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Barefoot Shooter's Log

Barefoot Shooter

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I thought I would start this diary about 2 months ago, but have had some issues getting registered on the site, so I will actually do some catching up from a range diary I have kept for a couple of months. I have shot IDPA for about 18 months now and had grown extremely frustrated over the lack of progress. I don't shoot USPSA, I'd like to sometime, it looks like fun as well. I decided to devote more time to practice and to try and be more organized in my practice. I also decided to take a few lessons locally which have helped. I have had a decent amount of pistol training, it has always been geared to defensive shooting and never classes specific to shooting sports. I'd like to find one some time but they seem to be few and far between. My own assessment of the last two months is pretty mixed. There are many days it is just beyond me to do some dry work before bed. Range time is often at a premium as well. I don't know that I have improved much in terms of getting a practice routine for live fire practice or dry fire.

I'm currently classified as a marksman shooting SSP. I occasionally shoot my 1911 and hold the same marksman classification in CDP (barely), but 99% of the time I shoot SSP. About 3 months ago I switched from my edc Glock 17 to a Glock 34 to use in IDPA. It has been an adjustment to say the least. I am not a gun switcher so I will succeed or fail with this gun for at least the next several years. I enjoy the sport, I look forward to it, I just cannot stand to shoot so poorly. My local range usually has an IDPA match every Saturday morning, I'm lucky, I get to do this a lot. I also believe that generally speaking I shoot with a lot of good shooters. They do very well in regional or statewide matches as a group. They are also a good group to shoot with, the day this becomes stressful or an irritation I'll give it up.

My current equipment setup:

Glock 34

Sevigny Competition sights plain rear, serrated black front .245

Comp-tac belt holster

Wilderness belt

2 single Comp-tac mag pouches

Gorilla tape on the grip

I reload, my current round for IDPA

124 grain M.G. CMJ

4.2 grains Titegroup

1.135 target OAL

Mixed range brass

I'd welcome any comments, constructive or otherwise.

Edited by Barefoot Shooter
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Tuesday June 22, 2010

Home range- shot steel plates which is a regular Tuesday event at the range. Very few people shoot. It is not elaborate, 10 yards, 1 plate rack, simply stand and deliver. Took the Glock 34 again to work on the feeding issues which had been going on. Slide "stuck" open on first stage, I stopped and asked another shooter to come up and look at it, he noticed nothing initially, I racked the slide and was allowed to re shoot. I shot horribly on all but one stage. On the second stage I again stopped, the other shooter came forward and said, "push the slide release" I did, the slide shut and the gun was ready. The problem turned out to be my grip pushing up on the slide release and at various times the slide would lock back appearing to fail to feed. On the next stage the gun functioned without problem. It did so on repeated stages clearly indicating that my grip was the problem, not the gun. It locked open once more for the night and on one reload it was clear that I was riding the slide release, when it failed to lock open on empty. I tinkered with my grip throughout the night, shot poorly but at least discovered the problem. When the slide comes back from Georgia next week, I need to work on the grip and regain confidence in the gun and stop glancing at the slide worrying that it "failed to feed" after shots. I had never had this problem on the Glock 17.

Edited by Barefoot Shooter
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Friday June 25, 2010

Home range- Went to range at lunch hour. Shot approximately 70 rounds on standard NRA target. Sole focus was on tracking the front sight on the shot and back down into the notch. Used Glock 17, no failures using 124 grain M.G. CMJ, 4.2 grains of Titegroup, Target OAL 1.135, CCI Primer. First few rounds seemed very smokey, and smokey overall. By the end of the session I could track the sight fairly well, need more work. Toward the end I became to focused on cleaning the orange out of the center of the target. Gun, and those around me seemed excessively loud with low profile Caldwell electronic muffs. I need to do more of this drill with complete focus on following the sight and paying no attention to the target.

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Saturday June 26, 2010

Local range- IDPA. 11 shooters in all, one shooter in cheater division playing with a 30 round mag. Shooting Glock 17 with 124 grain M.G. CMJ, 4.2 grains of Titegroup, Target OAL 1.135, CCI Primer. The 10th place shooter, had no business out there, he violated 180 on stage 1 and then N.D.'d a round into the backstop while dropping mag at the end of the stage. So in reality I finished 8th of 9. I was 7th in time elapsed (102.68) and 9th in penalty time. 1 FTN, 2, procedurals (12 rds to start in mag & failure to slice pie after reload)

Stage 1- Start at about 5 yards, draw and fire 6 on the target while retreating to centered barricade. At the barricade slice around the right side. I finished 7th in time (15.19) and 3 points down (8th). 7th overall on stage. Fastest time was 9.63 (Joe), low down was .50. Target shooter was 14.92 and 4 pts down (8th on stage)

Stage 2- A variation of Stage 1 at the Texas State Championship. Mozambique a left and right target to side of barricade, in tac-sequence. Reload on the advance to barricade then right hand only on 2 right hand targets, and left hand only on two left side targets, around the barricade on respective sides. This was a LIMITED STAGE. Finished in 5th in time (23.78) and 25 points down (9th), 9th on the stage. I shot this stage very well for me at Greenville and was baffled by the poor showing here. I missed a head shot on 1 Mozam and shot poorly on the back targets in both 1 hand sides. Target shooter was 24.07 and 5 pts down (5th on stage). Fastest time was 21.24 and low down was 6 pts.

Stage 3- Starting at left wall, draw and fire while moving laterally at 3 targets to barricade, then tac load, then move out and fire again at 3 more targets while continuing movement. This was my best stage of the day...yet didn't feel a lot different from Stage 1. I finished 7th in time (13.88) and had 1 point down (1st) for a finish of 2nd on the stage. Reload seemed pretty quick at the barricade. Target shooter was 13.34 (6th) and 9 pts down (10th) (6th on the stage). Fastest time was 10.44 and low down was ME!

Stage 4- Center barricade, 8 targets, 1 non-threat. Start at the barricade, slice the pie, on the reload behind cover you then had to roll out and shoot from the opposite side. I finished in 16.84 (7th) and 7 pts down w/ 1 FTN and 2 procedurals (9th). 8th place for the stage. Starting mag was loaded with 12 and failed to slice when I rolled out after reload. This should have been an easy stage, targets were about 10 yards. Target shooter was 16.56 (5th) and 8 pts down (T-7th). Fastest time was 12.59 and low down was 5 pts.

Stage 5- Same targets and barricade as stage 4. Advancing from about 20 yards to barricade, must engage targets on the way. Once there engage remainder any way you wish. I started and engaged many targets on way. I finished in 20.58 (8th) and 6 pts down (2nd) for an overall of 5th on the stage. Target shooter was 17.17 (4th) and 23 seconds in penalties (10th) for an overall of 9th on stage. I was just slow...not sure why. I know I took some extra shots. Fastest time was 12.14 and low down was 3 pts.

Stage 6- Barricade moved up to 7 yards. Slice pie, any way you wish. I deliberately told myself I was going to shoot fast...period. I finished in 12.41 (3rd) with 27 points down (9th) to finish 8th on the stage. I thought I had better sight pictures apparently...I had no NT's and no failures...with a lot of extra shots. Target shooter was 14.93 (6th) with 12 pts down (T-7th).

A fairly typical aimless Saturday morning shoot. Just going through the motions. I have to figure out another way.

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Sunday June 27, 2010

Dry Fire- afternoon, approx. 15 minutes. Draw and press out first shot. Par time set at 1.7 seconds. Focus on front sight and press off a clean shot. Practice reload from slide lock, then press out clean shot on dummy round. Focus on front sight. Par time set at 2.3 seconds. Try to keep reload done high. Using slide release not overhand. Used IPOD shot timer.

After dinner, more of same. 15 more minutes. Draw and press out slack up. No trigger press (per Anderson). Par time at 0.9 sec. Reload drill par time 2.0 sec. Press out no trigger break, take up slack. Sometimes had a lot of extra time after reload.

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Tuesday June 29, 2010

Up since 4:30 a.m. and a long day on the road. New Warren Tactical Sevigny Comp sights arrived installed by Chris Patty on new Glock 34 this morning. Plain black front and rear. They will take some getting used to.

Tuesday night steel plates, I was eager to get a look down the new slide....well maybe I shouldn't have been. I shot horribly, the sights will definitely take some getting used to. I need to go back to the range and put the gun on the bag and determine what the POI-POA is. I really had no idea tonight, I just know it was terrible. Zeb from this forum made a guest appearance in Lubbock and kicked everyone's ass and left. Our steel plates are very pedestrian, one rack, quick after work thing, but I clearly need lots of work on them. The newly discovered slide lock pushing and riding occurred a couple of times. One time pushing it into slide lock in mid string and twice riding it and not getting a lock open on empty. It will take some adjusting and repetition to get used to the 34's slide lock. It is a problem I never really had on the 17. Got home and after dinner did 15 minutes of dry fire. Draws from holster to press out/slack out, no press. Par times 1.7 to start then 1.2 then 0.9. They felt pretty good but looking at the new sights is disconcerting right now. Hopefully some slow fire from a rest to figure them out.

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Wednesday June 30, 2010

Went to range during lunch hour to fire the new sights from a rest. It appears the new Sevigny Comps at .245 may be too tall. The gun shoots low and it took some adjusting of the sight alignment to bring them up. Time will tell I guess. Will see what people on the forums say. It could always be me and usually is. I shot about 40-50 rounds. No dryfire today.

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Thursday July 1, 2010

20-25 minutes dry fire. Straight draws to slack out with Glock 34. Par times, 1.7, 1.2 and 0.9 seconds. Reload practice from slide lock to slack out. Par times 2.2 seconds 4 sets of 9 and 1.7 seconds, 4 sets of 9. Number of clean reloads was not good, plenty were ok, a handful were terrible or aborted. No trigger presses. Worked on holding off to account for tall front sight (low shots). Also worked on trying to keep thumb from both pushing and riding the slide lock. On one reload, the slide slammed shut on inserting the mag (probably harder than I had been).

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Saturday July 3, 2010

Yet another frustrating IDPA Saturday. It has rained for two days steadily and the roof leaks pretty bad making the range awash in standing water. Slick floors, wet targets etc... Shot the Glock 34, same sights, with more effort to determine how much these new sights will shoot low. Shot my 124 grain M-G CMJ load. T.M. set up the stages today. 16 shooters, with more USPSA shooting outlaw. 2 squads. I finished 10th of 16. Finished 9th of 16 in elapsed time and 14th of 16 in penalty. Beat 4 other MM in either SSP or ESP and one SS in ESP. Beat one target shooter finished 1 place behind a second target shooter.

Stage 1- From centered barricade approximately 10 yards, 6 targets at back. From right side, one shot each, slicing the pie. Tac load, then from the left side, one shot each slicing the pie. I was a little slow on the tac load. Shot it in 19.89 (9th out of 16) with 6.50 in penalty (14th out of 16). I finished 12th of 16 on stage. Fastest time was 13.89 and low-down was 0.5 (several). Target shooters: 20.20 w/ 4.00 penalty (10th on stage) and 22.04 w/ 6.50 penalty (11th on stage). I had the high among all MM shooters.

Stage 2- 15 yards, strong hand only at popper. Draw and fire, one shot. I missed at 15 yards and 12 yards, hit at 10 yards on first shot. I finished in 8.98 secs (13th out of 16) on stage. The fastest time was 2.54 by a target shooter. Another target shooter was 2.76. Purely an execution stage and I choked it bad. I was trying to make the draw smooth and not rush...to no avail. Simply didn't make the shots.

Stage 3- Standing from table approximately 7-8 yards. Gun on table with 1 round. 5 other shooters guns on table with one round. On buzzer pick up each pistol and fire one shot on target. I chose glocks and XD's. My pistol was a zero-down. I finished in 17.51 (11th of 16) with 3.50 penalty (14th of 16) for a total of 21.01 (11th of 16) on stage. Target shooters: 16.06 and 2.50 penalty (10th of 16) and 20.32 and 1.50 penalty (12th of 16) on stage. Fastest time was 11.69 (EX level shooter) and low-down was 0.

Stage 4- Bianchi barricade in center approx 8 yards. Low concealment on right covering 1 low target. Barrels in center covering two targets. Barrels on left covering 1 low target. 3 shots on all targets one had to be head. On draw I advanced on visible right target to low cover and shot the low target then the right hand target visible behind the center barrels. Then retreated back to start (Bianchi) tac-loaded then advanced on the left. Shooting the high target on way to barrels and then shooting low target and then moving laterally to left shooting the last center target on the left behind the center barrels. Floor was very wet. I finished in 22.76 (7th of 16) with 6.50 in penalty (tied w/ 3 others at 14th of 16). 7th of 16 on stage. Fastest time was 14.03 and low-down was 0. Target shooters: 24.72 (8th of 16) with 5.00 in penalty (8th of 16 on stage). 31.97 (12th of 16) with 5.50 penalty (12th of 16 on stage).

Stage 5- Same setup. Strong hand stage. Weak hand carrying bucket. Advancing left side then moving back behind for close shots on same targets. I finished in 17.59 (7th of 16) with 2.50 in penalty (11th of 16) for 7th out of 16 on stage. Fastest time was 11.91. Low-down was 0 (several). Target shooters: 22.20 (10th of 16) with 3.00 penalty (10th of 16 on stage) and 12th of 16) with .50 penalty (12th of 16 on stage).

Stage 6- Basically the same thing starting on the right side and weak hand only, carrying bucket in strong hand. I finished in 15.35 (8th of 16) with 8.00 penalty including 1 FTN (T14th of 16) for 12th out of 16 on stage. Target shooters: 17.56 (13th of 16) with .50 penalty (8th of 16 on stage) and 18.51 (14th of 16) with 1.0 penalty (11th of 16 on stage). Fastest time was 8.91 (EX level) low-down was 0 (several).

Dry Fire- 25 minutes on standard sized target at 4 yards and simulated 11 yard target. Draws through trigger press on both. Strong hand only draws on both. Par times for both 1.7 and 1.2 seconds. Weak hand from low ready through trigger press, par time 1.2 seconds.

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Monday July 5, 2010

Holiday today, no work and of course the range is closed. Did about 25 minutes of dry fire, Draws and reloads only, no trigger press. Used the simulated 11 yard target. Par times on draws 1.7 and 1.2 seconds. Got bored fairly quickly, not a particularly good session. Otherwise occupied my time polishing some range brass I'd accumulated and may reload a few rounds later. I should try to do a better dry fire session later.

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Tuesday July 6, 2010

Lesson with instructor after work. I made no request on anything specific, I just asked that we start from the bottom. Worked on fundamentals. Grip and trigger. Verified the sights are ok, not too high, it's all me. First thing he had me work on was grip. My strong hand is too tight, weak hand is too light. Work on getting 60-40 the other way. Frequently need to stop and look at my right palm, it was frequently waffled from the grip impression. Stop the death grip which is hindering my trigger finger. Shot some at 12 yards or so and some at 25. As the session went on my groups got better. Very briefly worked on reloads. Of course I fumble several, much worse than I am actually capable of.... The work for my reloads should consist of what I do now with the change being a pause as the mag arrives at the magwell, assure alignment then slam it in. Don't focus on fast all the way through. It seems as if this pause takes forever, but in reality it doesn't and it assures a clean insert. My misses were generally low lefts. The first thing we will work in is the grip, second is my trigger finger placement. Rather than the pad, I will move in some to just before the joint, sometimes really in the joint due to the length of my fingers. With the deeper trigger finger, it seems easier to press smoothly. He observes that I have a death grip and work the trigger too hard, thus causing the jerks. Did some specific trigger work, where I try to reverse my trigger reset pattern. Currently I reset the trigger slowly then press quickly. Drill is simply to press, rack slide, reset quickly then smooth press. Volume work can be done at waist level, and other with sight picture.

Dry fire practice: Simply working on the 60-40 and relaxing my right hand, increasing the left. Working in trigger press with the proper grip. Frequently remove strong hand and mentally remind myself to lighten up, as a tend to tighten up as I go through a string. Literally looking at the impression in my palm. Draw to sight picture. Leave reload alone for the time being. Dry fire on plain wall, make sure I have a good view of the front and rear sights against the background.

We reviewed my match results from Saturday and the up and down is obvious. My speed isn't particularly the biggest problem at this point. I can be fast enough to pass people now. It was all about the 27.00 seconds in total penalty. Next practice session is Tuesday July 13, 2010 after work again.

Did some dry fire when I got home working solely on grip and trigger press with plain wall. No timer, no reloads. The new trigger finger position and constantly focusing on the relaxed strong hand will take some time.

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Thursday July 8, 2010

Went to the range at lunch hour to work strictly on grip and trigger finger position. I shot from 7 and 10 yards, and a few from 25 for the heck of it. It still requires a conscious effort to relax the strong hand and increase the weak hand. My groupings at both distances were almost entirely "in the orange". Though they still tended low and left, perhaps not as much. The target right side up is from 7 yards. The target upside down is from 10 or so yards, maybe 11. I took 24 shots from each and 6-10 shooting at 25 yards at a drawn in black dot at the lower right. There was not any low from the sights as I had believed. It was all me. On Tuesday, Jason verified both front and rear height and they are correct. Here is the target...I am never high, never right. 1 or two unacceptable fliers, but almost everything would have been in the zero down. Shooting was slow-fire concentrating on the grip and working hard to verify the sight alignment. Later tonight I need to do dry fire to press out, making sure I arrive at press out with the proper finger placement and a relaxed grip.

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Target as shown was at 24 shots at 7 yards. Everything progressed low left. The target upside down would be 24 shots from 10 yards, again low left. Only 1 shot from 10 yards left the orange, at 7 yards none did with one on the margin. The upper right is some goofing around at 25 yards with a very small black dot.

I continued to use passive muffs and plugs, though I am considering getting some electronic MSA's soon. The Caldwell Low-Profiles just aren't cutting it.

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Friday July 9, 2010

Local match tomorrow morning. Did a few minutes of draws, to slack out, working finger position and a 60-40 ish grip. Cleaned the pistol, which was fairly filthy, and loaded a few rounds, packed the range bag and got everything ready for in the morning. Thoughts tonight are work the fundamental things taught this week. Trigger finger position, relaxing my strong hand, tightening my weak hand. Try to think about the "pause" with the mag at the magwell on reloads. Get hits and shoot for fewer points down tomorrow. Hopefully the floor is dry, though it rained a little this morning. Need to ask about getting a classifier in before the Masters at Birmingham next month. Ordered the MSA Sordin Supreme X's today, hopefully this is the last match with doubling up or inadequate electronics.

Did some planning for the Ayoob class at the end of August in Memphis. Looking forward to it and seeing the Memphis Police LEO Training facility where it will be held. August should be a fun month with the Masters and the Ayoob Class.

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Saturday July 10, 2010

Local Match Day. 15 shooters, 5 SSP, 7 ESP, 1 ESR, 2 CDP. Target Shooters: about 4. Range was wet in places, not as bad as last Saturday but some water particularly in play on Stages 4-6. For the day I had no procedurals, FTN's or non-threats. Plan for the day was to do nothing but work on the fundamentals from the lesson, 60-40 weak/strong grip, new trigger finger placement with a better press. Reducing my penalty and points down is the emphasis. Target shooters: finished 5/15 and 14/15.

Stage 1- A stand and deliver stage, about 10-11 yards. Tac Sequence. Variation is there are 2 horizontal targets behind to vertical targets to simulate the target falling down. On the second pass you had to make a head shot on the horizontal target. Stage targets looked like this:

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The only tricky part is thinking through the second pass to take the head shot and not the body shot on the horizontal target. No reload needed on the stage. I finished in 13.86 (9/15) with 1.5 (Tie 6/15) secs in penalty-3 pts down. Overall 9/15 for the stage. My 3 points down were on 1 target. Target shooters: 14.81 (12/15) and 3.50 (12/15) for 12/15 overall; another was 23.37 (15/15) & 4.50 (13/15) for 15/15 on stage. I worked hard to start with a relaxed grip, which I did, I may have tightened up as I went along. Overall I was pleased with the stage.

Stage 2- Same target array. This stage involves moving from the left to right and firing while on the move. Reload is placed on the barrel opposite your starting side. All shots on the move. You must RWR at the barrel. Tactical sequence, you could not double tap the last target you had to reload first. On the horizontal target a head shot was not required, however there was not much of the zero down ring visible so I head shot was safer. The setup looked much like the first, the shots were from a yard or so further back.

I finished in 20.24 (12/15) w/ 1.50 secs in penalty-3 pts dn (T-1st/15) for 7/15 on the stage. This stage went smoothly. The first mag was stowed before I got to the barrel and picked up the 2nd mag, as there was no cover so the reload could begin anywhere. The 3 pts down were 1 pt each on 3 targets. I made both head shots on the horizontal targets. I took two make up shots as I finished, which added time. Target shooters: 17.24 (5/15) with 1.50 penalty (T1/15) for 1/15 on stage and another at 24.86 (14/15) with 3.00 penalty (4/15) for 12/15 on stage. I wonder what I would have sacrificed had I tried to shoot faster. Forced myself to focus on getting zero downs....

Stage 3

Same target array, minus 1 target in the very middle to make it revolver neutral and the horizontals were moved to be a separate target.. This was slicing the pie at 20 yards around a Bianchi barricade. 12 shots minimum, reload needed.

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I went in thinking solely about accuracy not speed. I finished in 20.11 (13/15) with 7.50 secs in penalty-15 pts down (10/15) for 11/15 on the stage. The far right target, my first, was zero down, then from right to left 3, 0, 6, 4, 2. I was somewhat surprised I had this many down. I wasn't surprised I was slow. Disappointing stage, my worst of the day, I felt like, though statistically stage 6 was worse. Target shooters: 15.34 (4/15) and 2.50 penalty T-1/15 for 1/15 overall on stage the other 22.97 14/15 and 2.50 penalty T-1/15 on stage) This doesn't bode well for the 3 stage of the classifier.

Stage 4- Moved to the other side, with this stage arrangement:

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There were two targets on the left side, 3 in the middle through the port and two on the right side. Stage 4 began behind the barrel, engaging the 3 through the port, then moving right and slicing the pie on those two, then moving to the left side and slicing the pie on the left. Reload was needed. I moved fairly far back behind the barrels to reduce squatting to shoot through the port, then simply stepped right and left for the pied shots. I did not advance to the barricade on either side, though since a reload was needed on the left side perhaps I should have shot to slide lock then reloaded behind the cover as I moved up to finish up. I finished in 21.21 (11/15) with 3.00 in penalty (11/15) to finish 10/15 overall on the stage. I gave a couple of pts down away on the middle targets through the middle, otherwise I wasn't too disappointed in my accuracy. Floor was wet, but this stage for me didn't require much movement. Target shooters: 15.97 (3/15) and 8.00 in penalty (T-14/15) for 9/15 overall another 21.74 12/15 with 1.00 penalty (T-1/15) for 8/15 overall. Both target shooters beat me....each one in a different way, either with speed or accuracy.

Stage 5- Same basic target array

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This time you started on the left side of the stage at the two left hand targets. The storyline of the scenario included starting drawn on the left hand target of the pair. Then on the buzzer switching to the right side and tac-sequencing the two, then retreating to the barrels as in Stage 4, and engaging the 3 through the port as before, then moving to the right advancing to the edge of cover while reloading and engaging the last two on the right. The water was in play on the retreat to cover, the floor was definitely slick. I finished in 21.12 (9/15) with 1.50 in penalty (2/15) for 8/15 overall on the stage. I should have shot the first two on the retreat, it wasn't clear that you could until later when someone asked and then did so. This easily should have been a zero down stage. Target shooters: 16.27 (5/15) with 4.00 penalty (13/15) for 6/15 overall on stage and another 20.79 (10/15) with 2.00 penalty (T-5/15) for 9/15 overall on stage.

Stage 6- Same target array with a metal popper added through the small low port in the cover. Stage begins on right side at the edge of cover, slicing the pie, retreating to the Bianchi barricade behind the barrels, shooting the popper through the small port avoiding the non-threat below the small port opening. Then Engaging the 3 center targets through the main port from around the sides of the Bianchi barricade as needed. The engaging the left sided 2 targets with the reload. Either advance to cover, shoot on the move or simply slicing from the barricade in back.

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I finished in 33.65 (horrible 14/15) with 2.00 in penalty (T-3/15) for an overall of 13/15 on the stage. Just horribly slow, not sure why, I hit the popper on the first shot and didn't have a fumble on the reload. However I shot well....which I guess was the point today. Target shooters: 22.03 (3/15) with 6.00 in penalty (12/15) to finish 7/15 on the stage and another 26.65 (9/15) with 4.00 in penalty (5/15) for 8/15 overall on the stage. I would really like to see what I could do with this stage on a second run.

Overall, I finished 9/15, not too bad. I finished 14th/15 in elapsed time and finished tied for 3rd with 17 pts down. There was some discussion of shooting a classifier after lunch but it didn't pan out. I need to get one in before Birmingham for sure. I at least felt like I had improved the penalty and points down.

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Sunday July 11, 2010

Nothing doing today. Church, errands, cooking. Managed some dry-fire tonight for about 15 minutes. Drawing both to slack out and with uncocked trigger. Solely working on relaxed grip when drawing quicker. Set part time on 0.9 seconds and focused on no death grip on the pistol and emphasizing weak hand grip. Would like to do some dry fire tomorrow with my targets and some reloads.

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Tuesday July 13, 2010

Lesson day. Range was hot, damn hot. Instructor was pleased with the scoresheet from Saturday's match. Total of 17 seconds down was good and 3rd in that category. Started today with 7 yard draws with one shot to the zero down. Started off with serious trigger jerking....nerves I guess, not sure why. It got better. Instructor did a good job of demonstrating how that extra .5 of a second equated to two zero downs instead of two 3 downs and a FTN from jerking. The difference in reality was for example 5.50 versus 5.00 plus 6 down plus 1 FTN for 13.00. Getting the concept that it isn't how fast you shoot...is tough, but it is the truth for me. Instead of draw to shot, I had to draw, prep the trigger then make a noticeable pause, then press the shot. Lather rinse repeat. I know that I was gripping the gun and pulling the trigger too hard at times. We then backed up and repeated the same things at 10 yards. We discussed that speed (less elapsed time) increases that I need are going to come from little things here and little things there, not one dramatic thing or slamming the trigger even faster. Instructor also observed that my draw is very staccato....very 1, 2, 3, 4 and not a smooth continuous motion. Further he noticed that my support hand is very low on the draw, say belt buckle level. I had no idea of this and need to work on making sure the support hand comes higher on my chest during the draw.

Next worked a little on transitions. Leading with the eyes. Instructor stated that I sweep the gun far too much between targets and waste some time there. Idea is to lead with my eyes to the next target and the gun will follow. There is no point in caring what is between the two targets and sweeping smoothly across that space. It simply attempting this I was able to take .5 off. It is a strange feeling. Instructor says he can visibly see a difference between the two. Also touched briefly on follow up shot sight pictures. Ex. 2 shots on 1 target followed by 2 shots on the next target. After the 2nd shot on the first target, don't drive the sights back onto the 1st target (for the 3rd sight picture, per defensive shooting) but instead after the recoil is up, drive the gun down and over to the next target. After attempting it he told me not to lift the gun artificially and then down and over. My recoil isn't terribly high, so the movement will be much more subtle, the entire point being there is no need to waste time with the 3rd sight picture after target 1.

Practice and home work. Draws to slack out only, no trigger presses. This time should remain fast, the difference in a 3 yard shot and a 25 yard shot is the trigger press and sight picture. Continue proper trigger finger placement and 60-40 grip. The faster I draw the more my relaxed grip goes out the window it seems. Also need to make sure that my support hand comes up higher and is not down at belt-buckle level before I start to bring things together.

Transitions between targets, work on leading with my eyes. If live fire attempt to not take the 3rd sight picture and ride the sights down to the next target. Some draws with one shot on steel plates would be good.

Following the lesson I stayed to shoot plates. Started off terrible on Round 1, but did manage to get 3 clean rounds with no reload, times in the 6 second range. Toward the end I was getting comfortable with the sight picture needed. I did however catch myself watching the plate some, at times noticing that it wobbled as it fell. This is bad, I should not be looking over the sights at the targets as it slows everything including transition to the next target and properly following my eyes to the next. It wasn't perfect by far but this session of steel was encouraging as the last several had been disasters. It felt good to actually finish some.

All told about 120 rounds fired between the two. Scheduled next lesson one week from today.

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Friday July 16, 2010

Went to the range after work. Shot the Todd Green dot targets simply working on trigger pull and sight alignment. Not a particularly encouraging session. still way too many low lefts. Worked at 3 yards on the small 9 circle target and at 7 and 10 yards on the larger targets. Must make certain I have the front sight level with the rear. Seems as though at least in my minds eye it needs to be higher to avoid low shots. Even forcing myself to shoot right is difficult. Shot about 70 rounds total. Didn't leave that encouraged.

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Saturday July 17, 2010

Local Match Day. 14 Shooters. 1 CDP MM, 6 ESP 2 SS, 3 MM, 1 UN, 7 SSP 2 EX 1 SS 4 MM. Target Shooters: 2. I finished 11th and 10th respectively. Stages 1-3 set up by Joe, 4-6 by Nathan. Range was hot. For the day I had no procedurals, no non-threats and 1 FTN. At the end of the day, I realized I had no particular mental focus, not on grip, finger placement etc... I did do a decent job with planning through each stage, and only had 1 serious brain fart on Stage 3. I finished 7th out of 14 shooters overall. I was 10th of 14 in elapsed time and 5th of 14 in penalty time (I would have been tied for 2nd but for the FTN on the brain fart Stage 3). Takeaways are to do some weak and strong hand only dryfire and live fire practice. Prepare a "thoughts list" to avoid the somewhat mindless approach to my practice that I had today. I did finish 1st among SSP MM class shooters. I also finished ahead of two ESP MM and 1 CDP MM.

Stage 1- 6 targets all along the back wall. Bianchi barricade in the center back at about 10-12 yards. Start on the left side at about 7-8 yards. Draw and engage targets on the retreat, reload at the barricade and then finish on the right side on the move advancing or lateral. For the Stage I finished in 12.73 which was 5th of 14, with 1 pt down .50 penalty, for 4th/14 overall on stage. My best stage of the day one of my best in memory. Reload was smooth at the barricade. Target array looked like this:

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I took all 11 shots before the barricade, reloaded and then fired 1 more with a makeup advancing on the right. The point down was on either the 4th or 5th target from the left. Target shooter 1 finished in 13.00 with 10.50 in penalty for 12th/14 on stage. #2 finished in 14.95 and 2.50 penalty for 7th/14 on stage.

Stage 2- Same target array. Now starting from the 15 yard line and basically doing the reverse. Shooting all targets on the advance, reload at the barricade and finish down the right side. Start point looks like this...

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I finished in 17.03 (11/14) with 3.0 in penalty (2/14)(6 down) to finish 8th/14 on the stage. I was 1 down on each of the two left most targets which were the farthest shots on the move. I took an unnecessary makeup after the reload on the right side which the S.O. said cost 1 second. That 1 second would have moved me to 8/14 in elapsed time...dumb dumb....the "no points down" thinking taken to unnecessary length. I felt good about both of the first two stages. Target shooter 1 finished in 16.63 (10/14) with 22.00 in penalty for 13/14 on stage. #2 finished in 16.39 (9/14) and 4.50 (7/14) for 9/14 on stage.

Stage 3- Same target array. Starting point on left even with the barricade. Draw and move laterally, reload at cover and continue. I planned and needed to shoot all 11 before the barricade. I failed to do so. Reach the barricade, still hot....then got flustered and eventually did a painfully slow RWR and finished up. I usually shoot fairly well moving laterally, not this time, my worst stage of the day and ruined a nice start. I finished in 18.19 (12/14) and 11.50 in penalty (11/14) for 11th/14 on the stage. I had 6 and a FTN on 1 target, not sure which one. All in all the stage was a mess. T.S. 1 finished in 14.47 (8/14) with 6.00 in penalty 8/14 for 8th/14 on stage. TS 2 was 24.86 (14/14) with 5.00 in penalty (5/14) for 12/14 on the stage. This should have been a much better stage for me.

Stage 4- Barricades across at 10 yards with gap on each end and middle. Targets all on back wall, 2 left, 2 middle with popper between and 2 right. Non threat is between the two targets on the right and the two on the left. This stage was a start on the left hands on wall. Draw and engage 2 targets on left slicing the pie w/ non threat. Move laterally to the middle and slice the pie, paper, popper, paper, advance laterally to the right and slice the pie on the 2 right targets with non threat. I finished in 23.93 (9/14) with 1.50 in penalty time (6/14) to finish 6th/14 on the stage. No real problems on the stage, just slow of course. TS 1 finished in 21.99 (5/14) with 8.00 in penalty (13/14) for 9th/14 on stage. TS 2 finished in 25.16 (10/14) with 8.00 in penalty (13/14) for 10th/14 on stage.

Stage 5- Same target array. Begin in the center, at surrender with the popper visible with paper in the middle. On buzzer you must draw and engage the popper until it falls. You can then either advance to the left or right sides and engage targets or advance straight and shoot the two paper in the middle on the move before moving right and left. Shooters did the stage both ways. I chose to shoot the popper and then move to the left side, then across moving right. It took me two shots to drop the popper then moved left and across reloading on the right side. I finished in 29.49 (10/14) 2.00 in penalty (8/14) for 10th/14 overall on stage. I had no problems, just was slow. I had 4 points down, 1 pt on 4 targets, I was very pleased with that. No bobble on the reload. The extra shot on the popper added to the sloooooowness. Instructor who was shooting today, advised me to quit crowding cover, I know not to but apparently was crowding it pretty bad and wasting time there. TS 1 finished in 23.38 (6/14) and 7.00 in penalty (11/14) for 9th/14 on the stage. TS 2 finished in 30.96 (12/14) with 11.00 (13/14) in penalty for 12/14 overall on stage.

Stage 6- same target array. Starting on the right, draw and engage 2 right sided targets strong hand only. Advance left laterally and engage the 2 middle targets and popper, slicing the pie, then advancing left do a mandatory reload and engage the final 2 left sided targets, weak hand only around the left. My reload was not particularly smooth, much lost time there. I hit no non-threats (there were quite a few by shooters on the stage) on a one handed only stage, which I was pleased with. I finished in 28.76 (11/14) with 6.50 in penalty (7/14) for a tie10/14 overall on the stage. Out of the 13 pts down. I had a 6 down and 4 down target on the weak hand stages, not sure which was which. I believe the 6 down was on a right handed target. TS 1 finished in 23.87 (7/14) with 16.50 in penalty (13/14) for 13/14 overall on stage. TS 2 finished in 30.69 (12/14) with 2.50 in penalty (2/14) for 7th/14 overall on stage. I should have done better here...the points down can be improved on.

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Tuesday July 21, 2010

Lesson day today. Today's work was on movement. 2 targets setup and double stack barrels at each side of the bay, assumed a solid wall between the barrels so the shooting alley was on the outside of the barrel next to the wall. Targets placed straight ahead from Barrels about 10 yards. First teaching point was that starting behind cover doesn't mean not starting in a shooting position, it means behind cover. So instead of being straight behind cover, I start in a cover shooting position, i.e. no feet or legs and 50% of upper body. "Ready" means in that position, looking at the target, not directly behind cover looking right into it. It's amazing how you have to be taught something so seemingly obvious. Instructor let me shoot my way first, draw and shoot two, then the correct way. The correct way shaved a full second off the time and the shot was more accurate, less fumbling and less time refining, no body movement, just draw and shoot. Worked on pushing the cover rule. Being extra careful on cover is no bonus, but can make the shot more difficult. Getting a cover call and having to back up, is usually worth it. Make them police you. Get to the edge of cover, don't allow any cushion.

Next point was on movement between firing positions (not shooting on the move-just moving between). Again something so seemingly obvious.... First point was on gun position. Moving from right to left as a right-handed shooter, I need to bend my arm in and get it forward of my body in a more normal running stance. Any distance beyond two steps should be "run" and not anything less. The gun stays down range, finger off the trigger, yet tucked in tight to facilitate a more normal run. Anything less than a run is wasted time. However, the explosion is out of the first position and in the middle. Transition to a stop needs to be smooth so it cannot be a run, and then attempt to stop short. The hard "run" is in the first half, then slowing to a smooth stop. Next pick the stopping spot or target spot for my foot. In this drill it would be my left foot as I moved from right to left between shooting positions. If possible, pick the particular spot you want your left foot to land in, so that it is behind cover legally, yet right up to that edge (see above). While moving the focus is on that spot and that spot only. Not the barrel, the target etc... It was again reiterated not to crowd cover and necessitate extra body movement to get around the cover. For me this is a considerable distance back.

Moving from left to right is the same except for gun position. Again the gun is in tight in a normal running position, yet with the targets to the left, the gun is pointed across my chest (not covering my chest) and safely down range. The spot is hit this time with the right (outside in the shooting position) foot. On both directions it was emphasized not to waste movement with shuffle steps and hops to get going (like OLine drills) which just waste time. Economy of movement with shifting weight and going, not hopping or jumping.

Upon reaching the spot with my lead foot, I then look for the target and not before. There is no extra shuffling, because I know I'm in a position I can shoot from and legally behind cover. While moving with the gun tight in to the body, I am not dragging the gun along and then swinging it laterally into shooting position on arrival. When I hit the spot, I acquire the target and push the gun out for a more static shooting position, move like stationary shooting. The push out allows more normal sight refinement and more margin than swinging the gun across into position which will inevitably lead to a swing through of the target and more time wasted doing more sight refinement than is necessary. In the drills moving and firing first my way and then the corrected way, I was able to reduce more than 1.5 seconds off my time.

Next drill was set up for forward movement and shooting. The four barrels were placed in a rectangle to basically create a lane down the middle. The two targets were at the end, starting point about 10 yards from the target. Again first he simply said "put two on each while moving forward" I did it my way. The results weren't my best, but the difference would still be dramatic had I shot them move to my current level. The initial point is that shooting on the move is not about going anywhere, it is really about the necessary evil of moving and not allowing it to mess up the shot. Thus speed is bad and distance is irrelevant, the more distance covered the worse. When the shots are fired, then run as above, to the next position or cover etc... However until the shots are made, movement is just something we need to minimize in its impact on the shots. My first problem was my start. I typically make a large or quick first movement, in my mind to cover ground and perhaps shorten the shot. Neither are worthwhile objectives. One yard is not going to make a difference and as above-I'm not going anywhere, so quit trying to cover ground. My lunge/quick start screws up shots. So start smooth and slow, with the heel to toe. Take a normal foot path, however, no supermodel ass shaking needed. Try to keep the upper turret independent from the lower half. Line of the hips should move up and down little as well as the line of the sternum. The lunging start screwed up the first shot or second and then I would come to an abrupt stop, also not good. The movement should continue after the last shot is fired. The abrupt stop simply causes my body to move similar to an abrupt stop in the car. Slow and smooth, not quick and jerky. Drill back and forth dry minimizing the bounce of the gun in dry fire. After the draw and the start of movement I must let the gun settle into the sight picture and not shoot too quickly. The difference in accuracy is great. The difference between "my way" and the corrected way was large. This kind of movement drill needs to be done a lot dry at home. A variation a the end was 1-1-1-1 in addition to 2 and 2 on the targets.

Next drill was forward movement on the angle. Same lane set up however angled from back left to front right, targets on right side of bay. Same principles apply, except feet and lower body direction of travel is straight down the lane, upper body turret is rotated to the left (in this case). This drill I again need to make sure sights settle from the start and not try to break the first shot too quickly.

Finished the lesson with simple draws and 1 shot from about 7 yards. I shot these well for me. All zero-down, from the draw between 1.5 and 1.8 seconds. I wasn't trying to go particularly fast. Focused on high support hand, no death grip. In the middle of this drill I took a nice piece of jacket splatter in the cheek...hurt like crap and bled like a stuck hog...maybe ruined my USSA shirt...

Take aways for home dry: Movement drills while minimizing gun bounce. Forward, backward, laterally. Smooth starts, slow, short distance. Explosive movement with no wasted steps for movement between shooting positions.

Stayed around after the lesson and shot plates. Started off well, with about an 8.4, then 15'd out the rest...going downhill. It sure seems that at least in my minds eye I need the top of the front sight above the rear notch.... to get hits on the plates at this distance. Again now, however, I'm sure its me. Another shooter shot 7-8 rounds at the end, he was getting hits with a true sight picture...it's me.

About 120 rounds for the day. Brings the round count for the Model 34 to right at 1,000. I'd say it's broken in. Went home, loaded some ammo and cleaned the gun, it was pretty nasty.

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Wednesday July 21, 2010

Woke up this morning with very sore right knee from the first drills of yesterday I'm sure....I'm too old and fat for this I guess. Nice cut on my cheek, at least it looks like I was drunk with the razor and not a big zit... Need to practice tonight.

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Monday July 26, 2010

No updates for a while. Due to issues, no IDPA match for me on Saturday, reportedly a big crowd...25 or so shooters, would have been good to be there. Haven't done any dry practice, very lazy. Range is closed today so I need to do some dry work tonight. In talking to one of the IDPA club guys, it appears I can get the classifier in on August 7th, I need to prior to a regional shoot the next weekend. If I can't get it in, I'll have a problem. Did manage to load some ammo and found an excellent reloading cost calculator here. Appears that my basic load right now is running .15/ round or about $7.50 per 50 rounds. Not bad I guess. Over the weekend I did receive my order of Gorilla Tape from Chris Patty and put it on the Model 34. I went to the range for some practice Sunday and like it ok. We'll see how it goes over the long run with it. If you don't get a good grip from the holster, you won't be adjusting it very easily after that for sure. I did some 1-hand strong and weak and did ok. My weak hand only seems to be a little high, my strong hand is ok, but I occasionally jerk them. I shot surprisingly well at 15 yards. The range was busy and loud, full of nonsense as well. I shot about 100 rounds, round count for the Model 34 is 1,100. Lesson tomorrow, need to dry fire tonight and work on target transitions, as well as draw to strong hand only. Picked up a couple of pounds of Titegroup ($25/lb) ouch.

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Wednesday July 28, 2010

Lesson day, after a cancellation on Tuesday, no plates on Tuesday night either. Today was largely spent with more work on transitions and a little distance shooting at the end. Range was setup with a target in each back corner and one target on the side wall at about 7-9 yards. First drill was facing T1 and turning to the right. Start position was with the pistol on target at the side wall as if I had just fired two shots on that target, I then was to transition to my right (no foot movement) and shoot T3.

post-25987-082366000 1282251731_thumb.pn

On the timer the first time I reverted back to the sweeping to the target, severely overran the target and was in the 3 down on the right. Instructor reiterated the movement from a long transition to pull the pistol back in some (degree varies on length of transition) and then push out to the target. The second attempt with better technique was considerably faster and with two zero-downs. The movement still isn't natural, there is too much thinking of "pull gun in", "snap eyes to next target", it is all very mechanical, yet even so, much better than what I would have done my way. This drill needs to be repeated a lot dry.

The next variation is adding T2. Drill is the same, but since the distance is shorter from T1 to T2, the amount of pull in on the gun is less than the first variation. Then the transition from T2 to T3 is minimal enough to require no real pull in simply moving the gun at extension from T2 to T3. The learning point on this variation beyond the transition part was allowing the gun to settle for a good shot, despite the fact that it feels slow. In reality it is much slower and the better shots more than make up for any additional raw time. Much more dry work is needed on this.

Next was simply reversing sides and doing the same variations. Instructor wanted me focused on the transitions more than the shots, but I still needed better shot accuracy. By the end of the drills I was fairly consistent with zero down, an occasional 1 down, no threes.

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Next was moving back to 15 yards for teaching purposes to incorporate foot movement on the transition. The range itself limits the split available, but on a wider transition, no foot movement would hinder a good shot.

post-25987-046242600 1282251882_thumb.pn

At 15 yards, I turn on my inside (left) foot as shown in diagram above. Not swinging my right side around. I begin the drill facing T1, and drop back my left foot to a position where my chest is squared on the black line above-between the two targets in the array. Shots (red lines) are fired at T2 and T3 without shifting my body position further. With foot movement, I need to focus on staying within "the cylinder of my hips", so that the rotation is contained and not wide and flailing, generating extra inertia that will make the shot placement harder or slower following the turn. The gun is still pulled in when turning and extended at the first target following the transition, then shifted to the next. My initial run on this drill produced a borked turn and poor shots. The next run with a little more focus was better and progressively better through the drills. The drill can be varied from a transition from T1 straight to T3 or from T1 to the middle to engage both T2 and T3. Going straight to T3 produces the larger transition for practice purposes. I still had to stay focused on letting my eyes lead and the gun will follow and be there, no attention to the intervening space between targets (snapping) to the next target. I'm still mechanical...but better. By the end of these drills I was getting a lot of zeroes and ones...somewhat to my own surprise. It became even more important to let the gun settle and quit worrying about it feeling slow. The points down far and away make up for any lost time. We did not, but this drill needs to be flipped and worked from the other side as well.

Next we did some simple accuracy work at 20 yards. Shooting strings of 10. My best (most accurate) splits were at 2 seconds. 1.7 or so was always down and left. As I worked through the string, I sometimes got faster as I went and the shots began to trail down and left. At 20 yards I need a good sight picture and good trigger pull, I have little margin for error at this point. When I do that I can shoot ok. My best run with about 2 second splits was 2 points down on a string of 10 shots. For classifier purposes, I have to slow down and think of this as bullseye, forget the timer and make good shots, there is not way speed can make up for points down in this part of the classifier. When I use good fundamentals, I can hit zero down....it is a matter of discipline, the gun is fine and I am fine if I make myself slow down and get a good picture with good trigger control.

We revisited my issues with trigger reset. I have a continuing problem of reversing the proper sequence. My reset is often slow, which makes me feel rushed and I then slam the shot immediately after the reset click. Rather than a quick reset then a better trigger pull. I need to be dry drilling on a blank wall, shot-come down-rack slide- and on the way back out to a firing grip, reset the trigger, so that when I am back with both hands on the gun the trigger is already reset and I then need a good trigger pull with a proper sight picture. The equivalent in live fire of allowing the trigger to reset quickly as the gun goes up, so that it is reset when it falls back into the notch and not feeling the urge to slam the trigger. Bang-click.......bang-click........bank-click. As opposed to what I am doing now... bang.....click-bang.......click-bang......click-bang. When I do it correctly the results show on the target at 20 yards, its discipline and dry practice that I need.

He also suggested getting someone to video my runs on Saturday for review, I'm sure that will be ugly ugly to look at.

I badly need to do some drywork before Saturday. I need to work the trigger reset drill a lot and also try to get 50 or so rounds of live fire on that if possible. Some transition work in the living room, and shooting on the move would be helpful too. Looks like I will be traveling Sunday-Tuesday, so no plates Tuesday night and will have to move the lesson to Wed night. Instructor indicated I will shoot a classifier for the lesson next week, not particularly for classification but to learn the ins and outs of the process itself. I do however need to re-up as MM for the shoot in Alabama, so hopefully I haven't regressed to Novice.

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Thursday July 29, 2010

Dry practice for about 15 minutes, trigger reset drill on blank wall and a few drills moving and holding a steady sight picture. Still need to work the drill much more. Did fairly well with a good trigger pull, still working on resetting the trigger quicker. Loaded about 100 rounds also.

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