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J.C.'s shooting log


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#21 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:57 AM

Wow it's been way too long since I updated this. Well today is the seventh day in which I have dry fired. While knowing I SHOULD practice and the techniques I learned at TDSA taught me the correct way TO shoot, I never could grasp on the HOW of practicing. What to look for during practice that would tell me to move on to the next step or what EXACTLY what was going to happen by doing it one way versus another.

 

Ive dry fired more this week than I can shamefully admit I have all year and, while shooting a bunch of matches, I never stopped to instill the proper fundamentals. Likewise, the drills I did do were out of Steve Anderson's book, and although a very thorough book, I found myself chasing the timer instead of doing things properly while attempting to increase my speed. This resulted in a consistent level of inconsistency at matches, often times I would do real well on half the stages while tanking the others. Despite this I was able to win these this year. 2nd Place C-class at the Old Fort Shootout and 3rd Place C-class at Area 4.

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While this was thrilling for me to receive it also reminded me of a goal I did not accomplish. At the beginning of this year my goal was to place in the top 3 in A-class at Area 4, a far departure of what I was actually able to do. Fuck!!, Im still in C-class!!! Most of this year I worked on breaking down stages as efficiently as I could and though I did improve in that area, not being able to put the damn bullet where I wanted rendered most stage plans somewhat irrelevant when I would riddle them with misses. Again, it was kickass to get these but they've turned into the jump off point and motivation to get better.

 

Fast forward to now, and a new practice schedule that I am following. Ive gotten some excellent advice from EG, and he is helping me steer clear of the pitfalls that come with losing focus even in practice. Like I said before I was so busy trying to beat an arbitrary set time that I was losing my fundamentals. So Ive been doing slow, deliberate draw strokes and focusing on every aspect of them, gripping the gun, bringing weakhand to the spot where it will meet the gun, flicking off tumb safety, preppting trigger, pressing out gun, focusing on sight picture and finally breaking the shot. Similarly, Ive been doing the same with the reload. Focusing on looking in the mag and reacquiring the proper grip while prepping the trigger again. As Eric calls them, sub-conscience burn reps, essentially teaching my sub-conscience what it feels like to have the proper grip and do a proper reload. This makes more sense to me now than it ever did before; finishing up this semester of psychology has helped me understand HOW the conscience and sub-conscience work together.

 

With this new training schedule I am confidently holding true to my previous goal and raising it to 1st place A-Class at Area 4. With the year almost over and it being a slow part of the 'shooting season' I am eager to continue and know this is a prime time to work on what I should have been doing all of this year. I most likely wont be updating this everyday with the same, boring, stale " I did the same shit again today" post. This post is to essentially keep a somewhat, periodic update, I may update monthly or quarterly, who knows. I just know Im ready to get out of C-class. lol.


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#22 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:29 AM

3 week update: One thing Ive noticed while, still, drawing in slow motion is that its becoming almost of a conscious filling requirement to SLOW DOWN! Even after the first week and partly into the second I noticed I was speeding up. While ideally this is a desired result for game day; in practice I want to remain methodical. I will step away from a moment and remind myself to slow down.

 

As a result of the snow storms' effect of long work days throughout last week there were a few days I missed getting the practice in. Taking the good out of the bad I got back to it tonight and noticed instantly that the practice is paying off. As the first draw was finished everything was were it was supposed to be...where it has been trained to be.

Trigger prep was good along with the grip. It happened without conscious thought. So I turned up the Godsmack and got back to it.

 

Also, I noticed there were roughly 3% of the the trigger pulling stage where the sights would raise to my eyes and SNAP, trigger was pulled before I was consciously ready. Speaking with EG I was assured this is what Im desiring in my training....its becoming subconscious..."second nature"

 

I tested this by using different aiming point on my loading bench and each time it just seemed the sights were there as soon as the gun was out of the holster. High, low, right, left...didn't matter much...the sights got there and were lined up. My eyes have also improved in terms of having a focus on target and as soon as I draw gun and sights come into my peripheral  vision, my eyes hone in on the front sight and by the time its a sharp focus on it, trigger is pulled. This all happens in a split second but seems like it is so slow.

 

Will keep at it until next month where Ill move on to the next stage.


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#23 Eric Gambill

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:17 AM

Sounds like things are moving along good. Be sure to mix a session of wrists above shoulders and turning draws every once in a while. Every third session or so.

With the WAS draws, find a place for your hands to start that you can repeat every time. With the turns, you want economy of motion with the foot work and get those eyes on target. It's kinda awkward to do subcon turns at first but you really feel what works and what doesn't.

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#24 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

Update:

 Just finished up my second week of the new drills. Ive continued to do the slow rep draws and reloads but this time Im adding two new drills. One is geared towards transitions; snapping my eyes to the next target and having the gun and specifically, the sights follow and lined up. The other drill is geared towards speed. Getting the feel for the motion of speed. I put aside the focus on getting the perfect grip down, trigger prep...etc etc. ( that is what the slow motion draw and reload is for) and just try to have GM type speed while still maintaining a adequate sight picture. Hopefully soon I will be able to get some live fire incorporated as to speed up the improvement. I feel the dry fire has benefited me greatly, but getting to sling some lead along with it can only help even more. Also, I plan on picking up Ben Stoegers training books and I will then begin to incorporate them into my training. As it goes, it just takes consistency and dedication.


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#25 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

Good time to update this thing. I recently got the paperback versions of ben stoegers live fire drill book and practical pistol and got kindle versions of lanny basshams "With Winning in Mind" and stoegers dry fire books. I also printed off a template of the mini targets in Jame's thread and made 6 of them, spray painting the back of them white so I have a no shoot target for the upcoming drills in Ben's book. So far I feel things are improving, small tweaks in my draw and reload process have yielded more consistent positive results. Ive also found Lanny's book extremely insightful and would recommend them to anyone wanting to change and improve their mental game. Today's drills consisted of 25 yrd shots, which due to limited space, was a bit of a challenge for me to setup. So I pinned the mini targets up on the front door and proceeded to do the drills from the back of the hallway which is 7 yards, while aiming for the upper half of the targets trying to reproduce the need to get a sharper sight picture as seen in the 25 yard shot. In Ben's book there are beginner, intermediate and advanced par times to shoot for. I stuck with the intermediate times throughout my session and still found some drills extremely difficult which led me to dial in the beginner times. Still there was much to be learned. Relaxing was the biggest factor I found between making a smooth reload and launching the mag into the kitchen. Typically each drill had me do 10 reps each but I found myself running a bit longer in the training time because I didn't count the reps of draws and reloads that I messed up. The other drill I did tonight was basically the same drills but from 3 yards. Critical thing I learned was to not get sloppy on the draw and reload at such a close range. Its very easy to skip on technique in order to feed our ego of a fast first shot. I know for me ive done this in the past and neglected to remember that there are other targets to engage in a course of fire that are not 3 yards. Touching upon the mental game, in Lanny's book the practice of positively reinforcement is a common sentiment found practically on every page. Thinking on a bad shot or a missed reload after a stage increases the chance of it happening again, thus the need to not harp on the mess ups but focus on the positives. mental rehearsal is another process ive been doing in dry fire...so far it has yielded better results. looking forward to the next match to implement these practices......its time to get to my goal of A class this year.

 

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#26 UCOShooter (Garrett Nance)

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:51 PM

Good work man! Keep it up! Where did you find the paperback versions of those books (Amazon or something)?


"Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."


#27 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:12 PM

Thanks bro, yea amazon for both paperback and kindle. I cant lie, I like the kindle version because I downloaded the app on my phone and can have it that way.


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#28 UCOShooter (Garrett Nance)

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:30 PM

Ok thats cool! I been looking for good dry fire drills, thanks for the heads up!


"Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."


#29 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:44 PM

New month and still plugging away at dry fire, 5x a week, 30 min a day...mostly. I feel things are finally coming together, still got some things to work out though. Between the matches at okcgc and H&H I was noticing some hitches in my draw. OKCGC match I felt my draws were solid in technique but still somewhat sluggish. I don't like to use the word slow in this context because I honestly don't see a lightning speed type draw that beneficial when the following shots are not 2 alpha. At least not right now.

 

Today I believe I finally worked out the hitch in my draw. As the buzzer went off and I began my draw and lifted gun into line of sight I noticed I was inconsistent at picking up the sight. on one draw it was dead nuts center on target, the next it was missing the notch all together. It was because I was bringing the gun to the centerline of my body instead of bringing it up to my dominate eye line of sight. I remember Matt Burkett saying something to that affect in a podcast last year or so. Now this doesn't mean that im closing my left eye in order to have only my dominate eye open, but by adjusting my grip, arm extension and where the gun was brought up to I saw instant positive results. There was no more searching for a front sight...it was just there, right where it needed to be. This also made the extension of my arms more comfortable, stable and consistent. As soon as the front sight was in view my arms were in perfect position and the speed of them moving didn't cause the front sight to bounce at the end of the extension. Its as if the front sight was pinned to the target.

 

After OKCGC match and one stage calling for strong hand on one string and weak hand on the next.....and proceeding to have a shitload of penalties on that stage I made an effort to include strong/weak hand drills into the sessions even if the drills did not call for them. At the H&H match I was able to reap the benefits, getting my only stage win of the night in my division on the stage that called for one handed shooting. As a result of the classifier, Ill be B class and a step close to the goal I set at the beginning of the year. Place top 3 in A class at Area 4, unfortunately ill have to wait till next months update.

 

Reloads are improved as well. Just for shits and giggles I wanted to see what I could do at the end of my practice session and put 1 sec on the par timer. Had gun lined up center of target and waited for the beep....bam! nailed it!! Reloaded, sight back on target and shot made. This made me very pleased and I proceeded to have a cigarette afterwards.


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#30 Eric Gambill

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:26 AM

Draw speed means nothing if it doesn't consistently create a solid grip and shooting platform to make accurate shots. Also, draw speed to sight picture should be the same for any shot, whether it's a 5yd open target or a 25yd plate. The extra time comes from refining the sight picture to make the shot with the accuracy required. If you watch vids of different shooters you can see this happening, the actual speed the gun comes up out of the holster slows on hard shots .One thing I have been working on this year is throwing my support hand over and getting it on the gun as soon as possible.

Congrats on B, now just step right over it because you don't need it. A class is coming, just keep working.

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#31 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:44 AM

I agree. That little tweak made the sight alignment more consistant. After reading Stoegers books i had to change my hand placement from when i started practicing back in november. Bringing that support hand as close to the gun as possible has helped tremendously.
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#32 Jared Carpenter

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 08:45 PM

So my updated shooting log consists of not much.

I opened up the loading port on my M2 via youtube videos and replaced almost all the springs.

I did shoot a hundred, yes...100 shells working on snapping the gun up from low ready on targets at 10 and 12 yards. .46 was my best time with the high .50's being the average.

Port arms yielded a bit slower results with best being .67 and worsr being a hair over a second.

Updating shooting logs is funsies. See ya in 2 years
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