I wanted to run just a few live-fire drills today as a diagnostic. So I picked 2 challenging ones that fit the bill for diagnostic: the 3M Test, and the Rangemaster Handgun Core Skills Test. Yes, both from Rangemaster. I didn’t pick them because of that, they’re just good diagnostics. And I’ve never shot the Core Skills Test before, so I figured this should be good.
I did have to modify the drills slightly: using and IDPA target because that’s what was available. When i in doubt, I scored harder.
I started with this cold. Scored 114, which is good but not great. I shot it a few more times and my score averaged into the 140-150 range, which was much better. But I had some obvious problems.
First, I had a hardware problem. This mag pouch is just not working for me. In order to have enough retention on the mag, it makes it difficult to withdraw the magazine. If I make it easy to withdraw, there’s no retention. I know it’s something with this specific pouch because others in the past have not had this problem. In this case, my pouch broke, I ordered a new one from Comp-Tac, it wasn’t done right so it was sent back. I am not sure if they made a new one or just tried to bend/fix this one, but I got it back and it’s been this way. Again, this is not what I’ve typically experienced from Comp-Tac. I’ll figure something out.
Second, I do need to work on my reloads. This was a combination hardware and software problem. On the hardware side, I’m shooting a different M&P9 (my primary is in the shop), and this one doesn’t like to auto-forward as much. I’ve gotten used to the auto-forward and I think too used to it, because I find myself slamming the mag home and going right back to shooting – but now the slide is still locked back. Dang it — so that’s a fumble to get things going again. Also, during the Kathy Jackson class a little bit ago, I had multiple times when it did auto-forward but did NOT strip a round! I’m back to my old feeling that this auto-forward is a bug and not a feature (if it’s not 100% then there’s a bug somewhere). So I found myself fumbling my reloads because of the hardware issues. BUT really it’s straight-up me because I really should never have gotten used to the auto-forward and just always racked the slide. Even if it meant a round on the ground, meh. This is really reinforcing in me that I need to fix that, and just get better on my reloads.
Speaking of, another problem I had was gaming the drill. I found myself anticipating the malfunction a few times and thus I stuttered and added a second or two onto my time. Stupid. I need to just be in the drill, be in the moment, and let what happens happens.
Third, I just need to go faster. I can go faster and still get acceptable hits, but my brain is so wired towards accuracy first. Towards the end I shot the 3M a few more times and just pushed myself hard. Yes I had a couple shots outside the circle, but I really need to push myself more. I can do more, and I just have to really drill that into my head.
Anyways, this was good. Big takehomes: fix my gear, work on my reloads, be in the moment, allow myself to be faster.
Core Skills Test
Again, this was a first time shooting it. It’s not necessarily a tough drill, but because it’s scored Comstock it is tough — if you want a good score. You need to be fast, but you also need to be accurate.
I found myself holding back on this as well — didn’t want to miss, but I also know I can pick up the pace. I scored an 80, which is at the bottom edge of the “very good” range. Again, I know I was going slower than I could have, plus on the longer distances I dropped a couple outside the -0 ring. Honestly, I’m not sure how the official scoring on that would be, if it’d still be 5 points but I counted those as 3. Regardless, my score is “very good” but that’s still not good enough.
My take-homes from here are about the same as everything else I need to work on: getting faster on my draw and time to first shot (which wasn’t bad, just can still be improved), weak-hand, and working at longer distances (15 yards and up).
One thing that I think I’m going to have to do? Less dry fire. Well, not really that, but more live fire. Sure, there’s stuff to work on in dry fire that will help me, but I think I just need more live fire work to really fix some of the problems I’m working through. My brain knows the difference between dry and live and I need it to allow me to do in live what I can do in dry.
So, it’s about the same old same old for me.
The weather was great. It was good to get out and shoot a bit. And I’ve got more homework to do. 🙂