Pushing faster

Had an eye-opening practice session a couple days ago.

Karl’s trying to push me on some things (in a good way), and one is taking my performance up a notch. This was the first time I got to live-fire it, and it was full of learning.

Started off with my normal carry rig and shot the Rangemaster 3M Test, which I think is just a great, quick diagnostic. Shot it 3 times (first was totally cold), and times were in the high 8 seconds, which is about par for my performance. What I was happy about? Performing to my known level cold, instead of having to warm-up to it — which has been my norm for a while. What was I unhappy about? My time to first shot ran in the 1.6-1.8 range, which is slower than I want – I want to be consistent in IWB concealment draw from my normal carry rig (not like an IDPA gaming concealment rig) at 1.5 seconds (or less). I know what I need to do, I just need to get my body used to it. I think the thing I did at the end of this session may help me. The other thing was being slow on the reload: 2 seconds just sucks. I could really improve my 3M performance.

I then shot the 3 Seconds or Less drill one time just because. Did fine, until the final weak-hand and I dropped one. Ugh.

But that was the end of that. I just wanted to shoot these to see where I was with things.

The real work was taking off my carry rig and putting on the USPSA production-class gaming rig.

Karl wants me to work on getting a 1.0 second draw. Start at 3 yards, don’t worry about scoring, just make 1.0 and get a hit somewhere (anywhere) on cardboard.

I spent a while working that at 3 yards, then moved to 4, then 5, then 7. I was mostly at 3 yards to get the handle on things, and only moved back as I felt comfortable. I didn’t spend a lot of time at the other distances because ammo and time, and mostly they were “to see” how it went.

It was eye opening.

I think my fastest period was like 0.88, and it was on cardboard but I think a Charlie or Delta (don’t recall). I could get in the 0.9’s and get on paper. If I wanted to get in the A-Zone I did have to get a bit more sight picture – didn’t have to be textbook perfect, but I had to get SOME sort of index. If I had everything right (didn’t muff the draw), got some sort of acceptable sight picture, etc. I was pretty consistent in the 0.95 – 1.05 range. If something muffed, then something would blow: the time, the target, something.

For sure, as distance increased I had to be a little more sure on the sight picture, but interestingly I found that if I had a good body index/alignment and the draw was right, I could still hit 1.0-ish at 7 yards and A-Zone just fine. That is, it felt really no different at 3 or 7 yards what I was doing or seeing, and the key was my body index and having a solid and repeatable “drawstroke and presentation”.

A few other things?

Getting VERY aggressive on the draw. When you hear that beep, MOVE!!! Like you’re on fire. This easily made a 0.1 to 0.3 second difference, and the difference between making the 1.0 par time or not.

To help with the draw, it’s all about consistency. Getting that movement pattern to be repeatable, efficient, etc..  So you can just “drop you hand” and boom, it’s all right there.

I found that if I was trying the proper 4-count drawstroke, it was slower. If I basically smeared/skipped through step 2, I was a lot faster — and still got my hits.

So what to do in dry work for this?

Work on reaction time to the beep, and getting a solid and consistent draw, that has some sort of sight picture/index (with further distances being more picture perfect). And in doing this, working on index. I recall some Duane Thomas article on this somewhere; I’ll have to go find it again.

I expect this should help with my concealment work too. 🙂

Oh and I need to do a little Dremel work on this gaming holster. It hits the mag release button just right. So when I get aggressive and really get after getting the gun out from the holster, I draw… and my mag goes flying. 🙂  Not good.

Anyways, eye opening for sure. I’ve got work to do.