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Just a quick opener <yeah, right :rolleyes: >. As I posted in Z's thread I have often used postings on Benos as a kind of journal, keeping track of goals, personal bests, and working on new ways to turn a weakness into a strength.

The sub-title "shooting the last match better, next time" is kind of an old joke about preparation, and a warning. You want to learn from your mistakes, failures and "less than outstanding" performances, but you also don't want to get stuck looking backwards. Work on what needs to be strong, but also make sure you're addressing your weak areas.

I'm starting this thread on a bit of a down note, I shot my worst match in two years last weekend, probably 25-30% off a normal performance. A lot of things came together, including a complete lack of practice for two months since the sectional, but I'll be addressing those concerns over the next few months.

The FL Open is in about 8 weeks, and I would like to shoot a solid match. Seems like a simple goal, but I've shot that match three or four times and have yet to even have a "normal" match. I have plenty of excuses, and they make sense when you here them, but "objectively" I think it's a lack of proper prep and focus on the big season opener.

Here's what my FL Open history looks like....kinda funny actually.

2002 got my master card in the mail two days before the match, same week PaulW made G. I wasn't ready, had no idea how to prep for a big match and just kinda wandered through it. Still, I finished dead smack in the middle of the pack of "M's" in attendance.

2003 missed the match for travel, but did actually walk around and say howdy for a couple hours one day.

2004 No gun left me borrowing the "link breaker 2000" and I went down the dark path for a few weeks in prep, SPEED ONLY, I had my best bill's, draw's and plate racks (until a few weeks ago). Oddly enough between the rattle trap of a gun I borrowed and my go for broke speed, the 12-20y amoabas found my attempts humorous at best. UGLY match.

2005 came up from Bolivia on leave. I had prepped hard, and felt ready. I took a 3-day TJ course that freaked my brain out, I changed guns five days before the match to one that shot 4" low @ 15y, and shooting borrowed ammo WENT MINOR!!!!

2006 Prep was spotty. MAJOR car Trouble day before the match and throughout. My head was not on straight to say the least. New, main gun was off being plated. I shot the older, black one. I also switched mags from standard 17 rounders to 140mm 20 rounders, it's a high cap match after all. Anyway the 140's hit the un-shaved slide stop in the old gun and locked the gun open 5 or 6 times in the first four stages. So I switched back to the shorty mags I knew would work, and commenced running the gun dry as my brain still counted to 20/21 and the gun stopped at 17/18. The wheels fell off from there and the finish wasn't pretty.

So, how to prep for 07?

I think, and I am happy to hear other opinions, that the way to prep for FL Open is on 15-25y amoebas with "spot" movement. Not box to box, or port to port, but throw a shotgun hull down and step on it. The shooting spots at FL Open are not usually ports or boxes, they are usually "spots". The targets are also not normally arms length, and you need to get used to seeing that polygon at 15-25y.

more later....

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I'm starting this thread on a bit of a down note, I shot my worst match in two years last weekend, probably 25-30% off a normal performance.

Just a thought, Eric.. There's a reason why quite a lot of us consider local matches to be glorified practices... ;) How you play in the scrimage doesn't matter compared to how you play in the big game... Leave the notion of a "bad match" behind - especially w/ the local stuff - and instead focus on making it dress rehearsal, and pick out things to work between now and Feb... ;)

A lot of things came together, including a complete lack of practice for two months since the sectional, but I'll be addressing those concerns over the next few months.

Just went through the same thing, myself - no shooting (or even dry fire :blink: ) since the Open Nationals until a week and a half ago, and then only two dry fire sessions and one live fire practice, half of which was spent sighting in a new scope... ;) Give yourself a break, and just get back on the horse and enjoy riding for a little bit :D

Little idea Eric. Don't change anything from now till the match!

Even though this seems blindingly obvious... :D There's nothing wrong with shooting gear that's a known quantity that works... Be confident, instead, that you're doing the best thing for your game and making the best choices to meet your goals by keeping a consistently working set of gear that you use for practices, and keeping the gear changes to only absolute necessities in the weeks before a big performance. Otherwise, you're saying "No" to your goals... and "Yes" to your ego... ;)

As an example - today's match that I shot had, like, 3 stages in the 24 round area. I don't currently have a working big stick I can trust (my SPS tube isn't quite 100%, yet, and the tube I just bought off Bob Hanna is under the Christmas tree for another week... <_< ). So, instead of betting on the SPS tube working (its working about 95% of the time...), I shot small mags, and reloaded on every stage - and won the match. Had I bet on the SPS tube, well... chances are it would've worked, but... what if it hadn't??? I feel good about that choice, and being able to trust my gear and my resulting tactics was a big confidence boost...

Anyhow... feel free to yell at me on my thread... :D Your input is always welcome, mano...

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So, how to prep for 07?

I think, and I am happy to hear other opinions, that the way to prep for FL Open is on 15-25y amoebas with "spot" movement. Not box to box, or port to port, but throw a shotgun hull down and step on it. The shooting spots at FL Open are not usually ports or boxes, they are usually "spots". The targets are also not normally arms length, and you need to get used to seeing that polygon at 15-25y.

more later....

+1

I couldn't agree more on that theory.

Sounds just like this years match. ;)

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Remember that a match is only a test,

your practice is your preperation or homework you do to be prepared for the test!!!!

so don't expect to do better at a match then you do from practice,

just shoot your game! no more no less

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Hey Eric, It has a lot to do with your mood and attitude going into it. Stay positive.

Jeff deGracia showed up last Sat at St. Aug. talking about how good things were going and the great things that were happening with his job. He stated that he felt great and was going to have a good match. Below are the results.

Oh yeah, deGracia "NEVER" practices.

just food for thought.

<h1 align="center">DECEMBER 2006</h1> Match Overall Results Place Competitor USPSA Class Division PF Cat Match Pts

1 WILDS, DAVID A30555 M Open Major 643.3337

2 DEGRACIA, JEFF A56592 M Lim Minor 635.5349

3 LAMBERT, RAYMOND L1425 M Open Major Sen 608.9818

4 Weber, Larry TY22427 A Open Major 598.3364

5 Sullins, Dave A48800 B Open Major 568.6230

6 Dickerson, Kenny TY44332 B L10 Major 566.0264

7 KIRBY*, KEN TY37747 A Lim Major 555.0090

8 COOK, DANIEL A43119 B Lim Major 518.6677

9 FESSLER, JIM FY29424 B Open Major Sup 513.1411

10 BRUCAT, PJ A49501 B Lim Major 505.1059

11 HEATHERLY, ROGER A49127 B Lim Major 497.7920

12 SKEAN, BRUCE TY56683 C Pro Minor 480.7811

13 Kocs, A Rob TY41975 A Pro Minor 480.6718

14 DEGUIRE, MIKE TY31727 B Open Major Sup 475.9598

15 Tice, Jim A7739 A L10 Major Sen 450.3095

16 HOSEY, RICHARD TY41486 C Lim Major 448.5983

17 HAMMOND*, MAC TY42104 A Pro Minor Sen 444.1719

18 HARGETT, TOBY A39389 A Open Major 439.1419

19 LOVELACE, FRED TY39978 B Lim Major Sen 434.8226

20 WILKERSON, GENE A55594 C Pro Minor 431.1686

21 Breckenridge*, Steven L2500 U L10 Major

423.0658 22 GORDON, JAMES A57626 C Pro Minor

412.2923 23 FARRULLA, MARIO TY41739 B Open Major

409.9647 24 REDMOND, TOM A42300 B Lim Major

409.7113 25 DIX, JOEL A21794 B Lim Minor

401.3825 26 CHRISTIAN, CHRIS A55647 U Pro Minor

378.0349 27 COLON JR, NELSON A50069 C Lim Major Jr 375.2017 28 WILLIAMS, DAVID A21833 B Lim Major

350.3578 29 COLON, NELSON TY32791 B Rev Major

348.1017 30 MAUCK, CLARENCE

U L10 Major

332.6368 31 Dufel, Frederick A54024 C Pro Minor Sen 328.9962 32 STRAYER, JOHN A57786 U Rev Major

327.9603 33 STANCHICK, STEVE A57081 D L10 Major

319.3180 34 COLON, FRANCISCO A50068 C Lim Major Jr 318.3333 35 HINES, KELSEY L2748 U Pro Minor

315.6656 36 WIRES, ROY

U L10 Major Sen 304.3234 37 HEAGY, MIKE A49368 U L10 Minor

303.4432 38 PESA, VLADI A57151 C Lim Major

296.9562 39 MARTIN, NATHAN

U Lim Minor

291.3992 40 BIERMIAN, GORDON TY40327 C Open Major Sup 266.9444 41 Johnson, Robert TY46319 D L10 Major Sen 265.9651 42 DEYO, CURTIS

U Lim Major

260.0590 43 CYR, CHRISTOPHER A57128 D Lim Minor

249.5524 44 DIAZ, FRANK A46272 D Pro Minor

230.5975 45 DILLINGER, LARRY A48650 D L10 Major

223.6686 46 PAUL, KEN A56449 U Pro Minor

198.4503 47 STRAYER, TERRI

U Pro Minor Fm 196.9771 48 EIDSMORE, CHRIS A57472 U Pro Minor

191.9225 49 HARST, BRIAN

U Pro Minor

151.6004 50 WARE, FRITZ

U Rev Major Sen 137.2576 51 KERR, MARK

U Rev Minor

133.9717 52 DIAZ, CHRISTA Pen U Pro Minor Fm 133.5663 53 ELSON, JAMES

U Pro Minor

130.6816 54 WHITE, JONAS

U Pro Minor

122.3979 55 STONE*, KENNETH A4349 B Open Major Sup 114.9127 56 REID, CHASE

U Lim Minor Jr 101.8028 57 POWERS, JIM

U Pro Minor

86.3982 58 BOOTHE, OVA

U Lim Minor

46.2282 59 KLOEPPEL, CHRIS TY48360 C Lim Major Sen 0.0000 60 MCLENDON, TIMOTHY L2843 U Lim Minor

0.0000

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Finally got out for a light practice today, maybe 150 rounds, partials, slowing down to see what I need to. Started my wife on the .22 also.

I'm back to using the little "standard" mags, and I'm gonna play around with a shorter length trigger insert. I'm not trying to change a bunch of things, the mags are all I have right now, and I like the feel of the trigger. Right now, I want to break things down to the basics, and not shoot from memory or habit, I want to have to slow down and focus on doing things right, learn some new habits, good ones.

As another aside, I tried running some quick little lateral sprints blasting out of a position and slowing quickly for a smooth entry. I have focused so much on smooth, I've completely lost fast. So, I did 15 minutes on the "cross trainer" then played around with the sprints, then 15 more minutes on the machine.

Gosh am I out of shape. Long story short, I'm sore. :mellow:

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ES

I think you’ve got the right idea regarding ‘spot’ movement. I’ve only shot the Open twice but seen the stages on match day or a month later for a Mini Open local match – many times.

Often on Frank’s stages there are 2x2inch boards laid down to define the humongous “shooting area” and they are tacked down with big railroad-size nails. Often a good Spot to see & hit multiple semi-concealed targets is easy to see from behind the tape, it’s easy to visualize & to program into your stage plan. For a back fault line, it’s often a simple matter of putting your right heel just to the inside of THIS nail, or for front fault lines it’s just put your left foot’s toes just outside of THAT nail.

Same goes for the boardwalk stages – find the correct plank & look at it often while making your plan. Same goes for the waist-high charge lines – you know – ribbon held up by metal stakes. It’s like, hug the outside tape, run & put your right heel just past THAT stake.

At the Mini Opens I’ve had Leo or someone similar clearly explain the best possible way to shoot the stage. And I’ll look back to where the spectators and on-deck squad had to stand back in February. I’ll think, how in the world can you see this plan from back there, how can you possibly figure that out in 5 minutes.

Usually there’s one or two Total Stress-Out stages, meaning all 17 of your squad-mates try to stand on the same Sweet Spot for the entire 5-minute walk-thru, and you may not get to see it. A key thing here is that often there is a straight-up way to shoot the stage that has more running, more positions, more exposed targets, and quicker splits. Yeah it’s not as quick as the Sweet Spot plan but if a dozen people speaking 4 languages are all crowding out the Spot, you might as well use all 5 minutes coming up with a plan YOU can see.

EN

PS - read Brian's guidelines, okay here's my practice suggestions: Take the time to make dryfire targets that are BROWN and diamond-shaped. Shoot only on amoebas, only at 10+ yards out. Listen to Chris Tilley's interview on Burkett's website. I had my best shoot on the move hits in a match EVER at the last Frostproof match after working on CT's technique for maybe 10 days, all dry-fire. The improvement was bleeping stupid. Forget your feet and call your shots. Funny thing is it's on my 1994 Burner tapes too...

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EricN, Chris is lurking on this thread as I write this, maybe our new National Open champ will diegn us with a little post.

Tell us how you move champ!!!

BTW....EricN, I passed you leaving the range this past weekend, you stomped the field so I'm anxious to hear about that movement stuff...

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Been a couple weeks since I posted here. Odd times afoot.

I'm going to take a little break, maybe couple of months. I'm kinda sad I'll be missing the killer spring Season we have here in Florida, added sorrow at missing Area 6 and the SSC again. Well, *sigh* maybe next year.

I'm hoping to put together a Max and TT class late Spring as a way to jump back in. With a little luck I will come back full force, fresh and free, ready to gear up for a good Fall season and Nats.

(I'll post about the Max and TT class elsewhere, pm me if you are SERIOUS).

Anyhoo, ciao for now...

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So.....

three days after "the break" started, the wife decides I'm a bigger psycho when I DON'T shoot, go figure. So PaulW brought my stuff to the range, I borrowed mags and had a blast!!! This is a really fun game. I got squadded with a bunch of friends and remembered how much fun things can be.

The stages were great, as they always are at Titusville. It was hot, I dropped 80 points in penalties (mostly brain fades) plus the associated points dropped with Mikes, but I really had fun. I won two stages over the field including the Open guys, had two more with the winning times (and brain fades) and put up a 2.22 / 29 pt Bang and Clang, that Ohio says is 107%.

I ran past targets and screwed up plans a little, had to back up for one but overall just enjoyed a nice 85 degree January Day in Florida with my buds.

As a positive side note, I seemed to do the hard things well, and made my mistakes on the easier stuff. For Example, on one stage I dropped two deltas on targets taken from a static, start position, maybe 8 yards away, then blazing through the stage I shot the two hardest targets, probably 16 and 20y away, moving into the last position; both of them snake eyes alphas. Go figure. ;) I have no idea what it means and if I should be disgusted or encouraged. But like I said, I had a blast!!!

At one point, after as the squad watched mouths agape in disbelief, as yet again I did something completely other than the course design, and my own plan, rather than scowl or cuss I just unloaded and showed clear before asking loudly if "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???" Somehow it seemed to fit the day. This also seems a better tagline than "I have a man-crush", hint, hint. <_<

Lastly, and by no fault of my own I won HOA Limited, squeaked in sideways actually but what the hell, I'm back having fun and a win's a win.

I have my stuff back, so it's time to load and dry fire.

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... Chris is lurking on this thread as I write this, maybe our new National Open champ will diegn us with a little post.

Tell us how you move champ!!!

I've only seen him shoot on a couple videos clips, and from the little bit I got to hang out with him (when he was in Tempe with Henning) - Chris seems like the kinda guy that knows how to get the job done.

be

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Zhunter and I got out to practice finally.

what a gorgeous day!! About 65 and CLEAR. Light, cool wind. I wish it was like this every day.

My shooting after so much time off was a little spotty, but that's why they call it practice.

We are working the amoebas to try and prep for FL Open, and they take some re-aquainting to say the least.

We ran a nice little draw test on partials at varying distances and then settled in for some fun on a very classifier like speed array. He has some vid of it, and I will post it somewhere else. It's a simple array, three poppers at about 9y, and two "A-Only" Zebra targets at about 14y.

I missed a lot of draws on those close poppers, but must've hit ten in a row within a .01 sec of .85. It seems that today at least that was my draw speed on a popper. I guess .85 to a 9y popper from kydex, hands relaxed is still respectable.

Best draw was a .78 on my 2nd best run.

I think Jay got my best on video, and it shows the array, so it will make for a nice thread about drills for people to set up and post.

Lastly, we ran the "partials", like I used to in Boliva, and WOW have I lost that one since I left. I used to hose that thing in around 2.0 clean, and never got there today. I'll look up my old times, but let's just say I have eye speed and sight trust work to do.

We did run it as a "once across" and also as a VP, and I am happy that even sans dry fire, draw and reload were pretty close.

I good day, about 200+ rounds and got the juices flowing for the next time....

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I met some ROTC guys at the range yesterday and demo'd some stuff for them, tried to help them on grip and stance, they were all fired up to come try IPSC.

I was talking about our game and what I need to do to be competitive at this level or with that equipment. There was a popper 10y away and I explained the timer, and that I needed to be able to draw and hit that in about a second reacting to the beep.

They asked for a demo and the first draw I hit was a .80, which is FAST for me warmed up. Whatever the reason, I acted like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. :rolleyes:

:angry: HEY!! Blinds squirrels find nutz too!! :P

So today work got in the way of a full match, but I shot well on the three I got to shoot, I think my times were second behind PaulW and his open gun, and my ethargic run on 99-33 "Raw Deal" marks the third time I've "hunned" that classifier in as many tries (Dec 04, Nov 05 and now Jan 07).

I intended on shooting the special classifier tomorrow in Frostproof, but work got in the way.

Still, I feel like I'm on a little bit of a roll, two matches back, and two 100% classifiers. No real practice, so it must be love of the game holding me up. :wub:

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I came home and ran the numbers, and for about two hours actually thought I had made GM, that next time it posted I would come out at about 95.4%. I overlooked which ones they drop off though and I don't think I'll make it this month. :unsure:

I think it's time to adopt PaulW's attitude about a watched pot never boiling. I have not "grandbagged" any classifiers, just run them once in the match under normal conditions. Like PW says, it'll happen when it happens, quit trying to MAKE it happen. Just shoot.

Thanks Bud, I hate it when you're right all the time. <_<

(Oh yeah, and my length was off. Die loosened up, oal was out over 1.260" :wacko: )

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyhoo, I just got back from the local match at CFRPC / Weewahootee, and I am STILL having a blast!!! I have got to find a way to hang on to this mindset. I am shooting significantly better than I did at the nationals when I was practicing 2-3 times a week, and right now I am NOT practicing. Something about having fun and being relaxed, or maybe it's just starting to gel after I quit "trying" so hard. :rolleyes:

Daniel / BigBadaboom just called to tell me I was HOA for the MATCH, which is the first time that's happened in a Loooonnngg time, especially with Open M's and GM PaulW in the field. I'll have to see the scores to believe it, but it was a good, fun day overall.

I shot shot 3 Deltas all day, all coming into positions, just laziness. Other than that I missed a reload and fired four extra shots on steel. There was a lot of steel, little key-hole plates, and mini poppers, and I slowed down to shoot them almost one for one all day.

I am sorry I got lazy on the classifier and dropped a Delta coming in. It's 99-10 "times two" and Ohio says I come in at 99%+. <_< Dum ole' 1%, I was hoping to make GM on all 100's..... :D yeah, don't hold your breath on that one. But, my gorilla math says I should still make it next update. (update, my gorilla math says I squeak in at around 95.29%, can any math types, you know, white and nerdy, confirm this? I'm L-2443, take my scores and run them with 2x100% and 1x99.09%. Thanks....)

Yeah, as in the day before the season opener in Frostproof. :huh: DOH!!! well, be careful what you wish for :rolleyes: .

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Zhunter and I got out to practice finally.

We ran a nice little draw test on partials at varying distances and then settled in for some fun on a very classifier like speed array. He has some vid of it, and I will post it somewhere else. It's a simple array, three poppers at about 9y, and two "A-Only" Zebra targets at about 14y.

I missed a lot of draws on those close poppers, but must've hit ten in a row within a .01 sec of .85. It seems that today at least that was my draw speed on a popper. I guess .85 to a 9y popper from kydex, hands relaxed is still respectable.

Best draw was a .78 on my 2nd best run.

I think Jay got my best on video, and it shows the array, so it will make for a nice thread about drills for people to set up and post.

Here's the vid from ZHunter / Jay, set it up run it, I'll post in another thread for times if anyone wants to.

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?...mp;#entry505559

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Daniel / BigBadaboom just called to tell me I was HOA for the MATCH, which is the first time that's happened in a Loooonnngg time, especially with Open M's and GM PaulW in the field. I'll have to see the scores to believe it, but it was a good, fun day overall.

I did edge out "Sempai" PaulW by well less than a point, and he called to congratulate me on it. The guys a class act and has kept my head screwed on reasonably straight throughout an.... "interesting" year.

Place Name USPSA Class Division PF Lady For Age Points Stg %

1 Stanley, Eric L2443 M Limited Major N N 491.3464 100.00%

2 Whitacre, Paul TY35773 GM Open Major N N 491.1695 99.96%

3 Janowicz, Derek FY24894 M Open Major N N 421.2594 85.74%

4 Lawson, Ed L415 M Limited Major N N Senior 413.1812 84.09%

5 Nowak, George TY6444 B Open Major N N Senior 407.8843 83.01%

6 Selvetti, Mike TY56101 A Open Major N N 405.1875 82.46%

7 Lambert, Raymond L1425 M Open Major N N Senior 403.2002 82.06%

8 Shim, Paul TY31824 B Open Major N N 392.7454 79.93%

9 Miller, Bill L1142 A Open Major N N Super Senior 384.2178 78.20%

10 Bennett, Bruce A9882 B Open Major N N 381.6035 77.66%

11 DeGracia, Jeff A56592 A Limited Major N N 369.2057 75.14%

12 Travers, Jack A11914 A Limited Major N N 364.6192 74.21%

13 Schultz, David TY46637 B Open Major N N Senior 363.2838 73.94%

14 Shim, Jordan A49436 C Open Major N N Junior 358.4830 72.96%

15 Bonham, Jonathan A49352 B Limited Major N N 354.3140 72.11%

16 Kavage, Ted TY23169 B Open Major N N Super Senior 353.4199 71.93%

17 Friedman, Greg A16652 M Open Major N N 350.7139 71.38%

18 Martin, Deon L2730 B Limited Major N N 348.8959 71.01%

19 Donaldson, Bob A7557 M Limited Major N N 347.4751 70.72%

20 Jones, Matt A48690 B Limited Major N N 337.9359 68.78%

21 Cook, Daniel A43119 B Limited Major N N 317.3217 64.58%

77 Shooters (I only pasted the top 20), and all our usual suspects. It's an accomplishment, but I know it was a fluke. "Splits" Whitacre made GM five years ago this month and has trounced the FIELD at matches by about 15% ever since, and on ZERO practice! :wacko: No, dude, seriously, :mellow: the guy never gets to the range except to kick our butts :rolleyes: . "I fear I have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve". (Little ecclectic history quote there for you B) ).

It's some synergistic combination of gained skill, eye to hand gifts, will to win and just love of the sport, but I have MIB checking to see if he's from this planet. <_< It's a good thing he doesn't start practicing regularly and come smoking out of the weeds to snap off a major.

If he quit being a working stiff and got a shooting job, nobody has to like it.

(apoligies for the odd language, when I start elaborating my old hard wired, pool player language kicks in. Sorry for any confusion. End disclaimer.)

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Short practice this morning with ZHunter / Jay.

Car trouble again last night and I am getting sick of it. Just takes the zing out of my step.

We shot partials and I really didn't get going until we backed up to 20y. I just couldn't focus at 10 & 15. Real sloppy, just looking OVER the sights.

We also shot the plates, I put up a sloppy "3", missing #1 @25, another @ 20, and then the third plate on the last run at 25.

Not a great day, but hell a day off with a buddy and bbq afterwards, it's not all bad.

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