Something Tells Me I Shoulda Stood In Bed.

Something tells me I shoulda stood in bed.

As far as I could tell, I needed a 41% or better to move up to C class today. 

CM03 03 Take 'Em Down

According to, I shot a 38%, even though I tagged two no-shoots (and quite well, too).

To quote The Pixies, where is my mind?

That’s the bad news.

The good news is, I made a conscious effort to speed up my shooting, and I think that helped as I full-tilt on stage 3 and didn’t drop too many shots. Now I just need to learn to turn it up and turn it down depending on the type of stage I’m on. 

And now it’s off to Phoenix Rod and Gun Club for their Intro to IDPA match, where I’ll shoot  my P07 and try not to suck as much as I did this morning.

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The Rifle, Man.

The rifle, man.

In tuning up for the Superstition Mountain Mystery Three Gun next week, I ran across an interesting problem. 

Going over my scores from my last match, I did pretty good on the shotgun stages, but where I need help is with both long-range and short-range rifle (Tac Iron. Go figure.).

I can work on the long range rifle stuff on the 200 and 300 yard steel at the public range at Rio, but short range work requires some quality time alone in a pistol bay. This led to an interesting problem: There are dozens and dozens of drills out there for practical pistol, including iPhone apps and card decks and some of those drills can be adapted for a rifle, but there’s precious little out there specifically training for three gun with a rifle. American Rifleman has a good rundown of the basics, and Kelly Neal’s and Justin’s blogs are both good sources of ideas and tips, but there’s just not the sheer volume of sources of practice drills to draw from like there is in practical pistol.  

VTAC has a nice video of the Zig Zag drill. They use it as practice for law enforcement/military close-quarters battle, but it can easily be adapted for short-range rifle stages.  

I also worked up a couple of drills that I’ll put into practice this week on the range. Stage designs courtesy of Stagebuilder.

El Tirador

El Tirador – 18 rounds

A variation of the classic El Presidenté, designed to work on transitions and shooting on the move.

Three IPSC Metric targets 15 yards from Box A, 2 yards apart. Box B is 5 yards downrange from Box A, 10 yards from targets.

Start position: In Box A, rifle at port arms facing downrange. On start signal engage T1-3 with from Box A. Advance to Box B yards away from targets, engaging T1-3 from in between boxes. Engage T1-3 from Box B.

Easy as 1-2-3

Do Re Mi – 20 Rounds Rifle, 6 Rounds Pistol

Setup: See chart. T1 and T4 are each 1 yard downrange from Box B.

Begin in Box A facing downrange, rifle at port arms, pistol loaded in holster. On start signal, engage T1-4 from Box A with rifle, T1-4 from Box B, T2 and T3 from Box C, safely ground rifle on table draw pistol and engage S1-3 with two hits each.

The idea here is to practice transitions from Box A and B (watch the 180 on Box B) and rifle to pistol transitions from Box C.

Ideally, a plate rack would be better than three steel plates, but I can’t always guarantee access to a rack in the practice bays on my range.

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Get Off The Couch, Get To The Range

Get off the couch, get to the range

That plate rack looks like it's almost real!

I’ll admit it: I didn’t “get” the idea of Caleb’s Geek Shootout until just recently, but the fact of the matter is, gun culture has changed, and people are interested in shooting these days not because of a family tradition of hunting but because they’ve been fragging their buddies in Counter Strike for the last ten years. It’s high time the millions and millions of gamers out there learned that real guns are WAY more fun than their virtual alternative, when used safely and properly, because even though FreddieW’s videos are a lot of fun, there ain’t no such thing as respawn in real life.

We’re (still) Winning

We’re (still) Winning

Blackhawk! branded nylon holsters being sold at Wal-mart. 

Don't forget the !

That’s right. Non-sporting firearms accessories, (well, non-hunting. IPSC is a sport, no matter what the ATF may say), branded with the name of one of the largest manufacturers of tactical products are being sold in America’s largest retailer. Even Wal-mart realizes now that carrying a firearm for competition/protection has become commonplace.


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Flight Of Fancy

Flight of fancy

USPSA v. FBI QITI wanted to see how my daily carry rig stood up to a standardized pistol drill, and I chose the Air Marshal standards course, as it seemed to be (and was) a good test of my skills and equipment.

The rig I used was my CZ P07 in a Crossbreed SuperTuck, concealed with an oversized t-shirt. My spare mag was stored in my weak-side front pocket. I don’t have any FBI QIT targets, so I used a USPSA Metric target. I scored A, B and C hits as 5 pts, D hits as 2, and misses as zero.

The drill, and my results

All strings are shot from a distance of seven yards.
Qualification: Time: Cannot exceed total time for each drill. Example: Drill #1 – 1st time 1.70 seconds, 2nd time 1.55 seconds; Total = 3.25 seconds = Go. Must achieve a “GO” on each drill. Accuracy: Target is FBI “QIT” (bottle). Total rounds fired is 30. Point value inside bottle = 5. Point value touching line or outside bottle = 2. Maximum possible score = 150. Mininum qualifying score = 135. All stages must equal “GO” to qualify.

Individual Drill Starting Position Time Allowed Actual Time Score Pass/Fail
One Round (Twice)
3.3 Seconds Total
Concealed from Holster 1.65 seconds 1.92 5 F
1.65 seconds 1.82 5 F
Double Tap (twice)
2.70 Seconds Total
Low Ready 1.35 seconds .98 10 P
1.35 seconds 1.07 10 P
Rhythm; fire 6 rounds at one target; no more than 0.6 second between each shot.
3 Seconds Total
Low Ready 3.0 seconds 2.62 30 P
One Shot, speed reload, one shot (twice).
6.5 Seconds Total
Low Ready 3.25 seconds 2.89 10 P
3.25 seconds 5.35 10 F
One Round each at two targets three yards apart (twice).
3.3 Seconds Total
Low Ready 1.65 seconds 1.35 10 P
1.65 seconds .89 7 P
180° pivot. One round each at three targets (twice). Turn left, then right.
7.0 Seconds Total
Concealed from Holster 3.5 seconds 2.84 15 P
3.5 seconds 2.75 10 P (?)
One Round, slide locks back; drop to one knee; reload; fire one round. (twice).
8.0 Seconds Total
Low Ready 4.0 seconds 5.1 10 F
4.0 seconds 4.7 10 F
Result: (1 miss on one of the pivot drill strings)       142 Fail

A few thoughts…


I love my Crossbreed Supertuck, but it sucks to draw from. I need to start thinking about a pancake or yaqui slide holster for the P07 and use the Crossbreed only as a tuckable IWB holster, or else modify the Supertuck so I can get a quicker draw.

And no, switching to a “shoot me first” vest isn’t something I’m considering, mainly because I never wore them in the past, even when I was a full-time photographer, and in the heat of a 115+ Phoenix summer, adding on additional layers of clothing doesn’t seem that wise. Besides, I’m more of The Dude than I am Walter Sobchak .

I need a better way to store spare mags than my front pocket. I blew one string because I wasted a couple of seconds playing pocket pool with my reload, and failed two others for much the same reason.

All in all, though, I like the drill as it tests both my skill set and the tools I use. When I didn’t hav to draw or reload, I easily beat the required par times. A few tweaks to my holster and accessories, and I should pass the next time I run this drill.