Rank #1: Things We Wish We Knew When We Started - 143
This weeks episode was inspired by a question sent in by a friend who just recently had his 3rd anniversary in competitive shooting. He asked what we would change, or what we wish we had known early on in our competitive shooting careers. It spurred an interesting discussion.
Local Shooting Sports News:
Two matches coming up that you might want to be aware of:
NC USPSA Sectional - October 2-4 at Sir Walter Gun Club in Creedmoor, NC. Details at NCsection.org
Hawkeye Gun Club in Lake Lure, NC will be hosting their annual Autism charity match September 18-19th. It's for a great cause, and you can register here.
Gear That Doesn't Suck
This week Ben plugs Ben Stoeger's Practical Pistol book. Ben read it as a fairly experienced shooter, and didn't gain a ton from it, but he's been handing it off to a couple of newer folks recently, and they've been having their minds blown by it. If you're new, or if you want to read up on some more technique type stuff for practical pistol shooting, grab a copy of this one.
Plug of the Week
LuckyGunner has an article up on their blog that's worth a read. We don't necessarily agree with the points made by everyone but it's thought provoking.
- (919) 295-6128
Rank #2: USPSA Grand Master Steve Anderson - 107
Ben is taking a 2 day handgun class with Steve Anderson from That Shooting Show and he had a chance to sit down with him and record an episode. They talk quite a bit about USPSA, and the mental game. If you aren't familiar with Steve, he's known in the competitive shooting world as the dry fire guy. He's written a few books on the subject, and now he hosts a podcast (along with his dogs and David Lee Roth) where he talks more about the practical shooting mental game, dry fire, and match management.
"Where's the improvement gonna come from if you don't strap on the gear and get to work?"
You can find Steve at AndersonShooting.com with links to purchase his books, sign up for classes, and subscribe to his podcast.
Rank #3: Jeff Wallace Answers Your Reloading Questions
This week Jeff from NC Shooters Supply is on the podcast answering your reloading questions. We had a lot of y'all submit questions, so first and foremost thank you for sending them in!
There's a TON of information in this episode, but please feel free to put any more questions you may have in the comments, and we'll get them answered in the future.
Rank #4: 3 Pillars of Competitive Shooting - 111
If your goal is to become a better shooter, competitive shooting has 3 “pillars” that are advantages over just shooting at the square range:
- Schedule: The match starts when it starts, so you can’t just decide to go to the range later, or tomorrow, or whenever. It forces you to commit to shooting the match when it’s happening.
- Scoring: Competitive shooting gives you a quantifiable means to judge things like gear, technique, etc. Shot timers don’t work very well on the shooting line at a public range with lots of other people shooting, and you don’t get the opportunity to shoot from different positions, or scenarios drawn up by other people.
- Exposure: When shooting a match, you’ll be exposed to the best shooters in your area, maybe even some of the best shooters in the world (especially if you’re in the Triangle area) so you can see techniques, and really get a feel for just how those folks do things. You might learn a thing or two…
Legislation introduced in Ohio would allow for Active Duty military personnel to carry concealed handguns without a permit in the state.
USPSA issued a statement (.pdf) on the security breach of their website. Turns out they didn’t encrypt the passwords for a specific reason.Contact
Rank #5: How Travis Beal Got Good at Shooting
This week I had a local Production Master Travis Beal come on the podcast. Travis and I used to be close to the same level, and then all the sudden he rocketed past me and started really killing it as a shooter. As it stands now, he's going to become a Grand Master any time, and it's all because of the change of mindset he had after getting disqualified at a major match.
Rank #6: Marty Wood - NC USPSA Section Coordinator
This week on the podcast I interviewed Marty Wood, the new NC USPSA Section Coordinator. We talked about everything from the future of USPSA in North Carolina, to announcing the date and location of the 2018 NC Sectional match.
I wanted to say a special thanks to Marty for driving to Raleigh to meet with me to talk about all of this, and I'm really excited about seeing what happens with him at the wheel as the section coordinator of NC USPSA.
If you want to get ahold of Marty, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact him through the NC Section website at www.ncsection.org.
Rank #7: Q&A: Is my Glock 19 holding me back? Heard any Production rumors?
Bryan What is a good age to start a junior shooter? A lot of it probably has to do with maturity/responsibility. Start them with a pellet gun, BB gun, .22?
Bryan My practice range is an indoor range, and can be rather loud at times; what is great practice drill to do that does not require a shot timer?
Mark Hello Lucas. Thank you for your show. You've helped me get started in competitive shooting. As a middle-aged guy, my biggest challenge is my eye sight. I only use glasses for reading and computer work. I don't wear prescription glasses otherwise which includes shooting. This means the front sight is always fuzzy. I shoot fairly accurately, but I know this is holding me back. I've tried some of my own junk science by shooting with my reading glasses. This brings the front sight into focus, but it makes the target fuzzier than before. I've only done this on a limited basis since my reading glasses aren't safety glasses. My results have been mixed. What do other shooters do to overcome this?
Chris Are there any benefits to shooting 40 Minor for production or Carry Optics?
Edd When shooting competition, where/how do the different bullet weights come into play? 9mm/.40
Steve what movement drills do you practice most in dry fire?
Mike I've been reviewing my match and practice videos and I've noticed something in common, I can get the gun on target fast, but then it looks like I just leave the gun hanging there forever or at least a good second before actually pulling the trigger all the way through, I assume that I'm letting the sights settle. I am using a revolver so every shot is double action and am currently trying to improve my accuracy so I don't just want to push myself to go faster and blaze my way through. Any drills you would suggest for improving accuracy while maintaining speed beyond 10 yards. Thanks
Trey What do you use to keep up with your reloads a journal or software?
Marty On a recent episode I heard you briefly mention your head position when doing turn and drawers. I am assuming you have your head turned to the Direction that your body will be moving when you have made ready. I hadn’t put much thought into it before, I usually just look straight forward and then turn my head and body on the beep. Do you have any evidence that having your head pre-turned makes a difference? Maybe A future junk science episode? Thanks! Marty in Massachusetts.
Sarah I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed hearing you briefly talk about 'Stage Design' this week on the podcast. Anytime you could give pointers on this topic would be great. For instance, when you have limited room to move within a bay, how to you create options? Is there a place where you can find LOTS of stages already designed (I have found random websites with a few stages listed).
Also, any information you can give on creating a stage plan before shooting would be helpful too. I know in the past you have mentioned this, but for new shooters like myself, I find it very difficult to walk up to the bay and figure out how to attack a large round count stage. What are the basics newbies like myself need to know?
Matthew How bad is the Glock 19 hurting me in USPSA? I know you are not big on gear but I have to ask if there are measurable advantages to having a larger gun?
James Hi Lucas! Heard any rumors on what changes to Production are going to be discussed? Anything that has you particularly nervous??- thanks!
Mike I have been shooting for about 5 years, but my have yet to shoot my first match. I have been doing a lot of the Stoeger dry fire drills and things seem to be going really well. I plan on shooting my first IDPA match in a month or so. My question is this: My offhand has a pretty significant tremor. When shooting offhand supported, everything is great, but when I shoot offhand only, unsupported, I won’t be able to hit the broadside of a barn; My hand shakes way too much. In fact, I’m concerned that under the pressure of being in a match my shots could go all over. Is there any kind of Accommodation that can be made for something like this? Could I just shoot with my strong hand and take a procedural or would that be totally devastating to my score? Take the MICs and move on? Thoughts?
Rank #8: What Should You Practice?
A common question I get from people who are somewhat new to shooting (or at least new to practice) is asking what they should be practicing. Sometimes folks even buy a book of drills, and don't really know where they should get started with those drills. I don't think there's a "right" answer to this question, but I'm going to tell you what I do:
- Take some notes right after shooting a match. What felt good? What felt sucky? What did people compliment you on? (the last one is a good ego boost too)
- Review your match video. You are filming all of your matches, right? If your not, you should be. Your phone probably takes good enough video, so just turn the camera on, and hand it to whoever is standing closest to you. It's not weird.
- You don't have to publish the video anywhere, and you don't have to let anyone else see it, but you can go through the video and see the things you're doing well and doing poorly.
- Here's a few things you can look at: Match video diagnosis series
- Look at your Practiscore results. After Saturday's match, I left thinking that I only had one Mike (miss) for the day. Looking at Practiscore later, I had 6. 6 is not okay, at all. So that's definitely something I need to work on.
Walther is putting up cold, hard cash for winning major matches with your Walther pistol. THIS IS AWESOME! It gets people talking about their products, and it may get Walther fanboys interested in shooting competition. I love it.
There were a bunch of "mainstream" news articles last week about how the House Republicans had voted to strike down some sort of background check bill, when that wasn't the case at all. Turns out, they reversed an Obama policy regarding SSI recipients who have their finances managed by social security not being allowed to own guns. It was a BS policy that, in my opinion, was completely unconstitutional... but the media didn't report that.Things That Make You Go "Uhgggghhh" At a Match
Next month I want to do another listener only show. In the past we've done "What has competitive shooting done for you?" and "Your 2017 Goals", and next I want you to tell me what makes you go "Uhhhhhhggghh" at a match. Could be a match administration thing, could be something other shooters do, or it could be something you do yourself. Lets have some fun with it. I'd like to air this episode the first week of March, so hurry up and send in the voicemails!
- Leave a voicemail from your computer
- 781-7BULLET (781-728-5538) to call the Triangle Tactical voicemail line
- Record it however you want on your phone, and just email the file to email@example.com
Rank #9: The Off Season
Matt asked in the Triangle Tactical Facebook group what to do when the matches in his area wind down for winter. Should he keep practicing and shooting all winter, or should he take the winter off?
I think there are a few things to consider here:
A lot of people will take the winter off. They'll have a bit of skill degradation, and they'll probably be a little less in shape come spring.
If you feel like you're learning and gaining something from your practice sessions, I say keep practicing. You'll be a step ahead of the other guys come spring time, and there's really not a down-side.
HOWEVER: If you start feeling the burnout creeping up on you, and you feel like you need to take some time off, make sure you set a date for when you're going to start again.
Also, evaluate why you're getting burned out. Are you bored? If so, change something. Figure out what is making you get burned out and fix it. I think sometimes we act like it's normal to get burned out and need a multi-month break from practice, but I feel like that's not right.Plug of the Week:
This week's NewsBlast podcast over on Patreon has been getting a lot of good feedback. I talked about a shooter who was suspended for violating anti-doping laws, and some questionable rules at a "world championship"...
Rank #10: Things That Matter
I always like to do something different for the last episode of the year, and this year I'm going to do an AMA (ask me anything). Here's the thing: for the last podcast of 2017, I'll answer any questions you have, that ARE NOT related to shooting.
Enter your question in that form. Please don't ask your questions in the comments of this post, or on Facebook or anywhere else, as I will not be able to answer them (I can't track down a bunch of different questions in a bunch of different places...)
That's it. Should be a lot of fun!Things that Matter
I talk a lot on the podcast about things that don't matter. It doesn't matter if you have the coolest newest thing, or if you have a fancy shooting blouse, or even if you wear brightly colored shoes or have a sponsor, but, of course there are a lot of things in competitive shooting that do matter, let's talk about that.
I don’t think you need to be able to shoot single hole groups at 50y with your pistol (but it helps), but I do think having a gun that is accurate, maybe even slightly above average accuracy is a good thing.
I think one of the reasons the Tango Stock2 has become such a thing in Production division is that on top of being heavy, and reliable, it’s also got a thick bull barrel that’s very accurate.
Most guns on the market are quite accurate. When I used to do gun reviews as a part time job, I really only found a couple guns that were inherently inaccurate from the factory. The one in particular that comes to mind was the Ruger SR9E, which was the value version of the SR9. Everything else that I reviewed was very accurate.
You don’t need the bright colored fancy shooting shoes, but you do need shoes with good traction. I used to kind of think that you didn’t really need anything special on the shoe front for practical shooting, but the better shooter I’ve become, the more I find the traction thing necessary.
If you’re someone who is pushing to get better at shooting, and you’re pushing yourself, get some shoes that have some gnarly knobs on them for practical shooting.
Accurate, consistent, reliable ammo
For a lot of us who reload, we tend to obsess over the price per round when loading our ammo. Getting things as cheap as possible is definitely a thing, and there are certainly ways that you can save money and not impact accuracy and reliability, but don’t take it too far.
You want laser accurate ammo. If you’re switching to a bullet that’s cheaper than what you’ve been loading, don’t sacrifice accuracy.
If you’re not reloading yet, and you have not shot your first match, ignore everything I’m saying about ammo right now. You want to shoot whatever ammo you have that is 100% reliable in your gun. If you’re clearing malfunctions all through your first match, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Also, if you’re a more experienced shooter who’s not reloading your ammo… yet, you need to worry less about the cheapest thing, and more about the most accurate, most reliable stuff. If that happens to be the cheapest stuff, awesome, but if not, you should get better ammo.
Sights that don't suck
I see a fair number of guys who are experienced shooters who still show up to matches with the stock sights on their gun.
They might have two or three guns that are all set up for competition, but their gun still has the stock garbage sights on it.
I’ll tell you, I’ve got the Dawson Precision adjustable sights on my G34 for competition, and I think at this point, they’re a requirement for me. If a new gun were to come out that didn’t have Dawson adjustable sights available (cough M&P cough) I wouldn’t buy one.Q&A:
What similarities and differences have you noticed between tactical and competition training?
If I generalize both communities down do what my observations are both online and in real life, here’s what I see:
The tactical community tends to focus more on doing things right, while the competitive community tends to focus more on doing things fast.
For instance, if you go over to Instagram right now and look at the hashtag #tacticaltraining you’ll see a lot of stuff that’s staged just for Instagram, but if you sort through it and find the guy that probably aren’t competition shooters, who are actually training to get better, you’ll dudes who could be a lot faster in the way they manipulate their guns, draw, move, etc, because they’re trying to do things a certain way, because someone told them to do it that specific way. Now, there may be a good reason for doing things that way, so don’t take this as me saying that in a tactical or defensive scenario everything is about the speed, because it’s probably not.
BUUUUT, this sort of focus on “doing things right” in the tactical community has allowed for some folks who are total goobers to rise to in that community because they don’t ever have to back up what they’re telling people to do, they can just explain it away as #becausetacticool.
In competition shooting, it’s different. Our shooting is dictated by the timer. Was your run on a stage/drill/whatever faster and more accurate?
Yes? Then it’s better.
No? Then it’s dumb.
The trouble with the tactical community, when comparing it with the competition community is that there aren’t any rules in the tactical world. People can define things however they want things to be, because realistically almost nobody is going to end up in a gunfight, and those that do, almost none of them get it on film, and there’s no way to replay it to try different things, etc, etc.
Rank #11: 5 Things That Will $%&@ Up Your Next Match
The things that you do when you're not shooting can have a profound affect on your shooting. Here's where to get the details on all 5 things.Tip of the Week:
Even if you're wearing a giant, ugly, dork hat like me on a hot sunny day on the range, you should still put some sunblock on your face. Apparently the UV rays can reflect off the ground and burn your face anyways... ask me how I know...
I left Sunday's match with a sunburned face, even after wearing my ugly dork hat. Yeesh.Plug of the Week:
I was on the Firearms Nation Podcast this week, and it was a lot of fun. Check it out.
Rank #12: What's one piece of advice you wish you had known before your first match?
I give a lot of advice here on the podcast, and talk about things as I see them in the shooting sports, but I've found that my perspective isn't always the same as everyone elses, and that's why I love these call-in episodes where you send in your thoughts on a topic.
There's been a lot of talk in the shooting sports world about on-ramps to competitive shooting, and how there's not a great way for new people to get started, especially if they don't already have a friend who is involved.
So, for this weeks podcast, I asked the question: "What's the ONE piece of advice you wish you had received before you shot your first match?"
There is a BUNCH of great information in this episode, everything from what gear you should buy, how you should prepare for matches, and who you should shoot with.
Rank #13: Mistakes Experienced Shooters Make
Seems like the 5x5 classifier is causing some issues at IDPA matches.
Something I hadn't thought of, but each shooter is putting 20 scored holes in the target with that drill, and that is a lot, especially with a bunch of shooters.
Not sure how I feel about this.
In USPSA rule 4.2.3 Paper targets must never be required to receive more than 12 hits before being scored and patched.
I think that's a decent rule, because we get so used to only scoring 2 hits on the paper. Setting aside the idea of the shooters getting too used to only shooting 2 rounds only at targets, thinking only about scoring.
We get too used to scoring the two best hits on a target. I've done it before on a stage that required more than 2 hits where I just went into default mode and scored the two best hits and ignored the others, and thankfully we had Practiscore to tell me that we hadn't scored enough hits on the target.
The other issue is that when you're shooting that many shots at one target, and then trying to score every one of them, it gets crowded. Especially after like 10 other shooters have shot at at and it's got pasters stuck all over it, pasters starting to peel, etc.
I can see it becoming a tough thing to score if the target isn't replaced every so many shooters. Which, since it's a classifier, maybe that's the right answer.
Clarification from Last Week:
Wanted to clarify something I started talking about last week. Video podcasting would be an awesome alternative to YouTube, HOWEVER were not at a place where bandwidth is viable for doing good quality, decent videos just yet.
As I was writing the notes for this, I was downloading a couple audio podcasts on works wifi and it was taking several minutes to get there. Had they been multiple gigabyte video files, my phone would have just died.
USPSA RO Exam:
The USPSA RO renewal exam used to be 10 questions, but it sounds like they've changed it to 20 questions to make each question carry less weight so that hopefully more people will pass the exam.
Personally, I didn't have any trouble with the renewal last year. Here's a tip: have the .PDF rulebook pulled up, and use the search function to find what you need.
Then, download the .PDF to your phone so you have it at matches, and you can use the search function right on the range to find the relevant rule quickly. You don't even really need a paper rulebook anymore.
Mistakes experienced shooters make.
1. Not putting enough emphasis on live fire practice. I know a bunch of dudes who have been shooting for years who don't regularly live fire practice, or don't live fire practice in a place where they can actually get good practice for competitive shooting. For some reason, this has become a thing in the action shooting sports, but if we were to look at some of the other games, let's say long range PRS type stuff, I don't think anybody would expect to get good at those sorts of games without having a place to live fire regularly.
2. Sticking it out with junk gear for too long. I've been guilty of this a bunch over the years, and I've heard a couple friends talk about switching from a plastic fantastic to something that's more of a gamer gun talk about how they should have made the switch way sooner, and saw big gains from the move.
3. Not reading the rules. You'd think this was something that would apply to new shooters, but I see so many people who have been shooting for many years who still try to reference rules that haven't existed for several years, or they have a misunderstanding of basic rules that a simple reading of the rule book would clarify. That's not to say that I don't ever reference the rule book, I do it all the time, but reading the rulebook, and gaining an understanding of it will show you where to look when you have a question. I don't think if you're new you need to spend a bunch of time reading the rulebook cover to cover because if you've never shot a match you won't have a good understanding of what you're reading, but once you get serious about things, get a good understanding of things.
"So I have question in regards to coaching/ training. If there is range locally to you and were just getting going in shooting sports I've shot 2 indoor uspsa both 4 stages 1 qualifier each time. Do you think that it would be money a head to get a couple he of training in how to do things properly vs dry fire and live fire. I haven't had a lot said to me at either match besides I ran my gun dry on 32rd stage the ro came over and asked it it was first time."
- I think if you feel like you need some additional training, you should probably get it. Especially in the beginning of your shooting career, there is SO much that you can learn and get a big boost from shooting.
"I'm shooting a little bit left on my new Glock 34. Is it bad gun handling or is there something about the gun that I'm not used to? And do you have any trigger upgrade recommendations for it as a production gun?
- Probably gun handling. It's pretty normal for someone who is new to shooting Glocks to say that they're hitting left. I'd play around with your trigger finger either a little more or a little less and see if that doesn't get you straightened out.
With that said though, my current Glock 34 got kind of messed up where it was legit shooting really far to the left. I was able to take the gun apart and could actually see where the locking block had wear on the left hand side which I suspect was causing the gun to shoot left. I replaced the locking block and slide lock (not the slide release) and it was good to go after that.
"Is shooting 1/2 scale steel targets for practice at 10 yards bad for competition I like the steel b/c I get results hearing it ring faster than walking up and looking at my hits and pasting.
2nd question is what power factor do I need or can have in production is there a minimum? Thanks Jake"Is shooting 1/2 scale steel targets for practice at 10 yards bad for competition I like the steel b/c I get results hearing it ring faster than walking up and looking at my hits and pasting.
2nd question is what power factor do I need or can have in production is there a minimum? Thanks Jake"
- Shooting steel in practice can absolutely be beneficial, but if you're only shooting half scale targets at 10y in practice, I think you're leaving a lot on the table.
Here's the downsides as I see them:
- It's not a target that you'll ever see in a match.
- They're not falling targets like you'll see in a match.
- At 10y, static steel that doesn't fall, if it's all you shoot at, I think you could get into the habit of waiting to see your hit/hear the hit instead of calling your shot and moving on. If this is the only thin you're ever shooting at in practice, I think you could pick up some bad habits from it.
With all that said though, I do bring static steel to practice. I've got a couple 8" plates, a 10" plate, and a MGM auto-popper that falls down and then resets itself that I use for practice instead of falling steel, because resetting falling plates in practice sucks.
There was an episode of the Shoot Fast Podcast where they were talking about practice, and the guys mentioned not pasting between every run on a drill, but rather shooting the drill multiple times and looking for trends on where all the hits are. I haven't tried that yet, but it's a thing I want to try in the future.
Power factor is pretty simple once you know what it is. It's the speed of your bullet in feet per second multiplied by the weight of the bullet in grains. So, if you're shooting 125gr bullets, and they're going 1000 feet per second, they would be 125,000 power factor (or just 125 power factor)
Generally, I think most people load their Production ammo to around 130-135 power factor to account for environmental changes on match day, and to get a little more oomph on poppers which can screw over shooters at times.
Power factor can be impacted by things like temperature and altitude depending on the powder you're loading with. Some are very sensitive to these things, and others aren't really all that sensitive at all.
So, what happens is, when you go to a major match that has a Chronograph stage, they'll take some of your ammo, pull a bullet and weigh it, and shoot a few rounds over a chronograph. Then they'll do the math and figure out your power factor. If you're shooting Production you only have to make Minor power factor (because there isn't any Major power factor in Production).
Plugs of the week:
Latest episode of the Shannon Smith Shooting Show (Episode 35) - I enjoyed his talk with his RM buddy, and I liked hearing Shannon talk about match directing and rules and whatnot and not just shooting. The guy is a professional match director, so hearing him talk about that sort of stuff is great because he's such a wealth of knowledge on these sorts of topics (not that he's not good at talking about shooting, he is, but hearing him talk about match directing was really good too.)
Rank #14: Watch The Sights - 147
Rank #15: IDPA and USPSA Gripes - 97
I'm being told that this episode had some technical issues, they are fixed now!
We asked the Facebook Page for their competition shooting gripes, and we received a ton of responses. This week we went through a bunch of them and tried to explain the intent behind the rule, or the reason that others share the same gripe.
Competition in General:
- Competition shooting will get you iced on the streets
- "I don't want to compete against those people with open guns!"
- "Using "gamer" gear doesn't make you better with concealed carry gear!"
- "The "Speed Unload" will get you killed in a gunfight!"
- Appendix Carry
- No moving reloads (Did you really move and reload before the rule change? really?)
- Can't drop an empty magazine with a round in the chamber
California's 10 day waiting period to buy a firearm has been mostly repealed. A judge ruled that it didn't make any sense to make someone who already owns a bunch of guns wait 10 days to buy another one. The ruling was stayed for 180 days to give the state time to react.
Harnett County, NC has re-issued operation permits to Drake Landing. Drake Landing is a wonderful sporting clays facility just south of Fuquay Varina that has been under fire from neighbors for several years. They have new restrictions as to the types of guns that can be shot there (No pistols bigger than a .45, and no rifles larger than a .22) but at the very least it appears that they will remain open.
A California public school vice principal was arrested after it was found that he had a gun in his office. He was later released when they figured out that since he has a California concealed carry permit he wasn't breaking the law.
An Ohio woman was accosted by two men while walking her dog on a greenway path. One of the men was armed with a baseball bat, and told the woman that she was going to come with them. The woman asked them a question while she slipped her hand into her pocket, and retrieved and readied her pistol. The thugs not wanting to shot fled the scene, and Police are still looking for them.
New Shooter Testamonials
Sean from NCGunBlog.com sent in a voicemail to tell us about his first IDPA match. He's hooked.
If you want to send in a testimonial about your first shooting match, email firstname.lastname@example.org (bonus points if you send a voicemail).
Plug of the Week
This week we plug ourselves... sorta. Ben and I were on the 2AToday podcast a few weeks back and we had a great time wrapping up their "Battleground States" series. We talk about the states that have seen a reduction in gun rights recently, and compare and contrast some of the different things that have been happening in those states.
Rank #16: Where to Start in Practice
Been thinking a bit about practice, and where I should be spending my time in practice since I haven’t shot a match in about 4 months. What are the areas that I need to work on? Probably everything, and if that’s a thing, starting can seem overwhelming.
I mentioned on the podcast last week that I suck at lifting weights, but because I suck at it, I’m seeing tons and tons of progress, and that’s really motivating to keep lifting weights. I can deal with the sore muscles and trouble walking up stairs because I’m seeing lots of progress.
So, back to practice:
Things that I suck really bad at, are the things that are motivating to practice. Hammering on table starts, and reloads from my rearmost couple pouches, etc, are things that I’m not good at, and I can spend 10 minutes practicing these things and see a LOT of progress.
However, Is spending a bunch of time working on table starts, when I only see one every few months really the best way to spend my time?
I got to thinking about this while listening to the most recent episode of the American Warrior Show this morning, where Mike Seeklander is interviewing John Correia from Active Self Protection. John watches videos of self defense scenarios. Thousands upon thousands of them.
In the interview he talked about how there are a lot of things that people talk about needing for concealed carry, that he’s NEVER seen in one of the videos he’s watched: things like a CCWer actually doing a reload in a gunfight. Things like a CCWer needing to use some sort of flashlight or weapon mounted light in a gunfight.
But yet, when we consult the tactical corners of the internet, there are tons and tons of people practicing and training on these sorts of things, so they will be more effective in a gunfight. That’s not necessarily bad, but how much more effective would they be if they were to spend their time on the things that are most likely to happen and not the things that are the most fun or the sexiest, or the best for Instagram.
It was a great interview, and I think if you’re at all interested in carrying a gun for self defense it should be high on your list to listen to this week.
What are the things that most stages require you to do:
- Shoot accurately - so if you suck at shooting accurately, you should remedy that immediately. I think if this is an area that you’re really struggling in, you should get instruction from someone locally who can shoot really accurately. In my opinion, it’s not worth it to blast thousands of rounds trying to learn accuracy. It’ll be cheaper to spend a hundred bucks on a session with someone local to you who can give you the adjustment you need to shoot accurately. Thing is, shooting accurately isn’t particularly sexy of fun to practice, but it’s necessary to scoring well. You can do everything else lighting fast, but if you’re hits aren’t there, you’re gonna lose.
- Movement - Almost every stage, USPSA, IDPA, 3-Gun, outlaw matches, etc require you to do some movement. So, being able to move efficiently, into and out of positions, keeping the gun up where it needs to be, is a HUGE part in being able to place well in matches. Movement can be fun to practice, but I’ll tell you as someone who walks 20,000+ steps in an average day, a hefty movement practice still makes me legs hurt like crazy the next day. So, that might not be the sexiest thing to practice, but it’s one of the things that you need in order to shoot well.
- Reloads - I can’t tell you how often I see dudes with legit 2+ second reloads, and it’s clear that they’ve never really put any thought into what they’re doing.If you don’t have any idea where to start with reloads, go on YouTube and look at what the really good guys are doing, then emulate it in front of a mirror or something. You might make some tweaks to make things work better for you, but it should get you in a good starting place.
Obviously there’s a LOT more to practical shooting than these three things, but if we’re talking about the handful of things that you can pretty easily work on and get really good at, and see the most result from, these are three pillars that should give you a good starting point.
Thing is though: They’re not sexy. They’re not necessarily fun to work on like some other things you can do, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, these are three things that will give you a lot of improvement in your game if you push hard on them.
So, the next time you catch yourself dryfiring 4-aces for 30 minutes straight because it’s fun, maybe pause it, and work on some other things.Q&A:
I have developed a strong interest in competitive shooting over the last year. I'm still working up to shooting my first match (Hope to have you a first match voicemail early in 2018). I've went and watched the November uspsa match at cggr and just this weekend went and watched the carbine only match there as well. I was wondering if you could maybe cover some of the terminology used so some of use newbies won't be so lost in the lingo. One I've heard a lot is the on deck, in the hole, and in the deep hole. What exactly does that mean? Other newbie things I think people would benefit from is the definitions of comstock and Virginia count. I know some of these can be found in the rule books but thought there may be other listeners who might benefit from a good explanation. Thanks for all that you do with the podcast and hopefully one day soon we might see each other at a local match.
On Deck: That means you’re the next shooter
In the hole: That means you’re the 2nd shooter
In the deep hole: means you’re the 3rd shooter
Official definition from the USPSA Rulebook:
“Comstock” Rule number 9.2.2
"Unlimited time stops on the last shot, unlimited number of shots to be fired, stipulated number of hits per target to count for score."
Basically, shoot as much as you want.
“Virginia Count” Rule number: 9.2.3
"Unlimited time stops on the last shot, limited number of shots to be fired, stipulated number of hits per target to count for score."
Shoot only the exact number of rounds that you're told you can shoot. Shooting more will incur penalties for extra shots and extra hits.
I want to do a Q&A show next week, but to do it, I need your questions, I only have a few. So, if you’ve got a question like Thurmon, head over to triangletactical.net/question to submit your questions for next weeks Q&A show.
Rank #17: Weapon Mounted Lights - 93
Weapon mounted lights are pretty awesome. They offer a lot of advantages over a handheld light, in that you don't have to fumble with two things in your hand, you can fire the gun with full grip strength using both hands, and they really make shooting in the dark as close to shooting in daylight as you can get. There are two arguments against weapon mounted lights, and both of them are unfounded these days:
- "You have to point the gun at someone to identify them." Back in the day with really dim incandescent lights this was true. The fact is though that the current generation of LED weapon mounted lights are more than bright enough to light up an entire room with the gun at low ready.
- "If I have the light on the gun, the bad guy will just shoot at the light and kill me!" Let's face it, even with a handheld light, you'll most likely be holding it with a syringe grip in basically the same place as a weapon mounted light, or you'll be holding it up near your head which could be even worse. Target fixation is a real thing, and getting shot in the hands during a gunfight is a theme I've noticed when reading about shootings, but I don't think the light being handheld or weapon mounted really makes a difference in these situations. If anything, having it attached to the gun may keep you from dropping the light if you were to get shot in the hand.
IDPA and USPSA don't allow weapon mounted lights, because of the huge advantage that they offer. That's fine for games, but if they offer such a big advantage, it sounds like something that I'd want in a gunfight.
If you have a defensive long gun, using a handheld light really isn't an option at all. A good option is a pistol mounted light that can pull dual duty on a pistol and a long gun. In the episode, Ben mentioned the Mossie Tactics light mount for adding his Streamlight TLR-1 to an AR-15 with a standard front sight block. You need to play around with mounting the light in different locations, and decide what works best for you. Some people like them mounted closer/further from the muzzle, and in different orientations around the handguard (12 o'clock, 9 o'clock, etc.).
Ruger announced the LC9s this week, which is a striker fired version of the Ruger LC9. It's supposed to have half the trigger length of the standard LC9, and a 5lb trigger that has been described as "glock like". Unfortunately it has the full gamut of lawyer features (thumb safety, trigger safety, and magazine disconnect). It's awesome that Ruger is listening though, and decided to make the striker fired version of this pistol. Ben suggested that they should make a "Free State" version without the thumb safety and magazine disconnect. Ruger, if you're listening, I'd buy one. Or two.
The Kansas City, MO city council voted unanimously this last week to ban open carry in the city. Fortunately though for lovers of liberty in the city, it looks like the state legislature is set to override the veto of a bill that will make it illegal for the city of Kansas City to do this.
Jeremy wrote into the Facebook page to ask about power factor, and Gerrit wrote in an email asking about gun modifications for Production division in USPSA.
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Rank #18: Effective Practice on the Square Range
Sometimes shooting on the square range is a necessity. Whether you don't have access to a range with bays where you can set up stages and drills, or the weather just isn't cooperative, there are times when the square range is the only place you can go to get some trigger time.
A lot of people just shoot when they go to the square range. One target, and 200 rounds and then they pack up and go home. This isn't effective practice.
Hopefully your square range will allow you to draw from holster. I don't think we have any ranges in the Triangle area that don't allow it, but I've heard of ranges in other places that have that rule, it makes things a little harder.Use some time pressure
- The best thing is to use a shot timer. If you don't have one, that's okay, there are still options.
- If your indoor range is really loud, you may have to use the par time function on your timer instead of actually having it hear your shots. I found my Pocket Pro 2 works really well inside Triangle Shooting Academy.
- Some ranges have a mechanism to turn targets after a specified amount of time. This can be a decent way to add some time pressure to your drills.
- Lastly, you could download a timer app to your smart phone and use the par time function. Don't expect to get very good results using your smartphone as an actual shot timer though.
- Bring your own targets and pasters. Get some USPSA or IDPA targets and take them to the range with you. You might also want to bring your own stapler with long staples, because the ones at the range might not have the reach to get through the cardboard targets.
- Some good drills for the square range are things like this:
- 4 Aces (draw, fire 2, reload, fire 2, all shots need to be alphas)
- Bill Drills (7 yards, draw and fire 6 rounds, all alphas) You can push the distance to make things interesting.
- 25 yard group shooting
- Other variations of drills that involve draws, reloads, and variations of targets (draw, shoot the lower A-zone, reload, and shoot the upper A-zone)
- Some good drills for the square range are things like this:
The NRA is getting rid of the women's division in smallbore rifle. Because women are just as good as men, and that's cool.
Virginia finally got some sense around concealed carry. The Governor just signed a bill allowing reciprocity with basically all other permits from other states.Tip of the Week
Don't tumble your dummy rounds. Last night I posted this picture of me drilling out all of my primer pockets on my dummy rounds because I tumbled them, and as luck would have it, they got filled with tumbling media and then deposited the media into my magazines and gun. What a mess!Plug of the Week
Breach Bang Clear dropped a truth bomb this week that you should probably go read. Agree or disagree, it's worth a read.Contact
Rank #19: The Urban Carry Holster - 163
You've probably seen the videos online for the Urban Carry holster. It's the little pouch holster that you put your gun in, and then it all drops inside your pants. When it's time to draw the pistol, you undo a little magnetic flap with your weak hand, and pull up, which pulls the pistol up where you can grab it with your strong hand.
Ben was really interested in one of these, so we ordered up one for his Springfield XDs that he's been reviewing for about a month now.
### Pros:It's the most comfortable holster he's ever used, hands down.
It's also well made. The leather seems to be of good quality, the stitching is nice, and and it's stamped with the Urban Carry logo on the back.Cons:
Three cons with the Urban Carry that Ben found:
- Something about the holster and XDs combination in the Appendix position worn on a guy makes Ben (and me when I tried the holster) look like you're... happy to see everyone.
A photo posted by TriangleTactical.net (@triangletactical) on Dec 5, 2015 at 12:44pm PST
- The next issue that the Urban Carry holster has a little pouch sewn onto the back of the holster that's supposed to be for carrying your concealed carry permit in. This is a terrible idea. Invision this scenario: "Yes officer, I have a permit for my gun, it's right here" and then reaches for the gun without even thinking about it. At best, you'll make the police officer really nervous, and worst, who knows.
- The last issue Ben had with the holster was that sometimes on the draw stroke, the butt of the pistol would get stuck under his belt, and then when he would try to draw the pistol by pulling up on the flap it wouldn't come up. This would require him to then stick a thumb down under his belt to release the tension, and then he could draw the pistol. Is it a deal breaker for a deep cover holster? That's up to you, but it can definitely slow down the draw unexpectedly.
Ben think's it sits on the spectrum of carry somewhere between his INCOG, and off body carry. It's not super fast and reliable, but it's better than having your gun in a bag that may or may not be near you.The News:
No big articles this week, but we talk over the narrative that's being pushed by the media (and the President) that we need to keep people who are on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. There's a big problem with this: There is no due process for someone to get put on the terrorist watch list, so if getting put on the list then denies them a constitutionally protected right, that's a problem.
Plug of the Week:
Are you a Redditor? If so, you should be checking out Ben's Monday Morning Match Recap threads on the r/CompetitionShooting subreddit. The subreddit is pretty great in and of itself, but Ben's Monday morning thread is something I check out every Monday. Check it out.Contact
Rank #20: Don't Stay in Your Circle, Be Out.
Every week I put together the Patreon Only NewsBlast Podcast, and it seems like every week I get a really great article from the Grand Island Independent in Grand Island, Nebraska about a shooting competition that's taking place in Grand Island.
It's always about different shooting sports that are taking place in that area, and they've all been cool, and I'd never heard of most of them.
This got me excited because the local newspaper is going positive stories on the shooting sports in a regular basis.
I want to do more to get exposure for the shooting sports in my area, and I think you should too. Post your videos in places that aren't gun-centric. Let people in your area know that there are matches in the area, and help them get started, and keep the politics out of it.Gear that Doesn't Suck
Have a cooler so you can have COLD water on the hottest match days. I think it's silly to spend a ton of money on the "cooler de-jour" that everyone and their brother has, but I've got one of thee regular old Coleman coolers and it works great.
It's got wheels so you can roll it from stage to stage if you like, and it keeps your drinks cold all day. Will it keep stuff cold for a week? I have no idea, I've never needed to keep stuff cold that long in a cooler.
So, in all honesty, it's probably cheaper to buy a cooler locally, than to pay shipping from Amazon, but if you're buying anything on Amazon, I'd certainly appreciate you clicking any of the Amazon links on this website, and I'll get a commission from Amazon for sending you.Drill of the Week:
Practice moving and keeping both hands on the gun, and moving with dismounting the gun with your weak hand. See what distances it makes sense to dismount the gun, and what distances it makes sense to stay on it.
I think everyone is going to be a little different depending on skill level, etc, so you've gotta figure it out yourself.Holsters for Competition Beginners: