Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:03 pm

jeep45238 wrote:19JUL16
Spent every moment my hands were’t occupied practicing my reloads, as I frankly suck at them. With my old 1911 and M&P if I seated hard with a forward/up motion of my palm it would drop the slides with 199% reliability. I determined that I can do this with the Beretta with pure vertical seating motion of the palm. However, this is very dependent upon the weight of the magazine going in (read- how many rounds). With 1 snap cap I had 50% repeatability. With 5 in it, I had repeatability going up to 75%. I only did this once with a full mag of ammo since I want to minimize admin handling, but it did function far easier with the weight of ammo in the magazine.

At the end of the night with the dog next to me watching Parks and Rec I found it was much smoother to not even look at the pistol when reloading, and when I looked it was typically a slow, painfully botched reload. Hand positioning and the index finger seemed to play a big part of this for me.


Be careful with auto-forwarding - there's some funky stuff that can happen: inertia can actually, much like it does with AR mags sometimes, cause that top round (or more!) to pop out, causing all sorts of havoc. I saw this happen to another shooter once and thought that it was just a freak occurrence, but you'll find some instructors and competition shooters to really have very strong opinions against auto-forwarding because of this very specific concern.

The other thing to note with auto-forwarding is to ingrain whether if this will also work with your non-dominant hand: so that you don't get that "skipped record" kind of awkward pause when you're forced to switch-bat.

As for reloading - for me - there's a magic level of necessary visual input. I find that particularly when I'm on-the-move, I absolutely need to establish that visual index before I drop the magwell over the mag and toss that mag up in there. Towards this end, I've got two hits of white paintpen marking - one "dot" each - on the 3-o'clock and 6-o'clock portions on the inside of my magwell, and this works to really bring that magwell into sharp focus for me for that fraction of a second I peek-in (http://pistol-training.com/archives/7840). While I don't know if such markings/aids are allowed per your competition rules or if it will help you at all, it's something that's definitely helped with my reload speed.

Over the course of the last 6 months or so, I tried to do about 60 reloads per day (slide locked back, pretend-to-be-shooting, pretend-to-respond-to-slide-lock, drop resident mag, grab/index/insert incoming, drop slide, back-on-target, assess/prep/shoot - a shot timer or even a shot-timer app can be used to time the runs, too, with the stimulus being the signal to drop your mag, and the slide drop should be loud enough, indoors, for the timer to pick up) so that I could get better at this task. I wanted to not only work on speed, but to also insure that my finger was clear of the trigger during the reload, but on it again as fast as subsequently possible (so I broke out a video camera to do this). Some times, I would break the reload into two separate components, focusing work on that "snatch and index" portion, exclusive of the insertion.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Good feedback. I can't see the top round popping out of a beretta mag (only enough space for one round, and it's captured) vs say a Colt 9mm ar mag with two wide feed lips and an open gap in the middle.

Again, I've never had it happen on a pistol, but that doesn't mean it won't. With the mag well markings, my wrist doesn't rotate enough to see inside the mag well on a reload - maybe that's a key thing to look into.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:47 am

jeep45238 wrote:Good feedback. I can't see the top round popping out of a beretta mag (only enough space for one round, and it's captured) vs say a Colt 9mm ar mag with two wide feed lips and an open gap in the middle.

Again, I've never had it happen on a pistol, but that doesn't mean it won't.


^ The latter is what gets me - every time I go down that route, I think of what's possible for different people. Steve Fisher, for example, that giant of a man literally pops out a stovepipe'd case when he smashes the baseplate on an immediate-action.

My entire thing is this: if it works *for me* - with *my* gun/mags - then *I* am golden. Rock-on.

But it's worth it to at least know what can potentially go wrong with my chosen method, so that if it does for whatever reason (so much adrenaline in the system that you juiced the manipulation with much more force than you typically would use or just the alignment of the stars on that particular evening :lol: ) cause failure, I've at least processed that possibility and filed it away in my mental Rolodex, and by doing so, hopefully minimizes the time I stare down at my gun, going "er...what?" :)

With the mag well markings, my wrist doesn't rotate enough to see inside the mag well on a reload - maybe that's a key thing to look into.


Interesting!

So you're purely target-focused, visually, while reloading?
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:25 pm

No, I'm still fighting the habit of hunching and reloading around the belly. I guess I should have clarified the practice I was doing was purely the insertion motion and nothing else. When I focus on having the pistol around my head (makes the most sense to me, eliminates a bunch of wasted upper body movement) my wrist doesn't rotate around enough to see inside the magwell. It is an easier flow if I 'point' the magwell where the magazine is coming from, but I haven't conciously put effort into rotating the grip around enough to see inside the magwell.

Taking the week off of my usual lifting routine, as I'm starting to get tendonitis flaring up when I do hammer curls or pick plates up off the floor. Working on these for the week instead: https://www.absolutept.com/shooters-elbow/
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:36 pm

jeep45238 wrote:No, I'm still fighting the habit of hunching and reloading around the belly. I guess I should have clarified the practice I was doing was purely the insertion motion and nothing else. When I focus on having the pistol around my head (makes the most sense to me, eliminates a bunch of wasted upper body movement) my wrist doesn't rotate around enough to see inside the magwell. It is an easier flow if I 'point' the magwell where the magazine is coming from, but I haven't conciously put effort into rotating the grip around enough to see inside the magwell.


Ah, gotcha. That's a clear description, thank you for elaborating. :)

I don't think it's completely necessary to see that far inside the magwell. I think that the visual index point - and yes, I do believe that a visual index is very helpful - will vary for each individual. In the old P-T.com article I cited, the late ToddG seems to distinctly favor the leading edge of the magwell on the palm side. For me, it helps more to actually see the "palm side," and even moreso to have a 3-D reference via a dot on the rear ("heel") of the magwell as well.

My daughter loves to watch me dry-practice: I think she loves it more when I mess up.

Of the (many) times that I do - particularly when I literally completely miss the well - she tells me that she can see that I never visually ID'ed the well.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:32 am

Hadn't done a damn thign since the last update. While I thought I'd be able to, a 3.5-4 hour daily commute during the summer with national guard obligations and getting the house ready for our wedding reception when that wasn't going on killed that off real quick. School started back up, and I've got more free time, and touched my press for the first time since July.

Only updates are I got a 105 grain SWC mold to make my lead last longer, and I'm almost out of primers for the Beretta. Have a thousand or so rounds made and ready to do some work with. Got new grips for the .22 trainer to fill my hand gaps better and 2 more mags, so I'm not burning through 9mm working on sight alignment/related accuracy work.

Physical training wise I've had a chance to barely do maintenence work at the base gym. I'll be simplifying my workouts next week with focuses on basic barbell lifts - squad, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, and the clean. Some assist exercises will be in there too. On the cardio side I sold my 1996 Saturn and replaced it with a bicycle, which is actually faster/more convient for where I live. Plus no insurance, gas, and maintenence is a fraction.

So, part duex......
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:42 pm

Hey, keep on truckin' bruddah! I'm rootin' for ya!
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:45 am

Just finished my night doing Uber...no funky vibes so far, but I can REALLY see the benefit to a J frame, appendix, weak side for this work. If anybody is going to the UC game tomorrow, maybe I'll see you (and you can help me make some money to pay for said J frame, and primers to keep making 9mm for practice!)
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:45 pm

^ If I'm ever in the area, I'll have to try and hail ya!

And yes, it's these very specific activities that seem now to drive my purchases. A narrow niche to fill, but a very desirable/advantageous one.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby BadCrosshairDay » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:46 pm

jeep45238 wrote:appendix, weak side


Why weak side? would it be oriented for a dominant hand draw?
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:50 am

Weak side wouldn't have the seatbelt in the way, can actually be aimed at passengers (heaven forbid), and has a door protecting it (vs someone fighting for it). Set up for left hand draw
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby BadCrosshairDay » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:00 am

jeep45238 wrote:Weak side wouldn't have the seatbelt in the way, can actually be aimed at passengers (heaven forbid), and has a door protecting it (vs someone fighting for it). Set up for left hand draw


Makes sense, would be much harder with right hand in that space.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:29 am

Finally got a chance to test my new loads. Bullet is a 105 grain .38 special semi wad cutter from a Lee 6 cavity mold, loaded on top of W231. This is uncommon, yes, but works great for my Beretta as the bore is oversized than the standard .355 for 9mm. I'm also running a lighter-than-standard recoil spring and mainspring. i'm also not responsible for your reloading practices, nor are you responsible for mine.

I sent a few magazines through my Ruger Mark 1 to warm up, and then shot and took notes. 4.1 and 4.5 gave the best groups, with 4.3 being a bit open and 4.7 shooting like crud, and resulting in malfunctions. 4.1 felt sluggish, and could essentially feel the cartridge loading process, while 4.5 felt like a 9mm and likely will continue to function in a less-clean gun. I'll be making a run of 50 rounds each and a separate run of 4.2 grains before doing a final decision on my go-to-load. After this I'll be modifying my bullet feeder to run these bullets without sizing required. I'm doing Hi-Tek coating in the garage myself.

I hadn't shot SWCs in years, and nearly forgot how clean of a hole these things punch. 4.5 was a bit cleaner of a hole, as it's going faster. Finding the right overall length can be tricky with little room for error, but it's working.


Also finally got replacement running shoes and weight lifting shoes, and I'm off to the gym. It feels good to be back into this stuff.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:00 pm

Figured it's time to name my Beretta - uGly ducklinG (it's a 92G) - since I intend to keep riding it hard and putting it away wet. I'm also cheap and took a dremel to the left decocker and slide stop to keep my hand from getting stabbed during sling shots, and prevent lock backs mid-mag (still haven't bothered to cold-blue...should probably do that).

I hadn't been able to do much shooting for the past serveral months, and was going ho-hum at a local IDPA match until a few stages in. At that point I decided heck with accuracy work - that's easy to practice and setup on, chase the fastest shooter in the squad for raw time, and just trust the front sight.

I don't recall being this in-tune in a very, very long time. I sent most shots low on a plate rack initially, and got a re-shoot- but then I had the epiphany that I had reverted to using the incorrect sight picture from rifles (Beretta is my first drive-the-dot pistol). Groups opened up, as expected, but my speed was phenomenal for me. Accuracy tightened up towards the end as well. Had one round fail to fire, and racked it out before I realized what I was doing and going to the next target.

Nice to know that I was able to get back into the groove, although the accuracy is going to need some work. That's fine though - I found a good balance today. Another thing to think about is running on auto-pilot isn't a great thing. We have a new guy setting up idpa stages, and he's setting them up directly to make those running on auto-pilot to fail (i.e. 3 shots per target, have to load to division capacity vs. downloading on limited, etc). It bit me in the butt twice, and thankfully it's just a game. I need to do more shooting, but explicitly I need to start working problem-solving drills/lessons in.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:35 pm

I hadn't been able to do much shooting for the past serveral months, and was going ho-hum at a local IDPA match until a few stages in. At that point I decided heck with accuracy work - that's easy to practice and setup on, chase the fastest shooter in the squad for raw time, and just trust the front sight.

I don't recall being this in-tune in a very, very long time. I sent most shots low on a plate rack initially, and got a re-shoot- but then I had the epiphany that I had reverted to using the incorrect sight picture from rifles (Beretta is my first drive-the-dot pistol). Groups opened up, as expected, but my speed was phenomenal for me. Accuracy tightened up towards the end as well. Had one round fail to fire, and racked it out before I realized what I was doing and going to the next target.

Nice to know that I was able to get back into the groove, although the accuracy is going to need some work. That's fine though - I found a good balance today. Another thing to think about is running on auto-pilot isn't a great thing. We have a new guy setting up idpa stages, and he's setting them up directly to make those running on auto-pilot to fail (i.e. 3 shots per target, have to load to division capacity vs. downloading on limited, etc). It bit me in the butt twice, and thankfully it's just a game. I need to do more shooting, but explicitly I need to start working problem-solving drills/lessons in.


Got the scoring in from this match today. I was right to chase this particular shooter for raw time - guy had the fastest raw time by 4 seconds, and got second place overall by six seconds (he's a master), shooting a Sig P320 with a lighter recoil spring - top guy was shooting a pretty modified Glock 34 in ESP. I'm comparing myself to Mike (guy with the 320) since I was in his squad and he was my standard for raw times.

Overall there were 6 stages, on 3 I was working the front sight, the last 3 I just went for speed, and where the cookies crumbled on paper is where they crumbled. I had one stage where I told myself "don't forget about that target" and I completely blew past it - so failure to neutralize. I had one hit on a non-threat in a packed stage and I ran it risky. I noticed I could clear the stage from one side of the barrier, save one, and cut time by aligning for 2 threat targets and shooting them as one - half the number of shots needed, accuracy more important, and it nearly paid off (nicked the no-threat that was partway covering the 2nd threat). Stages with * were speed demons for me

Stage 1: Raw 15.93, down 1
Stage 2: Raw 19.43 down 13 (risky 2-for-1 shots)
Stage 3: Raw 13.43, down 4
*Stage 4: Raw 16.32, down 27 (failure to neutralize)
*Stage 5: Raw 23.85, down 24 (non-threat hit)
*Stage 6: Raw 14.25, down 12

72 percentile of the match winner

So, there's a huge amount of accuracy work under speed to do here, and frankly, accuracy period. Breaking myself of the 6 o'clock hold and going for center hold will be a fundamental thing my brain needs to re-wire. My raw times were close to Mike's for most drills, but stages 4 and 5's accuracy is the major deal breaker for where I wound up in scoring.

Of note, classes have been kicking my butt along with work and drill, and I haven't put any practice in. Not making excuses, just acknowledging where the priorities have been. And that's alright.

One thing I'll do this weekend to make practice more of a reality for me is mounting the holster and mag carrier on a belt and leaving them in the safe to cut out the time of gearing up and putting things back. Only a few minutes, but I know me, and convenience tends to make things more likely to be done.
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