") when putting the sights on target after a draw --holding gun too far out so that elbows are almost locked (makes it much harder to transition accurately) --tendency to end in a weak grip, especially with weak hand RELOAD --inconsistent placement of weak hand on mag during reload --not getting mag to gun as quickly as possible --inconsistent indexing of arms; need to keep elbows closer to body --not consistently looking at magwell until tip of mag is inserted TRANSITIONS --failure to snap eyes to next target quickly --failure to look at a precise spot on the target instead of looking vaguely at the middle of the brown --not using legs consistently on wide transitions --failure to stop sights cleanly on target, especially on the middle target of a three-target array POSITION ENTRY --failure to decelerate smoothly and maintain balance when stopping --failure to start aiming early --failure to keep body at a consistent height (should usually be lower) SHOOTING WHILE MOVING --failure to stay low --pulling trigger on bad sight pictures --need to work on putting feet down smoothly to minimize jarring That's enough for now....
  10. Chaos has ensued, but at least I can type while it swirls around me. I've been dry firing in earnest since mid-January of this year, so it's been about ten months now. As the name of my range diary implies, I am a fan of Steve Anderson's books and podcast, although I am also a big fan of Ben Stoeger's materials. I think the two of them complement each other nicely. Anderson is about 80% mental game and 20% technique, while Stoeger is the opposite. The great benefit of Anderson's 12 Drills is that it gave me a very simple and definite plan for my dry fire, which is exactly what I needed in the beginning. I still value those drills, but lately I've been incorporating drills from Dryfire Reloaded. I made great gains doing the Anderson drills, but I needed some variety, and I like the trigger-discipline drills that Stoeger has. I've identified that as one of my big weaknesses, along with a tendency not to grip the gun hard enough. I think this is why I can hang with the better shooters pretty well on the hoser stages, but my distance game is crap. Far partials are my nemesis, so I'm going to work on that until it becomes a strength. I had a really good dry fire schedule going for the first seven months or so, and then life got crazy for a solid month in September, and it's only in the last couple of weeks that I am really getting back into it in a disciplined way. My goal is a minimum of 20 minutes a day, five days a week, but I usually end up exceeding that. I usually don't feel like getting started, but by the end I don't want to stop. I have some pretty severe tendinitis in both arms, which is one reason I tend not to grip the gun hard enough. Steve Anderson turned me on to some exercises that have really helped (Google "Chad Reilly shooter's elbow"), but nothing seems to be able to make them go away. I'm fast approaching 50, and things just don't heal the way they used to. Actually, most of the tendinitis goes back to when I was young(er) and stupid(er), and shooting has just aggravated those old injuries. Time to get ready for work now....
  11. My previous attempts at keeping a range diary have not worked out very well. I've written some things in a Word document, and other things in a physical notebook, and still other things on scraps of paper that end up going through the wash. Anyway, the idea of an online diary appeals to me because a) all my notes will be stored in one place, b) I will express myself more clearly if I know that others might read what I write, and c) I might get some useful feedback. I have been shooting Production in USPSA for about two years now. Started off with an M&P 2.0, but my current gun is a CZ Shadow 2. I made B Class this past summer, and my current proximate goal is to make A Class over the winter (say by March of 2020). There are a couple of places around here (Northern Virginia) that hold indoor matches, including some all-classifier matches, so I should have ample opportunity to meet that goal during the next four months. It's not so much that I want my card to say "A Class," although that would be nice. I want to start off the next season as a genuine A Class shooter, with the level of stand-and-shoot skill that that implies, and try to make M by the time the snow flies. That's enough of an introduction for now. Off to get in some dry fire before the kids wake up and chaos ensues....
  12. OP here. The +.080 palm swell bogies were great except when it came time to hit the mag release, so I ended up ordering a second set at +.050. This seems like a good compromise, and I'm loving them so far!
  13. OP here. I ended up getting the Henning Pro base pads as soon as I found some in stock. I've only had them for a few days, but I really like them so far!
  14. OK, thanks! And for what it's worth, I have just discovered that LOK Grips offers a "custom thickness" option as well. They can add thickness to each grip in increments of .010, all the way up to .080. I played around with the Palm Swell Bogies on my Shadow 2 the other day, adding different thicknesses of gasket material under them all the way up to .090 on each side, and I loved the feel of it. I've placed an order for some new Palm Swell Bogies with the +.080 option, and I'll report back after I try them out.
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