Assessment of 2014

2014: The year of learning my current limitations and not being upset when I encounter them.

It was a disorganized year.  I came into it with what I thought was a lofty goal, but was more of a vision statement.  In the meantime a bunch of opportunities fell in my lap and I pursued the year’s shooting in sort of a semi-random, inductive fashion that worked out really, really well.

If I had done only one of the following, the year would have been a win:

  • Learn in depth about shot groups and zeroing
  • Medium term test of approximately $10000 worth of high end optics in a unique way that taught me what I actually needed in a close to mid-range scope.
  • Learning how to statistically analyze my shooting to get at least an indication of what my limitations are.
  • Finally experience the “AHA!” moment of how extreme spread is not nearly as useful as some of the other measures, that in this modernized world are extremely easy to obtain.
  • Gained a deeper understanding of what follow through is. I think this will make a huge difference in not only offhand, but every position.

I realized that my ‘goal’ was not something that was sufficiently measureable to actually attain.  What I did instead was orient myself to where my performance actually was, which is actually a significant accomplishment, and is really a prerequisite for any effective goal setting and achievement.

In 2014 3040 rounds were fired through the Noveske.  A good deal of that was in scope testing and load testing.  Approximately 500 rounds were spent at an Appleseed.  I would guess that I dedicated 300 rounds or so solely to standing practice.  I didn’t do any real rapid fire stuff with it, as I didn’t want to shoot out the barrel.  I’m removing that limitation this year.

I received my upgraded FN PBR-XP from the gunsmith in April.  Since then, I’ve fired a modest 795 rounds through it in 2014.  That tube still has a lot of life in it.

I don’t know how many rounds I’ve fired through other guns, probably a thousand pistol and a couple thousand through my beater AR.  I would guess 300-500 through the Remington 700, which is getting a new Bartlein right now.

Best Articles:

I literally cannot believe that no one commented on my fake Trigger Aficionado cover.  I put at least 20 minutes into making that thing:

trigger aficionado

Things I could have done better on:

In my enthusiasm for collecting and analyzing data, I included a lot raw data and notes in my blog.  I wrote approximately 102,967 words over the course of 106 blog posts, even with taking most of March and all of April off.  That’s approximately ten articles a month with an average of 971 words per article.  That’s too long for easy reading, so I made it too hard to convey my points over the year, which caused you to either strain unnecessarily to find them or to miss them.  I’m sorry.

Not related to shooting, I moved twice.  I can’t say that I recommend it.  It caused a lot of stress and I had to put a lot of things on the backburner.

I wish that I had conducted my testing of loaned gear in a timely manner.  It was probably annoying to be on the other end of that, and I wish that I had been more timely and held up on my end of things better.

In the next article I’ll make some plans for my improvement in the next year.