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j1b

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About j1b

  • Rank
    Barnestormer
  • Birthday 08/30/1973

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    http://Livingwithheed.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Portsmouth, NH area
  • Interests
    My wife, my daughter. Hunting and fishing. "Survivorman" - I Love that show. Alaska in general - she'll never leave me.<br /><br />Beer, guns (not beer and guns), the ocean, flying, and a hard work ethic. Nobody said winning was easy - but it sure is fun!
  • Real Name
    Jack Barnes

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  1. There is a ton of great advice here. As I'm sure you can tell, very few try this game without getting hooked and then evolving and getting better. As mentioned, being safe is paramount. So for your first match just relax, breath, except the nerves (they will be there) and be safe. Simple as that. Inherently you are a good enough shot to be successful (6" groups at 15 yards is more than fine at first) but you'll learn that the little "beep" at the beginning of a stage miraculously makes you forget every shooting principle you ever knew I'd definitely learn the manipulation of the gun, holstering, unholstering etc. Simple stuff like this seems common sense but I've seen several new shooters that aren't even good here so make sure you're solid. Just be safe. The thing about shooting competitively though is that by doing it, you will get better. As mentioned by Sarge (who is great by the way, read his stuff) and others the first step is the most important and that's just getting out and going to a match. This game is fun. Trust everyone who has told you that. The benefit of competition is the pressure (of the clock and performance to others) as well as doing things you likely haven't done much of before. Plus shooting at speed forces you to have to get better at the fundamentals. What I'm trying to say in a long winded post is you're good enough already, shoot some matches, and you'll soon find yourself getting much, much better. Again, first and foremost just be safe and have fun!! J
  2. j1b

    Ron Avery

    Thanks Paul, great pics of an iconic man.
  3. j1b

    Ron Avery

    Boy is this a hard pill to swallow. Two of my icons, leaders, funny men ... Ron and Mike Voight ... both too young and too soon. I don't recall when I first met Ron. I was so very young. I would guess almost incompetent with a gun. I was just learning my way through the game of IPSC. At the time my "club" was the Kodiak Island Sportsman's Association. I was wearing a jacket with their logo ... K.I.S.A and I distinctly remember Ron looking at it and said "there's the answer boys ... Keep It Simple A$$hole!" It was epic. Over the years we shot many matches together. Ron was so analytical. I remember how methodical he was at matches. He knew to the step, to the stone, where he was going to be on a stage. His vision for exactly what he was going to do was amazing. At that time in my life I thought it was too rigid. I was wrong. Ironically enough last year when I started shooting matches again the first few matches I noticed I wasn't dialed in enough. I was slipping up here and there and I remember distinctly thinking that I needed to approach the stages more like Ron. Have a detailed plan of attack. Know the key areas. Know exactly where you want to be always. All these years later ... still influencing me. But the memory I will cherish most is our jumping contests. I don't know how this came about but Ron and I loved to challenge each other on jumps. Flat footed we'd measure up an obstacle and see if we could tackle it. No running starts. Just flat footed, slight bend in the legs, and up you'd go. This was obviously back in my ... skinnier ... days. But I remember so clearly those competitions. And we'd scale some pretty high obstacles too. I am so very saddened today to hear he left the range. His impact on the sport, law enforcement officers, and people is very well in tact. But losing him as a person, as a presence... it's just hard to explain. My heart is so heavy tonight. Prayers for his family and friends. And Thank You Ron ... thank you for everything. Your impact on a young shooter a hundred years ago you likely never realized but trust me ... it is very real. God Speed friend.
  4. j1b

    j1b

    Issues ... So the Area 7 deal is booked. It's gonna happen. I've commented in the past ... it's been 20 + years since I've shot a nationals. IDK how long since an area match ... but probably 10-12 years. So those that know ... know. First off shooting is a perishable skill. Second ... I am getting old. Out of shape ... which is my own fault. But also my eyes. They are just slower. And then I think some meds prescribed give me a small bit of the shakes. It's all so frustrating. I'm starting to re-engage at an age where things just aren't what they used to be. If there's a young person that reads this diary I would say this - do it all. do it now. Because you may not be able to do it later. It'll be incremental decay. But when it's time to step up you'll realize why old warriors are so few and far between.
  5. I fell hard core at a stage at Nationals one year. Honestly I didn't have the "praying the gun doesn't go off" thought. I don't remember much at all. I do know my muzzle stayed safe, my finger was out of the trigger guard, and that the RO did not stop me. I was beat up after that. Hands were all kinds of scratched up. But hey, nobody got hurt. I finished the stage and I recall faintly in the background ... people clapping. This sport teaches us as much about safe gun handling as it does shooting fast and accurate...
  6. Thank you for making this post. I love reading/hearing about people's first matches. The game is so addictive, fun, healthy, and good. My couple of comments .... I agree taking a class now is a good option. Do some research though. GM does not mean good teacher. GM also does not mean a good match shooter. The classification system for USPSA is really pretty good but there are some flaws. I'll point to myself. In open class I am a GM (I used to shoot a lot back in the day) but rest assured I am not a GM. Not even close. Some guys can just teach well and they are the names you'd expect .... Leatham, Barnhart, Jarrett ... all good places to start. Having a GM in front of your name speaks little to teaching ability and likely only tells a small part of the story in terms of match shooting. You have some good foundational thoughts. Don't lose sight of them. Accuracy and "error free work" are the keys to success in the game. That gets much harder the faster you go so keep that in mind. Personally I rarely think "if I'm not shooting I'm not scoring" (though I have much respect for Steve Anderson). For me, stage strategy is all around two things. Is that I'm doing the most efficient way for a shooting of my skill level to execute? And ... Execute the plan. The best plan executed poorly does no good. A plan that is not executable by the skill of the shooter is also worthless IMO. But being efficient is critical to success IMO. For the shoes ... I honestly don't care. I used to wear cleats. I don't anymore. A good pair of shoes with good traction. Period. My caution on this point is the equipment race. Yes, you should look to get every advantage you can but it's been my experience that improving the shooter is way more successful than improving the equipment. Again, I loved your post and appreciate you putting it up. Nice first stage btw! I am on the other side of the scale. I've shot a few matches. But have also had a LONG layoff. Just yesterday I registered for Area 7 and I felt, while reading your post, like I'm exactly where you were. Big steps, new experiences, and playing a game that is just fun as hell. Whether it's your first match or your 500th one thing I know for sure is that the nerves never really go away and for a guy like me who hasn't shot in 100 years ... a new match on the horizon is exactly the same as a first match for a guy just starting out. Cheers! Jack
  7. j1b

    j1b

    Registered for Area 7 tonight ... When I think about it, that's a big step. Definitely a change in ... action. I've never shot Area 7 so that's exciting by itself. I haven't ... in maybe 15 or 20 years registered so early for an area match. Not sure when I shot my last area match but I would guess 10 years ago. Steve Broom, rest his soul, beat me like a rented mule at area 4. We'll see how all of this goes. New gun ... a SIG P320 ... will be the first non-springfield armory gun I've competed with in ... a long time! Probably 25 years. I'll confess my hesitation about this. My ... concern ... that I'm going to suck. Still .... exciting to know a somewhat major match is in my future. J
  8. It's difficult to explain the discrepancy in times. I suspect most advice given above gets to most of it. Everyone has different goals and objectives with dry fire. Some dry fire to their LOHF to see how fast they can go. Generally speaking, I don't do this. Granted my experience is 144 years old but I suspect some component of it still holds true. We practice and dry fire to get better. Getting better, I assume (or at least for me) means doing better at matches. Matches test consistency. Most people can burn a stage down. And most can flame out on a stage. Few people perform to their expected level with that inconsistency. The trick for me was always running as close to the edge as I could while still maintaining the ability to execute. Seeing draw inconsistencies like from your dry fire to live fire would be bothersome to me. For me that consistency is critical. So I personally dry fire exactly as I (believe) I live fire. Executing shots. Executing reloads and draws. Doing it all as fast as I can but still being able to do what I need (read into that hitting the targets). I've found that many people dry fire at speeds faster than they can actually shoot because there is no accountability. There is no shot/target to be held accountable to. That's precisely why I dry fire with such intent on accuracy. I've said it several times. I think 90% of what is needed can be learned and executed via dry fire. There is no denying though that live fire is a critical component to training. For me to the extent that my dry fire drill marry up to my live fire drills is a key indicator to the quality of my dry fire practice. And then the obvious goal is this all comes together on match day. Of note (and again, things are way different today than when I was really shooting) I'd take 100 .90 second draws at a match any day of the week and twice on Sunday versus pushing hard to get a .6 second draw and sometimes hitting .6 and other times hitting 1.10.
  9. j1b

    j1b

    Thanks all. All in all things are good. Just learning and adapting. Good news is I think I've been roped into shooting Area 7 this year so I'm gonna have to shoot a little to get ready for that. A few impromptu conversations at SHOT show and poof ... I'm committed to a match. Hopefully see some of you out and about as I once again begin thinking about knocking some rust off the ol' blasters. Jack
  10. j1b

    j1b

    Life is soooo.... life. My how life has changed for us. My last post here was April 30th 2018. I'd just shot a match in the Pittsburgh area. I had actually shot several matches to start the season and I was confident that my shooting year was going to be a good one. Consistent participation, consistent shooting, growing, getting back into the game, and competing. And then life happened. I left my job. It was the right thing to do for us, it was time. I wouldn't have said though that it was expected. My wife and I spent the summer in Colorado where I actually intended to shoot quite a lot. No job, why not shoot right? Thing is ... time off wasn't good for me. Anxiety became an issue and I just was ... unsettled. Right, wrong, or indifferent the reality is that I just could not be comfortable not having that purpose. I didn't shoot. At all. I didn't touch a gun. The summer in Colorado was epic. We will cherish it until we are there for good. Three months in that special place was unbelievable but always under the surface was knowing I had to get going on a new career. Now? My how life has changed ... We no longer live in Pittsburgh. It was a great run, but obviously it came to an end. After Colorado I got a job in the New England area and so now we live in New Hampshire near the coast. Back in the grind, back in the hustle. Working hard. I am once again hopeful that 2019 will start with some shooting and that maybe I'll play again this year. I was so close to getting things going in 2018 ... really, really close. And then life happened. It's a funny thing that life thing. Is it my crutch for not shooting? My excuse? I don't know. But I do know it happens (life that is) and I could have never anticipated in April of 2018 that we'd be in such a different place, such a different situation. Fun stuff. Let the new adventures begin. Hopefully with some matches in my near future. Once again figuring out the shooting situation in a new area.... J
  11. With the new rule of one second added per point down I've found you literally can't shoot fast enough to drop points. In a classifier or otherwise. One second is a TON of time, it's very punative, and by virtue of that I have needed to learn to get my points no matter what and improve speed only to the level that I can still get those points. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I like how the new rule has forced me at least to change my discipline when shooting a match. That's been a cool learning experience and I personally think I'm a better shooter for it. J
  12. Yep, you all get it. The goal it is to experience the EDC gun under some pressure and shoot it in unique ways that I wouldn't normally do on a flat range. While I value the experience that competitions gives me in potentially helping me should (God forbid) a situation ever come up it is clear that matches are for fun. They aren't training. I never perceive them as anything more than a different way to shoot the gun. I'll be honest though... If by a wild stroke of luck I do happen to win ... I mean ... that'd be cool! Jack
  13. So I've been kicking this around for some time now and I think I'm at the point where I'm going to do it. I carry. I carry everyday. I carry everywhere I am legally allowed to carry. I shoot my carry gun ... occasionally. Actually, I get some rounds through it somewhat frequently. Just last weekend I shot my new carry gun to insure it's all dialed in. I was shooting it out to 20 yards and was doing ok. Reality is I was shooting about 7 inch groups or so with the new carry gun at 20 yards. Probably 5 inches consistent with the flyer or two that would grow it to 7 or 8 inches. Anyhow, it just got me to thinking, I should shoot a match with my EDC rig. Now, I carry appendix and that won't fly but everything else should work. I could do my IWB holster (4:00 position) and IWB mag pouch and just have the second mag in my pocket JIC. I wouldn't do this consistently - I like the competition side of things too much - but I think occasionally running the EDC rig better covers me for if I every do need to use it. Just wondering if anyone has shot a few matches with their true EDC rig and what the experiences were like. I'm shooting my new Sig P365 and the ten round capacity is actually pretty beneficial for this situation alone. Thanks in advance! Jack
  14. j1b

    j1b

    Alright, a quick update on the match. The goals were: Have a game plan for every stage: I'd say broadly, pretty successful. Having thoughts around every component of every stage was there. Shoot points - better, but still not where I need to be. Avoiding the millisecond gaps: There was less of this by my observation though I can't say with certainty that progress was made. Be good with the fundamentals: Eh, just ok. Draws were ok. Reloads were a challenge but for different reasons. The match was four stages. Stage one was the 5X5 quick classifier or whatever they call it. So it was April 29th, and it was snowing. Not hard, but snow was in the air. So it was cold. And for some reason, it just felt damn cold. Lord knows I've gripped enough about the cold and yesterday was no different. The first string was ok. No points down. Strong hand was ok, I think 1 second down. The thrid string - believe it or not I simply could not get to the mag release button. My hands were just damn cold. I don't know the time - I think it was like 6.4 seconds, but easily could have been quicker. It was a rough run with another second dropped. The final string was fine. Two points down in total with a raw time of 15.43 and a real time of 17.43. According to the sheet they had this made me master, though I didn't feel very master. My guess is this drill is down in the low 12 seconds pretty ordinarily. Stage three (my second stage) was a fun little short course. I thought I shot it ok, but dropped four points and I really didn't need to. It was a bit of lack of trigger control and just a lack of discipline on points. In all not a killer, but I was 4th overall on the stage and that was largely due to not being overly smooth, missing a load (same issue) and dropping four seconds due to points. Stage 2 (my third) was the longest course with longer shots and a lot more stage to negotiate. I thought planning was good here, execution on points was better and in general things were ok. I was second overall on the stage to a gentleman shooting a carry optic gun and that made a little sense to me. Some of the targets had a bit of distance to them and were tight to barrels or no shoots. I couldn't gripe too much here. One point down was pretty good IMO. Stage 4 was a quick movement course with a fast swinger. I just wasn't there with this one for whatever reason. Was relatively slow on time and dropped three points. I was fourth overall in the match. The time wasn't great, but its the points that bothered me. No reason to be three down here. Maybe one point due to the swinger. So overall match raw time was 71.55 with 10 points down netting me to 81.55. Second place was a raw time of 82.97 but he dropped 7 points which netted 89.97. All in all, an ok match. Particularly for how cold it was. I gave up on the vest after the first stage and decided my jacket would stay on. I think the goals were right and will remain. Looking forward to the next match where the weather has to be better. It just has to be. End of May my bride and I will be heading down to Mexico on vacation - no shooting but a damn guarantee of warmer weather. The shooting season is off to a reasonable start and I believe I'll have some time to practice over the coming months which will help immensly. Thanks Jack
  15. j1b

    j1b

    Match day Sunday! It’s been a while. Hopefully execute the things detailed out in a post a little over a week ago. should be a fun day. Still a little cool but all good. updates to come.
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