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Getting Gooder!


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Hey guys,


Not really a new guy, but have been dabbling with USPSA since 2011. Since the, I haven't had the opportunity to invest the time I had always wanted to in the sport as work and school would always interfere. But hey,  its time for a change!


The purpose of this is to document the things that I have personally learned along the way. In such people can learn a thing or two, or this could start constructive discussions. In the end, im sure there is a few things the you guys could learn from me and there's a few things that i could learn from you!


So who are you? Well i am just a kid who lives on an island in the middle of the pacific who plays with guns much more often than I should. I typically shoot my akai 2011 in  limited 10 (not by choice) for the first half of the year, and a random gun in production for the second half. I went to school to become a mechanical engineer, so I know a thing or two about gunz. While going to school I would periodically have to stop shooting only to pick things back up and relearn again. After several years of doing so, I have learned a thing or two that has helped me retain some of my skills. After a while of dicking around, enough is enough. Its finally time to get gooder!!! First, I am going to focus on shooting production and get my GM card.


Why shoot production when you have a sweet super stroker Akai limited gun?????


There are several reasons for this and I will elaborate. Production is one of the more difficult divisions to shoot in my opinion, and shooting it helps me become better as a shooter. Even though the current meta supports 42oz+ steel guns, it offers up a very reasonable level of difficulty. I am not going to make any mention of revolver as I am not a geezer. Its cool that you shoot a revolver bro, its 2019 no judgement here, but as far as I am concerned, revolvers don't exist.


1. 10 round magazine capacity: Welcome to Hawaii! Oh btw the maximum capacity for a handgun here is 10 rounds. WERE ALL IN PRODUCTION NOW!!!!! 10 round open guns are just a joke.

2. Everybody shoots minor: Standardized minor scoring is in my opinion the real reason as to why production becomes more difficult. Every time you don't shoot an alpha, you're giving up a lot in terms of hit factor for the next guy. Not a whole lot of room to try and bump up your hit factor with speed here :(

3. Reloads: Not a single magwell can be found here! The level of difficulty of reloads is the highest, at least in single stack you can have a pretty crazy magwell and still fit in the box.


Single stack being the next hardest division (I will not go into detail) in my opinion, but just isn't my cup of tea.


For now I will be shooting my ultra highly modified/uglified Tanfuglio Stock 2. Today was my first day back of serious dry firing and gawddamn I have noticed some things......

I got this gun early 2018.... shot it for a couple of months then proceeded to moth ball it. Prior to that I was shooting a CZ accu shadow and made M with it. I didn't give enough time to acclimate to the tanfuglio and hated it. But after some time away, ive realized that its not too bad. The best way to describe it is like seeing an old girlfriend. You haven't seen each other in a long time, you seem to remember all of the great things and all of the bad things are a bit of a fuzzy blur. After playing with it for a couple of days, I think to myself, why the hell not?


The way I had left my rig was a complete nightmare. Proper grip could not be achieved off of the draw because bits of the holster would protrude over the under cut trigger guard. I had to do some modifications to the holster in its first match just to keep the mag release from being pressed by the holster (you don't wanna know). Nothing a couple of minutes the trusty dremel couldn't fix! Always remember to modify your gear to fit your needs in terms of ergos, nothings a one size fits all. With that out of the way... we now step into a whole new world of problems. NOTHING seemed to be smooth.... grip on the draws were all over the place, reloads were flying off of the wall, no consistency with the DA pull..... It looks like we have ALOT of work to do before the next match, but ive got 11 days! Until then, stay tuned sports fans!    



USPSA Number: A70601


Instagram: zypherdex


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10 hours ago, zypherdex said:

  I am going to focus on shooting production and get my GM card.


  Prior to that I was shooting a CZ accu shadow and made M with it. 


Way out of my league - I'm struggling to deserve my B card.


Good luck with it - hope you make GM.     :) 

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Second "Real" dry fire session!


So after getting my equipment squared away, its time to roll up them sleeves and start getting to work!

Que the epic superhero suit up montage!! Inner and outer belt strapped on, mags click into place, gun inserted into the holster, belt keeper snapped on, and the timer hung on my weak side pocket. My body is now ready.....


Now comes the difficult part of what to train first? Well seeings how I cant seem to do anything right, logically lets start from the beginning! So whats the first thing you do when you shoot a stage at a USPSA match? Chances are the first thing that happens is that you're going to draw from a holster. So i set the par time on the timer to 0.8 seconds and got to work. Why a par time of 0.8? Simple, its cause all the cool kids on the youtubez and instagramz shoot sub second drawz. If youre not drawing at less than a second every time, then apparently yOuR'e tOo sLoW! Stage layout, target size, first shooting array, no shoot/hardcover partial, ports, barricades, starting condition of the gun does not mean anything at all, ya gotta have that sub second draw. 


The first few draws feel AWESOME!!! Ripping it out of the holster, and smashing the trigger to get them sub second draws. Feels like i left off when I was at my prime! Sounds great right? Not quite...

After several draws in my strong hand was just ALL OVER THE PLACE. Poking and grab the beaver tail, grab too low, side ways. In order to build speed, good fundamentals need to be established so the par time was turned off. Using a timer to dry fire is an excellent tool when used correctly. Knowing how fast you are capable of doing something is an excellent skill to have. Using a timer incorrectly can lead you into a trap of just doing things to beat the beep. I have found that building solid foundation/fundamental movements then slowly bringing up the speed will yield much more consistent overall results. In the long run, the consistency will turn into muscle memory and you will tend to subconsciously sort things out.


The first step for now was to consistently figure out where my hands will start at a hands relaxed at sides. I personally like my strong hand to be in a spot where my thumb is inline with the undercut in the beaver tail. It simplifies the draw stroke such that my hand ONLY needs to rise vertically to clear the beaver tail and I can establish a grip on the gun. Typically i keep my thumb and index finger open to essentially create a funnel effect at the undercut of the beaver tail. After several slow dry runs, i noticed that opening up the distance between my thumb and index finger (approximately 5.5" from tip to tip) allowed for me to clear the beaver tail and get a solid grip damn near every time. This drawing technique seems to work for me, YMMV. After ironing that out, i slowly started to bring the speed back up and VOILA I CAN DRAW! After a bunch of draws, my finger got tired from the D/A pull (will elaborate on grip training in future posts).


Just as a side note, I like to train drawing onto a partial target to increase the difficulty (I use a classic with about 25% of the top of the A exposed). There is merit in the aim small miss small principle. When you're first starting out I would recommend a full size target of your choice just to make sure you can sling it onto paper. Once you're able to consistently connect in dry fire AND you confirm it with live fire, you are ready to transition into training with smaller targets. Don't forget to vary the distance :P


I have toyed with the idea of getting a go pro to film some super cool John Wick first person shooter stuff. Doing so might help with explanations of more difficult concepts and open the doors up to VLOGs for those who are more visual learner types. Until then... 10 more days till the next match!  

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  • 2 weeks later...



After a week or so, the dry fire progress can be noted as so-so. Ive been spending most of my time helping a friend out with home renovations. In the mean time, the primary focus has been on the ever so elusive trigger pull.


Since I will be focusing on a DA/SA gun, becoming proficient with both is critical. Im sure if you search the internet you will find all sorts of articles and videos elaborating on how you SHOULD pull the trigger. I am not going to spare you any boring details on how to pull a trigger, rather than what you should concentrate on to have a consistent pull. Nearly all of the techniques that are preached in basic marksmanship fundamentals are to help build consistent and efficient methods of pulling a trigger. Things such as keeping your index finger perpendicular to the face of the trigger shoe while maintaining contact slightly over half of the index finger pad. Pulling the trigger straight to the rear of the gun rather than curling into a ball. Mostly all good techniques, but primarily serve as a starting point. Luckily for you, i have a few thoughts on the matter!


In all honesty pull the trigger how ever you choose to such that you maintain the results downrange. If youre connecting down range, then its obvious that youre doing something right! As far as practical pistol shooting is concerned, there is much more going on than static slow fire trigger principals/fundamentals. I believe your grip plays a much bigger roll in practical shooting. The harder and higher that one can grip the gun, the more recoil control one is able to achieve. Although having a good grip is what is necessary for top notch recoil control, that may be true for trigger control. As the hands grip harder, dexterity to adequately pull a trigger properly is reduced. Throw in a timer and everything goes to hell in a hand basket reeaaaaaal quick.


What I do advocate is to increase your grip strength. As youre overall grip strength increases, the effort to recoil ratio gets closer together. If you can play with a gun that has a red dot, you will know what im taking about. Play around with a gun that has a dot on it will tell you exactly what in your hands are influencing movement of the dot. The dot will show the results of the grip and finger pressures. Doing so will change the way you hold the gun and pull the trigger. So play around with the grip pressures, techniques, and trigger speed that and let me know how that goes.  Once consistency with the dot is obtained, transitioning the lessons learned to iron isnt that bad. Note to self, dont write a post while nodding off. Until then... 2 more days till the next match! 

Edited by zypherdex
I was falling asleep while writing op
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So I shot a match with the Honolulu Rhat Rhat Boyz! I ended up getting 1st in production and 3rd overall. I also made a little video of the match footage which is shown in chronological order of which I shot the match. Lets try and break this down in the order I shot the match!


Stage 4

So stage 4 was a fairly large field course with a lot of movement. Bear in mind that its been a minute since I shot a match, let alone production. I typically prefer to shoot a larger style field course as a first stage to get rid of the first stage jitters as it plays into my strengths. Stage 4 set the precedence of what the whole day was going to be like...... It was abundantly clear that the stage designers had a case of SBS for PCC since they are able to use "standard capacity" magazines whereas we pistol peasants are limited to 10 rounds. For those who are not previously aware, SBS stands for salty bitch syndrome. Extremely hard leans and condition 3 starts were everywhere. Fortunately this was a loaded start, but had the worlds most awkward setup at the first and last shooting positions.... what ever.... Other than that, the stage was ok. I was still in the "Limited" shooting mindset and dropped a TON of points. Never a good thing to do when shooting minor so further improvement will be needed.


Stage 3

Stage 3 was a condition 2 start with all your magazines to be used to start on the table. There was a decent of steel on this stage and the distance change ups went from near to far. Stage strategy was just for pure execution, try not to get too hung up with extra shots on steel and everything will be alright. This stage turned out ok for me, couldn't really complain other than the hard lean on the left array.


Stage 2

Stage 2 was an unloaded start with all of your magazines to be used starting on the barrel (are we noticing a trend here?). This stage had 4 activating targets in a relatively small area, I named this stage range equipment failure. Every squad that shot this had to re-shoot many shooters due to range equipment failure. Ultimately the stage was fairly straight forward to shoot with not a lot of difficulty. I ended up short stroking my slide on the unloaded start and having a massive flinch.... I swear this never happens LOL!!!!! Meh, that was a bit of a shame......... One thing I didn't really do ahead of time was time the max trap. I probably could have activated the max trap, shot the partial target, then engaged the max trap. It looked very plausible to do, but since I haven't shot production in a while I went with the conservative route. It didn't matter since I shot at the max trap BEFORE it opened, and re-engaged it after it was all done and got 3 A's. Don't you hate it when that happens? Trigger time is what will build the shot calling confidence, can't really substitute that.


Stage 1

Stage 1 was another unloaded start (cmon now... we get it...). You begin shooting an array of 4 steel plates of varying size. There was 1 8" plate and 3 6" plates, which made it fairly challenging (uspsa legal is another story). Although i do enjoy the challenge of shooting the smaller plates, I am not a fan of the ones that hinge as they're just a range equipment failure waiting to happen. Other than that, this stage was a nice blend of everything. I actually ended up falling when moving to the 3rd shooting array. The guy taking the video on my phone didn't quite expect that to happen LOL!! This is where the safe gun handling skills come into play, my finger was out of the trigger guard, didn't break the 180, and I didn't flag myself (yay me). The highlight of this stage turned out to be my recovery from falling. When I fell, I was mid reload with a magazine in my weak hand. I was able to quickly spring back up, finish the reload and take the open target on the move like i originally planned to. It can be noted that the reason why I fell was that my cleats on my Salomons were completely worn flat. So if anybody is willing to sponsor yours truly with some Speedcross 4's, please feel free! (mens size 12)


 All in all the match went alright, I shot clean so I cant really complain about that. Hopefully I will have time to continue dry firing and work on my video editing skillzzz. Not quite sure when the next match will be, but I will keep you guys posted.

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The past week has been a little up and down in terms of practice. I was in the final stages of completing a friends gym garage renovation so not much structured training occurred. During the few instances that I did train, there was a couple of things to highlight.


On the positive side, my draws were becoming a bit more consistent and I am getting comfortable with the trigger! On the other hand, indexing magazines went to complete s#!t. It was as random and haphazard as things could be. I had realized then that its time to slowly start branching out onto training other aspects of the game.... the reload


For production, reloads are just a way of life. You will reload, and your ability to reload will be one of the things that determine your success or failure in production. During a lull in the garage renovation, I took a day to do some dry fire training with my friend. This training session was extremely productive as it brought up an important point that some people may gloss over. During the training, we did some static drills to warm up then moved into dynamic drills. My friend had a solid reload during the our warm ups, but it turned to s#!t real quick in the dynamic drills. After observing several runs, I believe that I was able to diagnose the root cause of his mistakes. As it turns out, all of his reload training had been conducted static. All of the techniques used for static reloads did not hold up during dynamic drills. It had dawned on me that it may not be obvious that people may be conducting their training without moving. My personal opinion is that I like to train as close as i can to the actual thing, then turn up the speed. Most of the reloads that one would encounter when shooting a stage will be between shooting positions, not many reloads are done without moving other than classifiers. When training, I try to envision most scenarios that I could encounter and try to prepare for them. From there, I try to develop specific techniques and ques that support them. I won't go into detail on the exact techniques and ques that I use as they may vary from person to person. If there is an expressed interest for them, I could make a video on it in the future :)


I did make a mistake in forgetting to register for the Aloha Stage Games, I had confused the entry date by a week (sad face). So the next best thing that I can do in the mean time is train.......


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So I did some training today. Can you guys tell me if I am gripping the gun hard enough?


I am currently open to anyone willing to donate some shoes, your boy needs some new shoes cough*speedcross4*cough*mensize12*cough. :P




Edited by zypherdex
miss typed (I wonder why?)
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  • 2 weeks later...



As of late, there hasn't been many pistol matches so its getting quite difficult to gauge my performance. There was a rifle match today that I went down to help setup and decided to shoot one of the stages with my pistol since I was there (don't ask me why I brought a pistol to a rifle match :P). I decided since it wasn't for score to haul ass on the *thumb rest [generic]* to see what happens. Sometimes you just need to haul ass to see what it takes for the wheels to come off. The result of the hauling ass was exactly what I had expected, kinda all over the place but mostly on the targets. I was debating if I should do a couple of runs to reinforce some of the lessons that I have been trying to learn but my back was telling me otherwise. I finally got back into dead lifting on a more consistent basis and lemme tell ya, it hurts to be back 😢. Like most things, strength and USPSA takes time to progress into the upper levels. Persistence will get you there. In the future, I would like to break my states power lifting records just as well as excel into the upper levels of USPSA.


Ambitious? Yes

Stretching myself too thing? Possibly, but let me go stretch out my back and think about this one.


All of the recent training has gotten me slightly more acclimated to the Tanfuglio Stock 2 (my calluses are back!). So far I think things are going alright with it, I do intend on making a video review about it shortly! As of now I am liking what I see in the new CZC A01 models, those look like theyre going to give the stock 2 a run for the money. If anyone gets a lead on one (short dust cover) please let me know what you think of it.


Recently the range schedule has been published and it looks like this up coming weekend will be a blast!! 5 more days till the next match.....

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  • 2 weeks later...






So this past weekend I ended up shooting 2 matches (Saturday/Sunday). Going into it, my goal was to run at 80% and shoot a clean match. For the most part I would say that I was successful (minus the crazy classifier on Sunday). I was able to eek out a 3rd HOA on Saturday and 2nd HOA on Sunday! I apologize for the tardiness of the post as life gets in the way. Lets review the matches!




My go pro decided that it didn't want to charge that night, so no first person footage :(


Stage 1

The first stage was majority partial targets and a couple of 6" plates. This being the first stage of the match and not shooting for a month, I really wanted to minimize crashing and burning. I decided to be very deliberate on target engagement. I guess it paid off since it was a clean run, but dropped much more points than I would have liked.


Stage 2

So this stage was where I could slightly open up the throttle. Lots of close targets and relatively majority of the targets were open. Unfortunately the start position was magazine inserted and chamber empty. I am not really the biggest fan of these starts, especially when it serves no purpose. I would consider these starting positions to be a bit gimmicky and dumb (rant over). Prior to me shooting this stage, I got hit in the chest by a ricocheting bullet jacket fragment from the 6" plates while RO'ing. It didn't hurt but it ended up bleeding through my shirt (as it can be seen). The jacket that hit me was about 0.25" long and was embedded itself under my right peck. Nothing a little bit of tweezer action couldn't solve. Stage 2 ended up well for me as I was able to get a 2nd overall placement on it (go figure).


Stage 3

This stage was essentially a port to port stage with steel wall arrays. This was pretty straight forward execution because your'e screwed if you end up running dry. Solid hits, with a decent time, nothing to see here.


Stage 4

Ahh alas we get to stage 4.... this was a terrible stage. There is one thing to make stages that are challenging for the shooter to navigate through, but making extremely tight entrances is just down right stupid. This was another one of those stages that was a middle finger to anyone shooting PCC... but i managed to go through it unscathed.






Stage 1 (not filmed)


This was a classifier, CM18-06. Not a fan of starting the day on a classifier, especially one with strong hand and weak hand partials.... I ended up with 3 mikes on the strong hand and weak hand targets... oh well. I will say that this did seem to set the mood for the day.


Stage 2


CM18-06 far and partial targets, seem familiar? Stage 2 was made up with  a sea of far partial targets. It was a good thing that I had the mindset of shooting this weekend as clean as possible. Happily i made it through alive! I ended up shooting a bunch of really tight charlies that were just outside of the A zone. Don't you hate it when that happens?!?! But hey, just gotta get gooder i guess :3


Stage 3


Stage 3 was a twist on a port to port stage. There was a step activated drop turner, tiny little 6" plates, ports that needed to be opened,  and baby metric targets to spice things up a bit. Other than that it was pretty straight forward. Not much to say about this one other than it was still small target themed.


Stage 4


Stage 4 had approximately 80% partial targets (wtf...). It essentially was a stretched out version of stage 3-_- Same s#!t, different stage.



All in all, this weekend was an overall success! I was able to execute my game plan as good as I possibly could have and built up a decent amount of confidence behind the Tanfuglio. So far I would say that my training has been working as my consistency has improved. It did seem like the stage designs this weekend was much more conducive to shooting a gun with a dot. I have toyed with the idea with playing in carry optics but it seems like things are working out right now, so let the good times roll! Although this weekend was an overall success, I did get my super awesome production division Hit Factor shirt ruined by bleeding all over it (sad face). Cmon Hit Factor, hook up your boy! :P I ended up getting new speed cross 5's to prevent any future falls. A trend that I have been noticing is that since starting this range diary, I have been sustaining weird injuries from shooting matches hahaha. I swear this normally doesn't happen! Hopefully it doesn't continue, until then.... 3 days till the next match!    

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It finally happened! I won HOA shooting production! Take that all you guns with optics and shooting major :P It feels good to know that I am getting gooder! I did a couple of things different this time:

1. I got new shoes! Yaay!

2. I didnt get hit with shrapnel

3. I didnt have coffee (debating about this one)


As with all of the stages, they were all fairly straight forward. There was a good mix of partials and speed stages. I prefer this type of stage design, I find these to be the most fun and do the best with. Although I won HOA, I don't feel as if I had done my best. I am still dropping a tad bit more points that I should have, and not 100% confident behind the gun. Oh wells, just going to have to work on things a little more.


I did have a little funny that happened while shooting my last stage. Things were going great and i was just mowing through the stage when all of a sudden a target fell over..... Don't you just hate it when that happens?!?! Oh wells, I am not sure when the next match is... so I guess I will be training until then...

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