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Matt Cheely


Matt Cheely
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Ok, I'll jump on the bandwagon as it sounds like fun. I'll post in here as I come up with what I think has gotten me to where I am in an effort to help out everyone else.

I will warn you that I don't like to be told how to do things and I often find my own way. Sometimes it ends up being like the other GM's and sometimes not. Since I was a kid I've always learned the hard way, but if I teach it to myself, I know the why, along with the how, all at the same time.

I started shooting IPSC in Febuary 2005, so many of the learning experiences are still somewhat fresh in my mind and I hope I can pull some of that out for the newer shooters.

I'd appreciate it if we'd keep the banter to a minimum (Keen!) and keep it more focused on constructive thoughts.

Edited by Matt Cheely
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So this is something that I was thinking about after I read IronEqulizer's topic about positive thinking and visualization.

When I started IPSC, I had no idea what a proper shooting stance was. I shot like the guys on TV. Thumbs crossed, finger on the trigger guard, head leaned way over looking down my arm, super tense, it was all wrong. And I had shot like this for years and years! After that first match I bought Brian's book, read the first chapeter or so, and flipped right to the technique section :ph34r: . After shooting that first match I quickly learned that I had to move when I was shooting, I couldn't do that. At this point I didn't know that I could dryfire to help my shooting, to me it was just playing around in the basement.

Even though I hadn't realized it yet, I knew inside that my mind was what needed to be corrected in order to shoot properly. I put the gun away after that match and didn't hold it again for a few days as was normal. But I kept thinking about that match and how I had shot. (I can still remember the first stage I shot in detail, the sights, everything) I knew I had to shoot and not be tight. Get my finger off the trigger guard, put the gun where it was infront of my eyes, not my eyes behind the gun.

Guess what. The next time I picked up that gun I didn't even think about it, but my finger was in the right place. And I wasn't all contorted into some crazy stance. I was just standing there with a gun in my hands and it COMFORTABLE! Holy jeez, I didn't know that I could shoot like this. It took me 2 days to unlearn (without dryfire) 10 years of an incorrect shooting stance. I had even taught other people to shoot like I did. It was "the way". Not anymore.

The point is that you don't need to dryfire to change something about your shooting. It is entirely possible to totally correct it in your mind. You see it in your head, so that's how you do it. No question, it just happens.

I'm not saying that you don't need to dryfire and such, but your mind is where everything happens.

Next time you choose something about your shooting that you need to correct, start with changing that aspect in your mind. Don't do it just before you pick up the gun, or as you drive to the range for your practice session. Do it days before, and everytime you think about shooting, you have this "corrected" method in your head. If you did it right, the next time you pick up your gun there will be no indecision about what way is right, it will just happen.

Edited by Matt Cheely
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Ok, actually dryfiring tonight!

Local indoor match tomorrow and I just re-positioned my mag holders to the front. Previously shot a IPSC match in canada and had been practicing with them in "standard" position. Got the pouches back to where they feel comfortable and programmed my head to slap my hand to the first mag instead of my side.

I have no goals at the moment as I'm not training so I've decided to shoot open with a limited gun. There won't be any distance shots, and I'll be able to really go head to head with "Thomas Moore If Possible" for fun.

Practiced some draws and reloads on a 10 yard target, and I feel very comfortable and every thing is going smoothly. I feel that if I keep on dryfiring that I'll try to speed up too much and lose it at tomorrow's match. We will see what happens!

Edited by Matt Cheely
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12-20-2006

Worked on Barrettone's awful mess of mags yesterday. Does everyone else clean their mag tubes? YES. These had powder and lead residue that I could hardly scrape out with a screwdriver! Hmm, I wonder why your mags didn't work... Finished those up after hours and hours, and ran down the the range to test them all. Bullseye league was shooting on the other half of the range so I watched for a while and started thinking about the accuracy required and how I could not win at that sport...

So I decide to just practice shooting some groups at 50'. Keeping them all in a 2" circle or so pretty easily with splits around .75 - 1.00. Ok, now I have a bunch of people watching me cause IPSC guns are cool, I'm function firing quite a few rounds compared to Mr. Bullseye shooter over on the other side, I have 4 of them laying on the table (none of them are mine :( ), and one is an open gun. Need to impress them... Lets see what kind of group I can do at .3 - .4 splits. And presto, same sized group.

Ok lesson of the day, always practice shooting groups! Everytime you go to the range, practice them.

So this is turning into something other than a range diary... :huh:

I am often asked by newer shooters, what is the best thing to practice to increase my overal match score? I automatically say shooting on the move. I'm quickly contradicted by other decent shooters standing around, saying that "The shooter should just try to move fast and stop to shoot. They should practice their fundamentals. Get that draw quicker, or do a 1.0 second mag change, then you'll be ready to shoot on the move." Now I understand that some people do not yet have the ability to effectively shoot while running or walking, but I still find myself telling them to shoot on the move.

They start talking like those shooters, saying "Yea, I should work on my draw, it sucks." I come back telling them "my draw sucks and so do my mag changes, and I can't shoot all that fast either." Of course they don't believe me... But the truth is, I really don't have a smokin' draw, or reload. I get toasted in matches all the time at the speed shoots. Its something I need to work on. "Well then how did you win all those big matches this year?" Bingo, I can shoot on the move. You see their eyes light up as they start to realize that I'm speaking the truth. They think "If this decent shooter, standing right in front of me, can win big matches from shooting on the move, maybe it really will help me."

Now to the why... When they're told to shoot then move, everything becomes very eratic to me. Jerky motion, huge gaping chasms of time from when they stop at a position to when they break the first shot. Looks slow, it IS slow and they don't shoot well anyway. Now tell them to shoot on the move. I don't want to hear any excuses that you "can't shoot well on the move", DO IT! So they try. Now we have the same crappy shooting, maybe even worse, but look, you saw the target so you shot at it. Good for you, you're on your way to GM now! They complain "that was a terrible run, I didn't hit anything." I tell them, "Of course you didn't hit anything. You weren't looking for your sights, you just yanked on that trigger. But wasn't that fast?" The time will inevitably be somewhere from 50-75% of their previous attempts. "Look, you're only 20% off my pace. Now you just need to hit something and you'll be doing great."

What I did was break them of this mental pattern that kept their movements choppy everytime they shot a stage. Now they think that they can shoot at those targets without being dead still. "Now look at your sights and hit something, shoot it again." They do, and they hit something. In fact they usually hit almost as well as they did the first time. But now they're shooting coming into the position, or their feet are moving while they hose the arm length targets instead of trying to stop and go. They look 100% smoother and now their time has dropped considerably. "How did you feel that one went?" They usually liked it. Didn't know that they could shoot the course so darn fast.

Now you really are on your way to GM.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No USPSA practice in the past few weeks, but I did get to light off a mag full of 50 BMG from a Barrett M82A1 this morning. Great stuff to clear out the hangover from New Years! 5lbs of Tannerite is quite spectacular too :ph34r:

Was finally inspired enough to throw together a few videos from this year.

VIDEO

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Still no real practice. More in a "building" phase right now. Hence a picture of how the parts I got for chrstmas are coming together. I'm going to try shooting open again as I think I short changed myself the last time I shot with a dot. I had just started getting into it and then decided to shoot limited. I still like iron sights much more, but we'll call this an experiment. Maybe I won't like it at all... :huh: Someone might get a deal then!

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Never mind Matt ........ I just saw the picture. :huh:

What is going on with the C-More ???

I picked up one of the "sideways" mounts to try.

It gets the dot really low, not to mention clearing the ejection window. I also have a STI mount in case I don't like it.

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