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CHA-LEE

CHA-LEE's Tale

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I shot a USPSA match today. I had some great moments and some real bone head moments as well. I had more misses this match than I have had in a long time. On a couple of stages I was trying to push myself past my skills and it showed. I can’t “Will” the shots onto the targets, I have to call my shots and I failed to do that a few times. I also had complete brain farts on two stages. On the Classifier stage I failed to prepare myself for the stage before hand and completely botched up the stage procedures. It was the “Quicky II” stage and on the first string you are suppose to shoot the targets free style, reload, then shoot them again strong hand only. Well I shot them great free style, nailed the reload, then proceeded to shoot the targets again free style instead of strong hand only. I can see how this happened because I didn’t program and burn in the stage before I shot it. I was busy taping the targets for other shooters then all the sudden it was my turn so I ran up there and before I realized it I was shooting. The second bone head moment came on a memory style stage with two drop turn targets. I got so wrapped around the axel on trying to time and hit the drop turn targets that I failed to engage the last target on the stage. Then to make it worse the drop turn targets were considered disappearing and all of the top shooters didn’t even go after them to cut 5 – 6 seconds off the stage by engaging most of the targets through two ports instead of four. After figuring out the hit factors on going after the DT’s but running around more to get them verses not even engaging them and only having two shooting positions it was obvious that the later version would be a lot easier to obtain a better hit factor. This was a good lesson in risk verses reward for me. They let me shoot the stage again just for fun and I did it the other way the second time and my stage time was right in line with the other top shooters in my class. That is a hard gauge though because the second time you shoot the same stage it is always easier even if you do it differently. Some times “follow the leader” is the best way for breaking down a stage……. BUT I got over confident earlier in the match when I shot a couple of the stages a completely different way which yielded the best time or very close to it. So I just figured my way of breaking down the stages was best and got my ass handed to me for not keeping an open mind. Yet another lesson learned. My shooting today was solid for the most part. I was able to engage the targets efficiently as I entered and exited shooting positions, hit my reloads and draws but I tried to push too fast and got some misses. The lessons learned today are, shoot at a speed you are capable of and confident with, keep an open mind on stage breakdown, and program and burn in the stage before you start. These are not “new” lessons, same old, same old really but they need to be learned for me to get better. Some times you have to slam your head into a brick wall more than a couple of times before you realize that it might not be the best thing to do. I just hope that I learn these lessons before the damage is permanent.

No match for me tomorrow, too much stuff to get done around the house. I do plan on going to an indoor match on Monday evening though. That should be fun as they do low light situations and stuff like that.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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I shot a local indoor match Monday night and it was a great time. Pretty easy stages as we had to engage the targets from specific shooing locations due to needing to keep all of the rounds hitting the back stop and not the walls, floor, or ceiling. But they mixed it up a little bit and you had some choices on target engagement order. We shot two stages. The first stage went "ok" and felt clunky, but not rushed. I got all of my hits but after watching the other hot shots go at it there was a more efficient way of engaging the targets. My time was only off about a second on this stage. My first stage of the day is always my worst. The second stage was really nice for me. My shooting cadence was great and my movements were good as well. The only place where I think I could have done better was finding and engaging a target through a port faster. I got to the port fast but stopped in the wrong place so I had to search for the target a little bit. Unfortunately I had two misses on this stage. I called both misses while they happened but once again, I didn't pick them up for some unknown reason. Maybe my gambling side was telling me "You will luck out and get the hits" but reality isn't that nice most of the time. I REALLY, REALLY need to take the time to make up the shots that I do call misses when they happen. I have been able to call my shots and I know when I am calling a miss, but I don't know why my brain does not put two and two together and make up the shot??? Maybe I should do some practice sessions where I shoot too fast on purpose and then force myself to make up the shots that I call misses. This is the only way I can think of to burn in a reactionary response to make up shots that I call a miss. There isn't time during a stage to think about making up shots, you have to be able to react and do it instantly without thinking about it. More practice..... MUCH more is needed.

Here is a YouTube video of the second stage I shot that night. The basic stage breakdown is 10 USPSA Metric targets (20 shots), all open except for one that has its bottom half covered with hard cover. You start the stage with your hands touching the tape on the wall then engage a string of 5 targets about 15 yards away. Three of them are about 6 inches apart, then another on its own about 10 feet away and then the final target in the string is also on its own, another 10 feet away, but half covered with hard cover. I dropped a shot about an inch in to the hard cover on this target for miss number one. Then you move to a port in a barricade type of wall and engage a single target about 7 yards away and keep moving towards the final shooting box. While moving to the final shooting box you engage one target on the move (7 yards away), this was where I had my second miss as I just nicked the shoulder of the target but didn't break the “D” scoring area perf. After engaging that target on the move you finish up in a shooting box where you engage three targets about 8 yards away spaced about 3 feet apart. I was able to traverse the COF in 12.17 seconds and the stage winner got it done in about 13.5 seconds. The misses killed the run for me in the match results but I was happy with my shooting cadence on the target strings as well as my movement from one shooting position to another. I wanted to engage the one target on the move over the no shoot targets right after the port but the Match Director said that I couldn’t because it was too close to shooting into the wall and he didn't want other people to go after it so all of the shots stayed down range. I REALLY think I could have shot the stage faster and more accurately if I could have engaged that target over the no shoots, but the rules are the rules. I am also finding that shooting on the move from right to left is not my strong suit. I can shoot a LOT better on the move from left to right. I think it’s just easier for my strong hand to guide me though the targets going from left to right. No excuses though, more practice shooting from right to left on the move is needed too.

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Thanks for coming to the match Charlie.

One thing from the video, looked like as you entered the final box you looked down at your feet or the box then back up to the targets. You want to get to the point that you don't have to look down as you enter a box but plan so that you know where you are and know how many steps to take to get into the box. Looking down then back up may have cost you some time.

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rtr> Thanks for the feedback!!! Yeah, the dreaded looking down for the box gets me some times. I think its me subconsciously thinking that I am going to trip on it, especially when they are not solidly mounted to the ground. The PVC pipe boxes were only duct taped down so I was really leery of catching my foot on them and getting all tangled up in it if my foot were to catch on it or slip under it. For some strange reason I don't have the same "looking down for it" problems when they are outdoors and are fully nailed down and solid. My foot placement was fine as I moved into the box so I didn’t mess up my steps, but I still wanted to visually ensure that my foot didn't catch on the pipe as I got my first foot into the box. The last thing I want to do is trip and fall on a stage in the heat of the moment. You see anything else I need to work on?

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I am also finding that shooting on the move from right to left is not my strong suit. I can shoot a LOT better on the move from left to right. I think it’s just easier for my strong hand to guide me though the targets going from left to right.

Thats why last nights stages were set up the way they were. Its all about learning things and doing things that are hard.

...And tossing the lefties an occasional bone.

Lots of times about half way through setting up a stage I get an idea of what might be learned from doing it this way. Yesterdays drill was right to left movement.

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Tom Freeman> I hope that I didn’t make it sounds like I was whining about having to shoot the stages from right to left. I am all for shooting in ways that expose my weaknesses. If we don't work on our weak points we don't get better right? When I broke down the second stage I was thinking about skipping the "on the move" target and engaging the three from the final box then coming back out of it to get the "on the move" target last. But I told myself that doing it that way to avoid shooting on the move from right to left wouldn’t help my skill set improve at all. In my next practice session I am going to setup some stages that can be shot on the move equally fast from right to left or left to right and run it both ways until the times and hits are about the same both directions. I just think its cool that it almost always comes down to a limitation of your mind or comfort zone. Once you get past that, it’s not hard at all. I think that confidence in your abilities is a huge aspect of being able to do well. The only way to gain confidence is to do it in order to prove to yourself that it can be done.

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I shot a USPSA match this past Saturday. Overall it felt like a “Solid” match for me but far from perfect. Through the five stages I had two misses and four “D” hits. I also had a couple small bobbles but no huge screw ups. On the good side, my movement in and out of shooting positions were great as were my transitions between targets. This enabled me to produce the fastest stage time on two stages. Pushing the envelope on speed really brought down my accuracy though. It’s a fine balance between raw speed verses accuracy. I think I will keep moving at this speed and be a little more patient on “seeing” more of a sight picture before calling my shots. When I checked out the results later that night I was shocked to see that I finished 2nd overall in Limited. I really didn’t think that my performance was solid enough to finish so well against everyone else. The squad I shot with wasn’t the normal “top shooter” squad that I always try to shoot with. So I really didn’t have a gauge as to how good/bad I was doing as we went through the stages. I just shot them the best I could while trying to maximize my movement efficiency, not caring much about comparing my performance to the other shooters in my squad. Maybe that is a good thing as it let me focus on my performance and stage execution verses trying to force the use of another shooters stage breakdown. A perfect plan that you can’t execute well will never be as good as a decent plan that you can execute 100% solidly. Maybe its best for me to shoot with the “normal guys” for a while to do some soul searching on what is 100% my shooting with little influence from others. Its cool to get a new perspective on my shooting almost every time I shoot. All I have to do is let it happen after the buzzer goes off and then review what happened afterwards to see if it’s the right or wrong way of doing things. Much more practice is needed, as there will always be…..

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I have two USPSA matches planned for this coming weekend. The weather is suppose to be decent on Saturday but some snow is expected for Sunday. I hope that we don’t get any snow on Sunday, but there isn’t much we can do but wait and watch.

I have been working on my dry fire practice and setting up some mach stages where I have to run through them and engage the targets on the move. This kind of practice is hard for be because I have a hard time with engaging the targets without the gun going “Bang” when I pull the trigger. I have been thinking about getting an Airsoft pistol for the dry fire practice so there is at least some mechanical happening when I pull the trigger, but all of the decent airsoft guns I can find are 2011 STI/SVI based pistols. I am shooting an EAA Witness Limited pistol in competition so I think it wouldn’t be wise to practice at home with a completely different style of pistol. I have looked all over the place for an airsoft version of the EAA Witness Limited but none can be found. I think this is where the STI/SVI shooters have an advantage. Those guns have a lot more aftermarket following than the EAA pistols. Either way any amount of dry fire practice with my EAA is better than nothing.

I have been thinking about the matches this weekend trying to figure out what I want to focus on and am coming up blank for a specific skill I should work on. In the past I always tried to pick one aspect of my shooting and focus on that during the match. Overall I feel pretty solid with my basics so maybe I should focus on pulling all of these basics together during the match. I know that I will squad with the “normal” guys again to force myself to worry about my own shooting and no one else. Then just let it happen I guess. Right now my best feedback device is my own critique of performance after the stage. When I review the video of the stages after the match its now rare for me to see a “New” screw up that I didn’t notice while shooting the stage. This is good because I am a lot more in tune with what is happening while shooting. Maybe a good strategy for this weekend is to go a little too fast and force myself to make up shots when I call misses. I know I need to work on that aspect of my skills.

Man, this feels like a brain dump ramble. But I guess this is the main purpose of a range diary :)

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I shot a USPSA match today. I stuck to my plan on pushing speed over everything else and forced myself to make up my called misses. Much to my delight I was able to make up all of the misses I called. I had one miss that I didn’t call but it was a marginal hit that dropped about 1/8th of an inch in the black hard cover on a head shot only target about 10 yards away. I called it a good hit, but it wasn’t. That wasn’t a surprise to me though as I was pushing the limit on speed. Going faster than my comfort zone ended up with some extra work with having to go back for called misses, but overall it was good training for me. I am not sure how I finished overall for the match as the results have not been posted yet, but I felt like I had a solid performance today. No major screw ups, but some bobbles here or there. It will be interesting to see how I ended up against the rest of the Limited shooters.

There is another match I am going to be attending tomorrow. Its suppose to be a high of 39 deg tomorrow, so the first couple of stages will be cold ones. I look forward to shooting the match though as its always a bunch of fun. I think I will stick to the same plan of pushing speed over smoothness to force myself to pick up the shots I call misses. I need to get to the point where I am picking up the misses automatically and don’t have to think about it.

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Well there is some Good, Bad and Ugly from this weekends matches.

The good is that my fairly solid shooting on Saturday netted me a 3rd place finish in Limited out of 14 shooters. I was even able to win a couple of the stage. But a miss and a no shoot blew my score out of contention for the win. Not making up my misses I guess would be the bad.

The Ugly was today's match. It started out good, I was shooting well and pushing the ragged edge on speed. On the first stage, the stage plan I came up with was flawed and luckily another shooter on the squad pointed out a better way to shoot it. The only problem was that the different strategy was recommended right before I was going to shoot and I had already programmed the other method in my head. So I was only able to give the new way a couple of tries before it was time to shoot. Needless to say I felt clunky shooting it the new way, but I ended up with a time that would have been at least 2 seconds faster than the original plan. I shot the stage clean and got all of my hits, but was about 2 seconds off the top time in the squad. The second stage was a box to box to box stage where you had to engage three targets from each box with varying hard cover and no shoots covering the brown stuff. On the first string of three targets I called a miss on the last target but once again failed to make it up because I was already exiting the shooting box. I know, lousy excuse but for some reason my brain put a higher priority on getting moving to the next box over making up the missed shot. It sucks because my time on this stage was more than a second faster than the other shooters on my squad. Ok, so here comes the real ugly stuff. The next stage was a 32 round memory style stage with many of the targets able to engage from many vantage points. Lots of walls and other blocking items on this stage. You had to plan the target engagement strategy in an order that was a little out of the normal process to minimize having to run all over the place to engage all of the targets. I had the stage programmed really well and after the buzzer went off I was doing good against my plan until I finished with two close targets where I planned on doing my mag change. I engaged the two targets well but it put me in an awkward stance because my next target was almost 180 deg from the last close target. I was pushing it to the limit on speed and as I pulled my gun back to start the mag change I had an AD. Luckily for me, and everyone else, the AD happened right as I started pulling my hand back to initiate the mag release button push and the round went safely into the berm and not over it. As soon as the AD happened I instantly stopped myself and unloaded and showed clear before the RO even had a chance to tell me to stop. So I basically DQed myself since I knew a round went off unintentionally. The other guys on the squad were talking about how it may not be considered an AD since the shot went off only about 6 inches high of the target and still hit the berm. But to me, it didn't feel right to try to wiggle out of being DQed. My pistol discharged when I did not intend it to, whether the gun is pointed in a "good" position when it happens or not, its still not safe. It was a good lesson to learn about pushing yourself far past your skill level and comfort zone. I got some good recommendations about training in the calling/making up missed shots without having to push yourself too fast so I am going to go down that path now. Overall I was pretty bummed about allowing myself to be pushed too fast and cause an unsafe situation. Going a tenth of a second faster isn’t worth pushing yourself to the point of being unsafe. I hope that this is the one and only time for this "Lesson". I apologized to the other shooters in my squad but I know that is little consolation for putting them in a dangerous situation. I stuck around the rest of the match though and helped with scoring and what not. I have seen shooters get DQed before then jump in there car and leave right after it happens. I didn’t want to be "That Guy" so I figured I could at least help with scoring, taping and brassing to make the shooting more enjoyable for the other shooters on my squad.

I am going to participate in an indoor match tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how much today's "Lesson" will impact my performance. I know that I will not be pushing the limits on speed though. I will focus on going at a pace that feels good to me.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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Since I had an AD today I did a trigger pull weight test on my pistol and it was at a 1lb 4oz pull weight, instead of the 2lbs I was expecting :surprise:

No wonder I had an AD. With a trigger that light the hammer will drop even with the slightest touch of the trigger. At least with my big hands that is. I reworked the trigger and got it back up to a 2lb pull weight. It feels a lot better and secure now. I have to conciously pull back on the trigger to get the hammer to fall. Instead of before I would just place my finger on the trigger and it would be close to dropping the hammer. I guess this is a two fold lesson. Keep your finger off the trigger unless engaging targets and regularly double check your equipment for its proper function.

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I shot an indoor USPSA match tonight. Two stages, one box to box stage and a classifier stage (99-08 Melody Line). I shot the first stage “ok” overall. My reaction time to the buzzer to the first shot was not so good, just took too long to break the first shot. My movement from box to box was ok, but I could have done better on leaving the first box sooner as I was finishing up the last shots. Overall my shooting cadence and accuracy was good. Lots of A hits with some C hits, but no D’s or Mikes. This is good as it tells me my shooting pace was right in my comfort zone. The results have not been posted yet, but I believe that I won that stage.

The second stage is where the wheels fell of the wagon. The 99-08 Classifier has you start in a surrender position facing away from the targets. You turn and engage the six targets (two are open and four have varying amounts of hard cover on them) with one round each freestyle, reload and then do it again free style. Its Virginia count so no make up shots. Well the buzzer goes off, I turn and start engaging the targets and call two misses as I go though the fist string. Then I fumble the reload a little and finish with all of my hits on the second string. When it was over I looked at the targets where I called the misses and sure enough one mike over the shoulder on one and one in the black on another. I shot a 2nd gun on the classifier and was able to shoot it clean with a mixture of A’s and C’s, but no D’s or Mikes in about the same time. I don’t know my exact score but I believe my second gun result should be a low 70% result, which isn’t bad.

The interesting thing about it is that on the first attempt at the classifier I turned to the right (holster side) and it felt a little strange as if I had to wait for my legs to catch up and get planted before I could start shooting. I snapped my head and shoulders around fast but it still felt like my waist and legs had to unwind before I could settle down the sights and get shooting. The second time I turned to the left (non-holster side) and it felt a lot better and more natural to me. I didn’t have the twisted up needing to get planted before shooting feeling like I did before. I also felt more comfortable with leaving my gun in the holster until my hips were pivoted around then drawing. An advantage to that I think is that it allowed me to have a little more time to get a nice and secure grip on the pistol before I actually pulled it out of the holster. Then by the time I was pulling it out of the holster my foot placement was where it should be and I felt totally stable and ready to shoot as soon as the gun was up and out. My time didn’t suffer going this other direction, but there is the risk of breaking the 180deg rule if I pull the gun out of the holster too soon. I will have to do some more practice with each method to break it down even further. I must be doing something wrong with the footwork when turning to the right. Maybe it’s a leg dominance thing where I am trying to leverage my non-dominant leg for guiding the movement and its not up to the task? I know that in my normal shooting stance that my right leg is about a foot behind my left leg. I can see how turning to the left would be optimal for this kind of stance, where as going the other direction would force me to move my right leg a long way around before its in its normal position. All I can do is practice both ways and see which one ends up being the best for me. Enough rambling, Listed below is the YouTube video of me shooting Stage 1.

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This weekend will be some practice on Saturday and then a USPSA match on Sunday. I am really looking forward to the practice on Saturday. I need to work on my shooting on the move from right to left. I am also going to practice surrender starts when facing away from the targets. I want to try both going left and right a bunch of times to see which way is really faster and more consistent for me. It always seems to be a soul searching event when I get a full day of practice where I can try things over and over.

Sunday is a match in Pueblo, they have a great range and usually do 6 stages which is an extra bonus. I am getting a friend of mine into USPSA shooting and it will be his first match so we will have to get there really early to run him through the safety class. The only thing that sucks is that the weather is not looking good for Sunday. There is a 60% chance of rain that day and the match may be canceled. I don’t want to shoot in the rain as everything will be a mud bog. But if they have the match I will go. If they cancel the match I will just get some practice in locally.

The progress of my classifier scores is going well. I now have three 70+% classifiers logged and three high 65+% classifiers. My initial goal is to get six classifiers in the 70% range and that should make moving up to “A” class all that much easier. The thing that sucks is that I feel that I am able to produce “A” Class performances on the normal stages, but seem to run into some issue during the classifiers. Botched draws, missed reloads, misses, or whatever seem to creep into the mix when its time to shoot the classifier stage. I am still yet to have a classifier where I felt like it was a solid 100% effort on my part with no mistakes. I have been slacking on doing dry fire practice at home so it’s really not a surprise that I struggle with the basics. I have been so busy lately that I barely have time to reload rounds for the next match, much less set aside time for dry fire practice. That’s just an excuse though, it needs to be done to get better. So I need to make time for it just like everything else.

Oh yeah, its by Birthday Today….. Happy Birthday To Me!!!

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I got some good practice in today. We setup a 22 round stage with lots of movement and ran through it a bunch of times. I was able to shoot the stage at a good pace and had great accuracy. I switched up the target engagement order a couple of times to see what way would be the best/fastest. I also helped a friend of mine get use to the USPSA style shooting. His first match is going to be tomorrow so I wanted to get some practice in for him today to get use to all of the range commands and what not. He did good for his first day of practical shooting. He took his time and was safe and best of all he enjoyed it. He is really looking forward to tomorrows match. I just hope that it does not get rained out. The forecast for tomorrow isn’t looking so good for the match. There is still a 60% chance of rain and that might shut the match down.

After the live fire practice I did some dry fire practice with the surrender and facing away from the target. I tested it both directions and was able to get the first shot off in about the same time going either direction, but going to the left (non-holster side) put me in my normal stance once I was turned around. Where as going right would leave my feet in a strange stance that I am not very comfortable with. It would also mess with my shooting index once the gun was up and on target. Some times it was where it should be and other times it wasn’t. Going to the left allowed me to get the gun up and on target in my natural index/stance every time. So, I think that is the direction need to go. The key to it for me is to snap my head around and get the target in sight as soon as possible. If I do that the rest of my lower body follows pretty much automatically.

I am ready to shoot the match tomorrow, I just hope it does not get rained out.

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Sunday’s match didn’t get rained out which was great. The weather was a little chilly and windy but we were able to shoot without being in a mud bog or getting rained/snowed on so I was happy. We had 41 shooters that day and 11 in Limited. My friend did great for his first match. He was safe and took his time like he should and had a great time. I hope he comes back again for some other matches. We had a small squad, only 9 shooters, and two of them where new shooters. My other friend that also shoots an EAA pistol forgot his holster so we shared mine and had to switch back and forth with him every stage. The shooters on our squad were really flexible though and allowed us to switch around the shooting order to get everything ironed out each stage. Its really nice to shoot with guys that are laid back and there to have some safe fun. I can see the whole new shooters situation plus the holster swapping thing cause some other ultra competitive shooters to start throwing a fit because their shooting order was not shifting around the way they wanted. But our squad was great. Lots of fun, patience, and laughs.

I shot the match fairly solid. My stage times were good, but my hits were a little sloppy. Through six stages I had three Mikes, and eight Deltas. Two of the three Mike’s I called while shooting them but once again, I didn’t make them up. One Mike was about ¼ inch into the hard cover of a head shot only target which I “Called” a good hit, but wasn’t. I can somewhat live with the Delta hits I got given the stages we had. Three of the stages had really far away targets covered with no shoots and one stage had a target which only presented the D scoring area to save about 3 seconds of stage time by engaging it that way. So on that one, I just figured that it would be worth taking the D hits instead of the time hit of getting into a different shooting position to pick up higher points on the target. The number one absolutely hurting performance on my part that day were my reloads. Every one of them were fumbled to some extent. On one stage I missed the reload so bad the magazine almost flipped out of my hand. Over all of the stages I probably “Gave away” about 5 – 6 seconds in fumbled reloads. I have not been practicing reloads in dry fire practice and it is really showing in my match performance. I really need to get back on the band wagon with the dry fire practice and spending some solid time on reloads.

When the scores were posted, much to my surprise I ended up winning Limited class by 4 points over a Master shooter. The regular “Heavy Hitters” were not in attendance, so I figured I would do better than usual overall, but I didn’t expect to win. Very cool indeed. I think if the regular Limited crowd was shooting I might have ended up with 3rd or 4th overall given my performance. I am fine with that and wouldn’t expect my performance to win overall anyway. It would be nice to get a match where everything was hitting on all cylinders though. But I think that is still many months off. Lots and lots of practice is still needed on my part before I will get there.

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nice job..good win.

good to see ya there...

some good stages..

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eerw> Thanks buddy. It was a lot of fun. Hope to see you shoot again at the WP monday match.

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I don’t think that match shooting is in the cards for me this coming weekend. Valentines day is on Saturday and I had already committed to helping another friend work on his car on Sunday. I might be able to get some live fire practice in on Saturday morning, but the weather forecast isn’t looking good and the outdoor ranges will probably be a mud bog, which isn’t fun for running in or picking up brass. I think a good dose of dry fire practice should be done in place of attending local matches. I really need to work on my draw and reloads. I have been slacking big time in that department and it is starting to show in the matches. Shooting Limited has really spoiled me on not needing reloads on most of the stages. Then on the run and gun stages where you do need to reload its pretty easy to incorporate a fumbled reload into a movement from one place to another and it does not screw up your stage time much. Time to do the “Not so Fun” stuff in dry fire practice to get the basics up to where they should be. Only 10 months left to make A Class in Limited.

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I got some good live fire practice in today. I focused on Reloads and first shot fired time. I was practicing at a local indoor range so no drawing from the holster. I instead started with the gun unloaded on the bench with a loaded mag next to it. At the buzzer I would pick up the pistol and mag, load then rack the slide and take two shots, reload, two shots, reload, two shots reload and two final shots. I set an IPSC metric target out at about 7 yards and had a goal of keeping all of the hits in the "A" zone to keep my speed to a practical level. The first couple times through my first shot was in the mid 2 second range with a total time of around 10 seconds. After about 200 rounds I got the first shot down under 2 seconds consistently with a best time of 1.7 sec. My best overall time was 7.5 seconds. Even though I was trying to push the speed I was able to keep almost all the rounds in the "A" zone. I had one "D" flier and a few "C" & "B" hits but the rest of the lead was sent into the "A" zone. During the practice I switched it up a little by going for only head shots, then body shot on the first round and head shot on the second round, then strong hand only body shots. Overall it was a great practice session for me. I will be doing it again and I could see a real improvement in my reloads by the end of the practice session. No wasted ammo today, every round was a lesson learned. I like practice sessions like that.

No match for me this weekend as I have other things that I have to get done. I will be going to a match on Monday evening though and look forward to putting my reload skills to the test.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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No shooting this past weekend, but I did get some good shooting in on Monday. I had the day off since it was Presidents Day, so I arranged to do some one on one training with a Master shooter in the morning and afternoon. Then in the evening I shot an indoor match that had two stages.

The training session was good. My main focus was target engagement order for bettering movement in and out of shooting positions and shooting on the move from right to left. We setup a couple of different stages and broke down each shooting position extensively. Engaging targets in different orders that placed you in a different position for entering and exiting the shooting position. I learned a lot from this process of breaking it down and test running it all different ways. I also found that my poor right to left shooting on the move has to do with my poor foot work. I am use to letting my strong leg (right leg) setting the step tempo and speed when shooting from left to right on the move. When I shoot from right to left on the move, my weak leg is put in the drivers seat and it isn’t use to that at all. I would end up moving in a more standing up fashion which transmitted more foot/body movement into my gun. I worked on being more crouched when moving right to left and that helped greatly with my accuracy and shooting speed. Lots of good practice though and I chewed through about 350 rounds.

That evening I went to an indoor match which had two stages. Both stages were 20+ round box to box movement engaging targets through a port or from within a box. The added fun was that they turned down the lights so it was a low light shooting condition. This turns my iron sights into a challenge because the fiber optic front sight is basically “off” and you are trying to align the black sights on dark targets. Clear sight pictures are nonexistent in these conditions and it showed in my accuracy. I had a total of four mikes on both stages and a nice collection of “D” hits. Two of the misses happened was moving through a box when I called them and was already exiting before my brain was like “HAY YOU SHOULD MAKE THOSE UP”. But the short bus was already on the move and I didn’t make them up. Calling the misses but not making them up is SO frustrating. I can see how this match was harder due to the low light conditions, but that is no excuse for not making them up. Earlier that day when I was in the training class, I made up all of my called misses with no problem. So its coming along, but I still need a lot of work on it. The good things about the match is that my shooting cadence, movements, and stage times were right on par with where they should be. The overall package is coming together nicely.

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I checked my USPSA Classification results and my average is up to 70.4%. I have three classifiers in the low 70% range and three in the high 60% range but none over 75%. I am getting closer to that “A” Classification, but still have a lot of hard work to do to break through into “A” Class. The frustrating thing for me is that on all three of the 70+% classifiers there was some kind of “Fumble” during the classifier. Either a fumbled mag change, needing to take time to make up missed shots, or just a hurting first shot time. I know these are all things that I can do better so making “A” Class is more of a limitation of my practice regiment than pure shooting ability. Once the bullets are flying, I think I am shooting at “A” level now. But all the little things (Draw, Mag Changes, etc) add up keeping my classifier hit factors in the “B” class. I am also finding that the less I worry about it the better I do. “Just Shoot” is what I tell myself before I start any stage and it goes pretty good most of the time.

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Now that I have been shooting or a while I think its time to read Brian Enos’s “Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals” again. I read it back in October of 2008 and think I understood a lot of it but there were parts that were way over my head at the time. I believe that my shooting has changed enough from then to now for me to read through it again to see if I can pick up more from it. There is so much good information in that book at so many different skill levels that I am sure this won’t be my last time reading it either. This book is full of great information for every level of shooter. If you have not read it, do it now!!!

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Here is a video of me shooting Stage 1 on the Monday night match. Its kind of hard to tell, but this is a "Low light" shooting condition which made seeing clear sights on the targets very difficult. Calling shots was hard because the sight picture was so dark against the targets. My shooting pace and movement was good, but I racked up two misses and a bunch of "D" hits on this stage. I shot the first string through the port clean but on the other two strings I think I transitioned to "Point Shooting" and looking at the targets instead of trying to get a sight picture since I couldn't see the sights very well anyway. The Misses and majority of the "D" hits were on the second and third strings so that tells me my "Change" didn't work out so well. Lesson learned, always get a sight picture on marginally far away targets regardless of how crappy the sight picture might be. The thing I really like about this video is that it shows my shooting pace and cadence is "There". The transition between targets is pretty much masked by the consistent shooting tempo. I like that and when shooting I don't even think about shooting it that way, it just "happens". I guess the practice is starting to pay off :cheers:

Edited by CHA-LEE

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Another weekend of shooting in the books. I attended a USPSA match on Saturday. My performance was pretty lack luster. Too many misses, 5 total, and a that pretty much sealed my fate for the match. My stage times were good and on par with the top Limited shooters. One stage that really killed me was a box to box one shot on each target stage. The targets were setup in a pyramid formation with hard cover around the outer edges of the targets. The stage was Virginia count so no make up shots were allowed. I wasn’t sure what the right target engagement strategy would be and thought that engaging the bottom two rows of targets in a zig zag motion would be the best. That was actually a really bad idea. It totally threw off my shooting cadence and I felt like I had do search for the next target. It didn’t seem to flow. On the first three boxes I did the zig zag target engagement then on the last string I shot it from right to left from bottom to top and it went way better. This stage I had three mikes and all of them were from the zig zag shooting motion. Listed below is a link to a YouTube video of this stage. I had a chance to reshoot it for fun and I shot it from right to left from bottom to top and I was able to do it 1.5 sec faster and I only had one mike which was on the last string on the top target because I was pushing the limits on speed. Even with the mike, with that performance it would have put me second for that stage. But that’s how it goes. It was a good lesson learned for me to go with my gut and what I know when it comes to shooting order.

I had a couple of other screw ups during the match like initiating a mag change when you are not suppose to or going back to a target after you already shot it. Time wasted, not much time but every second counts in this game. I don’t know, I just didn’t feel “into it” during the match. I felt like I was just going trough the motions. I think a lot of that was probably due to only getting about 4 hours of sleep the night before the match. I felt fairly run down during the match and that didn’t help matters.

Sunday a couple of friends and I headed to the range and practiced a bunch. We practiced surrender draws, shooting on the move from right to left, strong hand only, and high speed shooting. The practice session was good and we all learned some way to improve our shooting. The really fun part to me was the high speed shooting. We setup 7 USPSA Metric targets are different angles heights and distances with no shoots blocking some of them and went at it from about 5 – 7 yards. I was able to burn down the stage in just under 4 seconds. I was really impressed with being able to keep all of my spits in the .18 - .22 sec range while still seeing every shot and getting the hits I called. My target transitions couldn’t be heard between shots and it sounded like one long string of constant fire. I am going to the Double Tap Championships at the end of March and that is suppose to be a total hoser match. So I am trying to get my fast blasting skills up to snuff. I feel pretty good about my shooting fast skills. But that isn’t going to stop me from practicing it as it is way too much fun.

On a good note, I have been practicing my reloads at a local indoor range and it has been paying off well. The one thing that was rock solid during this Saturday’s match were my reloads. They all went well without even needing to think about it. I will continue with my reload practice regiment as it is making a difference in my match performance. Practice, Practice, Practice…… The cycle never stops and never should.

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I am making some PVC pipe target stands this week. Got some plans on making them from a friend and when I got to the hardware store thought up a different way of making them. Less piece parts and I think they will work out fine. I am building up ten of the single target stands and try to make a swinging target as well. The swinging one will be a little bit of a challenge, but I have some idea’s in mind on getting it done. The only disadvantage I can see with using PVC over wood or metal is that if it gets shot, it will pretty much be done. I will just have to be careful about shoot through setups and things like that. I wish I had a MIG welder. If I did, I would make them out of metal and it would make them virtually indestructible. I have a couple of friends that have MIG welders so I might just do some metal target stands. We will see how long these PVC versions hold up. If they don’t get shot up right away I should be able to use them for a good while.

The shooting schedule for this weekend is a little heavy. Friday is reload live fire practice at a local indoor range. Saturday will be some stage practice either at a local out door range or a friends house in the country. Then a USPSA match on Sunday and another USPSA match on Monday night. I better get some rounds loaded up as I can see myself chewing through at least 600 rounds over the weekend. Need to make the Dillion 650 earn its keep at least once in a while :devil:

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