Listening to Grady Powell break down some of the finer points of close quarters pistol technique is an excellent follow up to the kR-15 brief intro to the topic. He does a super job of showing what will help you win in close quarters confrontations. In about 2 minutes he delivers a lot of information.
Some things to consider after watching this include:
- THAT’S A SIMUNITION GUN- don’t go try this with your pals and a live pistol. Simunition guns fire only non-lethal ammo and are designed for training and simulation of live fire
- Your mindset should always include getting your gun into the fight as fast as you can. It’s important to practice this to because most square pistol ranges don’t allow or aren’t set up to allow you to fire from hip level or the close quarters ready position demonstrated in the video
- If you want to pracitce these techniques with a buddy and don’t have the cash handy to go simuntion, you can either invest in an airsoft pistol or a training gun (blue gun). The additional level of safety you obtain by not practicing with a pistol capable of firing live ammo is well worth the small investment – a blue gun can be had for $20 and even less if you shop around
The accuracy drills are coming along nicely. It seems like a plateau has been reached though- I’m throwing up to 15% of the shots with sloppy technique and it’s pretty frustrating. After looking for some tips some content worth sharing was discovered.
When doing accuracy drills like these you can really maximize your technique by doing these things:
1. …align the sights on the center of the target and bring your focus back to the top center of the front sight blade and hold it there until the shot breaks. Adopt your normal stance and shoot a group using the same process, relax and lower the gun between shots.
This is a good way to really maximize every rep. Consistency is the foundation of accuracy and it results in tight, consistent groups. Relaxing your arms also helps minimize your fatigue, further reinforcing the quality of each practice rep.
2. Develop a pre-shot routine to help give you focus. Breathe and relax between shots. Brian Enos says “Don’t be in a hurry. Just be.” Some people try to focus on their heartbeat. There are many ways to accomplish this but the result is all that matters- you’re focused but not hung up on the mechanics of breaking a shot. To start your checklist may be a rundown of your fundamentals focus points (ex. high grip, support thumb resting on frame, focus on front sight, breathe, press the trigger, see the flash- or whatever works for your own mind). Maybe your checklist is as simple as “grip, sight, trigger press”- it’s whatever mantra you can live with. Most people evolve them as they progress and that’s ok.
3. Recognize bad habits creeping in. With experience you will be able to feel a bad shot and a good shot- it’s your recognition of a mistake in the fundamentals that you may have perceived by feel instead of sight. Stop and reset yourself when this happens- another benefit of using tip #1. Do you have a way to verify that you’re relaxed? I like testing to see if I can wiggle my big toe. The sural nerve is a main nerve that runs through most of your leg and is a core part of the nervous system- if you can wiggle your big toe you confirm it’s relaxed. That also means you are relaxed, which is key to a good performance.
This is an impressive and thorough breakdown of the key components of a striker-fired pistol and shows cutaway animations of each component plus animates the entire mechanism in action.
Not bad for 1:30. Congratulations- you’re now smarter or at least briefly entertained.
Low & left hits are a common problem for handgun users as they hone their skills. It’s incredibly frustrating to score good A-Zone hits in a string and end with a shot in the 7 o’clock region of the target. On the left is an example- a few fliers but mostly trigger jerk. Even a lot of hits in the A lean in that direction.
Most pistol ranges I frequent have an analysis chart somewhere – it looks something like the chart on the right.
Great- now you can see what’s wrong. But how to correct it? The first thing you have to be is consistent- if your hits aren’t grouping consistently this chart won’t help much. Most of the target you see is the result of consistent and repeated splits- so it’s not like 3 of my 4-round splits all hit that 7 o’clock zone, it was an occasional round over 18 splits.
The commonly cited remedy for trigger jerk I have seen and heard is a combination of trigger press technique and finger position on the trigger (the second half of the article). If you look at the second link you can see that groups have centered quite a lot but it could be better. It turns out that there are other views on correcting that jerking problem:
Any time the gun seems to be moving excessively on the target enough to make you want to time the shot when the gun is in the proper relation to the target, there is the high likelihood of a trigger jerk because eye focus has transitioned toward the target. Bring the eye focus back to the rear sight and shift it slightly forward to the front sight keeping it there until discharge is realized.
Yes, we can all improve our discharge realization. Even the ladies. This has helped me get closer to my goals. Keep your eye focus on the front sight and make sure you see the flash. Eye focus has made a difference – note how the group has moved in and the outliers are down about 10% over 12 splits and a double tap. Do more than train- evaluate, modify and then train some more.
If you take a close look at the bottom portion of the back panel of a .40 Glock mag you may notice a 1 or 2 to the right of the logo. Wtf does that mean anyway? This has been on my mind for awhile and guess what happened next? Research ensued.
I did find some useful knowledge out- thanks to voyager4520 on glock forum.com:
It signifies one of the iterations of magazine tube design. The early “ambi-cut” .40 mags had no number. Then there was a tube with a “1” that came with #8 followers, then there was one with a “2” that early on had #8 followers and now has #9 followers.
Got all that? The reason you should care has to do with mag repairs or upgrades-the reason those followers have different part numbers is that they aren’t identical. If you replace the follower in a #1 mag or an early #2 mag with a #9 follower the slide stop won’t fully engage on an empty mag- the #9 follower is just a little too wide for those mag tubes.
You can correct this by removing material from the top of the tube where the wider body of the follower is rubbing. It may also help to remove material from the top edge of the follower- you will see the rub mark develop and here is a great photo showing the spot:
That’s all good info- so to bring this all together here is a great cutaway image showing the magazine follower in action. (Hint: the mag follower is the black piece you see under the lowest round in the mag):
Instructor George Wehby offers a great explanation of the lowest level of OODA loops- the physical interaction- i.e. reaction- and how to leverage it.
OODA can be applied to many things- strategic planning and executionfor businesses and military operations alike at one end of the spectrum and the reaction to a threat Wehby demonstrates at the other end.
Interesting how he points out that humans tend to react into an isosceles stance- doesn't it make sense to ingrain that stance into your training regimen?
If we could save the life of just one child by banning these weapons of war from our streets wouldn't it be worth it?
This video is pretty amusing- and MattV2099 brings it home with his Standard 30 t shirt at the end. I hope Bloomberg, Feinstein and co. get a look at this so they can start new legislation- the video is about as grounded in reality as her entire perception of the world.
After getting pretty comfortable with my Tru-Dot sights I began to notice a problem showing up in my precision/longer range pistol shots- take a look for yourself: low and left is the theme on center mass and the smaller precision targets.
Initial analysis points to trigger jerk- sometimes when I dry fire I can even see the muzzle dip as I head into trigger break both in my carry pistol and my competition pistol. But nearly any measure these hits are combat-effective. However my goal is to put every shot in a scoring spot, and since I'm aiming at the center of each target this could be improved. What to do at this point? Crowdsource some knowledge of course…
I found plenty of advice suggesting a trigger mod- ranging from simply polishing the existing components to a lighter trigger bar to drop-in kits (my personal favorite) or sets including changing lots of springs.
So why not fix this by adding a trigger kit or mod? This sounds like a good approach and I love my match trigger rifle…but there are two serious risks incurred by fooling with aftermarket trigger parts:
– Attorneys love terms like custom, performance, enhanced, and have a way of making all of them sound like 'intent to shoot someone' to a jury or a judge. Neither is good for you no matter how justified your DGU was.
– Aftermarket parts are not required to be up to OEM specs- and those items tend to have a knack for failing at the worst possible times.
Finally I ran across a brilliant Glock-specific suggestion by someone: adjust trigger finger position to getting more finger on the trigger. This was his remedy for shots grouping low and left. Dry fire practice with this change to my finger placement has been astounding- at varying speeds of aim and trigger pull I have not witnessed a single front sight dip. Free advice and no armorers skills required!
This makes lots of sense: the 1911-era techniques were developed for a heavier pistol with a very crisp trigger pull. I am writing this article in 2013– thats only 102 years later for the mathematically challenged. Technology has changed since 1911- the Glock is a different type of action and has a different trigger, why force operational techniques from a century ago onto it?
Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this way. According to the US Army Marksmanship Guide:
Correct Placement of the Index Finger on the Trigger. (a) With Joint of Index Finger. (b) With First Bone Section of Index Finger .
To get results like the ones pictured above I had been using only the very top tip of my finger on the trigger. Using the diagram as a reference I am now pressing the trigger a little lower than position (b). It feels like exactly what I'm looking for…but I will let you know how this works with my speed drills and even give position (a) a try if I see further problems.
This is another good video- Nic Taylor breaks it down nicely by leveraging fundamentals and cueing another component of Operator speed. After seeing this I plan to start working on improving consistent transiton speed (could we call this cadence?) in my next live fire session.
One thing Nic could add to his reps: where was that search and assess after he pulled back to low ready? Train as you fight Nic…