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Fourtrax's Range Report

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Thought about doing this often, I just never have. I am an "A" class open shooter. This will be my 6th season of USPSA shooting. I am classified in Production and Limited, but almost exclusively shoot Open.

I thought I'd start writing now that I am an "A" and document the key moments (epiphanies) that will hopefully come along as I continue my progress towards GM.

I was a "C" shooter for 4 years. I started 3 straight seasons at 58%. That really sucked. I finally purchased Steve Andersons dryfire books and practiced. I made 2nd C at area 5 two summers ago, and got my "B" card the same month.

When I made "B", I almost skipped right over it, I wound up a couple of % points away from "A". I made "A" in May of 2010. I did not expect it. Actually scared me a little, still does, but not as bad as my first match as an "A". I am starting to adjust.

This adjusting is what got me to thinking that I should write some of this stuff down. First let me say that I almost always shoot clean matches. I went minor at area 6 this year and did not shoot 1 mike or penalty. I went for a long time one season and could not remember a mike. I guess you could say that I am a "gradual deliberate" type of person. I tend to get something worked in and that is the way I will stay for long periods of time. Well, that's just not going to cut it as an "A" class shooter. I need to make a change.

The change started today at Atlanta Indiana. I decided to shoot out of my comfort zone and push the envelope. I had a wonderful match with 3 mikes. That's just not like me, but boy was I having fun and learning. My shot calling was off, I chalk that up to moving quicker and not being use to that. I really felt energized on most stages and some strong butterflies attacked my stomach, another by product of being out of the comfort zone.

I think that this is the strategy I will employ for the next couple of local matches. I need to learn to see what I am doing in this level of performance I created for myself. I am confident that things will slow down in my mind as I go along with this plan.

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I built an STI/Marvel .22 racegun over the winter and took it to the range (backyard) tonight. I put about 300 rnds downrange. I worked on entries and exits. I also set up three boxes and worked on my moving draw to the first box, 2 in upper A zone, reload, move to 3rd box, 2 plates.

Boxes where set up at the points of an inverted triangle. I started in the back box and would go diagonal to one of the boxes in the front. Distance btwn boxes about 10 feet. I split going left and going right to give myself balance.

I concentrated on keeping the gun up, this has been getting better for me. I also worked on getting that reload done within the first step. This is going to take more work to really ingrain.

I started and ended with group shooting.

Atlanta's Match

I finished third in OPEN out of (9(I think)), and 6th out of 71 overall. 1st OPEN shooter is a GM and 2nd is an A. Second beat me overall by less than 1 match point. My times on most stages very comparable to the GM. There was 1 stage that I thought I had a great run only to see that the GM creamed me on points and time.

Now that I can practice on the cheap, I need to develop a better plan with some set drills. I'll be looking for some drills that are easy to set up and encompass most skills. I figure 3-4 times a week then a local match on Sunday. Any suggestions are welcome.

Edited by fourtrax

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Good luck on the journey to GM. I will be pulling for you as you go for it.

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I built an STI/Marvel .22 racegun over the winter and took it to the range (backyard) tonight. I put about 300 rnds downrange. I worked on entries and exits. I also set up three boxes and worked on my moving draw to the first box, 2 in upper A zone, reload, move to 3rd box, 2 plates.

Boxes where set up at the points of an inverted triangle. I started in the back box and would go diagonal to one of the boxes in the front. Distance btwn boxes about 10 feet. I split going left and going right to give myself balance.

I concentrated on keeping the gun up, this has been getting better for me. I also worked on getting that reload done within the first step. This is going to take more work to really ingrain.

I started and ended with group shooting.

Atlanta's Match

I finished third in OPEN out of (9(I think)), and 6th out of 71 overall. 1st OPEN shooter is a GM and 2nd is an A. Second beat me overall by less than 1 match point. My times on most stages very comparable to the GM. There was 1 stage that I thought I had a great run only to see that the GM creamed me on points and time.

Now that I can practice on the cheap, I need to develop a better plan with some set drills. I'll be looking for some drills that are easy to set up and encompass most skills. I figure 3-4 times a week then a local match on Sunday. Any suggestions are welcome.

Congrats on on making A. So far the 22conversion was the best money I have spent in Uspsa in terms of progression. 22's can be hard to keep running sometimes and the ammo is cheap and misfires some. That is the only downside but the results make up for it 10 fold.

I better watch out when I make it up there again. I have a feeling you put a bullseye on my back :roflol:

Flyin

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Forgot to mention that you shouldn't be afraid to push it in practice. Get out of your comfort zone. I also push it at local matches or try things I would never do in a major. Just so I know what I can do and can't do in a match.

Good luck on your journey.

Flyin

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Flyin,

Thanks for the early help in deciding on the .22. It is a blast to shoot and so far, not one glitch. That thing just eats Federal bulk pack from Wally World. I have the one mag that came with it(my reload mag) and 3 Tacsol mags.

I really feel that on most stages, I lose time Shooting. I want to develop a routine that will help me groove in shooting sooner, in and out, of positions. I think I will revisit S. Andersons 2nd book.

Oh,... yes I did place a bullseye on your back, but I don't think you need to worry just yet. :cheers:

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Good luck on the journey to GM. I will be pulling for you as you go for it.

Thanks Coach, hey, how did that chubby Section Coordinator beat us both in Atlanta? Does he get faster as he gets bigger?

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Good luck on the journey to GM. I will be pulling for you as you go for it.

Thanks Coach, hey, how did that chubby Section Coordinator beat us both in Atlanta? Does he get faster as he gets bigger?

I cannot speak about your match but my defeat was completely my fault. One real slow time and a couple of mikes that should not have happened. I was over aggressive with the plan on my last stage and it cost me but I was going for it in preparation for future situations. I don't like it but I have to live with it for a week.

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I got to the range tonight. The .22 is so much fun to shoot I have to almost make myself quit. Here is what I did tonight.

Draw to 8" plate at 10 yards Consistently 1.15-1.20s x52.

Surrender draw to 8" plate at 10 yards. Consistently 1.20-1.30 x52.

Steve Anderson's Live Fire Plate Rack Run. Really concentrated on keeping the gun up and smoothing my entries/hustling my exits. Ran several in the mid 9's and finally broke into the mid to upper 8's. I really like this drill.

Set up 3 plates about 2 feet apart, 10 yards away. Started 10 feet to the left of a box, moved to the box and shot each plate twice, moved out of box 10 feet. Crap! Just realized I didn't run this from the right side, that sucks. I didn't really use the timer other than the start beep. I have noticed that I tend to set up hard for most arrays regardless of difficulty. This was my way to work on a softer setup and try to "feel" what it is like to roll through an array that's not a 10 feet hoser.

I ended with group shooting at 17 yards and 50 yards. Suffice, I need some work. I can manage to hit my 12" plate at 50 yards 10-11 times out of 12. But the grouping needs more work.

Things to do: Build some wall sections.

POSITIVES: I had one very nice group at 17 yards, just a little to big for a paster to cover. I sweat my ass off running around with a gun!

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Did not get to practice today, but I did get some stuff done. I went to a buddies house and we made 6 round steel plate targets. This will be very helpful. We designed them to slide up and down a 2 x 4 and lock in wherever you want. Now I can quit worrying about the pasting and taping. They are a fairly light weight package and I can pick the whole stand and plate up and set it where I want. The plates are 7 1/2" wide and about 1/4" thick. Perfect for .22 OPen blaster. I am fairly stoked about shooting the piss out of them. Right now, I have to go grill pork chops.

Small steel match tomorrow at Warsaw, should be fun.

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Match at Warsaw today, all steel, 3 stages. 16 total shooters. 5 with my last name. My younger brother is home from Afghanistan and he shot with his two boys and our Dad. The match was hot and I just shot and had fun, not much to write about. I have been having trouble picking up the dot in the bright sun. The Cmore eats batteries fairly quickly and I think, from reading some other threads, I should go ahead and get a new dot module. All in all a good day with my brother and Pops and nephews.

Edited to say: I went ahead and ordered a new dot module. I ordered a 6moa. I could not find an old thread talking about the color code on modules. The module on my blaster does not have a color code. The dot has never been round, it is kinda like a line, and very small.

If anyone knows what the color code is please list it here, does Cmore even use it anymore?

Edited by fourtrax

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Got to my range tonight. Had a 300 round practice. 50 each surrender and hands relaxed draws to a 7 and 10 yard plate. I don't know how many I did at each distance as I lost count. I was very pleased and brought my time down considerably on both. Even went sub 1s at both distances several times. I concentrated on being smooth. I really notice the tension especially "surrender" when I'm under the clock.

Did the SA live fire plate rack run several times.

Set up a barricade and ran diagonal to it and shot 3 plates. Really good drill. This is one I am going to break down and find all my lost time. Not being smooth is what I'm noticing. Too much dot bounce once I'm set up.

At a hands relaxed start where you have to move first, I find that for me starting with the left foot is a little faster.

When I start with my right my gun gets bounced around and the moving draw is out of whack. I will practice both ways.

Ended with the 50 yard plate and no more rounds, oh well, back to Wally World.

POSITIVES: Recorded a .94 at 7 yards, hands relaxed. Plate system is awesome, easy to move and set height from ground to about 5' at top of plate. I have 6 of them and now wonder how I managed without them.

Edited by fourtrax

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Did some dryfire movement drills with the 9mm racegun. The .22 racer is just a tad lighter and I want do not want to get overly familiar with just one.

Ran to my barricade and shot targets on right. Worked the par time down a couple of ticks and tried to groove into the entry. Trying to feel where I'm not smooth. Discovered that I am usually waiting to long to mount the gun. Worked on getting the gun into position just a half step earlier and this made the first shot easier.

Ran to my barricade and shot targets on left. Same as above.

Worked on snapping the gun from near to far and vice versa on 6 plates at 10, 15 and 20 on the left side then a gap of 15 feet and 20, 15, 10 on the right side. Plates arranged in an upside down V. I can not wait to do this live fire. I did not record times as I was paying attention to snapping my eyes and rotating at the knees.

Installed my new 6moa dot tonight on the racegun. Man, my old module had no markings and I thought it was a 4moa. I was wrong. Looks the same as the new one, just not nearly as crisp and defined and bright at any setting. Cmore sends a dot size chart so now I have the info I was looking for.

DOT SIZE COLOR CHART

2moa red

4moa green

6moa blue

8moa yellow

12moa orange

16moa purple

POSITIVES: I smoothed up my entries, now to groove it in. I ran around with a gun and sweat my butt off.

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Repeated last nights dryfire with live fire tonight. Felt good, but still need to smooth up the entries.

Draw is coming along nicely, Working on it every practice session is paying off. My surrender is a tad slower and I'm going to have to get some video of that and get it critiqued. Down in the high .9's to low 1.0's. on hands relaxed and I get there quicker, within several draws. I think this is getting grooved in better. It use to take me 20 or so draws to get below 1sec.

I had a lot of yard stuff to do and I cut my practice time short. I shot 200+ rounds. I need to work on the turning draw.

A couple of ticks off of the turning draw and I'll be happy with that. I'm thinking I'm around 1.30, but I'll check it next practice to be sure and see where I need to go. I'd like something at 1.15-1.20 for the standard El Prez setup.

Positives: Within several draws I was right down at 1sec. Took several ticks off my dryfire partime with live fire on my barricade drill.

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Why don't you come down and shoot with us on June 20th at WVPPS? I know it is a haul but carpool and make a day of it. If you commit I will try and up the round count and get all the run and gun to make it worthwhile. 11 am start time.

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Brent, Phil and I have been talking about coming down this summer. I have shot at your club, but it has been several years. I'll need directions from Indy as I can't for the life of me remember. Pencil me in, sounds like a good warmup for State.

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do you have a picture of the plate system you are using for your drills? was it something you made?

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Corey, I will try to remember and bring one to Warsaw for you to see. I am not real good with camera and posting, but I will try to get some pics with the daughters new digital Fuji. The targets are not for anything other than .22, I have shot this steel with the racegun and it dimples, so I don't anymore. This design I pretty much stole from what I could remember of Cheely's targets at a Movement class he did for us. I hope he doesn't mind. :surprise:

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Good luck on the journey to GM. I will be pulling for you as you go for it.

Thanks Coach, hey, how did that chubby Section Coordinator beat us both in Atlanta? Does he get faster as he gets bigger?

I cannot speak about your match but my defeat was completely my fault. One real slow time and a couple of mikes that should not have happened. I was over aggressive with the plan on my last stage and it cost me but I was going for it in preparation for future situations. I don't like it but I have to live with it for a week.

Chubby....I wish I was chubby, I am a fat ass.

And for the record he didn't beat me the next weekend either.

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Jake that's just plain funny :roflol:

Edited to say: You know, without the guns, Coach would just beat both of us into the ground!

Edited by fourtrax

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Shot Porter today. I let it all hang out, and it showed. But, I did learn some neat stuff about my shooting. I am definitely athletic enough to compete with the younger guys. There were 4 really fun field stages and they all were very challenging.

What I learned: By watching a more advanced and younger "A" open shooter I really compared his style to my own. He just finished 9th overall at Area 4. 7 GM's and 1 M beat him. Anyways, 1 year ago it was a toss up between him and me at a match. I was a high B and he was a newer A. Since Area 6 he has been on a tear!!!!!! I have really been impressed with his points and time. So I really studied the differences today and tried to figure out how he has improved so much in just 1 year. My best determination is that he is rock solid when moving with the gun. He keeps his feet moving to the end of the stage and his shoulders are always squared to the target he is engaging. He turrets to targets really well.

By being a little more disciplined in his movements he is cutting fractions of time off every array.

Thinking of my style I can see that I am not as disciplined. I tend to be a little more free flowing(which is good), but not as efficient. I have extra body movements I could eliminate with a little movement discipline. I need to square up more to the targets before engagement. This will optimize my movement, cut down on ackward/off balance shots. Allow me to get out of positions with more purpose.

I don't know how the match will shake out, but I'm not worried about it. I learned a lot about my style and now know what to incorporate in my training. I'm am actually fairly excited about this and know I will get better.

Indiana State is coming up and it will be my first big one as an A. I can't wait!!! :cheers:

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Indiana State is coming up and it will be my first big one as an A. I can't wait!!! :cheers:

Just remember to just shoot. Don't try to shoot like you think an A should shoot like. That puts pressure and expectations to perform which will lead to being anxious and rushing.... I might try to make it. Shot my first match yesterday since last yr and not sure if I want to spend the money for a big match without some practice.

Good luck

Flyin

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Indiana State is coming up and it will be my first big one as an A. I can't wait!!! :cheers:

Just remember to just shoot. Don't try to shoot like you think an A should shoot like. That puts pressure and expectations to perform which will lead to being anxious and rushing.... I might try to make it. Shot my first match yesterday since last yr and not sure if I want to spend the money for a big match without some practice.

Good luck

Flyin

That is good advice and it really hits home. For the first time I have had doubts. I remember watching Chris Keen, Chris Land and some others at the Indiana Section match a couple years ago. I think at the time they were A's. Anyways, man were they good. Well, now I'm there and at first I was doubting my ability that got me there. I am starting to adjust and plan to do exactly what you say. JUST SHOOT.

I shoot Friday and work it the whole weekend, so I'll see you there hopefully. :cheers:

Edited to say:

When I say doubts, I mean that in a performance anxiety kinda way. I get to thinking that now I'm an A and I get nervous about trying to shoot like I think an A should shoot. I have done two matches in a row and let it all hang out. I am tired of eating penalties and mikes. Those two things are not like me. I did learn a lot and feel that was a good experiment, but I am gonna take those lessons, practice them and JUST SHOOT from now on.

Edited by fourtrax

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Shot 300 rounds in practice tonight.

Worked on moving into a position and shooting 3 targets and exiting. Right and left side. Felt good. I took my time on several runs and really tried to diagnose any issues. One issue was getting the gun up more. I ran this several times and changed target location twice. I also took note of my posture. If I get down and bend my knees a little more and stay aggressive my times are better by ticks.

This is an area I know I need improvement in. Staying mounted on the gun and being more aggressive. I can move quickly, but I am losing time on not staying mounted and being aggressive. My practice bore this truth out to me tonight.

POSITIVES: Finished up on the ol' 50yard plate. Dinged that sucka 20 out of 20!!!!!

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Practiced tonight about 200 rounds.

Started on the standard El Presindente, but with a twist. I used my plates spaced appropriately. I ran this 5-6 times and managed to work my time down some but had mag problems. I ended up working on transistions with the same array.

Gun on target/delayed beep and one shot each plate. I would like to get this down below 1 sec. Best 1.14.

My race .22 doesn't not have the extended mag release like my Gan's blaster. This is an easy fix and one I need to get. I also need a new hoslster. My CR Speed is great, but the two guns are just a shade different in length. The .22 doesn't lock in perfect. A Ghost or Ribas type holster is what i'm leaning towards. I really like the responses about the new RMAA by Saul Kirsch. This type of holster would solve that length problem.

Last but not least, the one mag that came with the Marvel is right now the best I have. I did purchase 3 Tacsol mags and they are works of art all aluminum. But, each one is rubbing on the back right/top of the feed lips. I think it is getting worse each time I use them and causes the gun to hang up. I compared them to the stock and they are wider and thicker in this area. I think a little filing will fix the issue.

POSITIVES: Shot the ol' 50 yard plate at 35 yards with the weak hand. Suprised myself.

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