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Alaskan454

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I forgot one of the stages was thrown out due to prop issues, I guess the last match was my most accurate one so far at 97.1% of possible points.  I really need to start speeding up and see what I can get away with.

 

Screenshot_2017-08-11-13-30-36-1.thumb.png.b0b6731ec644d6aa6979f0f4bed9f6b5.png

Edited by Alaskan454

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Shot our club IDPA match this morning and did well ending up with 3rd overall.  I had two short strokes early on that cost me 4-5 seconds in clock time, I need to dry fire a bit more before switching up guns next time around.  The 625 needs just a touch less pressure on the trigger to make sure it fully resets, my 929 is a bit more forgiving.  If I didn't screw up with two short strokes or drop a -3 on one target that would have been enough to hit HOA.  I guess I need to keep practicing and try again next time!  Here's some video:

 

 

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Ran our local ICORE match over the weekend.  Hadn't picked up a gun in a while and only got 5 hours of sleep the night before.  My shooting was a little rusty but I still had some good runs and enjoyed spending the day with friends.  My gear ran well and the only issues I had were my own!  I guess I should dry fire a bit before the next one.  Good thing I shot two revolvers at ICORE to shake off the rust, I ended up winning a NIB S&W M&P9 at a dueling tree event later that night.  I was a bit nervous about bringing a revolver to shoot against the automatics but it turned out to be a good decision!

 

 

Edited by Alaskan454

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I'm moving to another state later this year and the last match I get to run at my club is going to be ICORE.  We've decided to call it a Snub & Classic match with a reduced $5 entry fee for all revolvers 3" or less and all speedloader fed guns.  Just something fun for my last match to promote revolver shooting.  I'm going to shoot both my 929 and a Snub so I've been working on gear for a Kimber K6s to run at the match.  Not exactly your usual competition revolver but it should be a lot of fun.  I've carved up some HKS DS-A loaders to make them work well in the Kimber.  Here's some video from its first range trip: 

 

 

Edited by Alaskan454

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I ran our club's last Steel Challenge match of the year this past weekend.  I've been so busy these past few months trying to graduate and figure out our relocation logistics that I hadn't picked up my competition revolvers for about four weeks leading up to match day.  Luckily I had a bit of time to practice my draw at the safe table before the first stage.  I wasn't feeling all that great about my gun handling skills but still managed to slip past the 85% mark and make Master with an Iron Sight Revolver.  I also decided to shoot my 625 with the C-More in OSR so I could start getting classified there.  The more I shoot iron sights the less I enjoy the red dot which is quite strange for me.  It was definitely the exact opposite this time last year.  Early in the year I forced myself to practice regularly at the 50 and 100 yard line with iron sights, I suppose I'm finally comfortable with them.

 

I think what I'd like to do moving forward is get a S&W .22 revolver set-up with the C-More and shoot that in RFPO.  Right now I'm running a full weight Ruger MK II with a big ole red dot on it.  The gun weighs a ton for a .22 and I only shoot it on match day 3-4 times a year, it just doesn't feel quite right due to lack of familiarity.  Switching to a revolver platform I might be able to push those RFPO scores up to Master territory or higher.  This year I enjoyed shooting my ISR in LTD as a second scored gun so it would be nice to have a .22 revolver for RFPO and then shoot the same gun twice in both ISR and LTD on match days.  If I were headed to the WSSC or US Nationals that's the three gun package I would feel best about shooting.  I have one more match on my schedule for this year and after that I'm going to take a break for a few months to work on my accuracy game in slow fire.  I've got a few single actions revolvers that will post rifle size groups at 100 yds, they've been neglected this year and need some love.

image.png.65c89b48358d7f6f5d9eec07de1dd960.png

 

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We moved just as the 2017 shooting season came to a close.  Months later I finally have my workshop back in reasonable shape and will get started on a dry fire room shortly.  Just signed up for a few major matches and hoping to improve my skills before the first match of 2018.  

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First match of 2018 went reasonably well.  My revolver ran flawlessly, the shooter not so much. 

 

 

 

Edited by Alaskan454

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Shot an ICORE match at my old club yesterday, it was great to see all of my friends down in Indiana.  Still made a few mental mistakes while shooting but it went a lot better than USPSA last month.  I think we'll be in fighting shape after a few more weeks of practice.  

 

 

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I've been a bit lazy with practice this spring and after reviewing my recent footage it shows.  Daily dry fire has now become standard with 1/3 and 1/6 scale targets.  My standing reloads are now consistently at 2 seconds or less and the draw is starting to feel natural again.  It's amazing how easy it is to lose these skills.  I'm going to do some basic gun handling every day for the foreseeable future.

 

USPSA is coming up this weekend, my goal will be to shoot at least 95% of points in a timely fashion.  

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USPSA went pretty well over the weekend, I clipped a Mike on one of the classifiers and that prevented me from hitting my 95% points goal.  Otherwise I was pretty happy with my hits on target.  There are a few places I can shave time without sacrificing points so I need to work on those.  One example is making sure the trigger goes all the back before moving the gun off target, that cost me two make up shots during the match.  Another is moving quickly but stopping where I need to, I came in to a shooting position too fast and almost picked up some foot faults.  Cost me a second or two to get back in the shooting area before I started engaging targets.  Lessons learned though.  Practice is helping and I think I should be back up to speed before the MI Sectional and MI Steel Challenge Championship next month.  My shooting on the move is getting a lot better and that has helped to save time between positions.   

 

 

 

 

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For the last few weeks I've been trying to dry fire a few minutes each day to get back some of the gun handling skills I lost over the winter.  I set up the rough equivalent of Pendulum with 2" white circular targets at 5 yards in my house.  That worked out to a par time of ~3.6 seconds to reliably shoot it clean.  Pendulum has always been one of my worst stages at Steel Challenge so I am trying to improve on that specific stage right now.  In the past I've had the tendency to start moving my gun off target, especially on the smaller plates, before breaking the shot.  That in general is a habit I've always struggled to break.  It cost me some points at Revolver Nationals last year as well.  

 

Last weekend was the Michigan Steel Challenge Championship.  It was my first Level II SCSA match and also the first time I've shot all eight on the same day.  I was actually quite nervous because I hadn't shot Outer Limits or Showdown in close to a year.  I shot my revolver in ISR and a friend let me borrow his RFRO to give that a try.  It was pretty fun shooting the open rimfire rifle and also humbling when I realized just how fast the GM par times are for RFRO.  I had a few failures to feed with the rifle, but still wouldn't have hit A class for my initial classification without them.  You really have to manhandle those rifle to hit peak time.  

 

With the revolver things went very well for the most part.  I had to start on my worst stage (Pendulum), though ended up doing just fine.  I was within ~1 sec of my best time ever on Pendulum so that gave me a touch of confidence moving to the next stage, Showdown.  On Showdown I beat my best time by ~1 sec, which felt pretty good.  Speed Option was somewhat of a fumble, but still only ~1 sec behind my best score.  Outer Limits had me worried since I hadn't shot it in so long, though I bested my record time by 2.1 seconds.  That had me feeling pretty darn good walking into Roundabout, where I beat my prior record by 1.68 sec.  I actually managed a stage win on Roundabout for the Main Match which was pretty cool, it was 2% shy of the peak time for ISR.  The next stage was where I realized my current limit for speed and accuracy. 

 

My first string on Smoke and Hope was 2.54 sec,  faster than the average required to hit peak time (2.62 sec).  I let that give me a false sense of confidence and fell apart on the second string.  Having to reload with those giant plates staring you down can be quite a mental exercise.  I figured I would slow down a touch and play it safe for string three and shot a 2.91.  It felt good so I did the same on string four, but panicked when I missed the stop plate.  Instead of carefully aiming my sixth shot I rapid fired 3 more rounds at the stop plate and ran my gun dry.  This forced another reload on the clock and I ended up taking 2.54, 2.91, 7.03, and 2.92 for my times on Smoke & Hope.  It was probably the best lesson in knowing your limits I've ever had during a match.  I need to figure out where my 100% mark is and then back off a few percent to avoid those kinds of disasters.  Having reloaded twice on S&H I went into Five To Go with one foot on the brake.  I somehow shot 0.12 sec off my best time.  With the throttle back just enough to feel comfortable I finished the match by shooting Accelerator ~1 sec slower than my best time. 

 

In the end I did well enough to place 1st in the Iron Sight Revolver division and also managed to be the fastest iron sight handgun out of all divisions.  Reviewing the video had me strategizing on how to shave more time off that 120.74 sec.  If I had duplicated my 3rd fastest time on S&H that would put me at 116.63 sec.  From there we can try to shave 0.1 sec off my average draw to drop it by another 3.1 seconds.  I'm thinking I could likely shoot in the sub 115 second range in the near term if I focus on some weaknesses that I've noticed.  From there, it's going to be improved confidence in shot calling and minimizing the transition time between targets.  If I put some time in I can probably make GM in ISR, but it'll be a difficult road.  When I shot those stages it felt like I was going as fast as I could, but watching the video I see lots of wasted time.  Closing that gap will take some serious effort.  If I did my math correctly my ISR classification should be in the 90% range when it runs tomorrow.  I'm going to try my hardest to get past 95% by the end of 2018.

 

image.png.912ed6199d29f751599549d2a95d2512.png

 

 

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Michigan Sectional Championship was last weekend and I managed to win the revolver division.  It was a pretty solid match but I was not prepared for it.  My lack of practice or dry fire for two weeks leading up to the match was readily apparent.  Several stages were 10-20% below my expected performance level.  Three of those were based upon deviation from my stage plan, which always seems like a good idea while shooting but is never the best choice.  The other was due to a Mike No Shoot in the dark (first stage on the video).  When I drew the revolver I could see both sights and the FO dot, as I started shooting the sights completely disappeared by the fourth target.  I should have played it safe and tried to index away from the No Shoot, but instead I accidentally put one a few inches into the NS.  I'll take two Deltas over a Mike No Shoot any day...    

 

As for points I shot three stages with all Alphas, and ended up with 93.99% of available points on target, adding in the M-NS brought it down to 92.35%.  I generally try to be in the 95% territory so I'm cool with that breakdown.  The Mike No Shoot is a real killer though, I lost that stage by 4% and could have won it by 13% by taking a C on the same target.  I definitely learned a lesson about shooting in the dark!  My gun handling wasn't great, very obvious lack of dry fire preparation.  Speed and movement were also below par for the same reason.  I need to push my speed and movement so I'll use Ryan Rocks as a test match for going full throttle, unfiltered.  I tend to use two general grip styles when I shoot.  One is a little higher on the gun and keeps the front sight movement to a minimum, this is what I usually use.  When I need to pick up speed on a close open target I depend more on my support hand and adjust the strong hand for faster trigger manipulation.  The downside is more muzzle movement.  For Ryan Rocks I'm going to try my high speed approach on everything under 20 yards and shoot the match as fast as possible.  I know I'm good for ~95% points with grip style #1 and my current shot calling.  We'll see what happens when the trigger finger is allowed to run free.  Instead of going for a confident A zone shot placement, I'll take anything in center of the brown.  I'd guess I'll still be around 90% on points, but I don't know how much faster my time can get using this method.

 

 

 

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I decided to commit to a daily dry fire regimen again.  After some trial and error I think the full speed unfiltered approach might turn out okay.  JM once said that the sights should never stop moving, so I'll embrace that advice and see what happens.   I also found a slightly faster way to reload, hopefully that shaves a few seconds off my total time.

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Well, I didn't think I would be able to attend our monthly USPSA this month.  Turns out I could, so I tested the high speed approach yesterday.  Ultimately it wasn't my points that held me back.  I took a few more Charlies than usual but ended up at 93% points on target.  The bigger issue was multiple sloppy reloads due to the heat.  It was about 95 degrees and I couldn't get a good grip on my moonclips.  Might need to try some ProGrip or something similar, I've never used it before.  Aside from that I messed up my foot placement at least twice, which added time.  Both are easy to fix so I'll work on those in the coming weeks.  Ryan Rocks is this weekend so I'll hammer my reload drills to make sure I don't waste time between shots.  Aside from that my gun handling is finally up to par from last year, possible a touch better.  

 

Next month I will do something truly blasphemous...I'm shooting a semi-auto at USPSA.  I always try to compare my Revolver times with Open shooters and I noticed I can usually get pretty close to their scores when we spend the same amount of time shooting.  I generally manage similar hit factors on target, but add a lot of time with the reloads whether on the move or standing still.  Both are times when I would be pulling the trigger otherwise.  The general goal of this experiment is to see how much faster I can shoot without having to reload every 6-8 rounds.  Since I haven't shot a semi-auto this year I'll need to dry fire and re-familiarize myself with the platform.  Probably just enough to get out of the holster comfortably and not fumble my reloads.  Since you can shoot pretty much everything on the move with 18 round mags it should be an interesting experiment.

 

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14 minutes ago, Brophy-J said:

Whats the faster reload method? Jerry style switching hands?

 

If you want to wade into this debate, head over to the Revolver forum and search "strong hand and weak hand reloads." Consensus is both are just as fast if practiced enough. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses (pun intended).

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2 minutes ago, Mcfoto said:

 

If you want to wade into this debate, head over to the Revolver forum and search "strong hand and weak hand reloads." Consensus is both are just as fast if practiced enough. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses (pun intended).

I was just wondering specifically for him. On his post from the 24th he says he found a faster way to reload. Just wondering what he found out.

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18 hours ago, Brophy-J said:

I was just wondering specifically for him. On his post from the 24th he says he found a faster way to reload. Just wondering what he found out.

For me it's most consistent to reload with my weak hand and disturb my grip as little as possible.  When I first picked up a revolver I saw Jerry Miculek was doing it strong hand so I went with that for about a year or so.  Then I noticed some guys were reloading with their weak hand so I gave that a try.  I would highly recommend you try both and see what works best for you.  Whether standing still or on the move, my shot to shot times are always faster when I reload with my weak hand.  The way I index on my revolver allows me to reload without moving anything but my thumb to engage the cylinder release.  Especially if you are shooting on the move, or engaging targets with little room to reload between them it works best this way for me.  Here's a clip that illustrates my reasoning behind the weak hand method.  At the end of this stage I had about two steps to reload before the next target array.  When I'm going into a new position I want to be looking at the next target, not my revolver.  Once I'm sure the moonclip is going in the cylinder I look at the next target and bring the gun there.  It just seems to help me cut down the transition time.  I will say that some of the best revolver shooters out there load strong hand, so try them both and see what works best for you.  Another perk for me is unloaded starts from the holster or a table.  I can pick my revolver up and open the cylinder with my strong hand only while the weak hand is getting a moonclip.  I have also practiced enough from the holster that I do it one handed as well.  You need to grip the gun slightly differently, but you can depress the release with your thumb and open the cylinder with your pointer finger.  It looks weird, but is pretty darn fast if you have an unloaded start.  As for the thing I learned while dry firing.  That was related to how I eject the empties during a reload.  When I reload in slow motion it feels better to use my weak hand pointer finger.  But in real time using my weak hand thumb proved best.  Also, I have started getting my weak hand back on the grip before closing the cylinder.  That seems to result in faster shot to shot reloads since I'm ready to fire as soon as the gun is on target.  I used to close the cylinder first then reestablish my weak hand on the grip, turns out that wasn't as fast or consistent.  I've been trying new stuff this year to save time so feel free to ask if you have any questions.

 

 

 

Edited by Alaskan454

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How are you closing the cylinder of your weak hand is already on the grip? Just curious, as I have found weak hand reloading works for me, and am trying to figure out possible nuances to practice. As an aside, I would have defaulted to strong hand loading off the table, even though I am running with a weak hand reload during the stage. I really should practice weak hand off a table, but just didn’t think of it before.

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@J_Allen I'm using my weak hand thumb to close the cylinder.  Play around with different methods, you might be surprised by what works.

Edited by Alaskan454
Typo

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Here's some video from the Ryan Rocks Charity Blast. Probably my worst match in a long time.  I pushed the speed just a touch too far and ended up with one Mike through hard cover, one on a close up open target, and one on a medium range partial.  On one stage I also reloaded prematurely and blew my plan half way through.  It should have been about 6-7 seconds faster without the extra reload, and me having to account for targets I didn't shoot yet.  I also learned a valuable lesson about glare and paint colors.  Apparently I have a difficult seeing yellow poppers with sand behind them.  Factor in heavy glare on the yellow steel and I was pretty much guessing where the steel was after drawing my gun.  Immediately after the match I bought a pair of polarized shooting glasses.  The stage was five arrays of six steel plates/poppers each.  I normally rock those stages and was really looking forward it.  After having so much trouble on the first array I was mentally beat up and struggled to finish the stage.  I had two extra shots per array which should have been fine, but it went down hill quickly.  Easily added 10+ seconds to my stage time with standing reloads and Mikes.  Lesson learned though.  I won't let that happen again.  Either way I found my tipping point for speed/accuracy and know what my current limits are.  The focus for this month is going to be Steel Challenge as I prepare for Area 5 at the end of July.  I'm shooting my revolver in ISR and LTD with low PF 115 gr ammo.  I think I should do pretty well.  Our monthly match is this weekend and I'd like to inch my way closer to GM in ISR and M in LTD with the revolver.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, J_Allen said:

Interesting, I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for the tip.

No problem.  I also saw the video I just uploaded illustrates a one handed, unloaded table start.  Check it out:

 

 

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Area 5 Steel Challenge was last weekend and I managed to placed 1st in the ISR division with a time of 116.65 sec (88.3% of peak times).  I reminded myself why practice is a good idea during the first stage (Outer Limits).  Leading up to the match I didn't have time to adjust my rear sights for the lighter 118gr bullets I was using and also hadn't fired any live rounds since the Ryan Rocks match.  Naturally I shot quite poorly on the first stage.  However, once I was sure of the zero and had put a few rounds down range it went pretty well from there.  I just realized the video is in order of the posted scores but we started with Outer Limits first.  Here is the breakdown by stage in the order that I shot them:

 

  Area 5 Best Time Difference
Outer Limits 19.83 16.95 2.88
Smoke & hope 10.94 10.59 0.35
Pendulum 18.22 15.59 2.63
Accelerator 14.16 13.94 0.22
Roundabout 12.49 11.74 0.75
5 To Go 14.57 14.57 0
Showdown 12.48 12.48 0
Speed Option 13.96 13.96 0
Total 116.65 109.82 6.83

 

You can see that I tanked the first and third stages but ended up posting three personal bests by the end of the match.  There's no denying that my lack of preparation held me back on the first few stages.  I need to avoid that in the future.  If I put in the time to practice and eliminate those mistakes I think we can get into the sub 110 second range.  Right now the current record for ISR is 101.89 seconds.  I feel confident that I could shoot under 110 by the end of this year, but shaving off another full second per stage is going to be a challenge.    

 

 

 

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Area 5 wrapped up this morning and I managed to place 1st in the Revolver division.  The match was pretty tough and I had quite a bit of trouble on the first few stages.  My accuracy just wasn't where I wanted it to be.  I had dozens of Charlies that should have been Alphas with proper focus and sight picture.  With not a single live fire practice session all year, I am struggling in the confidence and shot calling department.  If you want me to rip shots on an open target, no problem.  Partials at 30 yards?  Not so much.  I signed up for both the IRC and USPSA Revo Nats this year.  I need to get back to a regular practice schedule in order to adequately prepare.  This time last year I was calling shots on 50 and 100 yard steel in practice.  I need to get back to that level.

 

 

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