Back in the dim mists of 2012 and 2013, I spent the offseason shooting a 1911 in Single Stack and CDP. When November 2014 rolled around and I took a Steve Anderson class, I was motivated to just keep dry firing through the winter and shooting Production, which I’ve continued to do every year since then. I might take some time off from practice when it’s cold out, but I haven’t shot a match with a different gun than my main once since. At the time, it was an M&P Pro, then in the 2016-2017 winter I switched to a … Read More
It was a good day out at the range with friends, and surprisingly warm if a little muddy in places. SC Section, Area 6, and Production Nationals are all coming up fast, so this is the first match of my 2021 season and it’s a good start. Scores are here. Since the last two matches, when I was shooting my M&P Pro, I had taken a few weeks off over Christmas and gotten back into dry fire with the Stock 2, putting in two sessions the week before this match. For the most part, it all came right back, although … Read More
For the first of what I intend to be a recurring series, I want to talk through interesting stages and break down what I think we can learn from each one. First up, we have this stage that I designed for the January 2021 USPSA match at Sir Walter Gun Club. Here’s the screenshot I sent (along with the sketchup file) to the build team: The yellow lines are the fault lines, and the pairs of Xs on the ground are steel markers we stake into the ground as a start position. Options Usually when people talk about options in … Read More
There is an idea in shooting instruction that there is no such thing as advanced techniques, just the same fundamentals applied faster. There are two possible reasons that I can think of that someone would say this. The first, more charitable one, is the emphasis that fundamentals don’t change and there are no secret ninja tricks. If you want to get good, you have to have good fundamentals. And, as far as it goes, I think that’s true. But there are some “fundamental” techniques that just don’t come in to play if you’re trying to shoot fast in a USPSA … Read More
In my experience, the main problem with dry fire practice is that I try to do too much all at once. I want to work on five different deficiencies. I want to work on things on the move before I have made progress standing still. I tell myself I should dry fire for long stretches of time, and I end up putting it off until it’s too late in the evening to even put the belt on. The only solution that I’ve found to this is organization and planning. Write down (on paper, not your phone) a list of the … Read More
Since the NC Section match wrapped up last week, things have slowed down a bit and I’ve had time to look ahead to what my training looks like for the rest of the year. As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that my training this summer has been basically none, with a handful of live fire sessions and basically no dry fire since March. This was largely a consequence of things reaching a breaking point for me at my old job, which has now changed. Also, we just found out that the 2021 Area 6 match will be two hours away, … Read More
This week on the podcast, I talk about the idea that there is no such thing as a perfect match. First, as a competitor: you’ll never have a match without flaws, and that’s fine. Second, as a match attendee: there will always be something imperfect about the match, and all you can do is let it go and shoot the challenge in front of you.
This week on the podcast, I talk about the 2019 Production Nationals in Frostproof, Florida. I talk through my thoughts about the match compared to previous years, review my personal performance, and raise my two big concerns with the way Nationals are being run in recent years. Match video of all 21 stages is here.
I saw some discussion elsewhere online talking about the upcoming Low Cap Nationals and how best to take advantage of the practice/warmup bays that are typically available at Frostproof (as well as any halfway decent range that is hosting a match as big as Nationals). It wouldn’t be productive for me to post my answer there, but it got me thinking about the question. Should you use the practice/warmup bays at big matches? No. But I thought the different reasons why were worth talking about. So, to start, let’s paint the picture of what these bays look like, in my … Read More
At a match last weekend, while our squad was shooting the classifier, a friend who practices a lot but only gets to shoot one match a month asked me: “How do you guys reload like that? I try and practice reloads, and mine are never that smooth.” and then he mimed fumbling a reload as I started to consider what he was asking. “What do you do?” he asked. “Just more reps?” Now, I don’t know what other guys do, just what’s worked for me. But here’s what I told him: More reps won’t fix doing the wrong thing. All … Read More
This summer, one of the changes I’m making to my practice is to live fire at least one evening a week. Last year, I would live fire every weekend I wasn’t shooting a match, which was two practice sessions most months. This new schedule gives me four a month, with as many as six if I go on the weekends. This is much more in line with the typical practice schedule for someone who wants to be competitive at the GM level. The First Practice Last Friday, June 22nd, was the second week of this new routine. It had been … Read More
Another example of why you have to look for patterns in your practice and not just score the targets, from my practice this past weekend: Technically this run on Ben Stoeger’s Practical Accuracy was all 6 hits, none even really cutting it close. And the time was fast. A few hundredths faster than the runs before it. But it was also sloppy and bad technique. I felt myself pulling the trigger with my whole hand, and so it’s no coincidence that 4 of the 6 shots clustered low left. So for the next rep, I focused on gripping the gun … Read More