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Practice Session - Working on flinch and twitch. 8/27/11

Oops, you klutz!  This is embarrassing but I made a really stupid mistake.  No, I didn't shoot myself on accident, or the dog for that matter.  I was trying to get to the Leesburg IDPA event at the Gun Shop I arrived there nice and early at 7:40AM.  I noticed that the parking lot was empty, but there were five cars in the corner of the parking lot in front of the back door.  Sweet, I guess thats where everyone is staging.  Thinking I'll go help set up, I walked up to the door and tried to open the door.  It was locked.  Then multiple dogs started barking.  Oops.  Whatever it was, this was not the door to go through to try and help set up the stages.  What should I do?  I could run, but that would just reinforce the idea that I'm a thief or some other sort of criminal.  So I stayed there.  Someone came up to the door, and from behind it angrily told me the that they open at 10:00AM.  I shouted through the door that I was there for the IDPA event.  All I got was an even more angry reply that the range opened at 10:00AM.  Weird.  They must have pushed back the starting time an hour or something.  Also very rude considering that there was a match that day.

I had invited a friend, who runs Trung Nguyen Photography, to come shoot the match with me.  I called him and told him whats going on, and that I didn't want to hang around this guy's parking lot.  So I killed some time with him walking around a local grocery store.  One thing about Leesburg.  Nothing is open at 8AM.

Then it dawned on me.  Did I misread the time for the event?  Trung checked on his smarty-pants phone since I had destroyed my smarty-pants phone that had replaced the previous smarty-pants phone as referenced in this entry.  Long story.  Anyways, I did misread the time!  I was a whole day too early!  So I probably woke up the guy who lives on the range property.  He was probably standing behind that door with a pretty powerful gun.  I was kinda pissed at how I was treated earlier, but now that was being replaced by guilt.

Me and Trung just practiced that day.  I realized I shouldn't go to the match the next day, since I'd been out and about too much that week.  Gotta have some resemblence of responsibility for the family.  I can't say my experience at the range was super awesome, but more on that later.  Ask me in person or something.  Range report (the practice report kind)

My vertical accuracy sucks so I really wanted to improve on that.  At the Gun Shop range you are not allowed to rapid fire, so I was limited on things to work on.. I decided to focus on fixing my bad habit: I tend to shoot low and to the right.  Just a little bit; an inch or two off in that direction at about 10 yards.  Fine, maybe I can slow fire better than most gun people, but when firing a string at a defensive pistol shooting match, those accuracy problems were going to be exaggurated.  There was no way my grip and mind would work to fire rapidly and decently acurate, if my grip and mind didn't work perfectly in slow-fire. So I needed to work on making my slow-fire shot placement perfect, consistently.  I tackled this problem with two things.

Small Cardboard Targets
A few weeks ago I got in the habit of taking the cardboard boxes my ammo comes in, cutting it up into rectangles, and taping it to my targets.  It was cool because it helped me practice "aim small, miss small."  I'd fire a string of five rounds and count how many were on target.  I usually had it vertically.  Since humans stand up straight, it made sense to practice on that type of target.  But today, I taped it horizontally.  This would force me to work on my vertical sight alignment and release.  I tried to control my rate of fire but I still kept the pace up.

Bullseye shooting
Another thing I did was to just get on the standard targets and work on hitting exactly where I aimed.  When I do this my groups are usually good but its always off low and to the right.  I attacked this problem by working on the pressure from my support hand, and working on the release.
Aside from this being a very bad picture of me, it shows my bad habits.
Results: noticeable improvement.  It took me a few practice sessions to isolate my problems, and I'm glad this day I could start working on it.  You know what is sad though?  When I was 17, and when I first fired a handgun; a Beretta 92FS, virtually same as my current game gun, I did better than this.  I think we shot for about two hours; towards the end of the two hours, I was firing a 6-8 inch group at 25 yards.  A few sessions later I was making small holes with a 1911 at 15 yards.  Today I cannot replicate that accuracy.  Sure, my eyes have deteriorated a bit since then, but I think its more than just my eyes.  Also, having been workign on fast consecutive shots for the last few months, I feel that I've neglected good old slow fire accuracy, and that as a result my overall accuracy have suffered.  Over the next few weeks I'll continue to practice slow-fire and dry fire a lot.

Slightly better picture.  Same target as the picture above.  I do have one flier next to my thumb.
Another good thing I noticed is that now I can call my shots!  Awesome.  At least my eyes are much better adjusted to spot and track my sights.  It was like a light bulb went off.

Please check out www.trungnguyenphotography.com.  Great photos.  If you need a good, versatile photographer for your events, Trung a ring.  He shot all of the above pictures in bad lighting at an indoor range, where there aren't a lot of opportunities of a good shot.

1 comment:

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