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Thread: Matt O's Training Journal

  1. #1
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    Matt O's Training Journal

    After spending over half of January out of the country and feeling quite rusty due to an acute lack of quality range time, I decided it was long past due that I sit down and formalize my goals for 2012. Overall, I'd have to say I'm relatively satisfied with the improvement I made last year considering I only really started practicing pistolcraft seriously as of March 2011 and I don't (at present) have the same level of disposable income to devote towards a massive training volume that some others do. That said, for 2012 it's time to raise the bar considerably and I have outlined a specific series of goals to focus on for this year.

    2012 Training Motto: Consistent Performance on Demand.

    Overarching Shooting Goals for 2012
    • Increase my self-confidence in my pistol-craft
    • Improve my performance on demand/under pressure
    • Begin competing and utilize this to practice performing under pressure
    • Attend 2 pistol classes during the year
    • Master the draw from concealment
    • Track the front sight - every time, no excuses
    • Improve and maintain grip consistency at speed
    • Improve SHO and WHO performance


    Quantifiable Shooting Goals for 2012
    • Consistent dry fire practice (at least 20 minutes a day, 5x a week)
    • Consistently draw from concealment to 3x5 @ 7yd within 1.8 seconds
    • Consistently achieve sub-7 second FAST
    • Consistently score 275 and above on the 300
    • Consistently achieve sub 3.5 second Bill Drill

  2. #2
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    I got a chance to shake some of the rust off tonight with a quick range session.

    Total round count: 215 rounds

    Performance:
    • 10 rds FS @ 25 B8(RC) - 93, 85, 84 (and then 3 more iterations of this drill that disgusted me enough that I didn't score them)
    • FAST - 7.56, 6.8, 6.84
    • Bill Drill - 4.4, 3.91, 3.88, 3.83


    So for some reason I started out strong on my 25 yard shots and then increasingly fell apart. I started pulling my shots left and just generally couldn't keep things as tight as I wanted. I've got a Northern Red class coming up so I better work on tuning the 25 yard performance.

    The FAST drills and Bill Drills were the complete opposite. I started off shooting a normal score for myself and then proceeded to rip out some personal bests. A slightly more aggressive stance and grip certainly helped lower the bill drill times and some draw stroke practice on the 3x5 after my first FAST run certainly paid off as well. The key will be to see how consistently I can maintain this performance going forward and whether or not it can be done cold.

    I'm going to focus the next several days worth of dry fire practice on my draw stroke and reloads from concealment, as well as some wall drills and slow (dry) fire on a .5" dot to see if I can eradicate whatever trigger issues are messing with my 25 yard score.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it's the week after a gunshow. So after giving up on an hour and a half wait at NRA, cgcorrea and I headed over to Blue Ridge to get a bit of shooting in before closing time. Since we shared a lane and only had 30 minutes to practice, I didn't get to shoot nearly as much as I wanted, but had some encouraging results, nonetheless.

    Total round count: 56

    Drills:
    • 10 rds FS @ 25 B8(RC) - 91
    • FAST - 6.65, 5.85, 8.1 (-1H)
    • Bill Drill - 3.6, 3.4, 3.17


    Not sure where that 5.85 run came from, it just kinda happened. Then, of course, I got cocky and shanked a head shot on the final run. Oh well.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    Updating my 2012 Shooting Goals, which apparently were a bit too conservative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt O View Post
    • Consistent dry fire practice (at least 20 minutes a day, 5x a week)
    • Consistently draw from concealment to 3x5 @ 7yd within 1.8 seconds
    • Consistently achieve sub-6 second FAST
    • Consistently score 275 and above on the 300
    • Consistently achieve sub 3 second Bill Drill

  5. #5
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    That is totally awesome that you have done well enough to have to update your goals!

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrigamiAK View Post
    That is totally awesome that you have done well enough to have to update your goals!
    Thanks man, though I'm not sure if it's that I improved much so far or that my goals just sucked in the first place.

    By the way, I really liked your point about dead time between repetitions in dry fire practice and I'm now incorporating that mindset into my practice routine. I know we all understand the difference between quantity and quality, but every once in a while it's good to be reminded of that as it's altogether too easy to become unfocused and just go through the motions, thereby lessening the benefit of the practice or potentially ingraining bad habits.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    This range session brought me back down to reality a little bit. My 25 yard accuracy started returning, but my draw from concealment, the very thing I have been practicing over and over again in dry fire and thought I was getting the hang of...fell apart. My press outs flat out sucked and I dropped a head shot on each of the first two FAST runs. I think the two missed shots might have been due to anticipation, so it looks like it's time to mix in some dummy rounds next week and see what in the hell is going on.

    Total round count: 190

    Drills:

    10 rds FS @ 25 B8(RC) - 89, 91, 90, 94
    FAST - 8.01 (-1H), 8.2 (-1H), 6.12
    Bill Drill - 3.86; 3.46

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    There’s not much point to having a training journal if you don’t update it regularly and seeing as my last entry was 3 weeks ago…I’d say it’s past time that I do so.

    The last several weeks were spent working on marksmanship at 25 yards on a B8 bull (FS, SHO, OSHO) and refining my draw/press out. Cgcorrea and I attended Northern Red’s Pistol Gunfighter course this past weekend, which was a fantastic opportunity to train with some really good guys and get some quality individual instruction from two very switched on shooters/instructors – J.D. and Chris. My main take-aways from the course were:


    • Grip – having a “go fast” grip and a “marksmanship” grip.
    • Stance – getting in more of a traditionally athletic boxing stance with weight distributed a bit onto the front leg and with the torso upright (as opposed to a squared up leaning forward into the gun competition stance).
    • Marksmanship – these guys had some very high marksmanship standards and there were no excuses for shots outside the black at 25. In other words, you need to be able to come out and put everything in the black, cold.
    • One hand shooting – we did quite a few draws and reloads, both SHO and OSHO, which is something I previously hadn’t practiced much of.
    • Target identification drills – as J.D. pointed out, the thing that takes the longest in shooting a target, is deciding which target to shoot.
    • Draw – J.D. and Chris advocated what would probably be called a punch-out technique for the draw – basically getting the gun out of the holster and on target as quickly as possible. I did ask about how that played into shooting low percentage targets, like the ocular cavity, and the answer was that the technique is the same, but that one would take that extra moment to finalize the sight picture, whereas an A-zone hit requires a lot less verification of one’s sights (assuming you have practiced this enough). I'm going to play around with this a bit more and see how it works for me.
    • Knowing what you can get away with – This sort of plays into the previous point about practicing enough to know what sort of sight picture and speed you can get away with to get your hits at different distances. This is something I have struggled with as I have an OCD need to have the perfect sight picture.
    • Target transitions – I had obviously heard the term drive the gun plenty of times but it didn’t really click with me until this class and the shooting on the move target transition drill. Really snapping the gun between targets and “knowing what you can get away with” can make for some very fast shooting – at least until you hit the hostage in the arm….twice.


    I learned a hell of a lot at the class and have some new things to play around with and evaluate – namely finding what works best for me between a press-out and punch-out (as I was really struggling with the press-out of late), as well as really focusing on raising the bar for marksmanship and speed (without sacrificing accuracy). I took this week off from shooting but I am pumped to get back at it next week and continue applying what I’ve learned.
    Last edited by Matt O; 03-16-2012 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Formatting the wall of text.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Matt O's Avatar
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    Was only able to get a half hour of range time in after waiting for an hour or so. Spent roughly half of that time sighting in a carbine so I only got to shoot a couple pistol drills.

    • 25 Yard B8 - 86, 85, 87, 90 (had difficulty focusing this evening and my scores showed it)
    • FAST Drill - 6.92, 6.86, 6.61 all clean (both draws and reloads felt slow - lots of room for improvement here; but I'm glad to see that I can still come in under 7 seconds despite that)
    Last edited by Matt O; 03-22-2012 at 09:42 PM. Reason: typo

  10. #10
    Yeah dude, I wasn't too satisfied with my performance from 25 on the B8 either last night. I scored an 89, an 88, and an 87. I think the new GFA is playing mind tricks on me though. My groups last night were leaning left inside the black whereas before they were more centered inside the black, so shots that would have been scored a 9, possibly an 8, due to me screwing up, turned out last night to be extreme 8s almost in the 7 line. So I think I need to add more a little more trigger finger with the GFA on there. No excuses though. We both need to work on this. Lets hit up the NRA range again next Thursday. Nice job on those FAST runs by the way. Way to manipulate that weapon system .

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