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Camo Cowboy's performance analysis journal

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I shot a match at Aurora Gun Club today. Something I've been doing recently is to keep a copy of my goals printed and taped to the lid of my box. Today I reviewed them before the match and was able to make some headway with them.

I got a squad with a GM and he and I really talked quite a bit. More than usual and it was a side of him I haven't seen much of. I think it was a result of my goal to just talk to them more and open myself up to that in general.

The other goals were to push harder for alphas and get more aggressive with movement.

On the first stage of the day I felt really good about those two. (youtube link) My aggressive shooting shows in both the time for the first shot and the cadence I'm able to maintain on the first 9 targets (3 arrays). I drew and just landed the dot immediately on the steel. I pressed the trigger the instant I saw that and it was a very quick first shot. I moved out of that position as fast as I could and things fell apart a bit when I got to position two. I started shooting way before I was stabilized and am reminded that "pushing for the alphas" can easily turn into "losing visual patience." I scored several charlies and 2 Deltas in that second position whereas I only scored 1 or 2 charlies in the first position.

The run overall was nothing to sneeze at, but I think it was very valuable to get both positive reinforcement of my goals AND a reminder of what needs work in the same run.

My next runs wen't well and I was able to continue working on my goals. I only shot 1 or maybe 2 more Deltas during the rest of the day and did get 1 mike on the final stage. I'm not really too upset about that mike for two reasons. The main reason is that Lanny Bassham would not let me focus on it. The other reason is that the shot was an edge hit that would have been a C hit, but the target was blacked out with hard cover so that only the A zone was visible. I did see and call the Alpha shot on the edge, but the dot is big, and the target was close so it just didn't make it. But overall on that stage I was focused on the Alphas and the aggressive movement that earned me a great hit factor despite the mike.

So I'm happy with my goal focus today and will just continue working on those goals for now.

To repeat my current goals:

  1. Push harder at those alphas.
  2. Get lower and more aggressive at movement.
  3. More classes and squads with GM's.

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I only got to shoot 1 match this weekend. I chose Boulder Rifle Club since it was a section qualifier. The stages there are usually very accuracy based and loaded with no shoots. No different this time. I've heard a complaint or two about Boulder, but I can't see a basis for them. The stages to me, are challenging and fun. Sure there are some restrictions on movement and I think the guys running it up there do a fine job at making up for it by loading up the accuracy.

So I worked on my "pushing harder" and slipped up a couple of times with some deltas and a mike as a result. I kind of feel like it was worth it as I was noticeably working on my goal. The problem I have is that I just don't see fast enough if I push. I can get "lucky" and score my alphas faster sometimes, but consistently it seems that my current split times of around .25 or so are as fast as I can get the alphas. Hopefully more trigger time and concentrating on that specific goal will help.

On one stage I was really in tune with my movement and won the stage very nicely. It wasn't a big stage, but after reviewing each section I found a couple of things that I could work on the make the stage the most efficient. One of them was to step backwards slowly while engaging the first set of targets. They were wide open so no risk, but if you could just gain a few feet it meant transitioning to the next array as opposed to having to move. I did this and therefore used my shooting time to prep for the next array. This saved me a bit of time and allowed me to even more efficiently move to the last array since it was a forward angle now instead of straight across. I'll be sticking that one in the "positive reinforcement" file as I can't really find much else from that match.

I lost sight of the plan on the very next stage and got into the shooting box in a different spot than I had practiced. This first position required squatting to see the first arrays under a wall. When I squatted I saw different targets than intended since I was not in the same spot. Oops... I FTE'd a target and never knew it until the very end.

On the next stage I thought I moved fairly quickly, but pushed a bit too hard for the alphas and wound up with some deltas. I had a jam too... this was caused once again, by not doing exactly what I practiced and using a troubled magazine. I had been avoiding using my big stick all day as it jammed in practice and I forgot to take it out of rotation. During walkthrough I was like "why not load this magazine?" and was quickly reminded when the third round out of the gun resulted in a jam.

so, basically I feel like I was reminded of many areas that need improvement. These areas are nothing new to me and the reminder is that they take a while to work on and I think I'll just keep the same goal list for now and keep working at it.

My next step, I believe is going to be to get more training. I'm looking at some advanced classes or drill ideas from some guys I've already trained with along with a new instructor by the end of the year or very early next year.

I think this will help me to identify specific techniques to get through these goals.

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I was able to get out this morning for some practice. After talking a friend of mine he put me on the right track with what to try to look at next. He asked me how fast some of my shooting times were and even though I had looked at them last time, I found myself guessing and didn't really have the answers I should have. I decided after talking to him that I'm being too broad in my goal setting. Just trying to "get more alphas" or "push harder" or whatever I've been doing for a while is no longer going to cut it. It's been good for a while, and for A Class that was what I needed. Now, it's time to get more granular with it.

I've asked myself "how do I get more alphas?" and what exactly can I do to "move more aggressively" and I went out today to find out more details about my current ability and therefore analyze the details that might get me somewhere.

I setup a drill with two arrays about 15 feet apart. Each array was a no-shoot in the center of two targets with 100% of the A-Zone showing. (it's basically CM 03-03 paper array and similar arrangement.) Since it was modeled after CM03-03 I put a barricade up to have to lean around.

After shooting it many times, what I found was this:

My splits to maintain all alphas or just 1-2 charlies is .25 (give or take .02). My transitions are .30 (give or take the same .02)

Leaning around the barricade was about .85 (usual .02).

I did several runs without the leaning aspect and that wide transition ran about .40.

This seems about how I've been shooting for a while now.

I found that if I got any additional speed out of any one of those movements... like I was able to get my splits down below .20 then I would likely plug a no-shoot or get a Delta. Same with everything else. No matter where I stole time from it would severely impact the accuracy.

I never tried slowing anything down as this was my "this is how fast I can do this comfortably" speed and didn't see any benefit to slowing down.

The entire time I maintained my 1.20 first shot time and didn't concentrate on speeding that up all... that was last time and I found that with some practice and concentration on that alone I could usually maintain accuracy at 1.10, but consistency suffered. Any faster and I would either miss or felt like I didn't call the shot and relied on luck for a decent hit.

So, I guess in summary my current ability is a 1.2 second draw, .25 splits and .30 transitions.

I need to work on how to shave time in those actions one at a time... I think.

Of course I still have my secondary overall goals, but as for breaking things down to just shoot a bit faster I might have found something to hang my hat on.

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Are you getting video of your practice runs? If not you are really missing out on a significant feedback tool.

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Normally I do get vids. I reviewed them last practice, but not this time. I'll have to make sure to do that next time. I agree that it's very valuable and have seen a major improvement since I started using video to review matches... I would say I review about 50% of my training sessions. Need to do more I think.

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I shot a local match today out at Ben Lomond Gun Club. It was a cold and windy morning only to be followed by a windy afternoon.

I felt great today and feel like I shot at the top of my ability and remembered my goals. The match was just plain fun. I think the stage designers out there do a great job. I was rewarded today with a close 2nd Overall behind the GM that we all have come to know as the first place resident.

I think I might have taken him today, but alas, the big-stick that I took to the match failed on me 3 times on the first stage causing me to finish down around 6th place and that may have been what did it. Besides the obvious technical issue, I felt pretty decent about the run otherwise. When I ran, I ran fast, and when I shot, I shot clean. And that big stick didn't get used again today.

Now, to look at something I can use. Stage 4 (Youtube link) was a 20 round stage that required some pretty precise positioning to avoid wasting time doing a Ray Chales routine. I was very happy with my last position where I found it easy to see the last 2 targets and ran that stage very quickly. The two areas I can see obvious need for improvement are my draw, and going into position #3, the first forward target. I have this hesitation at the draw that isn't there normally. Once in a while it shows up. Maybe I'm trying to speed up the scoop beyond my ability? Not sure yet. Now, going into position 3 I look like an old-time cowboy kind of lumbering up to the position. Not very smooth, or quick. I think my eyes were like, "dude there's the target, start shooting," and my feet were like, "hang on, we aren't quite in position.. almost there... just another... few... inches."

The next stage, Crack Head Olympics (Youtube Link) was a really fun stage. There was some major distance to run and I asked someone to video me so I would disappear in that wide angle like usual. I'm glad I did. This was my strongest stage of the day as I just plain hauled ass. I can plainly see my draw was a much smoother scoop stepping into the area, and then I was able to call my shots very effectively. That rear array had 4 round plates in front of a wall of no-shoots and it was a force to be reckoned with. Even I'm surprised to hear how fast I shot them, as I remember doing kind of a quick three step process when shooting them. "see-confirm-squeez" kind of shot through my head while engaging them. Not that I was thinking of each step, I just aimed very deliberate. It paid off. Out of 37 shooters I was one of 10 to get that stage clean. Looking at the vid I'm really hauling ass accross the stage and my arms are as comfortable as they can be and I really don't look like I'm running with a gun in my hand. This has been a major goal of mine for a while. When you gotta GO, you have got to "let go of the gun and RUN." I'm very happy about my reaching this goal more and more and it might just leave my list soon!

Final stage to analyze in detail is the classifier CM 03-03. (youtube link) This is a great stage to end on for today as there were some mental and tecnical aspects that were very valuable. I practiced the basic array's and movements yesterday like crazy. I wasn't trying to do anything major yesterday, but wanted to learn what my current abilities are. That was a success, but today I found myself wrestling a bit with the fact that I shot similarly this so many times recently. I was like "this is easy.. you know how to shoot his." Then... "Shut-up man. That's how to create big mistakes." The real mental state needed to be "just shoot... do each step like you always do" and that's what I told myself all through Nationals.

In the end, I shot it like I shoot. Comfortably executing each step and pushing as much as I dared, but not doing anything crazy. I wound up with an 87% on it so that was quite the reward for just executing and staying calm.

The remaining stages were about the same. I left with a big fat smile on my face remembering the positive notes and not even thinking about the negative ones.

Another day of shooting and another day of trying to improve my skills. Fun stuff!

Goals for next time:

  1. Work on seeing the steps that go into getting an Alpha. That's how to speed things up.
  2. Keep getting lower and more aggressive at movement.
  3. More classes and squads with GM's.

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I got out to practice today. I recorded the entire session on video. I only wanted to concentrate on Splits and transitions. As soon as I got started I broke that down further and only concentrated on what to do about splits.

Basically, I went from .25 splits to .17 splits by the end of 200 rounds with very little drop in accuracy. I'm not sure if I'm onto something or not, but I really felt like I learned a lot. I setup 3 open targets that were 33 feet away and 9 feet apart.

In the first video (Youtube link) I'm at .23 splits on all three targets. In the second video (Youtube link) I'm at about .17 splits. I have to ignore the transitions as I moved the targets halfway through so they are only 2 feet apart in the 2nd vid.

Looking only at draw and shooting I can't see an apreciable difference in my body setup or shoulders and arms. They look the same, I'm just shooting a lot faster. The difference is grip strength. I found that if I just grip the gun much harder I can control recoil and see the sight drop back on target a lot faster. Specifically I'm gripping mostly in the Thumb-Index finder region. This causes a "top of the arm" tensing, but nothing else really seems tense. If I do an overall grip tightening I wind up involving my sholders and my neck feels tense. This results in a severe drop in accuracy. As long as keep my added grip strength to the top of my hands (in essense "choking" the gun at the top of the grip) I can really speed up the shooting and not drop accuracy. This is a major thing for me and I can finally break that goal #1 into a legitimate step to work on as its own goal. I just hope it's on the right track.

Goals for next time:

1. Work on seeing the steps that go into getting alpha.

2. Increase grip strength at the top of the grip only.

3. Keep getting lower and more aggressive at movement.

4. More classes and squads with GM's.

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I got to shoot 2 matches this weekend. The first one, at Aurora Gun Club as very interesting. I shot very badly and haven't had a match where I scored that low in years. I suspect that my mindset over a potential life change (new job basically) distracted me to the point where I just couldn't get it together.

With mikes on almost every stage and 4 no shoots on the classifier my ability to pick out positive points is pretty diminished. I would say that my movement was pretty good and when I was shooting I was trying to remember to increase my grip strength. So my ability to at least remember and attempt to make progress on my goals was still in tact. I guess that's the positive to take away from this one.

The next evening was the indoor match at Centennial gun club. This is a match with a LOT of beginner shooters and I like helping new people out. I try not to set any goal progress or performance expectations at this match. It's more about helping people and just shooting. However, I was very happy about the fact that I did shoot well. There were some pretty impressive stages at this match and my hat goes off to the designers. They were pretty challenging and fun stages. The classifier was one that I had never shot before and it was my first stage. I was able to see my dot clearly and move very deliberately through everything exactly as I had practiced. One of my previous goals was to treat the classifier like any other stage and optimize the micro-movements. I did just that and feel like I shot that as well as my current ability will allow. I really wish I had video or at least timer feedback as I feel like I was squeezing pretty hard to keep those splits down to around .20 at least. I was rewarded with an 85.2% on that stage, even with 1 delta. This set the tone for the rest of the match and I was relieved to offload the previous day's troubles. That alone is something that's very difficult to do and is a positive note for me.

Looking at my times I was very happy with what I posted and felt like I was moving fast and not wasting time. In most cases I just watched the dot and was able to keep it in control. I don't know if I increased my split times or not, but next week I should be able to get some better feedback. There will be video and a better list of competitors to judge my performance against. The usual crowd that will put me in my place basically. Maybe I'll get a few glances at the timer also.

So, my goals will basically stay the same for now... maybe a bit of simplification:

1. Increase grip strength

2. Keep watching that dot and use grip strength to keep it in control.

3. Even lower, even more aggressive with movement.

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I shot a local match at Aurora Gun Club today. Man was it windy. Pretty much all day the wind blew, but it wasn't too cold. Overall a fun match with some nice stages.

(Youtube Link) The first stage was a pretty clunky stage without much flow. I started out with a malfunction on the 2nd round in the gun. There seems to be something up with my red bigstick and just when I thought it would work, it failed me again. A quick rack and I was back in business and was seeing very well through my sight. I like what I see with some low movement into the second shooting position on the right. I move quickly across the field and start shooting that wide open target as I'm breaking into that position. By the time I get to the steel where I really have to stabilize, I'm all squared up and settled in. The steel is my most positive point on this stage. They drop very quickly 1 for 1. This contrasts nicely with the improvement needed on the final steel around the barricade in the last position. I didn't settle into that position and shot 4 times to knock it down. My time was very quick on this stage, and despite the issues I ran the fastest time and won the stage.

(Youtube Link) Next up, was a major movement stage. This one I was very confident in my plan and again, was rewarded with a stage win. The things I like on this one are my planting of the "rear" foot when leaning on both sides of the walls. That foot is just kid of toe-in with a straight leg exactly opposite of the leaning weight. It's a bit hard to explain but when that foot gets in the right spot you are perfectly ballanced and it's worth practicing and noting where you are best ballanced in those positions. The other thing I like is how I handled those ports to the left and right of the door. Again, I'm watching the footwork and I put that leg pretty much straight out, and then quickly work my feet across for the same position on the other side. This leads to fast splits and accurate hits on all these targets.

Last stage (Youtube Link) is a hose-fest. As fast as this run looks I got too many Deltas to be really happy with it. I got 2nd overall on this stage, but I just feel like I should have aimed a bit more. I woudl feel better had I kept an eye on my sight and had more Alphas and less Deltas. This was a fun stage and maybe one where it's more fun to chainsaw through it and let go of the finer points for a minute. I can remember seeing that dot look like staic and just doing that "as long as the dot stays in the brown, keep pulling the trigger" thing. Not sure if that's good, but worth noting I guess.

I think I'm going to drop my "even lower..." goal off the list. I'm pretty happy with my progress on this and feel like I can let it go for now.

Here's what I need to work on:

1. Increase grip strength by continuing to work toward building it daily.

2. Keep watching the dot and use grip strength to control it.

3. don't worry about trying to increase splits and have faith that #1 and #2 will naturally lead to it.

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I shot the Area 2, Desert Classic match this weekend in Arizona. The match was a very challenging one with accuracy being the key ingredient. Many far targets, head shots, and other things to force you to really get your aim on. And the swingers! Don't get me started. Not even the top GM's tried to double any of them. They were fast and only 25% available. One shot... wait... one shot was the only way to be sure you had those hits.

My performance?

Oh, man this one will be tough to find the positive nuggets in for sure. If a positive can be had, it's that when I shot, I shot well. But the shooting was hard earned. Looking at the results, I was either above 85% or waaaaaay below it. My gun jammed on 8 of the 14 stages, and on 2 of the non-jam stages I earned a mike.

Technically, I'm still not over this switch to Precision Delta bullets. The darn big sticks just don't run with those bullets and I still have some work to do to get that figured out... after talking with a couple of gunsmiths I just didn't lengthen them enough before heading to a major match. I'll make them longer. Meanwhile, I'm also going to switch to 115gr Hollow Points and see what I think about the recoil with those. In my effort to increase my splits I'm actually waiting on the gun to settle and if I can get it just a bit flatter I think I can pick up my spits just a tad. We'll see.

So for the match, the times I ran, it was very nice. My positive take away stages are 1, 10, and 13. These are all stages where I was really performing at the top of my game and was not held back by the technical problems.

On Stage 1 (youtube link), I ran this differently than most of the other top shooters and I stand behind my decision. Unlike most other times when I look at the way they ran it as the best way, I feel that the direction I ran it led to no retracing of my steps, and I was considerably closer to the partial hard cover targets you can't see in the back left. That position needed to be it's own position no matter how you sliced it, and mine was just closer and within the flow of the stage instead of back tracking on anything. This is supported by my score where I placed 5th Open. I was well within the Master class for this one, and the top GM's beat me by seconds on this, but I think it was due to other areas adding up and not that one decision. I could be wrong, but I see a slow start out of the start position, and a lumbering step to the right to get into that position. I just wasn't moving as quickly as I could have for any of it really.

Stage 10 (Youtube Link) was the next really good (and I mean REALLY GOOD) run for me. I won this stage OVERALL. I just keep on reflecting on this one as everything just fell into place. I was running pretty hot on this as I was confident my gun wouldn't jam since I didn't need a bigstick. I had reflected on what was going on for two days and emotionaly I was ready to stop worrying about the gun and just run. I gripped the gun extra hard on this and it shows in my splits as I watched that dot carefully and "looked the shots off" just like I'm supposed to. This one goes in as a positive reinforcement... something this match really needed.

Stage 13 (Youtube Link) was a strong stage and was really fun to boot. I can see myself really pushing out of each position as opposed to the lumbering, slow exceleration of Stage 10. Also, the best thing I see here is the control I had over the split pace. I shot the far, partial noshoot targets slowly and slammed the close no-risk ones very quickly. This is something we constantly work at and a positive note for sure. Then, when I hose the steel down at the end, it's not an even pace either. This is due to waiting for the dot to settle on the steel before breaking the shot. At that amped up rate I couldn't make it happen evenly, but was somehow patient enough to let it happen on each individual target so that I was sure to go 1 for 1. And we all know, 1 for 1 will always be the fastest steel. I don't remember hearing any of them, or the uneven pace. I only remember what it looked like. That feels good.

I lost this match through technical errors and can only look forward to more careful equipment decisions that will allow me to bring out my "inner Master." He's in there somewhere, getting closer to the surface with each match.

Here's what I'm thinking.

1. I was given a 9lb recoil spring that I replaced my 8lb with and immediately liked the gun better. I can't exactly describe the gun feeling any better but my splits seemed a bit more natural so I'll be keeping 9 pounders in there for a while.

2. After hearing from a 2nd source that I need to lengthen my round nose bullets I've decided I just didn't lengthen them enough. I'll do the "make them too long and then back them off" routine that 2 gunsmiths have said to do now. That will hopefully remove my feeding issues with these round nose bullets. That will allow me to really perform Step 3 well.

3. I've just purchased a case of 115gr FMJ HP bullets. I'll be loading these as recommended and I'm hoping to see a bit flatter gun and this, coupled with stronger grip should lead to faster splits.

If I like the hollow points better I'll see about getting rid of the round nose, but think there could be some value in practicing with them so that I basically shoot slower and watch the dot harder while practicing and then in a match I can turn up the heat a bit by running the flatter shooting round. hmmm?

Goals for next time.

1. Increase grip strength.

2. keep watching the dot.

3. Get the technical issues resolved.

I have previously not been documenting my place, but will start doing that at the end for the sake of logging.

Area 2: 35th Open. 6th A Class. 75.2%

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Damn dude that's what I thought. I took a look at the results a few days ago. I figure it HAD to have been gun trouble.

Hey man I don't know if this will help but here is a my grip workout.

5x10 wrist curls (free weights, standing)

5 sets of plate pinches (till failure)

5 sets of weighted dead hangs till failure (using a pull up bar with a 45lb plate)

5 sets of Rack hangs till failure. set a squat rack low enough so you can just grab the bar and stand up straight and hang on. I switch grip as well, since you are just standing you can hang ALOT of weight...way more than what you can deadlift or squat)

3x10 finger push ups (Be careful stretch and work up to it, if you need to start on knees, using a open handed grip with tips touching the ground)

5 sets Forearm roller ( I made one with just a 2'' wooden dowel and 550 cord and hung a 25lb plate, support your forearms on a rack and roll that sucker up and down...this will cook your forearms and hands)

doing a normal workout I usually pick 2 or 3 these exercises because I normally can't do anything else when I'm finished. Or I do them all as a work out. I change between heavy as I can hang on to and a lot of rest between sets to lighter weight and going right into another exercise like do a forearm roll then plate pinch immediately...that sucks! Also opposed to going to failure I will do a set with a time hack.

I feel this is more dynamic and focuses on a lot of muscle groups that aid in recoil control. Obviously COC grippers are good I mix them into my workouts

Edited by aaronsdmf

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Well, I got out to shoot another match at Aurora Gun Club today. What a nice day it turned out to be. it started out cold, but was warm by the 2nd stage, but not too warm.

Holy Crap I still have not figured out my ammo issues. I loaded up the old big stick with some rounds a OAL 1.171 and went for stage 1. After 4 failure to feed jams, I dropped that mag and loaded a 140 to finish the stage. It jammed 1 more time and through all that I earned a NoShoot penalty. Obviously the 1.71 rounds are not correct. I think too long based on the half-entered fail to feed jams I got.

So I put them away and went back to my short 1.130 rounds so I could get the classifier handled. Well, after several nose-dive malfunctions on that stage I didn't know what to think. I stepped into the next stage and jumped head first into "I-can't-believe-all-this-crapville" mode and tried to hose it like there was no tomorrow. I remember actually flinching backward while transitioning trying to accomplish god knows what. I got 2 mikes, but hey... no malfunctions. As I went to clean my mags I noticed that my first mag on the classifier was missing it's spacer. OOOPS. Somehow I lost the spacer and never noticed. That mag got put aside and I worked on clearing my head for the remainder of my time on that stage.

Now... on to Stages 4 and 5 with ammo that I knew would run in 140 mags and NO BIGSTICKS. I commenced to win the next two stages by a large margin. I beat the HOA M shooter on both of these stages by more than 1 second. That felt really good. I know that if I can get these technical issues handled I can make to M Class.

So, what's next?

1. I have some 1.60 rounds to try to see if I can get these darn Precision Deltas running.

2. I just received a case of Montana Gold JHP 115Gr bullets. I'll load these up and test with them.

I have several chances to make to the range in the coming days and should be able to find a load that will run and stop screwing around by next Sunday's Centennial Gun Club match.

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I went to the practice range today. Only technical testing since it was super cold and miserable.

Nothing ran.

Round nose Precision Delta, 1.60 length didn't run. The 1.71 length didn't run.

The new Montana Gold JHP at 1.123 didn't run either. I did chrono them at 1546 FPS and that's a 177 PF. Too hot.

When I got back to the press tonight I found that my powder had moved from intended 7.5 gr to 7.8. I'm not sure at what point that happened (probably at the very beginning) so I adjust it to 7.3 and will have to re-chrono the rounds and adjust from there once I get them running.

I now feel there's something else going on. This happened immediately when I switched bullets but the magic length can't be that sensitive that NON of these will run even for a few rounds before failing to feed. I have pics and will go talk with the gunsmith tomorrow about the jamming. I think he'll find some issue besides loads.

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Well, since I last wrote I've been to the gunsmith and the practice range.

At the gunsmith we found that I had the wrong springs on my followers in the big sticks. He swore up and down that it's the root of my problems and sold me all new springs. We tested a bit, but I knew I had to wait for the range.

So, at the range today I ran several tests.

First, the hollow points at 1.123 ran without any problem. Whew.

Second, the round nose bullets at 1.13 and 1.54 jammed 2 times each in Big sticks and not in 140's.

However, the 1.171 rounds didn't jam at all. I ran all I had, so like 3-4 big sticks and at least 2 140's and not a single jam.

I'm slightly confused here, what it seems to me is, the short Precision Deltas don't run and when I swapped the springs out with the wrong followers I caused NOTHING to run.

I'm going to load up about 150 of each (Hollow point and 1.17 Round nose) and shoot these and see what's up.

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Why are you causing yourself so much brain damage trying to get the Precision Delta bullets to work? Just sell them and go back to using the Montana Gold bullets that you KNOW will work.

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So this weekend was full of shooting and troubleshooting.

Basically I found that with new springs/followers (the correct ones.) I had great success with my ammo and expected results.

The 1.71 round fed perfectly. The short 1.130 rounds still jammed in big sticks, but this I believe is the bullet change issue that started it all.

So, IF I was to keep and use the Precision Deltas, I'm confident that my reliable length on these would be the 1.71 or very near that.

However, I am in love with the 115 grain Hollow Points. I'll try Zero's next since Rick swears that accuracy will be greatly increased with them. I went out and zeroed Shiny with the MG 115 HP's and easily shot a standing 3" group so accuracy is pretty darn good. I don't fully recall the distance, but I'm going to say around 50'. We did manage to create jam and with some troubleshooting assistance from Big Panda (thanks a bunch dude!) we found that rounding off a "corner" on the chamber should stop the one jam that has been the occasional problem for a long time now.

Then, we did some practice and we identified a key movement issue. "2 Large" is the hook I'll be using in my goal list now. Charlie pointed out that I explode out of the shooting position very well, and then fail to keep that steep ramp in acceleration with the next step. I can tell this is true because I can feel my weight get too far forward on me occasionally and when that happens it's usually in the middle of the run. With the "2 large" mentality I explode out of the shooting position for TWO STEPS, Not just one. This greatly increases the acceleration ramp up and in practice shaved off a couple of seconds in the drill we were doing. Meanwhile, accuracy increased. Probably due to better Deceleration.

Speaking of accuracy with the new 115 Grain round I can see an obvious difference in dot tracking and muzzle rise. I need to watch the dot very carefully now and not think that it's a license to just blast away and not aim as carefully. I want the new action to result in better accuracy and slight faster splits... NOT less accuracy and much faster splits. That will come eventually by nature.

A good training session was had by all!

New Goals:

1. Two Large (give BOTH feet your all when leaving a position.)

2. Keep working on grip strength.

3. Watch the dot even more carefully now.

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OK, so I shot a match at Centennial Gun Club on Saturday night. I tell you what, they are getting better at creating fun, diverse and challenging stages down there. They are technical enough for us advanced shooters, but there's always a fairly cut and dry way to run them so the beginners can shoot them without camping out in a pile of brass for too long. Good job guys!

The first stage I did exactly the opposite of my "watch the dot even more carefully" goal and just pulled lightning fast splits without aiming too carefully. My movement goal was met and I ran the stage fast enough that my score was still darn good even with a ton of C's, a D or two, and a NoShoot.

The next stage was really good because it was very technical with having to hit some positions just right, but there were some alternate "easy" positions for the less risky shooter. I felt great on this and watch my dot a lot more actively this time. I had solid A/C hits on all the hard targets and then when I got to the end just hosed down the final array and stepped a bit over the line winding up with a Mike on a full-open target about 10 feet away. Still, nothing to sneeze at but I was amazed at some of the splits I was able to pull with these new rounds. Fun stuff!

After that it was more of the same. Some good runs overall, and some obvious moments of forgetting about my goals. I try not put too much weight into the indoor matches since there is a large mental aspect with all the new shooters and there's something different about the stress level in there. Nobody seems to quite relax to the "themselves" point so I think our performance is about 80%.

Oh, and on the technical side:

My light Dremel work on that "corner" seems to have done the trick. Not a single malfunction! More shooting is obviously needed, but I think things will be much better now.

Still a GREAT match and a boost to my confidence that I'll make it to M... sooner rather than later.

Still my goal set is.

1. Two large.

2. Grip strength.

3. Hawkeye on the dot.

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Well, another weekend and another match is in the books. I don't know how I did and tried to wait until the results were posted, but there's some hold up with the guys that do that so I'll have to be patient. However, I have high hopes. My gun ran like a raped ape and allowed me to finally get a good match in at my full ability with the new 115gr bullets I've been sporting. No technical issues and I feel like I've learned a lesson about how to impliment changes in my equipment. On to the shooting.

The first stage was of my own design and had a bunch of 4' high ports and barrels set around that required some pretty de-stabilized shooting positions. This was coupled with all head-shots to really try to challenge the accuracy portion of someones game. I was very happy with my shooting on this as I was able to pull some quick splits and when it came to the farther targets that were just partial A-Zone's I found it impossible to get out of headshot mode. I had a few makeups on them, but was able to get through the stage very quickly.

Next was the classifier 06-05 (Fuffy's revenge 2) and although there's not much to this one, it has to go perfectly or you can quickly identify all the areas to lose points. Well, I was surprised to see my dot immediately land on the first steel and I recoiled off to the first paper target. My increased grip strength really came in handy here as I hit my fastest splits possible across the paper and was immediately rewarded with white steel behind my dot coming off that last target and watched as I hit a super low shot on it, but it still fell. I ran it at 3:07 and only hit a single charlie, netting me a 12.1 HF. That's a 96%...Hell yeah!!

The remaining stages went about as well once I had that boost. I was a relaxed, dot watching son of a bitch and I did pull 2 un-called mikes but overall I felt like my shot calling was working well. My movement was good and although I missed some positions, I was very happy with most of it. My ability to index on the indended targets coming into a position really helped to keep a stable shooting platform leading to proper gun/sight alignment. This micro-movement/positional analisys is really helping me to have confidence in my stage plan and identify areas that I was previously losing time in.

My new "Two large" goal is another thing that I tried to work on, and although I missed it several times I did manage to conciously work at it.

Here's a video of Stage 1 (My last stage) (Youtube Link.) After talking about all these goals and movement I can see some things that I do like about this run. Also, it's for sure NOT my best run as I completely forgot my stage plan and ran it completely differently than intendid. It's downright comical and I decided to post it becuase once in a while you just have to put a screw-up in to show you still have a sense of humor. So, looking at what I like I for sure pull the old Enos "get to the shooting" and get out of the holster and fire my first steel shot (activator) without moving my feet at all. That's where I forgot my stage plan.

I hesitate for just a sec on the swinger location and then move onto the intended targets, positioning my feet just right to be able to get good shots on them. When I move into Position 2 I do that one just as planned. The swinger was a port-only shot with no-shoots on either side, so one shot per swing was the only way to avoid catastrophe there. I run down to positions 3 and although I don't get a 100% "two large" sprint it was at least 80%. At position 3 I shoot everything I can see (WRONG) and then it's onto that final postion where I overrun it and have to screw around gaining my balance. I finally get my shit together and finish up, but my index and shooting stance are what allowed me to get all my hits on this stuff even though my mind was freaking out.

My goal list remains unchanged for now.

1. Two large.

2. Grip strength.

2. Hawkeye on the dot.

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I shot a match at Colorado Rifle Club today. It was chilly in the AM, but by the time we started shooting it has already warming up to be a decent day.

It was a good match with some challenging stages that varied widely with aiming and speed.

I only have 2 vids but it's plenty to see how the goal progress is moving along.

First, Is Stage 4 (Youtube link) which required the farthest shots of the day. Not able to really get a solid platform it provided some major challenge for a lot of shooters and I watched many shooters crumble and fall before I was up. I was thinking pretty hard about just how much I'd have to watch my dot make this one mike free. Watching the vid, I for sure hit my "two large" when I exit the shooting area. It might not be that apparent, but I remember pushing hard for 2-3 steps before slamming on the brakes for Position 1. I would say I didn't exactly rocket out of that position but with a reload it was just too much to think "two large" while moving out. When I hit the far right position I can see just how slow the shooting is to make sure all my hits are good. It dosn't look "fast" as my splits are easily up to .25 and the steel looks like I'm shooting it in slow motion... and it felt like that too. It was dot-dot-dot as I just carefully put it where it needed to be before moving on. In true Enos form it was interesting to see this happening and in the end, it was "fast enough." I posted the fastest time (by about 1 sec), only 1 Delta (on a close target), and I was one of 8 out of 25 to shoot this clean. This is a great positive reinforcer and one to stick in the memory banks as a moment of "getting interested in the shooting."

The next stage (Youtube Link) is a good one to see a few key points in my movement goals. The step-draw was very nice and the far left target, although clearly out of my cone of fire, was a wide open and I stand my the decision not to change stance as I engaged that last target. Moving to the right looks to me like the minimum amount of movement to square up to that array to be sure I landed properly on them. Those might "look" like low-risk targets but to me the setup was important because A- you can't afford to give up points on those by carelessly slamming that no-shoot, B- the side step for engaging everything on the left of the wall was important to get right. I clearly give it Two Large as I head into the far postion. The final movement point is the hard lean to the right. I was careful to land that position and concentrate on pointing my right foot out. This was a very casual off-the-cuff remark from Ron Avery one day about extending that counter ballance leg out, but making sure to touch the ground with it. I took note of that and this a tecnique that seems to work well for me, and kept me stable during that hard lean for this shot as well.

Lastly, was the classifier (13-04, The Roscoe Rattle). DAMN IT! This was one that I could have easliy scored very high on, and was feeling great going in. I was relaxed, and on the first string (turn-draw-6 rounds into a single target.) I landed 6 Alphas in what seemed like a flash. String 2 (turn-draw- 6 rounds into target A, reload, 6 rounds into target B). Again, I turned very quickly and landed 6 alphas, reloaded flawlessly (so I thought) but had knocked my safety on during the reload. By the time I fixed it and fired 6 more rounds I had dropped easily 1.5-2 seconds. I still wound up with a 9 second run and only dropped 1 point for a 78.9% on it. Had I not screwed up that reload I would have scored in the GM percentage for sure. Maybe next time.

To review. I'm not going to get too worried about that misc malfunction. It was NOT the same issue that I've had before, but I have noticed some magazines aren't feeding the first round when they are at full capacity. On the line I've had to fight to get that round to feed. Once I'm down to the 2nd round (the normal reload setup) I've never had an issue, but more testing is needed so I can fully trust these new rounds.

I took a Dremel to the safety tonight and made it hard enough to turn on that it's a manual process for sure. It takes an effort now, and maybe that will prevent this from happening again. This is the 2nd time in about 2 months and I've NEVER done that before, but absolutely CANNOT to it again.

Goals. I feel like I made significant headway in all of them and feel more like a Master than ever before. I just need to stop sandbagging!

1. Two large... at least.

2. Grip Strength... feeling good about my splits.

3. Hawkeye on the dot... very few deltas these days and even less mikes.

CRC Local, 12/13/14. 2nd Overall, 2nd Open.

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I shot another match today at Boulder Rifle Club. It was snowing like hell out there so they did a mini-match. Indoor, 3 stages. Boulder has massive restrictions on angles of fire and limited props so they make up for it with some major tricky aiming and lots of noshoots. Today was no exception.

I handled the first stage by staying back and shooting some targets that the iron sight guys had to move forward to hit reliably. This saved me some serious time and even with a noshoot I won the stage. Thinking back on my movement I pushed out of the shooting position hard enough that I slipped and almost fell. The good thing about that is, I was pushing hard and that's what it's all about.

The next stage was the classifier and I fell to the "indoor affect" on that one for sure. My time was good and I felt really good, but something didn't quite fly on one of the head shot targets and I wound up with 2 mikes. I'm still astounded by this as I called them hits. I knew I was not in the center, but obviously I'm remembering what I wanted to see and not what I was actually seeing. I know for a fact "it's impossible to miss if the sight is on the target when the gun goes off."

I'll have to do better next time.

The final stage was another one where I thought staying back was the wise choice. Again, time saved was enough to rescue an otherwise tragic instance of letting shots break before the dot was where it needed to be. At least this time I saw it happening and can learn from it. I shot this stage in 14.75 seconds with 2 noshoots. The next fastest time was a full second slower, but he had NO penalty points. I was JUST shown yesterday that if you shoot only with your eyes you will be fast enough and forgot all about that on this stage.

I'll chalk this one up to the indoor effect and not worry too much about it.

Overall, it was a fun match and it beat the hell out of the alternative.... not shooting.

Goals, once again:

1. Two large ... well, maybe two medium when on a slippery surface.

2. Grip strength.

3. Hawkeye on the dot... repeat... hawkeye on the dot!

BRC Local indoor. 12/14/14. 3rd Overall, 1st Open.

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...feel more like a Master than ever before. I just need to stop sandbagging!

hahaha, All kidding aside continue kickin butt dude.

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You are making awesome progress in a short amount of time. Keep up the great work!!!

One thing to consider is that your skills progression from here forward isn't going to contain many more big leaps forward in performance. It will be mostly about discovering and eliminating all of the little "cuts" that are robbing you of tenths of a second here or there. This can be a frustrating point in the learning process because you don't see huge gains when training harder or completely rebuilding skills to get only a tenth faster execution. Stay objective and it will make the effort to fix the little cuts more rewarding.

From seeing you shoot just about every weekend at the local matches, I think that your number one low hanging fruit issue that costs you the most amount of time is not your shooting or movement skills. Its your stage break down and strategy skills. More often than it should happen there are stages where you are giving away multiple seconds of stage time by simply choosing to use the wrong or inefficient stage plan. Stage break down and strategy is really a troubleshooting skill where you are primarily looking for and eliminating wasted movement or shooting events that keep you from shooting as soon as possible. When I was where you were at, I spent a crap ton of time on the range setting up practice stages that could be shot in multiple different ways and experimented with different plans to see what was actually faster/better. I also had my wife setup mini dry fire stages at home where I would have to figure out the best plan of attack that would allow me to execute the stage in the least amount of time. Having someone create a shooting challenge/stage for you is usually the best way to test your stage strategy skills. Give it a try in dry fire first then venture out to the range and do it in dry fire with shooting buddies.

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Another great weekend of shooting. I was able to make two matches. One at Ben Lomond Gun Club and the other at Weld County. It was cold and generally miserable weather with Saturday being windy and not so cold, and Sunday being not so windy and cold. During these matches it's very easy to let fingers get cold only to find slow or NO movement when going for that quick trigger feathering or reload. I always make sure to keep fingers warm and not RO or Score when I reach in the hole status. It takes a couple of shooters' time to make sure hands are completely working.

Basically I shot well this weekend and I was able to snuggle up next to the old Panda for 2nd overall in both matches.

The first match at Ben Lomond, I felt like I was remembering my goals with not too many mistakes to note. On a couple of stages there were some "stand and shoot" positions that spread the entire 180 degree span. I was careful in both cases to obtain a far left(or right) stance, pivot by only moving one foot in order rotate to center, then move again to pivot far right (or left) so that I split these positions into 3 cones of fire instead of twisting way too far one way or the other.

This felt like the correct choice for such a far spread and resulted in a stable shooting platform throughout the position and good hits.

I did forget some things on a couple of stages and wound up with 2 mikes for the match on one stage where I just pushed too hard at speed and forgot to remember the "hawkeye on the dot" goal. Without getting into too much negativity, in the stages where I "screwed up" I did it fast enough to score well anyways.... so not all bad.

On the classifier, I was very careful to keep things within my ability and just move as fast as I could comfortably perform everything. During the walkthrough I said, out loud, "no accessory movements." To me, this just means taking the walkthrough seriously and although these are short stages there are still plenty of things to reherse. In this case (Tick Tock CM 13-05), I made sure to get up out of the chair without moving my feet. I loaded, shot and reloaded with a definate squat in my stance so I didn't waste time standing upright, and then bending down again for the reload. I think this as the best way I could run this, and wound up with a 90.8% on this run. hehehehe!

On to Weld County on Sunday:

Again, happy overall with my performance with one exception and feel like I made some progress on my goals.

The first stage to review video on (Youtube Link) was an unloaded table start where I used the old "slap and rack" technique that many people feel is a show-boat routine, but I've been doing it so long I'm positive it's faster than the standard load. I've shown many people how to do it and the only real tricks are 1: don't move your left hand... it just holds the gun while you are loading with your right. and 2: Know when to use it. There are times (like if you are moving) that it will slow you down. So, that stage I'm mostly looking at movement. Especially getting out of that position 1 for the long haul down to the ports. I felt a definate "two large" come out of my feet and just kept pushing. That was truely as fast as I can run and I thought I looked like I was running naturally without a gun in my hand. The footwork between ports was much more difficult for me to try to reherse or decide on. I just decided that was one of those times when you just say, "forget about each step and just get over there as fast as you can." I was only worried about stabbing the correct spot in each port to prevent any re-adjustments needed and I'm very happy with my footwork that wound up just happening. I shot that stage in 17.55 and was a full 2 seconds faster than the 2nd place shooter.

The next vid I threw in for more movement (Youtube Link) and was actually very unsure of my plan on this and would welcome a comment from Panda on this one. I decided to just make the wide left/right pivots and wind up with 5 stable shooting positions insteadof trying to float, move, or link these together. Each opportunity for movement was on a high risk (partial no-shoot) target and I did want a reload at the end. Hence this plan that I feel worked well. Again I was fastest on this one, being .5 ahead of the Panda, but both of us were 2 seconds faster than 3rd place. I was rewarded with a good score on this one and despite my lack of confidence it obviously wasn't a bad plan. I'm just wondering if I broke this down correctly.

One that I wish I had for the blooper reel was the classifier. It was a mandatory reload and I completely lost control of the magazine during reload. I went to the next magazine and entered "make up world" where the remaining shots went un-aimed resulting in a train wreck. The only reason I bring this up, is because upon reloading said awry magazine I found that it had only 4 rounds in it. The weight had thrown me off, and had I landed that magazine I would have run dry and botched the classifier anyways. The lesson here is dilligence in the between stage routine with checking equipment.

so I feel like the "grip strength" and "two large" goals have seated themselves into my routine enough that I can drop them off the list and move onto other things. So my new goal list is as follows:

1. Visual Patience. (the better way to say Hawkeye on the dot)

2. Work at better stage breakdown. Troubleshoot each section as Panda suggests.

3. Start documenting my process and skillset for mental stability. I'll do and talk about this down the road, but its something that's been going through in my head for a while now. Kind of a "how did I get here" notebook. In my career I'm a big-time documentation freak and believe strongly that documentation leads to full understanding and want to translate that to my hobby life.

12/20/14 - HPPS Local, 2nd Overall, 1st Open.

12/21/14 - WCPS Local, 2nd Overall, 1st Open.

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Your plan for stage 3 was close to mine. I decided to shoot the right first, then do a 180 transition to the left then start moving down range as I engaged the left no shoot target. Doing this allowed me to immediately engage the second left array of targets while shooting on the move. After completing the left array of targets I reloaded and started engaging the second right array of targets from right to left so I could keep moving down range to the starting point of the "Hall way" walls, where I finished on the steel from right to left. I decided to shoot it on the move because I could keep the gun running most of the time even if the shooting was slower due to the no shoot partials mixed in the arrays.

If I was shooting open, I would have shot the right first, then 180 transition to the left. Then reloaded to a big stick and started to engage the second left array from left to right, then steel, then finish on the second right paper. Doing this would have allowed me to keep the gun running almost the whole time and a big stick would have plenty of rounds to get that much non-stop shooting done up front.

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My first plan was exactly your "if I was shooting open" plan. I just didn't like having to stab that spot so precisely to avoid overrunning that far right target on the 2nd Right array. I couldn't quite see all the front steel from that position and didn't like having to lean and move over while engaging it. Hence the two small steps while reloading to give a full view of steel at the end. Did you notice the RO almost run into me? He thought I was moving all the way down there... haha.

Thanks bro!

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