Did some live-fire training today.
One major difference was using a bone-stock factory M&P 9. The only modification was the dots on the rear sight were Sharpie-blacked out. The factory trigger isn’t bad, but it sure has a hard-break. Apex DCAEK is forthcoming, as well as some Dawson sights (Charger rear, serrated black, 0.125″ notch; red fiber front, 0.100″).
That said, the setup and exploration was simple: draw practice. Random start. Hands start in various positions (at sides, on earmuffs). From concealment (under a t-shirt). At the buzzer, draw and fire one shot on a 12″ steel target at 10 yards.
I started with some dry fire, just Wall Drill stuff. Mostly to get used to that trigger. Two hands, SHO, WHO. Then live fire with the same, just on target and pressing trigger. Then did the same from low ready. And then again from press-out. After that, from the holster and on the timer.
On the whole the times averaged out to about a 1.5 second concealment draw. Some faster (1.38 I think was my fastest), some slower, and most of the flubs came from not getting concealment out of the way. But really, I’m happy with this. The daily dry fire and pushing myself in dry work is paying off.
I want to push myself harder tho… right now I actually want to keep speed at about 1.5 seconds but get the accuracy in line. I’d like it to be 1.5 second and ALWAYS hitting (today it was not always hitting). I know that I’m pushing fast and not necessarily seeing what I need to see, but certainly was surprised at how often I did see. What was cool was because of the way the ground is right now (after all the rains), if I missed and hit the berm it kicked up these perfect dirt clouds. It was actually more obvious when I missed than when I hit! And many times I’d see my sights and what they were doing, and the cloud confirmed it. Like I noticed the sights were to the left and sure enough, cloud. It was most excellent feedback.
So I’m happy, but now I want to keep that pace and bring up the accuracy to go with it.
But as well, I want to play with a few parameters.
First, I want to try on paper targets so I can work at closer range. Work at relatively the same speed and see how it goes. Can I work at 3 yards and maybe get to 1.25?
Second, I wonder how much my concealment draw is holding me back. I can distinctly remember feeling like I had to wait with my right hand for my left hand to get the shirt out of the way before I could really move my right hand in. So, I want to try again from open carry and see how it goes. If nothing else, it may give me more information as to where I’m holding back and what sub-position to work on.
Crazy thing? After shooting like that, I tried doing some slower “group” shooting on a small distant steel. I was missing so I stopped, unloaded and worked dry. Holy crap, every single shot was a yank – sights dipping like mad! Thing is, I couldn’t help it. I kept trying to stop, but couldn’t. My arm muscles were just clenching. But I also realized it was an age-old problem — it was my strong-hand muscles really clenching, and my support-hand was not crushing. Once I realized that, crushed with the left hand, and all was better.
So… I got my homework. Back to dry fire.