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CHA-LEE

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A lot of shooters struggle with optimizing their Target to Target Transitions and I figured I would pull together a video on how to measure and improve that skill. Check it out and let me know what you think.
 
 
Thank you Charlie, that is a great video! Tranditions are my top thing I want to fix right now, so I'm stoked to work on this.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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This past weekend I was an interesting mixture of Cold and Not so Cold weather. Saturday was really cold and no outdoor shooting could be done without freezing. But Sunday was pretty nice with the temp topping out at almost 50 degrees. I took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday by heading out to the range with some friends for some live fire practice. We setup a large field course stage that required a minimum of 39 rounds if you shot everything one for one. This stage had a good mixture of distance steel shots, a Texas Star, and lots of opportunity to shoot on the move. Given the large round count it also required the two reloads in Limited which isn’t very common in matches but gave me some good reload practice as well. I shot about 400 rounds on this stage and it was a lot of fun pushing skills to the limit in different sections. We had 8 mini poppers setup at about 20 yards and those things were destroying everyone including me. I only shot that array of mini poppers clean once out of all the attempts at it. Aiming hard for all 8 mini poppers at that distance while trying to shoot aggressively proved to be a significant challenge. On the other side of the coin, I shot the Texas star one for one most of the time. This was a good practice session which allowed me to experiment with different sight pictures for steel at distance to see which method is more consistent. Ultimately taking my time and aiming hard while shooting slow yielded the best one for one hits on the steel. It’s just hard to accept that the shooting needs to be that slow to produce one for one hits. It’s definitely more fun to sling lead in the general direction of the steel and hope that you get lucky enough to produce some hits.

 

Sunday night I drove up to Longmont to attend the Outlaw practical shooting match at the Trigger Time Gun Club. The stages were pretty straight forward and the target arrays were not that difficult. This was actually a really good thing as the stages were setup with the shooting areas in very poor lighting locations. It was dark enough in there that I couldn’t even see the fiber in my front sight on most of my stage runs. I had to point shoot at the majority of the targets while hoping to get decent hits. This worked out for the most part until the last stage where I had a mystery mike on a really easy target. I didn’t even shoot at this target crazy fast and watching the video on it my split between shots was almost a 30. The hole was a little oval compared to the other hits on targets in the same area so this might have been a legitimate double. But given that this is an “Outlaw” match I didn’t want to push for assessing the hole more closely. If I can shoot accurately enough to put two shots in the same hole, I should also be able to spread them out enough to make two obvious holes. I had one major mistake during this match on the small speed shoot stage. This stage had you stepping on a stomp pad to activate a bobbing target. At the start of the stage I think my foot hit the side of the stomp pad pushing it away a little bit then it wouldn’t activate the target because the top plate was jamming up on the piece of rubber pad holding the whole pad down. I had to step on the stomp pad 3 different times to get it to go off. This wastes at least a second and a half while on a stage that shouldn’t have been much more than 3 seconds total. Oh well, sometimes things just don’t go your way. All you can do is roll with it and push though the suck.

 

Sunday turned into a long day of shooting with practice in the morning and a match in the evening. But it was worth the effort to attend both. In the winter time we have to take full advantage of these shooting opportunities as they are available. Otherwise you simply don’t get to shoot. Hopefully the weather will be nice once again next weekend so I can get some more shooting done.

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1 hour ago, CHA-LEE said:

This past weekend I was an interesting mixture of Cold and Not so Cold weather. Saturday was really cold and no outdoor shooting could be done without freezing. But Sunday was pretty nice with the temp topping out at almost 50 degrees. I took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday by heading out to the range with some friends for some live fire practice. We setup a large field course stage that required a minimum of 39 rounds if you shot everything one for one. This stage had a good mixture of distance steel shots, a Texas Star, and lots of opportunity to shoot on the move. Given the large round count it also required the two reloads in Limited which isn’t very common in matches but gave me some good reload practice as well. I shot about 400 rounds on this stage and it was a lot of fun pushing skills to the limit in different sections. We had 8 mini poppers setup at about 20 yards and those things were destroying everyone including me. I only shot that array of mini poppers clean once out of all the attempts at it. Aiming hard for all 8 mini poppers at that distance while trying to shoot aggressively proved to be a significant challenge. On the other side of the coin, I shot the Texas star one for one most of the time. This was a good practice session which allowed me to experiment with different sight pictures for steel at distance to see which method is more consistent. Ultimately taking my time and aiming hard while shooting slow yielded the best one for one hits on the steel. It’s just hard to accept that the shooting needs to be that slow to produce one for one hits. It’s definitely more fun to sling lead in the general direction of the steel and hope that you get lucky enough to produce some hits.

 

Sunday night I drove up to Longmont to attend the Outlaw practical shooting match at the Trigger Time Gun Club. The stages were pretty straight forward and the target arrays were not that difficult. This was actually a really good thing as the stages were setup with the shooting areas in very poor lighting locations. It was dark enough in there that I couldn’t even see the fiber in my front sight on most of my stage runs. I had to point shoot at the majority of the targets while hoping to get decent hits. This worked out for the most part until the last stage where I had a mystery mike on a really easy target. I didn’t even shoot at this target crazy fast and watching the video on it my split between shots was almost a 30. The hole was a little oval compared to the other hits on targets in the same area so this might have been a legitimate double. But given that this is an “Outlaw” match I didn’t want to push for assessing the hole more closely. If I can shoot accurately enough to put two shots in the same hole, I should also be able to spread them out enough to make two obvious holes. I had one major mistake during this match on the small speed shoot stage. This stage had you stepping on a stomp pad to activate a bobbing target. At the start of the stage I think my foot hit the side of the stomp pad pushing it away a little bit then it wouldn’t activate the target because the top plate was jamming up on the piece of rubber pad holding the whole pad down. I had to step on the stomp pad 3 different times to get it to go off. This wastes at least a second and a half while on a stage that shouldn’t have been much more than 3 seconds total. Oh well, sometimes things just don’t go your way. All you can do is roll with it and push though the suck.

 

Sunday turned into a long day of shooting with practice in the morning and a match in the evening. But it was worth the effort to attend both. In the winter time we have to take full advantage of these shooting opportunities as they are available. Otherwise you simply don’t get to shoot. Hopefully the weather will be nice once again next weekend so I can get some more shooting done.

That outdoor stage looked like a blast.. Steel is my enemy, I'm constantly trying figuring out ways to shot steel more consistently.. 

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The new year started out awesome as I got a call from a buddy that has access to a private indoor range. The range wasn’t being used on new years day so we had it all to ourselves. We setup a fun field course stage with a swinger, a couple of synthetic poppers, and a bunch of paper targets with varying levels of no shoot coverage. I shot that stage several times while trying different levels of shooting aggressiveness. Trying to push the shooting speed on the no shoot partials without bleeding too many points or clipping the no shoots was fun.

 

After that we did some drills on the swinger as well as some movement stuff. The swinger drill was a variant of the Bob Volgel drill where you would engage a swinger coming out from the side on three different passes to see how many shots you could crank out and also how many of those were A’s. This drill varied from the normal one in the aspect that the RO had to pull the activator rope at the start and you had to draw into the first presentation. This made it pretty hard to get a lot of rounds off on the first presentation. It was fun and challenging though. My best run was 17 total hits with 15 of them being A’s and the other two hits were just outside of the A zone.

 

After that we setup a movement drill that I seen on the Shooters Summit from Tim Herron. His drill uses two double stacked barrels to serve as vision barriers and three targets down range a little ways that you have to engage on one side of the barrels, then between the barrels, then finally on the other side of the barrels. The goal in this drill is to keep the gun running the whole time without interruption as you move from one side to the other as you engage the targets. We had to use the target carriers as target stands which separated the targets a little more than they should have been, but that just made the movement between positions more important. We shot this drill a bunch of times and it was a lot of fun experimenting with different movement speeds and distance away from the barrels to keep the gun running the whole time without interruption. It was a good live fire practice session and I was really grateful for the opportunity to shoot that day.

 

When I got home I spent a few hours behind the reloading press to get a couple thousand rounds loaded. I have been accumulating a bunch of wet tumbled brass over the last couple of months so I could get ahead of the reloading curve during the winter months. So far I have stockpiled about 5K of loaded ammo so my stash is built up pretty good. I have filled all of my 100 round count ammo boxes and also filled the empty ammo can’s I had laying around with loaded ammo. While running the press I came up with the hair brained idea to keep at the proactive reloading process until I filled a 5 gallon bucket full with ammo. This is my new reloading goal over the winter months. Focus on reloading ammo to keep up with my live fire practice consumption and also fill a 5 gallon bucket. I am not sure how many total round of 40 ammo will fit into a 5 gallon bucket. Maybe 5K? I also don’t know if I will be able to move that 5 gallon bucket around when it is full as 5K of 40 ammo will be some serious weight. Either way it will be a productive project to tackle that will come in handy during the summer months when the ammo is getting shot at a higher rate than I can reload it.     

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This past weekend the weather was AWESOME for January. It was 62 degrees on Saturday and high 50’s on Sunday. There wasn’t a match scheduled for Saturday so I decided to do some Live Fire training instead. Since I have been working on aggressive acceleration stuff in my workouts lately I figured I would incorporate that into my Live Fire training. I setup a stage with three different shooting positons in a triangle formation that required a decent amount of running between positions then some shooting on the move within each position. I ran the stage at least three times from each shooting area to force different directions of running and angles of entry and exit. This was a really good live fire training session to test my hauling ass between shooting positions skills. I wish I could say that I was able to execute everything perfectly, but that wasn’t the case. There are still some things I need to resolve from a movement perspective but the really cool thing is that even though I was running like a mad man every time I shot the stage, I wasn’t physically whipped out at the end of the practice session. To me, that is the biggest WIN from a workout perspective. I can see the effort I am putting into increasing my mobility and strength during my workouts is paying off in a tangible way. That is really cool to see.

 

On Sunday I attended the PSAC outdoor USPSA match at the Aurora Gun Club. This was officially the first match of 2019 for me. The weather was great that day and I was able to shoot a fairly solid match. The lighting conditions that day were not optimal with the winter sun hanging low in the sky which put almost all targets in a heavy shadow. This made me shoot slower than I should have but that is what was required to get my hits while calling my shots. I had two shooting penalties for the match. The first was a miss on a fairly close partial target where I shot over the top of it. This was 100% due to blasting at the target instead of calling my shots. The second was nicking a no shoot on another partial. I can live with the no shoot nick as it was in one of the really challenging lighting conditions and seeing a solid sight picture wasn’t happening no matter how hard I tried to see it.

 

The really cool thing for me at this match was tackling a somewhat low port without any issues in recoil management. Then I had another shooting position that had me entering in a squatted position to engage one array so I could immediately transition to another array under some no shoots. This squatting position was stable and effective while shooting and I didn’t waste time getting into it. Once again, the working out and improving my mobility paid off in that squatting position. It may sound stupid, but executing that squatting position properly was a huge win for me.

 

I got some good footage of my Saturday Practice and Sunday match posted up on my Big Panda Performance Instagram page. Check it out there if you want to see the Big Panda in action.

 

Tonight I am heading down to Colorado Springs for the Whistling Pines indoor match. It will be good to get some more blasting done.

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Last nights WP indoor match was a challenging one. The majority of the targets within this match were No Shoot or Hardcover partials at pretty good distances for this indoor range. Aiming hard was required or you would be punished accordingly. The shot difficulty plus the indoor lighting made this match a difficult one for the poor Iron Sight shooters. The dot shooters really had an advantage this time around. Difficult shooting or not, it was a lot of fun to attend and hang out with friends. I shot my #4 Limited gun and got a chance to test out my old MBX mags after doing some feed lip clean up on them. I have been using the same set of MBX mags ever since I switched over to the 2011 platform and it was time to give the feed lips a tune up. The top edges of the feed lips were getting pretty dinged up making it hard to measure the width accurately. I did a little bit of filing on the top edges of the feed lips to remove the nicks and then polished up the underside of the feed lips where the rounds register against them. Doing this allowed me to get the feed lip width readjusted back to the 0.385” sweet spot accurately on all of them. Hand thumbing out the rounds from the mags also produced a much smoother sliding movement through the feed lips with all of the nicks removed. Any time I do this kind of mag tuning I am leery of it causing some kind of unknown issues. This is primarily due to all of the mag tuning I had to do with the EAA/Tanfo guns. Luckily for me, they all worked like a champ during the WP match while shooting and feel smooth as butter when thumbing out the rounds after the match.

 

As for my match performance, I was happy with my movement from position to position. I did have a couple of shooting mistakes. The first was racking up a No Shoot, Miss on a decent distance partial. I thought I called the shot good but the hit ended up being a few inches into the no shot. With my shooting glasses and the indoor lighting I can’t see the holes in the targets while shooting the stage so walking up to the target after the run and seeing the no shoot/miss was a surprise. Oh well, that is just part of the “Fun” when shooting indoors in less than optimal lighting. My second issue happened on the last stage of the match which just so happened to be the Classifier called Tick Tock. I have shot this classifier many times in the past and it’s a pretty straight forward table start and load from table stage. When I picked up the unloaded gun at the start I got a super funky grip with my strong hand. My middle finger was pushed forward under the trigger guard and my ring finger was almost touching the trigger guard. This put my trigger finger in a really strange upward biased position and I couldn’t get it readjusted during the stage run. I tried to power through the super crappy strong hand grip but it was causing trigger freeze and strange recoil control. This resulted in an extra hit on one of the targets because of a trigger freeze that happened just as I wanted to transition off of a target. Eating a Miss and Extra Hit penalties on this stage sucked but it is what it is. Sometimes things just don’t go your way.

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CHA-LEE, I run mbx mags exclusively with my 2011 blasters, my feed lips are also ding up, what type of file are you using on the feed lips and what are you using to polish the underside of the feed lips... 

Thanks for your response 

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4 hours ago, Furrly said:

CHA-LEE, I run mbx mags exclusively with my 2011 blasters, my feed lips are also ding up, what type of file are you using on the feed lips and what are you using to polish the underside of the feed lips... 

Thanks for your response 

 

I am using a normal small flat file to knock off the high spots on the inside edge and outside top of the feed lips. Its hard to describe, but where I filed on the feed lips does NOT touch the brass case when a round is registered at the top of the feed lips. Where the brass touches the underside of the feed lips I used a wire wheel on a dremel to polish it up without taking off much of any material. Taking off too much material from the under side of the feed lips where the brass touches can ruin the feed lips. So use caution when working in that area.

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On 12/24/2018 at 10:41 PM, CHA-LEE said:

A lot of shooters struggle with optimizing their Target to Target Transitions and I figured I would pull together a video on how to measure and improve that skill. Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

Hi Charlie!

 

I went to try the single shot transition drill and have a question:  What are my eyes supposed to be doing during this particular drill?

 

I ask because, when I tried this drill, it seemed to make more sense to keep a sharp focus on my front sight and ride it into the target on each swing. 

 

Normally for transitions your eyes get on target first and then the front sight gets on target and finally the trigger, but thought you may be having us do something abnormal to work on the constant motion of the sights versus leading with the eyes.

 

Thanks!

 

-Rich

 

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Posted (edited)

Rich> The answer to your question isn't very black & white as everyone does it a little bit differently based on their vision quality, focal speed and quality of index. But, I will explain what works best for me during the singe shot or double shot drill where I am transitioning the gun horizontally a long distance into a target.

 

First, I keep my head still facing forward with the gun the whole time. The linkage of the head/face pointed forward towards the gun must remain intact. Turning your head away from the gun to "See" the next target is a very common mistake.

 

Second, as I start the transition movement towards the target I move only my eyes to the desired aiming spot on the next target. This can be challenging while keeping your head still because there are many instances where moving only your eyes doesn't give you enough range of motion to actually focus on the destination target. You will likely only see it in your peripheral vision at first then as you start moving your whole upper body towards the target you will eventually be able to see the destination target in direct focus. This is where people start turning their head toward the next target because they want to see it clearly before their whole upper body is moved toward it far enough.

 

Third, while moving my whole upper body towards the target during the transition and focusing on the aiming spot on the target I will move my eyes back towards the sights when the gun is about two target widths away from the destination target. This brings the sights back in focus just before the gun starts to enter the A zone on the destination target so I can fire and call the shot without wasting time "Looking for" the sights. 

 

This process of looking for and focusing on the target then looking back and focusing on your sights is DURING an aggressive transition takes a lot of practice to optimize. I have done it so much over the years that I don't even have to think about it any more and it simply happens on its own. Shooters who have never performed that type of vision switch up process usually find it very difficult to perform when they first try it. For these shooters I tell them to experiment with maintaining a hard target or hard sight focus for a magazine or two, then switch it up to the other focus condition for another couple of magazines. This will at least get them used to driving the gun into and out of the target with very little pause on the target while shooting. Shooters usually like to maintain a hard sight focus at first as that feels "Normal" but they usually struggle with horizontally displaced hits because the target is too blurry to stop the gun in a consistent aiming spot.  

 

As I said at the start of this, what you are focusing on and when will greatly depend on your focal depth change up speed. As we get older, the time it takes for us to move our focus from close to far dramatically increases. Using raw numbers, lets say that it takes 0.25 second to physical moving the gun from one position to another during a transition. If it takes your eyes 0.10 to switch focus from the sights to the destination target, then another 0.10 to switch focus from the target back to your sights this only leaves you 0.05 to "See" the sights properly on the destination target so the shot can be called. While this is possible, that is a very narrow window of opportunity to "Seeing the sights" properly. If your focal distance change up speed is getting slower then its best to maintain a sight focal depth even when you are looking at the target. This can usually be done by using corrective lenses which basically keep you from being able to focus on the target.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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1 hour ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

I am using a normal small flat file to knock off the high spots on the inside edge and outside top of the feed lips. Its hard to describe, but where I filed on the feed lips does NOT touch the brass case when a round is registered at the top of the feed lips. Where the brass touches the underside of the feed lips I used a wire wheel on a dremel to polish it up without taking off much of any material. Taking off too much material from the under side of the feed lips where the brass touches can ruin the feed lips. So use caution when working in that area.

Thank you sir 

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On 1/9/2019 at 11:37 AM, CHA-LEE said:

Rich> The answer to your question isn't very black & white as everyone does it a little bit differently based on their vision quality, focal speed and quality of index. But, I will explain what works best for me during the singe shot or double shot drill where I am transitioning the gun horizontally a long distance into a target.

 

First, I keep my head still facing forward with the gun the whole time. The linkage of the head/face pointed forward towards the gun must remain intact. Turning your head away from the gun to "See" the next target is a very common mistake.

 

Second, as I start the transition movement towards the target I move only my eyes to the desired aiming spot on the next target. This can be challenging while keeping your head still because there are many instances where moving only your eyes doesn't give you enough range of motion to actually focus on the destination target. You will likely only see it in your peripheral vision at first then as you start moving your whole upper body towards the target you will eventually be able to see the destination target in direct focus. This is where people start turning their head toward the next target because they want to see it clearly before their whole upper body is moved toward it far enough.

 

Third, while moving my whole upper body towards the target during the transition and focusing on the aiming spot on the target I will move my eyes back towards the sights when the gun is about two target widths away from the destination target. This brings the sights back in focus just before the gun starts to enter the A zone on the destination target so I can fire and call the shot without wasting time "Looking for" the sights. 

 

This process of looking for and focusing on the target then looking back and focusing on your sights is DURING an aggressive transition takes a lot of practice to optimize. I have done it so much over the years that I don't even have to think about it any more and it simply happens on its own. Shooters who have never performed that type of vision switch up process usually find it very difficult to perform when they first try it. For these shooters I tell them to experiment with maintaining a hard target or hard sight focus for a magazine or two, then switch it up to the other focus condition for another couple of magazines. This will at least get them used to driving the gun into and out of the target with very little pause on the target while shooting. Shooters usually like to maintain a hard sight focus at first as that feels "Normal" but they usually struggle with horizontally displaced hits because the target is too blurry to stop the gun in a consistent aiming spot.  

 

As I said at the start of this, what you are focusing on and when will greatly depend on your focal depth change up speed. As we get older, the time it takes for us to move our focus from close to far dramatically increases. Using raw numbers, lets say that it takes 0.25 second to physical moving the gun from one position to another during a transition. If it takes your eyes 0.10 to switch focus from the sights to the destination target, then another 0.10 to switch focus from the target back to your sights this only leaves you 0.05 to "See" the sights properly on the destination target so the shot can be called. While this is possible, that is a very narrow window of opportunity to "Seeing the sights" properly. If your focal distance change up speed is getting slower then its best to maintain a sight focal depth even when you are looking at the target. This can usually be done by using corrective lenses which basically keep you from being able to focus on the target.

 

Thanks!  

 

These explanations helped a LOT!

 

Doing the drill again, I had much more success with breaking the shots with the sights in the A-zone *and* with good sight alignment. 

 

I think the biggest key was not turning my head.  I normally turn my head and eyes to the exact POA on target for wide transitions and adjust my focus back to the sights as they come onto the target and fire when the sights have stopped moving and I've taken the time to confirm sight picture and sight alignment. 

 

Keeping the gun moving changed that up quite a bit... resulting in the sights not being on target or being misaligned if I turned my head!  I guess it was just too many moving parts. ;) 

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2 hours ago, N3WWN said:

 

Thanks!  

 

These explanations helped a LOT!

 

Doing the drill again, I had much more success with breaking the shots with the sights in the A-zone *and* with good sight alignment. 

 

I think the biggest key was not turning my head.  I normally turn my head and eyes to the exact POA on target for wide transitions and adjust my focus back to the sights as they come onto the target and fire when the sights have stopped moving and I've taken the time to confirm sight picture and sight alignment. 

 

Keeping the gun moving changed that up quite a bit... resulting in the sights not being on target or being misaligned if I turned my head!  I guess it was just too many moving parts. ;) 

 

What you experienced while turning your head during the transition is very common when I have my students run this drill. Once they stop moving their head to the target and only move their eyes it becomes much easier to see the sights as the gun enters the target.

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This past weekend I was able to get some shooting done on both days. The match on Saturday got canceled due to the snow storm that rolled through the night before. I was able to do some indoor shooting with a buddy at a private range instead. We setup a medium field course and ran through it a bunch of times in different ways. This stage had several arrays of targets with a mixture of shot difficulties so you had to change up your shooting speed mid array or you would be punished with penalties. This stage also had a tricky position that you had to hit a precise spot after running hard into it which is always a good thing to practice. This was a good practice session for my Limited gun as its always useful to work on seeing my sights better indoors.

 

I also used the Saturday practice session to test my Open gun with the Holosun 507c Red Dot sight. I mounted this sight to my Open gun with a Cheely single sided mount. I wanted to test this sight setup out for months but the 507c sights have been on back order for a long time. The primary reason I wanted to test the 507c was due to its Circle Dot reticle where you could use the 30 MOA circle only, 2 MOA dot only, or the Circle Dot combined reticles. I ran the practice stage several times using each configuration of reticle to see what kind of visual feedback I was getting. The 2 MOA dot only reticle worked almost identical to my Delta Point Pro with the only difference being an abnormal tracking of the dot due to the one sided mount. The abnormal tracking was expected due to the single sided mount as the DPP does the exact same thing on a single sided mount. Even through the sight window glass is smaller than the DPP I really didn’t notice it in Dot Only mode. I then tested using the Circle only reticle and that was a strange setup given the size of the glass and “Noisiness” of the circle while shooting fast. The size of the circle on target is good and can be used to break accurate shots. But the glass is too small making it hard to locate the circle on the target accurately. Especially when shooting fast and there is a huge red blur in the glass. The Circle/Dot reticle was even worse from the red blur consuming the whole glass and I becoming difficult to see anything through the glass. I think that the circle is the correct size to allow for aggressive shooting at pistol target distances, but the small glass ruins that setup. If the 510c had a 30 MOA circle it would probably be an optimal setup because of its much bigger glass.

 

Since the size of the glass on the 507c basically forces me to only use the 2 MOA dot this puts it in the same category as the DPP. I have already proven that a double sided mount is much better than a single sided mount for dot tracking so the single sided mount for the 507c is out. That evening I decided to take the 507c setup off and put the Tevo Sports double sided mount and DPP back on the Open gun as I know that works well. I just got a new holster body from Long’s Shadow for the Open gun that accommodates the double sided mount so I want to get that holster dialed in. After I get that holster dialed in I might try to drill some RMR pattern holes (the pattern the 507c uses) in the mount so I can use the 507c on it as well. It would be cool to test the 507c against the DPP using the same double sided mount. The one thing I really like about the 507c over the DPP is its brightness adjustments as they are much easier and you can quickly turn it up or down. I also want to test out the overall dot brightness in outdoor sunny conditions. The Open gun red dot testing is far from over but I am slowly making progress.

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On Sunday I was planning on shooting the USPSA match down in Pueblo but the lingering snow forced them to cancel their match. Luckily the Boulder Rifle Club hosts their match on the same day and their match was still happening. The BRC match this time was very different than normal. Instead of having several large field courses and a few speed shoots, they decided to have 12 short speed shoot style stages. Each berm had 3 different speed shoot stages on it and you shot each one back to back when it was your turn. This match felt very much like an all classifier match since all of the stages were a stand and deliver type with very little movement. The other interesting thing is that each bay had at least one stage with a swinger on it with some stages even having two swingers. All together there were 6 swingers in this match which was a fun challenge to figure out the best plans.

 

With most of the stages only being worth 30 – 50 points there wasn’t much room for error when it came to racking up misses or no shoots. This was a sobering realization for many as I seen several shooters earn “Zero” hit factors due to shooting penalties. I knew that the risk of zeroing stages was high so I biased my strategies to minimizing the chance of racking up shooting penalties. The only stages that I went with more risky strategies were on a couple of the swinger stages where doing a more risky plan resulted in saving more than a second on the stage.

 

I shot the match clean, which was my number one goal. Out of 50 shooters attending the match there were only 4 of us that shot it clean. Everyone else was racking up misses and no shoots like they were candy. I did screw up one stage pretty bad by missing a popper that activated a swinger in a different position. When I got to the position with the swinger and it was still set, I thought it was a range failure and sat there waiting on the RO to call for a STOP. But the STOP didn’t happen so I went back to the first position and shot down the activating popper. That monkey show wasted at least 10 seconds on a 4 – 5 second stage. When I shot at the popper, I heard a ding, and the front face of the popper was covered in mud making it a really abnormal sight picture to call my shot on. Oh well, some times you just suck.


The second issue was on the stage that immediately followed the Monkey Show stage run. I was engaging the first array of targets and I had a failure to chamber jam that required me to rack out the round to clear the jam and keep going. Having any kind of gun/ammo/mag issues is super abnormal for me so that was a really strange issue to have. The only thing I can chalk it up to is the gun being dirty. Going into that match my #4 Limited gun had about 3000 rounds on it already so it was pretty dirty already. The #4 Limited gun is much tighter fit than my #2 so that may be too much shooting on it before doing a detailed clean and relube. When I got home that night I did a detailed strip and clean on the #4 Limited gun and it was really dirty. Since the #4 Limited gun has a full Black Nitride coating on everything it’s much harder to see how dirty it really is by just looking at it. It’s not until you start spraying it off with cleaner and scrubbing on the parts that you realize just how dirty it really is.

 

Even though I screwed up a 2 stages I was happy with my overall performance. I was able to rock some sporty hands at sides draws. I was also able to figure out and execute the best timing stage plans on the swinger stages. This match felt more like a gun handling dry fire training session with all the stand and deliver style stages. It was fun to do this once, but I wouldn’t want to shoot matches like that all the time. Running and Gunning is part of the USPSA game and it feels strange to have the “Running” portion missing. I can’t whine too much about it though as I did get a chance to do some shooting that day. During the winter beggars can’t be choosers. You have to roll with what you can get.

 

I was able to get all of my stage runs on video and uploaded them to my Instagram account. Check them out and let me know what you think.

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This past weekend I attended two local USPSA matches. The one on Saturday was the HPPS match which I run. We were pushing the winter range condition limits for this match as there was a snow storm that rolled through the day before. When we got to the range on Saturday morning there was a decent amount of snow on the bays and the temp was in the teens. Since we had full match staff, and the likelihood of the Feb match getting canceled due to cold or weather being high, we decided to setup 7 stages. This was a crap ton of work in the morning given that we were battling the snowy bays and not much extra help from the shooters. I setup a stage, hauled props to all of the berms, ran registration, inspected all of the stages for issues and legality, then served as MD to top it all off. I didn’t get a chance to look at any of the stages from a competition perspective so I was in “Wing It” mode as my squad got to the stages during the match. This lack of preparation in stage planning really jacked me up on a couple of stages. I ended up being the first shooter on our second stage and I forgot to even shoot at one of the paper targets due to insufficient stage programming. It’s been a really long time since had a Failure To Engage penalty. This mixed with a couple of failure to chamber jams while my gun was too gummed up due to the cold pretty much sunk my match performance. I added some more lube to my gun after the first two stages with gun jams and it ran solidly after that. But by the time we got to the third stage I was mentally over it. I go through this same mental & performance battle every month when I try to run the HPPS match and still expect to perform well. I need to accept the fact that running this match will guarantee a crappy match performance if I don’t have time to perform my normal pre-match stage recon & programming like I normally do.

 

On Sunday I attended the Weld USPSA match up north. This was an interesting match with all of the stages having a heavy bias towards aiming and low hit factors. This was a match where having a red dot for the difficult targets was a significant advantage. There was a lot of scrambling around with no shooting possible on several of the stages which also pushed down the hit factors. Getting your hits at this match was the top priority or you would be severely punished in the overall results. Knowing this, I biased my stage strategies towards getting solid hits regardless of how long it felt like it took. This caused a lot of what I felt as painfully slow shooting but I shot the match clean with no shooting penalties. Out of 56 shooters attending there was only 3 of us to shoot it clean and I was the only Iron Sighted shooter to shoot it clean. My aim hard strategy paid off even though I knew it cost me time on several stages.

 

Being able to shoot the Weld match solidly with zero drama was a welcomed situation. I was feeling pretty down on myself after the Saturday HPPS match where I can honestly say that it was probably one of my worst club match performances in a year. I needed a pick me up to get my back on track mentally and the Weld match gave me the opportunity to do that.

 

I was able to get one HPPS stage run and all of my Weld stage runs uploaded to my Instagram account. I think I am going to use my Instagram account primarily for uploading club match footage. Then use YouTube for my Major Match footage. We will see how it goes this season with using these two platforms. 

 

I had Monday off work for MLK day. I initially thought about heading out to the range to get some Live Fire practice in, but decided against it after getting saddled with some On Call work. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the wind out at the BLGC range ended up being horrible that day even though the temp was fine. Battling 20 – 30mph wind while at the range even in “Good” temps sucks big time. I am glad that I didn’t force myself into that situation. The free time I had that day I got some more ammo loaded, clean guns, and did a little bit of dry fire with my Open gun.  Long’s Shadow Holster made me a new Kydex holster for my Open gun that works with the Tevo Sports double sided Delta Point Pro mount. I was able to get the holster body position tuned properly while working on some dry fire draws. I am looking forward to giving this bad boy a go at the next indoor match.

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