My first post of this year briefly discussed my goal of doing 3,650 minutes of dry practice in 2019. These posts are mostly for my own accountability. Here are my results to this point in the year:
January 1 – 11: 200 minutes, January 12 – 31: 140 minutes
February 1 – 15: 140 minutes, February 16 – 28: 130 minutes
March 1 – 15: 160 minutes, March 16 – 31: 160 minutes
April 1 – 15: 140 minutes, April 16 – 30: 160 minutes
May 1 – 15: 140 minutes, May 16 – 31: 170 minutes
June 1: 10 minutes reloads + movement, 10 minutes carbine up drills
June 2: 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
June 3: 10 minutes Type I malfunction + movement
June 4: 10 minutes reloads
June 5: 10 minutes reloads + movement, 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
June 6: 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
June 7: 10 minutes reloads
June 8: 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH “wet practice”
June 9: 10 minutes LATGF GTGH “wet practice”
June 10: 10 minutes SHO sustainment
June 11: 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
June 12: 10 minutes reloads
June 13: 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
June 14: 10 minutes WHO sustainment
June 15: 10 minutes shotgun “up” drills, 10 minutes LATGF/GTGH
Monthly Target: 300 minutes
Monthly Actual To Date: 180 minutes
Cumulative Target: 1820 minutes
Cumulative Actual to Date: 1,710 minutes (28 hours, 40 minutes)
During this two-week period I focused mainly on getting the gun out of the holster and getting an accurate, fast first shot. In my estimation this is the single most important skill a civilian concealed carrier can have. It is the one that should be practiced most, and most often. I also worked in a few sustainment sessions of other skills as I saw fit.
All of these mottos and mantras (LATGF and GTGH) are really just presentation sessions where I’m focusing on a specific point of performance.
During the last part of May, I added a little mantra to my draw stroke: “look at the gun fast (LATGF).” This made a marked improvement on my ability to see the sights fast. I’ve dropped my draw par time from 1.2 seconds to 1 second flat during this period. I’m still rushing to make it but my goal of a shot on a 3×5 card, at 7 yards, from concealment, in 1.5 seconds seems pretty comfortable now.
During this period I added one more mantra: Grip The Gun Hard. As I told you guys a couple weeks ago, I beginning to branch out to some drills that focus on speed as well as accuracy. I shot the Wilson 5×5 Skills Test and wasn’t pleased with my results.
In dry practice I have made a decision to focus heavily on gripping the gun as hard as I can. I do this by reminding myself, “grip the gun hard, grip the gun hard, grip the gun hard.” This is already making a difference during my live range sessions.
We had some several days of rain during this period. Part of me wanted to stay indoors and dry practice, but part of me also said, “it has been years since you’ve shot in the rain…” So I bucked up and went outdoors in the rain. The first session was with nothing but a T-shirt and a big glass of Suck It Up. The second session I went out with my rain coat (a 15-year old North Face shell). I figure that normally when I’m out in the rain I have a coat on, so I should probably work on drawing with it.
These sessions taught me some things. First of all, cocking serrations aren’t just for decoration. With a very slick gun finish, plus a little oil, plus wet hands, racking the slide can be difficult with cocking serrations and nearly impossible without them. Second, my support hand had a more difficult time achieving and maintaining the grasp it normally has. This kind of has me rethinking my grip selection, but I doubt I’m going to change anything anytime soon.
As I said earlier, it has been at least two years since I’ve stuck out a downpour to keep shooting. If you haven’t done it in a while, I’d suggest you try it. Manipulating a firearm with wet hands is probably different than how you imagine it if you’ve never done it, or haven’t done it since you were a 22-year old E-3. Pateon supporters will notice that my “wet practice” also coincides with a detail strip of the gun.
Shotgun “Up” Drills
As my Patreon supporters also know, I’ve moved to the shotgun as my go-to home gun. I got in one dry practice session with it, doing timed “up” drills (.60 to 1 second depending on distance).
This is the first session in a while that I haven’t missed at least one day. This was despite five days of travel during this period. That feels really good. I’m going to try to close out this month without missing a day. Also, I got in a few two-a-days and I’m ahead by a pretty comfortable margin (60 minutes if my math is correct).
If you aren’t dry practicing. . . why not? It’s not hard to find 10 minutes a day to dry practice, and it’s COMPLETELY FREE. Take ten minutes you’d be spending vegging out on Instagram or in front of the TV and turn it into a tangible skill.