Well, after a great GSSF match in March, my USPSA match at the end of April went a little bit the other way. I managed to miss at least one target in all but one of the eight stages.
Because I don’t read my own blog: “So where is this [good shooting] coming from? Dry fire. I’m spending at least 15 minutes a day in my office dry firing, smoothing up my trigger pull. about a third of that is draw and fire, to speed up my first shot and make it accurate.”
Did I keep up dry firing in April? No.
So I know what to do. Better times coming in May, if I do.
Thank you for listening to my rant.
By the way, the picture above is a new cart, replacing my Shooting Stroller. Look for a post on it, to come.
In my post yesterday about my return to GSSF, I talked about how I felt my extra time on Glock the Plates was probably because that was my first shots of the day, with no warm up. Butch Barton commented that I shouldn’t shoot the plates first, but rather 5 to Glock, them Glock M, then the plates at the end. I have to admit, I agree with Butch, and, in fact, that’s normally the way I shoot it. However, when I showed up at the GSSF match, I let convenience get the best of me, and when I saw I could shoot second at the Plates, I took it. Bad call.
This led me to think about my strategy for shooting the GSSF stages, and how I have tweaked them over the years. So, here are my strategies for shooting the GSSF stages.
5 to Glock
Strategy: Shoot the farthest targets first, then work my way to the nearest.
Why: I have found I can shoot 25 yard targets well, if I take my time and line up the sights correctly. Closer in, I can almost double-tap them and do well. But if I start close in and work my way out, I don’t take the discipline to line up the sights on the farthest targets, and this leads to the Dreaded Mike.
Strategy: From right to left, shoot the paper targets in order, then shoot the steel target(s).
Why: Consider – I have 11 rounds loaded, and it takes 8 rounds to engage the paper targets. This leaves 3 for the steel. I have found that, on a bad day, I can miss the plates with the first few shots. So, worst case scenario, if I go left to right, and take 4 shots on the steel, that means I am out of ammo by the time I get to the last paper target. So I make sure I have shot all the paper, then I have 3 rounds for the steel. If I miss with the first one, I take a concerted moment to line up my sights and hit it on the second shot.
I will admit, I am much better shooting steel at the Glock M distance of 11 yards than I used to be, and I haven’t missed the steel in quite a while. But this strategy still works best for me.
Glock the Plates
Strategy: Treat each plate as a separate target, and use the recoil energy to move me to the next target. If I miss, I come back to the standing targets once I am done with all 6.
Why: What can I say? There are maybe a hundred YouTube videos on how to shoot plates. My favorite is by Rob Leatham. The last half is a commercial for his plate rack, but the strategy is good:
So, in summary, be strategic, be committed, and be safe.
2019 has started out well as the year of my return to competitive shooting, and I am working to keep it going.
It started with USPSA at Cherokee Gun Club, and River Bend Gun Club. As I reported before, I decided to switch from Production to Limited Minor, and, while I can’t say I’ve seen a big difference, not having to plan my stage based on 10 rounds is rather nice. I now pack 18 rounds, plus one in the chamber if I need it, and this usually means only one mag change.
The result of this is I am shooting the Classifiers well enough that I think I can start out as a C class Limited shooter, once I get 6 scores. Seeing that I spent 7 years as a D class Production shooter, I feel good about it.
The next news came from the GSSF match in Dawsonville on March 16, where I shot 94.16, beating my best match ever by over 8 points. I did this y have zero Mikes, and by shooting my fastest times ever on 5 to Glock and Glock M.
Of course, being a perfectionist, I look at Glock the Plates and ask why I didn’t do my best ever, there? But it was easy to see – my stages went 10.47 >> 9.21 >> 6.12 >> 6.21. Since this was my first stage, the answer, to me, is warm up. I could have shot it 7 seconds or so faster. But I’ll take it.
So where is this coming from? Dry fire. I’m spending at least 15 minutes a day in my office dry firing, smoothing up my trigger pull. about a third of that is draw and fire, to speed up my first shot and make it accurate.
And, I have to admit, watching myself on YouTube, my next area to work on needs to be to lose weight and speed up. Given I have always had catcher speed, I don’t know if losing the weight will really work, but it can’t hurt.
We are a great nation and we are compelled, whether we will or not, to face the responsibilities that must be faced by all great nations. It is not in our power to avoid meeting them. All that we can decide is whether we shall meet them well or ill.
Teddy Roosevelt speech to the Lincoln Club dinner, New York City, February 12, 1899