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Aaron's journey to Vegas


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I never thought I'd be one to do this, as I'm not much of a public guy, but I'm really liking the idea and the huge knowledge base here on benos. So, without further adieu...

A introduction about me: I am the only one (I think) who is seriously shooting a HK USP in USPSA. You'll be able to find me by looking for the guy with the clear magazines, HK gear, and a big grin on when I'm at the range. I've had the good fortune of being able to shoot and become friends with two GM's in my area, David Weers and Dave Re. Both have been instrumental in my progress and motivation. My regular shooting parter, Jerome, also runs around here and I wouldn't be where I am without him. He dragged me kicking and screaming into USPSA in the first place, and he and I shoot neck and neck. It is great inspiration and motivation, and the fact that we can still be friends even when the other wins is the reason we've hung out together for so long. He's going to nats too, so I'm mainly there just to beat him. :P:P:P

I am slotted for Limited Nationals this year. I've had a pretty good run so far, but I want a big "W" in this category bad. This match also happens to semi-coincide with SWAT tryouts at my department, which I also want a big "W" in bad. :D They have not released the eligibility requirements or the test date yet, but I'm hoping they don't overlap with nats. Either way, here is my current state of the world:

Dryfire : None. I haven't done any almost my entire shooting career. I am incredibly busy, but the fact is I just have not carved out the time for it.

Live fire : 2-3 matches a month, one major approximately every 3 months. Sporadic range time.

Workouts : 3 times a week crossfit at my local gym. Lately I've been missing a lot of the workouts due to training and job demands, and I have not been making up what I missed even if I have the time.

Diet : I do a semi-paleo zone-ish type diet. I'm 6'0", 170# and 10% body fat now.

My goals:

Dryfire : 5 times a week, 15 minutes at a time, focusing on my perceived weak points from live fire and matches. I have a bad mike bug that I sorely want to shake. At the Texas Limited match I gave up close to 60 match points in penalties alone. That is unacceptable.

Live fire : 2-3 matches a month is a good pace and keeps it fresh. I'd like to make it to the range at least one to two more times a month on top of that so I'm in the area of burning about 1k rounds a month.

Workouts: I want to stick to 4 times a week, three at the gym and at least one on my own. I'm hoping to inspire my wife to come with me at times, and I want to start running the dog so he can work some energy out. He is a GSD and lately he has been a nutcase.

Diet: When I pulled a strict version for three months I came down to 165 pounds at 8% body fat. I'd like to cut down to about 160/6%. Shouldn't be difficult to do, but I need to keep myself disciplined. I'd like to lift heavier but I don't have a good gym to throw weight around. Every pound I lose means I move faster, my joints take less of a pounding when I'm on duty, and I can catch those 16 year old punks that run from me. :) A little inspiration, stolen from 215gear.com:


My recent results w/my comments:

7/10 - Texas State Limited - Great job on 50y standards (104 points, without scoring error). Shooting high on target paid off with great center hits. Need to watch the front sight and not get cocky on steel. Crash on last run. 2 mike, FTE on steel. 14/126th overall, 10/96th in limited, 1st in B class

7/17 - Waco USPSA - 6/26 overall. 3 mikes / 4 stages. Ugh. Most mikes while moving. Settled well on steel! Work on tracking the front sight. Better visualization of how pistol looks on target is helping.

So to start it off, shot the Waco match yesterday. I was unhappy with the mikes but other than that I shot fairly well. I watched a first person video the other day here and something clicked in my head about it. Now when I'm walking the COF I can see the back of my pistol and the sights, right where I need them to go. It worked.

Comments are welcome, especially any dry fire routines ya'll can suggest.

Here is a video from TX Limited of the first stage I shot. I did well, but you can see my footwork is choppy and my reload was sloooooooooow.


Edited by ausshooter
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7/18 -

Dry fire: I did 15 minutes of dry fire practice today. I first focused on the grip coming out of the holster as well as press outs. Quickly getting my weak hand to an index on my belly button, melding with my firing hand, and providing a good amount of forward torque with the wrist was dropping the front sight in perfectly. I want that first shot on a small steel plate to be easy. 50 perfect reps done, crappy ones were not counted. I then worked on my reloads, which have needed work for a while. I need to remember the process. Hit the mag release button while the pistol is still vertical. Bring the gun in to my face and index new mag. Seat new mag and re-attain grip while pushing front sight into the target. Perfect press out. 50 more reps and I called it a day.

I know I need to work most on efficiency of movement. I need to figure out some good drills for that tomorrow.

Live fire: I went to Red's and made 200 pieces of .40 brass. I worked on accuracy, reloads, and WHO/SHO shooting. Next time I need to remember to bring my timer!

Workout : I ran a mile with the dog, did a short crossfit workout (15 9 3, muscle ups, 45#kb swings, squats), 10 turkish getups (35#) and then ran another mile in 6:31. Pretty decent though I should have upped the reps and downed the MU's.

Diet: Good today, though I forgot to eat lunch with all the running around. It'll be easier tomorrow.

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7/19 -

Dry fire: A mirror of yesterday. I got my draws down to .77 at the fastest, averaging about .9ish. My draw, trigger press, reload, shot reloads averaged about 2.3-4 and got (at the fastest) about 1.97. The target was only 3 feet away, so there wasn't a whole lot of alignment needed. I tried to use the A box for my shots to work on a smaller target. How are ya'll matching up dry fire vs live fire practice on those kinds of numbers?

Workout: rest day

Diet : ate great today. Kept to my diet, no cheating.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I haven't updated here in a bit. It's been a rough few weeks. I'm slated to go to my second funeral in 8 days on thursday. My workouts have fallen off a bit, but my dry fire and shooting have kept up. Practice tomorrow night. Last two matches I've finished first... but a lot of that was because no GM's, M's, or A's were at the match. I'll take the W when I get it though!

My diet has been good and I've kept it up the way I want to. Now if I can just get through this mental stress, things will be good.

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Aaron - Cripes I didn't know you were serious! Ok, enough kidding. Ted and I will be there for the Open, try to catch us Tuesday we take off Wednesday morning, and we can pass on the ice chest and chairs to you, or what ever we find. If you have any questions about the Limited nationals I shot it last year in Vegas, I can tell you about the range etc. I couldn't find a folding chair in that town last year so I went to Lowes and bought a 5 gallon bucket to sit on. Worked good loading mags since there are no tables on the range.

You tore up the TX State Limited one bad B. Good Luck.

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Why don't we make more effort to practice and workout together? Maybe the competitive spirit will follow us into that and push us to that next level?

I'm with it man .. my schedule being completely backwards of everyone else makes it tough, though. This is the last weekend I'm working - for the next month I'm working monday through thursday. I'll be free friday, saturday, and sunday.... I'm game for whatever we can come up with! Only 8 weeks left!

Our crossfit WOD today was titled "Everything you suck at"... power snatches, hand stand pushups, and muscle ups. I have everything except the HSPU - I can only nail those about 50% of the time. It was really hard to make a good attempt after blowing them out with the power snatches. I just signed up for a strength based workout every tuesday at lunch. Hopefully I can get my weights up so I can put a little more power behind my movements.

Today I'm headed to the range on one of the few days I get to call a "weekend". It's back to work tomorrow, and the wife is out of town. I'm really tempted to get to the 3 gun match on sunday, but with work after I'd have to leave early ... again. I'm looking forward to next month and not having to skip stages!

Jerome - play hookey early and meet me at ARC! I'm going to try to burn about 300 rounds today. I've got some catching up to do...

Ron - Thanks! I think the wife and I are getting in on wednesday - I'm going to have to play nice and take care of her as well as shoot and keep my game together. It'll be interesting.....

Edited by ausshooter
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Jerome and I made it to the range on saturday and had a good morning of working on some of Dave Re's drills. I have a whole pile of data that I hope I can improve on. :)

Just about shot 850 rounds this month, which is a great pace. I also managed to get out and shoot the 3 gun match this sunday, which I ended up finishing high over all. I was very excited to even be able to shoot the match - Sheldon the match director was nice enough to give me one last kitchen pass to leave early and head to work. Our squad was just getting to the last stage when I needed to run for the hills, and even though it was later than I wanted to be, I skipped lunch at home and made it to the street in time. 3 gun has really become a huge draw for me, because I seem to really have a knack for it. The shotgun has been my real weak point, but the more trigger time I get with this FN SLP the more I am liking it.

I am hoping to get to the range tomorrow morning so I can iron out my new .40 load with Solo 1000. Once I get that finished I need to come home and load up 100 rounds so I can send it to Bruce Gray at Gray Guns and get my rig tuned up. I'm having him mod some SVI mags to run in the USP to get rid of some of these nagging malfunctions that I, personally, attribute to pushing the HK mags well out of their design spec. Being able to have a metal mag and be able to get replacement springs that are designed to be at this capacity should be the answer I'm looking for!

Only 8 more weeks until nationals. I'm excited as hell, and I'm motivated by the finale of top shot! It gives us little guys hope :)

Enough for today, time to hit the gym!

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