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CHA-LEE

CHA-LEE's Tale

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8 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

Hitting the targets is half of the score. We need points to divide by whatever the stage time is. Precision group shooting isn't fun for most practical shooters. But solid marksmanship skills are required to hit what we are aiming at. Shooting groups is one of the best ways to hone and measure our marksmanship skills.

Do you recommend shooting groups at whatever pace to make the hits or shooting groups at speed?

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3 minutes ago, HoMiE said:

Do you recommend shooting groups at whatever pace to make the hits or shooting groups at speed?

 

Step 1 is shooting groups with unlimited time using whatever pace required to produce accurate shots. This measures your raw marksmanship skill in being able to produce accurate shots.

 

Step 2 is shooting groups with a time limit to inject some urgency into the process. This measures what level of accuracy is realistically possible at any given shooting speed or time limitation. 

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23 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

Hitting the targets is half of the score. We need points to divide by whatever the stage time is. Precision group shooting isn't fun for most practical shooters. But solid marksmanship skills are required to hit what we are aiming at. Shooting groups is one of the best ways to hone and measure our marksmanship skills.

Cha-lee I had a question on Grip pressure, where do emphasize the grip pressure, palms..front to back.??? I am constantly working on my Grip..trying to find the right balance. would like to here your perspective.

 

thanks 

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Just now, Furrly said:

Cha-lee I had a question on Grip pressure, where do emphasize the grip pressure, palms..front to back.??? I am constantly working on my Grip..trying to find the right balance. would like to here your perspective.

 

thanks 

 

I explain the grip in great detail in my book Path of Focused Effort. Have you had a chance to read it? If not, I would suggest starting there. I don't want to copy and paste all of that content here for obvious reasons. But my basic method is using an isosceles arm position with a normal thumbs forward grip and deploying a front to back grip pressure with the strong hand and a left to right grip pressure with the support hand. Beyond that, gripping the gun with real pounds of force is also important. 

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5 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

I explain the grip in great detail in my book Path of Focused Effort. Have you had a chance to read it? If not, I would suggest starting there. I don't want to copy and paste all of that content here for obvious reasons. But my basic method is using an isosceles arm position with a normal thumbs forward grip and deploying a front to back grip pressure with the strong hand and a left to right grip pressure with the support hand. Beyond that, gripping the gun with real pounds of force is also important. 

 I did read your book, my bad..depleting brain cells.  thank you 

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Last night I was able to do some wrenching on my #2 Limited blaster. The #2 Blaster was my primary for a couple of years and I have racked up a lot of rounds on it. The accuracy has been getting a little worse recently and I think that a lot of that is due to the slide to frame fit getting a little too sloppy. My goal last night was to go through the frame rail peening process to reduce the frame to slide slop.

 

Using my rail peening plates I was able to beat the rails down and out just enough to create an interference fit then took material off of the rails as needed to create a tighter fit. This was a pretty slow going process that took me a couple of hours because I was doing it all by hand. When it was all done I was able to reduce the frame to slide slop by about 75%. There is still a little bit of up/down and left/right movement of the slide while mounted on the frame but its dramatically reduced compared to what it was before I started.

 

The old slide stop pin was a .197 diameter and I replaced it with a new .200 one. After tightening up the slide to frame fit and replacing the slide stop with a bigger one I kind of expected the barrel lockup to be too tight. Much to my surprise the barrel lockup was dead on without any excessive binding. This tells me that the old setup was getting really sloppy and probably producing an inconsistent lockup which obviously would negatively affect the accuracy.

 

Now that the #2 blaster is all tightened up its time to test it out in live fire to see if these adjustments really made any difference in the accuracy or point of impact. I am planning on doing that this coming Saturday as there won’t be any matches to attend that day. I also need to test out my 3 Gun AR because I put a different hand guard on it. I am not sure how much focused pistol practice I will get on Saturday as I have several different things to sight in, function fire and stuff like that. Either way it will be fun to do some shooting.   

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23 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

Last night I was able to do some wrenching on my #2 Limited blaster. The #2 Blaster was my primary for a couple of years and I have racked up a lot of rounds on it. The accuracy has been getting a little worse recently and I think that a lot of that is due to the slide to frame fit getting a little too sloppy. My goal last night was to go through the frame rail peening process to reduce the frame to slide slop.

 

Using my rail peening plates I was able to beat the rails down and out just enough to create an interference fit then took material off of the rails as needed to create a tighter fit. This was a pretty slow going process that took me a couple of hours because I was doing it all by hand. When it was all done I was able to reduce the frame to slide slop by about 75%. There is still a little bit of up/down and left/right movement of the slide while mounted on the frame but its dramatically reduced compared to what it was before I started.

 

The old slide stop pin was a .197 diameter and I replaced it with a new .200 one. After tightening up the slide to frame fit and replacing the slide stop with a bigger one I kind of expected the barrel lockup to be too tight. Much to my surprise the barrel lockup was dead on without any excessive binding. This tells me that the old setup was getting really sloppy and probably producing an inconsistent lockup which obviously would negatively affect the accuracy.

 

Now that the #2 blaster is all tightened up its time to test it out in live fire to see if these adjustments really made any difference in the accuracy or point of impact. I am planning on doing that this coming Saturday as there won’t be any matches to attend that day. I also need to test out my 3 Gun AR because I put a different hand guard on it. I am not sure how much focused pistol practice I will get on Saturday as I have several different things to sight in, function fire and stuff like that. Either way it will be fun to do some shooting.   

 

Fascinating observation on the slide stop pin. I hadn’t considered that to be part of the lockup equation. 

 

At which distance and method will you test the accuracy? 20 or 25? Freehand? Bench? Ransom? 

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My POA/POI sight in distance for iron sights is 10 Yards. That is where I do most of my group shooting as well because the aiming spot isn't to blurry while I am focusing on the sight alignment. It basically allows me to keep the whole gun registered on the aiming spot more consistently. I also do all of my accuracy testing off hand from a normal two handed grip and presentation. I have tried doing it from supported positions in the past and almost always end up with a worse group verses doing it off hand. My accuracy goal at 10 yards is to be able to produce an all rounds touching group. That is totally doable off hand if the gun is mechanically accurate and I am doing my part in breaking clean shots.

 

After I verify the POA/POI at 10 yards I will double check POI at 25 yards to see if any additional windage adjustments are needed as those issues usually don't get exposed until 25 yards and beyond.

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This past weekend was a bust from a Match perspective. The cold weather and threat of snow forced the matches to cancel. Since there weren’t any matches to attend I decided to brave the cold and do some live fire training on Saturday. Saturday was the warmest day on the weekend topping out at 40 degrees which isn’t too bad. The bummer was that temp also came with 25+ mph winds at the range which sucked the heat right out of you if you weren’t bundled up. I went to the range with three other friends and we setup a very basic box to box drill type of stage with a good mixture of open and partial targets along with some steel. We took turns running through the stage and I got some more practice with shooting steel using the new method. Given how cold it was with the wind I didn’t shoot as much as I would have liked simply because it was miserable. The strange thing that I noticed is that if I didn’t grip the gun HARD it was shifting around within my hands due to my cold hands. If I gripped the gun HARD the sights tracked properly and the hits went where they should. If I used my normal FIRM grip the gun was flopping around excessively and I had worse hits. This grip pressure difference is something that I have to relearn every winter while I try to shoot with cold hands.

 

Since I knew the weather was going to be poor for that live fire session I focused on doing some blaster testing. Since I beat down the frame rails on the #2 Limited gun I wanted to see if the accuracy improved or if the POI changed. I started off with doing some group shooting with the #4 to set a baseline of accuracy. The bummer was that I couldn’t produce a very good group at 10 yards regardless of which gun I tried. I don’t know if this was due to the cold hands, the wind blowing me or the target around or what. But the best group I could produce was about 2 inches at 10 yards. I know my #4 blaster can produce all rounds touching groups in “Normal” range conditions and that it’s very unlikely that its accuracy went south all the sudden for no good reason. This failure in producing really tight groups was 100% on me. I tried to do some group shooting with the #2 blaster to confirm the accuracy but it was producing the same 2 inch group as the #4. Since this doesn’t conclusively confirm or deny any improvement in mechanical accuracy I will need to redo this testing at another time. The good thing is that the POI on the #2 was identical to the #4 so I was able to at least confirm that didn’t change.

 

I was able to test the grouping quality of the #2 with both a 10lb and 9lb recoil spring to see if it changed. I could produce the same 2 inch group with either spring and I prefer how the sights track with the 9lb spring. In the past when I would try an 8 – 9lb recoil spring in the #2 blaster it would negatively impact the accuracy. It didn’t seem to make any difference this time around. But given that I couldn’t produce a better group than 2 inches myself I will need to redo this testing as well. I will likely need to do this accuracy testing at the indoor range where I won’t be contending with the cold or wind.

 

After I was done playing around with my pistol I had a chance to sight in my Competition AR. I recently swapped the hand guard which also required replacing the barrel nut so I wasn’t sure if that changed the POI. Since I had to sight that in I also took that opportunity to move the Holosun 510C sight little forward on the rail. Even though I made these two changes to this AR it didn’t change the point of impact much at 50 yards. It only needed 1 click in both vertical and horizontal to get the POI back to where it should be. It’s pretty cool that you can swap that kind of stuff around and not have it dramatically change the POI. I also took that chance to double check the POI of my new AR and it was still dead on at 50 yards.

 

By the time I got done sighting in my AR’s I was done with being in the windy cold range conditions. We packed everything up and headed back home. While I don’t think this practice session was super effective due to the poor weather it was still better than not shooting at all. This is the reality of trying to keep active in the shooting sports through the winter months. Sometimes you simply have to embrace the suck and grind through the sucky weather.

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1 hour ago, CHA-LEE said:

This past weekend was a bust from a Match perspective. The cold weather and threat of snow forced the matches to cancel. Since there weren’t any matches to attend I decided to brave the cold and do some live fire training on Saturday. Saturday was the warmest day on the weekend topping out at 40 degrees which isn’t too bad. The bummer was that temp also came with 25+ mph winds at the range which sucked the heat right out of you if you weren’t bundled up. I went to the range with three other friends and we setup a very basic box to box drill type of stage with a good mixture of open and partial targets along with some steel. We took turns running through the stage and I got some more practice with shooting steel using the new method. Given how cold it was with the wind I didn’t shoot as much as I would have liked simply because it was miserable. The strange thing that I noticed is that if I didn’t grip the gun HARD it was shifting around within my hands due to my cold hands. If I gripped the gun HARD the sights tracked properly and the hits went where they should. If I used my normal FIRM grip the gun was flopping around excessively and I had worse hits. This grip pressure difference is something that I have to relearn every winter while I try to shoot with cold hands.

 

Since I knew the weather was going to be poor for that live fire session I focused on doing some blaster testing. Since I beat down the frame rails on the #2 Limited gun I wanted to see if the accuracy improved or if the POI changed. I started off with doing some group shooting with the #4 to set a baseline of accuracy. The bummer was that I couldn’t produce a very good group at 10 yards regardless of which gun I tried. I don’t know if this was due to the cold hands, the wind blowing me or the target around or what. But the best group I could produce was about 2 inches at 10 yards. I know my #4 blaster can produce all rounds touching groups in “Normal” range conditions and that it’s very unlikely that its accuracy went south all the sudden for no good reason. This failure in producing really tight groups was 100% on me. I tried to do some group shooting with the #2 blaster to confirm the accuracy but it was producing the same 2 inch group as the #4. Since this doesn’t conclusively confirm or deny any improvement in mechanical accuracy I will need to redo this testing at another time. The good thing is that the POI on the #2 was identical to the #4 so I was able to at least confirm that didn’t change.

 

I was able to test the grouping quality of the #2 with both a 10lb and 9lb recoil spring to see if it changed. I could produce the same 2 inch group with either spring and I prefer how the sights track with the 9lb spring. In the past when I would try an 8 – 9lb recoil spring in the #2 blaster it would negatively impact the accuracy. It didn’t seem to make any difference this time around. But given that I couldn’t produce a better group than 2 inches myself I will need to redo this testing as well. I will likely need to do this accuracy testing at the indoor range where I won’t be contending with the cold or wind.

 

After I was done playing around with my pistol I had a chance to sight in my Competition AR. I recently swapped the hand guard which also required replacing the barrel nut so I wasn’t sure if that changed the POI. Since I had to sight that in I also took that opportunity to move the Holosun 510C sight little forward on the rail. Even though I made these two changes to this AR it didn’t change the point of impact much at 50 yards. It only needed 1 click in both vertical and horizontal to get the POI back to where it should be. It’s pretty cool that you can swap that kind of stuff around and not have it dramatically change the POI. I also took that chance to double check the POI of my new AR and it was still dead on at 50 yards.

 

By the time I got done sighting in my AR’s I was done with being in the windy cold range conditions. We packed everything up and headed back home. While I don’t think this practice session was super effective due to the poor weather it was still better than not shooting at all. This is the reality of trying to keep active in the shooting sports through the winter months. Sometimes you simply have to embrace the suck and grind through the sucky weather.

CHA-LEE I notice you run light recoil springs, 9lbs, I generally see the industry standard to be 12lbs. whats makes the 9lb work for you

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The weight of the recoil spring needed is totally dependent upon your grip strength and recoil management skill. The goal is to use a recoil and hammer spring setup that minimizes the muzzle bounce after the slide snaps back forward. There is usually direct correlation between grip strength and recoil spring weight that ends up being the optimal setup. Basically, the harder you grip the gun in real pounds of grip force the lighter recoil spring you will need to minimize the muzzle bounce as the slide snaps forward. If you have poor grip strength and the gun is allowed to muzzle flip excessively then you need a heavier recoil spring to snap the slide back forward with more force and produce reliable feeding.

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Last night I was able to shoot the indoor USPSA match at the Whistling Pines gun club. I used my #2 Limited blaster for this match to get some more run time on it. It ran without any issues and I didn’t notice any accuracy issues. While shooting the stages I could feel and see the difference in using the 9lb recoil spring and it felt good. This match had quite a few no shoot partial targets at distance so aiming hard was a requirement or you would be punished with misses and no shoot hits. As always, seeing iron sights indoors is a challenge and produces slower shooting than normal so it turns into a visual patience effort more than anything else. I was able to stay visually patient the whole night and it worked out well as I was able to generate good hits with no penalties. I only had one D zone hit and that was when I started going a little blast crazy on some close targets before I reigned it in again.

 

I got to shoot one of the new classifiers that night. It was CM 18-06 called For that Day. This was an aiming biased classifier with a zebra hard cover on the left and a no shoot blocked target on the right. I performed well on this classifier from a shooting perspective with only 3 C’s. But I botched the first reload a little bit and had some slow draws due to needing to refine the sight picture in the poor lighting before starting shooting. I ended up with a 5.5 Hit factor on this which surprisingly ended up being a 113% run compared to the high hit factor on USPSA. My run on this was ok, but not a 100% performance and absolutely not a 113% performance nationally. If the 100% hit factor was set properly on this classifier my run shouldn’t have been much better than an 85%. This further proves that these new classifiers have dramatically lower high hit factors than they really should be. Especially when you compare them to the old classifiers where they bumped up the 100% hit factors to almost super human performance levels. I don’t understand why USPSA would screw up these 100% hit factors so bad. I hope that they get them adjusted properly before people milk them to death generating higher classifications that people really didn’t earn.

 

During this match I had two major reloading issues on the field course stages. The first stage we started on was a box to box lateral movement field course and when I slapped down for the next mag off my belt during the reload the magazine popped out of the pouch and I got a poor grip on it. I had to reposition the magazine in my hand before I could insert it into the gun. On the second field course stage it once again had two shooting boxes to run between and it was a full 10+ strides to the next box. I exited the first box aggressively and ran hard to the second box and the mag in my first pouch flew out due to the aggressive hip movement while running. I still had a second mag on my belt so I thought I was still good to go. But when I exited the second box and initiated the reload the magazine once again popped out of the pouch while slapping down at it and I got such a poor grip on it that I fumbled the mag and dropped it on the ground. With no mag in the gun and all of my mags on the floor I had to retreat a little bit and pick up a mag off the floor so I could finish the stage. This was a monkey show for sure. This is the first time that I have had magazines eject while running hard with these new mag pouches. But it isn’t the first time I have had them pop loose during an aggressive slap down to them during a reload. I need to do some more dry fire testing with these pouches to see if the issue is a retention tension issue or if the pouches just won’t work for my aggressive slap style reload. If I can’t figure it out I will switch back to my trusty Safariland 771 mag pouches.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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We got lucky with the weather this past weekend with no snow and very little wind for the outdoor matches. It was cold each morning but warmed up enough to not be horrible. I showed up early for both matches to help setup. Most of my setup help was in the form of pounding nails into the frozen ground which wasn’t fun but it kept the blood flowing which also helped keep me warm. These winter matches usually have a lower level of attendance and that also means less setup help so I figured I would get out early and help make it happen.

 

On Saturday I attended the CRC match in Byers and shot my #2 Limited gun. We started the match in the mid 30’s and I was battling the cold hands scenario on the first few stages. I consciously gripped the gun hard which helped manage the recoil properly but my trigger finger was slow. I got all of my hits on these stages so that was good but I know I could have shot them faster if my hands were not cold. They had a good mixture of aiming and blasting in the stages for this match. One stage was heavily steel biased with 9 plates. Four of the plates were on two different swingers which was a new prop for me. When these swingers were set you could see one of the plates but the other was hidden behind a hard cover steel. Both swingers were activated by step pads which were placed at the front sides of the shooting areas. You could shoot this stage straight up by running to both ends of the shooting areas to step on the pads and activate the swinger. Or you could choose to stay back and not activate the swinger and eat a FTE and Miss on the second plate. In dry fire I walked the stage with both plans and found that running forward to step on the left pad took an extra 5 seconds which was almost a 1 hit factor disadvantage verses staying back and eating the FTE and Miss. My “Staying back” plan required a solid execution of shooting the steel with minimal delay which was risky as some of the plates were 25+ yards away. I shot the first position of the stage solidly with good one for one hits on the steel and no extra time in over aiming at the plates. I went to the second position then had to hit the inner plate on the swinger after activating it and ended up missing it 3 times and it was hidden behind the hard cover again before I could engage it again. I tried cleaning up the other plates quickly and started missing those as well because I was “Trying” to shoot fast. I eventually got all of the steel shot and finished but I completely squandered my potential time advantage with all of the steel misses. I wasted at least 3 – 4 seconds missing steel in the second position. I still feel that my stage plan was the correct one but I blew it by not hitting the steel one for one.

 

I finished up the match on the classifier which was the same one I shot at the Whistling pines match. I shot it more aggressively this time on the first string and it resulted in 1 hard cover miss. I also botched the first reload again. This is the second time I have botched a reload to strong hand shooting right afterwards. I need to put some reloading dry fire effort into that scenario to see what I am doing wrong.

 

After I was done with the match I was able to test the accuracy on my #2 Limited gun again. At 10 Yards I was once again not able to produce a group better than 2 inches. This group was in all random directions around my aiming point as well. To rule out any potential for my lack of group shooting skills, I had two other shooters attempt to shoot a group with the #2 and their results were not any better. This definitively proves that it’s not “Me” with the poor accuracy, it’s the gun. The thing I am not sure about is if this is due to the lighter 9lb spring I put in it or if the barrel is simply shot out. I didn’t bring my spring kit with me so I couldn’t test it again with a heavier recoil spring. That is next on my list of things to test with this blaster. I know that in the past if I went below a 10lb spring the accuracy would suffer so it may just need a 10lb spring to shoot accurately. That or I need to replace the barrel and quit trying to limp it along in the current configuration.

 

On Sunday I attended the USPSA match at the Boulder Rifle Club. It’s been a long time since I have shot this match. This is primarily because the Pueblo match is the same day and I prefer going to the Pueblo match. This month the Pueblo was having a Super Classifier match using the new 18-x classifiers. There is no reason for me to shoot the Super Classifier match so I decided to give the Boulder match a try instead. I used my #4 Limited blaster at this match since I know its accuracy is solid and it ran like a champ the whole day.

 

This match was different than most other club matches because they setup 7 different stages with the majority of them being small field course stages. There were some different options in how to tackle most of the stages so that was nice to see as well. One of these stages had an opportunity where I could lean around a wall and engage all of the targets strong hand only. Using a stage plan like that is rarely a significant advantage as it adds a lot more risk in getting good quality hits. Since this was just a club match I figured that it would be fun to give it a try. I shot the stage good and yielded good points as well. My shooting was slower than I expected which produced a slower stage time than I wanted. But it was fun to give it a go and see how it would turn out. For maximum performance I should have shot the stage straight up and moved between the different shooting positions. But sometimes you need to try different stuff and have fun with it.

 

Overall I shot this match really good. I had solid hits all day while shooting aggressively and no penalties. I was happy with my overall performance. It was also nice to shoot with some new people I don’t normally shoot with because I don’t attend this match very often. I wanted to do some post match Limited blaster testing by trying a 10lb spring in the #2 gun. But everyone wanted to tear everything down and get out of there. That is understandable as it was getting later in the afternoon and people were worn out. I will have to do that testing next weekend some time.   

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This past weekend we got lucky once again with the winter weather and I could attend two different USPSA matches. The first was the HPPS match which I run. As always this was a lot of work in the morning getting everything setup. We had a lower shooter turnout than usual with only 34 shooters and this also lead to a smaller group of helpers in the morning. This caused the setup process to take about 30 minutes longer than it normally does but it didn’t delay the start of the match which was good. I didn’t get a chance to check out all of the stages from a competitor perspective so I had to figure most of them out when my squad got to the stage during the match.

 

I started off the match on a heavy aiming stage with a bunch of hard cover and no shoot partials. My hands were cold and I ended up mashing a shot which pulled the hit down into a no shoot. I called it bad and instantly made it up but it sucked to start off the match with a shooting penalty. I shot the next few stages with on “OK” level of execution. Pretty much going through the motions while trying not to train wreck anything. It worked out as I didn’t have any additional shooting penalties or major screw ups. But I was at least 10% off the pace I should have been in a normal condition. Running matches continues to be a significant performance suck for me. But it always has been so I don’t know why I always hope it won’t be.

 

We used one of the new Classifiers for this match which was number 18-02. Since this stage uses Comstock scoring and has a bunch of tight hard cover partials I took the approach of shooting aggressive and making up any shots that I called marginal. I shot the stage aggressively and it produced 4 extra shots total. I also had 1 D zone hit on one of the far back open targets after the reload. This performance was what I would consider ok and it still produced a 100% score on USPSA which is a joke. There is no way my score should have been 100% with 4 extra shots and a Delta hit. This further proves that the new 18-x series of classifiers have very low biased 100% hit factors. For all of those shooters who want to grandbag their way into a new classification, go to town on the new 18-x classifiers while the 100% hit factors are biased really low. It’s a tragedy that USPSA would allow that to happen but it is what it is.

 

My squad finished the match on a large field course stage that had a heavy bias toward running. It was basically a track meet type of stage where you ran hard between positions then chain saw blasted close targets. There was one position that had several targets that were at a longer distance but nothing crazy. With all of the no shooting running time on this stage I knew the high hit factor was going to be low so hitting A’s was my top priority while shooting aggressively on the close targets. I shot this stage pretty good but had 3 misses on a single popper due to my dominant eye watering in the middle of the stage run. It was a blurry mess when I was shooting at that popper and actually felt lucky that I could hit it given how blurry everything was. It sucks to get a watery eye like that on the only difficult targets in the stage as it wouldn’t have mattered that much on the close blaster stuff. I guess that is just the practical part of this game we all have to deal with some times.

 

I wanted to test the accuracy of my #2 Limited gun after the match, but there wasn’t time for that. I focused on getting everything put away, scores posted and all that stuff instead. The match was run successfully which I am happy with. My shooting performance left some to be desired.

 

On Sunday I attended the Weld USPSA match and it was the final Section Qualifier for the year. This section qualifier got canceled last month due to the weather and I have been looking forward to attending because I need to secure my Nationals Slot for the 2019 season. It was really cold in the morning with temps in the mid 20’s. This coldness bit me on the first stage where I had the “Cold clumsy hands” scenario again. It was a hoser stage and I couldn’t get my finger going all the while the gun was flopping around excessively in my hands. The floppy recoil management lead to nicking a no shoot which topped off a crappy run. It always sucks to start off a match with a crappy stage run but I sucked it up and moved passed it.

 

While ROing the second stage I noticed that my gun was flopping around in a strange manner inside the holster. I looked into it and found that the holster body had about a 3 inch crack down the inside of it near the mounting screws. I am lucky that it didn’t break completely off and extra lucky that most of the remaining stages were table starts where you didn’t even need a holstered gun. I removed my gun from the holster and simply unbagged and rebagged for each of the following stages. I am not sure how this holster broke like that as these Longs Shadow Holsters have been SUPER robust. The only thing I can think of is that the 20 degree temp in the morning mixed with crouching to hammer nails during setup must have caused it to crack. It sucks to break a holster like that but I am not sure what else I could have done to prevent it. Nothing lasts forever and if it can break I am usually the one to break it. So it’s basically par for the course. The good thing is that the holster held up long enough to draw on the last stage of the match were it was needed.

 

Stage 1 was a pretty fast stage to get our squad through and we log jammed on the second squad because they were having some steel issues. I took that down time to test the accuracy of my #2 Limited blaster with the 10lb recoil spring. With the 10lb recoil spring and gripping the gun hard with my left hand I was able to produce about a 1 inch group. I also confirmed this level of accuracy with my #4 Limited gun and got the same group size. It seems that the #2 blaster still requires a 10lb recoil spring to maintain accuracy. This requirement is nothing new as it has always been that way. I just hoped that tightening up the frame to slide fit and barrel lockup would allow me to use a 9lb recoil spring while still maintaining accuracy. That is a bummer as I like how the sights track with the 9lb recoil spring better. It is what it is for the #2 blaster. Since the accuracy is still good with the 10lb recoil spring I think I am going to send the barrel off for hard nitride coating to see if that will give it a bump in velocity. Trying the coating out is much cheaper than replacing the barrel.

 

The rest of the match went fairly decent for me. For whatever reason I wasn’t 100% into it mentally during this match. I was getting lazy on programming my stage plans and focused more on ROing than my actual shooting. Sometimes that happens and all I can do is just roll with it. The only stage that I screwed up was the last stage of the match which was the classifier called Bookouts Boogie. This classifier has two shooting boxes and two arrays of targets. One array is 4 poppers and the other is 4 hard cover paper targets. I have shot this classifier several times in the past and always do better with shooting the steel first from the rear box and the paper from the front box. At the start of the stage I engaged the first popper quickly then missed the middle popper two times. I transitioned to the left popper and hit it then transitioned back to the middle popper and missed it a couple more times before I hit it and the popper behind it. I am not sure what the failure was on my part but it was crazy how many times I missed that middle popper. I know that I wasn’t deploying my new process of observing the sights through the whole trigger press and basically blasting at white any time the sights were on white. I was rewarded accordingly for my lapse in judgement. The only saving grace is that I reigned it in and got all of my hits on the hard cover partial targets which a LOT of my squad mates were racking up misses on.

 

I shot the match good enough to win Limited and secure my nationals slot, which was my primary goal for attending this match. But the win was far from a solid performance simply because I was mentally out to lunch most of the day. When I got home that night I replaced the holster body with a backup that I had laying around and did a little bit of dry fire to confirm its function. All my guns and gear are ready to go for next weekend. Hopefully the weather continues to go in our favor so we can have matches.

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Do you use rigid or rubber spacers between the holster and the hanger ?

I've been using rubber spacers as I think it helps to reduce stress on the kydex from the weight of gun. It also means I can use a slightly longer spacer at the bottom to push the angle away so the gun does not point at my leg while loaded.

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43 minutes ago, BritinUSA said:

Do you use rigid or rubber spacers between the holster and the hanger ?

I've been using rubber spacers as I think it helps to reduce stress on the kydex from the weight of gun. It also means I can use a slightly longer spacer at the bottom to push the angle away so the gun does not point at my leg while loaded.

 

I use ridged spacers because the rubber ones allow the holster body to squirm around on the mount too much. The kydex crack was close to the mounting screws but didn't go into them and actually started on the outer edge of the holster. I am not sure that having more give in the hanger to holster body with rubber spacers would have changed this failure. I think that not putting abnormal angles of stress on it in 20 degree range temps is the best solution. I don't mind refraining from pounding nails into the frozen ground in 20 degree temps with my gear on.

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A few months ago I changed up my diet to an ultra low carbs setup due to my blood sugar getting out of control again. The new diet helped get my blood sugar levels back under control with was great but the bad side affect was that my body started burning more muscle than fat. I started to lose quite a bit of grip strength and overall core body strength. I noticed this in my shooting performance at the High Desert Classic in October and since then I have been doing daily grip and squat strength training.

 

I figured that since I am doing some level of daily exercise that I should stop screwing around with unfocused strength training and seek out some professional help. Luckily there is a local agility & strength performance training company called Elite Speed Sports Performance. I reached out to them and explained the type of physical movements we do in practical shooting. Initially they were unsure about it since there was the scary “Firearms” association, but once I showed them a few videos of the movements we do in stage runs they were a lot more comfortable with it. They felt that an agility and strength training program could be developed to help facilitate more effective practical shooting movements so I signed up for a series of one on one training classes.

 

So far I have completed my third one on one training session and it’s been a really eye opening experience. I am learning a lot about the biomechanics of aggressive movements along with what muscles or muscle groups facilitate those actions. My instructor is great in explaining everything both verbally and physically as well as pushing me to learn new things along with embracing the suck. After these training sessions I have had muscles aching that I didn’t even know I had before. This is a good thing as we are working on stuff that I don’t normally do in daily life.

 

I still have five more one on one training sessions scheduled and hopefully by then I will have a good understanding of what a proper agility and strength training program should be so I can continue with it on my own. I know that taking these classes alone isn’t going to make much of a change to my agility and strength. The hard work after the classes will get that done. It’s cool to be on the right path for now. We will see how it goes over the next couple of months.  

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This past weekend I didn’t get so shoot any matches due to weather cancellations. On Friday I was able to break away from work a little early and head out to the range for some live fire testing and training. I have some random reloading components that have been laying around for a while and I figured I would load it up for practice ammo. I loaded some of that ammo in what I thought would be close from a velocity perspective and it was pretty close but about 25fps too slow for major power factor. I was able to get that practice ammo chronoed but I didn’t get to do much live fire training before the sun went down and it was getting too dark to see my sights. The good thing is that I at least had a good understanding of how much more powder I needed to bump the practice ammo up into major power factor.  

 

Saturday was cold with a high in the low 30’s so I chose to reload ammo that day instead. I was able to get 2500 rounds loaded that day but also broke my 650 in the middle of that reloading session. I broke another shell plate indexer ring. A piece of brass got pushed half way into the first station and when the shell plate tried to index to the next position it couldn’t go anywhere and snapped the plastic indexer ring. I had already used up my spare indexer ring so I had to borrow one from a shooting buddy. Luckily he had a spare and I could get it replaced and keep going with my binge reloading session.

 

On Sunday it was a little warmer in the mid 40’s so I headed out to the range again to do some more ammo testing live fire training. I chronoed my ammo again and much to my surprise the velocity was even slower than before. It also felt a lot softer in my hand while shooting. I thought that my bump in powder drop should have solved the velocity problem but somehow I got it screwed up. This ammo was supposed to have a 4.3gr drop of Prima SV powder but when I checked it after I got back home it only had a 3.9gr drop. I am not sure how that happened. I must have bumped the powder drop adjustment some time during my binge reloading effort. This probably happened when I had to disassemble the press to do the indexer ring swap. The bummer is that now I have 2500 rounds of sub major 40 caliber ammo which shoots a lot softer than normal major power factor ammo. I will have to burn through that stuff during live fire practice and mix in some major PF stuff during those sessions so I don’t get used to the softer sub major ammo. Either way, I have a good chunk of ammo to burn up in practice only which really isn’t a bad thing regardless of it being major PF or not.

 

For the Live Fire practice session we setup a 20 round medium size field course that had a triangle type shooting area. We started in the front hand had to retreat on one side then move across the back then go back down the front on the other side. We setup a good mixture of open and partial targets as well as four mini poppers to keep us honest in our aiming. We also had a really close first target that required a rocket draw to work on spicy draws as well. This stage forced a reload at some point which could be performed in several different areas while moving around the shooting area. This was a good stage for testing a lot of different skills in concert and it was interesting to see when the wheels started falling off as you pushed specific skills. I shot about 300 rounds on this stage in varying ways and it was a good exercise. I was really happy with my draw as it was consistently in the .70 - .80 range while generating solid A’s. I also forced myself to see the sights through the whole trigger press on the steel and it worked like a champ every time I was able to execute that process.

 

To wrap up the training session we did some shooting at 100 yards just for fun. I used my #4 Limited blaster for this as I haven’t shot it at 100 yards yet. We started off by shooting the mini poppers and I was able to get them all down with only one extra shot. Then I shot a 5 round group on an open paper target. I wasn’t sure what the group would look like as I knew I pulled two with poor trigger pulls but three shots were clean. When I got to the target I had a 3 shot group about 4 inches in diameter then one miss to the right and a low left hit which were both my “Bad” called shots. A 4 inch group off hand at 100 yards with a pistol is awesome in my book. I didn’t try to repeat it so it may have been 100% luck. Either way it was cool to see that my #4 Limited gun can produce mini popper hits and great group sizes at 100 yards.

 

When I got home I fixed the powder drop on my press and loaded some more test rounds to chrono. Hopefully I can get a chance to chrono these some time over the Christmas break. The cold weather may put a stop to that though as we are not expecting to get out of the 30’s this whole week. Winter is here for sure.

 

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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.

 

 

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Good stuff man Transitions always can use work, going to add this to my practice repertoire! Merry Christmas to you as well.

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:01 AM, CHA-LEE said:

A few months ago I changed up my diet to an ultra low carbs setup due to my blood sugar getting out of control again. The new diet helped get my blood sugar levels back under control with was great but the bad side affect was that my body started burning more muscle than fat. I started to lose quite a bit of grip strength and overall core body strength. I noticed this in my shooting performance at the High Desert Classic in October and since then I have been doing daily grip and squat strength training.

 

So i bought the book and a dynogrip. Cant believe how weak the numbers i put up. Definitely had to change my workout routine to cater more to shooting. After watching your vid on the correlation of grip strength and the effecient recoil management, it really made kick myself after wasting money on all these useless recoil gimmicks.

 

I mainly do keto because, well Im an islander and Ill gain 30lbs just looking at bread and rice. So far, its been awesome but ill have an occasional pizza or ice cream. Best of luck!

 

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14 hours ago, 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.

 

 

Great stuff, thanks 

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