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Coach's 2012 Shooting Log


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I have been thinking about doing this log online off and on for a long time. I am hoping that 2012 will be a great year. I am not concerned about moving up in classification. I am not against moving up in classification. What I most want is to be competitive in large matches. I have been shooting mostly Limited for the last three years. I am A class in Limited and in L10. In 2012 I want to put a large amount of plaques on the wall. I want to take my shooting to the next level and I am measuring that by winning not by classification. I would like to peak at Limited Nationals.

In 2012 I will be spending less time working matches and more time shooting matches. I will continue to be the match director for the WVPPS monthly matches but I am not working any major matches in any capacity. 2012 is going to be about shooting. Just prior to Christmas 2011 I finished my master's degree in History so for the first time in five years I won't have spring and fall classes screwing up my shooting hobby.

I have been a January - May dryfire guy in the past years. This is the time of year when dryfire was possible due to schedule. I plan to restart my routine in January and continue through Ocotber and Limited Nationals. I hope to dryfire four times per week at least. My plan is for the session to be 30-50 minutes in length each time.

So in 2012 I plan to do somethings differently in an effort to improve my shooting in a noticeable and tangible way. More dryfire than previous years, less time spent working matches and more time practicing, logging what is being done in practice, have an organized day every week of live fire practice and log what is done and how it went.

Let's see what happens and what a difference a year can make.

Comments are welcome but it would be nice if they were family appropriate and at least semi-serious. (Jake this is directed right at you, mostly)

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(Jake this is directed right at you, mostly)

I don't get this?

Actually I think that this is a good idea. The best year of match performance for me and moving up in class was 2 years ago when Coach and I actually were able to do live fire drills several times over the spring and summer.

I look forward to this

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Back from the family vacation in Florida over Christmas. It is good to be home. Sorted and tumbled brass today, and got the garage cleaned up. Saw the dry fire book and the time sitting there. Looking to give the Limited gun a good cleaning tomorrow and be prepared for January 1 start of the dry fire routine. I loaded up the last 200 rounds of .45 ACP I have on hand.

Black Barry Martens made a comment about gear.

Primary gun for Limited is a Brazos SC series gun with long dust cover. I draw from Super Hooper holster. I typically have three Blackhawk clip on mag pouches on the belt. I have a short dust cover STI built by the George Huening that I hold in reserve. I just got this gun back from hard chrome in November and have not shot it since it has been hard chromed. I shot the GH2 gun in the late summer and early fall with great results at club matches. So if something breaks on the Brazos I have a great gun sitting back waiting for its chance.

The Brazos has been a great gun, and I have supreme confidence in it. It runs reliably and it and the GH2 have the exact same grip, magwell and feel about them where the hands meet the gun. I am confident in the gear.

Single stack Nationals is on my match list for 2012. I am going to be shooting my 1991A1 Colt that the George Huening worked over and did the trigger job on. It shoots well and now has a great trigger. I had George put a flat trigger on the gun and it is nice. Looking forward to a few matches with this gun. I plan to shoot it at SS nats and the Indiana Single Stack/Production match as well. I am trying to decide about shoot it at Battle in the Bluegrass or shooting Production there.

Production gun is my carry gun. Smith and Wesson M&P. It runs and has the Black Barry Martens hotel room trigger job. I won B class Production at Battle in the Bluegrass in 2011 with it.

I have a race holster for the Limited guns but I am going to stay with the Super Hooper for 2012. Seated starts are not such a pain in the neck with the Super Hooper and my back hurts less at the end of the day with that holster. The race gear might gain me a .10 or so per stage. I am willing to give that up for the comfort. Plus I can carry the match gun on the way home if I want with the Super Hooper holster.

Starting 2012 at 305 pounds which is near my personal record of 308. Let's face it 308 is a great rifle caliber but not a good body weight unless you are 6'8" and in the WWF. I may need to do something about this bodyweight as well. No promises though.

Edited by Coach
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I was out at Riley at the range today for some other things and decided to do some El Prez. My thought was to do it three times with each Limited Gun to establish a baseline for starting out. I have not shot either Limited gun since the November WVPPS match. It was low to mid 40's with a nice steady but light rain.


Run 1 55 points in 5.87 seconds for a HF of 9.3697 national percentage of 86%.

Run 2 55 points in 5.96 seconds for a HF of 9.2282 national percentage of 85.4%.

Run 3 55 points in 6.00 seconds for a HF of 9.1667 national percentage of 84.5%.

Reloads and draws were painful for all of these runs. But it is what it is.


Run 1 48 points in 5.87 seconds for a HF of 8.1772 national percentage of 75.7%. (can you say suck)

Run 2 53 points in 5.76 seconds for a HF of 9.2014 national percentage of 85%.

Run 3 56 points in 5.69 seconds for a HF of 9.8418 national percentage of 91%.

Well this is where the starting point is.

I shot the two fastest Bill Drills of my life. 2.29 seconds with 5 alpha and a bravo. The second one was 2.14 with 6 alpha. I am hoping this means my work on my trigger finger exerciser is starting to make an impact. I know the Bill drill with a bravo does not count but Jake would have been proud of it.

The rust was pretty obvious to me. I am excited to start dryfire in January. I might even get an early start tomorrow.

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I was feeling like getting started today following a trip to the gunsmith, and tomorrow is going to be a full day. I plan to dryfire tomorrow evening but if things go against me I decided to start today.

Put a new fiber optic on the Brazos, and go 40 minutes of work in on draws doing exercises 2,3,4 from the book. I did at least 10 reps on each par time for each exercise so I had a good start to things. It went pretty well.

Drill 2:

I feel rusty but I made all of the par times on on the draw and index of drill 2, except for the ones .1 under the baseline. I made 5 of the 10 on those. I found my self over gripping with the strong hand at times on this.

Drill 3:

Surrender start went equally as well. Made all of par times baseline and above. Made 7 out of 10 under the baseline. Over gripping was not a problem at all on this drill.

Drill 4:

The turn and draw. I had not done this drill in years, which is likely a mistake in hindsight. I had to spend some time re-establishing the baseline times. I then did the reps. This one is going to become a regular drill. There is plenty to work on here. Many stages start with this uprange position and tonight demonstrated that I need some work here.

I fully intend to get 40 minutes in again tomorrow night. The Journey has begun. I looked at my calander from January 2011 and I dry fired a total of 11 times last year in January. I am going to do better than that this January.

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It feels good to have the gun back in my hand. Dryfire day 2 went down once I finally got home this evening. Got in 45 minutes on four drills and it went well. The rust is there but it will come off quickly.

Drill 2: Went great, did the number of reps called for in the book. Made all the times and prepped the trigger with each shot tonight. I forgot about doing that last night.

Drill 4: The turn and draw. This went much smoother than last night, but it about had to be smoother. The par time will change rapidly on this one with just a few more sessions. I felt the head snap went much better, and so did trigger prepping. I made 8 out of 10 on the under baseline par time.

Drill 6: WHO index. I wanted to get some WHO or SHO only going very soon and this is what I chose tonight. It went pretty well. The old par times will change quickly here as well if this drill gets done for a week or two. I made 8 out 10 on the baseline. The transfer was the problem on the two that did not make it. My left thumb hit the beavertail both times. Both of those the transfer happened lower than I want it to. Something to work on. Made 3 out of 5 nder the baseline and nearly made all five.

Drill 15: 2 reload 2. I wanted to get some magazine changes into the mix and this is one that I hate doing. So I thought let's practice something you don't enjoy. This is another aspect that could use some strengthing. Rust was evident here. Snapping the eyes back to the target from the reload is a mess. I did one extra rep at .1 over baseline because I flubbed the reload. I wanted to have the right number of good ones. Made 3 out of 5 under the baseline.

Hoping to get a longer session in tomorrow night. I stopped and got kerosene for the heater tonight so I should be good to go for January and the cold.

Driving to Winchester today to see the parents I got in a good 45 minutes with the trigger finger whiz bang.

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In addition to the trigger finger work on the way to school this morning I got in 45 minutes of dry fire this evening.

Focused again on draws and turn and draw. Drills 2,4,6,5 were all accomplished fairly well. Not without hiccups but overall it went well. I am not going to get to worked up on a few bobbles and wrinkles for a week or so. Tonight I redid any repititions that did not go well, and did a few extra to make up for the rough spots. Consistency is a goal.

Dills 5 is the SHO index, and it was a little rough starting out. It took a few reps to get it right and smooth. Chocking this up to rust at this point.

Drill 15 was revisited this evening as well. Reloads were a big part of my problem in the El Prez drills I shot the other day, and it is going to take some work .

My plan is to focus on draws, and reloads almost exclusively for the month of January, and get the rust knocked off and even make some progress in these areas before moving on to transitions.

I have made three days in a row, and tomorrow is going to be a challenge. I am have meeting at 7pm which will put me home late. The next two nights are not going to happen because I have wrestling meets to officiate. So I am making the vow to get in some time tomorrow night.

One things this log is helping to do is focus. I have had a good focus in dryfire and that seems to be helping me be more receptive to what I am seeing happen in dry fire.

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Wrestling meet I was to officate this evening did not happen. So I got home pretty early and got 40 minutes of dryfire in this evening.

Started with drill 2 the index at 10 yards: Made all of the reps in thepar time. It went smooth. Then moved on to drill 6 the weak hand index. Tranfers between hands went much smoother and would rank a good performance. Trigger prepping went well as well. Had one rep on the baseline time where everything went perfect. It was very fast and the front sight just appeared where it was supposed to be. Never had that go so well weak hand only. Would like to reproduce it more often, but I am taking it as a sign of progress. Next was drill 5 SHO index. Went well in some respects. I made all the par time easily, but I was seeing that the extension portion of the draw stroke was not a straigh line and there was some mumbo jumbo in the stroke. I need to clean this up and there will speed to gain if I can clean this technique up some.

Drill 4 the turn and draw went the best of all the drills tonight. It was rock solid and made all the times. The head snap was going great. Very pleased with this. Now I need to get the times down and remain consistent. If I can have two more sessions like this in a row I am going to move the par time down a .1.

Drill 15 is where the honeymoon ended. The reloads were a struggle with no par time and the first par time at .2 above the baseline was not any better. It do better on the next two par times and I had several reloads that were nothing but net. The first thing the mag touched was the bottom. If you have seen my magwell this does not happen much. I improved and managed to make the time on 5 of the 6. I decided to go back and do 10 more reps with no par time and tom really focus on driving the drill with my vision, and these ten went very smooth. Must be something to this focus thing.

Ended with the bill drill. It went well. Made all of the reps under time except for 2 out of 6 under the baseline. Convinced the trigger finger exercise is paying off. Trigger speed has never been one of my strengths but I plan for that to change in 2012. I am on the way. I think I got an hour or more of trigger pulling yesterday.

Four dry session in January so far. Seven more will tie last years mark. Tomorrow is an off day, wrestling meet in Columbus.

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Came home from church and changed the oil in the truck and I had some time so I got the dry fire in today. Did about 30 minutes but only did three drills.

Draw and index went well. But I forget to prep the trigger sometimes on this drill. I get too carried away on the technique of extending the arms smoothly and just don't do it. I am going to do better on that this week.

Next I did turn and draw and it went smooth and was easy to make the par time even under the baseline. So I moved my baseline down a tenth. I might have been able to go two tenths. If it does that easy they next out as well I am going to drop it down another tenth.

I finished on the 2 reload 2 drill (15), and it went very well. I have not done this drill as well in 2012 as it went today. Seems that the rust is coming off. I struggled with the first rep with no par time, and I had a little conversation in my head. Basically I needed to just let things rip and not overthink or be robotic. It went much better after that.

Started getting sick yesterday at the wrestling meet and it is getting worse today. Winter sucks.

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My wife and daughter have both had a 24 hr bug. I have avoided it so far.

My dry fire has been coming along,no OT right now so i have no excuses.

I split the first 14 drills in half and do 1-7 one day and 7-14 the next.I do the burkett reload drill everyday. I need alot of work here.

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January 8th

I was into the fever for the second day but managed a short day of dry fire. Made most of the times on drills 2 and 4 including the under baseline times. Drill 15 on reloads went very well. My notes show that I felt like the flow was there because I was not over analyzing and thinking and just doing it.

The the sickness set in and dry fire was over until today. 10 days with a fever sucks but progress seems to be happening.

January 16

Back to it after the sick layoff. Drill 2 went well today. Last time out on Drill 4 I lowered the par time and it was easy to make the new time today. SO after two drills things were going great. I did drill 6 the weak hand index next and it went well. Drill 15 was a bit laborious but not too bad. I did bobble one rep so bad i dropped the magazine. I did a few extra and smoothed it out.

Last drill was drill 11 six reload strong. This was the drill of 2012 that required snapping eyes from target to target and it was a mess. I had trouble making the times. I had moved the times down on this drills about the time I quit dry firing last season. So it is not suprising. Focus was fading and the results showed that. I finished it up with a whimper and came inside.

The positive is some things went well. Back into the swing. Justified starts tomorrow night and the wrestling meet I had to do is cancelled. So I will be back at it tomorrow night.

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Still sick and tired of that. I officiated today and feel somewhat better so I fired up the heater and did some dryfire when I got home. I left my notes out in the garage but overall good but not great session. It lasted right at an hour. Drill 2 on draws went great and I made all the times.I was getting the trigger prepped every time and making the time and seeing the sights. This was some of the best work on the night. My goal for the session was to work on some target to target transitions and reloads.

I did 2 reload 2 next. It went much better than last time. A couple of bobbles in the first two sets but I got warmed up and finished strong. Going to work on the reloads plenty more.

I went to 6 reload 6 next. Bobble one reload bad with no par time. I did a do over to get 6 good ones. I had one bobble at .2 over the baseline. The next two times went great and I made them all. I am calling it better focus and relaxing and being less tense. I made 5 out 6 under the baseline. If I had not had the bobbles I would have been very pleased.

I did 6 reload weak next. Made all of the times and it was easy. If tomorrow goes that well I am going to move the time down. Draws and the first six were good. The transition needs to get better. Next was 6 reload strong. I could still see my breath in the garage and focus was fading fast. I had a decent go on this drill but it was less than stellar.

I got really crazy and got on the dip rack then. I did three sets of 8 dips. Man did that dip rack scream. I then did a set of five because my chest did not have 8 in me. I miss being strong. The days of doing 4 sets of 11 easy are not currently possible. I may change that. I weighed in fully clothes today at 295.What if I was 2/3 of Jake?

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Holy Crap! Two days in a row. It's a streak. It was not easy getting out there with taking the wife to the doctor and the kids to church and everything else that crops up out of no where, but I made it. I did the exact same drills as yesterday and parts of it were very good and a few places sucked. My ability to foucs is a problem and it must be conquored. Part way through I find myself thinking ahead to other chores and things and this hurts performance. I sometimes do this in matches and it has to stop. Concentration on the momment and the task at hand is going to be a focus until this problem or weakness goes away. Logging the sessions is making me pay more attention to what is going on and that is a good thing. I have dryfire 7 times in 2012 8 times if you count New Years Eve. Last year I got 11 days of dryfire in during the month of January. If I finish this month strong I can surpass that total. I have planned to double it but being sick made that a train wreck.

Drill 11 with the SHO went much better than yesterday. I did it last and had a bobbled reload and a failure to get the magazine out of the pouch on another rep. I then pulled myself together and finished up strong. Finishing strong is key. It would be nice to not have the screw ups that piss me off to make it possible. I need to shoot more angry. Anger does help provide a little focus for me.

Drill 2 the draws went well. After watching the video of TGO doing .6 or .7 draws at Shotshow and doing .8's and calling it easy I have decided this time is going to come down. Do 1.1, 1.0, 0.9 and 0.8. I can make the baseline of .9 consistently. Today I had the trigger prepped on each draw and saw the sights clearly. If I could make the 0.8 as consistently as 0.9 that would be nice. I really think 0.7 is possible and it is the immediate goal. I think that would translate to a 1 second draw most of the time in competition, and that would be nice. It would certainly help out with the local competition.

2 reload 2 went pretty well, but that is also frustration because the other drills where bobbles happened it was because of the reload. If I fail to look the magazine in I usually has some type of diaster and not looking it in is either overconfidence or lack of focus. I did 6 reps instead of 3 on this one.

6 reload 6 went really well for about three quarters of the drills. I had a couple of bobbles. No reloads went perfect. I did not have a single one that was nothing but net. I also caught myself aiming at center of mass rather than the top half of the lower A zone. I tried to hit the black paster that I have on the target and it got better. I was seeing the sights very well some of the time and the snapping of the eyes was going good. I just did three at the under baseline time and I made them all. making the first one was big and after the second one was successfull I knew the third would be good. Success breeds success.

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What a long day. I managed to get in about 45 minutes. Went decent. Seems like a little progress is being made. I got 24 dips in afterward.

Last night I got the single stack gun back from George. I sat on the living room floor and did a bunch of reloads. I plan to do that again tonight before bed. I need to get ready for BITBG and SS nats so reloads with the little hole seem like a good idea. Think maybe I need to start running winds sprints for BITBG preparation as well.

I pulled the trigger on the finger banger all the way to and from school today. Finger is a little fatigued tonight.

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I sat on the living room floor and did a bunch of reloads.

i'm almost afraid to ask, but wanna elaborate what drill you are doing here? Please, don't lead us to any mental images....


I just piled the mags on the floor and started picking them up and doing reloads in groups of six or eight reloads. Trying to just look the mag into the hole and hit the smaller hole of the single stack gun. I plan to do it again tonight during Justified.

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I sat on the living room floor and did a bunch of reloads.

i'm almost afraid to ask, but wanna elaborate what drill you are doing here? Please, don't lead us to any mental images....


I just piled the mags on the floor and started picking them up and doing reloads in groups of six or eight reloads. Trying to just look the mag into the hole and hit the smaller hole of the single stack gun. I plan to do it again tonight during Justified.

Sounds vaguely familiar

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Fourth night in a row. Things are finally starting to go according to plan. It is probably not a coincidence that tonight was the best dryfire session of 2012. Starting to get into a groove and feel like the rust is pretty much off.

Started with Drill 2 the draw. Went great, seemed smooth and made all the par times including all of the ones under baseline. Starting to be confident about getting a sight picture, having the trigger prepped at 0.8. Smells like progress.

Next was drill 4 the turn and draw. I have not done this the last three nights. It went very well also the head snap is the key. I knew on the first set of reps for time that I was going to move the par time down a tenth. It was natural and easy and I changed the baseline to 1.1. Once again smells like progress.

Drills 15 2 reload 2 calls for three reps. I decided to do 9 at each par time. I am not satisfied at all where I am with relaods. So I tripled the reps here and spent some time on this. It went well. Out of the 36 repitions I did 2 over. I decided to move the baseline down here as well. It stands at 2.2 at this time. I plan to do triple reps again tomorrow as well. My focus was good on this drill and it showed in the execution.

I think the extra work on the singlestack gun will help with reloads.

Drill 8 6 reload 6:

Was decent overall but the lowlight of the night. I had three crappy reloads in this drill, which was disappointing because I had done very well on reloads in the preceding drill. I only made 1 out of three under baseline. Sloppy load on one and two bad draws due to poor grip. I felt like I was seeing the sights very well and getting all A's during this drill at all speeds.

Drill 12 6 reload WHO:

This was interesting. Made the times and did pretty well. Transitioning the gun from hand to hand can be smoother and needs to be. My baseline is 4.6 seconds and I made four of six reps under the baseline at 4.5. I was toying with the idea of pushing and moving the time down. I talked myself out of doing it. I said leave it there you are just having a good session and don't really need to move another time down. I moved on to the SHO drill. I did the first rep for time at 4.3 seconds only I did it WHO by mistake. When not thinking about it I made a much faster time easy. I moved WHO.

Drill 11. Was easy and I made all the times. Did not move the time.

I decided to get crazy and do some table draws with the GH2 gun. I established the baseline with this and then did some more reps. Part way through I decided to try out John Blackwell's method of picking the gun up off the table. I normally pick it up with both hands with the support hand under the rear sights and tip the gun up so the strong hand can get into place. John has the gun laying on the table with the right side of the gun down, and then he grabs the slide and picks the gun up and puts it into his strong hand and rolls into the two handed grip. I saw him do this at the state match last summer, and thought it was interesting. I expected it to be slower than my normal way because I am not nearly as practiced at it. I think it could be fast if it was drilled, but I think there are two many more movement or manipulations to be as fast as the two hand pick up. But I may fiddle with it somemore.

Edited by Coach
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