Need to go FASTer

I slipped away this morning to do something long overdue: a trip to the gun range.

Met friend and fellow KR Training assistant instructor, Tom Hogel, at the Austin Rifle Club and we worked. This wasn’t just time to throw lead downrange, but a time to do some serious practice.

We focused on one drill, the FASTest. We did a little group and one-handed shooting at the end (2-3 mags worth), but the bulk of the 200+ rounds we each shot was all F.A.S.T. drill.

I have never shot the FASTest before today. Yeah, I know… we use it in KRT classes, it’s been around for a while, but for whatever reason or other I never got around to shooting it despite wanting to for the longest time. I’m glad I finally got to.

Most of my times were in the 8 to 8.3 second range (shot clean), but a handful were sub-8 with my best being 7.5 (I think 7.57).  I can live with that for a first time and being sorely out of practice.

Shooting the drill that many times (30-ish?) and I see the things I need to work on.

First, my draw and present. Yes, I could pick up a couple of tenths with a faster draw (i.e. hear buzzer, lift shirt, hand to gun, remove from holster and get to position 3 of the draw… that compressed ready position) because I was intentionally going a bit slower because I did not want to rush so fast and fumble things. I wanted to be solid, and if I have to be slower to get there, fine. But the draw itself I’m not going to sweat as much, I just know there’s a few tenths of a second to pick up in there. The bigger thing that slowed me down was the “press out”. Pressing the gun out, getting the finger on the trigger, finding the front sight, and pressing off that first shot — into that tiny target. The last time I did live fire, it felt like I forgot how to press out… I could empty the gun and have no problems dry, but doing it live and I just couldn’t do it, literally! Today was better, but it was just too much time to press out, ensure I found the sights and had a good enough sight picture, then press of a clean shot (no trigger slapping/yanking) into that tiny target. That’s the #1 thing to work on and pick up time in.

Second, reload. Maybe it’s just too much time drilling self-defense skills and not enough “gaming” drills but my brain wanted a signal that I needed to reload: press trigger and it didn’t go bang. I would find myself constantly going “oh yeah, I need to reload now!”. This is more of a “gaming” aspect, but it’s certainly part of the drill, that the moment that second shot happens to get my left hand off the gun and moving to my belt to get the reload going. Of course, the reload itself, work on that too. Getting the magazine out from under my shirt takes a lot of time and I always felt like that was a good fumble point, so I want to see what could be done, technique wise, to improve that area.

Third, grip pressure. Tom noticed that many of my “4 shots to the circle” would land in different spots. Given what he was saying, that’s inconsistent grip pressure. This comes from too much dry and not enough live work. I remember to work on grip when I’m dry, but it’s very easy to let it relax or vary, and without more live fire to give you the recoil, it’s hard to work up on grip management.

Granted, there are other things I can work on too, but I think those are the three big ones, especially the present/press-out… and into a tiny target.

We finished off with some group shooting and I was happy with how that went.

Plus now that Tom’s shooting a 9, that means I got a lot more brass for reloading. 😉

A good day. I’m glad Tom pulled me out. I needed that, badly. Thanx, Tom!

Now… I’ve got things to work on.

6 thoughts on “Need to go FASTer

  1. Pingback: on the FAST drill « Stuff From Hsoi

        • Yeah. I’m not sure that’s THE one I’d want to get, but certainly along the lines.

          I’m trying to NOT do anything to the 1911 yet. Need to shoot it more to get a better idea of just what I would want. Magwell yes but… exactly what, would I want the mainspring housing to be arched, etc etc… zillions of possibilities. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Scaling targets « Stuff From Hsoi

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