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RAP

RAP's Journey to Success

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7.31.2018

 

Thanks Brophy J. I appreciate the kind words. I miss shooting matches and having to drop out of the Illinois Sectional was a kick in the gut. It made me even more determined to recovery as quickly as possible.

 

Today I had Physical Therapy. My Therapist said I am ahead of my progression schedule the Doc had laid out for me. She said I'm an over achiever. I like exceeding goals and those words were especially sweet. I had 132 degrees range of motion in my injured leg. My non injured leg has 130 degrees. I am able to ride a stationary bike and I got on the elliptical for the first time since the injury. Both I could perform pain free. I am feeling very good about the progress I am making and I am looking forward to my Doctor tomorrow morning. I am not sure if I am ready to start doing movement drills yet. I will ask my Doctor what his thoughts are on this.  

 

Tonight I kept it simple and started with DOT drill. I ran this drill a couple times with a heavy focus on my grip. Next I went to my target array of 3 targets at 10 yards middle target is a zebra. I wanted to work on my draw, transitions, grip and reloads. I did this drill with hands at side. My draw speed stayed a consistent 1.1 - 1.2 range. My transitions were in the .35-.40 range. Pretty consistent from my last practice session. Tonight I added some SHO & WHO practice in the mix. I would start with freestyle and after my reload I would either go SHO or WHO. Wow, I really needed to practice this. I was finding my dot without problems. My trigger work sucked along with my weak hand grip. My practice session my reloads were horrible. I added Burkett drill tonight and this seemed to help. I need to continue this each session. Last practice session I struggled getting my weak hand back in proper position after getting the magazine inserted. Tonight I didn't have this problem. My weak hand grip was getting back in the proper position after the mag insertion. Next I went to my little stage that is similar to classifier 99-42. Being right handed I decided to start on the left side of the barrier to add a challenge of leaning around. Tonight was a good practice. I felt like things are starting to get back to normal. 

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8.1.2018

 

Today I saw my Orthopedic Surgeon. He was very happy with my progress. I am considered to have full range of motion and my PT will now focus on building strength back in my leg/knee. The bummer is Doc advised me not to shoot Area 4 Match. Area 4 puts me about 4 1/2 months after surgery. He said at 4 1/2 months my knee will not be strong enough to handle the uneven and less than solid terrain, starting and stopping, etc. So I guess I will need to withdraw. Doc said at 6 months from surgery is when I can start engaging in running, sprinting and more upper tier exercises. UGH 

 

Dry fire tonight started with DOT drill. I decided I will start every dry fire with this drill until I am comfortable with my performance. I need to live fire this drill my next trip to the range. I then went to the Burkett drill. I dropped my par time from 1.2 seconds to 1 second. It really challenged me. At 1.2 seconds I could get the magazine to the magwell easily. 1 second I was only 50%. I was amazed how much harder it was when I took 2 tenths of a second. 1 second is my time going forward for now. Next I went to my now stand by target array of 3 targets at 10 yards with the middle target a zebra.  Tonight stayed with the freestyle start reload and go to strong hand or weak hand. I would alternate between each hand. I averaged 1 second slower with strong hand and 2 seconds slow with my weak hand when compared to my freestyle time. Tonight I changed up things and practiced table starts unloaded and loaded. I also practiced table starts engaging targets from a seated position and doing a reload as well. Table starts is something I just haven't practiced much. But I will now. This is something I can do that doesn't hurt. 

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8.4.2018

 

Today was a live fire day. I went to the range to get some live fire practice in and help a couple very good friends practice for the up coming Illinois Sectional Match next Sunday. 

 

First we started with group shooting and chronograph our ammo. Then we ran bill drills working on our draw and grip. We then set up a couple stages. First stage purpose was to work on shooting through ports (entering and exiting as well), having to move back up range and shooting while moving. The second stage was set up with lateral movement (left to right), hard leans around corners, shooting as you enter and exiting position and transitions. Both stages were designed to with wall starts giving the opportunity for exploding out of a position at the start.

 

We first shot each stage a couple times to determine as average time and HF. We would than breakdown each stages elements, weather exploding into position at start, transitions, moving up range, etc. We also implemented targets with no shoots to add challenge and force you to "respect" the difficulty of the shot. As we broke each element down we would also practice them to perfect the techniques. For me I was limited on how much movement and how aggressively I would attempt to move. I am certainly getting better, but need to be carful. I lack a lot of strength and stability in my knee and at times was very obvious. But, that aside it felt really good to get out and practice; especially with very good friends. 

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8.12.2018

 

Dry fire tonight started with the usual dot drills at 5 yards. Did this for 6 times moved back to 7 yards for 6 runs. Worked on turn and draw. I am still struggling with this move. I am still nervous twisting around. However it is getting easier to do this. My average time for turn and draw has improved to 1.7-1.8 seconds. Next I worked on draw/transitions. I used my video glasses to see if I am starting to pull off the target after the 2nd trigger pull. I hav 2 targets at 10 yards placed 15 feet apart. I was able to do this drill in 1.8-1.9 seconds with a .35 transition target to target. Watching the video at times I could clearly see the gun moving before the 2nd shot. This made reevaluate and work on calling my shot then drive the gun to the 2nd target. I backed off speed and worked on technique; using my lower body to drive the gun after the trigger is pulled. I spent the majority of the practice session on this drill and it was a big help. I am going to use the video glasses my next practice session as well. They really helped me out a lot to identify an area I have been struggling with.  

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8.14.2018

 

Dry fire tonight started with the usual dot drills at 5 yards. Did this for 6 times moved back to 7 yards for 6 runs. Next I worked on 90 degree transitions. I focused on using my lower body and I had some real problems at the start. But after a half a dozen tries I started to loosen up and felt better about doing this drill. Next I put 2 targets at 7 yards placed 12 feet apart. I wanted to work on head shots/transitions. I really pushed myself to not only push my draw speed but to drive the gun target to target. I finished up the night with Burkett drill. I set the par time at 1 second. Tonight I felt like I had a break through. I was consistently at or beating the 1 second par time getting the magazine to the mag well. My next session I do this drill I am dropping the par time to .90 seconds. I need to get out and live fire practice. I am hoping to have some time this weekend.   

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8.19.2018

 

Live fired practiced Sunday. I wanted to focus on transitions and accuracy. I started with the dot drill at 5 yards. I have been practicing this in dry fire thinking I was doing pretty good. Well, no, that's not the case. Out of the 10 runs I managed 33% success rate. With an average time of 4.96 seconds. The other tries either I went over 5 seconds or did not get 6 shots in the 2" circle. Next I had some targets with a 6" circle. I set them at 10 yards and ran bill drills. I ran this drill 9 times. I managed a better success rate of 55% (5 out of 9) with an average time of 2.46 seconds. All my shots out of the 6" circle were high. Next I set up 4 targets 1 yard apart at 10 yards. My strategy was to start with the left target as my first. At the beep I would draw fire 2 rounds then transition to target 2 to the right, fire 2 rounds. My goal was to have .3-.35 transition with all A's for this set. Next I would start with the same far left target first then transition to the third target to the right. Again my goal was .3-.35 second transition with all A's. Last set I would again start with the far left and transition to the far right target. My goal for this set was .45-.5 second transitions with all A's. I finished the practice with the same transition drills but with head shots only. My transition goals were the same. 

 

Things I struggled with. First my grip. When I started the dot drill I quickly realized my grip was too "light". I started to grip the heck out of it and things started to improve. Thus my 33% success rate for the dots. During the Bill Drill I noticed my shots outside the 6" circle were high. I wasn't letting the dot settle down before I was breaking the trigger. In a nutshell I wasn't driving the gun. During the transitions drills I wasn't using my lower body to drive to the next target. I became a tank turret; all upper body. I found myself all over the targets and shooting Alpha/Charlies with the occasional Charlie/Delta. I had to stop shooting and work on getting my lower body back in action and stop relying on my upper body. After doing this I started to get in the groove. Times were good, but more importantly I was more consistent. Something I felt really good about. When I started shooting the heads my draw averaged only .1-.15 seconds slower but my transition times stayed the same. Getting out to do some live fire felt really good. This practice also reinforced the need for more live fire practices. Dry fire practice has been an awesome tool and really helped me improve. But for me, I need to put lead down range to reinforce my dry fire. 

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8.26.2018

 

Live fired practiced with my good friend Dave today. We started with checking our zeros at 25 yards. Dave just set up his Sig X5 for carry optics. Next we worked on DOT drill. I was happy I made progress from my last session even though I only dry fired once this week because of out of town travel for business. After we completed the DOT drill we set up 4 targets 2 yard apart at 10 yards. This was the same basic drill I shot last week. Difference is the targets were 2 yards apart. Like last week I started with the target on the left as my first target. My goal was the same as last week with the targets at 1 yard apart .3-.35 second transitions with all A's. Like last week I would start with the same far left target first then transition to the third target to the right and so on with a goal of all A's. We also went right to left as well. We spent the majority of the day doing this drill. We wanted to focus on 1-2 items to really get the most out of the live fire practice. 

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12.16.2018

 

It's been awhile since I last posted my progress and practices. Reason? I haven't been practicing much. September through now my work schedule has been insane. I was gone every week including overseas travel in October. The month of September was a wash. I didn't have one practice session; dry or live. I did manage 4 dry fire practices between October and November. And I managed to shoot 2 matches in October. 1 steel match at Sparta and the USO Monster Charity Match at my home club. We did raise $15,000 for our local USO chapter. November I managed 2 live fire practices and 1 dry fire practice. Felt really good to get 2 live fire practices in. I had signed up for my local clubs USPSA match in November, but it was cancelled due to weather. Because of travel in November I was not able to shoot any other matches. December I managed a live fire practice. And I shot my first USPSA match at Sparta today. Wow what a disaster! I had 8 mikes, 1 failure to engage penalty and I hit a no shoot. How I managed 17th overall is amazing. But it felt soooo good to shoot the match! The classifier was 03-18 High Standards. I managed to shoot 63% and was happy with that. I also looked at this match as a laundry list of things to work on. Accuracy really suffered. Obvious with 8 mikes and 45% of my hits were Charlies. I found my self pulling off targets instead of following through the shot and transitioning after the shot. I think this was a source of at least 5 mikes. My reloads were good, but I kept grabbing my number 2 mag instead of mag 1. Mag 1 is the mag furthest to my front. This was a first and frankly it showed me I need to practice. My stage planning was, well it sucked. Most of my problems were on my first 2 stages, mikes, no shoot and failure to engage penalty, etc. The last stage I had one mike and almost forgot to engage a target. I realized after I started to unload and show clear. I did put one shot into the target (D hit) so i didn't incur another penalty. However it also cost me a solid 5-8 seconds if not more time. Not sure if I should have let it go or was I better off at least engaging the target. At least I started pulling my act together as the matched progressed and I managed a couple really solid stages. For my first USPSA match in 8 months; I'm very happy with the results. 

 

As far as my injury goes. My Doctor kicked me loose from his care in October. Told me no need to see him in November. Doc was very happy with my progress. I was 1 month ahead of his progress he had laid out. Doc also told to make sure I finish all my Physical Therapy sessions which I will do. I am able to do some short distance runs with no pain in my right knee. However, my left knee is hurting. I am going to need to monitor very closely. Along with strengthening knee exercises my therapist has me do an agility ladder which is cool as it's helping me with my foot work. I have one more session on 12-17-2018. Not sure if I will need to continue in January 2019. I guess I'll find out.

 

My immediate course of action is to develop a dry and live fire practice matrix. I wanted to make A class in 2018 and that didn't happen. So my goal is to make A class in 2019. 

 

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12.26.2018

 

I had a live fire practice today. My focus was on accuracy and transitions. I started my live fire practice with some chronograph work which doubled as slow fire accuracy practice. I shot about 50 rounds slowly focusing on pure accuracy. Frankly this felt a little strange. I haven't done this in sometime. Next I moved to the Dot drill at 8 yards. Not once did I break 5 seconds and keep all shots in the 2" circle. When I tried to speed up, my shots were all over the place. Next I set up 3 USPSA metric targets at 10 yards. My goal was shot calling and transitions. From my last match I felt I needed to work on calling my shots and not pull off the target before I make the 2nd shot. I was very surprised I called a solid 90% of my shots accurately. I was very happy with this. But, I also knew when I made a C or D shot because I was focusing on getting to the next target.

 

However, my practice session was cut short because of ammo issues. I had 2 squib rounds with in 4 rounds shot. 1st squib round a gentlemen at the range had a squib rod and dislodged the bullet. I went back to practice and fired 2 more shots and I had another squib load. By now the gentlemen left and I did not have a squib rod with me so I ended my practice session for the day. Admittedly I was very upset having squib rounds. I am usually anal with my reloading processes in an effort to catch these kinds of mistakes. But I did get a new press for Christmas and I did something I never do. When I am setting up new press/dies or make any change I keep any ammo segregated until I am comfortable. I didn't do that this time. When I was setting my new press the first batch of ammo I loaded  I just threw in with the rest of my practice ammo. Big mistake. Now I have 400 - 500 rounds that is suspect. Not a great feeling to have. I now also have a squib rod and small hammer in my range bag as well. My next practice session will have one goal for sure. Too burn up this practice ammo without blowing up my gun.... 

 

Even with my challenges it was good practice and I am now looking forward to my next dry fire practice. 

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1.5.2019

 

had a live fire practice today. Again focus was on accuracy and transitions and reloads. I started my live fire practice with group shooting. I started off simple, 5 yards ended at 10 yards. Next I moved to the Dot drill at 7 yards. I averaged 5.4 seconds to keep all shots in the 2" circle. 

 

Next I set up 2 USPSA metric targets 5 feet apart to work on transitions. I started at 7 yards with a draw fire 2 shots transition fire 2 shots. My goal for transiting was .3 seconds. At 7 yards this was achievable and repeatable. I moved back to 10 yards and the wheels started falling off. I started off accomplishing the same transition time of .3 with alphas, but I started losing focus and decided to stop working on this and went back to group shooting but I increased the distance to 15 yards than 25 yards. Although not planned, but after several groups I decided to work on the plate rack. I averaged 3.8 seconds at 12 yards, no make up shots. I noticed an unforeseen benefit shooting the plate rack. When I was shooting the rack clean I was focusing on the target and only pulled the trigger when the dot would "wash over" the target. I was target focused not dot focused. I went back to my 2 targets I was using for my transition practice and stayed target focused driving my eyes to the target focusing on the A zone letting the dot follow. I was able to improve my transitions.   

 

Finished up practice with reloads as my focus by performing 4 Aces drill. Not sure is I was just fatigued but my wheels definitely feel off. I couldn't perform a smooth reload at all. I was missing the magwell completely. I struggled grabbing the mags consistently as well. I was glad to get out and get some live practice in. It also highlighted the need to get back to my dry fire routine. And for 2019 this is a big goal along with making A class. 

 

1.6.2019

 

Tonight I dry fired practiced with a focus on transitions and reloads. I set up a plain metric target and a zebra target at 10 yards in my basement. For transition practice I wanted to use the zebra target to help my  focus on the A zone not just a brown target. I felt like this was working as my transition times were running in the .25 second  range. I ran this drill for a solid 15 minutes. Next I moved to the Burkett drill. I set my Par time at .8 seconds and again I struggled with missing the magwell and grabbing the magazines was troubling at best. But after 10 minutes running this drill for 5 minutes I realized I wasn't looking at the magwell. So I backed off and went very slow breaking the drill down to micro drills. 

 

I plan to continue focusing on transitions and reloads in my dry fire practice for a while until I get some consistency back.

                                                  

 

 

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1.8.2019

 

Tonight I changed up my game plan. While driving to an appointment for work I had quite a bit of windshield time and started thinking about where my skills are today. Losing 8 months of shooting last year degraded my skills further than I wanted to admit. But as I was thinking about my abilities I came to the conclusion I needed to go back to basic skills. Tonight I started off my dry fire training by doing some simple draws. I have a Dot Drill target on my basement wall. I moved back 21 feet and started to draw and put the my dot in the center of the 2" circle. I started slow picking up speed as my index improved. I pick a different dot draw. I did this for 10 minutes and I realized my ability to draw and bring the Dot to target really sucked. I will need to work on this until this skill becomes solid again. Next I moved to the plain metric target I had set up. I performed a basic draw with a focus on speed. Caveat is I focused on the A zone and would not accept a C or D and forced myself to put the Dot in the A zone before pressing the trigger. I worked on this for 5 minutes and moved to the Zebra target and performed the same drill for another 5 minutes. Next I switched it up and performed the Burkett drill for 10 minutes. I finished up the night by practicing a littler barricade work. I used my return air duct to simulate a barricade. This works very well and is very similar to width of the barricades used at my local range and some classifiers I have shot. I put up 4 half sized metric and 2 steel popper targets to simulate 12 yard shot. My goal was to perform this drill under 5 seconds or faster. I managed a 5.3 second average. I looked back and I am about 1 second slower than the last time I did this drill. It really drove home how important it is for me to get back to consistent Dry and live fire practice. 

 

 

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1.19.2019

 

Although I haven't added to the journal I have been dry firing since my last entry. I continued to focus on basics. I started with draw working on grip and indexing. This practice I started closing my eyes, draw and open eyes and see where the dot is on a metric target. I was happy to see my dot would be in the A zone majority of the time. Next I started to work on the Burkett Drill. I am making progress and this was the best I've done since I started doing this drill. Next I decided to practice a mini stage I have set up. It is similar to the classifier 09-12. I use my return air duct as the barricade with 1/2 size metric targets on the wall. Some things I like about this mini stage. It allows me to practice wall starts and shooting around barricades. It also forces a standing reload so having a fast reload is crucial. 

 

1.20.2019

 

I started tonights practice the same as last night. Draw with emphasis on grip and indexing. I also continued the closing of eyes exercise. I believe this drill is helping a lot. Tonight I decided to skip the Burkett Drill and move to 4 Aces and Triple Reload. I found some old notes from February 2, 2018, where I did the triple reload. My average time was 7.96 seconds. Tonight my average was 5.15 seconds. This was very surprising and cool and a significant improvement. When I did 4 Aces drill my best time was 2.50 seconds and worst time was 3.69 seconds. Having a smooth reload and draw is crucial and I noticed I was starting to get sloppy and my times were steadily getting worse. I decided to finish up the night with a little strong and weak hand practice. I am very happy with my progress. It's very motivating seeing ones progress and It makes my goal of making A class seem that much closer.   

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1.26.2019

 

I started tonights practice the same as last practice. Draw with emphasis on grip and indexing. Today I worked on 4 Aces and Triple Reload. When I did 4 Aces drill I wanted to really push my reload speeds. It still feels a little weird pushing speed; but I need to remember what going fast feels like again. So I ned to keep this in mind as I am doing these drills. Triple Reloads went better, but my trigger freezes were still happening. This drill really works my trigger finger. I worked on turn and draw. I did hands in surrender and relaxed at sides. I want to also incorporate as many different start positions in my dry fire. My turn and draw average time was 1.3 seconds. 

 

1.27.2019

 

Today the weather was ok and I went to the range to get some live fire practice in. Because it was cold (33 degrees) I kept the drills simple. I started off doing simple draw and fire at 7 yard metric target. I was surprised I was able to get my first shot under 1 second. I averaged .94 with solid A zone hits. Next I moved to the plate rack. I made a decision a while back to practice the plate rack every chance I get. So I ran the plate rack at 12 yards for a half a dozen times. My best time for a clean run was 3.69. Next I did 4 Aces drill. This was very challenging today. My hands were getting very cold and grabbing and manipulating a magazine with very cold hands was difficult as best. My best time for 4 Aces was 2.99 seconds. I think I could have done better but my hands were getting very cold. Although the live fire practice was short, about 175 rounds. It felt great to put some lead down range. 

 

1.28.2019

 

Tonight dry fire practice was very simple and focused. I started off with draws working on grip and indexing. Next I went to what I think is a modified Burkett drill. I set a PAR time of 1.2 seconds. I would start with gun pointed at target like a Burkett drill. Upon signal I would perform a reload including pressing the trigger. 1.2 seconds to reload and fire at the target was very challenging. I was able to do it maybe 25% of the time. But I am making progress with my reloads. 

 

 

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2.3.2019

 

Weather was decent and I was able to get some needed live fire. I worked on 4 Aces drill, Plate Rack and I set up 09-04 Pucker Factor to work on transitions near to far and far to near. 4 Aces I managed an average of 2.9 seconds with Alphas. My reloads were sloppy and hurt me. I also found myself rushing my shots causing C's and D's. When I settled down I was able to hit my reloads smoothly and get Alphas. Next I worked on the plate rack. I like to practice the plate rack any chance I get. To many times in the past the plate rack would get in my head and cause loads of grief. I believe this was a direct results of very little live fire practice in the past. Lastly I set up 09-04. Admittedly this is a fun classifier to shoot. It's one of my favorites because us the challenge of having close head shot to an open target at distance. My first run was a 7.8 HF; a solid B. I didn't beat myself up and was kind of relieved I didn't blow it and proceeded to practice this starting near to far and then far to near runs. Surprisingly my times were very close regardless of which target I started with. A weakness identified is transition from target to target. I need to work on this. My accuracy suffered and I believe this is a direct result of little live and dry fire practice. I need to get back to somewhat consistent practice. 

 

2.11.2019

 

Tonight my dry fire practice focused on entry/exit and reloading while moving. I set up a mini stage that contained 3 firing positions. I ran this mini stage several ways keeping a focus on my primary goals. My reloads were smooth and certainly didn't slow me down. I made sure I exploded out of position and entered into a position ready to shoot as soon as possible. This was a very fun dry fire practice and with a match on 2/16/2019 at Sparta I felt this was a good drill to help prepare for the match. 

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2.15.2019

 

Well, I'm bummed. Sparta match for tomorrow is canceled and rightfully so. The weather is terrible and with all the rain/snow I imagine the bays are a mess. So I dry fired tonight. I set up 06-03 Can You Count. This particular classifier has always been a tough one for me. Plus it's easy to set up in my basement. I ran this classifier for a solid 25 minutes. Cold my time was 8.46 seconds. My average time for 5 runs was 8.29 seconds. I had trouble with my reloads when I was pushing my speed. First, I was dropping my gun down instead of keeping it high in the center of my chest during the reload. Second, I caught myself taking my eyes off the magwell to soon causing a poor reload. Third, I had several instances of trigger freeze. The positive; my draws were spot on. 

 

2.16.2019

 

I replaced the springs in my Carry Optics CZ P09. Although I don't have too many rounds through the gun because of my unplanned break from shooting in 2018. I wanted to start this season with fresh springs. After I replaced the springs I began my dry fire practice. I took the easy path and started with 06-03 classifier I had set up. My goal was the same as Friday night. Push myself and work on reloading under pressure. I did better tonight. I managed to break below 8 seconds for a total time. Admittedly it felt really good when everything went smoothly giving a boost of confidence. Next I worked on entry/exit and reloading while moving. I Used the same mini stage I had set up with the goal of pushing myself hard. Tonight I paid very close attention to "calling my shots". I found myself at times pulling the trigger when my dot was on brown. I had force myself to wait until the dot was in the A zone before pulling the trigger. I believe in order for me to make A class and shoot like an A class shooter I need to reduce the number of Charlies I have. When I looked back at the few matches I shot in 2018 I was average 35% Charlies. This is unacceptable and I am determined to correct this. 

 

2.17.2019

 

This practice mirrored last night; minus the re-springing of my CZ. I started off working on entry/exit and reloading while moving drills. I ran this drill for solid 20 minutes. I did vary my start position to change it up some. I also changed how I started. Hands relaxed at sides or hands above shoulders, etc. I felt like my explosiveness in and out of positions was pretty solid: calling shots, not so much. Not sure if there is specific drills to work on shot calling. I need to do some research on this subject. In the meantime I need to be consistent with my dry fire practice getting as many in each week that my work schedule allows with a sprinkle of live fire practice as often as work schedule and weather permits. 

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Well, it's been awhile since I last posted in my range diary. I need to get back to consistent posting and tracking my progress. However, I have been busy with dry and live fire practice. Since my last post in February I have continued focus dry fire practice on reloads, transitions and entry exit drills. My live fire practice has for the most part focused on honing the same skills I have been working on in dry fire. The exception is I've added a Rob Leatham drill to help me with recoil control. Leatham's drill consist of Par time of 3 seconds; draw fire 1 round. Next string same par time, draw fire 2 shots and repeat until you fire 10 shots or you can no longer put your shots in a group. For me I can get off 6 shots before my group starts to open up. Since I started doing this drill I am seeing my sights and calling my shots much better. So now start every live fire practice with this drill. 

 

On 3/16/2019 I shot my first USPSA match this year at WSRC Sparta, IL. They put on a really good challenging match and this one was no disappointment. My big weakness was movement. I wasn't fluid or remotely smooth. My entry and exits was full of hesitations. I really need to continue pushing hard to improve in these areas. I know its costing me time. My transitions were better but lacked consistency. I think this was a direct result of "rusty" stage planning and mental game. But, not all was lost. I shot my first Master Class classifier 13-02 Down the Middle. I had a HF of 12.1019 = 93.90%. This absolutely surprised me considering my not so stellar performance from the rest of the match. The one thing it did do was give me a big boost of confidence and motivation to continue my dry and live fire practice. 

 

Today I managed to get in a short live fire practice of 1 1/2 hours. I started with Rob Leatham's drill and then moved to wide transitions drill, entry/exit, shooting while moving and 4 Aces. I didn't have the time available to spend a lot of time on each drill but I felt each drill was effective. I have 2 matches I am shooting this weekend; Saturday at Green Valley, Hallsville, MO and Arnold Gun Club, Arnold, MO on Sunday. Looking forward too both matches as I will be shooting my good friends.  

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Last weekend I decided to shoot two matches. Saturday, March 23 I shoot at Green Valley in Hallsville, MO. I started the match doing well. Won stage 2 and came is 10th overall. But it went down hill from there. This match afforded the opportunity to shoot while moving to save time. Unfortunately this plan didn't work out so well. One thing I have not practiced is shooting while moving. And this resulted in the majority of my D zone hits. I didn't have any mikes because of shooting while moving but a D hit in minor is really a lucky miss. They had set up one of the new classifiers 18-07 Someone is always willing to pay. I was the 3 shooter and when I stepped up and the RO said make ready; I shoved a magazine in took a sight picture to verify my dot was on and got ready to shoot the classifier. Upon the start signal I drew and click click! I couldn't believe it! I forgot to chamber a round. So after I shot the classifier with 7 Alphas and 1 Charlie in a blazing 7.89 seconds. My friend and I looked at the timer and my time for the first shot was a smoking 3.57 seconds. Chuck looked at the time and well that cost you over 2 seconds. Yep, that pretty much sums up my day. I was hit and miss at this match. Struggled with mentally keeping my self focused. However, my movement into and out of positions was quick. Stage planning was much improved from my last match. 

 

Well, sadly if Saturday's match was less than stellar. Sunday, March 24 was just a disaster. I shot at Arnold with my friend Keith. I really struggled seeing my sights, movements felt like a first generation robot, jerky and I just couldn't focus. Frustration was a big part of that. I had 5 mikes and hit one no shoot. And all of them were results of hitting barrels and this frustrated me. This match had some real hard leans. Again, something I haven't practiced. Admittedly It was very tough to do some of the leans and this resulted in rushing my shots. I never thought how tough a lean could be. Well, now I know! And I know what to practice and work on with exercises to develop better flexibility and strengthening my right leg/knee to easily handle this. My no shoot/Mike was a clear from the barrel as other shooters saw my graze the barrel and their was a side ways bullet hole right in the middle of the no shot. My other 3 Mikes were from the hard leans and hitting the barrels. I still had fun and I know what I need to do as far as practice is concerned. I'm not losing sight of my goal of making A class this year. I know for me I need more live fire practice and with the weather warming up I will have more opportunities to do that. 

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I feel you, sounds like both of my matches this past weekend as well.. Dam this game!! 

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Ya,it funny how life will slap you into reality. After missing almost all last year Because of surgery it really hit me how much my skills have degraded. But, I know what needs to done and I’ll do it.


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3.26.2019

 

Monday night I practiced for 35 minutes. My focus was on engaging targets while moving while emphasizing keeping the dot in the A zone. I set up targets that would allow me to engage while on the move from left to right and forward/backwards. I also performed Ben Stoegers drill skip rope. 

 

3.27.2019

 

Tonight I started off with Ben Stoegers drill skip rope. I wanted to focus pushing off really hard and not pull the trigger until the dot was in the A zone. Next I worked on engaging targets while moving. Again left/right and forwards/backwards. I wanted to pay close attention to my foot work and not engage targets with a bouncing dot. I also did one of Ben Stoegers drills Widening Transitions. I want to figure a set up to dry fire practice hard leans. I may end up having to wait until I can do this in live fire.                                        

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

 

I was able to spend the afternoon at the range. Weather was nice and decently warm. Made the 4 hours go by very fast. I needed some range time to really focus on live fire practice with movement. My last 2 matches were terrible and showed several areas I need to shore up. I started the afternoon with Rob Leatham's drill. The more I do Leatham's drill the more I'm liking it. With a PAR time of 3 seconds I can get 6 shots into a "group" before it starts opening up. This drill is helping me with my grip and focusing on seeing my dot. This showed up later in my practice and it was very motivating! Next I set up a wall and did wall drills. Moving from one end to the other with hard leans. Purpose was to aggressively move into and out of positions and practice getting my body into uncomfortable tight leans. I set up 2 targets 1 zebra and 1 open. The Zebra simulated the partial targets I encountered at Arnold with some of those leans. Next I set up 6 targets and practiced engaging targets while moving forward, rearward, left to right and right to left. I have been doing this in my basement during dry fire. But, engaging targets while moving on a smooth concrete floor is not the same on uneven large gravel covered ground. More practice is needed to smooth this movement out. I finished up the afternoon practicing weak hand and strong hand shooting. However, I decided to set up one of the newer classifiers 18-06 For That Day. It was simple to set up. 1st target was a Zebra, 2nd was open and 3rd was partial with no shoot. All set at 15 yards. Simple enough? Not exactly, it kicked my butt. First try started off good. Buzzer went off and I drew fired 6 rounds into the Zebra target free style, performed reload and fired 6 rounds into the middle open target strong hand only. Time for that string 10.65 seconds. 2nd string buzzer goes off I draw fire 3 shots into the A zone free style perform mandatory reload and fire 3 more shots weak hand only. Time for second string 9.43 seconds. I walk down to target 1 and see 6 shots in the A zone in about a 4" group, thank you Rob Leatham! Look at the second target, wow all 6 shots were low and 4 C's and 2 D's. That sucked! 3rd and final target I had 3 Alphas, 1 C, 1 Mike and 1 no shoot. Ugh, weak hand got me. I shot this classifier several more times to work on strong and weak hand shooting which did improve. But, it wasn't a complete disaster. The dry fire practice of strong and weak hand did pay dividends. My transitioning the gun from strong to weak hand after the reload was smooth and my grip on strong hand shooting was solid. The lack of live fire practice of strong and weak hand was my biggest problem; managing the recoil and trigger pull on weak hand needs work. 

 

While at the range I wanted to test some 124 grain bullet loads. They were very accurate and I could track my dot better than with my 147 grain loads. However, my chronograph decided to be cantankerous and so I am not 100% sure what my power factor is. My load was 3.8 grains Sport Pistol, Win SPP, and 124 grain coated bullet. This load should make PF easily, but I won't shoot it in a match unless I am 100% sure. So next trip to the range I will try again

 

Overall I am happy with this practice. I shot 85% Alphas and only had 3 mikes. Out of 400 plus rounds I consider this practice a success. Now I need to turn this into match performance. I will shoot a match Sunday, April 7. We'll see what happens. 

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4.2.2019

 

Tonight I practiced for 35 minutes. Kept it simple practicing strong and weak hand, shooting around barriers and worked on my reloading technique. For the strong and weak hand I simulated the Sunday live fire. Going to my strong and weak hand after a reload. I wanted to keep my technique solid, but I need more live fire. Managing recoil in strong and weak hand shooting is something you just can't do in dry fire. 

 

For shooting around barriers I used my return air duct setting up targets at 5 yards that required a hard lean with the target partially obscured. I wanted to work on the technique of quickly acquiring and engage the target and move to the other side repeating the process. 

 

For my reload practice I broke it down into micro drills. First I started by grabbing the mag from the mag pouch. I wanted to focus on consistency in proper grabbing of the magazine. Something I've gotten sloppy with. Next I did the Burkett drill. Again I've gotten sloppy and started dropping my gun to much causing me to miss the mag well. Lastly I worked on re-establishing my grip and sight after getting the magazine fully inserted. 

 

I am hoping I can get in some additional live fire this week before my match. I want to continue honing my strong and weak hand shooting, moving into and out of tight leans.  

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April 6th, 2019

 

Today I was able to get sometime at the range for live fire practice. I wanted to focus on footwork while engaging targets on the move, transitions, Rob Leatham's drill with a Par time of 3 seconds and weak and strong hand shooting. I set up 4 targets. 2 were concealed by barrels about 3 yards apart. The barrels prevented engaging until I advanced forward enough to see them individually. I also had 1 target (T3) set up the opposite (to the left) of T2 about 6 yards and T4 was between T3 and T4 10 yards further down range. I started off simple engaging T1-T3. I focused on my footwork and getting low while moving. I found myself getting low unconsciously, good. But my footwork and timing really sucked. So I practiced without firing a shot to get my timing. It's much harder to engaging targets on uneven rocky ground compared to smooth concrete in my basement. Next I added T4. I continued with the same drill, except while engaging T3 I needed to set up to engage T4 from the final position. I also engaged the targets in reverse. T4, T3, T2 all while moving backwards. I finished up the afternoon performing Rob Leatham's drill and working on strong and weak hand shooting.

 

April 7th, 2019

 

I wasn't planning on going to the range today. But the weather was so nice I decided to take advantage. I wanted to keep it very simple. Practice Leatham's drill, strong and weak hand shooting and work on seated start positions. The practice started off very well. Pushing myself with Leatham's drill trying to get 7 shots in the group in 3 seconds. I managed this twice and 10 attempts. Next I worked on strong and weak hand group shooting. Wow, I am really struggling and need to keep working on this. Lastly I wanted to do something different; work on starting from a seated position. I set up 18-04 Didn't You Send The Mailman.Very simple set up and easy to measure progress. Well, this is where things went south. After a couple runs my dot would shutdown and not come back to life. I use a Leupold Delta Point Pro and haven't had any problems. Now the only way I could get the dot to comeback on is either hit the on/off button or open and close the battery compartment. So, my  procrastination caught up with me. I don't have a backup dot. Well, I will now, like tomorrow! I will get another Leupold. This one has somewhere between 17,000 - 18,000 rounds and I will send it back for repair and use it as a back up going forward. 

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4.20.2019

 

Shot a match at Sparta, IL. As we all come to expect Sparta put on an awesome match with challenging stages. Overall I was happy with my performance. Especially considering I was shooting a new gun. I had bought a Canik TP9sfx as a back up gun. When I started shooting it to gain familiarity I quickly realized I like shooting it more than my CZ. The ergonomics and accuracy is better for me than my CZ. This surprised me a lot. So I decided to give it a real workout at the Sparta match. It's now my primary and the CZ is the back up.  

 

Overall I came in second place in carry optics. However, I was 12 seconds slower than the shooter who was first. This did not surprise me as I had 4 stages that I lost significant time from mistakes. 

 

Stage 6, Our first stage. Time 21.46 seconds, 17 A's, 6 C's and 4 D's. This stage was nothing more than mental melt down with poor execution. I literally hesitated when the buzzer went off. Then I tried shooting faster then I could to make up time and as we all know; that don't work. 

Stage 1: Time 24.47 27 A's and 3 C's. I was able to put stage 6 behind me and focused on Stage 1. I'm happy with my performance but definitely need to be more explosive coming out of positions. I believe I lost a good second by lack of foot work. The bays were very muddy and one needed to be cautious, but I was simply to tepid coming out of the positions.

Stage 2: Classifier 18-03 We Play Games. Time 20,06 - 20 A's, 3 C's and 1 D. HF 5.4835. Not bad, the lucky miss (D hit) and a bobbled reload didn't help me out. But overall my strong and weak hand shooting paid off. Very happy with hits. Need to continue to work on reloads, especially while moving

Stage 3: Time 27.20 - 28 A's, 2 C's. This stage was very challenging. It required you shoot from a 4" beam. This turned out to be very challenging. I lost balance twice stepping off to regain balance and step back on to shoot the target arrays. I knew I lost several seconds, probably 3-4 seconds maybe more. But I had good solid hits.

Stage 4: Time 22.26 10 A's and 10 C's. This stage start position was seated. On start signal you would run to the door activating a drop turner, bust through a door engage a target to your right, move up to window engage targets, =move to your right engage a close single target, bust through another door activating a swinger with a no-shoot and engage a static target. Well, I lost time busting through the first door over shooting the target to the right. Having to back up to engage it. Hindsight maybe I should have engaged the 3 targets from the window then the single close target and as I moved to the second door I could have arched up to engage the target I blew by. I believe this would have saved time and I could have engaged that target without breaking the 180. 

Stage 5: Time 19.22 - 21 A's, 5 C's, 1 D and my 1 and only Mike. This stage could have been my best stage. But, I messed that up in the last position on the plate rack and the 1 paper target I had the Mike on. I was the RO for most shooters on this stage as I was the last shooter. I knew 2 plated needed a solid hit to fall. When it was my turn I struggled to get a solid hit and ended up costing me time. The person who was RO'ing me said I lost several seconds on the plates. 

 

What I did I come away with from this match? I need to continue working on entry and exits, reloads while moving. Things I can help refine in dry and live fire practice. I also need to do some research for entry and exit drills. 

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