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"Most accurate" again in IDPA... help me speed up

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by 1KPerDay, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    Just shot my third USPSA match. The thing I'm least likely to ever forget: second stage had some movement along a line of targets that were maybe a yard or so from the shooter's box/lane. I'm going along them, banging away with my 1911 SS (shooting .45ACP factory ball). I get near the end of the run and the RO calls stop. Okay, I stop, then clear at his direction, wondering what's up. He points to the targets I've just put two rounds each into, and three or four of them look like they've taken two barrels of buckshot pointblank. Me being the dozenth or so shooter, having reasonably long arms and wanting the shortest range possible, the muzzle blast of .45 ball ammo blew all the tape pasters off the centers of the targets exposing most of the previous shooters' shot-holes. :scrutiny:

    They made sure the tape was on firmly before my reshoot, and I think I've just cemented a reputation as the guy that they don't need to bother chronographing... :evil:
     
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  2. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    Lemme check my rulebook, nope, no reason to stop you in that situation.
     
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  3. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I've had my M1 Garand blow paper targets clear off their sticks at point blank range... the RO shouldn't have stopped you, IMO.
     
  4. Igloodude

    Igloodude Member

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    Really, I wasn't annoyed at the stop, I think the RO was just surprised/confused and being cautious. The fact that I was blowing tape off the targets and reopening all the holes was just really funny.
     
  5. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Speculation here,
    RO maybe called stop as a courtesy? If the RO knew you would need to reshoot to get a valid score he/she could have called the stop to save you ammo. ???
     
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  6. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    If one guy is blowing pasters off, it isn't going to be a one time occurrence.

    The solution is to not put targets close enough to get pasters blown off.
     
  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Or use good posters. There seems to be a wide disparity in the amount or quality of adhesive that comes on different brands of pasters. Some start peeling if you look at them funny.
     
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  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Got most accurate again today despite my efforts to speed up. It's like a mental block. I can't get myself to press the trigger with the sights not satisfactorily aligned. And my mental definition of satisfactory is obviously too stringent. I had quite a few targets with center hits an inch apart.

    I placed first in SSP Expert and 3rd overall. 40 seconds behind the winner... a Master. The other shooters were clustered around me within 5 seconds or so. It didn't help that this was an "accuracy match" according to the MD. Lots of headshots, strong hand only stuff etc.

    fun but I don't feel I'm really progressing. I need to start shooting paper targets more.
     
  9. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    What are your time and hits like on a 7-yard bill drill?
     
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Put tape over the notch in the rear sight and do some close work on paper. Keep both eyes open and use the silhouette of the gun as your "sights".

    Get a feel for what kind of accuracy you can get and at what ranges using no sights at all.
     
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  11. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how much less accurate are these guys while completing the course of fire in 40-50 seconds less than you?

    I’ve never competed so have no clue how the scoring works, but it seems like 40-50 seconds less would be worth a significant amount of points and would mean you could afford to miss a good bit and still be ahead. I mean, based on the fact that they scored first and second and you were behind, I assume that’s the case. How much is it actually worth, though? What’s a shot on target worth versus a given amount of time?
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Tough love time, bud.*

    Saying "I got most accurate" is like laying down your cards in a poker hand and declaring "all reds."

    That's not the game anyone else was playing.

    At most action pistol matches, it's a safe bet that the top half of the field could make every single shot on the course on a 1-for-1 basis (with the possible exception of maybe some movers or weak hand only shots) if time were not a factor. Nobody is impressed by someone who is shooting at a very deliberate pace cleaning a stage. Most of us can do that. What is hard is making those shots fast. That's the game.

    Maybe a baseball analogy will help. No batter wants to strike out. A strikeout is not a good discrete result at all. However, at any serious level of competition, the best batter in the league is NEVER, EVER the guy who strikes out the least. That's because, in baseball, there's something of an inverse correlation between swinging hard and making contact. Babe Ruth set all kinds of records for strikeouts when he was the first batter in history swinging hard enough to regularly hit the ball over the fence. Babe Ruth could have struck out much, much less if he had shortened up his swing and tried to just poke the ball around... and he wouldn't have been half as good as he was.

    Learning to go fast in shooting is like swinging hard in baseball or golf. There will be some bad results. But taking little patty-cake swings and consoling yourself with "I didn't strike out" while you get thrown out at first is pure ego protection. Meanwhile, the guys who are running the risk of strikeouts are hitting line drives and home runs. Bunting little 190 yard drives down the center of the fairway isn't going to get you on the high school golf team, much less get you a tour card. While you're being "congratulated" with the consolation prize of hitting every fairway, the other golfers are trying to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible... and they're better off 100 yards closer, even if it's out of the rough.

    You need to decide what game you're playing, and then leave the ego protection behind.

    *Disclaimer: I'm coming from a USPSA, not IDPA, background. I acknowledge that USPSA is even more speed-focused than IDPA.
     
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  13. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    This was one of the best posts I’ve ever read on this forum. It hit very close to home for me personally, but regarding something that has absolutely nothing to do with shooting or sports.

    You can play it safe and the result will probably be mediocre, comfortable, and expected. Or go balls to the wall; and whether you fail or succeed, you’ll at least be able to say, I went for it.

    “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” - 1 Corinthians 9:24
     
  14. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator Staff Member

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    ATLDave - good post, and I agree with everything in it. I don't, however, get the impression 1KPD is all that happy with "Most Accurate" - my take is that he understands he needs to speed up, but that he's hitting a barrier. There's been some good advice already here - improve your movement, take the shot when you see it's "good enough", rather than perfect, etc.

    Go balls to the wall, and saying "I went for it" is about all the prize you get. Shooting well is always a game of control, even if that game includes speed. In a match, the trick is to shoot and move your fastest at the edge of your control and/or knowing how much control to give up (it ain't a lot). In practice, give up some of that control so the brain gets the chance to feel what it's like to go faster. Once it calms down, it figures things out and sees things it hadn't, and you start getting your hits at your new "normal", and your match speed will be your new normal as well.
     
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  15. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    Lots of peeps in my hood compete to improve rather than to win. But I've been running the numbers on the winners, and they often accrue 98% or so of the possible points. First they are accurate, then they gradually improve on their speed without sacrificing accuracy.

    Some of the games (like IDPA) are time plus, but I've been re-analyzing the data in terms of point percentages and hit factors to compare myself and my peeps with the best performers stage by stage to discern areas of improvement. Sure, the highest performers often have hit factors at or above 5 on many stages, but they also still have higher point percentages than most of the shooters behind them.

    For me, the time to try going faster to discover how fast one can go and not drop points is in practice. In matches, one shoots at the pace one has acquired in practice while still ensuring a very high hit percentage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    LOL nice analogy.:rofl:
    Thanks for the good ideas. If ego were a factor I wouldn't be posting publicly asking for help speeding up, and putting my results out there for others to scrutinize and armchair quarterback. :D

    I have been consistently placing top 10-20% in all handgun matches (steel challenge, IDPA, and regular generic "handgun" matches) since I started shooting competitively (in local matches) about 8 years ago. I just don't feel like I'm progressing as much as I should have. I've placed first in my division a few times and once or twice won the match overall but generally that was in matches where "the fast guys" didn't show up. :D So it's not like I'm a snail. I'm just mathematically going slower than I need to in order to actually be competitive with the really fast guys, and I'm trying to narrow down the areas I need to focus on. Plus we're talking relatively smaller local matches here; in national matches I would probably be bottom third at best.

    I really appreciate all the help! :cool:
     
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  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    In IDPA as of 2017 each point down is 1 second added to your time. It used to be .5 seconds. So ostensibly they've made it even more an "accuracy" emphasized discipline, compared to USPSA which the uninitiated often call spray and pray (which isn't true either... the really fast guys are fast as hell AND accurate as noted above).

    In this match for example the winner's raw time was 106.25. My raw was 154.38. So... that tells you that I waste a lot of time before we even consider accuracy. After you account for the penalties and points down, his total time was 133.25, with 24 points down. I picked up a little on him by being slightly more accurate, and my time was 172.38 with 15 points down. Still even if I'd shot the match clean, I still would have been roughly 23 seconds behind.

    2nd place had a raw time of 141.27 and 24 points down with no penalties, so his final time was 165.27. Both of them were faster overall by quite a bit, and were basically 3rd most accurate overall in addition to being faster.

    4th place is interesting here, because his raw time was 128.53 but he shot much less accurately than I, with 54 points down compared to my 15. So his final time was 183.56. So there's an example of a guy shooting too fast. However, he obviously has the skills and physical ability to move and shoot faster than I do, and his accuracy may improve, whereas my accuracy is excellent but I seem to be stagnating in my ability to move and shoot faster.

    I actually won one of the stages, and placed 2-3 in a couple more, but then 9th or 10th in a couple also. Those are the ones that killed me.

    Even if I were 10 seconds raw time faster, and shot 10 more points down as a result, it would be a wash at least in IDPA. I'd still be 40 seconds back from the jackrabbit.

    Working on it...

    working on it...
     
  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Your prefrontal cortex/conscious mind knows the answer, but when the buzzer goes off, your subconscious mind still clings to the ego protection of accuracy. I'm trying to help you give it a jolt! Sometimes hearing something expressed a different way can help the same basic notion get to a deeper part of the brain.

    I think was's now-old suggestion of setting up a course with a know "fast" time, then forcing yourself to fire all the shots in that amount of time, is a really good way to get the feel of what actual fast is. One way or another, you'll have to go outside your comfort zone.
     
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  19. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Judging what is good or bad performance from a local match is often difficult at best, and also often wildly inaccurate.

    I'd also get away from this and look at more standard metrics to judge performance and look for areas of improvement. There are two great sources of info for this:

    1) Any standard drill: Bill drill, blake drill, El prez, etc.
    2) USPSA classifier database

    These have nationally consistent scoring metrics attached to them, and anyone can run them in a vacuum and know whether they are good or bad, with no inconsistent input from local shooters required.

    It is a given that you need to get the hits. In any decent talent pool, the winner will be in the upper crust of both the accuracy and time metrics. In fact... the faster you go, the more important accuracy becomes... because once you are going fast, any little mistake represents a much bigger hit to your score. Especially in IDPA. It sounds like you have the trigger pulling skills needed to make all the hits, and you are going to have to make a concerted effort to do it faster if you want to move up the score sheet.

    This will only come from making the "wheels fall off" in dryfire and live practice. You have to know what your time on discreet skills are now, and use the timer to push your numbers down. Work this in dryfire, then go check your live fire times against nationally known standards. Rinse and repeat.
     
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  20. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    True, comparing against the entire field is highly variable, because in most cases the field is highly variable. My peeps and I have had some success by identifying a small number of very consistent performers who are there every month to use as comparative benchmarks.

    The range facilities one has access to can impact the drills one can set up. We use a set of simplified drills and record time and points to compute hit factors (HF), which we regard as better indicators of improvement than time plus scoring.

    One drill uses a fixed single target with point regions at a given range and is used build and benchmark skills for follow up shots at the same point of aim. Another drill uses multiple targets and is used to build and benchmark skills for follow up shots at a different point of aim. If someone's HF is > 5 (points per second) on a drill with the same point of aim but < 3 on a drill with different points of aim, then their area of weakness is on transitioning to a different point of aim. Video can also be a tremendously useful diagnostic tool because what a shooter is actually doing can be a lot different from what they _think_ they are doing.
     
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  21. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    That's fine, but you will never really know what a "good" score is without an outside benchmark to compare to
     
  22. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    The "good" scores are the hit factors computed for the consistent performers who are at the match every month.

    But most shooters need drills they can practice with to improve in between monthly matches, and lots of range facilities don't allow full simulated USPSA or IDPA stages. It is also useful to separate different skills (drawing, footwork, follow-up shots on same target, follow-up shots on different target) to identify areas showing the most potential for improvement.

    The drills mentioned above and computing the hit factors allow shooters to see what their baseline is and whether or not they are improving - and they can keep practicing until they see the desired improvements in between monthly matches.
     
  23. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    False!

    The rest of what you say is good, I'm just saying that comparing yourself to other local hotshots is not ideal.
     
  24. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Yep.

    Beware the Big Fish in a Little Pond.
     
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  25. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Well, if one had some sense of how the local hotshots were classified, one might be able to get some sense from that. But without knowing that... yeah. You can gauge relative progress but have no sense of absolute skill.

    At my weekly indoor match, sometimes there are multiple GMs. Sometimes I'm the strongest shooter (a solid B). One could get a very messed-up impression of what constitutes hotshotness on those nights!
     
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