Practice – 10 December 2015

I hit the indoor range shortly after I got off work. I had several different targets with me. The targets I have been using are from,, or (link to download halfway down page). I generally choose targets with multiple small objects and then shoot them at speed doing small transitions and multiple shots per object. As I can’t draw or reload, I generally focus on grip, trigger control and seeing what I need to make the shot.

My goals yesterday was to ensure that I had a good grip, that I wasn’t closing my eyes when shooting (a problem I continue to grapple with), and seeing what type of sight picture I could get away with at various distances.

I didn’t really have an issue with my grip throughout the session, as I have been re-enforcing it with dry-fire. My sights were tracking better than the previous week’s session, and I was feeling pretty good. I started to play with different types of sight focus. Running the dot drill target, I found that I could focus on the target and still line up the sights and get 95% hits inside the dots at 7 yards. At 5 yards it was cake. Basically the target was in crystal clear focus, and my front and rear sights are fuzzy. With the narrow front sight I have and the notch width on the Shadow, I can still tell that I have close to equal light and equal height around the front sight. So I don’t need to have a hard front sight focus for each shot. I have known this in theory but I really haven’t played around with it in live fire, and now I know I can do it. Will be even easier with a large 6 x 11 inch A-Zone!

I shot some groups, and as I was feeling good and I had the ammo, I decided to work on strong hand and weak hand. Shooting some of the same drills with 1” circles at 7 yards, I discovered that I truly suck. I still flinch when shooting strong or weak on occasion, so I will be focusing some dry-fire time to just transitioning and shooting accurately at speed and with precision. My speed is still good, but my accuracy is not where I want it. I would occasionally miss the 1” circle by several inches. If I slowed down a bit I could make the hits, but it was slower than I liked.

In all I shot about 350 rounds, and spent just over an hour turning money into noise. My hands were covered in black when finished from carbon and lead, it was a good day. No real issues with the Shadow except for 2 rounds that just barely didn’t go into battery. But it was with ammo I loaded up and threw in the bucket without gauging them. When I shoot matches I gauge my ammo ahead of time.

I am down to 216 pounds from 260. I have had to buy new pants and get new work uniform shirts. Today, I came in and had to switch out my duty belt to the next size down. It’s a good problem to have! Feeling great, waking up early every morning and exercising before work, maybe by the start of the next season I won’t look like a wounded buffalo when running.



  1. How do you measure seeing what you need to see to make the shot? Repeating a drill while reducing the par time could just be good muscle memory not seeing and reacting faster.


    1. I know that I am seeing and reacting faster as I see the sights each time I shoot, watch them lift in recoil and return on target and can break the next shot as the front sight settles back into the rear notch. Thus if I can shoot the drill clean and faster than normal, it is because I am seeing faster. While muscle memory will help you index the gun faster you still have to see the sights quickly and learn to read them at speed. If I miss, I know it as soon as the shot breaks as I watched the sights move out of alignment.


      1. But don’t you need a clean consistent grip, trigger pull and recoil management on demand so that you can truly make the shot as fast as you see it. Otherwise bad groups could be a result of taking a shot too fast or variation in gun handling.


  2. Grip is important but I develop it and perfect it in dry-fire. Same with the trigger press. Ask Tim about the wall drill I make him do all the time to focus on his trigger press. The live fire just confirms that my grip and trigger press are good.

    I also don’t manage recoil, I let the recoil happen, if you try to manage it you will most likely develop a pre-ignition push aka flinch. Muzzle rise happens, too many people try to get the gun to track as flat as possible. With a good grip and the proper recoil spring the gun will recoil and the sights will recover with no effort on your part other than holding on to the gun.


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