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Old March 26, 2011, 06:33 PM   #1
jdknotts
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Need a good critique IDPA classifier vid

This is my first classifier. I shot expert but think I could've done a lot better. I was using a DeSantis pancake with a thumb break. Moving to an open top to reduce draw time. Also, my tac reload at the 20yd was horrible. Mag pouches are brand new and need broken in.
I made it just under the 120 seconds with 56pts down. So my accuracy will need to improve yes. But I'm looking for technique improvements. Thanks and here's the vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v5rgJOycdo
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Old March 26, 2011, 11:45 PM   #2
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Hard to say without seeing the hits. 28 seconds off for misses seems the obvious place to start fixing. Slow down the 20yd shots on stage 3. Did you make all the head shots in stage 1?

I'd have someone film your draw from the strong side and see if you can get rid of all unnecessary movement. Your draw doesn't look bad, but who's doesn't need work? The tensed up ready to attack pre-draw is costing you time as well as pre-disposing you to doing tense jerky things with other muscles like your trigger finger. Relax, tune out, go limp. As it was explained to me by someone who might know in the shooting game(IPSC GM/world champ) to move a tense muscle you must first relax it and then re-tension it to move. Extra steps=extra time.

You already identified your reload problem.

Not score related and I don't want to insult you since you look like you've handled a gun before; but re-holster is not a timed event. In my mind stabbing a glock at any holster, especially a thumb break potentially floating in the breeze is asking for it. I saw one instance of moving the muzzle around to open the holster. I shot a Glock 17 in my IDPA time, still carry it. I take my time, even with kydex to make sure that nothing is going to make a pass at the trigger guard.
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Old March 27, 2011, 06:44 AM   #3
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I made all of the headshots. And did not miss the target throughout the course. This whole thing was thrown together very quick over a couple days. So I was not prepared for most of it.
The holster is being changed out for an open top. And I am going to practice the draw a lot while watching tv and such. I think my wanting to shoot a bit faster than I should comes from the only other time I shot IDPA. It was a very short match. I went 1 point down and wasn't too fast on the trigger..... A friend shot with me and was very fast, dropped probably 40 pts, and still beat me by 10 seconds..
So I guess I just have to find my grove.
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Old March 27, 2011, 10:05 AM   #4
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Speed will come. You started correctly by being slow, most any new shooter in any action pistol thinks they should just go all Machine Gun Kelly on the course. After all, if the GM over there is whacking .15 second double taps while running, why can't they? The more you shoot, the faster you see what your sights and body are doing.
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Old March 27, 2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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Your shooting looks pretty good and making SSP expert speaks for its self. I agree with Navy Joe about relaxing a little before the buzzer. You should be ready to go but not tense. The biggest thing I see is that it looks like you are tracking your sights on target transitions. The eyes and head should snap to the next target and the gun will follow. This will reduce your transition splits. On the strong hand only strings it is usually easier to shoot from outside in. For you that would mean from right to left. The gun naturally recoils to the inside when shooting one handed so it flows a little easier. For stage 2 string 1&2, I find that if I start with my feet closer together I get in balance quicker when I start moving forward or backward. On the slide lock reloads I noticed you are racking the slide. I know there are pros and cons but dropping the slide lock is faster. On all of the magazine changes it looked like you were waiting on something before you dropped the mag. You hesitated a split second before initiating the change on all of them especially the RWR. Over all I thought your shooting looked good. Keep up the good work.
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Old March 27, 2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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The tense ready to attack comes from day in day out of being screamed at on the line from police instructors... As well as jamming the pistol into the holster... The slide release is something I can do in front if the tv, but put some lead in the gun, some adrenaline, and its back to what I've always done. No such thing as a bad student right? :barf: These are things I definitely see I need to change.
The tracking.... I've read this before and practice on the wall above the tv. But its going to take awhile to change.
I'm glad my girlfriend was there to video the shoot. Its an awesome way to analyze every aspect. And thanks for the input so far.
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Old March 28, 2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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A couple of procedural notes: the start position for the classifier is with your hands relaxed at your sides, not at the LE-ready position you had them in your video. From IDPA's website:

Quote:
Note: Start position for all strings EXCEPT Stage One / String 5 is hands naturally at your sides. A Bianchi Style Barricade wall is twenty-four (24) inches wide by six (6) feet tall; shooting box is twenty-four (24) inches wide and does not necessarily have to have a back to it.
The other item is that Stage 1 Strings 1-3 should all be shot from the same position, not moving in front of each individual target.

Nothing I'd said above should detract from your shooting, those are areas where your Safety Officer failed to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the classifier rules.

As far as your shooting goes, you shot very well for your first classifier, I'd be very happy with that score if I was you.
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:51 AM   #8
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Thats a bummer... Guess I need to shoot it again the right way
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Old March 29, 2011, 06:04 AM   #9
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I'll ask a question because I'm only slightly familiar with IDPA. I never did a qualifier but I did participate in an IDPA shoot once, shot straight but made procedural errors and was slow. The question, don't they require a cover garment for the qualifier?
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Old March 29, 2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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No cover garment required for the classifier. I reviewed the COF's but didnt look at the rules as much as I should've.
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Old March 29, 2011, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
But I'm looking for technique improvements.
It's called practice and you will find your groove and what works best for you as far as technique goes.
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Old March 29, 2011, 11:50 AM   #12
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I'll add a few:

1. 56 points down is way too many. That added over 30% to your raw time. Shooters much better than me have noted that adding more than 10% means you're shooting beyond your control, and I've come to agree. Strive to shoot the 1st 2 stages clean, or nearly so, as you'll need the buffer for stage 3. Even if you add 10% to your raw time, the 10% in time added still puts you ahead.

And, as mentioned above, do not miss any of the mandatory head shots. I see you didn't, so I just mention it as a reminder.

2. When shooting from around cover or a barricade, it's easy to cant the muzzle inward the more you lean, pulling the shot way off towards the inside. Because of the distance, this can be a real problem from behind the barricade in stage 3. Lots of points can be lost here, simply because you're not aiming at what you think you're aiming at. Be aware of it - even better, evaluate and practice not doing this during dry fire practice.

3. Whenever you shoot, say a string of 6 shots on 2 targets, your tempo is a common one:BangBang.....BangBang....BangBang. This can be a source of points down, as the 2nd shot of each double tap is usually shot faster than the shooter can see. Furthermore, transitions are usually out of control as well - they're usually overswung, so time's added bringing the gun back...if it's even brought back...and even then, that 1st shot after the transition is likely rushed to make up time, and, as a result, not very good. After your bad 2nd shot, poor transition and bad 3rd shot, you're onto your next bad shot, and the cycle repeats itself.

Much better is a smooth Bang.Bang.Bang.Bang.Bang.Bang with smooth and even transitions between. The raw time won't be much slower, but you'll find it easier to make your hits because you're more likely to be shooting within your control.

4. When shooting SHO, you shoot away from your non-shooting side, i.e. left to right. Most do better shooting towards their non-shooting side. WHO, then would be left to right, as you did it, but SHO would be right to left.

5. I agree completely about being too tense.
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Old March 29, 2011, 08:21 PM   #13
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MrBorland makes a good point that gets back to what I said about tracking your sights. Your strings where often bang,bang.....bang,bang......bang,bang. With proper and quick transitions the splits should be more even. For example (and its just an example) if you have .25 second splits on a target the transition split should be about .35 seconds. It is very common to shoot two shots on each target too fast then be slow on the transitions. I don't mean to harp on this, but you transition targets 34 times in the classifier. If you take .2 seconds off each one you are ahead of the game almost 7 seconds. Not a bad improvement for one little fix.

MrBorland is also correct about the number of points down. 56 is way to many. For me, about 30 points down in a classifier is about the right combination of speed and accuracy. I'll take 5 down in each of stage 1 & 2 and 20 down in stage 3. I would like to shoot it faster with less points but I'm not quite there yet.
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Old March 29, 2011, 10:51 PM   #14
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Shot tempo. Google a Blake Miguez IPSC video. After you get done crying, just listen to his shot tempo. I think there is a pause in there for reloads, not sure though.
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:59 AM   #15
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Wow. Blake is awesome fast. I dont think I'll ever be that fast unless I quit my job and shoot 300k rounds a year....
A couple thoughts, Catseye: I see the hesitation on my reloads. I'm pretty sure this is a worry about the mag not dropping free from the gun. The gun I am using was my fathers gun. It's 20 yrs old. I got it when he died. With it was about 20 mags. I didn't know much about glocks or the mags. Come to find out, they were all no-drop mags... My only other idpa shoot I felt like a dumba$$ when I tried inserting a new mag on top of one still in the well... I bought new mags so hopefully the fear will subside.
My gun: I consistently shoot my Glock to the left. I pushed the sights as far out as they will go without hanging over the slide. A friend said it was from the thickness of the backstrap.... I dont have this problem on any other handgun I own. I can't see my fundamentals change from gun to gun. Any thoughts?
Sight tracking: I practice this on the wall. Do the el prez drills work to cure this? What is something I can do to remedy the tracking? I tend to be a robot when it comes to shooting and it is difficult to change things. But I agree they need to be changed.
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Old March 30, 2011, 07:10 AM   #16
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Do you have any formal training from reputable instructors?
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Old March 30, 2011, 08:01 AM   #17
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My gun: I consistently shoot my Glock to the left. I pushed the sights as far out as they will go without hanging over the slide. A friend said it was from the thickness of the backstrap.... I dont have this problem on any other handgun I own. I can't see my fundamentals change from gun to gun. Any thoughts?
If significant sight adjustment doesn't change your POI, I'd say you're likely not looking at your sight picture as you're shooting. You may be pushing the trigger to the left as you pull it. Try putting more of your finger on the trigger. And watch the front sight.

Quote:
Sight tracking: I practice this on the wall. Do the el prez drills work to cure this? What is something I can do to remedy the tracking? I tend to be a robot when it comes to shooting and it is difficult to change things. But I agree they need to be changed.
The El Prez is an excellent drill, IMO, but you have to practice it well. Check out this master-level revolver shooter. Since he doesn't start facing uprange, it's not technically an El Prez, but listen to his even tempo. BTW, a sub-8 El Prez with a speedloader-fed revolver, if shot clean, is a really excellent time.

I'll share one of my dry fire secrets: A metronome. Buy a cheapie or use this one. Set it for, say, 100bpm, and double-time your shots to El Prez. Consider click 1 as the beep. Draw and first shot on T1 at click 3, transition and 1st shot on T2 at click 4, etc. I take 12.5 clicks for a complete El Prez. At 100bpm, your splits and transitions will both be 0.30 seconds. The actual bpm really isn't that important - getting your splits & transitions evened out is, and matching an audible tempo helps you get there.

The other crucial thing in this metronome drill is to watch the front sight and see what you need to see to make good "hits". It's as much about "seeing" as it is about tempo, so set the tempo only to what you can see. Not faster. Forget this, and your good tempo will be for naught on match day because what you were really practicing and preparing for was a hose-fest.
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Old March 30, 2011, 03:01 PM   #18
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Wow. Blake is awesome fast.
Well there is that, I've heard it described as "alien speed." More important is the cadence, his 2nd shots on target are delivered at about the same speed as his 1st shot after transition to a new target. The urge to make hasty double taps cost time and points.


Quote:
The other crucial thing in this metronome drill is to watch the front sight and see what you need to see to make good "hits". It's as much about "seeing" as it is about tempo, so set the tempo only to what you can see. Not faster. Forget this, and your good tempo will be for naught on match day because what you were really practicing and preparing for was a hose-fest.
Wait, you look at your front sight? that's crazy talk. Maybe we like being hosers. They wouldn't put all those bullets in the mag if you weren't supposed to use them right? P.S. I hate Virginia and Limited Vickers count.
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Old March 30, 2011, 04:17 PM   #19
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Maybe we like being hosers. They wouldn't put all those bullets in the mag if you weren't supposed to use them right? P.S. I hate Virginia and Limited Vickers count.
Hey - I love hose-fests - I just wish they weren't so expensive - particularly for revolver shooters, who have to treat nearly every stage as Limited Vickers. And it's a shame, too - hose-fests look cool, they sound cool, squadmates slap your back, and the YouTube vids look and sound awesome.

Heywaitjustaminute...now there's a thought: Start shooting a revolver! Taking away half your ammo, slowing your reloads, and smoothly working a long 12lb DA trigger quickly is a great way to learn to make every shot count. And wheelgunners are better looking, too.
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:32 PM   #20
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And wheelgunners are better looking, too.
Now thats just crazy talk.
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:32 PM   #21
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Start shooting a revolver! Taking away half your ammo, slowing your reloads, and smoothly working a long 12lb DA trigger quickly is a great way to learn to make every shot count. And wheelgunners are better looking, too.
No doubt. Do it!!!
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:47 PM   #22
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The gun that taught me to shoot my 625 well was a Beretta 92. You do a few thousand practice repetitions with a horrific DA trigger and the next thing you know you nearly ND the 7lb revolver DA.

Never made it to competing with the wheelgun yet though. Same as Production, reloading forever.
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Old March 31, 2011, 10:28 PM   #23
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Formal training, USMC and two federal law enforcement academy's. Formal yes. USMC very reputable. FLETC.... Dunno really. Sometimes yes sometimes no.

Thanks for all the imput so far. I ben working on some of the things dry firing in front of the tv. Others I will need to get out and shoot to work on. I'm going to a match on the 9th. My girlfriend is going to videotape it. Hopefully my form is a tad better by then.
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Old April 9, 2011, 05:38 PM   #24
jdknotts
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Thanks for all the input. Did fairly well today.
2nd place overall
1st place SSP Expert

Check it out:

http://youtu.be/-Ib4QtqwtDk
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Old April 10, 2011, 04:09 PM   #25
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Congrats on a fine placing. It's a good feeling, eh? El Prez notwithstanding, your tempo seemed better, and you seemed more relaxed.

You need to continue to work hard on making your shots, though, even if it means slowing down. Looks like you added 20% to your raw time, which is still twice what it should be, and that's based on an inflated raw time because of a botched 1st stage.

I'll also caution you against gauging yourself as a shooter by your placing in matches, grasshopper. For one thing, it's largely beyond your control - a bunch of masters could've showed up and kicked your butt with your same performance. Likewise, had the guy who won not showed up, you would've won. Yet you're the same shooter either way. You can't control who shows up at matches, but becoming a better shooter is something you control, so that's the only thing worth concerning yourself with. Do that and your classification and match results will take care of themselves.
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