Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Draw and Reload times

Here are some draw and reload times form a couple of practice sessions. The June times were shot to estblish a base line for measureing progress on "El Presidente." The August times are from reloading practice, shooting at 8" round plates about 11 yards away. Not exactly comparable, but at least they give an idea. It looks like I'm now about a tenth of a second faster on the draw and a quarter second faster on the reload. That's progress!
The Q is for "quartile" at in quarters. A quarter of my times were faster than Q1 and a quarter were slower than Q3. A median can also be called Q2, or the second quartile. Medians and quartiles are a good way of looking at the center and spread of small datasets. If you don't know a lot of stats, you are probably scratching your head. Still, you don't need stats to look at the table and see that all of the August times are faster than all of the June times.

June DrawAugust Draw
June ReloadAugust Reload

Training and a few words about my holster.

OK, I'm in week three of the plan, so let's see what I should be doing:
3) week three - review goals daily
a) Walk 30 minutes a day
10 minutes into walk do five 15 yard sprints
Dry fire 15 minutes a day focusing on transitions and drawing to positions
Hold gun up as long as possible weak hand and strong hand twice a day pressing the trigger to the rear without disturbing the sights.
Visualize shooting a smooth match and focus on the feelings of how that would feel
Live fire practice movement and box work
Live fire practice group shooting
Compete in local competitions focusing on speed

At this point I'm walking and running for half an hour, plus all the dry firing, and we're talking about a significant chunk of time. I'm also slaking on the Visualizing and live fire practice. I'm doing more jogging that sprinting, but I'll do the sprints from now on.

Visualize a smooth match? I had trouble visualizing a perfect sight picture. I will try to visualize doing everything smoothly in the match.

So, I'm doing some dry-fire drawing and reloading practice last weekend, and now my right wrist sounds like a cement mixer. I think it's my holster. When I ordered the holster, I knew I was going to use if for Production, which requires that the holster be behind the hip. I figured that a holster with a forward cant* would be easier to draw from behind the hip. Well, that may be true if the holster is way behind the hip, but drawing from back there is really slow, and a little awkward. IPSC/USPSA doesn't make you draw from quite that far back, and with the holster further forward you really have to crank your wrist to get a good grip on the gun. Doing that a bunch of times in a row hurts. Fortunately, a new SideArmor ( modular holster should be on the way.  That should do the trick.

The dry practice is helping the reloads a lot. I'm focusing on getting my had on the mag in the right place, with my index finger laying on the tip of the first round; pulling the gun back to the same spot; and looking the magazine into the well. I'm going to keep that smooth, and let the speed come.

Remind me to tell you about the fuzz on the tennis ball, and the swimmer's fingernail. There is also a good thread on the Brian Enos forums for visualizing a stage that I want to talk about next time.

*For those who don't know, a forward cant holster tilts the butt of the gun forward. If you were looking at the barrel from the right side, it would look like this:  /  . For some reason, the FBI likes the forward cant, so it is also known as the FBI cant. A vertical holster holds the gun straight up and down, so the barrel looks like this | . Most IPSC/USPSA shooters have holster canted backward, like this  \  , which can be really fast with a race of holster. I covet a race holster, but they are not allowed in production class.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Still going

Ok, it's been a few days since i checked in, but I'm still with the plan. It occurs to me that I need a measurable way to track actual progress. I recorded some data from a practice session a few weeks ago, things like draw time, reload time. Anyway, if I can find that data, I'll post it here for comparison.

Sunday's practice was not what I was planning, but it was a hell of a good day. I had been planning on setting up a couple of classifiers, and having Dave and I shoot them. He ended up bringing a couple of friends who were relatively new to pistol shooting and not into the IPSC, so that plan got scratched. That means I still need to do some match-type shooting. On the up side, we had a blast. Cool people, fun shooting and a good diner after. Now I have to get some work done on my thesis.

Friday, August 20, 2004

August 20

Still going with the plan. I have a lot of thesis work to do today, so shooting will take a bit of a back seat. I should get some good practice in this weekend.
Anyway, the plan
a) Walk briskly 10 minutes a day
b) Dry fire 10 minutes a day - basic dry fire plan
c) Hold gun up as long as possible weak hand and strong hand twice a day pressing the trigger to the rear without disturbing the sights.
d) Visualize 5 minutes a day of a perfect sight picture
e) Live fire practice timing drills and transitions
Not today. Libraries frown on Live fire practice. Something about the noise :).
f) Compete in local competitions focusing on safety and smoothness
Tomorrow, I swear.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The plan, week one

The plan is based on Matt Burkett's 10 week shooting plan. I will post a link ASAP. Anyway, here is the plan for week one from Matt:

Week one – write down goals for the 10 week project and for your seasons shooting
a) Walk briskly 10 minutes a day
Dry fire 10 minutes a day – basic dry fire plan
Hold gun up as long as possible weak hand and strong hand twice a day pressing the trigger to the rear without disturbing the sights.
Visualize 5 minutes a day of a perfect sight picture
Live fire practice timing drills and transitions
Compete in local competitions focusing on safety and smoothness

My goal is to make B-Class in Production division. I've got to get my "Percentage" above 60%. I think my shooting is about where it should be for B-class (that doesn't mean I'm not going to try and improve it), but I am slow on draws, reloading, and movement. I also need improvement on strong and weak hand shooting. Right now, my draws and reloads are at around two seconds for a ten yard target. If I can knockoff half a second from each of those, that would make a huge difference. I also want to get better at movement: Getting into and out of shooting positions, starting to move as soon as the last shot from a position is gone, and being ready to shoot as soon as I get to the next position.

So, how am I doing with the plan?

a) Done (actually, closer to 20 min).
b) Done. I did some dry draw and dry reloading too. You can never do enough dry-firing though.
c) Did one set. I will do the other tonight. Oy! that's a strain.
d) This is one for a more relaxed time of day to, so tonight.
e) I did a loose interpretation of "transitions" and shot plates from behind a barricade. Mostly one-shot, switch sides, repeat. Also did two shots, and reloading while switching sides. I definitely noticed some things. Like, I don't have to pull the pistol in nearly as far as I thought I did.
f)There are no local competitions this week, so maybe I'll set up a classifier or two at my range.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

One more Tech test

Just to make sure that email publishing works like I expect it to.

Getting Started

This is just some technical crap. I wanted a template with links, but I didn't like any of the templates that had links, so I'm trying to modify one, and I have to have a post before I can preview the damn thing. so there.