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Goal: Win the 2026 World Shoot with a Glock 26.

 

Subgoals to measure progress:

  • Win 2025 USPSA Production or CO Nationals
  • Place top 5 in 2024 USPSA Production or CO Nationals
  • Place top 10 in 2023 USPSA Production or CO Nationals
  • Place top 25 in 2022 USPSA Production or CO Nationals
  • Place top 75 in 2021 USPSA Production or CO Nationals
  • End 2020 with at least an M classification for Production and CO.

 

Starting point on May 17, 2020:

  • Production - C (57.3412)
  • CO - U (23.8076)
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Posted (edited)

Lowest hanging fruit:

  • Not respecting targets - discard whatever perceived par time I think I need to hit to be competitive for a particular stage. Give each target the necessary amount of time to confirm hits, no more and no less. This will feel "too slow" on partials, but everyone who doesn't slow down will lose more points on average.

When is the next test?

  • Club match on 5/26. I expect to be top 3 of 20+ Production shooters and top 3 of ~20 CO shooters.
  • The classifier for both divisions should easily be A class with patient shooting. The hero or zero game is building bad habits for me as I tend to zero a lot more. It's not about winning the stage, it's about winning the match.

Misc:

  • Reloads are inconsistent. G19X w/ +2 basepads stick a bit inside the grip. Regular G17 mags drop freely. Inconsistency exacerbated due to different basepad angles which change the grabbing position. This causes some adjustment time when switching between rigs.
Edited by CClassForLife
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Sounds like you are about to embark on a very ambitious

journey which will take a lot of effort and dry fire.

 

Wish you well, but not sure you can set a goal to be "in the

top 3 of 20 shooters on May 26".   That will depend on who

else shows up that day, and whether you make a single

bad mistake or have an equipment failure.

 

I'd start with the goal of obtaining your M classification by

year's end.  To do that, I'd get a copy of several of Ben

Stoeger's excellent books.  Once you've digested them,

and can do the exercises, I also recommend that you

take either his 2-day or 4-day course - If anyone can get

you from C to M in a few months, it's Ben.

 

I'd hold off on next year's goals until you achieve this

year's goal.

 

I'll be watching the big match results, looking for your

name.   Hope you make it - good luck.    :( 

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Thanks Hi-Power Jack. I have all of Stoeger's books and recently took one of his classes. Two things that stuck were (1) leaning out of position while shooting and (2) respecting the targets.

 

My current classifications honestly sandbag my skill level. Since I started USPSA less than a year ago, I keep having the hero or zero mentality when the buzzer goes off during classifiers. That needs to change and improvement here signals consistency. I normally place among the A-GM ranked shooters at my club. The best of them are about 75% of Stoeger and Michel at national level competition. I also understand that each % improvement gets progressively more difficult and this journey sounds ridiculous. But hey, many have gone further to prove a point.

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As mentioned earlier, I shot a club match twice today (5/23/2020). Production in the morning and CO in the afternoon.

 

Stated goals:

  •  Top 3 of 20+ Production shooters and top 3 of ~20 CO shooters.
  • The classifier for both divisions should easily be A class with patient shooting.

Actual results:

  • 2/20 Production (84.61%), 4/20 CO (84.53%), 28/100 and 15/100 Overall
  • Classifier 19-01: 6.2127 (A Prod) and 2.9639 (D CO)

Takeaway:

 

I went into the match with the focus of maintaining visual patience. I did quite well shooting steel today but nearly every penalty was the result of trying to shoot partials on the move. Towards the end, I lost focus due to fatigue and had poor visualization preparation on my CO stages (failure to engage a wide open target and eating 2M + Proc for it). Gonna let this match percolate for a few days and decide on the next lowest hanging fruit.

 

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Nice work. I am happy to see you using takeaways in your shooting. I hope to have the same positive attitude when I start shooting steel/USPSA in the next couple months (I am a total noob).

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@Rugbyrat Join the earliest competition you can find. Be safe and have fun. Most new shooters are afraid of looking bad and have the mindset of wanting to reach some perceived level of competency before competing. The funny thing is, those same shooters would have most likely made faster progress by competing first then seeing what to work on. 

 

My Backstory:

I'm relatively new to shooting as well. Shot my first gun in 2018 and got one for myself later that fall. No idea how to hold the gun correctly, but at least I was accurate with a single shot. I was not afraid to try everything (Center Axis Relock is not so good for competition shooting...). Also, if I didn't hit where I wanted, I always blamed myself. The issue is never the gun. I devoured anything handgun related and stumbled upon practical shooting. I paid for a USPSA membership before even attending my first match in July 2019. I knew that this sport was going to be an obsession going in.

 

Now, some might wonder, why the heck would I choose a G26. Originally, I was practicing doubles with my G19 and thought to myself "man, my G34 is so much easier to shoot." Then, the realization hit me. The issue is never the gun. I thought about my collection and remembered I couldn't hit anything with my G26. I was so bad with it that I put it aside and didn't touch it for months. My form completely changed during that time, and I gave it another go. Funny, it hits exactly where I'm looking. Mechanically, the gun is just as good as its bigger counterparts, but the reason I didn't see it at first was due to my ego. It had to be the crappy gun, because I'm obviously amazing as a shooter.

 

Don't get me wrong, there are days where I lose faith in this journey. One of the first big stumbling blocks was learning to reload the G26 consistently fast. Anyone who has a subcompact with a chopped frame knows every step is harder.

  • Hope the magazine doesn't snag on your palm when releasing
  • Hope the fresh magazine doesn't jam into your palm when inserting
  • Hope the fresh magazine is angled perfectly as any semblance of a mag well doesn't exist in this universe

I'm estimating I've done over 50K+ reloads to where I can consistently get sight picture -> reload -> sight picture with a firm shooting grip @ 1.2 seconds. I'm thinking it will take another 150K+ reloads to shave 0.2 seconds.

 

My hope is that one day I can bring my skill level to where the title of this journey is unquestionably true in my soul. That's what drives me to keep practicing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Finally got a reloading press and hot dayum, the Dillon Square Deal B is a sleeper. Picked one up to tide me over until I move and didn't expect to make almost 600 rounds per hour. Thanks to a local GM beast for setting it up.

 

I was able to shoot two matches in the last two weeks. The lack of live fire practice is showing on my follow up shots. I've decided to change my grip to a Grauffel-esque style and focus on how my sight picture dances during recoil. There seems to be a slight improvement in recoil management by hooking my index figure on the trigger guard, though, the proximity to the muzzle is a bit unnerving on the G26.

 

Now the biggest area for improvement is going to be position exit. GM says I need to avoid drop stepping and start to lift the foot in the direction I want to go. This is like how a running back or point guard initiates a crossover. By lifting the foot and powering off the opposite leg, it's the most efficient way to leave a position. Also, DON'T let go of the gun if I'm not reloading. Always try to maintain a two handed grip moving position to position. It's not about how fast I can go from point A to B, rather how fast I can start shooting. I might start shooting limited minor just to reinforce this point. Perhaps, I might use only 15 round mags for both limited and CO as that's in line with my ultimate objective. Some food for thought.

 

When is the next test?

  • Club match on 6/13, 65-70% of top CO (90% of Max Michel) and 80-85% of top Production (80% of Ben "The Dark Lord" Stoeger)

Oh almost forgot to mention that I got bumped to B class in Prod. The grind continues.

Edited by CClassForLife
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Stated goals:

  • 65-70% of top CO (90% of Max Michel)
  • 80-85% of top Production (80% of Ben "The Dark Lord" Stoeger)

Actual results:

  • 76.85% of top CO
  • 80.89% of top Production

 

Takeaway:

 

I shot inconsistently, but it was the most enlightening match to date. There were moments when I was completely aware. The front fiber glowed like a red dot and I couldn't miss. Or when I saw a mickey mouse steel target in slow motion and knowingly shot it through a no shoot as I couldn't bare to wait the extra millisecond for it to track 4 inches leftward. Other times, I let one misstep fluster me. I literally dropped a full magazine because I thought it was a light primer strike when, in fact, I didn't rack a round in the chamber.

 

Also, I realized my comfortable shooting pace is easily M level. However, I lose that awareness the moment I have conscious thought. The moment I start to think I'm going either too slow or too fast is the moment I lose the present. I'm starting to understand what Enos sees.

 

I'm going to focus on the same thing I mentioned before but with a new perspective. Visual patience is again the lowest hanging fruit. This time around, it's all about nothing. As weird as it may read, I don't have words to describe what I'm trying to convey here. My mind literally goes blank when I think of it. It's as if the mere description of this sense of awareness immediately destroys it. All I know is that I've never had a clearer path to improving as a shooter.

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I love this. Freaking daydream. Get real.

 

Talk is cheap. Doing the things you're talking nonsense about takes more than wishing or praying. You can dry fire and live fire fire 24 hurst's a day but the kind of success you're talking about requires strength, youth, physical condition, foot speed, excellent eye sight, and Lord knows how many other physical attributes. Not everyone has those. Not their fault just real limitations and those are serious when you talk about the kind of success you describe. Ambition is great but goals need to be incremental as one progresses. Good luck.

 

Oh yeah I forgot. It takes money, money and more money to reach these levels.

Edited by Brooke
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On 6/14/2020 at 9:46 PM, CClassForLife said:

Stated goals:

  • 65-70% of top CO (90% of Max Michel)
  • 80-85% of top Production (80% of Ben "The Dark Lord" Stoeger)

 


Where in the world do you shoot that you're expecting to see Max and Ben at a club match?

 

Hopefully I remember to follow this thread to see how this goes for you. You're planning to come up in this sport from zero to best in the world using a compact of all things. And do it in less time then anyone else before you. 6 years from C class to world champion is lofty. Even Stoeger who I think made GM at his first match took him way longer then that to win Worlds, and it's probably harder to do now then it was then. But I don't think that means it's impossible. I'm certainly in the camp of the gun doesn't matter, but the G26 thing might be a little crazy. There is a point where it matters.

 

What does your training schedule look like? Your goals for the next few years seem reasonable, making M isn't hard. I haven't shot Nat's, but top 75 shouldn't be crazy for someone who is M. Most M's finished above 75th last year. The last few years your goals get exponentially harder.

 

Good luck. 

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@Brooke You are right that no amount of wishful thinking is going to get me closer to the level of success I want. Talk is free, I get that. My body is not the issue. The gun is not the issue. Money is not the issue. The only thing is whether or not I have the mental determination to keep improving and continuing with an endeavor that other shooters deem ridiculous. Guess we'll have to see in a few years.

 

@Hi-Power Jack Thanks again for the encouragement.

 

@Racinready300ex I don't expect Max or Ben at a club match. But I shoot with consistent talent. I know what Top 5 Nationals performance looks like and never have I thought that it's unattainable. As for my training relating just to my shooting:

  • Run a 5K daily to maintain cardio.
  • Dryfire with a different mini stage at least 5 times a week (anywhere from 15-60 minutes per session)
  • Livefire at least once a week to experiment with grip and recoil management
  • A double match every weekend to gauge fatigue and to understand how my awareness fluctuates throughout the match

My training isn't that intense, but this is a level that won't burn me out in a year. And yes, the yard stick for success gets much harder as time progresses. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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Holy moly. This was a heavy shooting week. I had indoor practice Monday to Thursday. Worked mainly doubles and target transitions using 1/2 scale IPSC targets at 12 yards. A very interesting observation is that by simply putting a vertical stripe of black tape on each target, my eyes struggle to stay focused on the the middle of the A zone. Suddenly, the shots started drifting towards the black line as if it demarcated the moment I should break the shot when transitioning. This was a good way to teach me sight discipline and to test whether or not I'm actually aware or merely thinking I am.

 

example.jpg.1b7cd1d7147c3238d33b07fbcd34d06a.jpg

 

Friday was spent dry-firing my friend's CZ Shadow 2 with all the brass fittings and boy was it heavy. My G26 felt like a nerf gun afterwards...

 

Saturday was a match day and I shot the AM session in Carry Optics and experimented with the Shadow 2 in Limited for the afternoon. It's crazy how a difference in familiarity affected my match performance. I was bottom of the pack in Limited with enough Mikes to fill an auditorium, yet first in Carry Optics (5 of 102 Overall). Shot a 7 stage match clean (only one to do so that day) and had the visual patience to know I was hitting every shot I took.

 

As for today, I just got back after a seven hour training session in a private bay with two fellow shooters. We set up mini stages using A-zone steel, 6" steel plate, and an assortment of IPSC and USPSA targets. The main focus was movement, particularly staying low and footwork upon entry. Basically, (1) stay low and wide when shooting on the move and (2) let the second to last step do the majority of the stopping so that the final step is light. It was good to see I was just as fast and accurate as a GM and M. Just gotta keep on improvin'

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some takeaways:

  • I drove 8 hours to Yosemite, hiked the next day for 8 hours, immediately drove back home the same day, slept for 5 hours, and then had back to back matches. It was a good experience to feel the mental and physical exhaustion. First time I didn't feel like shooting, and it took me a bit to regain a positive attitude.
  • It was fantastic to see where I stand against a world class shooter. As expected, Nils won every stage. I got destroyed on fast stages and it didn't help that most stages were 40 rounds (my current mags go up to 19 so I got to do 2 reloads to his 1). My best stage was the only one with steel and I was 96.28% of his score. My worst was 64.39% due to a NS and being ~4.2 seconds slower.

What to work on next:

  • Keep my gun up through array transitions
  • Greater confidence in my doubles and hosing ability (I need to practice the 2x2 array presentation and get used to blasting it, 8 shots and a draw in under 2 seconds is a minor goal here)
  • Maintaining a positive mindset and stop feeling rushed (a stage is only 20 or so seconds long, why feel the need for speed?)

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some good lessons:

  • Always check which guns you bring to the match. I somehow brought the wrong G26 and wrong backup G19. First time I pulled the gun up to my eye and thought my dot broke.
  • If I cannot change something about my equipment, then I should learn to embrace the suck. Would I rather shoot or not? Stop complaining and just shoot.

Takeaways:

  • Shooting at Stoeger's accuracy is hard. I tried to shoot a match with as many alphas as possible. Ended up with 96% (181 / 14 / 1 / 1 - A/C/D/M). This is still below the 97% Stoeger managed to shoot at the Great Plains Sectional (210 / 16 / 1 - A/C/NS). This tells me how accurate I need to be. In order to win a major, I need to maintain this accuracy and go 3+ seconds faster per stage.
  • My moving reloads are hot garbage. Dry fire while being aware of my grip angle is all I need here. I have a tendency to over cant my handgun when I move laterally to reload.
  • I need to work on leaving an upright shooting position. I feel like a tree that's just been chopped and the initial moment it takes for gravity to work its magic.

Readjusting subgoals:

  • I don't care about making M class, I know where I stand. My comfortable shooting pace is M as of right now. If my matches happen to have enough classifiers, then I will be classed accordingly. If not, then I'll look like a sandbagging C class.
  • I'm going to move my 2022 subgoal forward two years. If work allows, then I will shoot CO nats this year. Top 25 is reasonably within my ability.
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Some thoughts while following.

My opinion only...

 

1 There is just nothing better than ramming that fresh mag in and catching that little fat part of your hand in there! Oh yeah!! (in regards to above O.P. post)

 

2 Henry Ford said, "If you think you can or you think you can't you're right"  Goals are great. Ish.

 

3 one can only speculate at this point where such a quest will lead.

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3 hours ago, waktasz said:

...why use the g26?

Didn't anyone learn anything from Jurrasic Park movies? Just because we can, doesn't mean we should......

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3 hours ago, waktasz said:

I have to ask...why use the g26?

 

It's my favorite gun. I happen to also think it's the best competition gun for me as it's very easy to diagnose when I'm doing something poorly. My grip is very different than most people's due to this. My support hand thumb floats higher than the top of the slide for example.

 

2 hours ago, Dr. Phil said:

Some thoughts while following.

My opinion only...

 

1 There is just nothing better than ramming that fresh mag in and catching that little fat part of your hand in there! Oh yeah!! (in regards to above O.P. post)

 

2 Henry Ford said, "If you think you can or you think you can't you're right"  Goals are great. Ish.

 

3 one can only speculate at this point where such a quest will lead.

 

Opinions are great! You're free to encourage, trash, speculate, throw popcorn, or w/e your heart desires. I'm just posting my journey to track my thoughts. Everything else is a bonus. Y'all already know where I'm speculating this will end up 😉.

 

12 minutes ago, rowdyb said:

Didn't anyone learn anything from Jurrasic Park movies? Just because we can, doesn't mean we should......

 

You're Newman and the G26 is the Dilophosaur. Since you have one, the venom is already on you. Resist all you want Rowdy, it's already too late...

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On 7/5/2020 at 6:52 PM, CClassForLife said:

Shot against Nils Jonasson, scored 81.51% relative to him. Essentially the same points, but he's 23% faster

Shooting against top names at locals is nothing like shooting against them at Nats if you're trying to compare yourself. Very often they're doing things at locals that are not for score optimization. It is good to have data and track your progress, but an N=1 is a small sample size. Compare your performance to theirs at Area and Nat matches to get a truer standing.

 

I do agree that where you currently shoot you are around a lot of great shooters and can see what "good" really is. And that Jon is helping you is good. Carry Optics is very big where you're goign to be moving to, so hopefully you can continue an upward trend.

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17 hours ago, CClassForLife said:

Top 25 is reasonably within my ability.

I was 22nd overall at 2018 Optics nats as a part time CO shooter, so I actually agree with you that it is possible.

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