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ArrDave

Just Call Me Charlie Mike

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 The red dot is the best shooting instructor I've had in a while.  I say that not to discount the training from those I've worked with but because it provides a level of feedback on a very personal level that would be impossible for anyone to provide - namely it gives you visual cues for how the gun is behaving based on grip and stance modifications in real time.  You can make changes and receive instant feedback as you pull the trigger and the gun recoils into how it affects what the gun is doing.  Just this week I was rewarded with a handful of insights into my shooting through paying attention to the dot.

 The first bit was the dot movement based on how I'm applying force with my support hand.  I'm transitioning over from CZs, and my support hand force is very front to back and reinforces the direction of my strong hand fingers when gripping them.  This is an easy grip to achieve on the Shadow 2 using palm swell grips with a rough texture, but the Glock - by comparison is flat and very slick at the top of the grip around the thumb relief (where absolutely no one should rest their strong hand thumbs).  So I went with what was easy - I pinched in laterally with my support hand applying force side to side.  What happened in recoil is the dot lifted up and to the right at about a 45-60 degree angle in recoil.  It returned to more or less the same area - but when shooting fast the likelihood of stringing shots to the left increased a great bit.  I was overpowering the gun on the left side making the gun track up and right.  So I hit the range again - with the goal of seeing the dot jump straight up and down by gripping with my support hand front to back.  

 I set up a drill which had two USPSA metric targets completely open at 7 yards probably 5 yards apart.  I consciously tried to grip front to back- Voila - the dot jumps straight up and down just like I wanted.  The dot would climb to the top of the generous Deltapoint Pro window, exit the screen for a brief fraction of a second,  then come right back down to where it started more or less.  If it wasn't straight up and down movement it was at most it was 5-10 degrees off vertical when I would miss my grip with my support hand.  At 7 yards running .22-.27 splits the shots would string vertically - depending on the timing the second shot may be a couple inches low, to darn near on top of the first shot (I need to experiment more with shot timing to make this happen consistently).   

 So with the dot tracking sorted out - I started playing with stance and weight bias.  A recent Firearms Nation Podcast with Yong Lee kept hammering on an aggressive stance, clearly it is important to him so I guess it should be important to me, right?  So I got wider than shoulders width and feet further separated front to back with all the weight over my lead foot, ran the same drill.  When the shots broke, the dot jumped same as before - BUT - it didn't leave the window.  The gun was recovering faster.    The result was that the rapid fire shots stayed closer together.  Previously with a more upright and no forward bias with my weight  running the trigger as fast I could would net 4-6" of separation on the first target and usually 2-3" of separation on the second target.  With a more aggressive stance I was shrinking the group of the first pair to be roughly the size of the second.  But it didn't end there...

  I started noticing how the gun was hitting in the palm of my strong hand.  It's very difficult to put into words the sensation - but I was applying a lot of force with the web of my hand in the grip tang, and a lot of force low down on the front of the grip to get the most leverage to return the dot quickly.  In high speed video I know I get some muzzle dip as the slide closes - more than I'd like for sure.  Now I started trying to put a priority on hitting the bottom of the grip harder with the heel of my palm to counteract the force from the ring fingers/pinkies of both hands.  Wouldn't you know it - the muzzle dip when the slide closed was reduced appreciably - the dot didn't dip down then recover up near as bad - again leading to shrinking groups when shooting fast - but as an added benefit it reduced the amount the dot would dip on sloppy trigger pulls - increasing first shot accuracy.

To test this - I backed it up to 25 yards on the plate racks - being intentional in slow fire with just 12 rounds and 12 plates I wanted to see if I could go 1 for 1.  9 for 12.  BUT I did stop hitting low on the cross bar -   misses were VERY close - usually just off the plate to the left.  

 I got a lot out of practice today.  Dryfire the next few days leading into the match are going to be focused on how my strong hand palm feels on the backstrap as I present to target, how my support hand feels putting pressure on the gun, and ensuring that I get an aggressive low/wide stance.  I can say definitively I've gotten more out of my practice in the last 3 weeks using a red dot than the 5 months of practice leading up to it this year.  It's rapidly smoothing out the learning curve for picking up a new platform.  

 We'll see how this all translates to the match this weekend.  Someone pay the weatherman to get all this rain out of here.

Follow me on YouTube - youtube.com/thehumblemarksman

 

Edited by ArrDave

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Match video from the weekend - thoughts to come.
 

 

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On 5/23/2018 at 8:38 AM, ArrDave said:

 The red dot is the best shooting instructor I've had in a while.  I say that not to discount the training from those I've worked with but because it provides a level of feedback on a very personal level that would be impossible for anyone to provide - namely it gives you visual cues for how the gun is behaving based on grip and stance modifications in real time.  You can make changes and receive instant feedback as you pull the trigger and the gun recoils into how it affects what the gun is doing.  Just this week I was rewarded with a handful of insights into my shooting through paying attention to the dot.

 The first bit was the dot movement based on how I'm applying force with my support hand.  I'm transitioning over from CZs, and my support hand force is very front to back and reinforces the direction of my strong hand fingers when gripping them.  This is an easy grip to achieve on the Shadow 2 using palm swell grips with a rough texture, but the Glock - by comparison is flat and very slick at the top of the grip around the thumb relief (where absolutely no one should rest their strong hand thumbs).  So I went with what was easy - I pinched in laterally with my support hand applying force side to side.  What happened in recoil is the dot lifted up and to the right at about a 45-60 degree angle in recoil.  It returned to more or less the same area - but when shooting fast the likelihood of stringing shots to the left increased a great bit.  I was overpowering the gun on the left side making the gun track up and right.  So I hit the range again - with the goal of seeing the dot jump straight up and down by gripping with my support hand front to back.  

 I set up a drill which had two USPSA metric targets completely open at 7 yards probably 5 yards apart.  I consciously tried to grip front to back- Voila - the dot jumps straight up and down just like I wanted.  The dot would climb to the top of the generous Deltapoint Pro window, exit the screen for a brief fraction of a second,  then come right back down to where it started more or less.  If it wasn't straight up and down movement it was at most it was 5-10 degrees off vertical when I would miss my grip with my support hand.  At 7 yards running .22-.27 splits the shots would string vertically - depending on the timing the second shot may be a couple inches low, to darn near on top of the first shot (I need to experiment more with shot timing to make this happen consistently).   

 So with the dot tracking sorted out - I started playing with stance and weight bias.  A recent Firearms Nation Podcast with Yong Lee kept hammering on an aggressive stance, clearly it is important to him so I guess it should be important to me, right?  So I got wider than shoulders width and feet further separated front to back with all the weight over my lead foot, ran the same drill.  When the shots broke, the dot jumped same as before - BUT - it didn't leave the window.  The gun was recovering faster.    The result was that the rapid fire shots stayed closer together.  Previously with a more upright and no forward bias with my weight  running the trigger as fast I could would net 4-6" of separation on the first target and usually 2-3" of separation on the second target.  With a more aggressive stance I was shrinking the group of the first pair to be roughly the size of the second.  But it didn't end there...

  I started noticing how the gun was hitting in the palm of my strong hand.  It's very difficult to put into words the sensation - but I was applying a lot of force with the web of my hand in the grip tang, and a lot of force low down on the front of the grip to get the most leverage to return the dot quickly.  In high speed video I know I get some muzzle dip as the slide closes - more than I'd like for sure.  Now I started trying to put a priority on hitting the bottom of the grip harder with the heel of my palm to counteract the force from the ring fingers/pinkies of both hands.  Wouldn't you know it - the muzzle dip when the slide closed was reduced appreciably - the dot didn't dip down then recover up near as bad - again leading to shrinking groups when shooting fast - but as an added benefit it reduced the amount the dot would dip on sloppy trigger pulls - increasing first shot accuracy.

To test this - I backed it up to 25 yards on the plate racks - being intentional in slow fire with just 12 rounds and 12 plates I wanted to see if I could go 1 for 1.  9 for 12.  BUT I did stop hitting low on the cross bar -   misses were VERY close - usually just off the plate to the left.  

 I got a lot out of practice today.  Dryfire the next few days leading into the match are going to be focused on how my strong hand palm feels on the backstrap as I present to target, how my support hand feels putting pressure on the gun, and ensuring that I get an aggressive low/wide stance.  I can say definitively I've gotten more out of my practice in the last 3 weeks using a red dot than the 5 months of practice leading up to it this year.  It's rapidly smoothing out the learning curve for picking up a new platform.  

 We'll see how this all translates to the match this weekend.  Someone pay the weatherman to get all this rain out of here.

Follow me on YouTube - youtube.com/thehumblemarksman

 

Great write up and explanation Dave! I think this may be exactly the same problem I am having. I am also going to play with a little lighter recoil spring and see what that does. 

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been busy with life - but this has still been going on.  I think where I am at now is developing the confidence to run the gun how I know I can and not being too conservative on splits and letting each sight picture settle out.  Tough to really drill on that without access to an outdoor range.  Still puzzling out how to lay down what's within my skillset because the "shoot as fast as you can see" isn't working - I'm too slow - significantly slower than in practice.

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