Hold my drink and watch this!

My brother and I were the gatekeepers of fairness and consistency of how we were each treated. If I received a Transformer for my birthday, my brother was sure to point out if he did not get a Transformer for his and of course, if it was not of the same value.  It is interesting to see how we, as siblings, made sure there was a law of consistency and let our parents know if the balance shifted to one person or another.


Consistency is very powerful in shooting as well. Good things happen when you are consistent.  Those who are on the podium are very consistent in their shooting.  In Steel Challenge and NSSF we know we need to have four good strings and sometimes three good strings will not get you the #1 spot on Practiscore.  If you have one or two ‘fast’ strings and you have several make-up shots, you will not be in the top three in a competitive field.


Let’s talk about how good I can be, or how Capable someone can shoot. The fastest time of a string multiplied by 4 is what I call my ‘Capability Time’.  An example of this is below from Accelerator from the 2017 East Coast Steel Championship where I won the PCCO division and earned the Title of Rifle Master:




My Capability Time is 2.11 * 4 strings = 8.44 seconds.  I shot the stage in 9.06 and my lack of consistency cost me .62 seconds.  This may not seem like a lot of time, but if you have three clean strings on every stage you are leaving 4.96 seconds on the table.  If you have only two clean strings, with only one pickup shot on the non-clean strings, you are leaving 9.92 seconds on the table and so forth for the match.


Here is an example from a good friend of mine who is as capable as I am as a shooter, but needs to work on finding his “Edge” and work on not going over it:






He shot a total time of 10.00 seconds on Smoke and Hope. His Capability Time is 1.99 Seconds * 4 strings = 7.96.  After watching him shoot for a while I would call his Edge in the 1.80 range and can shoot this stage in 7.20 seconds all-day-long.  His first two strings each had a make-up shot (or two), the third string should have been his throw away.  The fourth string was very deliberate at 1.99 seconds.  The fifth string was a ‘train wreck’.  I know that feeling!  Just because you can pull the trigger fast does not mean you will score low in times.  Even I will say at a local match after getting 4 solid strings I will say “Hold my drink and watch this” and try to get a “Blind Squirrel” run.  You never know if you will get it or not, but you have to position yourself as a shooter to enable yourself to ‘let one rip’ on the final string.


In summary, if I knew if I was capable of a fast time, how did I go about getting four of these fast times all in one stage? I know where my “Edge” is and I try to get as close to it as I can without going over it and do this consistently.


See you out on the range soon!



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