Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
Sign in to follow this  

RAP's Journey to Success

Recommended Posts

I am glad I am not the only person that could not gel with a Shadow. Just flogged my Shadow 2 and bought myself a Canik Combat Elite. The CZ is a awesome machine but I battled to match my scores I achieved with a P-07!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Today I managed to have some free time to get out to the range for some live fire practice. I haven't shot a match this month because of family obligations (Son getting married). My dry fire practice has been very hit & miss. My work travel schedule has been brutal and doesn't show and slowing down for the near future. Since my last post I installed a Freedom Smith Racer trigger on my TP9sfx. This trigger works as advertised and I am very happy with it. I feel it was a good investment. 


Today I worked on transitions, reloads, strong and weak hand shooting. I started off with a drill I saw here on BE by Charlie Perez. Thank you Charlie for a tough, efficient and fun drill. I followed his video and set up 4 targets at 7 yards. (I think Charlie had them set at 5).I shot T1 - T4 twice establishing a baseline of time. My splits were .20 - .23 seconds and transitions were .32 - .35 seconds. Goal was to get my sports and transition time the same. Which I managed to accomplish on my last 3 runs with very good hits, I would drop 1 A for a C. I also performed the "swing drill" Charlie demonstrated. This drill was surprisingly tough and took me several tries before I felt I was getting somewhat proficient. I also mixed up the transition drill by going from T1 - T3 and T3 - T1. I decided to kick it up at the end and have some fun by goin from T1 - T3 back to T2 and finish on T4, etc.


I finished up the practice with some reloads, strong & weak hand shooting. I decided to start with a draw fire freestyle reload and transition to strong or weak hand shooting. for the most part I was happy with my reload times and the accuracy of my strong and weak hand shooting. My biggest hiccup was getting used to the new trigger with my weak hand. It took a few tries before I was comfortable shooting weak hand with the trigger. My issue was not getting my weak hand trigger finger on the trigger properly to disengage the safety shoe. 


Very happy with todays practice. I am hoping my travels will slowdown to a more normal pace allowing me to focus on more dry fire practices. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Today I took a 1/2 day vacation and spent it on the range with my good friend Nick getting in some good live fire practice. It's always good training with friends and I seem to get more out of the practice then by myself. 


Today we worked on transitions, reloads, strong and weak hand shooting and Rob Latham's drill on steel target. We set the par time at 3 seconds and quickly realized my grip had gotten lazy. Next we did the transition drill from Charlie Perez. We set up 4 targets at 7 yards. We shot T1 - T4 twice establishing a baseline of time. My splits were .20 - .23 seconds and transitions were .25 seconds average. Nick really benefitted from this drill cutting his transitions times in half. Nick really worked hard and did great job improving. We also performed the "swing drill" from Charlie. This drill really seems to help drive the gun and shoot faster once on target. We also mixed up the transition drill by going from T1 - T3 and T3 - T1. We finished up this drill by goin from T1 - T3 back to T2 and finish on T4. 


Next we moved to reloads, strong & weak hand shooting. We decided to set up 18-06 - For That Day. This classifier has a 15 yard bill drill on T1 (zebra target) reload and shoot strong hand only onto T3 which has a no shoot at 15 yards. String 2 has draw fire 3 shots freestyle reload and shoot 3 shots weak hand all from 15 yards. It's a tough little classifier. I was happy with my reload times and the accuracy of my strong and weak hand shooting. My biggest issue was T1. I couldn't seem to keep 6 shots in the A zone. Every time I shot T1 I would have a mike. I need to work on this. I believe my lack of a solid grip is the culprit. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Tonight was a dry fire night with a focus on reloading while moving and static. I stated off with 2 shooting positions 7 yards apart. I would move left to right practicing getting my reload done and on target as soon as I am in position. This took some time to get the technique figured out. When I did things seemed to fall into place weather going left to right or vice versa. 


I set up my timer with a par time of 1.10 seconds and practiced standing reloads. I found my technique was lacking. I was dropping the gun down to much causing me to miss the reload. I back tracked and did Burkett drill to get the technique firmed up. Doing this helped tremendously. I have a match tomorrow at Arnold provided the weather cooperates. It will be my first match in a month. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Shot at Arnold Gun Club today. As expected they put on a very good match. Stages were challenging and fun. However, it was a very interesting day as well. Match director had sent an email out earlier last week asking for help with RO's. The squad I was on only had one person capable of RO duties and score keeping. That happened to be me. Thankfully a couple friends stepped in and helped and one of the newer shooters stepped in and helped with the scoring tablet. We had a total of 4 experienced shooters on the squad. Everyone one else was either brand new or had shot 1-2 matches. So it was a very busy match for me. But I enjoyed the match and really had good time helping the new shooters have a safe enjoyable experience. 


Now lets get on with my mediocre performance. I took 3rd in Carry Optics. I simply had too many mental mistakes that cost me time. For the match I had 100 A's: 22 C's: 1D: 2 M's: with a total time of 127 seconds. The winner of my division had 107 A's: 14 C's: 3 D's: 1 M: with a total time of 113 seconds. 


Stage 1 for us was 3rd stage of the match "sweet spot". 22 A's, 5 C's, time 29.47 4.2416 HF. I was satisfied with my hits but not with my stage execution. My plan was solid but wow, I couldn't put myself in the right position to save my butt. I found myself constantly adjusting my position in order to shoot the targets thus costing me precious time. 


Stage 4 was the classifier 18-04 Didn't you send the Mailman. Well, I don't know what to say. All I needed to do was get up out of a chair and step into the shooting box and shoot; simple. This was my best stage and won this one. 6 A's 5.87 seconds. 5.1107 HF. I guess I was somewhat fortunate as the shooter before me had a squib and that gave me sometime to get my head in the game while the other RO was off helping the shooter. When I shot it felt like I was going very slow. I had no idea I had shot 86.43%. I thought I had shot a solid B because it felt so slow.  I'm sure there is a lesson in there. 


Stage 5 Back & Forth. 9 A's, 7 C's, 1 D time 23.36: 2.8682 HF. I took second on this stage. This stage was an interesting and very fun stage. You started with your unloaded gun on a barrel to either your right or left. Your starting magazine had to be on the opposite barrel. Your first shot had to come from the mag on the barrel. So at the beep you either ran and grabbed the mag and then ran to your gun or vice versa. The Barrels were outside the shooting area as well. My accuracy on this stage was lack luster at best. However, I at least didn't hit any of the no-shoots behind the steel. 


Stage 6 Minion Mayhem. This is were I got my first of 2 mikes. 25 A's, 4 C's, 1 M, time 32.95 for a 3.8543 HF. On this stage we had 3 separate shooting areas. Only in 1 shooting area did you need to be in 2 positions because of a "hidden steel target". But I decided I needed to cost myself time by creating 2 additional shooting positions because as I moved from position to position I would find myself having to adjust myself so I could shoot all the available targets. And to throw salt in the wound my time entered was wrong. My actual time was 28.xx seconds not 32.95. Oh well it's my fault for not verifying the entries on the tablet. 


Stage 1 The Slump. 19 A's 4 C's, 1 M, time 16.84 for a 5.7601 HF. This stage was set up to shoot starting on the right or left side. You had 3 shooting positions with 4 targets each. The key to success on this stage was never stopping in each position. You had opportunity to shoot into and out of each position keeping your body moving. Something I did pretty well; except for the 1 Mike. My take away is I called my Mike. But, I was out of position far enough I felt the time to get back into position to make up the Mike I would lose more points from the additional time. I haven't calculated my hit factor if I would have made up the shot. I think I could have made it up within 2 seconds, but I'm not sure that either. 


Stage 2 Don't lean on Me. 19 A's, 2 C's, time 19.43 for a HF of 5.1981. This was my best stage outside of the classifier. I at least finished strong and took this stage in CO. The challenge of this stage was the head shots. A lot of guys had misses on these. But, I still had a brain fart and had to adjust myself in one position and of course it cost me. Outside of that little mishap my stage plan was solid and I gave respect to the tough shots and blasted away at the close targets. I had good movement into and out of each position. 


Executing my stage plan was a real struggle and certainly cost me time. But, time to put this behind me and now I am looking forward to the Ben Stoeger class June 3rd & 4th. 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



This week I managed to get 3 dry fire practice session in and a live fire practice in today with some friends. My dry fire practice this week surrounded some basics. I worked on transitions, reloads and movement. My goal was to push myself until my wheels fell off. I believe I accomplished this each practice session. 


Today we started practice with Rob Leatham's drill. I like this drill to help "tune up" my draw, grip and trigger pulls. I managed to get 6 shots in 3 seconds in a decent group. Next we did the transition drill from Charlie Perez. Setting up 4 targets at 7 yards. My splits were .20 - .23 seconds and transitions were in the .25 seconds average range. Pretty much same as last time I did this drill. I then pushed and really drove the gun until accuracy started suffering. Next we worked on shooting into and out of positions. I really struggled with this drill. I just couldn't get my foot work going. I think I was going into the shooting position to "hot". Need to learn to start slowing down as I approach to set myself up better. 3rd drill was shooting while moving left to right and right to left. Wow I really sucked today. Of course it's not something I practice regularly. More like very infrequently. However, It was a very good and was a good tune up for Ben Stoeger's class we are taking June 3rd & June 4th. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



It's a month since I've taken the time to post in my Diary and a lot of stuff has happened. I took a Ben Stoeger class June 3 & 4th at Green Valley. It was one of the best things I could have done to help me break out of my slump. Ben broke down my shooting and gave me structured training techniques to help improve my training. I have dry fried as much as I could. Not as much as I wanted, but my work travel schedule has been brutal so dry fire has been sporadic. Live fire has been the same, sporadic. But this is because of weather. We have had our share of rain around here. Between work and rain I haven't shot a match since June 8th. I'm happy to say that changed today. I shot at CAPS (Lefthanders) today. I haven't shot at this club over a year which is a shame. These guys put on a really good match. Today was no disappointment. 


All things considered I am pretty happy with my performance. I finished 3rd out of 17 shooters in Catty Optics. 16th out of 76 shooters overall. This match had 7 stages with a classifier. My squad started on stage 3. 


Stage 3 - 26 rounds. 22 A's and 4 C's, time 14.20. My issue was simple, I was slow. My stage plan was good, execution was good as far as shooting goes. I was tepid and didn't push myself as hard as I should have. 


Stage 4 - Classifier 18-07 Didn't You Send the Mailman. 5 A's, 1 C, time 5.95 HF 4.7089. Nothing dramatic on this one, other than I blew my reload. I literally jammed my magazine into the my hand missing the mag opening completely. Probably cost me a second or two. The good was getting out of the chair quickly gun on target and transitions.


Stage 5 - 20 rounds all steel: time 18.98. I had 3 make up shots. My problem was my slow footwork. This stage was very muddy. I did not explode or really hustle to between positions and the result of this is I was 2.5 seconds slower then the fastest shooter. I was too concerned about slipping in the mud.


Stage 6 - 20 rounds. 11 A's, 8 C's and 1 D, time 14.21. This stage was an unloaded start. My biggest issue is too many Charlies and 1 lushly miss (D). I did slip on this stage when I  exploded to the second position.  When I set my left foot to slowdown as I was entering the position my foot slipped causing me too lose balance resulting in a few lost seconds. It's just part of the game.....


Stage 7 - 22 rounds 10 paper 2 steel. 12 A's, 9 C's, 1 D, time 17.48. This was a challenging stage. I struggled getting my stage plan solidified and this cost me time which turned into rushing my shots resulting in poor hits. I hesitated on 2 of the positions because my stage plan was nonexistence thus gobbling up precious time.  


Stage 1 - 31 rounds 15 paper 1 steel. 22 A's and 9 C's, time 20.95. This stage started off really rough. First position I had 4 paper and the one piece of steel. 2 of the paper targets where fairly close, 5 yards. The remaining 2 paper and 1 steel was at 20 yards. I took too much time on this position I wanted to ensure I got my hits at distance. I rand the remainder of the stage very well. I executed fairly well shooting into and out of each remaining position. 


Stage 2 23 rounds 10 paper 3 steel 1 swinger. Time 15.13. This was my worst stage of the day. This stage required all magazines to start on the barrels. I was very happy that I recently practiced starts with magazines on table. I also worked on grabbing 2 magazines at once stuffing one in a mag pouch and the other into the gun. This went very well. I was able to execute this and get a shot on the steel to activate the swinger quickly. My movement was quick and my one reload was really fast and smooth. But, I forgot one target. It was an easy target, I just forgot it. So I ended up wrecking a really good run with 2 Mikes and a failure to engage the target. 


Lots of stuff to work on. One thing sticks out. Stage planning. I need to get better and shooting more matches will certainly help. I also, saw another weakness I haven't really worked on and that is distant change up. I need to incorporate distance shooting with transitions. The cool A ha moment happened on stage 2. The practice with unloaded starts including "all magazines on table/barrel paid off. It's always cool to see your practice really pay off. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



It's been 3 weeks since my last entry. I have been very busy with work with travel and a lot of distractions. I have shot 3 matches including today since lefthanders. My home club BRRC on July 13th and Sparta on July 20th. BRRC I won my division; although in a very ugly way. Sparta, my friend won CO division. He shot very efficiently and I shot like crap. At BRRC my execution was hit and miss. Admittedly I was distracted from work issues and staying focus was a challenge. At Sparta things went down hill. I did stupid things like reloading when not necessary and shooting from positions that didn't make any sense. My buddies were surprised at some of the dumb things I was doing. But, those matches are behind me and now onto todays match.


Today I shot at Green Valley. I did much better as today as far as staying focused. However my stage planning was not so great. I came in 3rd in CO and 7th overall. I had a friend video my stages from today which is something I haven't done in awhile. As I reviewed the videos I saw several areas that I need to work on. First, I wasn't aggressively moving between positions. Transitions were slow as well. On Stages 4 & 5 my stage planning was not the best. 


Stage 1 - 26 rounds 22 A's, 3 C's and 1 D. Time 29.18. 7 paper 10 steel 1 drop turner. This stage was pretty straight forward as far as stage planning. From start position you had 4 paper to engage to the left 1 popper that activates the drop turner, a double Texas star and ends with 3 partially hidden paper targets. Watching the video I started off at a good pace engaging first 4 paper while moving. Problem I went faster then I should of causing me to move past the popper that activates the drop turner. This put me in a position to shoot and stand and wait for the drop turner. From there I engaged the double Texas star. This was tough! I have little experience shooting one of these and to make it harder there were barrels on each side creating a window to engage through. No one was very fast, in fact most shooters I RO'd, took 20 seconds or more to clear the star. This was the only Stage I had a Delta on. 


Stage 2 - 15 rounds 12 A's 3 C's. This stage had 2 paper 11 steel. Again this was pretty straight forward. You were gonna have to shoot from 3 positions, left, middle and right side. My only issue on this stage was pulling off the steel plates by anticipating the shot. On video I could clearly see my gun moving to the next plate before the shot causing misses. Hence unnecessary seconds on the clock. I just couldn't miss fast enough. I need to practice with steel. Going forward I will incorporate this in my training. 


Stage 3 - Classifier 18-03 We Play Games. 16 A's, 8 C's total time 21.51. First string went well. I could have had a faster draw, my movement was quick, reload was smooth and I was quickly shooting after stepping into the 2 box. Felt really good. Second string started off solid, movement into 3rd box was good. Re-load was smooth and fast. But, my transition to weak hand was my problem. Viewing my second string on clip shot I could clearly see I lost time adjusting my grip and looking for my dot. I realize I haven't practiced transitioning to weak hand after reloading. I will now. But my weak hand and strong hand hits were very solid. This practice has paid off. 


Stage 4 - 25 rounds 21 A's 4 C's. Time 19.57 10 paper and 1 Texas star. This stage was solid except stage planning. I completely missed an opportunity to shave 3-4 seconds off my time. I didn't see this until after I had shot it. I'll chalk this up to learning. The good, I was focused and I did execute my plan well. 


Stage 5 - 32 rounds 26 A's 6 C's. Time 25.50. 16 paper targets. This was a challenging stage with lots of movement and I came up with 4 workable ways to shoot this stage. Most shooters choose to take the targets on the right from the start position then move to the left for those targets. I choose to move to my left at the beep and shoot 9 targets from that position and move to clean up the remainder. Some of the shots were pretty long and tight. But this eliminated 2 positions. My big mistake was over running 1 target causing me to take a couple steps back to engage and according to clip shot that cost me 2.5 seconds. My second mistake was moving up to engage the remaining 2 targets. I could have engaged them from the position I had to readjust myself because of over running it. Again this cost me a couple seconds. 


Overall I am happy. I feel like I turned around my downward spiraling performance. I plan on shooting Arnold tomorrow with a primary goal of working on my stage planning and keeping focused. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Today my 2 buddies and I drove to CAPS (Lefthanders) in Illinois to shoot a USPSA match. Caps puts on a really good match and is worth the 2 hour drive. I ended up 3rd in Carry Optics behind 2 really good M class shooters. Both of these guys were also 1st & 2nd in the overall while I placed 11th out of 70 shooters. When we arrived they had just started shooting so it was fury of activity; signing up, loading magazines, etc. When we finished loading our magazines we needed to start shooting. Fortunately the stage was straight forward so stage planning was pretty easy to get established. We shot it just like to 2 shooters we could see before us. I linked a video below that shows 5 of the 6 stages. Did not video the classifier. We started on Stage 2 and the video starts on that stage as well. I wanted to specifically work on stage planning and foot speed at this match. 


Stage 2 - 19 A's 7 C's and 1 D. Time 14.81 HF 7.9001.

As you can see in the video from the start position you had 4 paper targets 2 on right and 2 on the left. I lost time by not starting to move as I was engaging the last paper target on the left. I also had 2 misses on the steel in the back, I was thinking of my next target instead of following through the shot. Overall, not too bad considering the circumstances of just arriving and loading up and shooting.

Stage 3 - 14 A's 6 C's and 3 D's. Time 14.58 HF 6.2414

This stage you started on the back fault line in the middle. I chose to run to and start on the left. I lost time by not having the gun up and ready to start shooting when I approached the second position. Also, I found my shoots in the C & D zones going to the next target. I was rushing my shots to get to the next target. This is something I noticed through out the match. 

Stage 5 17 A's 6 C's 1 D and 1 Mike. Time 12.17 HF 7.7239

This stage my movement was solid. I shot my way into and out of each position pretty good. However, I missed my 1st shot on the 2nd target. I'm not sure way. I remember the dot being on target but I missed. I also would have shaved a second or two from a better stage plan. I didn't notice until after. But, you can see from the video on the 2nd position I could have engaged 3 poppers from that window and move 1 step to the left and engaged the remaining 2 poppers. Reload would have been done between the 2 ports. 

Stage 6 16 A's 4 C's. Time 15.11 HF 6.0887

This stage was pretty solid. I did feel like I could have moved faster between positions. I also, believe I could have started shooting sooner. Realistically I think I could have shaved a second off by faster foot work. Hits were solid. The C's were close except one. It was very close to being a Delta. We needed an overlay to get it right. 

Stage 1 20 A's 7 C's 1 D. Time 21.71 HF 5.6195

This stage was a fun and challenging. I came up with 3 different stage plans. The start position was standing outside rear fault line holding simulated chainsaw. Handgun is loaded placed on mark on the table. I choose upon start signal to engage 11 seeable targets from the table. Then I moved to the left engaging the targets did my reload going to the 3rd position. I felt good about engaging the 2 available paper targets as I got into the shooting area. I also, felt my wide transitions were solid. I could have saved time by engaging the targets to my left if I had my gun up and ready to shoot. Probably cost myself a second from that alone. 


Overall I was happy with my performance. I have many things to work on before Illinois Sectional at the end of the month. But, I feel like I am making progress and improving. 






Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Well, it's been a month since my last posting. August was a very busy month between work and practicing for the Illinois sectional and taking over as Match Director for my home club. Finding time to post in my journal was not happening. Having said that, it was a very productive month. I shot a local match each weekend and dry fired and or live fired practiced each day I was home. I was feeling confident I would place the best I have to date at a major match. 


Illinois Sectional was a challenging match pushing fundamentals skills. Stages were pretty straight froward, no gimmicks. Admittedly I was nervous. This was my first major match since 2017. (Last year I felt lucky to have shot the handful of local matches I managed to have shot.) I finished 14th in Carry Optics, 79th overall.  


Stage 1 which was a very straight forward stage. 3 Pepper Poppers and 2 drop turners. I did ok on the stage, HF 4.1116. I felt like I couldn't miss the pepper poppers fast enough.   

Stage 2 was a large field course I placed 16th with a HF of 4.3664. I had a trip on this stage that cast me time and I Mike. The face planting recovery really cost time. I knew their was a hole and needed to be careful going into the position on the right side, but nonetheless I tripped. 

Stage 3 was 2 strings; Freestyle and weak hand. I had 8 A's and 8 C's for a HF of 3.5635. 

Stage 4 was another short course. I had one of the fastest times of 6.85 seconds, but I had 6 A's, 1 C and 1 Mike. That Mike really hurt. 

Stage 5 was a medium size field course. I had 18 A's, 10 C's in 20.08 seconds for a HF of 5.9761. This is one stage I could have shot much faster. But, I let the no shoots slow me down and took a more conservative approach. 

Stage 6 to me was one of the funnest stages. Having said that, I also had 2 no shoots on this stage. I had 28 A's, 2 C's and 2 No Shoots. Time was 19.05 seconds, HF 6.6142. 

Stage 7 was the one of the hardest stages. It had long and close shots and lots of movement. I did ok on this stage, had a make up shot on the long mini popper and I had 1 Mike. 19 A's, 9 C's, 2 D's and 1 Mike. time was 28.07 seconds for a HF of 4.0613.

Stage 8 was a mixed bag of shots with medium to long with very close shots. This stage also had a max trap. 20 A's, 8 C's and 2 D's. Time was 22.10 HF of 5.7014.

Stage 9 had a couple different ways to run this stage. I chose a less conventional way to run the stage. You could go left or right. Most went to the left. I went to the right and worked my way left. Not bad stage plan, but I didn't execute my best and ended up shooting 2 targets 4 times, all alphas too boot! 26 A's, 5 C's and 1 D. Time was 30.37 HF of 4.8074.

Stage 10 a pretty straight forward medium field course. But, there was a twist, going into position 1 allowed you to engage a far target there or take that target from position 2 with the steel. I chose to take all from position 1 and steel only from position 2. This stage I had a Mike on the swinger. The swinger was fast and I called my last shot thinking I had an Alpha/Charlie on the swinger, I had Alpha/Mike. 21 A's, 4 C's and 1 Mike. Time was 23.13 seconds for a HF of 4.6260.

Stage 11 was my fall apart stage. This stage I had a self induced malfunction costing me costing me about 6 seconds. I didn't firmly seat my magazine at the make ready. Buzzer goes off sprint to my first position get 1 shot and my magazine started falling out. I manage to catch and reinsert the magazine and finish the stage. 25 A's, 6 C's and 1 D. time was whooping 36.41 seconds for a HF of 3.9550.  

Stage 12 was a pretty straight forward stage. You moved from laterally left to right or right to left. 20 A's, 7 C's and 2 D's. Time was 23.67 for a HF of 5.1965.

Stage 13 was the stage we all were looking for. Last stage of the day. Need to focus and finish strong. This was an interesting stage, starting position was hands on a very mature tree. Shooting position was a Diamond and you needed to go to all 4 corners. 25 A's, 6 C's. Time was 24.25 seconds with a HF of 5.8969. 


I am happy I shot the match and did as well as I did. I learned a lot about myself and where I am really at in my USPSA shooting journey. I need to continue to improve on moving/shooting sooner and shooting more Alphas. The big take away and improvement from this match was stage planning. Not 1 stage when I heard Make Ready did I think, "what's my stage plan?" To me that was a big victory. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...