2015 looks to have a greater likelihood of stability in my life to actually plan some things and work to accomplishing them in an organized fashion.  Up to this point I have mostly succeeded in making a strong foundation on which to realize some of the things I naively thought I should be able to do a long time ago.

Starting off on the right foot, I decided to come into the year with a good zero.  I made a special trip out to the range to verify last week:


I am still going to be using a 4” target as the basis for my development for the foreseeable future.  I only really cracked the surface of the implications of a small, fixed sized target, and I want to see what the meat of it looks like.

1. Clean the Appleseed AQT. Due date 4/19/14.

I have recently come a long way to be able to realize goal this with my standing work in the past two months.  At this point I predict that I could clean the standing stage approximately 75% of the time.  I need to get better, but I hit a plateau, and I don’t see laying siege to it in the next few months as a worthy use of my time.  I’m going to cycle off of that intensive work in standing and roll into a maintenance cycle as a tertiary level priority.

At the last Appleseed I went in completely cold and was able to clean stage 3 (rapid prone) every time but one (if memory serves).  That leaves sitting and slow prone work as a second level priority.  I’m going to work on the following other things as primary up to March.

2. Complete the positional analysis work that I started last fall. I don’t see that work as a fixed metric of my ability, but rather a comparative analysis of what the positions do best and how to use them most appropriately. The work I have yet to accomplish there is measuring the speed of each position in attaining one shot from a standard ready position, and to measure the speed of transitioning to different targets.  Due date, February 14th.

3. Partially concurrent with the above goal, I am shifting my AR shooting into improving my abilities in the distance spectrum inside 100 yards. Using the 4” target, combined with the imminence that using a gun in this range of distances brings, make this a particularly challenging workspace.  It is a big weakness right now, and I’ll work on that in the early part of the year, tapering off in March.  By March 1st I would like to be able to pass the DD25 drill in 20 seconds, all hits, on my 4” target.  This is not a hard goal, rather an exploratory one, as I need to figure out what I don’t know yet first.

That will be enough to keep me busy in the short term.  In the long term I am very interested in working moving targets to a level of comfortable familiarity and a known ‘on demand” performance.  I need to figure out a good way to do that.  I’m also interested in getting back into competition, and maybe seeing what 3-Gun is all about.

There are some general improvements in methodology that I think will help me make better progress than I have been.

1. Record my observations more carefully at the time I do my shooting and dry fire work. There have been a lot of times when I had to guess back at the reason something happened a certain way. It’s harder to address a poorly defined problem, so I’m going to be more methodical in recording what I see and feel during shooting.

2. Make more methodical use of drills. This morning someone asked me about drills that I use.  I really couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head.  I tend to work more as a process than as an input/output cycle, but I’m going to try to deliberately come up with ways to address specific aspects of performance and share them.

That’s all I have.  It’s modest, but if I try to plan my entire year it will be a waste of time.  Let’s make it into Spring first.

9 thoughts on “2015

  1. Happy New Year! I love seeing what you have planned for each year. In regards to the DD25, I see its not a hard requiremement, but bear in mind that very, very few rifleman can clean it on an 8″ target. I might have some standing groups for you later today as well.

  2. Happy New Year!

    Do you see the 4″ at 25 being tougher than the 8″ at 50? Not joking or sarcastic- actually wondering.

    I can see why not many people can pass it. It’s not an easy drill. I’m going to start close enough to pass it and work my way back. I actually have a real mag pouch now, so it might save me a second or two over the back pocket. We’ll see.

    • I do think the 75’/4″ might be a drop harder, but probably not a deal breaker. I was definitely referring to the standard 50 yard, as that’s what I’m most familiar with. Please let us know what you find out.

  3. Rifleslinger,

    I too am looking for a more stable 2015. It is great to see that you have a plan. Could I offer an old cliche for you. “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing.”

    In my experience drills, done well, can help to automate some of your foundation components in your technique freeing you up to concentrate on other aspects of your technique. For instance drills for bolt work to free you up to be thinking about your trigger pull. Having said that you need to be careful not to drill in bad habits.

    I do admire your goal of being more self aware. If only more people in the world did this every day, and then practiced some self control, then……well……I won’t get on my soap box.

    All the best for the New Year.

    Kind regards,


  4. Try a helium-filled baloon on a string tied to an RC car with good radio range. Haven’t tried it myself yet, but always wanted to.

    Also, your Appleseed due date is listed as 4/19/14. You may not be able to make it.

    • So I guess we’re in 2015 now huh? I have done the RC car, but at 25 yards (radio range issue). It was very difficult.

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