I was fortunate to win the Carolina Cup IDPA Championship this past weekend. Below is a stage themed from the movie Collateral. I thought there was a couple interesting training points visible in the video. If you’ve trained with me you’ll notice them, if you haven’t train with me you might want to consider it to up your game!
The Stage: Parry the ‘gun’ pointed at you with strong hand. Then 2 to body of T1, 2 to body and 1 to the head of T2, then head shot on T1. 6 rounds. You’ll notice I shot 7, more on that in a bit.
Draw: Notice the ‘Hitch Draw’ that I teach. Clearly visible even from concealment. I don’t know what the draw time was but the stage was 2.56, so I’m quite certain the draw was under a second. The good consistent grip afforded by the hitch allows solid point shooting at targets of this distance.
Transitions: Eyes ahead of the gun. Heard that somewhere? Again, clearly visible that my head and eyes are leading the gun. Picking a spot on the target and pulling the trigger timed so the gun ignites at the moment it lands in the down zero. You’ll see I was a bit quick on the trigger or a bit slow on the transition coming back to the head of T1. I was pretty certain I fired early but did do a quick literal split second check of the target before firing the last shot. I didn’t want the make up on a stage this quick but you certainly can’t take a 2.5 second miss on at 2.5 second stage!!! All down zeros also.
Still good enough for a stage win leading to a match win. But the things that make it quick here are the things we teach at USA! Firing at extension, eyes ahead of the gun, quick consistent draw.
Demo Speed…….Couldn’t pull it off this year. Thats an inside story for my students on steel. I recommend you come learn it though I didn’t execute this time.
I ended up on the podium for Limited due to the fact they pull out Production separate. Otherwise I wouldn’t have made it as Max shot a 90 with a striker gun. My goal used to be to break 100 with irons but I’m better than that now, new goal is 95. Still wouldn’t have won it this year but you aren’t always going to put up your best number. I came in 7th overall with an open score of 92. My goal with a dot is to break 90. That goal needs readjusted as well….85 is probably a realistic goal for me.
The cool thing about steel and also why some love it and some hate it is it’s always the same. The course is the course. You against it. You either do gooder or you do worser. Frustrating in it’s simplicity. Steel is a funny game. So simple yet so hard. Great training in its own right but also pays off in other disciplines like USPSA and even tactical or self defense practice. Quick transitions, quick draw, hand speed, eye speed. All great stuff.
I didn’t have time to put in the work this year and it showed. Last year I had more time than I had ever had to practice and ended up winning the National Title in Irons and also took home Steel Master. (granted BJ and Dave weren’t playing but you can only kick the ass that shows:) No surprise the more work you put in the better your results.
Manny put up a 96 and a 104 respectively. Not bad numbers but he can do and has done better. I got a few rounds of practice in and I know he got less. But we were there throwing down with the best in the biz none the less. We also had a bet for least extra shots in the Open match. I won’t mention the results but lets just say we’ll both enjoy the case of beer I owe him.
Congratulations to Sean Beery of Volusia County Gun Club and Mike Calloway of Schuemann Barrels for executing a great match. Also big thanks to all the range staff and officers. Many of them have been working this match for a long time and they did a fantastic job as usual. The match moved to a new venue this year and everything went great. The range was very nice, lots of improvements since I was there last. I wish the best for them and hope to be back next year putting up better scores. Last but not least thanks to the sponsors, the prize table was amazing! Remember to thank those that support the sport.
On to the next match!
I was fortunate to pull off the win this weekend at the SC State match. Didn’t shoot my best however. Always learning especially switching back to the Open blaster for this season. First 3 stages I had 3 penalties and 3 deltas. I think just pushing a little too hard maybe. A miss in hard cover and clipping a no shoot each by 1/16th of an inch and a miss on a 35 yard target. So didn’t feel too horrible about those as they were pretty close. Still not how you want to start however.
Then on the 4th stage (stage 5) I had a crappy situation. It was a fairly complex stage with cross activating poppers setting off 2 swingers and a bobber. I had a good hit on the small popper and came up to the swinger after the load and it wasn’t moving. Did it malfunction? Did I forget something? Panic mode ensues. I checked the other activators were moving, then jumped out of the shooting area to look at one steel which was down meaning it must be the other steel way back on the other side of the stage. Amazing how fast stuff goes through your mind but I quickly calculated the mikes and fte’s couldn’t be worth leaving it. So I bowl back over barrels and anything in my way. Getting to the steel I see there is a good hit on it, again I contemplated leaving it and challenging a calibration but again decided it wasn’t worth the risk. So shot it down and finished the stage.
I’m positive the cable was miss routed, or stick hung up or something. The initial hit was just below the pumpkin, center, full diameter on a small popper. No way that doesn’t take it down, but once you shoot it down you don’t have much recourse.
So after my bad start and now this bad luck I have to admit I was a little mad. Ended up winning 4 of the last 5 stages and the other was a 3rd. Good enough for the match win. Maybe I need to get mad at the beginning of the match. 🙂
Thanks to the match staff. We had a great time. Below is a video of the stage.
We have openings in a two day intermediate practical pistol course on May 13-14 with Shannon Smith. Good opportunity to get in on a group rate just as the season is heating up.
Max students: 4
Round count: 1500+/-
Email Shannon direct for more information or to sign up.
Well sometimes, yes. Depends on the class, student and instructor. Sometimes less sometimes more. Here is why.
I took an olympic weightlifting seminar this past weekend. If you aren’t familiar with olympic weightlifting it isn’t real important. In Oly lifting there are only two lifts, the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. We spent the entire first day on the Snatch. There is a video at the bottom of this post. At it’s simplest form the snatch is simply lifting a barbell from the ground to overhead in a single movement. As with most things however it is much easier said than done.
At the beginning of the 2 day seminar the instructors said one of the criticisms they receive in the course feed back is that the course is very repetitive. To which they responded….well, yeah. If you want to get good at the snatch guess what? You gotta snatch. To steal a quote from somewhere else “Writers write, if you want to be a writer, write. Right?” I immediately thought of the correlation to trigger pull. The snatch may seem simple on the surface but it is an incredibly intricate series of movements and body mechanics that require perfect timing to make it work. 3 pulls, triple extension, re-bend of the knees, etc. So we spent basically 7 hours snatching. Most with just a pvc pipe instead of a barbell to get the mechanics down. It made a huge difference in my technique. Though I had received some instruction through CrossFit there is nothing like spending a full day or two with a professional to really improve your skill. You don’t know what you don’t know, you know?
While it may seem simple in that you just pull the trigger to make the gun shoot. I promise you there is way, way more to the simple act of firing a gun. I use at least 3 different types of trigger pulls depending on the target, distance and speed at which I need to engage. Along with a intricate and mechanical linkage technique to actually pulling the trigger to the rear in order to keep the path as straight as possible. (any lifters out there will see more correlation)
We can tell and show you these different methods and techniques which we do but there is really only one way to learn and perfect the trigger pull. You can probably guess it but the answer is to do it. Then do it again, and again, and again. You will learn through repetition how to manipulate the trigger to the best of your ability. When staring down a plate at 25 yards you either pull the trigger correctly and knock it down or pull it incorrectly and it stands there mocking you. The only real way to get good at it is doing it. There is a reason the top shooters in the world have ten plus years experience (in most cases). That is what it takes to get consistency.
I have heard, seen and been in classes where obvious wasting of ammunition goes on in attempts to have a cool high round course. I think you will find that is not the case here at Universal Shooting Academy. I would venture there are few instructors out there that understand the trigger pull as well as we do. Also our classes are small and we have plenty of room to shoot. Paper targets set up in one bay, plate racks next door, a couple stages set up on the other side. So there is not much time spent on resetting targets or patching holes. This also adds to the round count, you’re either stuffing mags or working the trigger. With purpose.
I recommend scheduling our one or two day intermediate course as this season gets underway. I think you will be amazed at what you don’t know. If you’ve been with us before I would recommend coming out for a refresher, you can never get enough time seeing the sights lift and working the trigger. I would also recommend learning something new this year. SCUBA, yoga, language, it was pretty fun taking a course on a new subject. Learning something new I was interested in.
This is not me for the record but a pretty awesome video of the snatch in slow motion.
This one is me from the FL Open a few years ago. If you look closely you’ll see at least two different types of trigger pull. But can’t tell the technique from the video.
Thanks, see you on the range.
Testing out an event for our upcoming CrossFit / Shooting invitational event.
Manny Bragg is holding a 3 day advanced pistol course immediately after the USPSA Nationals at Southern UT Shooting Sports Park, St. George, Utah. This course will be 2 days of our renowned high speed execution of the fundamentals program which will give you the tools and drills to take home and continue your improvement. A bonus third day of stage work on the same stages from the USPSA National Championship! We will have full access to the range! This is an amazing opportunity to train with one of the best shooters and professional trainers around.
When: November 30, October 1 and 2. (Mon-Wed), 2013
Where: Southern UT Shooting Sports Park, St. George, Utah
Universal ammo is also available to provide ammunition to be shipped for the class.
Email Manny directly for additional questions on anything and to reserve a slot.
We have 2 slots open to a two day class with Manny Bragg after Area 5 in IL.
Class is Monday and Tuesday. Contact Manny directly if you are interested.