I got to meet Max at the USPSA Open Nationals in Florida and had the pleasure to watch him shoot a few stages. Max is such a friendly person and exudes professionalism. True mark of a champion. He even entertained my fanboyism by taking a selfie with me.
While watching him shoot, I noticed that he uses an interesting movement technique and I thought I’d share it with you. Let me know what you think.
Things happen really fast in the sport of Practical Shooting especially in the USPSA Open Division. Here’s a look into what a fast mike would look like. Everything seems fine at first when you see it in full speed but the nasty buggers reveal themselves when you slow the action down.
As the shooter, I couldn’t tell if was a mike, I called it as a hit and moved on. Wish I had the FLASH’s power.
Here’s a detailed analysis of a technique for moving out-of and in-to a shooting position, most often done using shooting boxes in USPSA. The idea is simple, you want to be moving out of a shooting position as quickly as you can if your position is previously static, the fastest would be to start your move while you’re engaging the last target. Not recommended if the last target is a steel plate or popper. That said, don’t make your last target a steel target.
As you enter a new position, you want to have the gun up and ready and your eyes on target before you get into the position, then fire your first shot as early as legally possible. Usually this means one foot in the shooting box and the other off the ground. Which foot I hear you ask, doesn’t really matter. You’ve learned to walk since you were a toddler, your body will know which is better.
This technique is tricky as it requires shooting while moving and you’d have to make sure your knees are bent and springy so that it’ll absorb the force of starting & stopping to ensure your sights are kept as still as possible.
Now go out and try it out at your next match! It worked well for me.
This is a somewhat advanced technique that I’ve been practicing recently. The idea is when you have multiple targets stacked or aligned very closely together, the transition is so minimal that your split times should be consistent across all shots, even during transitions.
You’ll find that most Master or Grandmaster shooters do this often and sometimes with targets that are placed further apart. The benefit is minimal compared to efficiency in movement and stage breakdown but at the higher levels where these shooters participate at, can make the difference between 1st and 2nd place.
I cobbled a video of a successful run I had this past weekend to demonstrate the effect.
Took some videos from the previous match and spliced them together with Adobe Premiere Elements just to pit three shooters side by side.
I’m a C class Open Division shooter, NickH is Open GM, and Yong is a 4-division GM and shooting Limited in this video.
Look at how smooth and consistent the GM’s movements are, including transitions to-from targets and split times.
I’m just super rough all over!
I’ve only been shooting in the Open division (USPSA) twice, and I’ve already learned one very important lesson. Matches and stages are won and lost because of a fraction of a second. A stove pipe, a mental pause, hesitate and your placement can drop tremendously. You have to not only be at the top of your shooting technique and gun manipulation, more importantly, you have to be at the top of your mental game. Lose focus for 0.2 secs and you’ve lost two places. Remember that “chicken finger” you got on the 2nd array? yup! you just gave away a stage win.
I know the other divisions is similar in a certain way, but it’s a heckuva lot more pronounced in Open.
If you’re looking for something to push your limits higher, shoot Open. It will make you a better competitor all round. (maybe except for Revolver, which is a different beast altogether)
Tested three different grips while rapidly shooting 6 rounds off my Open gun. Weak hand grip (barely holding on to the gun), 70/30 (70 left strength, 30 right), and 100/100 (hard crushing grip both hands).
Look at the results yourself in slow-mo. I wished I had a target to show where the rounds hit, but I’m pretty sure both 70/30 and 100/100 were A zone hits and the weak hand probably only 1 would have hit the paper 🙂