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Stuck In B Class For Two Years


praetorian97

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As Stoeger so eloquently puts it. "You're doing it wrong". Stuck in B Class For Two Years is my career shooting story.

I've lost count of how many times I've said the words according to my calculations I should be A class next month. Been as close as 1.32% away. I really hit my stride last summer but some life events forced me to take step back from shooting. Baby Momma and I split up so as you can imagine that cut down on funds and time. At that time I was still shooting and gradually placing higher.... BUT then an amazing woman showed up in my life and I took 2.5 months off of shooting to get to know Red as I call her. I think I shot like two IDPGAY matches that entire time. Kind of funny when you look at my USPSA classifiers, you can see to the very day of our first date and when my shooting hiatus started. Have to admit shooting Idaho winters isn't the greatest so it was even easier to take a step back and recharge.

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Once it warmed up and I caved in to all the harassing vagina jokes I started to shoot regularly again and work out the cob webs. But oh wait...my return wasn't in the cards just yet. I herniated C7 working out and had to take it easy yet again while I took Physical Therapy. It was really weird. I had temporary nerve damage in my left arm down to my finger tips. People joke about "The Stranger" but this was very true for me. I had to consciously tell my WH to squeeze or I would be pulling a lot of shots to the left. Get your mind out of the gutter...I'm talking about shooting.

I have primarily been up until this point a Limited Shooter. I shot an M&P pro 9mm with full apex kit in IDPA and a Tanfoglio Limited gun in USPSA. The triggers were too different. I knew if I wanted to get serious, I would need to focus on one platform. Not that it was a necessity, but it would help me take more advantage of my DF and LF training.

Reason #1 to switch to Production. I can shoot the same platform in both sports. Reason #2 Limited is fun but I was getting burnt out and needed a change. To be quite honest there were many aspects to that division that made my gun slinging fundamentals sloppy. 20 round capacity. Go into a 3-4 target array and be like whoopty do. Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew Pew and Pew cause you looked at me funny. With Production you can't do that of course without committing a cardinal sin of a standing slide lock reload. Reloads. I never had to practice to get decent reloads when you have such a large mag well air traffic controlling the magazine into the gun.

So here I am.....Production shooter extraordinaire. I used to joke....B Class Pho Lyfe....Now its going to be you just got a can of Prod C Class whoop @$$ opened up on you.

Here is my journey......

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The most important question you must answer is, Are you having fun shooting? I know shooters who started in D class 5 years ago and have progressed all the way up to high D class, but they are having fun shooting...

And, good start to the range diary!

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I'm having a AMAZING time. Even though many of you will deny being my friend, I think focusing on having a good time with my friends at matches is helping me relax and shoot better. I will say getting better also relieves the anxiety as well.

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Now Ben has sunk his hooks into me. My level of Nut Huggery does not compete with Gump's however I'm sold on the plan. I'm in the training course's infancy and already seeing great results.

His drills are set very aggressively and can be quite disheartening when you are not hitting the par times or shooting them well. However nothing beats that high when you nail the par time or even when you hit that time consistently. I'm pretty sure I've concerned some fellow shooters a few bays over with my celebratory BOOMS! I do have a fragile little 5 year old at home that I refer to as the sponge. Its a test of patience to not be emotional while dry firing with her around.

My first Live Fire day was brutal. I opened with 2 @ 25. 2 shots, 25 yards, 2 seconds. All As of course. I was lucky to get two shots on paper that session. Fast forward 2 weeks later and I can consistently shoot 2 As in 1.8. Consistently as in 7 out of 10 attempts. Lets not get all cray cray and expect perfection just yet.

1.65 being my fastest

11401413_10205749102943413_3144310898966

Live Fire Sunday kicked my butt. After 100 rounds on a great 2 @ 25 session I tossed 100 at 4 aces. My best 7 yard 4 aces was 3A 1C in 2.74 ish. Had to walk away from that for another day. I finished off the day with 100 rounds at Accelerator. I was absolutely floored with the confidence I had at the 25 yard target. Its really working.

Here is a video of my first LII match after 1 week of training. I did very well for a Old Fat Asian. 4th/40 in Limited and 11th/104 overall

2015 Idaho Sectional

(Limited Because I am not yet Prod Classified. I wanted at least a chance to win the B class Winnebago)

However all my matches moving forward will be Production. I have my minimum 4 now.

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In my opinion "making it to (insert here) class" is a result. Result oriented thinking is not what will get you there. Read Lanny Bassham's "With winning in mind." It will change the way you look at your performance goals. Mostly by realizing that removing the goal of making it to a specific class and replacing it with smaller goals to increase performance is the key to waking up one day and just finding yourself in said class.

Starting your journal is a BIG STEP and is key to doing just that. Keep writing about each training session, match, and keep on posting videos for objective analysis by YOU (most importantly) and others will join in when they want.

You'll be fine.

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^^^ Totally agree. Making A isn't a goal right now but just a pit stop along the way.

I had some issues with the Dry Fire Bill Drill time. Its basically 3 targets. You draw and shoot 6, reload, rinse, lather and repeat... in 5 seconds. I kept getting caught on the third target. This really exposed a flaw in my reload process. I wasn't allowing enough time for the mag to drop. I was bringing it back so fast that the mag would only slide out about an inch out of the gun and stop. I knew I needed to get back to basics and shake the bad habit Limited gave me. Good friend pointed this out to me before, but I didn't give it much attention because I never had issues with the Limited Gat setup.

I started with the Burkett Micro Drill. Bring the mag up to the gun in .6 par time. I really had a break through at this point. When I was attempting a full reload (Mag seat) I ran into alignment issues. But when I just focused on the mag to the magwell.......Like Buttah.....

By the end of the night I wasnt completely consistent but good enough to call it a night. Back to back .8ish reloads.

http://youtu.be/toOW3SITnVI

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In my opinion "making it to (insert here) class" is a result. Result oriented thinking is not what will get you there.

Praetorian is not my friend (lol), but he pretty much embodies the concept of 'result-oriented-thinking'. We have been telling him that for approximately 2 years.

We are all in big trouble if he really gets this whole 'looking at the sights' thing.

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You are not doing "0.8 sec" reloads if your not breaking an accurate shot post reload. That and who really cares how fast your standing reload is? If you can't do an aggressive, fast, and accurate reload while launching out of a shooting position aggressively then you are just wasting time. Answer this question. How often are you tasked with doing a standing reload during a stage run and not have already fubared the stage due to running the gun dry? We are not talking about classifiers either. If you can do a 1 second reload as you are aggressively launching out of the shooting position then doing a standing reload faster that that is a piece of cake. This type of thought process is no different than practicing 30 yard partial shots so the 15 yard partial shots are "easy".

As for breaking out of B class. The answer is simple. If your goal is to make A and you are only practicing to an A class level, then making A class is going to be difficult. If you practice for achieving a GM class performance, then making A Class is relatively easy.

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Now Ben has sunk his hooks into me. My level of Nut Huggery does not compete with Gump's however I'm sold on the plan. I'm in the training course's infancy and already seeing great results.

His drills are set very aggressively and can be quite disheartening when you are not hitting the par times or shooting them well. However nothing beats that high when you nail the par time or even when you hit that time consistently. I'm pretty sure I've concerned some fellow shooters a few bays over with my celebratory BOOMS! I do have a fragile little 5 year old at home that I refer to as the sponge. Its a test of patience to not be emotional while dry firing with her around.

My first Live Fire day was brutal. I opened with 2 @ 25. 2 shots, 25 yards, 2 seconds. All As of course. I was lucky to get two shots on paper that session. Fast forward 2 weeks later and I can consistently shoot 2 As in 1.8. Consistently as in 7 out of 10 attempts. Lets not get all cray cray and expect perfection just yet.

1.65 being my fastest

11401413_10205749102943413_3144310898966

Live Fire Sunday kicked my butt. After 100 rounds on a great 2 @ 25 session I tossed 100 at 4 aces. My best 7 yard 4 aces was 3A 1C in 2.74 ish. Had to walk away from that for another day. I finished off the day with 100 rounds at Accelerator. I was absolutely floored with the confidence I had at the 25 yard target. Its really working.

Here is a video of my first LII match after 1 week of training. I did very well for a Old Fat Asian. 4th/40 in Limited and 11th/104 overall

2015 Idaho Sectional

(Limited Because I am not yet Prod Classified. I wanted at least a chance to win the B class Winnebago)

However all my matches moving forward will be Production. I have my minimum 4 now.

Whoa, wait, stop, slowdown. What's this "Gump's level of nuthuggery" your speaking of? That's just a bunch of tomfoolery there.

I'll be "Stuck in C class" for like a year and half give or take this next update. I simply cannot shoot a classifier. I know it's total mental retardation on my part but it never fails that the vast majority of my mikes or mistakes at a match are on the classifier. One day I'll figure it out, well that's what I'm hoping, lol.

But I must say I ENJOY AND TREASURE every moment I get to shoot. Having fun is I think more important than anything. 3 back surgeries robbed me of my first love of golf and it was by random chance I ran into an old frat brother asking him about my CHP that I was introduced to USPSA 2 years ago and the rest is history:-) and 7 Tanfos later, lol

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I get what you are saying Cha-Lee and agree. One dry fire drill I need to get back into is moving reloads from one array to another. I've done this in the past but since changing to Production I have been refocusing on fundamentals. If I'm doing a standing reload during a match, most likely something bad happened or the stage forced a low cap guy to do it.

With this drill I was trying to break down a specific issue I was having with the reload process as a whole. A better magazine release and new magazine alignment.

I was set on two things. First getting the spent mag out of the gun. I had an ongoing issue of tilting the gun up too fast and having the magwell not be empty like I expected . Second was to get the mag inserted without jamming it into the sidewall of the gun.

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dissenting opinion here on reloads (from someone less experienced and less skilled than cha-lee, so take with added salt):. standing reloads ALWAYS cost you time, so it makes sense to do them as fast as possible. doesn't really make a diff if it's on a classifier where it's mandatory or on a stage where you wasted too many shots on a popper.

moving reloads only cost you time if they slow down your movement, or if you can't get them done before you get close enough to your destination to start shooting. As long as you get going right away, you can sort out the reload on the way. It makes sense to me to practice both, especially making sure that you're not screwing around trying to focus on the reload when you should be just moving and letting your subconscious take care of the reload.

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dissenting opinion here on reloads (from someone less experienced and less skilled than cha-lee, so take with added salt):. standing reloads ALWAYS cost you time, so it makes sense to do them as fast as possible. doesn't really make a diff if it's on a classifier where it's mandatory or on a stage where you wasted too many shots on a popper.

moving reloads only cost you time if they slow down your movement, or if you can't get them done before you get close enough to your destination to start shooting. As long as you get going right away, you can sort out the reload on the way. It makes sense to me to practice both, especially making sure that you're not screwing around trying to focus on the reload when you should be just moving and letting your subconscious take care of the reload.

I am not saying that having effective standing reload skills isn't a skill people should have. I am just saying that it should be a lower priority skill than effectively reloading while leaving a position. The skills you choose to practice need to be put into perspective to how they are leveraged in a match. The fact that you will be tasked with doing reloads while exiting shooting positions the majority of the time can't be ignored. We all want to get better but the main failure I see most shooters make in their training is excessively practicing skills that produce very little return on investment during a match. Stationary draws & reloads that are rocket fast yield very little actual match performance/result improvement on match day. At least in USPSA pistol matches that is. Steel Challenge is a different story because you are forced to do a crap ton of stationary draws.

For most shooters who are "Stuck in B Class" their main road block isn't gun handling skills. Its usually visual patience skill issues in not calling their shots so they can do the "Next" thing as soon as possible. A close second is poor movement skills between shooting positions.

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For most shooters who are "Stuck in B Class" their main road block isn't gun handling skills. Its usually visual patience skill issues in not calling their shots so they can do the "Next" thing as soon as possible.

Excellent points Cha-lee. Have you met Praetorian? you have described him well enough that you would probably know him if you met him in a dark alley.

He has great movement skills, and when he gets the visual patience thing dialed he is going to rocket upward in classification and match results.

I do think that in production or SS stationary reloads are a bit more important to match performance than in the high-cap divisions, just because there is a greater likelihood that you might have to do one (or do a 1-2 step moving reload which is pretty much the same thing) on a stage. Still, it is not nearly as important as shooting or as important as moving.

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I'm a little disappointed that you left your Tanfoglio Brethren Cha-Lee......

I know..... I am a EAA/Tanfo Quitter :(

If EAA didn't raise their prices on uppers so much I would still be shooting their stuff. That and their horrible customer service really didn't help matters either. If they didn't raise their prices to ass raping levels I would still be shooting am EAA/Tanfo today. But they priced me out of it. If I am paying custom 2011 prices to maintain an off the shelf Tanfo/EAA blaster it does not make sense to keep shooting those off the shelf guns.

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some great advice in this thread. I just have a question. on your match video was the 2 mikes on the swinger?

I tend to agree particularly with one part of cha-lee's post which is people do often practice skills that give poor return on investment. I shoot IPSC so we have no classifiers. So basically there is hardly ever stand and shoot type stuff and no such thing as a mandatory reload. Yet people still spend lots of time practicing standing draws or standing reloads. Both of which are hardly done over a 2 day, 12 stage average match.

You seem to move really well. You seemed to have very good hits. Very high number of A's. really I guess in that match what cost you 3rd place or higher was those couple of instances with make up shots on some steel and probably those 2 mikes.

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I had shot 1 mike on two different diagonals. I was so hyper focused on the long range small poppers that I didn't respect the 10 yard cardboard.

We had a lot of small steel out at 10-15 yards and some even further out. Any lack of respect for them came with a hefty cost.

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Ran a live fire practice last night. Realized that bringing 200 rounds isn't going to cut it. Even taking drills at a relaxed pace I ran out of ammo too quickly. Actual time spent at the range didn't justify the drive (Home range is 40 min away from house).

Started with 2 @ 25 on a 12" Steel Challenge Plate. Steel makes this warm up drill a lot easier with no reset. Typically I set up three cardboard targets and then run through three strings in between reset. I'm prepping for an IDPA match this weekend so I'm currently shooting my SP01. This really exposes the differences between my Stock III and the SP01. I feel I can push the SIII a lot harder and faster at long range. Prior to getting focused, I was happy if I got two hits on paper @25. Now I'm upset if I get a Charlie at this range.

Moved onto Stoeger Dot Drills. Accuracy at 7 isn't horrible but there was always that one little flier. It's more of a vendetta than anything at this point to shoot this clean. I will own you someday! I might have to take down a wall picture of my daughter and replace it with a successful Dot Drill.

After plenty of warm up I moved onto Accelerator. If I had more ammo I would have tried different variations but I stuck with far to near. I find it easier to speed up accurately than to slow down. Started shaving time off the reload to 25 yard shot. Started @ 1.99, 1.67, and the best was 1.54. Ending on the 25 yard target vs starting on it feels like this....

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It's more of a vendetta than anything at this point to shoot this clean. I will own you someday! I might have to take down a wall picture of my daughter and replace it with a successful Dot Drill.

Haha :roflol:

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I set up a dry fire short course in the garage last night to help me get ready for today's IDPA match. Figured it was that or iron my vest (I tease) BTW I'm in the market for a sleeveless jean jacket with a Led Zeppelin patch on the back if you have one laying around.

Changed it up a few times.

Ended up second overall. 3/6 stage wins. There was a standards stage that really showed my dry fire work. Everything else was just being more patient with front sight picture. Still left a lot of meat on the bone in the patience department though. I think this will be my last IDPA match for awhile. It was fun hanging out with friends but felt I could have shot more in half the time at the range. Being focused on getting out of B Class means more structure in my regime right now.

Speaking of that. The B Class curse strikes again. Scores uploaded today and I'm .94 away from A. I do have an 85 that should show up next month. Either way no harm because I want to make M shooting Prod and I'm still in the infancy of this Nut Huggery.

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What are your thoughts on different grips?

I have been shooting an SP01 exclusively and had my first live fire (steel challenge) last night with the Stock III. Large Frame Vs Small Frame doesn't really feel differently in my hands but definitely took a few strings to familiar with it again.

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Well I'm no GM by any means, but I can offer this one piece of solid advice.....Don't wear open toe shoes when doing transitional reload practice. :blush:

I wanted to work on 90 Degree transitions tonight with a simulated 7 yards. 1.6 par time was a struggle for me. I felt more comfortable pushing the 1.8 mark. But then again its my first run at it. What I learned from this, is to not follow my sights over a 90 degree transition. I've always known this, but its a hard habit to break and I only came close to 1.6 when I would turn my head and whip the gun shortly behind it.

I needed a break from getting my butt kicked so I worked on 1 second reloads and a page from Cha-Lee's suggestion. I incorporated a reload as I transitioned 90 degrees. 1.6 par time for a shoot, reload, 90 transition, and shoot one more.

Going to soak my big toe in a bucket of tears and sorrow now.

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