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. Please read (or scroll) to the end, because I have a couple of questions for the audience here.
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 – 15: 180 minutes, June 16 – 30: 160 minutes
July 1-15: 150 minutes, July 16 – 31: 130 minutes
August 1-15: 150 minutes, August 16-31: 170 minutes
September 1-15: 140 minutes, September 16-30: 140 minutes
October 1-15: 190 minutes
October 16: 10 minutes presentation
October 17: 0 minutes
October 18: 10 minutes presentation
October 19: 0 minutes
October 20: 10 minutes presentation
October 21: 10 minutes presentation
October 22: 10 minutes presentation
October 23: 10 minutes presentation with handheld light
October 24: 10 minutes reloads
October 25: 10 minutes malfunctions
October 26: 10 minutes SHO presentation
October 27: 10 minutes WHO presentation
October 28: 10 minutes presentation with handheld light
October 29: 10 minutes reloads
October 30: 10 minutes presentation, 10 minutes presentation (CKC)
October 31: 10 minutes presentation with handheld light
Monthly Target: 310 minutes
Monthly Actual To Date: 340 minutes
Cumulative Target: 3,040 minutes
Cumulative Actual to Date: 3,100 minutes (51 hours, 40 minutes)
October was kind of a tough month for me. I’m not sure why, but there were several days this month that I didn’t make dry practice happen. On a couple of those days I was traveling/driving (or at Greg’s class) but I’ve managed to dry practice on travel days before. I think a huge part of it was that I didn’t plan the month in advance.
I have found that having a plan for the month is incredibly important. This was one of the first months that I didn’t go into with a plan. Being rudderless made it hard to decide what to do. So…I just did a whole lot of presentations. That’s an important skill, but doing it every day gets really boring. I got my act together late in the month and decided to do a “review” of skills to this point.
In this post I’m going to talk about some of the finer points and variations on the presentation I’ve been working on.
Presentation Isn’t “Just” Presentation
I do want to point out one thing about presentation drills. Over the past couple of months presentation drills haven’t “just” been presentation drills. I’ve failed to mention, but I’ve added quite a few minor learning points into these drills
First, I’ve worked almost 100% with multiple targets (at least when I’m home). This has stopped me from getting lazy and forced me to work on gripping the gun hard and maintaining that grip. It has also let me practice transitioning between targets. I’ve also been working with “low probability” targets, targets that are partially obscured by another no-shoot target, law furniture, trees, etc.
I’ve also worked on addressing targets from different angles. Instead of standing squared up to two equal-height targets space 1 meter apart, I’ve gotten a bit more creative. I’ve placed targets at varying heights. Because I have two safe directions in which to dry practice, sometimes I place them at a full 90-degree angle from each other. I also vary my positioning. Sometimes I’m squared up. Sometimes I’m facing 90-degrees (left or right) from the target, and sometimes I’m working at an angle between zero and 90-degrees.
Another fine point I’ve begun to work into presentation drills is starting with stuff in my hands. I will occupy one or both hands with a “cup of coffee” or a couple grocery bags stuff with clothing. When the timer goes off I will drop the cup/bags/whatever and proceed with the draw. I think this is an important skill to practice occasionally.
Refining the AIWB Draw
One thing that Greg showed during his snubby revolver class was a technique to clear cover garments. Instead of grabbing the hem of the shirt with the weak hand and jerking the whole arm up (as I’ve been doing since I started carrying), do a “bicep curl.” First, grasp the hem of the cover garment. Next, curl the forearm upward, just as you would if doing a bicep curl, only keeping your hand close to the body. It’s hard to explain this without pics, but I’m traveling as I write this and don’t have my photographer with me. It seems to work well. It’s just as fast but doesn’t require as much jerky movement.
I Need Your Input
I have two questions for you guys.
First, what have I missed this year? I have worked on presentation, trigger control, presentation without shooting, multiple target engagement, SHO presentation, WHO presentation, reloads, SHO reloads, WHO reloads, malfunctions, SHO malfunctions, WHO malfunctions, using a handheld light, shooting, reloading, and clearing malfunctions from unconventional positions (sitting, kneeling, prone, supine), presenting, shooting, reloading, and clearing malfunctions on-the-move (forward, rearward, and laterally across the target), and shooting around left and right barricades. I still have two months left. What have I missed? What are your suggestions?
Second, what should I do in 2020? You wouldn’t believe how good it feels to have a goal like this to march toward. At the beginning of the year I was like, “holy crap – I just signed up for a whole year. Am I going to be able to do this?” At this point, dry practicing for 10 minutes a day just feels like something I’ve always done. I’m already sort of dreading not having a goal like this next year…so let’s fix it!
What are your recommendations? I’m not sure I want to do exactly the same thing. Maybe repeat it but do make it 100% on the move? Maybe do a minor in rifle or shotgun (or both, though those will be difficult to practice when I’m traveling)? Maybe spend a year getting really good with left-handed shooting? What do you guys think? I’m completely open to input.
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.
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