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Old November 19, 2012, 01:03 PM   #1
howabouttheiris
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1st IDPA Classifier, actually several 1sts

A few shooter buddies and I setup and ran the IDPA classifier for the 1st time at BOTW this weekend.

Here is where my story is probably different.....

1) I fire 1000s of rounds thru my stock 9mm Glock 34 per year at a local slow fire range.

2) I have never (actually never ever, if that is longer)...
a) drew a pistol
b) worn a holster
c) used a clip holder
d) tactical reloaded
e) reloaded for speed

3) I am primarily a target / small group shooter.

4) I was terrified of shooting myself in the leg while removing/reholstering the gun, so I moved at a very controlled pace.


Stage 1:
1: 4.26
2: 3.95
3: 4.28
4: 7.66
5: 4.67
6: 12.00 (slow reload)
7: 10.55
Total: 47.37+(2*0.5)= 48.37

Stage 2:
1: 6.21
2: 6.88
3: 17.77 (took 5s+ to reload)
4: 6.77 ( can't believe it but scored a miss)
Total: 37.63+(10*0.5)= 42.63

Stage 3:
1: 20.81 (took 3s+ to get clip into holder)
2: 20.22
3: 7.61
Total: 48.64+(18*0.5)= 57.64

133.64s + (30*0.5) = 148.64

This basically slides into the lowest reaches of Sharpshooter for the SSP, but on the good side, I know I have 10s of seconds of time to shave.

A couple questions....

1) I was reading about the 10% penalty rule of thumb, I suspect my -1s on the 1st stage is too accurate. Agree or shoot well and save the penalties for Stage 3?

2) Anyone see any patterns in the numbers?

3) Is the following the best plan for me?

My plan....

1) Work on draws. I was 1s slower than my buddies in every string of Stage1. Funny thing is I ultimately beat most of them.

2) Work on reloads. Just ugly.... nothing better. I had to stop and look at my belt to get and return my clips.

3) Learn to fire the 1st shot without perfect sight picture. My target shooting past is killing me. I need to stop shooting groups around the 0's out of the IDPA target.

Last edited by howabouttheiris; November 19, 2012 at 01:17 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:44 PM   #2
g.willikers
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It sounds like you guys had a real good time doing this.
And that's the best part.
As to your plan for improvement, probably the thing to practice the most is transitions - the time it takes to go from target to target.
While the draw and reload times can make a difference, you only do each once per course of fire in IDPA.
The time between good hits from target to target is more important, since you may be doing it up to nine times per stage.
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had a terrific classifier. Honestly. If done well, stage 3 usually comprises 40-ish % of your total, and you're even a hair under that. That's great news, since it's stage 3 that kills people. Your PDs were very respectable, too. No, you didn't drop too few in stage 1.

Your foundation is sound, and isn't a liability. Even in IDPA, you'll always need to apply the fundamentals, but you'll learn to do it faster. Those who never get this, or who's fundamentals are weak plateau at some point.

FWIW, your "story" isn't unusual. And it's not a liability. Many come from similar backgrounds. In fact, I had the same background when I started shooting competitively 3 years ago. I could shoot 25 yard cloverleafs at my "slow fire only" range before ever shooting for speed or even drawing from a holster. Nonetheless, once I started, I made Master in about a year, then 1st Master in this year's Nationals, Carolina Cup, and Indoor Nationals.


Quote:
1) Work on draws. I was 1s slower than my buddies in every string of Stage1. Funny thing is I ultimately beat most of them.
Forget it. An ├╝ber-speedy draw isn't where the low hanging fruit is. You just proved that to yourself. Still, a respectable draw time (while shooting -0s) is worth working toward, but don't obsess over it at the expense of more important things.

Quote:
2) Work on reloads. Just ugly.... nothing better. I had to stop and look at my belt to get and return my clips.
Yes. Reloads are important. As important, though, are the shots before and after. A rippin' reload isn't much good if you've dropped points to get it. Work on your smooth & consistent reloads ad naseum at home via dry fire practice. Be sure to practice tac loads, too (many semi-auto shooters under-utilize them, IMO). You want to get to the point where your reloads are automatic, so they're just one more thing you don't have to think about while shooting a match.

Quote:
3) Learn to fire the 1st shot without perfect sight picture. My target shooting past is killing me. I need to stop shooting groups around the 0's out of the IDPA target.
While you don't need a perfect sight picture, decide that every shot will be an aimed shot. You'll just learn to aim faster. Yes, you'll have to let go of shooting tight groups, but take advantage of all the acreage the -0 offers. At speed, that -0 gets plenty small.


Here's something important that's not on your list is movement - that's where the low hanging fruit is. Shoot slow, but move quick. And efficiently. And show up at a position ready to shoot.

Finally, don't get too obsessed with your classification. Learn the game, shoot to your ability at matches, and your classification will take care of itself.
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Old November 20, 2012, 09:10 AM   #4
howabouttheiris
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Thanks for the detailed replies.

Next time I will spend some time and record my splits. My Stage 1 - String 1 was something like.... 2.9s + 0.4 + 0.9.... thus my comments about the draw times.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:19 PM   #5
RickB
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You're primarily a small-group shooter, and you dropped 18 points on stage three? I never like to say "slow down so you get better hits", as I generally just miss more slowly when I slow down, but if you are a "group shooter", you shouldn't be dropping eight points, let alone eighteen, on stage three.
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Old November 20, 2012, 02:55 PM   #6
howabouttheiris
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Agree with you...

At 15-20 yds all my groups were low, as I really misestimated the location of the 0 ring (aimed 'center mass' and filled the -1 area with a few even lower). I think got away with it at 5-7 as I could faintly make out the perferations of the 0 ring. Gimme a black marker or a 1" florescent dot and I will fix that darn cardboard cutout. But again.... 1st time shooting at a real IDPA target.

In hindsight, I can shave a lot of time by knowing what I am up against on each stage...

Doing it again.... which I will soon. I will shake my fear of shooting myself and attempt to draw faster on Stage 1, but shoot at the same pace. I will attempt to draw and reload faster for Stage 2. And will run/jog thru stage 3, reload like a biped with opposable thumbs, but ultimately shoot slower and to a location higher on the target.

Last edited by howabouttheiris; November 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:02 PM   #7
RickB
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There you go! For a lot of shooters, stage three is their nemesis. For years, I shot stage three first, and if I didn't hit a predetermined target score, I wouldn't even bother shooting one and two as I knew I wouldn't be able to make up the deficit, so no chance of moving up.
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Old November 20, 2012, 03:06 PM   #8
howabouttheiris
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I suspect (with a clean run) but shooting/transitioning at my current pace, I could drop....

8 seconds in draws / 1st shots. (especially in stage 1)
5-7 seconds in fumbling for clips / reloading.
4-5 seconds in motion.
5 seconds in penalties.

.... just need to put in my time to hit that clean run.
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Old November 20, 2012, 05:24 PM   #9
MrBorland
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Quote:
if you are a "group shooter", you shouldn't be dropping eight points, let alone eighteen, on stage three.
Meh. Different sport. A bullseye shooter who shoots an IDPA like a bullseye shooter is gonna be slow. When it comes to shooting groups, I can beat most. Yet, the transition to action pistol wasn't easy, and I struggled with PDs, too. But if the fundamentals are strong, you'll make good progress, so long as you remember that while the game isn't a target event, practical accuracy counts.

IMO, 18 points in stage 3 isn't terrible - compared to most, it's decent as a matter of fact. Yes, they could be a bit lower, as stage 3 in many ways is the classifier. General rule of thumb is 10%: A good balance of speed and accuracy is when time from PDs hover around 10% of raw time. In the case of a good classifier run, stages 1 & 2 ought to be below that since stage 3 will be a bit above.
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Old November 20, 2012, 09:35 PM   #10
howabouttheiris
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"Meh. Different sport."

Agree. The leaning and kneeling/leaning in Stage 3 is not the "stable" stance that I am used to having the luxury of.
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Old November 20, 2012, 09:49 PM   #11
MP9
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if you are a target and group shooter, dont be over-thinking so much about classifier... just go to the local matches, enjoy, and step by step you will be learning the basics..

tactical and emergency reloads can be practiced at home after double checking the gun is unloaded

transition can be done at home, dry fire and that will help you a lot. get some idpa targets or something smaller and practice transition, trigger control.

and practie draw and pull the trigger without disturbing the sight picture.

at end all is reduced to trigger control, transition and sight picture. speed come with the time..

18 points down at 3rd stage is very good...
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Old November 22, 2012, 01:51 PM   #12
howabouttheiris
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Was back out in the tac-bay at BOTW yesterday for a couple hours. Was running 3-gun style courses with a few buddies, but did spend 15 minutes with them going for fastest draw-2body-1head.

After 10 or so attempts, I was shooting ~3.0s cleans and more comforable with the draw. My best for the day was a 2.66 clean. Any faster and I got over my rear sight for my 1st 2 rnds and pulled high.... work to do. About 0.5 slower than others were capable of... but still WAY better than the 4.26 on my 1st attempt on the classifier.

Thanks for the feedback. Looking at some of the match videos online, the classifier is heavy in draws and light on target recognition. Hope to get out an shoot a match in the next month or so.
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Old November 23, 2012, 03:09 PM   #13
BILLG
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What are you doing with clips?Are you using them to hold your score sheets?If you mean magazines quit trying to put them back in your mag holder when you are doing tac reloads.Stow them in your pocket or waistband.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:24 AM   #14
Jim Watson
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Sharpshooter on the first try is actually very good.
Stay interested and you will surely get better.

You can practice the draw and reload dryfire at home.
You can also practice use of cover at home. Snapping in on the villans on tv around the doorframe or kneeling behind the recliner will get you funny looks from the family but will help your development.

Especially, practice drawing from concealment dryfire and learn a method so you won't get tangled up with a loaded gun and a timer running.

On the range, practice the basics and also learn to shoot on the move. The Classifier has a little advance and retreat but scenario stages will have it more often. Lateral movement is harder and not on the Classifier at all.

Your slowfire background will help when you start running into partial targets shielded by hard cover or non-threats. Slow down a bit and make the harder shot.

You should not have to look at your belt to find your reload magazine and on the Tac Load, the partial should go in a pocket instead of back in the pouch. (Also, a habit of putting depleted magazines in the pouch will eventually bite you in the butt when you go to reload and find you have three shots available instead of ten.)

Get in a regulation club and attend regulation matches. That will show you what you need to practice and will encourage you to perform to IDPA rules and policy. Too much casual shooting and "-style" shooting will form habits harmful to your scores.
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Old November 24, 2012, 11:46 AM   #15
howabouttheiris
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"mag holder" - wire framed object on the wall beside the crapper that holds back issues of Playboy.

Thanks for the correction. I will add the alternate definition to the one above.
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Old November 24, 2012, 03:09 PM   #16
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I really would not change anything, speed will come. Just be safe & have fun!
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Old November 24, 2012, 06:54 PM   #17
BILLG
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More practice less computer time will take at least 6 seconds from your time.Learning the proper terms for your equiptment will take at least another 3 seconds off.For a Bullseye shooter to be down 18 points on stage 3 adds 9 seconds to your time.So you could take 3 more seconds to shoot stage 3 clean and still be ahead 6 seconds.Best of luck to you on your progress.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:44 PM   #18
hounddawg
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I am just starting also but found this http://shooting-performance.com/doc/...ingProgram.pdf . There is a thread on this page about the powerfactor show also. I learned quite a bit from watching a couple of their webcasts.

The other day I did the firing cycle/draw/reload drill and the strong hand/weak hand practice from that training program and saw decent improvement. My goal is by the end of this season to be placing in the upper middle of the pack at club level.

Just a suggestion from another beginner but if it is in the budget buy a timer for your practice sessions. One of my big issues the first couple of matches was when the timer went off my brain just froze and did a data dump. I even use the timer on my dry fire drills now and stop the time by tapping the timer. That beep is not as intimidation as it was and as someone said in a article I read if you can't measure it you cant improve it. Good luck
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:30 AM   #19
MP9
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Remember what a wise man once said...

"that the device the SO is holding is not a timer....it's a MIND ERASER!!!"

I find that sadly true.... usually before the stage you think about what and how you are going to run the stage... but when the timer go off... you forget everything hahhaahahahahhaa

Quote:
Just a suggestion from another beginner but if it is in the budget buy a timer for your practice sessions. One of my big issues the first couple of matches was when the timer went off my brain just froze and did a data dump. I even use the timer on my dry fire drills now and stop the time by tapping the timer. That beep is not as intimidation as it was and as someone said in a article I read if you can't measure it you cant improve it. Good luck
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:36 PM   #20
howabouttheiris
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" if it is in the budget buy a timer "

I have one that I use (CED7000). I really like the par time beep mode. It is good to use to let you know how far off you were from where you want to get.


" it's a MIND ERASER "

It really is. We shot on Saturday. I loaded 3 rounds, put 3 in replacement mag #1, and 3 in replacement mag #2. Each time the magazine went empty, it caught me by surprise.

I consider myself an educated man. I cannot believe that I could forget that I only loaded 3 rounds, not once, but TWICE in 10 seconds. The timer adds a crazy element to the practice.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:30 PM   #21
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On the timer question - there are smartphone apps that will function as a practice timer that are cheap to purchase until you are ready to go to the actual timer.

I have the Shot Timer app from Surefire on my iPhone for example.
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