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CHA-LEE

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Thanks, @CHA-LEE

 

I have four on the way, and will fit and extensively test one until I’m certain it’s reliable. If it’s a fail, I can still flip the other three in the classifieds and I’m only out $10.

 

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:

Thanks, @CHA-LEE

 

I have four on the way, and will fit and extensively test one until I’m certain it’s reliable. If it’s a fail, I can still flip the other three in the classifieds and I’m only out $10.

 

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

If the thin followers don't work for you I will buy them from you. I use that same follower in pretty much everything I shoot.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

If the thin followers don't work for you I will buy them from you. I use that same follower in pretty much everything I shoot.

 

I’ll let ya know either way. 👍

 

I’m using a grams follower intended for a P320 to hit 23 reloadable currently. Curious to see if this works out.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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7 hours ago, CHA-LEE said:

To make these Taran Thin Followers fit in the CZ mags I had to shorten their overall length to from front to back. I took material off of the back side of follower to shorten them. If you don't do this the follower will jam front to back in the tube because its too long. How much you have to take off is likely unique to each type of mag. I simply test fit the follower in the tube to see if it would fit front to back with it flat compared to the tube. Then I took material off of the back of the follower a little at a time until the follower fit inside the tube. For the CZ P10F mags the optimal follower length ended up being 30mm. I am not sure if that same length will be optimal in the Walther mags or not.

So, with these followers being modified to CZ and Walther pistols is there any limitation as to modifications to other double stack competitive pistols?

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15 minutes ago, Bench said:

So, with these followers being modified to CZ and Walther pistols is there any limitation as to modifications to other double stack competitive pistols?

 

I am not sure I understand your question fully. There is a limit to everything so there isn't a universal spring or follower that works in every gun ever made. Another thing to consider is that there is no guarantee that the slide lock function will work when using a Frankenstein modified follower. The Taran Tactical Ultra Thin follower is designed to fully function in 9/38 caliber 2011 magazines. This basically means that it should function with the slide stop properly in those kind of guns. Fit in a 2011 magazine tube and function of it registering the rounds properly while shooting it will work in any caliber.

 

Once you divert off the beaten path and start modifying parts to function in different guns or mags all bets are off when it comes to things being fully compatible or reliable. It is 100% up to you to figure it all out and deal with the issues when they happen. Basically put, if you are looking for a "Drop In and forget it" solution then don't use Frankenstein modified parts.  

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

 Basically put, if you are looking for a "Drop In and forget it" solution then don't use Frankenstein modified parts.  

Thanks Charlie, this isn't my first dance with Frankenstein🤣. This will be an interesting adventure...again!

Edited by Bench

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@CHA-LEE @Bench They arrived Saturday. The thing follower will not get me a 24th round in a PPQ / Q5 Magazine (also fitted with a TTI +5 and a Grams P320 spring) but they do make it substantially easier to seat the mag with 23 in it. 

 

Once I get a chance to verify they’re reliable in live fire, I’ll use these in matches and no longer download my reload mags to 22 rounds.

 

Because someone will ask:

The gun cannot be made to lock open when empty with this follower. You must delete that feature, just like you had to with the Grams P320 guts.

 

They are not at all compatible with the OEM Walther spring, but fit the grams P-320 spring like they were made for each other. I expect this combination to function 100%.

 

 

E5F94501-02A9-4840-96C6-52927D2AB25C.jpeg

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On 7/22/2019 at 6:41 AM, MemphisMechanic said:

@CHA-LEE @Bench They arrived Saturday. The thing follower will not get me a 24th round in a PPQ / Q5 Magazine (also fitted with a TTI +5 and a Grams P320 spring) but they do make it substantially easier to seat the mag with 23 in it. 

 

Once I get a chance to verify they’re reliable in live fire, I’ll use these in matches and no longer download my reload mags to 22 rounds.

 

Because someone will ask:

The gun cannot be made to lock open when empty with this follower. You must delete that feature, just like you had to with the Grams P320 guts.

 

They are not at all compatible with the OEM Walther spring, but fit the grams P-320 spring like they were made for each other. I expect this combination to function 100%.

 

 

E5F94501-02A9-4840-96C6-52927D2AB25C.jpeg

 

Thanks for providing your findings. If it was working properly with the Grams follower it will work with the Thin Taran follower.

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This past weekend I attended the inaugural Big Horn Classic hosted at the new Cameo range in Grand Junction. This was my first time at this range and it is an outstanding facility. They have a bunch of pistol berms and it’s laid out in a very thoughtful way. The bays are all facing the same direction where your view above the berms is a huge rock cliff which is a really cool view. The only weather bummer for the weekend was solid 101 – 103 degree temps every day which was HOT. The good thing is that every berm had permanent shade to hide under when it got really hot so you were not forced to bake in the sun all day.

 

I was able to get to the range by noon on Friday to check out the facility and walk the stages. The stages were laid out in a very straight forward manner from a strategy perspective. There were no goofy props or start positions to deal with which was nice. The target layout for this match was a little abnormal in the manner that the vast majority of the targets were fully open. In the whole match there was no painted hard cover targets and only 1 no shoot blocked target. When people hear that they instantly think it would be a “Hoser” match, which it was far from that. I think the average target distance was in the 10 – 12 yard range with a boat load of targets at 15 – 25 yards. Not to mention mini poppers at decent distances on just about every stage. If you were not diligent with staying on your sights the whole time you would be punished. This was a legit shooting challenge match that tempted the better shooters to engage targets on the move just outside their comfort zone while also making the shots “Doable” for all skill levels. There were no brutal partial shots that lower skilled shooters couldn’t make. It all came down to how much you wanted to push the envelope in shooting aggressiveness while still generating solid hits.

 

I was able to shoot the match with Bob Krogh and Kenny Terry which were both my primary competition in the Limited division. I was looking forward to a fun battle against these guys but it wasn’t in the cards for me that weekend. On our second stage of the match I racked up two misses on two different swingers. Both of these misses were uncalled and I was actually surprised that I had them. With the position of the sun all of the targets on the right side of the bays were in heavy shadows and my old nemesis “Shadow Target” reared its head again. I had a hell of a time seeing my sights on these shadow targets which caused a metric s#!t ton of extra shots. I got my hits on these shadow targets but when it takes a crap ton of extra shots that wastes too much time. I also had a really strange magazine jam on our forth stage of the match where I shot the gun dry and the follower got stuck between the barrel feed ramp and the breach face. That thing was mega stuck in the gun and I had to rip the magazine out of the gun while doing a flat footed reload. This wasted a good 3 seconds to deal with and it wasted even more precious match points. All together I gave away about 60 match points on the first day in misses, extra shots, and the mag jam. That is a monumental hole to dig out of given the competition in attendance.

 

The Second day I didn’t have any misses but I was still battling seeing my sights and had a bunch of extra shots, especially on steel. I wish I could nail this sight seeing issue down to a specific thing but nothing really stands out. I know that the shadow targets were beating me up, maybe the heat was also playing a factor? Or maybe I simply just sucked at shooting that weekend? All I know is that I tried my best to stay positive and give every stage 100%, but at some point mid match I knew winning wasn’t going to be possible and my drive to perform well started to slip. When every stage run feels like a kick in the nuts it’s hard to stay motivated in a positive manner. Oh well, sometimes things just don’t go your way. That is part of the game we play.

 

When the results were finalized I ended up 4th overall in Limited only 8 points behind third place Gianni Giordano. Bob Krogh took the win by a narrow 3 point margin over Kenny Terry. It was fun to watch Bob and Kenny battle it out every stage through the match and neither of them knew who was going to win at the end given that they were so close.

 

Hopefully I get a chance to shoot some more matches at this new Cameo range in Grand Junction. It is an awesome facility and not too far from home.

 

I used this match to test out the new Long’s Shadow Holster which uses the CR Speed C-BAX hanger. The holster and hanger functioned flawlessly and didn’t cause any discomfort. The Long’s Shadow Holster fits my Atlas Titan Operator like a glove with zero resistance during the draw. The C-BAX Hanger provides all of the adjustments needed to position the gun exactly where I want it while retaining the settings solidly. I kind of expected this new setup to be less comfortable than my other rig but luckily it was just as comfortable. I didn’t have any issues wearing the gun all day and I didn’t notice it digging into my leg like a race holster hanger would. I will keep using this holster and hanger for a while to see how it functions long term.

 

I hauled my KTM 500 EXC-F dirt bike to this match so I could do some Single Track Trail riding with Bob Krogh and Matt Hess on the Monday after the match. Bob was able to get some trail recommendations from one of his local friends and we had a fantastic adventure. We rode 80 total miles for a total of 6 Hours. The majority of that ride was some serious 1st gear only single track. The temp topped out at 102 degrees that day and it was HOT riding those trails at a slow pace. When we were about 75% through the ride we had to take a short break because we were close to heat exhaustion and physically worn out from wrestling the bikes over endless obstacles. Finding some shade and taking a break helped a little but I knew that if we stayed much longer we would be in some serious trouble because we didn’t have enough water to wait out the heat of the day. I cracked the whip and we got back on our bikes and ground out the last portion of the ride. I drank a gallon of water while on the trail and that still wasn’t enough to keep me properly hydrated. I am super glad that we didn’t linger on that break any longer than we did or it could have been a serious problem. To cap off this epic ride less than a mile from making it back to Bob’s house my KTM ran out of gas. I can usually get 120 miles out of its 2 gallon tank but all of that slow speed single track work destroyed my fuel mileage. I am just happy that I didn’t run out of gas while I was still on the trail. That would have sucked!!! When we got back to Bob’s house all three of us were SMOKED from the epic trail riding adventure. I wasn’t overly sore from the ride but I was exhausted physically. I loaded up my KTM on the back of my 4Runner and then packed up my gear for the 5 hour drive home. While driving home I drank over a gallon of water and power aid to get rehydrated. It’s been a LONG time since I needed 2+ gallons of liquids in one day to stay hydrated.  Many limits of man and machine were learned on that adventure. It was a great experience and it will help me be better prepared for the next trail ride with the KTM.

 

 

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I was able to attend a Ben Stoeger class this past weekend at the Colorado Rifle Club. This was my first opportunity in 2019 to get some training for myself and it was a lot of fun and well worth the investment. This class had a good mixture of stage based skills, drills, dry fire, and discussion. I went into the class with an open mind and did my best to absorb all I could. Ben did a great job running all of the students through his curriculum as well as giving each student specific feedback as needed. It was really cool to watch Ben demo concepts or drills at a world class skill level. Through the two days of training, and over 2K of ammo shot, I was able to pick up on 10 different “Nuggets” of skills or processes to refine for my own skill set which was awesome. I am looking forward to exploring these things in my future practice and match schedule. My suck list was absolutely increased during this class and that was my ultimate goal. It was also really interesting to explore deploying skills in a slightly different manner. I am not sure if all 10 of these “Nuggets” will fully meld with my style of shooting or abilities over the long term. But that really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that looking at these skills in a different manner will force me to put in the effort to fully vet their effectiveness. Attending training classes like this always reinforces the fact that the learning process never stops and there is always a higher level of performance to achieve. If you have a chance to attend one of Ben Stoegers classes DO IT!!! If you haven’t taken a class from someone recently DO IT!!!  

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Last weekend I attended the Area 3 Championships in Grand Island Nebraska. I was on the AM/AM weekend shooting schedule and that proved to be my primary undoing for the match. The weather forecast called for rain most of the day on Saturday, which ultimately didn’t happen, but it was really overcast with dark grey clouds all morning. I couldn’t see my sights worth a crap all morning and this translated to racking up 3 uncalled misses while trying to point shoot at targets. This combined with everything being wet and slippery due to the humidity made running around difficult. I had one issue or another on every single stage of the match which was really abnormal for me. This combined with the Circus Prop stages made the match a grind instead of fun. Last year the stages were legit stage designs without the stupid Circus Props and I figured this year would be the same. Nope, they were back to the same old BS where you are tested on monkey tossing prop bulls#!t instead of actual shooting/movement skills. This was my personal worst major match finish ever due to all of the issues I had through the match. I finished 7th overall in Limited at 89% of the winner John Browning. To be totally honest I thought that my finish was going to be way worse given how horrible I performed. But I think that is a good indicator to how much everyone was struggling on the stupid stages. I am done with trying to make this match fun to attend. This was my last time attending the Area 3 match. It’s a bummer to write off a match like that, but when it’s not fun why invest the time and effort to attend.  

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On some good news, last week I received my backup Limited gun from Atlas Gunworks. This is another Titan Operator which is pretty much a twin to the first one. The primary difference on the new one is the Atlas High-Grip Shielded Ambi thumb safeties. My first one has the Limcat Shielded thumb safeties which do a good job of keeping my strong hand thumb out of the slide while shooting. The new Atlas High-Grip shielded safeties do the same thing but also put the paddle higher which keeps it from touching the heel of my support hand palm. Since I didn’t get a chance to test fire the new blaster before heading to the Area 3 match I didn’t bring it as a backup gun to that one. The Monday after the Area 3 match I was able to attend the Whistling Pines indoor club match and I was able to put about 250 rounds through the new gun during stage runs and between stage runs. It ran like a champ just like my first Titan Operator. The point of impact was a little high at 10 yards so I need to swap some sights to get the point of impact correct, but that is a normal process that happens any time I get a new gun built with fixed sights. Once that gets dialed in it will be good to go for the life of the gun. Hopefully I can get a chance to test out a different sight height setup this week to see if I can get it dialed in before this coming weekend. On Friday I am heading down to Albuquerque for the New Mexico Section match and I want to bring the new Titan Operator as a valid backup for that match.

 

Show below are my Twin Atlas Titan Operators. The Titan on the right is the new one and the one on the left is my original. Its time to put these bad boys to work!!!

 

 

Twin Titans.jpg

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On 7/23/2019 at 4:18 PM, CHA-LEE said:

I wish I could nail this sight seeing issue down to a specific thing but nothing really stands out.

 

I know that the shadow targets were beating me up, maybe the heat was also playing a factor? Or maybe I simply just sucked at shooting that weekend?

 

Your post implies that Bob and Kenny didn’t have the same struggle that you did with seeing their sights. Is that true?

 

Have you ever taken the opportunity to shoot their guns in such a lighting condition to see if it’s your vision, or if it’s a hardware issue with the sights you’ve chosen to run being harder to pick up than theirs?

 

Given how frequently this seems to be having a large affect on your outcome at majors, I’m sure you’re all over trying to find the problem.

 

I’d be seriously contemplating some time in Open or CO if it turns out to be a side effect of your old Lasik surgery, for example. Something that can’t be changed with a front sight swap.

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1 minute ago, MemphisMechanic said:

 

Your post implies that Bob and Kenny didn’t have the same struggle that you did with seeing their sights. Is that true?

 

Have you ever taken the opportunity to shoot their guns in such a lighting condition to see if it’s your vision, or if it’s a hardware issue with the sights you’ve chosen to run being harder to pick up than theirs?

 

Given how frequently this seems to be having a large affect on your outcome at majors, I’m sure you’re all over trying to find the problem.

 

I’d be seriously contemplating some time in Open or CO if it turns out to be a side effect of your old Lasik surgery, for example. Something that can’t be changed with a front sight swap.

 

I have shot others guns, tested an insane amount of sight setups and also tested a crazy amount of shooting glass prescriptions. I am doing my best to keep up with my ever changing vision degradation but it seems to be a losing battle. Currently I am using the most optimized iron sight setup for me combined with +0.75 diopter shooting glasses and that works great in most lighting conditions. But when the lighting gets poor there isn't much else that can be done without dramatically circumventing my distance vision. For example, if I bump up to +1.0 diopter shooting glasses I can see the sights easier in poor lighting but it makes targets at distance super blurry so I can't aim at a specific spot. All I see at distance is a mega blurry blob of a target. 

 

At my current vision I have accepted the fact that when targets are in heavy shadows or the overall lighting is poor I can't see the sights well at all and there isn't much I can do about it. When the lighting is good I can see the sights and targets very well without issue. If my vision continues to degrade to the point where I have to use +1.0 diopter lenses to see the sights with the current clarity of my +0.75 diopter lenses it will be time to give up on iron sights and switch to an Open gun with a red dot. I want to shoot iron sights as long as I can though because I feel like there is still so much to learn about shooting irons effectively. It just sucks to know that I am screwed shooting irons when the lighting isn't optimal. Getting old isn't for wimps.

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This week I was able to put a little over 600 rounds through my new Atlas Titian Operator. I was able to get the sight height fixed by putting a little shorter rear sight on it. Now the POA/POI is dead on at 10 yards just how I like it. I also got a chance to check the velocity of the barrel compared to my other Titan Operator. The new Titan Operator produces about 20fps faster velocity than my old one. I am super glad that the new blaster has a “faster” barrel so I don’t have to screw around with my ammo to compensate for a slower barrel. It will be interesting to see if the velocity slows down after 10-15K. I vaguely remember my first Titan Operator having a fast initial velocity then it settled into what I would consider a normal velocity that matches my other Limited guns.

 

Yesterday I was able to run some movement drills in live fire with both the old and new guns. Once the buzzer went off I couldn’t tell the difference between the two which is awesome. If I did some slow fire and was really paying attention to the felt recoil, my older Titan had a slightly sharper felt recoil. Racking the slide on an empty chamber for both guns confirmed this difference as the old gun has about 1500 rounds on it since the last clean and I have been adding oil to keep it lubed. The new gun still felt a little gummy from the slide glide and super tight fit. If I cleaned both guns and lubed them only with oil to create the same slide cycling resistance they would probably feel identical when shooting. Either way, the felt recoil difference was very slight and undetectable when running a drill at a normal aggressive shooting pace. The only gun handling difference between them is the much higher safety paddle on the Atlas High Hand ambi safeties. It felt a little abnormal when drawing the gun as my thumb would touch the safety much sooner in the draw stroke, but I would still flip the safety off at the same place within the draw stroke. Once the safety was flipped off I couldn’t feel a difference between the guns with a normal grip. The shield on the Atlas High Hand safety does an awesome job of keeping my thumb out of the side of the slide just like the Limcat shielded safeties. The really cool thing with the Atlas High Hand safeties is that the paddle is much higher when the safety is in the “Off” position so it makes it much less likely to bump the safety back on when reestablishing the grip or managing the recoil. Cool stuff!!!

 

Even though I only have 600 rounds on the new Atlas Titan Operator I trust it as a viable backup gun to take to majors. I will continue to run more ammo through it as I like to get at least 5K of issue free functionality on any new gun before I can truly consider it good to go. I am heading down to Albuquerque tomorrow for the New Mexico Section match and will use my first Titan Operator as a primary for that. This is a one day match all done on Saturday. I am planning on staying through Sunday as I have an opportunity to do some live fire training/practice with Tim Herron down there. I will beat on the new gun on Sunday to give it a workout. Hopefully I can bump the round count on that new gun to 1K by the end of the weekend.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2019 at 1:16 PM, CHA-LEE said:

 

I have shot others guns, tested an insane amount of sight setups and also tested a crazy amount of shooting glass prescriptions. I am doing my best to keep up with my ever changing vision degradation but it seems to be a losing battle. Currently I am using the most optimized iron sight setup for me combined with +0.75 diopter shooting glasses and that works great in most lighting conditions. But when the lighting gets poor there isn't much else that can be done without dramatically circumventing my distance vision. For example, if I bump up to +1.0 diopter shooting glasses I can see the sights easier in poor lighting but it makes targets at distance super blurry so I can't aim at a specific spot. All I see at distance is a mega blurry blob of a target. 

 

At my current vision I have accepted the fact that when targets are in heavy shadows or the overall lighting is poor I can't see the sights well at all and there isn't much I can do about it. When the lighting is good I can see the sights and targets very well without issue. If my vision continues to degrade to the point where I have to use +1.0 diopter lenses to see the sights with the current clarity of my +0.75 diopter lenses it will be time to give up on iron sights and switch to an Open gun with a red dot. I want to shoot iron sights as long as I can though because I feel like there is still so much to learn about shooting irons effectively. It just sucks to know that I am screwed shooting irons when the lighting isn't optimal. Getting old isn't for wimps.

 

Charlie,

 

I am again going to ask you to retry monovision as soon as you shoot your last major this year if you want to stay in Limited.  Although your best-corrected vision won’t get worse, your focusing issue will.  It is not debatable, it’s a fact.  To become the shooter you are, you have had to overcome more obstacles than I can count (none of us are GMs/top 16 national contenders).  You can overcome this one, but you have to commit to it just like you would if you had a technical flaw in your shooting.  If you give monovision a serious try (I would wear that all day initially), I would look at progressives or bifocals although the latter 2 do require you to hold your head different or have different heights which brings about other challenges.  Nobody can know exactly what you are seeing, but I suspect you use the fiber optic to at least reference where your sights are during transitions,etc.  In the short term I would recommend dry firing at speed and then live fire in various lighting conditions WITHOUT a fiber optic in your front sight or at least blacking the top with a marker.  Teach your brain to use the black portion of the sight or at least the light between the sights as a reference.  Finally I would recommend really analyzing the details of when lighting and the sight problems occur.  Is it more likely with complete overcast, shadowed targets, hard cover, etc. and try to predict that during walk throughs.  Will these techniques fix all the sighting issues?  Of course not, but I would bet it will help your consistency.

Edited by B585

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This past weekend I attended the New Mexico Section match hosted just east of Albuquerque. I drove down on Friday and got to check out all of the stages. This range is unique from most others as the bays have a significant incline from the back of the bay to the front. I am sure this works great with draining water from the bays but it’s a little odd to stand at an upward angle while on the bays. It’s even more odd to run down range as there was always a feeling of running up hill. This up hill angle of the bays was strange but not horrible. Just different enough though to make you think about it quite often while walking around the bays.


The shooting challenges in this match were biased towards aggressive blasting but they also had a good mixture of earning your hits on partials and steel. The stages also had a good amount of scrambling around within the shooting areas to test those movement skills. I was looking forward to shooting the stages after walking them on Friday.

 

This was a “Shoot it all in 1 day” format match and I shot the match on Saturday. Unlucky for me, Saturday morning ended up having heavy overcast skies for the first three stages which made seeing my sights and calling my shots very difficult. This resulted in slow shooting and less than optimal hits. I also had a no shoot hit just into the perf during this crappy lighting time which sucked. As the day went on the lighting got better and by lunch time the sun was fully out and I was able to lay down some good runs. It sucks to be handicapped by crappy lighting conditions. When I looked at the results after the match my stage finishes from the morning to the afternoon were 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st. These per stage finishing orders directly correlate with how good or bad the lighting was when I shot the stage.

 

I knew that I had given away at least 50 match points on the morning stages due to the crappy lighting and finishing strong would be the only way to salvage a match win. I tried my best to make up the lost match points with solid stage runs in the afternoon, but I still came up 9 match points short for the win. I ended up 2nd overall in Limited at 99% of winner Chris Culpepper. Congrats to Chris for the match win!!!

 

I stayed in Albuquerque through Sunday so I could get a chance to do some practice and training with local Bad Ass Tim Herron. It was a lot of fun doing some one on one training and shooting with Tim on Sunday and we both learned some good stuff from each other. I am looking forward to working on the stuff I learned from that training session. As always, the learning process never stops!!!

 

 

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On 8/10/2019 at 8:00 PM, B585 said:

 

Charlie,

 

I am again going to ask you to retry monovision as soon as you shoot your last major this year if you want to stay in Limited.  Although your best-corrected vision won’t get worse, your focusing issue will.  It is not debatable, it’s a fact.  To become the shooter you are, you have had to overcome more obstacles than I can count (none of us are GMs/top 16 national contenders).  You can overcome this one, but you have to commit to it just like you would if you had a technical flaw in your shooting.  If you give monovision a serious try (I would wear that all day initially), I would look at progressives or bifocals although the latter 2 do require you to hold your head different or have different heights which brings about other challenges.  Nobody can know exactly what you are seeing, but I suspect you use the fiber optic to at least reference where your sights are during transitions,etc.  In the short term I would recommend dry firing at speed and then live fire in various lighting conditions WITHOUT a fiber optic in your front sight or at least blacking the top with a marker.  Teach your brain to use the black portion of the sight or at least the light between the sights as a reference.  Finally I would recommend really analyzing the details of when lighting and the sight problems occur.  Is it more likely with complete overcast, shadowed targets, hard cover, etc. and try to predict that during walk throughs.  Will these techniques fix all the sighting issues?  Of course not, but I would bet it will help your consistency.

 

Thanks for the feedback on this. I will give Monovision another try. Maybe it will work this time as my focal speed has degraded quite a bit since the last time I tried it.

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Charlie on Stage one I came into the 45 degree targets first and shot out of the right side at the end.  Did you look at it that way at all?  I saw others run it like you did but couldn't determine if there would have been a big difference for me.  Stage winner had a second on me on that stage, shot it like you except activated swinger first, shot 45's and plate rack then swinger last.  

 

On stage 2 I loaded and shot the entire right array then ran up...I realize now that the way you ran it likely absorbed the dead loading time better even though you had to come back to the barrel anyway to shoot the right array?  

 

On stage 6 I didn't even consider running to the right of the wall on the far right array. I shot the 3 targets inside out and then ran up, your plan there likely had a half second time savings in that movement alone.

I didn't really know anyone on my squad so there was not a lot of stage plan ideas being bounced around.  I seem to look at the stages more straight up than seeing the little things that can save a few fractions here or there.  I had one malfunction that consumed 3 seconds or so.  The match winner had over 10 seconds on me and I shot way too many charlies it seems.  154A  56C 3D 1M.  Thats way too many charlies for shooting open I guess.  So much work left to do and it seems like its really hard to find any gains this year.   

 

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CrashDodson> Here is some feedback on your questions....

 

Stage 1 - My logic for shooting the front section of that stage is that I didn't want to cover the same ground twice without the opportunity to shoot stuff on the move. In Limited division there was no getting around doing a reload somewhere in the front section and that would eat up any amount of shooting on the move possible. To me, going right then reloading while moving to the left to engage the lay down targets made the most sense because I could see the lay down targets before the plate rack/swinger section. I also wanted to control the timing of the swinger and engage it on the first pass then finish on the plates. If I was shooting Open or PCC with lots of pew pew's in the mags I would have run to the left first and did the lay downs first, swinger/plates second, then engaged the final four right targets on the move to the right.

 

Stage 2 - Did you time both options? I timed both options and surprisingly it ended up being about the same time (Stand and load/engage vs Run while loading then retreat). Since both options were the same time the decision on which plan to use came down to risk mitigation. Its way less risky to load & rack while running up front vs needing to pound out a rock star load/rack while standing flat footed near the barrel.

 

Stage 6 - Running around the right sight of the wall had two benefits. First, I didn't have to change directions in the movement through that position. Simply keep moving towards the targets. The second benefit is that it also promoted reentering the shooting area at an angle that allowed me to see the swinger first through the port. I could see the movement path of the swinger through the port well before I was in the port position which allowed me to engage it in a very predictable manner.

 

Stage Planning in General - Being able to work as a team on stage plans can be a huge benefit for some and useless for others due to indecision. If you can't figure out the optimal stage plans on your own to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the stage, that is a problem. I think that being able to figure out optimal stage plans is far more important that doing other skills poorly. This is simply because you are artificially reducing your maximum stage performance right off the bat by using the wrong plan. When I attend matches I have no problem sharing my stage plans and explaining why I came to that conclusion. In the end the stage plan doesn't win, the execution of the plan does. But I have also lost count of how many times I have spoon fed shooters through multiple stage plans in a match which if they had not used my plan it would have dramatically reduced their performance. Sometimes I wonder how much the overall results would change if I shot the match on my own and didn't share any of my stage plans with anyone and they couldn't watch my runs to poach plans from. I know for a fact that quite a few matches would have resulted in very different overall results if that was the case. 

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Given that pretty much all of the major matches I have attended this year had poor lighting at some point which resulted in crappy stage runs it’s time for me to revisit the shooting glasses situation. The +0.75 Diopter shooting glasses have worked really good in optimal lighting conditions, but are now not enough in the poor lighting conditions.

 

I did some historical research in this diary to figure out the timeline of when I started using these + Diopter shooting glasses. I started using the +0.50 glasses in May 2016 then upgraded to the +0.75 glasses in July 2018. Given that today is almost exactly a year later from the last change and combined with being 43 years old now it’s probably time to bump up the shooting glasses to +1.00.

 

I still have the cheap safety glasses in varying + magnifications so I did a bunch of dry fire using different magnification glasses in varied lighting conditions. I primarily switched between the +0.75 and +1.00 glasses to see how well I could see the sights in all kinds of different lighting conditions. One interesting observation that I made while looking at a normal gun presentation sight picture is that the +0.75 glasses biased my relaxed eye focus about 2 – 3 inches forward of the front sight. If I pushed the gun out 2 – 3 inches the front sight was directly in focus and I could see the serrations easily on the front surface of the sight. This means that I need to adjust my focus slightly back to see the front sight with 100% clarity using the +0.75 glasses. When I use the +1.00 glasses and a normal presentation position of the gun, the rear blade is in perfect focus and the front sight is slightly blurry. If I pulled the gun back towards my face the distance of the front to rear sight width then the front sight would be in clear focus. The +1.00 glasses bring my focus back towards my face about 10 – 12 inches compared to the +0.75.

 

In normal good lighting when I tested both powers of lenses the +0.75 glasses are still the best. I can easily pick up the front sight when aggressively punching the gun out in the normal shooting position. When I do the same with the +1.00 glasses there is a slight focal delay as I try to see the front sight with 100% clarity. This makes sense as it correlates with what the default focus ends up being using either set of glasses.

 

In poor lighting conditions, this is where it got interesting. Neither set of glasses allowed me to see the iron portion of the front sight with the same clarity as in good lighting conditions. That was to be expected as it has always been that way since I started shooting. The thing that I didn’t expect was the difference in rear Notch clarity vs Front Fiber crispness. In poor lighting conditions I am basically relegated to using only the front fiber dot to aim and call shots while keeping it contained within the rear notch. Using the +0.75 glasses this Rear notch and fiber dot only sight picture results in everything in the sight picture being slightly blurry. Using the +1.00 shooting glasses the Rear notch was seen as a fairly crisp square notch and the fiber in the front sight was a more crisp round circle. In poor lighting conditions since I am forced to use only the fiber in the front sight and the rear notch is the primary item used to center the fiber, the +1.00 glasses do a great job in enhancing that type of sight picture. The primary negative with using the +1.00 glasses is that small targets past 20 yards become a super blurry mess. Full size paper targets are doable, but plates, mini poppers or paper partials are really hard to aim at a specific spot on because they are a blurry mess.

 

With this dry fire testing at home providing some improvement in poor lighting conditions with the +1.00 glasses I need to verify it in live fire. I will need to go out to the range late in the evening close to sunset and try both back to back to see if I am getting the same results in live fire. There is obviously more work to do with this shooting glasses situation, but it is at least giving me some hope for a potential solution. If I have to bring two pairs of shooting glasses to the range and use whatever one is needed for the lighting conditions, so be it. I am determined to do whatever it takes to get my vision back on track. I am tired of donating performance at these major matches simply because I can’t see my sights properly. Getting old sucks!!!  

Edited by CHA-LEE

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1 hour ago, RaylanGivens said:

Time to get serious with your Open gun again...  Everything is target focus with a dot.

 

 

I may switch to Open full time in 2020. But I still need to at least try to find a sight seeing solution with iron sights for the rest of 2019.

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