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Chewy's training diary


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Using this to maintain a redundant log of practices and matches.


9/27/2020 Carry Optics 

NTXLF Practice day before N. TX Open

2x field courses

1 stage with hands in barrel start and balance beam

1 stage with unloaded start

Good - movement speed, position entry, sight index, plan execution

OK - target focus (noticed myself focusing on the dot a few times instead of targets)

Needs Work - visual patience (need to take the time needed for each shot), reduce emotions (calm down before each stage to prevent rushing)



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North Texas Open

Lvl 2 Major - 14th CO Overall (83.80% of D. Zhang GM)

Goals going into the match: Make sure to have fun while shooting the match. Don't have too much on the mind and make sure to enjoy shooting with new friends.


Observations of the match: Stages were good. Very few really challenging courses, but overall tested the foundational skill of competitors


Good: Stayed calm despite any mistakes made, had fun, maintained stage plan even if I watched another competitor

Needs work: Find ways to reduce stress in stages, transitions [don't rush to the next target, respect the attention each target needs for each shot], target focus [a few instances of focusing on the dot rather than the target], stage planning [learn course layout at the match and not at home, use matchbook for round count and weird start/course positions]

Bad: Trigger pull [had 5 M for an 11 stage match, all but one were due to pushing the trigger left trying to split faster


OVERALL: Just had fun. Jokes were made, lesson learned. Beer, tacos, and company make for a fun time. Goals for the match were met.



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4 hours ago, Whoops! said:

What do you do to warm up before the match?

I'll do a little light cardio of a few short sprints to get my legs moving, and a little dryfire in the safe area with calm reloads. Most locals I actually won't walk stages beforehand. I've noticed in the past that I tend to get extremely nervous when it's my time to shoot, usually overthinking my stage plan, and end up really high strung, and end up either slowing down a lot, or involuntarily move fast while compressed. My goal, after the Double Tap Championship back in July, was to relax and enjoy every match regardless of what happened. I should have a detailed plan for what I want for the 2021 season soon.

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I try to dry fire at home and in the safe area.  Because I can run around and track my dot at home - getting my eyes accustomed to my movement while I do it.


If I have time, I also try to do a high stress activity prior to the match.  Maybe counter strike.  It helps me get accustomed to the high excitement activity and steady my focus.

Edited by Whoops!
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Today was function testing a g35 limited gun for messing around during off season as well as experimenting with grip.


Gen 4 G35 and .40 observations.

  •  .40 recoil is not as bad as some people make it seem. The combination of a gen 4 RSA and factory Magtech 180 gr was very tolerable, more than some competition guns with lower spring rates. This should be more tolerable with competition loads closer to 170 PF rather than a factory 180.
  • Grip does however have a stronger influence for having a predictable direction of muzzle flip.
  • Setup: Gen 4 G35, Vogel sights, ALG Defense Federal magwell, Dawson extended basepads.
  • The ALG Fed magwell didn't do much with helping assist reloads (it doesn't flare out that much), but the brass slug used for mounting does add a small appreciable amount of weight so that it recoils less, but doesn't affect transitions much.


  • I did my normal of resting my weak hand thumb on the front pad of the frame and tried holding it high in the air as if I had a thumb rest on an open gun. I noticed less muzzle flip, indicating a higher thumb is assisting with weak side wrist lock.
    • Will need work, but I'm going to experiment with this throughout the winter.
  • Grip pressures were adjusted between weak and strong hand to allow fast splits without sacrificing recoil control. I have a tendency to grip too hard with my strong hand trying to split faster or rush, preventing good trigger control.

Something to work on

  • Doing transitions I noticed myself following the sight rather than looking at a point on a target and bringing the gun there. This will be worked on in dryfire, both without and with a gun in hand. Improve target focus (I primarily shoot CO)
  • Continuing grip refinement, better use of elbows and chest muscles.
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  • 2 weeks later...

This past weekend I took a Tim Herron 2-day Practical Pistol class. Very informational and practical for students who need that little something to boost their performance.


Background of students

A variety including everyday civilians, a first time class taker, and about 5 USPSA shooters.


Day 1

Familiarization with students

Cold run on stage for diagnosis of strong and weak points.

Student follows up with 2 strong points and 1 weak point. Tim follows up with 2 more strong and weak point each.

Establishing and fixing fundamentals for each shooter.

Drills performed: Establishing grip - relaxing and tensioning weak hand and strong hand. Modified Garcia Dot drill - 3 yards using a scaled A box to simulate 25 yards, first 3 strings of fire were untimed, last 3 are timed, if par and score is met then round count was increased, I went from 6-9-13 shots for last 3 strings. Practical Accuracy including SHO and WHO. Shot calling - placing a shot-up target in front of a clean target and predicting where the shot landed based on what was seen right before firing the shot. Blake Drill to work transitions.

Each student was individually worked with to push limits and increase confidence for speed at distance


Day 2

Another cold run of the stage

Class broken into 2 groups. One bay was setup for man-to-man competition, the other on the stage to help improve the starting section of the stage.


Man-to-man competition

Basically a drag race to see who could exit a position and enter on a target. 1 shot, and best time w/ hit wins.

Stage setup as a mirror. 1 target placed about 7 yards with barrels obscuring the target from the start position. Shooters have 1 foot on their respective start position, given start signal, and must hit the target to score. If a consistent winner is noticed, must apply 2 shots on target.


Individual session with Tim

Groups swapped bays during working lunch. 

Tim worked individually with each student to improve their start position, aggression and hard target entry. My group had prior competition experience and was working on individual deficiencies. Video below.


Tim Herron's Barrel drill

This is to work rhythm. Students have to work movement, timing, and transitions. Students have freedom to choose distance from barrels, shot cadence, but must fulfill the requirements of all A zone hits, and split times within .10 seconds of each other. The draw is free. Forgot to take video of my runs. Came CLOSE, but all runs were just 1 C away from greatness and walking away with his Barrel Drill challenge patch. I had split times averaging 0.55 seconds


Activator sequencing and transitions.

Most students did not have much confidence with activated targets. The one in class we had was a clamshell Max Trap with an exposed head. Tim asked each student to come up with a plan, run it, then had the student run a more difficult array using the same target. As long as the student saw what they needed and had better confidence, Tim gave the student a pass. FORGOT TO TAKE VIDEO AGAIN LIKE AN IDIOT, but still came away with better confidence on transitions with an activated target with an effective par-time.


Graduation stage run.

I included a video of the 3 stage runs I had throughout the class after my individual session. Most people were exhausted and had slightly better scores on their 2nd run of the weekend, but were pushing a higher risk stage run for a better score. I came away this a slightly worse score but could've had a better time; IFSC math was informational to see what would've happened if I didn't have a make-up shot on the clamshell target headbox.


All students walked away from class having learned something they were better at with a recommendation for improvement. At the end, students were asked for positives and negatives of Tim's class, each had something to offer. Everyone enjoyed the individualized feedback. I would recommend this class to anyone, and I would take his Match Clinic in the future.







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3 hours ago, dfwmiket said:

Looks like a great class and very informative. Thanks for sharing vids too.  Keep up the good work!



Very informative. Tim is still in his beginning stages of teaching, so any feedback he gets from students helps him develop his curriculum. He's had repeats who have said each time they attend his class it evolves. Anyone can learn anything and he'll follow up with email. There's also an alumni group on FB which acts as an idea share for sharing vids for peer review, or information regarding anything in practical shooting.


On the bonus side, he said he really wants to do a Dallas class again in the future and possibly make it a regular schedule.

Edited by TheChewycookie
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Simple match prep. Garcia Dot drill. Practiced CM 99-19 (hands on wall, barricade, shot calling, cadence, reloads, transitions).



Collin County USPSA 6th Carry Optics 9th Overall



Match mostly felt pretty good, very close to or at match pace given the new confidence after the Tim Herron class.

Accuracy, transitions, and grip felt excellent.

Need a little bit of work on small pieces of stage plan efficiency, and long range confidence.

Goal for the match was to attack hard while going for good points. Goal met. Back to the drawing board for the 2021 season.




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  • 2 weeks later...


Local hosefest - Shot limited major.

Goal was to observe bad habits when going with hair on fire runs for all stages.


  • I have a tendency to transition early when I want to go faster than my eyes are transmitting info; could be because I'm no longer used to shooting iron sights and having a mental rejection. Could be remedied by locking onto each A zone during transitions and only moving the eye when the shot breaks.
  • Footwork breaks down and I take larger steps to the next position, stutter steps become non-existent.
  • Over-gripping with strong hand and degrading weak-hand grip.


Local Match shooting Carry Optics. No video this time.

Had an "okay" day for a match. Goal: Try to shoot at the 90-95% match pace with As and close Cs.

  • Good - Stuck to stage plans, clean positioning with a low stance.
  • Needs work - need a little bit more stutter step for position entry, a bit more weak-hand grip focus on the gun, long distance shot confirmation (35 yard poppers), center in on A-zone, need to shoot as soon as A zone of target becomes available, "gun up", a bit more aggression on exiting step, and clean-up rounding corners. All of these items were observed during the Tim Herron class I took a month ago, so it definitely needs refinement.
  • Bad - Emotional shooting: 1 noisy and annoying squad mate that got on my nerves for a little bit, resulted in a negative atmosphere. Need to block out external distractions and just focus on my plan and shooting.

Goal was NOT met. Probably only shot about 75-80% of current capability. Will revisit issue of blocking out external distractions, going to try using music during dryfire and just ignoring it. Grip and accuracy should be simple to remedy in dryfire.

Results: 97% of CO winner. 57A 26C 2D 1M

Edited by TheChewycookie
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Local match shooting Limited.

Starting to notice that I'm only shooting somewhat to my capability. Not necessarily pushing or just simply being there, but sorta out-of-mind. Probably end of season burnout and the need for an off season. Next weekend's local match will be the last push for a high note to end the year.

Goal: Push for fast times. 85% of points is acceptable as speed is the focus.


Good - No panicking. Stable shooting on the move and transitions. 

Need work - Support hand grip, and staying low throughout the course of fire. Had a mystery M at 3 feet; was told that I plugged a round into the ground on a Virginia count classifier. (EDIT: upon video review I actually had 4A 1C on left target of classifier)

Bad - Full visualization of stages. Missed a target in the back corner of a stage. Was starting to get mentally fatigued, especially since it was a really windy day and every stage shot had to be reset or rebuilt due to range equipment falling over.


Goals weren't met. 3rd in limited. only 77% of possible points. 




Edited by TheChewycookie
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44 minutes ago, EEH said:

Watching your videos, I love the way you toss or throw your mags all over the range. To funny 😆 

The important thing that I have to remember is to keep it a light toss. I have remind myself that anytime I do that is for keeping it funny mistakes with my range buddies. Anything harder and I realize I have to sit and cool down for about 5 minutes to clear my mind.

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35 minutes ago, TheChewycookie said:

The important thing that I have to remember is to keep it a light toss. I have remind myself that anytime I do that is for keeping it funny mistakes with my range buddies. Anything harder and I realize I have to sit and cool down for about 5 minutes to clear my mind.

The yeet of disappointment. It's an art. Lol. Also, I understand 100%

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It's very similar to the grip demonstrated by Yong Lee.


The important reason I use this grip style is physiology. I just can't get past 75 rounds (even 9mm) without severe muscular strain in my forearm using a traditional or Vogel style grip, like something just wants to torque itself apart in my forearm.


The important pieces that I have to make sure of are exact hand placement, setting my wrists and elbows just to the point of tension in each, and having max grip without shaking in my weak hand. My thumbs are popped up to increase mechanical wrist lock using the tendons, similar to a thumb rest on an open gun.





Edited by TheChewycookie
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That is similar to Tony's grip too. Interesting. I have a clamp grip with my support hand. Most people miss it because the grip doesn't appear much different from a traditional grip. 


I wonder what causes you the fatigue with a different grip.


Also: the lack of an optic on that gun makes me sad.

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1 hour ago, Reds_Dot said:

I wonder what causes you the fatigue with a different grip.


Also: the lack of an optic on that gun makes me sad.


The fatigue I'm guessing is caused by genetics. My brother has recently switched to a similar grip due to the same muscle fatigue.


The lack of optic is because this is a new match gun. SRO 2.5 MOA comes in very soon.

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6 hours ago, TheChewycookie said:


The fatigue I'm guessing is caused by genetics. My brother has recently switched to a similar grip due to the same muscle fatigue.


The lack of optic is because this is a new match gun. SRO 2.5 MOA comes in very soon.


Fair enough. Everyone is a bit different. I'm just fascinated by the differences and the reasons behind them. 


Why a 2.5moa?

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