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CHA-LEE

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eerw> Yeah, I want to try the Front/Rear FO setup too. Henning is suppose to be working on some rear sights and a FO rear as well. So I will have to wait until those come out.

After the Double Tap I am going to experiment with a .105 front sight (with green FO) and a .125 rear. I am currently running a .090 front and a .117 rear. For some reason I keep thinking that if both the front and rear sights are wider they will be eaiser to process/see when shooting fast? Maybe so, maybe no...... All I can do is give it a try and see how it works for me.

No FO in the front is also an option. I shot pretty good with the stock black front sight but it was super wide, .120 or something like that, and not having much light on either side of the rear notch made it hard to call shots when shooting fast. Another good test would be a black on black sight setup with the correct front to rear width difference.

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I got back from the Double Tap Championships late last night. What a fun match. The weather was challenging as it was cold and windy on Saturday but on Sunday it was nice. There were 13 stages all together and most of them had up close open targets just begging to get blasted quickly. I would say that 80% of the shooting at the match was simple point shooting and more focus was needed on getting into and out of shooting positions quickly. I felt that I shot the stages pretty conservatively from a time perspective as I didn’t want to push the envelope and do something stupid. My goals were to not have any misses, no shoots, minimal D’s, or other basic screw ups. Through the 13 stages I only had 2 misses and one no shoot. One of the misses was a called miss that I didn’t make up and the other was a pure miss that I called a hit but it wasn’t. I was pushing the envelope on my point shooting skills and these misses were the result of that. Overall I felt that I shot all but one stage solidly with only minimal screw ups here or there. The one stage where I did mess up, it wasn’t too bad. It was the last stage of the day on Saturday and I was losing focus, stated to get the “Blah” feeling and even though I ran through the stage multiple times before hand it wasn’t clicking just right. I was going through the motions but it wasn’t sticking. As a result, after the buzzer went off I started chugging through the targets and moved before I should have and ended up having to come back for a target. That cost me at least 2 – 3 seconds and after that I felt like I was behind and tried to push the envelope on speed. This is where I clipped the no shoot target simply because I lost my patience and focus after the initial screw up. Other than that I feel that I shot pretty good. When the results were tallied and posted I was pleased to see that I had finished 30th overall in Limited and 3rd in B Class. This netted me a 75% finish overall in Limited which was nice. I look forward to attending this match again next year. Now its time to regroup and get my gear all cleaned up for this weekends club match.

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I have uploaded my Double Tap stage video's into YouTube the links to them are below. I wasn’t able to get a couple of stages due to forgetting to film them until the stage is over. Oh well, next time I will be more diligent on getting the stages filmed. I hope I don’t look like too much of a donkey in the video’s. I do look like I was moving around too slow though.

Stage 8

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I got a new mag well for my EAA Witness Limited. Canyon Creek makes it and its at least twice as big as the stock mag well. I got it installed the day after I got back from the Double Tap and have been doing some dry fire and reload practice with it and it is awesome. It gives you a lot more leeway with inserting the new mag and since the mag well extended further out at the base of the grip it helps lock in the grip on the pistol. I am eager to give it a go this coming weekend. I am planning on shooting a USPSA match on Sunday and Monday evening. The weather is looking kind of bad though so the Sunday match may get canceled. I hope not though as shooting in the cold is better than not shooting at all. We will see, only time will tell. In the mean time, much more reloading and dry firing is needed. Back to the grind stone!!!

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I shot a USPSA Match yesterday. It was a cold match with temps in the 20’s to start in the morning. I thought we were over with this winter stuff but I guess mother nature has some tricks up her sleeve. Thankfully there wasn’t much wind to accompany the chilly temps or it would have been down right brutal. The cold bit one shooter on our squad and he had an AD during a strong hand only draw. Those numb fingers can cause some trouble if you are not careful. Since I have been shooting through the winter I knew what the plan was for these conditions and mainly took it easy on most of the stages. Not being able to feel the trigger well slows things down and creates a situation where your shots are more deliberate. This slower shooting pace allowed me to shoot the whole 6 stage match clean (no misses or no shoots) and only a hand full of D hits with most of them happening on the first stage which was a speed shoot. Overall I felt “OK” with my shooting performance. Nothing special, nothing majorly wrong either. The only thing I think I could have done better was bread down one of the long stages better. It had multiple ports to engage three spread out targets from and on one port I came into it in the wrong position and had to do some searching around for the targets. This cost me a second or two but it wasn’t too bad. I finished third in the match out of eight competitors in Limited. This is about where I expected to finish as there was a GM and a solid M level shooter in attendance. Being a lowly B class shooter I will take whatever crumbs I can get.

The cool thing for this match was the test run of my new Canyon Creek mag well. It absolutely rocks. Since it comes forward more it really locks in the base of your grip and it pretty much eliminates muzzle flip. Then the huge mag well opening makes mag changes smooth as silk and nearly impossible to screw up. Every single mag change during the match was super fast with no fumbling around. This is a first for me as before I would have at least one fumbled mag change during a match. I think this mag well alone will bump up my classifier results simply because the mag changes will be solid and quick every time.

After the match I got some more goodies for my pistol. I got some new grip panels that fit the new Canyon Creek mag well and also got some new magazines. This summer I am going to try to shoot a second gun at the matches. Same gun but two divisions, Limited and Limited-10. This will give me a lot more trigger time during the match and also force me to break down the stages differently for each division.

Well I have an indoor match tonight to attend. It should be fun as always and if I have a home run classifier (80% or better) it should bump my classification average above 75%. Now all I have to do is not think about shooting the classifier well, which is hard to do.

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I shot the evening indoor USPSA match yesterday. Wow, there were a lot of shooters in attendance. 39 shooters all together, I don’t know if that is a record or not, but the most I had seen before was 30 shooters. Most of the time the average turn out is in the low to mid 20’s. We hustled on getting the shooters though the two stages and there was a ton of help with taping and brassing which was great. The first stage was a three shooting box run and gun. 24 rounds and a mixture of hard cover and no shoot blocked targets then a port to shoot through in the middle to add some extra fun. I shot this stage in a decent time with only one D hit. I had a slight delay on my first shot which was strange. My draw was fast and I was up on target fast, but I just stood there with the sights aligned on the target but not shooting. It was only 2 – 3 tenths delay, but a delay none the less. Then moving to the middle box I overshot my entry a little bit for the mini port to shoot though and had to back up a little to gain access to the first target in the array, another 2 – 3 tenths wasted there. My “D” hit was in the last box on one of two targets that were far away down the range. I just didn’t give myself enough patience to let the sights calm down before breaking the final shot. This performance netted me a second in limited with being 98% of the stage winner. That D hit kept me from winning the stage. Lesson learned, be patient on the long shots.

The second stage is where the wheels fell off the wagon for me. This was the classifier stage CM 03-04 (3-V) which is pretty simple really. Virginia count 14 round stage where you have to engage three targets from one side of the barricade and three more from the other. Then the target in the middle could be engaged from each side. Mandatory reload between sides. The targets are setup in a “V” pattern with one close target in the middle and then they are set back evenly on both sides. Well, the buzzer goes off and I do it again, where I draw fast and get the gun up on target but it is lingering aligned on the target and I am NOT shooting. This is where I think that the wheels started to fall off the wagon because right off the bat I felt like I was behind schedule on getting the shooting done. I mow through the right hand string of targets getting all of my hits going at a decent but hurried pace. Pull the gun back for the reload and then COMPLETELY miss the mag well of my gun because I was looking at the next target to engage instead of the mag well. The mag goes flying so I reach back for my next mag and of course I feel like I am WAY behind schedule now and don’t get a good grip on the mag and miss the mag well again, but luckily this time the mag does not go flying but is cocked at a strange angle in my hand. At this point I just stop and regroup by deliberately shifting my mag in my hand and slowly inserting it in the gun. Once the mag is in I get back on target and wrap up the second string getting all of my hits. Some how, I can’t really believe it myself, this donkey mag change performance netted me a second overall in limited for this stage. I think this is due to me shooting it clean where most everyone else had a miss or a no shoot in their run. The whole mag change debacle cost me at least 5 seconds and I ended up with a 13 second stage time. Without the mag change issue I believe I could have had a solid “A” run, but that’s the “Woulda Coulda Shoulda” factor. So the lesson on this stage is no matter how cool or big my new mag well is, you still have to look the mag into the mag well. Missing both mag changes was purely from not being focused on the task of the reload and assuming that it would just “Go In” without looking. Some lessons are harder than others I guess.

Time to do some more mag change dry fire practice and burn in the basics of looking the mag into the mag well of the gun.

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This evening I helped a new shooter at the local indoor range. He is totally new to shooting and got an XD-9 Sub Compact for self defense during this “Obama’s gonna take all our guns away” mad rush to buy up any and all guns on the shelves. We worked on his grip, stance, and safety stuff. Guiding him through the process and showing him the proper way of doing things was really rewarding for me. I couldn’t help thinking that I was in his shoes not too long ago then realizing how far I have come from then to now. We worked together for about an hour and from start to finish he was shooting a lot better. More accurate, more consistent, and more importantly, having more fun while doing it. I am by no means an expert myself, but it was nice to have an opportunity to give someone else some guidance when they needed it. I hope that I get the opportunity to help other shooters in the future.

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I got some good practice in yesterday. We setup 5 open targets in a “V” formation then set up some shooting lines 15, 25, and 40 yards out. The focus for the practice was Accuracy. We shot from every shooting position multiple times in many different ways. I have not done a lot of long distance shooting in practice so it was a little challenging at first. What I noticed right off the bat is that my “Acceptable” sight picture for closer targets wasn’t refined enough for the longer distances. Many misses and “D” hits early on. Once I gave myself an extra two or three tenths per shot to optimize the sight alignment I was able to get all of my hits. The only shooting challenge that I was not able to complete with much success was going for head shots only at 40 yards. Out of 5 shots I would only be able to get 1 or 2. I know I can shoot that accurately but I don’t think that I was giving myself enough sight alignment patience to get all of the hits. Not to say it as an excuse, but the wind was really blowing that day and the targets were bouncing around and you had to use a lower stance to keep from getting buffeted by the wind and screwing up your sight alignment. It was a challenge for sure.

Towards the end of the practice I did some testing with engaging targets as I accelerated towards them. I seen a GM do this was great success at the Double Tap and wanted to test it out myself. I would start about 15 yards away from the target and at the buzzer I would launch forward into a run towards the target. Then at the same time I would draw and engage the target with 5 shots as I was accelerating. Much to my surprise, I was able to get all of my hits most of the time. I need to practice this more, but I can really see how it would be an advantage in a match on certain courses of fire. More tools for the competition tool bag.

Now that I have the new magwell on my EAA I have noticed that the front of the gun is now dipping down then back up to the correct sight alignment after the shot. I think this is due to the 11lb recoil spring I am using and the new more secure grip on the front of the magwell. The Magwell really locks in the grip at the front where my pinky fingers meet. I think this added grip pressure is allowing the gun to snap back down after the shot faster. I think I am going to try a 10lb recoil spring to see if I can get the slide cycling back to where it was before, where it would return the sights right back to where they started. I am finding that everything is a give and a take. So keeping the gun balanced to me seems to be a moving target every time I fiddle with the gun.

No match this Sunday as it was canceled due to poor weather. The spring showers are here and as much as it sucks to not be able to shoot, I know my lawn is really looking forward to the moisture. If the weather clears out I might go do some practice again to test out the 10lb slide spring.

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No practice on Sunday. I wanted to go test out the 10lb slide spring at the indoor range but it was closed due to the Easter holiday. It was raining all day so I couldn’t go to the outdoor range either, at least if I didn’t want to get soaked. So instead I helped my shooting buddy out by installing the Canyon Creek mag well onto this EAA witness Limited. Since this was the second one I have done it went a little easier and his gun required less blending of the frame to the magwell to make a smooth transition between the two. It turned out really nice and took me about half the time of doing mine. I like working on the pistols and its nice to put some good effort into something and have it turn out nice.

For a side project I have been building up some Limited 10 magazines so I can shoot a second gun at the local matches in the summer time. I am going to be using dedicated magazines for the Limited 10 class so its easy to segregate between my Limited and Limited 10 stuff. I look forward to being able to shoot both divisions at the same local match because of the obvious increased round count but more so for training myself to reprogram stages due to the 10 round limit. It will also force me to get better at my reloads since most of the longer stages will require at least two reloads. I almost got the magazines done yesterday but ran out of time to finish them. I want to get them finished up before I test out my gun for the 10lb slide spring so I can function test the mags at the same time. I will probably make it to the range on Tuesday or Wednesday to test this stuff out.

The Rocky Mountain 300 match is this coming weekend and it includes five 60+ round stages shot on Saturday. Then a steel shoot off on Sunday. This is the first time I will be attending this match so it will be a new experience for me. I have heard many stories from other shooters about previous years events and it sounds like a bunch of fun. The reoccurring story is how people will start off the stage shooting fast but by the end their finger is wore out and they start to really slow down. It will be interesting to see if I fall into that situation or not. Either way it sounds like it will be a bunch of fun and I am eager to experience it.

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I got some good test and tune practice in yesterday at a local indoor range. I tested out the 10lb slide spring and also got my Limited-10 magazines ironed out. The 10lb slide spring seems to be working better than the 11lb one I was using before. Since putting on the new magwell the front sight has been bouncing low and then coming back up to level after the shot. With out the new magwell the 11lb spring was dead nuts on after the shot. Switching to the 10lb spring has the front sight returning to where it should now. I think this difference is the added weight of the magwell along with the more secure grip on the front base of the pistol. I had to do some fiddling around with the Limited-10 mag springs to get the rounds to feed smoothly but I got them figured out. I am eager to put them in use during a match. I did some reload practice taking two shots, reload, two shots and the best between shot reload time I could produce was 1.4 seconds shooting A’s at 7 yards. My average was around 1.6 seconds though. I am sure that I could cut that time way down if I just blasted the shots and didn’t care where they went on the target, but to me that does not make sense for practicing as I wouldn’t use that often in a match. I found that if I tried to push it and go fast I would botch up the mag change. If I focused on being smooth it went in every time. It’s a false sense of security though as I found myself NOT looking the mag into the magwell a couple of times when doing it smooth style and I know that is asking for trouble. I need to beat it into my head that I have to look the mag into the gun every time. To get away from pressuring myself to “Beat the Clock” I stopped looking at the timer and just used it as a start signal then tired to be smooth with the mag changes and calling every shot in the A zone of the target. This worked out a lot better for me. I think I only need 983,234,908,029,384 more practice mag changes before I don’t screw it up any more :wacko:

On a crappy note, I discovered a crack developing on the frame of the pistol. The crack is on the rear upper portion of the frame and goes along the same path as the slide rail cut. I am going to try and get it welded before the match this weekend. It still “Works” but I don’t want to chance it during the big match this weekend.

On a good note the Classification system has been updated on the USPSA website and my average is up to 72%. Its missing a couple of good classifier results though. One was a home run classifier I did last month and it should be an 81.5%. The other is the Double Tap finishing result of 75.7%. If those two results were used and dropping the other two lowest results my average classification percentage should be 74.92%. Sooooooo close to “A” but yet just shy of it. All I need is one more solid Classifier and it should bump me up into A class. Making A class will be nice to achieve but my goal is to be a solid A class shooter overall by December, not just on the classifiers. If I could guess a “Solid” A class shooter should probably have an 80+% classification average. So that will probably be my next goal once I break into “A” class. Once I make “A” Class I will start shooting a second gun at the local matches to double up the round count and experience I get per match. That should be a good way to exercise my abilities more during the match and teach me how to effectively reprogram stages once I have already shot them.

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I got the frame of my pistol welded up yesterday. Since the crack was right along the slide rail groove the welding pretty much filled up the groove and I had to grind and file it back out. It took me about two hours to get it “Massaged” back to where it should be and feels silky smooth on the bench. I am going to test fire it today after work to make sure that everything is working as it should. I just hope that the weld holds as it took quite a bit of work to get it back to where it should be. If it cracks again in the same place that will be pretty disappointing.

The Rocky Mountain 300 match is taking place today and the rest of this weekend so that is going to be fun. The only downfall is that it is SNOWING right now. It’s a really sloppy slushy snow and will turn the range into a complete mud bog. I feel for the guys that are shooting today. They are in for a challenging go of it. Tomorrow is suppose to have less snow but still have some rain, so I think the Friday and Saturday shooters will both be on an even playing field when it comes to poor shooting conditions. I have shot in cold and dry snow conditions before but not wet snow or rain conditions. It should be an interesting challenge. At a bare minimum I am sure this is going to turn into a lost brass match simply because no one is going to be slopping around in the mud trying to pick up brass. I am not sure I would want the brass after its been in the mud either. We will see. I am trying to remain optimistic about it, we will see how bad it is when I get there tomorrow…..

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Well the Rocky Mountain 300 match was able to happen despite the weather being so crazy around here. The match was suppose to have people shooting on either Friday or Saturday, but both of those days ended up being swamped with either rain or snow. Sunday the weather cleared up and the match crew put in a ton of work to drain the berms and make it useable for the match on Sunday. By the time we got there on Sunday the berms were only a little wet and muddy but not bad at all. Since there were two days of shooters jammed into one day along with the awards and prize table it was a long day of shooting. We got there at 7:30 AM and ended up leaving at around 9 PM. But the Match crew did an awesome job of dealing with the challenges to make it all happen.

This match consisted of five 60+ round stages. For me, shooting more than 32 rounds in any given stage is very uncommon so it was not only a physical but mental challenge to keep everything straight and on track. I shot the match fairly well. Overall I had three misses and one stove pipe jam during the match so it wasn’t too bad. I ended up 8th overall in Limited and first in B Class. Since this match pays back for Division and Class finishes I ended up getting $100 back for my performance. It paid for the entry fee and then some which was awesome. My goal going into the match was to finish in the top 10 of Limited because there were 10 shooters ranked A Class or above. Achieving that goal was really nice and then being first in B class was just icing on the cake.

One great thing from the match was that I hit every single reload perfectly. Since there was at least 3 reloads on each stage that was a huge accomplishment for me. Its amazing what happens when you focus on the mag going into the gun instead of assuming that it will just go in on its own. I think the stove pipe jam happened because of the 10lb slide spring I was using. The stage it happened on was an ultra fast blasting stage where my splits were in the .09 - .12 range. I could feel that the slide was barely able to keep up with that speed of shooting. I had a chance to reshoot the stage just for fun and it had the same type of stove pipe jam. I switch back over to the 11lb slide spring and it ran perfectly the rest of the match. I think I am going to do some more testing with the 10lb slide spring to make 100% sure that it was the root cause of the stove pipe jam.

I have been reading Saul Kirsch’s “Think Practical Shooting” book and he puts a huge emphasis on thinking only about positive things during the match. So my shooting buddy and I tried it in this match. We focused on and promoted the good things that we did during the stage runs, no matter how good/bad it went. I know for me, this helped tremendously with keeping my attitude positive and almost instantly allowed me to “Get Over” the screw ups made during a given stage. I had no lingering second guessing or doubt when going to the next stage. Even when I had the stove pipe jam and switched over to the 11lb slide spring, I knew that combo had worked well in the past so I didn’t even think about the possibility of it failing again. Keeping a positive enforcement mental state really helped me keep an open worry free mind during the whole match. This mental strategy will be used from now on when attending matches.

Overall it was a great day of shooting and I will be back again next year.

Now its time for the indoor USPSA match down in Colorado Springs this evening.

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The indoor match was fun last night. Two 24 round stages with four shooting boxes. Six shots from each box with varying hard cover and no shoots to keep you honest, then a small port thrown in there for the fun of it. We basically ran through the same stage twice. The first stage was an OK run for me. It felt a little clunky and I caught myself looking for holes in one of the targets to confirm my hits. I was point shooting the string of shots and wasn’t sure all my hits were there, but they were. On the second stage they turned down the lights and moved two of the targets back. One of them was a hard cover target that only left the A zone and head, and the other was a fully open target. The A zone/hard cover target was the first target to engage and I fell into the trap of shooting one aimed shot and then two “Hoper” shots after that assuming that at least one of them would find the right mark. Well that didn’t work out too well. The aimed shot was dead center in the A zone and then the two other hits were in the C zone of the body. Knuckle head move on my part as I could have spent the same amount of time shooting two aimed shots verses one aimed and two hoper shots. Oh well, lesson learned. The rest of the shots on this stage were high by about 6 inches. This caused another miss on a partial target that was covered by a no shoot and some hard cover exposing only the head and some of the upper body. The miss on this target just nicked the shoulder but didn’t break the perforation. After talking to a couple of the guys about the unusually high hits the consensus was that I was probably aligning the center of the front fiber optic to the level plane of the rear sight. With it being dim lighting conditions I can totally see how this can happen as my attention was being pulled to the FO instead of the top edges of the sight. It’s the same sight alignment error condition I was seeing when I tried using the brighter red fiber optic outdoors. I think the only way to overcome this is to either run an iron sight on the front with no FO or get a rear sight that has FO as well. More testing with this will be needed. I am not too concerned with it though as my current sight setup works pretty good for me in normal Match conditions. Its very uncommon that you shoot in a USPSA match where the lighting conditions are marginal or purposefully made dim or dark. So I might just have to live with shooting a little high when the lights get turned down for this match. I could also realize this failure condition and give myself some extra time to get the proper sight alignment, or purposefully pick a lower place on the target to shot at knowing that my hits will go higher. That seems counter productive though and it might be better to just ditch the FO all together to keep things consistent in varying light conditions.

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Hey Charlie..

even though you say you felt a little clunky on the first stage..and we caught you looking for holes through the port..

you're looking smoother. I was kind of laughing thinking about how you were when you started.. you have put a lot of work into it and you are shooting well.

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eerw> Thanks for the encuragement man, its much appreciated!!!

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I have been doing some brain storming about my front sight dependence and how it changes my sight alignment based on the lighting conditions. I am kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with the current front sight setup I have because the after market versions that are available only have fiber optic version available. It would be nice to get a solid front sight with no FO hole in it, but it does not exist, other than the stock front sight that is WAY too wide. I tried a couple of different FO setups yesterday to try and dim it down as much as possible and came up with putting a yellow FO in just the back portion of the front sight. There are basically two legs to the front sight that have a hole in them to support/suspend the FO rod between the two. This allows the light to hit the middle of the FO rod between the legs and make the end of the FO rod brighter. Since I wanted to make it duller, I put the FO rod through just the back leg of the front sight. That way when I look at the front sight from a sight picture perspective I am actually looking through the hole of the front leg and then seeing the end of the FO rod that is in the back leg of the front sight. With it in this setup the FO is a lot dimmer and brings my attention more to the square edges of the front sight. A very small little yellow dot can be seen through the hole in the front leg of the sight. I am going to try it in this configuration this weekend to see how it works out.

What I would really like to try is a fully black front sight without a hole in it for the fiber optic rod. But since it does not exist currently, its not an option to try.

We will see how it goes this weekend. Maybe I am onto something? Or maybe it will be a train wreck? Its easy to swap out the FO’s though so if its really bad at the match I will just swap it back out for the setup I was running before.

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Charlie,

Don't let a too wide black front sight hold you back. It's real easy for anyone with a mill to narrow a front sight.

And I'll echo Stuart's feedback, you've come a long way, and still improving! Keep up the good work!

Steve

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stevepitt> Thanks for the recommendation. That is an excellent idea. The stock front sight is .125 wide so there is plenty of “Meat” to cut back and make it .090 or .100 wide. I will look into getting it cut down by a local machine shop.

Thanks for the feedback on my performance so far. I am trying hard to get better and my results are starting to show that my efforts are paying off. I just need to keep my nose to the grind stone to polish up the rough edges.

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USPSA Match this Saturday. It was an overcast day and the forecast was calling for rain at some point. We lucked out though and only got a little bit of a rain mist here or there during the match. I shot the match pretty good and even got a couple of stage wins. I had one stage that was a train wreck and it cost be big time in the overall finish. The stage had you pick up your loaded gun off of a barrel at the start. I went to pick it up and got a marginal grip on the gun which caused my weak hand to bump the safety back on during the first shot. That pretty much had me rattled and I shot too many rounds which forced me to do a reload that I had not planned for. The stage was a 22 round stage and I started off with 22 rounds so even one extra shot would force me to reload at some point during the stage. The wheels really fell off the wagon on that stage. The squad was nice enough to let me reshoot the stage just for fun after everyone was done and I executed it awesomely. My time and hits during the second go around would have given me the stage win. You never really know though because any time you reshoot a stage you are more comfortable with it and usually pick up at least a half a second. Even with the donkey performance on that stage I still ended up with third overall in Limited behind two Master shooters. I will take whatever scraps I can get given how much I screwed up that stage. I did some math and if I would have shot that stage clean like I did the second time it would have given me the overall win in Limited. But I am sure there are mistakes that the other shooters wish they could redo and get a better result as well. I was able to video both runs on the stage and I will post them up later.

My reworked front sight was really nice. The fiber optic was very subdued and I was able to focus on the edges of the front sight a lot easier. Since it was overcast today I wasn’t wearing my sunglasses and the lighting wasn’t optimal so it will be interesting to see how it does in normal daylight. So far though, I am really liking it.

Another match tomorrow. I hope it happens as the forecast is even more gloomy for tomorrow and the match is up in the mountains where the weather can be completely different than in the city. I am keeping my fingers crossed though because I cant get enough of these matches. Its too much fun to pass up.

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Here are the two video’s of stage 1 yesterday….

This is where the wheels fell off the wagon.

This is my reshoot for fun where I completed the stage how I wanted to.

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Nice USPSA match today. The weather held out for us and we missed the precipitation but it was pretty windy. There were only 19 total shooters today as I think the grim forecast scared most everyone off. I had an ok match but had plenty of mistakes. On the first stage I had a mike and a no shoot. The no shoot was due to me not being patent enough for the shot. It was a tight head/upper chest shot with a no shoot blocking most of the body. I engaged this target first when I came into the shooting position and I think that might have caused some of it too. My accuracy seems to be substandard when I am entering a shooting position quickly and choosing to engage the hardest most risky target first was probably not the smartest thing to do. The Mike I had on the stage was at the end where there was a series of targets, one steel and two swingers on either side of a wall. One swinger was fast and the other was medium speed. My goal was to hit the popper to trigger the swingers, pick up the two stationary targets, then come back and engage the fast swinger on its first swing, then engage the second swinger on its first swing. I engaged all the targets perfectly except for the medium swinger where I was a little too slow getting two and when my first shot broke it was already on its way back up. I felt like I had no time to get a valid sight picture for a second shot as the target was coming back up so I cranked off three very fast “Hoper” shots thinking that at least one should find its mark. Well that didn’t work and I ended up with one hit and three misses on the “Hopers”. Given that I would have had to wait for the swinger to come back for another shot I could live with that Miss, but the no shoot added to the mike pretty much sunk that run. The good thing about the run was that the stage was won by a GM that ran a “Solid” run and my stage time was only half a second behind his. He even nicked the no shoot on the same tight target I did, so I didn’t feel too bad about getting a piece of it during my run.

The only other stage that I really messed up was the forth one that had 8 mini poppers and a Texas star. I cleaned up the mini poppers nicely with only one extra shot and then I started tackling the Texas Star. I knocked the first three plated off nicely and the star was barely even moving. In my mind I said “NICE!!! YOU GOT THIS WRAPPED” and then the wheels fell off the wagon. It took me 8 rounds and an extra reload to clean up the last two plates that were not even swinging much. I totally lost focus on my shooting after the first three plates fell right off and as expected, I paid for it dearly in stage time. I wasted at least 6 seconds trying to clean up those last two plates. The lesson here is to NOT think that the shooting is done until its done. The targets are not going to shoot themselves, I have to shoot them. I have to stay focused on the task until its done.

I did really like the new “Dim Style” front sight setup. The sun was out today and I had my sunglasses on so it was a good test of the sight setup in normal lighting conditions. Seeing very little of the dim front fiber optic is working out nicely. I think I would be better with no FO at all so I am going to look into cutting down the stock front sight to bring it down to a .90 width. I don’t think that the sight fiddling with be over any time soon. I need to try it all out to see what really does and does not work for me. Plus any time I get to tinker on the gun is nothing but fun for me so it’s a double win.

The good thing for me this match is that my shooting and movement speed allowed me to stay within a second or two of the GM on the stages where I didn’t have stupid mistakes, such as the steel fiasco. My speedy times kept my hit factors somewhat decent and it netted me a 2nd overall in Limited behind a GM and ahead of a Master shooter. I can live with that. I just need to polish up the rough edges of my performance. Hell, don’t we all?

I am going to do some serious dry firing this week to try and burn in the basics even more. I need to do some dry fire reloads on the move in awkward positions and movements as those seem to be the ones that get a little fumbled during the stage runs.

Edited by CHA-LEE

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I just got done reading “Thinking Practical Shooting” by Saul Kirsch. This was an awesome book and more down to earth and easier to understand than Brian Enos’s “Practical Shooting Beyond Fundamentals”. I am not bagging on Brian’s book as it is good too. But you need to really focus on what is being said to fully understand what is trying to be conveyed. Then there is the factor of needing to fully understand the “Fundamentals” before you can go beyond them. I don’t think many shooters truly understand the fundamentals so when they read Brian’s book they feel really lost or confused.

Saul’s book is great. It touches on just about every aspect of the mental game of practical shooting. It also gives you some very good advice on match preparation, tactics, and mental preparation. I have no doubt that if a shooter champions every one of Saul’s recommendations in his book they will be really pleased with the results. It really comes down to making the effort to implement his suggestions. There is a big difference between reading recommendations and actually doing them.

I can tell you that the little bit that I have implemented in my own shooting has already paid off nicely. His approach to keeping a positive attitude while competing and not dwelling on the “Bad Stuff” really does make a difference during a match. I have been using this mental process of focusing on the good stuff no matter how bad the stage run was and it has enabled me to leave the “Baggage” of a bad stage run at the stage only minutes after completing the run. By the time I am moving over to the next stage its pretty much all forgotten and I can look at the new stage with a fresh outlook of knowing that I will give it my best and succeed. Not surprisingly the last couple of matches I have attended have produced some of the best stage runs I have ever done. Very cool stuff!!!

I am now reading “With Winning in Mind” by Lanny Bassham. I am only about half way through, but this is really looking like a good book as well. I think that Saul got a lot of his Positive attitude stuff from this guy as their stance on it seems to be pretty close. Either way, it’s a good read so far and there is a lot of good recommendations in it so far. I should have it done by the end of this week.

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I just finished “With Winning in Mind”. WOW that is a great book. I wish I had that years ago when I use to compete nationally in other hobbies. Now I feel very “Armed” for the mental side of the game and just have to take the time to implement the suggestions from the book.

On another note, I took by dog for a walk yesterday and was thinking that I would rather be spending the time dry firing instead. Then it dawned on me that I could get some good dry fire practice while on the walk. I worked on my shooting on the move skills buy holding my hands up in a mach grip and getting a sight picture of something down the trail. My goal was to keep the sight picture as level and smooth as possible while walking in a slightly crouched position. I varied my speed, crouch depth, and timing of the trigger pull to optimize a level sight picture while moving. What a great learning experience and exercise!!! It does not take much crouched shooting on the move walking to get the leg muscles burning. I am sure the other trail walkers were like “What the hell is this freak doing???”, but I could care less. Well I think I was a little self conscious at first when even my dog was like “WTF are you doing??!!!”. But he soon got over it and enjoyed the walk as much as I did. Dog are cool like that. I am going to continue these shooting on the move training exercises when walking my dog. I just can’t see how its nothing but a win/win situation for us both.

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I shot a home grown IDPA style match this Friday night. It was held at an indoor range in Boulder. I have shot this match in the past and its one of those kind of matches where all of the “Tactical” guys go because USPSA is too gamey for them. So needless to say the competition level is pretty low at this match. Since we are facing a strong chance of rain this Sunday for the USPSA match I decided to get some kind of competition shooting in while I could. The match consisted of two stages, both with 20+ rounds. The first stage was a multi position stage where you started out by holding a pizza box and at the buzzer had to drop the pizza box and then push out of the way the “Pizza Man” which was a spring loaded wooden shape of a man. You had to push and hold him to one side or another to shoot through a port at a few targets. I chose to push him to the left with my weak hand and then shoot the targets strong hand only. Surprising to me, I was the only one to do it this way. Everyone else shoe horned themselves in between the spring loaded dude and the port, just so they could shoot the targets with both hands. Then they would have to fight their way back out of the shooting position because the spring loaded dude was jamming them up. Whatever works I guess. The rest of the stage was pretty straight forward with two other shooting positions. My focus was on keeping my shooting cadence even between targets and I got a little sloppy on my sight picture towards the end and ended up hitting a no shoot twice. Oh well.

The second stage was interesting. You started with your gun inside the drawer of a small table. A mag was loaded in the gun but the slide wasn’t racked. Then you sat in a chair behind the table and started with your feet up on the table. At the start signal you had to drop your feet down, retrieve your gun from the drawer and then rack the slide before engaging the targets. This is where it starts getting fun. The stage was a Virginia count stage with 18 head shots and 2 soda pop cans. The cans were setup in a three can triangle each. The stage rules were that you need to pick off the top cans without disturbing the two lower cans. You started off by picking off the two soda pop cans then did two head shot targets while still seated in the chair. Then you had to move to a box on the right and engage two more targets. Then move to the last box to the right and engage five more head shot only targets. To me, the shots were not difficult, you just had to take time to get a decent sight picture. My game plan was to get a solid sight picture of the A zone in the head before I broke the shot. If your shot went below the B zone into the body it was a miss. I dropped one shot about 3mm into the C zone right below the center of the head and even though I knocked both can’s off they said that I hit one of the cans below it which meant that it was a miss and a no shoot. I thought I had two clean shots and the top can probably went flipping crazy and knocked over the ones below it but it wasn’t worth it to argue the situation as I could really care less about my score in their way of tallying things. Since this stage was Virginia count AND head shots only this stage pretty much ate everyone lunch. I got through the stage in 24 seconds and I think the next closest was 40+ seconds with some misses on top of that. It was a challenging stage and for me the hardest part was slowing myself down to make sure I got the head A zone sight picture before breaking the shot. That and I had never shot a soda pop can with my EAA before and that was cool by its self. I guess I am easily entertained.

Overall it was an OK match from performance perspective for me. You are really restricted with the muzzle control being indoors so I could go all out with running around and mag changes or they would be calling “MUZZLE!!!” on me the whole time. I just hope that the USPSA match does not get canceled on Sunday due to rain. I am eager to get back to “Normal” match shooting.

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Fun match today. I felt like I did pretty decent, but I don’t know as the results have not been posted yet. I had one bad failure during the classifier stage. The elevation screw on the rear sight broke the head off half way trough the classifier stage. As soon as it broke, I stopped shooting as I didn’t want to shoot the gun in that state with the rear sight flopping around. So I am pretty sure I zeroed the stage due to FTE’s and Misses. But the saving grace here is that it DID happen on the classifier where I only lost 60 points. It would have really put a hurting on my overall results if the failure would have happened on one of the longer field courses. The stage after the sight failure was a speed shoot and I was still a little rattled by the failure and ended up shooting the stage kind of tentative. On all of the other stages I had very solid runs and I think I only got three Delta hits. My stage times were on par with the three Master shooters on my squad so that was nice. I am eager to see the overall results to see how I stacked up against everyone else. Lots of fun shooting today though. I am feeling more and more comfortable with my shooting and just need to let go and let it happen after the buzzer goes off.

Tomorrow night is the indoor USPSA match down in Colorado Springs. I am looking forward to shooting that match as it is the night they do the classifier. I need a solid classifier run to bump up to “A” class. I think I am going to take the opposite approach and not even think about it as a classifier stage and just shoot it like any other stage. I have been geeking myself out on the last couple of classifiers because I know I am close to making “A” class and end up choking because I am too tense or worried about it. I need to just let it happen. If it happens it happens, if it does not, it does not. I know I have the skills to do it, I just have to relax and let it happen. We will see how it goes tomorrow.

OH, I almost forgot. The last stage of the day it was a 22 round course with three shooting ports. Two paper targets from the left side port and three in the right side port. Then a bunch of paper targets and two poppers though the middle port. Everyone else on the Squad was getting worried about missing on the poppers and planned a reload in the middle of the stage somewhere to hedge their bets against missing. I decided that was “Weak Sauce” and loaded up to 22 in my gun and shot the stage clean getting all of my hits and no misses on the steel. I didn’t even slow down my shooting cadence to play I safe on the steel. Its awesome what you can do when you just tell yourself “Quit second guessing and just do it!!!”. Having the confidence in my shooting to do it was an awesome feeling, and then executing on it perfectly was icing on the cake. A very good experience for sure!!!

Edited by CHA-LEE

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