SHFC Practical Pistol Match, USPSA Practice – 2012.09.14

One of the coolest things about being a member of my local range is that I get the opportunity to shoot in three Practical Pistol Matches each week.  Each match is run by a different Match Director and each Director has his own distinct match style.

The Friday Practical Pistol Match Director is Ben G.  Ben G. is a USPSA shooter and is definitely serious about it.  Each Friday Ben has a USPSA qualifier and two USPSA approved stages for us to run.  Ben has been preparing to compete in the 2012 Mile High Showdown and last Friday we switched it up and set three stages from the MHS packet.




My ankle was tweaky today and still slowing me down quite a bit.  I have more than a few weeks of physical therapy in front of me and then all winter to get my speed and direction transitions back up and running.

Penalties are killers!  Striving for speed and accuracy are very important and picking up a penalty for hitting a no-shoot is an absolute killer.  In my rush to finish the 3rd stage strong I didn’t lean out far enough and blasted the very edge of a no-shoot from just a few inches away while attempting to shoot the target that it was obscuring.  This was a dumb mistake.

This was the best I’ve ever shot at a Friday Practical Pistol Match.  I am sure the shooting on the move practice that we did earlier in the day helped out with that quite a bit.  I wasn’t going into each stage “cold”, I had plenty of warmup earlier in the day.  That makes me think that I need to so some dry-fire practice the night before or the morning of a match to get myself warmed up and primed for success.  Or I could go all-out like Ben G. and actually set up the stages from the match and shoot them the day before…  Brilliant!

Tueller Drill In Action is An Eye Opener – Practical Pistol for Personal Defense


The Tueller Drill is one of those famous drills in self defense, gunfighter and shooting lore.  Basically the premise is that an assailant armed with a knife can cover a 21 foot distance faster than you can draw your pistol to defend yourself.  This study was originally performed by Sergeant Dennis Tueller and published in SWAT Magazine in 1983.  With the rise of concealed carry in America, the Tueller Drill has experienced a resurgence and was even featured on the popular television shows The Best Defense and Myth Busters.


Ben G., the Match Director of the Friday Practical Pistol Match at my local range, built a sled and engineered a simple method to activate the sled with a rope and a runner.  It is pretty interesting to watch this video compilation that I put together.  Even though each of us knows that the sled is coming many of us are startled or hesitate and many guys can’t get a lot of shots off in the time necessary.  It is important to note that this experiment consists of a guy towing a sled behind him and not just running.  In real life the assailant would cover the ground far quicker.  To switch things up in subsequent rounds Ben G. added a second target, a third and then cover while slowing the sled down to a walk or jog.


Deescalate – If you can, always deescalate the situation. Tell the aggressor anything he wants to hear to get out of the situation.

Cheat The Draw – If you can’t deescalate and things are getting worse, get your hand on your weapon at minimum. If things have gotten very bad, get your weapon out of the holster.

Get Off The “X” – Move! Get out of the way of the aggressor to buy yourself time on the draw.

Find Cover – Place anything you can between you and the aggressor to slow his progress. Cars, light post, trash can, etc. Any fraction of a second counts.

The Other Side – If you are ever caught in an active-killer, mass-shooting in progress and for some reason you don’t have your CCW, you CAN do something about it.  From this drill I’ve learned that rushing a person can catch them off guard and cause them to hesitate even if they are anticipating the attack.