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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Super-Tactical.com Drill of the Week #4

This week we address a viewer question about whether it is better to draw on an easy or difficult target first.  I've been told through the years (and probably even told others) that it's best to draw onto an easy target first although I don't really know why.  Obviously we've seen from prior videos that the best way to determine the proper course of action is to shoot it yourself with a timer.

For this drill we set up two paper targets with a white paper target in the center that was about 3 or 4 inches wide to simulate a mini popper.  On the buzzer we alternated shooting the "popper" first and shooting the open target first. In both cases we had to move to another shooting area before engaging the third target. We ran this in both directions and also with a reload during the movement.

What we saw on the clock surprised me a bit, although after our first three weeks of drill videos I guess it shouldn't have. Drawing on the steel was always faster. It was especially faster if you got your feet moving while shooting the paper target after engaging the steel.  Shooting the steel second also ran into a few other problems.  On both of my first two runs on video I had marginal edge hits on the steel which may or may not have knocked it down. Hitting it and hearing the ding and then immediately leaving would have been disaster in a match had the popper remained standing.

editor's note: we apologize for the poor audio and audio sync issues on this video. The HVAC system on the indoor range was much louder on video than anticipated.

direct link for mobile users HERE

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Super-Tactical.com Drill of the Week #3: "Blake Drill"

Today's drill of the week is a simple but powerful drill to be used in your practice arsenal. The Blake Drill (named after Blake Miguez) is a transition drill where you simply shoot two shots on each of 3 targets. The goal is to have your splits and transitions be the same. This will help get you away from the tendency to hammer on your splits and be lazy on your transitions.  I'm sure all of you reading this have gone to matches and seen shooters (or been one of these shooters yourself) than shoot with a cadence that sounds like this... BANGBANG.... BANGBANG... BANGBANG.  What shooters sometimes don't realize is how much time is lost during that transition. Sure it's great to shoot sub-.20 second splits, but if your transitions between targets are .50 or .60 you're gonna have a bad time.  The goal of this drill is to make you aware of this lost time, and to work on eliminating it!

Another thing to consider with this drill is what your eyes are doing as you transition between targets. Some shooters have a habit of sort of locking their neck and eyes in one position and transitioning through the targets like a tank turret. You do not want to keep your eyes focused on the sights for this entire drill!  What you want to do is to snap your eyes to the next A zone each time, and the gun will follow, then reacquire your sights and break the shot.  If you have a tough time doing that, start SLOW (a second or more between shots if necessary) and think (or say out loud) eyes, sights, trigger. This will help you remember to snap your eyes to the next target.  It may even be easier to accomplish this if you move the targets much further apart.  Think about it this way..If I were to tell you to point  your finger at a light switch on the wall, how would you do it? Go ahead and do it now if you want, I promise not to laugh.  Did you find the switch with your eyes, then your body knew how to just make your finger sort of appear there?  You didn't focus on your finger tip and then maintain that focus as you try to move your finger to the switch..  Shooting transitions is the same. You find your spot on the target and then your hands just move the gun there. After the gun "appears" on target, acquire your sights and break the shot.  Again, this will probably be much easier to do if you move the targets 3 or more yards apart.

Be sure to try different variations of this setup. For example, use three targets instead of two, shoot the targets in a different order, or increase the space between the targets.  As always, be sure to use your timer to verify what you are doing and be sure to push yourself.

Remember, this is only a drill for practice. You shouldn't usually try to shoot a specific cadence in a match.  We also want to see you really pushing yourself here.  Turn up the wick until you get those split/transition times down into the low 20s or better, then remember to back it off some so you can find your comfortable "All A's" pace.  The more you work on it, the faster that comfortable pace will get. I like to always end the drill with that comfortable pace so I can see my progress over time, and so I don't get caught in a trap of just spraying mindlessly into brown. The goal is to get faster, but all A's should be your goal too.

We'd love to hear some suggestions for what to do on future dril of the week videos, so feel free to post them below or in the comments on youtube.  Thanks for watching.

(direct link to video here )

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Super-Tactical.com Drill of the Week #2: "Keep it Moving"

Building on what we learned last week with the drill "Three Way", we again address shooting on the move with this week's drill. The setup is simple: you start in a box with 3 targets in front of you but must move to a second box to be able to see and engage a steel target.  We run the drill two ways. First, we start and immediately move to the second box, and shoot everything from there. Next, we shoot the entire string on the move.  Based on what we know from last week, it is shown again that it's much faster to shoot on the move when starting at 7 yards.  We then move back to 10 yards and repeat the drill.  Again, it was faster to shoot on the move.  Moving back to 15 yards is where it gets interesting.  It was still faster for us to shoot on the move at 15 yards, but the hits were not always as good.  If you are a lower classed shooter, or not used to shooting on the move much, chances are you will want to post up at 15 yards and shoot from a stationary position....

BUT, don't let that discourage you. The point of this drill is to establish a base line time while shooting from the stationary position, and then work at shooting on the move until you can beat that time.  If you can already beat that time, great. Work on picking up that speed even more and make sure you're getting those alphas!  Some of you may find that shooting on the move at  10 yards or even 7 is already pretty difficult, and that's fine.  Work on it from that distance until you feel comfortable with your footwork and your hits and challenge yourself as much as you can. You may not choose to shoot on the move at 15 yards in a match situation, but it's good to know that you can if you need to.  Additionally, practicing this skill at 15 yards makes shooting at 5 or 7 yards on the move seem really easy.

Remember to run the drill in the reverse direction too!  For most people there will be a preferred direction of movement for this drill and you will need to make sure you are equally proficient in going both directions.

direct link for mobile users: Click here

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Super-Tactical.com Drill of the Week #1 "Three Way"

Today marks the first release of our new weekly Drill of the Week series.  In this series,  USPSA Grandmasters AJ Stuart and Matt Olinchak will show both live fire and dry fire drills that can be used to build skills, reinforce fundamentals, or enlighten you in other areas.

Today's drill, called Three Way, includes a simple three target setup with two vision barriers.  The point of this drill is to shoot it in three different ways in order to determine what would be the best strategy to take if this was part of a stage at an actual match.  Sometimes our own thoughts can cloud the truth and the best way to objectively analyze a situation like this is,  of course,  with a timer.

When I first put this drill on the ground a few months ago at a practice session and prior to running this scenario on the clock, I was fairly sure that posting up in the center of the array, and shooting everything from left to right would give the best stage time.  It seemed it would be easier to move aggressively to the designated spot and then set up a good stable platform to be able to shoot the targets quickly while stationary.  We can see in the video that this theory was proven wrong every single time by both AJ and me.

Hopefully you can see from the video that this type of practice scenario can really help to open your eyes to trying different techniques.  Next week,  we will work on a more specific shooting on the move drill that will help not only with technique, but will also help show when and when not to try shooting on the move in a match situation.

I hope you enjoy the video and learned at least a little something.  See you next week.


For anyone with issues with the embedded video you can go here http://youtu.be/W_gTE4Vg50w

Saturday, November 15, 2014

With Winning in Mind and Mental Management for the Competitive Shooter

I've been a big fan of Lanny Bassham's book "With Winning in Mind" for a few years. Recently I had a chance to listen to his Mental Management for Shooting Sports CD set. It's a 6 CD set and it emphasizes all of the topics in the book and expands on them while also introducing other aspects of Lanny's mental program he used to win his Olympic gold medal.  It served as a great reminder of what I need to do to prepare for next season and how I have to train not only my body and skills, but my brain for what is ahead.  Super-Tactical.com has partnered with the Mental Management Store to bring you his DVD series and of course his book, which I think EVERY serious competitive shooter should own.  Click the images below to check them out.

Mental Management for the Shooting Sports
Purchase the book With Winning in Mind Now

Team Super-Tactical takes top two spots at Maryland State Championship

Team Super-Tactical takes top two spots at Gravitas Tactical Maryland State Championship. Congrats to AJ for taking the win. Super-Tactical man was trying for the tie but failed and managed to finish .06% behind the leader for a nice one-two finish at the last major match of the 2014 season. 
Lots of new things to come starting soon. Stay tuned. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Super-Tactical.com site layout, team member and site contributor, Grandmaster AJ Stuart

Welcome to the new Super-tactical.com site layout. Hopefully this one is a bit easier on the eyes and less cluttered. We have big things planned for the end of this year and going into 2015 and I'm happy to announce the first one right now.

Super-Tactical.com is proud to announce that we have added USPSA Grandmaster AJ Stuart to our team as a site contributor and team shooter.  AJ has been a training partner of mine for years now and is a great resource to have when it comes to reloading, dry fire, gunsmithing and more. He is a sponsored shooter and works for King Shooter Supply in King of Prussia, PA.

You can see his thoughts here as he starts to add articles, range diaries and dryfire drill challenges to the site and also at King Shooter supply on Wednesday and Friday nights or most weekends on ranges throughout south eastern Pennsylvania.
    USPSA Open division Grandmaster AJ Stuart 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Practice? We talking about practice?

I picked up a Stock 2 a few weeks ago and have just started hitting it hard in practice. This video is of my first "real" structured practice with it.

It's funny what turning on the camera does.  I was trying to get 10 draws (and hits) in a row under .90.  I was able to do it on command until I turned the camera on. Then I started getting tense and screwing up.  That feels a lot like what I do at matches when I start TRYING to go fast (especially classifier stages).  I'm going to try to put some artificial pressure on myself by using the video camera more and more. I told myself I'd post this run to Youtube no matter if I made 10 in a row or not, so here it is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How about some bling? (The Cartel Gun)

I received my 6 inch USPSA Limited gun frame and slide back from Calico Coatings this week.  The coating is TiCN (titanium carbonitride) that was laid down on the gun through a PVD process after the parts were prepared using Calico's super micro finishing. The coating is similar to TiN that you see on some of the high end competition shotgun bolts in the 3 gun world, but that is only available in gold, so it was not an option for this build.  

The TiCN coating is very hard and extremely slick. So slick that my front sight that I had to hammer out of the gun slid right back in with only finger pressure, and when I applied locktite to the slide to hold it in place, the liquid beaded up and tried to run down the side of the slide. 

The pictures pretty much say it all. This is not a subdued gun. It is LOUD.  Something that might be found in a drug cartel boss's safe.  It has been dubbed The Cartel Gun.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Don't get Hendrix'd - Pivothead HD video recording eyewear

Don't let yourself get Hendrix'd.

Record every run.

1080p Pivothead HD video recording eyewear.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Ocho-load. Super-Tactical.com's ultra 3 gun shotgun caddies

It seems that only a few years ago that the weak hand shotgun load was the only game in town. Experts like Keith Garcia mastered the technique and were able to use it to speed through shotgun portions of major 3 gun matches by virtue of their pure speed.  Then came the load two method. Stacking two shells on a specialized rig in order to insert two at a time into the gun gave almost everyone a path to greatness. Next was the quad load. Building on the principle of the load two, this enabled the user to grab 4 shells at a time, and quickly load two at a time, twice, without having to reach back to the caddy for more shells.

Today, we have the next game changer in 3 gun. We believe this development will completely eliminate the advantage that shotgun speedloaders or even magazine fed shotguns have over their tube-fed rivals...the ocho-load.

These prototype caddies easily allow the user to grab eight shells at once, and quickly load the shotgun to full capacity without reaching back to the belt for more or fumbling shells.  Assembled from a titanium carbon fiber matrix for rigidity, with shell clips made of injection molded thermoplastic then machined on an 8 axis CNC machine, these are the most high tech and complex shotgun caddies ever designed and built.

We will be taking pre-orders starting next week. The ocho-load 24 piece as shown contains a triple stacked set of ocho-load caddies allowing the user to carry 24 shells in the same footprint on the belt as most 8 shell caddies.  Starting price for the setup, including belt attachment is $199.95. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we will also be releasing a ladies model designed to fit the smaller hands of our fairer 3 gunners. The design is very similar, and the rig will contain 24 shells of potent 20 gauge ammunition for our ladies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pivothead Price drop $100 off - Now $199

Attention everyone:

Pivothead video recording eyewear have just been reduced to $199. Use the following link to enable the coupon then use the code shootmatt2012 at checkout for an additional 10% off.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Training to Win (Ben Stoeger Training to Win DVD review)

Ben Stoeger's newest training release, his DVD "Training to Win", was released today both on DVD and on Vimeo.com video on demand. This video is a great companion to his previous dryfire and live fire training manuals and goes through many of the drills many of us have already seen in the books.  I would consider this video as best for the intermediate to advanced shooter. It does not cover fundamentals of technique like how to draw or grip your gun properly; you definitely need to have a grasp on how to do the basic skills needed for practical shooting before you start trying to rip through the par times shown in this video. If you've found this video, you probably have already been practicing for a while and maybe even have read a book or two from Ben or another trainer so you will probably know what to expect.  Although Ben does discuss these fundamentals in the context of how to perform on the macro live and dryfire drills he presents, this is not like a Matt Burkett DVD.  Most of the live and dryfire techniques involve more than one skill, such as drawing and transitioning, drawing and reloading, or shooting on the move. These are not your basic boring drills.  Technique and insight, with references to the bible verses (page numbers in Ben's other training books) that those skills draw from are shown for most of the short live fire or dry fire drills in the video.  This is good for going back and referring to the material that the video isn't able to spend as much time on as the books are.

The video also shows Ben, Matt Hopkins and some dork shooting an open gun on various field courses. Stage breakdown and multiple runs on the same stage from the different shooters show how planning and using different techniques can affect your score for a stage. Choosing when to shoot on the move and which order to engage the targets is also shown.  For this part I wish they would have scored the targets and showed the hit factor for each run in the corner of the screen instead of just showing the time, so the viewer would be able to see exactly how much he gains or loses by trying a different method or stage breakdown, but the point still comes across well in the format they chose to show it in.

Overall, the video format covers more in just over 100 minutes than any other training or technique video I've seen. Transitioning between dryfire techniques, live fire drills on the indoor range and field courses on the outdoor ranges keeps the viewer's attention and covers a ton of material on theory and technique.

The official recommendation from Super-Tactical.com is that Ben Stoeger's "Training to Win" DVD is 100% No Bullshit.  Buy it.