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 jeep45238 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:45 pm

I've kept up without fire since the last update, then messed it all up and hopped platforms to a p226 and going appendix. I really like it a lot, both for access/retention purposes (appendix), and the Sig (my lord it's smoooooth).

This is my second go at draw practice, working on mechanics with the new setup. It's not blazing fast by any means, but ends ins a smooth press with a good sight picture every time. I neeed to figure out a technique to ensure the shirt doesn't get caught up, I think it's just a timing issue with when I let go with my left hand to meet my right for the grip. I've been working on eliminating wasted movement, and know I'm not great, but I've made big strides.

Any feedback is welcome.

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

Postby jeep45238 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:33 pm

Did some dot torture, draw and press work, and some 25 yard shooting. Amazing what a difference these sights are over the Beretta (defoor sights- serrated front plain back).

Worked on knowing the new sight picture, which is 'drive imaginary dot' for 107 grain swc2, near top of sight blade for 127 grain.

Stepped over to the rifle range and rang steel at 200 yards. Targets are approximately center of mass size. Dope is good- top of rear sight at bottom of front, tip of front sight at top of target for a hit.

There's a lot to change due to the difference in fire control and slide release, but I'm very happy with the decision to jump ship.

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

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:53 am

Found this tidbit today. I'm putting it here for easy reference. I have plenty of work to do on accuracy still, as my 25 yard shooting demonstrates. I don't want to use cold weather as an excuse for it, as I want to work my skill set beyond temperature dependence/hands working easily for effective work. While it was nice to work out dope at 200yds, my 7yard dot torture and 25yd shooting are calling me back to reality.

Ben Stoeger
Posted November 11, 2011



-----------------
After learning the lessons of the 2011 season, it is time for me to put together a training plan for 2012.

First, we should take a look back at what I posted last year about my training for 2011.

I have basically cranked the difficulty of my dryfire WAY up.

Everything is a test of position, partial targets.... and other such things. I have fault lines in my apartment that I am moving around to create tough leans. I like it!

The new rule of thumb for live fire practice drills is this: If the drill is difficult for me to shoot without a penalty, it is hard enough.

This has made my practice... frustrating... to say the least, but I really think that its the only thing for me to do.

Well.. I have to say that last years training had the desired effect. The harder the stage is, the better I do. I have gotten my accuracy and consistency up to an extremely high level.

About 80% of my practice was at the 25 yard line (at least) at partial targets. I just worked simple sorts of drills at that distance.

As far as what I didn’t do in the last year.. I have to say I made almost zero progress on being faster through a stage. As far as speed on gun handling and standing and shooting, I am pretty sure I moved backwards. I just didn’t practice those things a whole lot. The World Shoot also showed me how much more practice I need to do while off balance. So much time was spend at that match shooting from a position that wasn’t comfortable.

I guess the best way to sum it up is to say that I have made big strides in the single most important skill. Accuracy is far and away the biggest determining factor of who wins a match, especially a hard match like the US Nationals. I just need to have a training plan that works some other elements a little bit more, so I can push forward in those areas as well.

I have decided to organize my training into 4 categories, or “blocks”. The idea is that I work on each block in equal proportion to all the other blocks.

I am not going to draw a distinction between dry fire and live fire. It really doesn’t matter. I am going to practice each block in equal proportion no matter if I am using ammo or not.

Block 1: Extreme Accuracy

This block is where I want to set up distant or difficult targets. Using the rule of thumb from last year, I want to make it just hard enough that it is difficult to shoot without a miss penalty or a no shoot penalty. Right now that is about a 30 yard partial. I would like to push that back to about 40 yards over the course of the next year. Also in the accuracy block, I want to shoot strong hand only and weak hand only at the same partial targets, to improve my accuracy there. Finally, I like the “dot torture” drill from Pistol-training.com and will continue to use it.

Accuracy is the most important element of shooting, and it is what swings matches. There really is no forgetting that.

Block 2: Classifiers/Hosing

One area that I pretty much did not practice last year was the sort of practice that makes up most people training almost exclusively. I am talking about draws, reloads, and transitions on target that are set at about 10 yards. Drills like El Prezidente and Bill Drills are included here.

I simply did not push these skill sets higher at all in the last year, so they fell back some.

When shooting classifiers or hosing drills I want to put my focus primarily on the speed at which I can perform them. Accuracy will have to take a back seat during this block.

Block 3: Short Course/Specialized Skills

This block encompasses shooting while off balance, picking the gun up off stuff, swingers, bobbers, prone shooting, and so forth.

I am thinking of short and simple drills that isolate a couple skills at a time. For example, load the gun then go prone then shoot a couple targets.

The training focus in this block is on smooth execution of specialized skills and accuracy.

Block 4: Run and Gun/Field Courses

The fourth and final block is to focus on my training for getting stage times lowered on big field courses.

In this block I will set up movement drills and focus on getting the time between positions lower.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:14 pm

Did 2 ten minute dry fire sessions today. First one was breaking down the draw into two parts and working on them - discovered that hooking the thumb is a huge help (thanks!!). Also discovered that I can't run a outside-the-waistband mag carrier and reliably have the shirt clear the pistol on the draw. I'll need to up a tshirt size to do that one, or just be patient and buy an aiwb mag carrier once some bills are paid off (option 2). Another thing I need to work on is my support hand movement - after the shirt is pulled up and pistol is coming out, my support hand 'pulls' the shirt back down and then jumps back up to the gun. Totally subconscious, and thankful for video review.

The George I'm using has a solid belt clip, not a loop, and came up with the gun once on a draw. No bueno - my belt was a low profile, and I switched to a double layer leather with no issues and much better engagement between the belt and clip. Good to find this out now rather than later. I still need to work on speed, I'm rushing the grip and still haven't hit the par times Ben has in his dry fire book. Good to know some equipment and technique points of improvement as well.

Session two was using a 1/4 scale idpa target simulating 20 yards. Messed with trigger manipulation and how my finger 'hooks' on the trigger vs. going more perpendicular to the bore. Ironically hooking and pulling the force to the 4 o'clock resulted in absolutely no sight movement. That's going to have a huge impact on my 25 yard shooting.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:07 am

Great stuff, Jeep! :D

I'm a failure at 100 yards. :oops: I can't imagine going 200. That's most impressive!
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:27 am

It was about 30-40% hits, so still plenty of room for improvement. I changed out the trigger from standard to a short one, we'll see how that impacts things.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:17 pm

I worked on some reloads today and draw work. Par time of 1.1 with appendix carry, button down shirt with the last button undone, I beat the clock 75% of the time. That is SIGNIFICANTLY better than previous. I'll be doing work with t shirts this week. Target was a IDPA target scaled for 7 yards. Will be working on 25 yard and 50 yard over the next two weeks. Still have some work to do with the reloads, but we're getting there.

I detail stripped the P226 today and did a little smoothing of the action. Most work was performed with Mothers Mag/Aluminum polish and q tips (tip - q tips in a drill goes much, much faster and easier).

-Hammer spring deburred on the ends, polished inside and out. Buffing wheel for most work, q tip for inside
-Hammer strut, long leg, had edges broken/slightly rounded with diamond hone. Leg was mirror polished. Hammer strut/hammer interface 'curves' was lightly polished with q tip/polish
-Hammer polished lightly w/ q tip/polish where it rubs on the sear during double action
-Sear polished where it rubs on frame/ejector with buffer wheel, where it rubs against hammer with q tip/polish
-SRT safety lever mirror polished
-Ejector polished where it rubs against sear with buffer wheel
-Reassembled with slide/glide per Bruce Gray's recommendations

I did not touch the trigger bar, as I didn't feel like having an exercise in patience in getting it in/out. I'll figure out the trick for it at a later date. I'll polish the pins and pin holes at a later date if I get bored, but as of now they're not going to get messed with at all.

End result - double action went from 'stiff/workable' and smooth to 'easy as heck to work' and much, much smoother. I can fully appreciate what a gun worked over by Bruce Gray or Robert Burke must feel like after this. My work would be a better proxy for Sig's $150 trigger job, save keeping the original hammer spring.

Total time invested was about an hour and a half for everything.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby Brian D. » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:25 pm

It is time well spent if learning the innards of guns used for carry, competition etc. is of interest to someone. Through the years I've done the work you're describing on my own single and double action revolvers, as well as most semi auto handgun designs, at various stages. Later I learned enough about the long guns in my life to have at least a fighting chance of fixing them myself. After a while it seemed like no gun related problem I'd see firsthand were completely beyond understanding at least in part. Wouldn't exactly say I have a mechanically-oriented brain, either, but could at least take firearms apart slowly so as to get the hang of how they worked, and had to be reassembled afterwards.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:20 pm

Brian D. wrote:It is time well spent if learning the innards of guns used for carry, competition etc. is of interest to someone. Through the years I've done the work you're describing on my own single and double action revolvers, as well as most semi auto handgun designs, at various stages. Later I learned enough about the long guns in my life to have at least a fighting chance of fixing them myself. After a while it seemed like no gun related problem I'd see firsthand were completely beyond understanding at least in part. Wouldn't exactly say I have a mechanically-oriented brain, either, but could at least take firearms apart slowly so as to get the hang of how they worked, and had to be reassembled afterwards.


Agreed. The benefit of doing this as well from a mechanical standpoint is less friction for the hammer mechanism. Less friction in the hammer/trigger mechanism results in a smoother and lighter pull for the same hammer spring weight, and less friction on the hammer/strut assembly after being released allows for a harder (albeit slightly) primer stroke for the same spring weight. In theory this should be more tolerant of crud in the firing pin channel/hammer recess of the frame, and allow for a more tolerant spring change.

The main areas to focus on for the sig with the least amount of messing it up, in my opinion, is the hammer strut. The two curved faces at the top should be polished with a liquid/soft paste polish applied via q tip or felt, at lowish speeds to avoid altering geometries. Stop when it's smooth - do NOT try to get it looking all the same, as low spots won't do anything against your trigger smoothness but can hold a bit extra lube. After that, taking the leg of the strut and breaking the corners, rounding, and smoothing out all scratches and giving a mirror finish, and a mirror finish on the spring (inside and out) will eliminate a lot of 'crunching' and 'stacking' in the double action pull. A little can be had from the hammer/sear interface, but if you're not 100% positive on what you're doing, and don't have spare parts on hand, don't risk messing it up.

----------
Yesterday I fired 96 rounds out of the P226, with a dot torture, 2 inch dots, and a b-8 repair center. Didn't have a tape measure, so I paced it out (1 step = about 2.5 feet). I paced to 5 yards for dot torture, 5/10/15 for 2 inch dots, and 25 yards for the B8. Outside temperature was about 25 degrees and dropping, sun was setting to my 10 o'clock. Fingers were almost numb.

I 100% failed the weak hand only part of dot torture, and dropped 2 shots otherwise. 2 inch dots I called my fliers as they occurred, always a dip, never a windage problem. I'm coming from Beretta's with longer/smoother pulls, so this will take some work on my part. On the B8 I had 7 out of 10 on paper, 6/10 in scoring rings. I didn't bother scoring them, and likely won't until I get 10/10 on paper.

I'll have a bit of a curve as I adapt to the Sig, and I'm sure the scores will get better and drills improve a lot more with warmer weather. But either way, dry fire continues tonight with weak hand only accuracy work. Tomorrow will be reload components, with draw as well.

I didn't log initial rounds when I got the pistol, but I'm sure I shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 when I first got it, and put another 200 through it to get to yesterday, so I'm going to estimate 296 rounds fired, previous unknown. 1 failure to go into battery, semi-wadcutter without enough crimp (was spec'd for the now-gone beretta - ammo problem not gun problem)

1987 W. German P226
2016 to date - 296 rounds fired
0 parts breakages
1 stoppage
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby TSiWRX » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:45 am

This is awesome, jeep! Keep it up! :D
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:36 pm

Yesterday did 5 minutes of weak hand and strong hand only dryfire for accuracy. Played a little with focus, and went back to one-eye for a little bit. Apparently my eyes have gotten weak enough that I can't see the serrations on the front sight with both eyes open right now, which will play hell with groups.

Today did 10 minutes of one hand accuracy work, played with how much trigger finger to use (might be WAY more than expected), and worked towards getting a sharp focus with both eyes open. Did this by spending a few reps doing single eye and then double until the serrations got fuzzy, then went back.

Interestingly enough to get the sights to minimize movement while firing, I nearly have to get all my finger on the trigger. This is surprising, but ergonomically it somehow comfortably works.

Looking forward to keeping the new year going in the right direction.
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:05 am

Took the inlaws out for some Christmas shooting. They're from D.C., and one of the first questions was if there'd be any semiautomatic machine guns - just to give an idea of what I was getting into.

All said, they used a ruger standard, 10/22, P226, and a AK74. Gun was had by all, with the realization that movies and the media don't get it right by any stretch of the imagination. Good first introduction.

Sig had approximately 200 rounds with 0 malfunctions.

496 rounds, 0 breakages, 1 stoppage (ammo, not gun)
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:16 am

Got my butt back on the weights. I was weak before, but wow do you loose progress fast. Seems to be a lesson here - don't slack off.

5 minute treadmill warmup
Squat, butt to grass 20x10, 50x5, 75x5, 75x5, 75x5
Bench press 20x5, 25x5, 30x5, 40x5, 50x5, 60x6
Deadlift 90x5, 140x5
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:51 pm

5 minutes dry fire work. Foam rolled the legs, squats again tomorrow.

Picked up a second folded slide P226 this afternoon. Rails have practically no wear in them whatsoever, slide has holster wear but nothing crazy. Very slick trigger pull and the old reset with original grips and mainspring.

I'll be using this as my dryfire gun, and as a platform to verify what grips, trigger, I work best with on a back-to-back basis vs my srt equipped one. Should be interesting.

One thing I know I'll keep on the carry is the srt sear, but I'll be training in a non-srt. This is a hedge against short-stroking the single action.

Carry has g10 grips-
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Re: Jeep's getting back into the groove - a training journey

Postby jeep45238 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:25 pm

At the gym at 0500 this morning, skipped a cardio warmup since my legs were suffering and would need the energy for later anyway. I'm glad I skipped it, because after warmups uner the bar my legs felt normal. All exercises used a 45 pound bar. Funny how my legs went from horrible pain to normal - but another lesson learned.

Squats
Warmup - Barx5, 25x5, 50x5
80x5x3

Overhead press
Warmup - Barx10, 10x5, 15x5
20x5, 25x5, 30x5
*note - felt a little popping in my left elbow about 3/4 of the way up, never on the way down. Will play with hand placement and bar path to see if I can eliminate this, or if it just needs some stress to get stronger and heal itself. Only happened on 10 pounds or more

Deadlift
Warmup - 100x5
150x5

Did 5 minutes with the black-grip and 2 minutes with the G10 grip today. I'm going to be working on software obviously, but it makes sense to optimize the hardware as well.

Initial observations - original black grips may be a better option. There was no hunting for the front sight on the draw with those, but about 50% of the time with G10 grips there was. The back of the grip is much more narrow than the G10 model, which I think helps to 'locate' it in my hand better, while the rounder/fatter G10 back heel area doesn't offer much resistance to being off plane. The older grips feel more akin to a single stack in my palm, but they are a bit wider.

The old mainspring/hammer strut with the sheet metal shoe and long spring really allows for an easy, fast, 'camming' double action that doesn't disturb the front sight. The new style with the plastic shoe and shorter spring does have a more consistent pull, but I find that I have to work with it a bit more to be nearly as quick.

The standard trigger works, and it feels funky with G10 grips but right with the older 2 piece grips. The short reach trigger feels normalish with the G10's, haven't tried a swap to the trainer. The standard trigger seems to allow more leverage so the DA pull 'feels' lighter than it is.

The short reset sear does allow for a great reset, and will probably stay in the carry gun. The trainer will keep the non-short reset, which I view as hedging the odds against short stroking the trigger.

So, there's 8 variables to mess with not counting sights and hammer springs. I think that adds up to 13 possible combinations, but math isn't my strong point.
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