Saturday, January 28, 2012

What Next?

I am experiencing a bit of shooting ADD and starting to think about what project I want to tackle after making master class with my 96D. I could stick with Beretta and run a PX4 45 in CDP (since it is the only 45 Beretta makes that I know if), or move away from semi auto's and start shooting a revolver exclusively?

The revolver idea is more in line with my original plan of trying different platforms. I have always been intrigued by, but never seriously ran a revolver before. I had a S&W 637 that was an EDC gun for a while, and I was pretty decent with it but that was before I considered myself to be moderately serious about shooting. I didn't even really keep records of my shooting then, it was just about having fun. The thought of shooting competitively as a hobby had not even crossed my mind. I have definitely matured as a shooter from those days. Would like to see how it would stack up against a semi auto.

The revolver idea is also cheaper. I can find .38 special suitable for matches a lot cheaper than I can find .45 ACP, and a local gun shop has some good deals on used revolvers. The down side, part of this project means carrying the gun as an EDC while being used. I am fairly confident I can conceal the gun, but the reason I dumped the 637 was because I didn't like having such a small payload of ammunition in the gun. I doubt adding one round is going to really make me feel much better. After shooting the 96D for a while I should be pretty accustomed to a DA trigger though and I could even make a run at a FAST coin with a revolver. That would be fun...and probably never happen.

The PX4 interest me because there doesn't seem to be much information on it from people who run guns moderately hard. I wouldn't put myself in that same category, but I could at least run several thousand rounds through the gun over the course of a year or so, which seems to be more than most other people are doing. I think if I went with the PX4 I would run it for at least 10k rounds, maybe 20k if I can dig up the funds to run 45 ACP that long. If someone wants to drop a truck load of free 45 ammo on my door step I promise to run it all through a PX4.

So those are the options once I make master class with the 96D. I posted a poll over to the left for people to vote. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Kydex

The best youtube videos I have seen to date on making your own kydex holsters/gear.

Monday, January 23, 2012

1/21/12 IDPA Match

Saturday's match was a heart beaker, I really don't feel like I came away from it having shot a good match, and score sheet agrees. I finished 11th of 52 shooters, had some pretty massive mental mistakes, and everything was SSLLLOOOOWWWWW. I need to be much more explosive on my movement, more aggressive around cover, and break shots faster. I just can't seem to get over playing it conservative. I guess going 4 months between matches isn't a good idea.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Training Update: 1/18/12

Made it back out to the range today to run the 2012 Performance Challenge again and the Drill of the Week.

I made it through 2 strings on the DotW, but failed horribly on the 3rd. I just can't get the gun up fast enough, or get splits fast enough to get a 3rd shot in under 1 second.

Time for pre-drill test: 3.32

String 1 all under PAR, 1 miss.

String 2 all under PAR, 4 misses.

String 3 every 3rd shot over PAR.

Time for post-drill test: 2.90

Apparantly this drill works because that is 0.42 second improvement. I actually had a 2.76 post drill test but pulled 1 round. Working on speed for most of the day today I noticed I started to develop a little flinch. I threw in some dryfire before the end of the range session to try and correct it. Seemed to help.

My 2012 Performance Challenge scores are as follows.

300 Average Scores

Freestyle: 78.6
SHO: 73
FAST target from 1/18/12
WHO: 60.3

FASTest Scores from 1/18/12

1. 6.93 (c)                       
2. 6.65 (-1H)
3. 7.10 (-1B)

FASTest Scores from 1/8/12

1. 7.49 (-1H)
2. 7.38 (c)
3. 8.17 (-1B)

I ran some 1R2 drills also. My reloads are in the 2.5 second range from concealment. Need to work on getting that down under 2.00 seconds.

This was my first time running with the Theis holster in live fire. I was pleased with it, was actually quite surprised that I didn't have any fumbled draws since it is an IWB holster and I usually use an OWB Safariland. I will probably run the Theis at this weekends IDPA match depending on how cold it is. If I have to layer up a bunch to stay warm I may run an OWB holster because I don't really want to have to dig under two or three layers of clothing to draw my handgun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Theis Holster

Ordered on 12/27/11, delivered on 1/14/12.
More coming later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


According to Beretta, this the official model # for my 96D. No clue what it means.

ModelDescriptionApprox. Manufacture Date

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I have always been a big believer in the value of dryfire practice, but never consistently executed a dryfire plan. My goal this week is to make it through ToddG's dryfire routine posted on Since Monday is already gone, I will start with Tuesday's routine and go until next Tuesday. Right now, I am just shooting for one week of solid dryfire, after that I will re-evaluate and see about continuing it further. I obviously have some glaring weak points, my reloads!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012 2012 Performance Challenge is one of the best handgun related forums around, I highly suggest anyone interested in shooting performance check it out. Todd Green, the creator of started a thread called the "2012 Performance Challenge". It calls for tracking performance at the beginning of the year, and comparing it to performance at the end of the year. The tests that he chose to use for performance comparisons are the FASTest, and the Bullseye Three Way (aka "300").
At the range today, I took my best shot at both. I have never shot the Bullseye Three Way, and haven't shot the FAST in at least two years. My results reflected such.

Scores shown at the end of the video are raw times, without penalties assessed for the misses. During the FAST I was plagued with bad reloads and some sucky trigger control on the third one. You see it in the video.

My "300" scores weren't much better.

I scored a 77 on my freestyle string. The group that looks like two bullet holes in the 9 ring is actually 3. I tossed one round wide left about 2" off the paper. This was the first time I had shot 25yd groups with the 96D. I had completed this part of the drill previously with my G22, just before I switched platforms. Very disappointed in this score, especially considering my SHO and WHO scores below.

I scored 84 on the SHO string. A little surprised I did better than the freestyle string.

I scored 70 on the WHO string. I really didn't expect that (I anticipated much worse). I tossed two rounds, one left one right. You can see the one just off the paper to the left on the piece of tape. So close.

That gives me total score of 231. I missed the second run at the Bullseye Three Way as called for in the challenge. I just forgot about it. I will get back to the range sometime before the end of the month to get the 2nd set of scores.

I only put 58 rounds through the 96D while at the range because I was really there to get in some shotgun work. So really not much to report in terms of the 2k round challenge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Training Update: 1/3/12

I hit the range again yesterday to try put some shooting on the timer and actually see where I am at. I also wanted to try to drill of the week. When I arrived at the range there was only one lane open and no matter how hard I tried I could not keep my shot timer from picking up the shots from the guy in the lane next to me with a P250 chambered in 357 Sig. So I started off just working press outs on a generic bad guy target without a timer until the range cleared out a little bit.

Once I had a little breathing room I ran through the Press Six drill at 10ft because it became apparent that my press out sucked pretty bad and needed lots of work. I dropped 6 rounds, 2 were due to a brain fart on dot #3 when I thought I had to get 2 rounds in 2 seconds (I obviously missed both). Otherwise I probably would have only dropped 4.

The range really cleared out after I got done with Press Six (I guess everyone's lunch break was over) so I took the opportunity to run some Bill Drills on a 8.5"x11" blank sheet of paper to record split times and see where I was at. The last time I ran Bill Drills with my G22 this was the target I used, and I wanted a direct comparison for the 96D. My average split time with the G22 was 0.27 seconds. My previous average split time with the 96D was 0.37 seconds. This time around it was 0.30 seconds. My fastest split was 0.25, of which I had 5. I had 20 splits under 0.30 seconds. I had a few average killers that were 0.40 plus. Modest improvement I guess.

I followed the Bill Drills with an attempt at the drill of week. I didn't do near as good as I thought I should have, especially considering I had just spent over half my range session working on the press out. I ran the drill from a high compressed ready.

1st Attempt - 5/9 hits - 3.85 (-1), 3.20, 3.48
2nd Attempt - 6/9 hits - 3.28, 2.99 (-1), 2.82 (-1)
3rd Attempt - 7/9 hits - 3.02, 3.14, 2.61
4th Attempt - 7/9 hits - 2.69, 3.41, 2.55 (-1)

Aggregate score - 25/36

I only passed twice (3rd & 4th attempts, thanks to ToddG for the clarification). I had one shot over time on every other string of fire, plus the 4 misses. I think this drill is right at the edge of my performance envelope, and will be a good drill to push for completing successfully to get through that barrier. It is easy enough to perform, and since it uses a PAR time I don't have to worry so much about other being on the range at the same time.

The other big news is the 96D had its first malfunction in the 2k round challenge. It was a fail to feed and round #5 into a Bill Drill, round number 950 of the challenge. Below is what the malfunction looked like, although not the actual malfunction. I didn't think of taking a picture of it when it happened, so set it up later for a picture.

I am now 1,012 rounds into the challenge, and have 2,208 rounds through gun in total.

I hit the dryfire practice today (the first in a while) since I was so disappointed in my pressout, and to work reloads. I ran out of ammunition at the range before I got to them yesterday. I am still trying to rebuild the reload. Making progress, but far from perfect.

I hope to get back on the range one more time before the IDPA match on the 21st, but I think all in all this will be my best match. I have really picked up the training pace, and I can see improvement in some areas. I just have to make sure and plan my stages well.

Latest Stipplage

More to come soon.

96D went on a roadtrip