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Stages from My Last Match


anonymouscuban
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Shot my 1st match of 2020 last Sunday. This was the 1 year anniversary of me shooting USPSA.

 

I learned a lot about what NOT to do over last year. The experience also helped me to identify what and how to train. I've stepped up my training the last couple of months both in dry and live fire. More focused training. Each training session has an objective. Not just burning ammo or time. I noticed it in this match. This was my best performance to date. I still have a lot of work though.

 

Sharing a few stage videos from the match below. These are a good representation of my current level of shooting. Both the good and the bad. Would love some feedback. I can see mistakes I made and things I need to work on but want to hear from you all.

 

Stage 1

 

Stage 4

 

Stage 6

 

 

 

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Hey Alex,

Stage 1 on the draw, engage the far right 1st instead of the 2nd from the right then the far right then the big transition to the left. 

 

Stage 2, I don't know what the briefing required with that gas can but look at your position 3.  You engage targets on the right and then transition all the way to the left and engage that target at distance over there on the left side of the bay.  Then you run over to position 4 which is right in front of that target you just engaged.  When round count isn't an issue it's best to engage that target up close.  Only 7 shots were fired from position 4 so you coulda engaged those targets on the right side at position 3 then take off towards position 4 reloading and engaging that close target on the left side while you're still on the move directly at it and coming into position 4.

 

Stage 3, at the start take a step back while you're drawing and get that wall out of your way.

 

On all three stages there's a lot of bang,bang.......bang,bang......bang,bang.  A lot of those transition were small transitions so throw that gun over to the next target as soon as you see the sights lift on your 2nd shot of the target you're engaging.  Throw that gun over, your eyes should already be on the Alpha of your next target so simply bring the front sight over there.  It should be more like, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.  Blake drills can help ..... and search on here for the Enos 9-shot 3-target transition drill.

 

Reloads, reloads, reloads....especially for Production.  Burkett drill over & over and 4-Aces over & over.  I like to do versions of 4-Aces on the move (forwards, backwards and laterally) too so you're practicing reloads on the move instead of just practicing standing stationary all the time.

 

Since your name & club was on the video I went and looked at your hits.  The Alpha to non-Alpha ratio could be better.  Gotta get those good hits.  I had the same issue and a lot of it was trying to go too fast on that double tap when I wasn't ready for it.....I wasn't tracking my sights & calling my shots.  I had to teach myself that it's not always one sight picture with two quick trigger pulls.  Sometime its is.  Sometimes it's indexing and not even getting a sight picture if it's up close.  But, a lot of the time it's more of a controlled pair instead of double tap.  An extremely firm grip will go a long ways in helping with this.  It won't stop recoil but it will bring the front sight right back to center mass where it should be for you to break the next shot.  It's better to have a .25 split if that ensures you two Alphas instead of a .18 split if your shots aren't called and you're simply blasting at brown.  Visualize the A-zone and make that your target instead of that entire huge brown cardboard target.  This was another thing I had to learn, don't simply blast at brown but visualize the A-zone and make that you only target.  If you do an all steel match it will help you, because you gotta hit that steel.  6 or 7 32-round stages of all steel will demoralize you, but also make you aim and call your shots.  Try Steel Challenge too.

 

Stay at it and have fun growing.

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Hey Alex,
Stage 1 on the draw, engage the far right 1st instead of the 2nd from the right then the far right then the big transition to the left. 
 
Stage 2, I don't know what the briefing required with that gas can but look at your position 3.  You engage targets on the right and then transition all the way to the left and engage that target at distance over there on the left side of the bay.  Then you run over to position 4 which is right in front of that target you just engaged.  When round count isn't an issue it's best to engage that target up close.  Only 7 shots were fired from position 4 so you coulda engaged those targets on the right side at position 3 then take off towards position 4 reloading and engaging that close target on the left side while you're still on the move directly at it and coming into position 4.
 
Stage 3, at the start take a step back while you're drawing and get that wall out of your way.
 
On all three stages there's a lot of bang,bang.......bang,bang......bang,bang.  A lot of those transition were small transitions so throw that gun over to the next target as soon as you see the sights lift on your 2nd shot of the target you're engaging.  Throw that gun over, your eyes should already be on the Alpha of your next target so simply bring the front sight over there.  It should be more like, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.  Blake drills can help ..... and search on here for the Enos 9-shot 3-target transition drill.
 
Reloads, reloads, reloads....especially for Production.  Burkett drill over & over and 4-Aces over & over.  I like to do versions of 4-Aces on the move (forwards, backwards and laterally) too so you're practicing reloads on the move instead of just practicing standing stationary all the time.
 
Since your name & club was on the video I went and looked at your hits.  The Alpha to non-Alpha ratio could be better.  Gotta get those good hits.  I had the same issue and a lot of it was trying to go too fast on that double tap when I wasn't ready for it.....I wasn't tracking my sights & calling my shots.  I had to teach myself that it's not always one sight picture with two quick trigger pulls.  Sometime its is.  Sometimes it's indexing and not even getting a sight picture if it's up close.  But, a lot of the time it's more of a controlled pair instead of double tap.  An extremely firm grip will go a long ways in helping with this.  It won't stop recoil but it will bring the front sight right back to center mass where it should be for you to break the next shot.  It's better to have a .25 split if that ensures you two Alphas instead of a .18 split if your shots aren't called and you're simply blasting at brown.  Visualize the A-zone and make that your target instead of that entire huge brown cardboard target.  This was another thing I had to learn, don't simply blast at brown but visualize the A-zone and make that you only target.  If you do an all steel match it will help you, because you gotta hit that steel.  6 or 7 32-round stages of all steel will demoralize you, but also make you aim and call your shots.  Try Steel Challenge too.
 
Stay at it and have fun growing.
Thanks for taking the time to watch and comment. Really appreciate it. All of your comments were much of what I saw myself watching my runs.

Transitions is something I am focused on and am slowly improving. I worked this in dry fire and live fire. I'm faster but still not fast enough. Especially on those close open arrays, like you mention.

I pushed myself this match to be more aggressive. I'm a freaking turtle and last year I was just too slow. I know I dropped a lot more charlies than I should but I am trying to get out of that slow-funk mentality.

The stage with the can require moving it from one table to the other between 1st and last shot. The target I shot from position 3 was a mental mistake. Lost at least 2 sec shooting it instead of from 4th position.

Right now my biggest focus in training are fundamentals. Transitions, doubles drill, reloads. I did a lot of work before this on shooting transitions on more difficult shots. I obviously need to also puts some work in shooting closer targets. Pushing the transitions on close arrays.

Thank you again for the input. I'm highly motivated to improve.

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Watch the videos with your eyes closed. Whether it’s a 15yd target with a perilous noshoot, or a wide open one two feet away... you shoot the exact same cadence.

 

Think about that.

 

Then close your eyes and watch footage of a top GM shoot, and think about it some more.

 

Additionally, run faster. Get the gun up earlier as you come in, and get much more comfortable with reloads on the move so they’re done much earlier.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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Watch the videos with your eyes closed. Whether it’s a 15yd target with a perilous noshoot, or a wide open one two feet away... you shoot the exact same cadence.
 
Think about that.
 
Then close your eyes and watch footage of a top GM shoot, and think about it some more.
 
Additionally, run faster. Get the gun up earlier as you come in, and get much more comfortable with reloads on the move so they’re done much earlier.
 
Hey MM. Thanks for the feedback. You're absolutely right. I blew the 1st stage we shot because of what you mention. Didn't help that I was 1st up and my nerves were up but I completely choked on an array of steel targets at 15 yards. There was 2 shooting positions. 1st were 5 hoser targets then in position 2, 2 close open targets with the steel out further. Hosed the brown and then missed about 5 shots on the steel until I settled let my sights dictate my speed.

Gonna have to work on it.

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44 minutes ago, anonymouscuban said:

The stage with the can require moving it from one table to the other between 1st and last shot.

Hindsight is 20:20, but you might have thought about chunking that gas can up towards the other table, shoot the stage going forward, then pick up the can & put it on the table when you got up to the last position at table 2.

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Hindsight is 20:20, but you might have thought about chunking that gas can up towards the other table, shoot the stage going forward, then pick up the can & put it on the table when you got up to the last position at table 2.
Was done by quite a few before me with often terrible results. Too unpredictable.

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Yeah, that’s fun when it lands handle-down and rolls somewhere unexpected and out of the intended path.
Quite a few had it roll under the barriers.

Question MM...

I'm gonna work on what you mentioned tomorrow... making sure I'm not shooting faster than what I can see on more difficult targets.

So in was thinking of setting up an array of open targets at say 5-7 yards. Then placing 1 or 2 difficult targets at greater distance. Say a partial or maybe a couple 8" steel plates.

Do you think this is good?

Or should I just run Stoege's accelerator drill... open target at 7, 13 and 25 yards about 2 yards apart?

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Try the Accelerator with "skunks" ......or with no-shoots tacked on each target. 

 

Another one that has helped me; left to right, put cardboard at 7-10 yds, then steel at 20-25 yds, then another cardboard target at 7-10 yds.  As you shoot through this you have to go fast then shift down to 3rd gear to get your hit on steel then transition over to the last cardboard going fast.  Your required sight picture changes and it gets your cadence going up & down depending on your required sight picture.

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Try the Accelerator with "skunks" ......or with no-shoots tacked on each target. 
 
Another one that has helped me; left to right, put cardboard at 7-10 yds, then steel at 20-25 yds, then another cardboard target at 7-10 yds.  As you shoot through this you have to go fast then shift down to 3rd gear to get your hit on steel then transition over to the last cardboard going fast.  Your required sight picture changes and it gets your cadence going up & down depending on your required sight picture.
Thanks. Will see what I feel like setting up tomorrow.



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44 minutes ago, anonymouscuban said:

Thanks. Will see what I feel like setting up tomorrow.
 

Another thing I noticed with live fire drills.  Doing the same drill over & over & over only helped me so much then I think I hit diminishing returns by doing the exact drill over & over in one session.  After doing the same drill a lot during a practice session you get used to what you're doing, muscle memory, etc.  I now like to shoot a drill 3 or 4 times only then move the targets and do it again, etc.  You don't have to hugely move the targets to make a new drill.  Just move the transition distances a little closer or further.  Move the target distances from you a little.  Add a no-shoot somewhere.  Shoot the array in the opposite direction.  Shoot the array taking only head shots.  Put up a target with just the A-zone scoreable and the rest of the target black hard-cover.  Just vary the drill up a little and re-shoot, rinse & repeat.  You can do the same drill over & over by changing little things.  After a bit you can go to a different drill & treat it the same way.  You don't have to go practice with a list of 20 different drills to shoot.

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Another thing I noticed with live fire drills.  Doing the same drill over & over & over only helped me so much then I think I hit diminishing returns by doing the exact drill over & over in one session.  After doing the same drill a lot during a practice session you get used to what you're doing, muscle memory, etc.  I now like to shoot a drill 3 or 4 times only then move the targets and do it again, etc.  You don't have to hugely move the targets to make a new drill.  Just move the transition distances a little closer or further.  Move the target distances from you a little.  Add a no-shoot somewhere.  Shoot the array in the opposite direction.  Shoot the array taking only head shots.  Put up a target with just the A-zone scoreable and the rest of the target black hard-cover.  Just vary the drill up a little and re-shoot, rinse & repeat.  You can do the same drill over & over by changing little things.  After a bit you can go to a different drill & treat it the same way.  You don't have to go practice with a list of 20 different drills to shoot.
Yeah. Stoeger recommends changing this up like you mention so I try do this when I practice.

What I will probably do is setup multiple target arrays and then change up the order or move positions after 4-5 runs so things change up.

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Accelerator will be a good drill.

 

You also need to work on the blake drill and/or el prez in dry AND live fire to hustle those transitions. They’re hurting you too.

 

When you run a drill like distance changeup you need to run the hit factors some of the time to prove it to yourself that patience on the splits in back is *genuinely* better for your score than rushing the second shot.

 

Simple version of the goal: take more time on the second shot at 10+ yards so it consistently lands somewhere you actually picked up the front sight for, then get the gun to the next target faster - and nearly have the same overall time with much better hits string, after string, after string.

 

Oh, and on spitting distance targets you can split FASTER than you currently do if your grip pressure is up to par.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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Got back from the range. I forgot to charge my GoPro so no video.

I focused on the Blake Drill. I shot it from 7 yards which I read is standard for this drill. My best time with alphas across the board was 2.54 sec. I was really struggling with my draw today. Running a new belt and I canted my holster forward a bit yesterday. I was missing my grip. Average draw time was about 1.3 so I'm losing time there.

Still, I had the pop.pop...pop.pop...pop.pop. Definitely faster transition than what I was doing but noticeable pause between targets.

I think I'm waiting for confirmation on my 2nd shot on each target. How do you guys train yourselves to move the gun right whom the round is sent?

Maybe set a par time that's sporty for me and then push myself to finish the string in that time, regardless of hits? Again, just to get myself used to the speed.

Next live fire day will probably be Thursday. Will dry fire daily though so will work on Blake drill pushing the par time till then.

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When I have students do the Blake drill I have them start with the gun in hand. I want them to take time to focus on a perfect grip and what that feels like, along with a perfect stance. The draw can be worked on in any number of other drills, but for me the point of that drill is the transitions and splits being equal, and nothing else.

 

As a test (like the bill drill), it's fine to do it from the draw, but I don't find it necessary when training. Especially if you are new to the idea of what it is.

 

 

How to get yourself to stop confirming each hit? Dryfire the same drill from the same spot before you live fire. In dryfire there's no bullet hole to look for so it should be easier.

 

Also, I have a metronome app on my phone. I set it to a reasonable time to start, (167 beats per minute is a .35 split) and dry fire it to that pace. Go left to right and right to left so you don't become tied to doing it only one way in matches. I also like to tell people to use more targets than you think. Paper plates are easy to set up around the house. Put out 10 of them evently spaced alone the wall or back of the couch or whatever and just go back and forth until your grip and shoulders get tired. The fastest time on my metronome app is 310 beats per minute, which is a .19 split and should totally be doable until the targets are 6 or more feet apart. 

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When I have students do the Blake drill I have them start with the gun in hand. I want them to take time to focus on a perfect grip and what that feels like, along with a perfect stance. The draw can be worked on in any number of other drills, but for me the point of that drill is the transitions and splits being equal, and nothing else.
 
As a test (like the bill drill), it's fine to do it from the draw, but I don't find it necessary when training. Especially if you are new to the idea of what it is.
 
 
How to get yourself to stop confirming each hit? Dryfire the same drill from the same spot before you live fire. In dryfire there's no bullet hole to look for so it should be easier.
 
Also, I have a metronome app on my phone. I set it to a reasonable time to start, (167 beats per minute is a .35 split) and dry fire it to that pace. Go left to right and right to left so you don't become tied to doing it only one way in matches. I also like to tell people to use more targets than you think. Paper plates are easy to set up around the house. Put out 10 of them evently spaced alone the wall or back of the couch or whatever and just go back and forth until your grip and shoulders get tired. The fastest time on my metronome app is 310 beats per minute, which is a .19 split and should totally be doable until the targets are 6 or more feet apart. 
Starting with gun in hand to isolate the skill you're trying to build is in line with what Stoeger speaks to in his books. Makes sense and I will try this next time.

I really like the metronome idea. Thanks for that. Will download one and try it. Now, when you're training transitions in dry fire, I assume you're simply getting the appropriate sight picture, then moving. No trigger press. Is this correct?

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I do a trigger press. When I get lazy I can definitely see that my press is making the sights wiggle, so I refocus at that point and correct it.  I'm not really a fan of doing anything without a trigger press except maybe draws...but I'm not a multi national champ either so YMMV.

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2 hours ago, anonymouscuban said:


 How do you guys train yourselves to move the gun right whom the round is sent?
 

That's the shot calling you hear about. 

You gotta know where the shot is going as the sights lift, don't look for the hit because your eyes should instantly go to the A-zone of the next target and the front sight follows. 

Your Blake drill shot cadence should be like your Bill drill cadence..........and that just ain't gonna happen unless you're calling shots.

 

After a match today I worked with a newer shooter on this exact thing.

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That's the shot calling you hear about. 
You gotta know where the shot is going as the sights lift, don't look for the hit because your eyes should instantly go to the A-zone of the next target and the front sight follows. 
Your Blake drill shot cadence should be like your Bill drill cadence..........and that just ain't gonna happen unless you're calling shots.
 
After a match today I worked with a newer shooter on this exact thing.
Yup. I've been working on my ability to call shots. I'm able to in training but it's still not something I can do without thinking about it, like really focused on it.
@waktasz... I downloaded a metronome app. Used it in dry fire today. Also just focused on transitions, removing the draw. Struggle with keeping the tempo during the transition but will stick with it. It seems like something that will definitely help.

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On 2/1/2020 at 5:39 PM, waktasz said:

Blake drill...  the point of that drill is the transitions and splits being equal, and nothing else.


This.

 

No. *ACTUALLY* this.


This means that you do not get to slow down between targets or linger after a shot is fired for any reason. Even if you shot a delta, when you’re working on transitions exclusively? It means exclusively.

 

In a blake drill alphas are nice, but nailing the transition between targets is mandatory.

 

It’s okay to shoot bad hits when learning to do something twice as fast as you currently do. You need to learn how fast you can snap the gun to the next target. Work until you make that something normal to accomplish. Then  you work on putting accuracy and your newfound speed together.

 

You really can get your hits without slowing down. You just haven’t pushed yourself to do so, yet.

 

Transition example: Here’s a stage I somewhat messed up, but which has a good example of what we’re talking about.

Split/transition times smooth and consistent between shots on open paper inthe first array. The only hitch is the transition onto the noshoot target which got an extra tenth so that I could confidently place holes away from the white, inside the A.

 

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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30 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:


This.

 

No. *ACTUALLY* this.


This means that you do not get to slow down between targets or linger after a shot is fired for any reason. Even if you shot a delta, when you’re working on transitions exclusively? It means exclusively.

 

In a blake drill alphas are nice, but nailing the transition between targets is mandatory.

 

It’s okay to shoot bad hits when learning to do something twice as fast as you currently do. You need to learn how fast you can snap the gun to the next target. Work until you make that something normal to accomplish. Then  you work on putting accuracy and your newfound speed together.

 

You really can get your hits without slowing down. You just haven’t pushed yourself to do so, yet.

 

Transition example: Here’s a stage I somewhat messed up, but which has a good example of what we’re talking about.

Split/transition times smooth and consistent between shots on open paper inthe first array. The only hitch is the transition onto the noshoot target which got an extra tenth so that I could confidently place holes away from the white, inside the A.

 

 

 

Uhhh, Memphis nails it here. Thank you for the good advice sir. 

 

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Another simple tip for making sure that you're actually shooting based on your sights and also working on transitions is to work a plate rack (if you have access to one).  A lot of people simply shoot down a plate rack in a consecutive row, but there's more that you can do.

1. Shoot it in a row with absolute confidence in each pull and note your splits and hits from 7 yards

2. Shoot it faster than you can reliably hit every plate and note your splits, hits, and be able to say exactly which ones you missed and where you missed

3. Now do the same thing except shoot "outside-in" (plate 1,6,2,5,3,4). again note everything and this time your splits should be noticeably different if you aren't simply following a trigger rhythm in your head (should look something like .25, .17, .13.  not those exact numbers, but that descending order).  Try other patterns like a 1,3,4,6,2,5 etc.

4. Now try it from 10 or 15 or 25 yards.  Keep track of all of the info collected for each distance.  

 

This might not be the best advice you are given, because some of the guys here are truly world class shooters and I'm not likely in the top 500 in the nation, but training this way with a shot timer and a plate rack has helped me immensely.  Before I ever did this, my splits were almost always identical and now my shooting is much more based on my sight picture instead of some intrinsic rhythm, my transitions are much quicker, and I can tell you when I where I missed when I do.  Now if I could just get myself to stop pulling the trigger when I can clearly see that the sights aren't where they need to be....

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