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.