The 1K Challenge

During this isolation period I struggled to identify areas I wanted to work on for self improvement. I thought about a lot of different areas I could focus and one in particular had to do with my dry fire practice.

More Than Maintenance

I already dry fire practice on a regular basis, but there wasn’t a set agenda per se. It was organized, but not driven. I used it more as a maintenance mechanism and in this capacity it was great. However, I wanted to take it to a new level so I added some specific goals. One of my goals was to perform 1,000 flawless repetitions within a thirty day period. This wasn’t really that challenging as far as the numbers are concerned, it averages to about 30 repetitions each day. The next goal was to define flawless and for that I started with a reduced target zone. I then needed to set my standard for flawless; which I defined as executed as a first, best sight picture. For the repetition to count it had to break the moment I was at full extension and within the reduced target zone. Then there was the time standard. I started with a generous time standard and each week decreased the time without compromising accuracy. Finally, I performed the dry fire on various platforms and I mean pretty much everything I had in my inventory. Meaning the standard had to be applied to whatever I was holding in my hand. Here is what I learned…

Fabled Lessons Learned

There is no substitute for good technique. With good technique so much is possible. During the first week I noticed there were a lot of “no reps” or no repetitions. These did not count towards my daily allocation because they did not meet the standard. The ratio was higher than I wanted, but I was rolling this program out so I was a little patient. Then, as time went on my ratio of good reps to bad started to improve. I still perform this dry fire program even though I am outside of the 30 day test period, mainly out of curiosity. When I look closely at the root cause for those no reps they generally fell into one of two categories. The first was easier to correct; which was driving the gun to the strike point. The strike point is where you want your round to impact. If I’m aiming for the head, it is a specific feature, like the tip of the nose. Any place else and I ended up correcting; which cost me time and the no rep. The second was trusting my technique. The more I trusted my technique, the less I worried if the sights were good enough for the shot required. In other words, the sights don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be good enough for the shot required.

Mixing Things Up For The Greater Good

These two observations were huge in the beginning. Once these observations were noted I would pay more attention to how well I was executing using these as benchmarks. It got to the point where it was boring. I’m not going to lie, within the first 10 days I was starting to question whether this was worth the 30-day effort. That is where I introduced different platforms into the mix with the same standards. Doing this I observed two more thoughts. As I got a little too comfortable I would loose focus. It wasn’t my technique was bad, it was my brain was no longer engaged. The price you pay for the attention spay of a Belgian Malinois. The new platforms forced me to lock in my focus. Then, the new platforms allowed me to see things differently. Regardless of the fire control system I was able to bend them to my will. My ratio of no reps at this point was consistent with the original platform; which is so weird given the novelty in my hand.

Yes, there are very few things more dangerous than a bored frogman, but I enjoyed this little experiment. I will post some more observations in another month or so.

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