Read USAFNPT Newsletter - (May 2010).fm text version

USAF National Pistol Team

The X-Ring

V O L U M E 1 , N U M B E R 1 , M AY 2 0 1 0

EDITOR'S NOTES This is the first of what will hopefully become an ongoing effort to share knowledge and opinions about issues of particular interest to the USAF National Pistol Team. Any factual, spelling or grammatical errors are likely mine... The information contained here is shared not as dogma or gospel but to convey the current state of understanding about the issue being discussed. As coach Hall said in a recent E-mail. "There may be many paths up the mountain..." We need to discuss and debate the merits of different paths being pursued and where they might cause challenges or lead toward hazards . The key point in this from my perspective is the pursuit of understanding through discussion.

Every day brings new reasons to do great things and focus on shooting excellence. Whether that is responsible gun ownership, sportsmanship, competition and winning, representing the Air Force, or the elusive pursuit of shooting 10's and X's. The professionalism, courtesy, and focus each of us brings to this sport is a great example to shooting sports participants and a phenomenal example to the rest of the country of the Air Force. Each postal, league, and 2700 that we attend is as a representative of this Air Force and its Pistol Team. With that in mind, we have two shooters in particular that I'd like to recognize. Col Mark Hays and Lt Col Tom "Poacher" Reardon have been shooting outstanding scores and improving each match. Col Hays has been with the team for a while and has very persistently kept with this sport. He's really come on strong the last two years. Personally, I applaud his determination and success! "Poacher" was originally a pick-up shooter at Perry one year when we needed to burn a tyro. Since then, he's caught the Bullseye Bug. I'm very impressed with his recent performances...by the way, it looks like he's now Distinguished! Congratulations!! When we're together as a team at these competitions, I encourage you to talk with both of these shooters, and ask them what they've done and what is driving their success. Factor some of what you learn into your shooting agenda. Open your mind, ears and eyes. Watch carefully, listen intently, and learn what

works for you. Each time we pick up a pistol or compete, it is an opportunity to excel and learn. Take that opportunity and don't let it slip by unnoticed. The hours of dry fire and live fire practice, the leagues and matches in which we've competed help develop and hone our skills while providing a classroom and laboratory for our advancement. Listen carefully to the tidbits of wisdom and experience offered by the AMU shooters at Team Camp and the great nuggets that Coach Hall's offered and continues to offer. Here's a short update on some of our team members' efforts contributing to our future successes. Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis and Coach Hall have been slaving away at putting together some training for the team. Bragging rights are at stake and they have some great programs. I look forward to seeing them put in action soon...and competing with you! Lt Col Lester Ogawa is working diligently on ammunition supplies and disbursement and will be in contact with everyone. Meanwhile, MSgt Paul Noblit

CAPTAIN'S CORNER Col Mark Teskey Now is the time to bring your very best for the rest of the Pistol Team and for the Air Force. All our goals and sights should now be focused on our team performance at Interservice and Camp Perry. All our individual efforts over the course of the past year culminate in these two premier shooting matches. You can bet that the Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard are preparing as you read this newsletter to bring their best teams to each of these events.

CONTENTS Captain's Corner & Key Dates ....... 1 Equipment Issues ...............................2 Coaches Corner..................................2 The Starter Gun ................................ 2 1st Ever USAFNPT Postal Match ... 3 The Pig Pen ........................................ 4 Ammo Distro for 2010/11 ................. 4 Reporting Training & Matches ....... 4 Training Philosophy .......................... 5

is taking on many of the team support/ management issues and relies on all of our cooperation and responses. Each of us carries forward the proud tradition and excellence of past Air Force Pistol Teams and the Air Force Shooting Program. Let's carry our best forward and proudly represent the legacy of the Air Force Pistol Team and set ever higher bars for the future. Visualize those 10's and X's ...Shoot 10's and X's!

When asked about the need to fire fouling shots after cleaning a barrel similar to the technique used for precision rifle shooting he stated that in his experience when conducting barrel testing using a dedicated fixture that he observed no change in POI for bullets fired from a clean barrel and those fired from a fouled barrel. He then went on to state that there WAS a difference between a fouled barrel and a filthy barrel. When asked for clarification of how often to clean he said to clean as often as you could.

One thing I bring up each year is to finalize ammo and equipment by the first of May. There is no excuse for continuing to use a failing firearm, "hoping" it will be OK for a match. Fix it or use another. If it's a break-in issue, get it broken in. If you lose points/rounds due to alibis that could have been prevented, you haven't done your homework. As a final exercise of the day, I'd like each member to try to perform the following visualization as they drift off to sleep: Think about what it looks, feels and sounds like when you are firing tens at your local match or league. Only visualize tens - this might take a little work, but that work is worth the effort, because it will tell your subconscious that you prefer tens instead of just holes. Coach Hall

IMPORTANT DATES Col Teskey (via E-mail) · May 31: 1st USAFNPT Postal Match · 12 - 18 Jun: Interservice Pistol Comp · 12 Jul : Small arms firing school (Camp Perry) · 13 - 14 July NRA Warmup/Prelim Matches @ Camp Perry · 15 - 17 Jul Nationals at Camp Perry · 18 Jul - EIC and Presidents Pistol Matches at Camp Perry · October: Fall Team Camp (Tentative) at either 12th Precinct or AMU

COACH'S CORNER Ed Hall As all of you have already noticed, I preach positive in everything from physical through mental training and to the lowest degree. I really believe that the shortest path is through studying how to do what you want - in this case, shoot tens. I also realize that it is not easy to go against intuition. I'm a troubleshooter by nature, career and life in general. I also am quick to wonder what was wrong. But, I try to steer back to that positive I believe in. So, in these instances, I try to believe in perfection, strive for perfection, and study what works rather than what doesn't. In trying to point the Team toward focusing on what works and build in some metrics to help track success, Local Nannies, with help from Lt Col Ogawa, has developed the reporting and handicapping tool, which he will describe elsewhere in this issue. I like the idea of tracking those results we want to repeat. In this case, the new exercise fits in with one I've been suggesting for quite some time, where you count the number of hits within a ring of your choice and write that number on your target just prior to covering it with the new repair center. An important point of LtCol Nannies's exercise will be participation on each member's part, both in performing the exercise and in reporting the results. I'm looking forward to reviewing how this exercise progresses.

THE STARTER GUN Lt. Col Adam Nyenhuis I know you already have the right weapons to play the game. The majority of folks already on the team are shooting a Hammerli 208 for their .22, while a few eccentrics have something else: either a S&W Model 41 with an aftermarket barrel or a High Standard Victor. For the CF/ .45 events most have at least one accurized or purpose built .45. Some of us have more than one (or two) of each and a few are playing with the 9mm, either a 1911 or Sig P210. These weapons represent a significant investment in the sport (several thousand dollars) and are supplemented by the additional gear needed such as a shooting box, spotting scope, etc. It has been my brief experience that shooters not already committed to the bullseye game don't want to spend a lot of money on a gun to get started. They want to use what they have or spend a small amount of money, typically measured in hundreds not thousands of dollars. So, when talking to a shooter about the possibility of getting involved with the USAFNPT what do you recommend when they say, "what do I need to get started?" If we're going to be consistent with our training philosophy of follow-

EQUIPMENT ISSUES Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis I had a chance to discuss weapons care with David Sams, of Sam's Custom Gunworks recently. He answered questions about how to clean a bullseye barrel and some things to consider when shooting jacketed and lead bullets . On the subject of mixing lead and jacketed bullets he said he thought that was fine as long as the barrel was thoroughly cleaned of all leading before firing the next round of jacketed bullets. Firing lead on top of jacketed was OK, but shooting jacketed bullets after lead without cleaning was asking for trouble. The specific issue is that jacketed bullets are harder to compress than lead and might lead to stretching the barrel - this would be similar to the more obvious case of a bullet stuck in the bore and then firing another round; pressure builds up and the barrel loses.

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ing the Modified Red Book, then the first gun a shooter needs is a good .22. Notice I said a good .22 not a "Great" .22. A "great" .22 will likely cost more than the new shooter wants to invest. So what pistol represents the best value in terms of accuracy, shootability and maintainability? We need to be able to make a recommendation about what to start with, what represents a good "starter gun". Obviously if they were able to jump in with a Hammerli 208s they would over the long run spend the least amount of money and perhaps time learning to master their .22. They would also have to know up front that Bullseye is for sure their game. For those who aren't sure, or can't afford the Hammerli entry fee there has to be another option. Along this line of reasoning Ruger has released an update to their 22/45 series of .22's. The primary feature of the new release is removable grip panels that allow the shooter to fit the gun to their hand by changing grips. Manufacturer's suggested retail is $380 - add a Volquartsen drop in trigger accurizing kit for $91 from Brownells and if desired an upgraded rear sight for $56 and you have a good starter gun with a decent trigger. Ed Hall has shot a Ruger extensively and although a little more work was needed than with a more expensive gun, he was able to produce 880's with his. I will have the chance to handle and fire one of these in the next few weeks. I will then write a full range report. The eval will include subjective trigger feel, before and after a drop-in trigger upgrade and 25 yd and 50 yd ammo testing to determine rough order of magnitude for accuracy potential. Let me know what your specific questions might be as this weapon belongs to one of the students in my seminar - hopefully an up and coming applicant for the team. I will also post how well he has been able to perform with this weapon as a new (to bullseye) shooter.

If you recall the Red Book follows a similar process. It starts a shooter off with a blank target where you start shooting for a 9-ring grouping and then flip the target around and repeat with a black face & then move to a 10-ring grouping, adding sustained fire ability and finally complete the process at the 50 yd line. All we're doing is extending this into match play to keep you focused on your process rather than points. We also hope this will be a fun way to challenge each of us to perfect our shooting skills by honing our shot discipline, refining our shot process and introducing friendly competition (match stress anyone?). RULES: Let us know in advance when you intend to complete your postal match event. If you don't have a a scheduled 2700 match in May please let me (Adam) know via E-mail. You will have to substitute a practice session equivalent i.e. 3 900's reporting the number of goals you scored on each of the 9 targets. For each target in your 2700 record the number of shots that made your goal (see above). At the end of the match the total number of shots on goal (Goals!) = your score for that aggregate. At Lt Col Ogawa and Col Teskey's request I have been promoted to provisional EX (Something about sandbagging, anyway) so I will continue counting 10's at 25 and 9 or better at 50 yds. TEAM COMPOSITION: The AF BLUE team consists of Col Hayes, TSgt McGloin, Col McCormick, MSgt Noblit, Lt Col Ogawa, and Col Teskey. The AF SILVER TEAM includes: SMSgt Bouchee (The Shirt), Capt Hope, Lt Col Nyenhuis, Lt Col Reardon, TSgt Slater, and SrA VanHouten. And may the best team win. Otherwise bring your bonnet!

PRE-INTERSERVICE POSTAL MATCH (31 MAY DEADLINE) Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis In order to encourage some friendly (we hope) competition amongst the team we're going to try a postal match format to see who will be "volunteering" for kitchen duty at Interservice. Those on the "losing" team (AKA, the losers) will be on KP those on the other team will relax and reap their rewards. In order to keep it somewhat fair we've developed a handicapping scheme to even out the competion. HOW TO SCORE: If your NRA classification is MA you will only count 10's and X's. All other scoring values do not count. So if you fire a string of 10 shots and have 3 X's and 4 10's you score a "7" for the postal match on that string; 3 + 4 = 7. For NRA experts you will get a point for each "9" or better at the 50 yd line and a point for each "10" or better at the 25 yd line. NRA sharpshooters will get a point at the 50 yd line for each 8 or better and 9 or better at the 25 yd line scores a point as well. Your score for a 900 match will be the number of shots that met your goal - these will be called "good" shots. Lt Col Ogawa and I have been playing this game since team camp and it has been interesting as well as keeping us focused on the goal of shooting consistently within our process - sometimes the higher number of "good" shots does not equal a greater number of points - but we're more interested in perfecting the process. Higher scores will follow as a natural result of a perfect process executed consistently perfect.

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THE PIG PEN Col Hays This space will be reserved for the shooter who has the honor of holding the priceless shooting pig to recount their exploits and document respectful and prominent display of said inspirational device at matches they have attended.

using the match ammo just prior to a match to adjust for reliability, zero, and differences in rhythm. Like the primary team candidates, plan to get through at least team camp of following season. Inactive Members: 0 rounds (sorry) Col Teskey will designate who falls into each category based upon recommendations from the Training Director and Coach--Lt Col Nyenhuis and Ed Hall. Their recommendations will be based upon match schedule (planned commitment), quality shot/score reporting (actual commitment), as well as improvement trends (performance). This year's primary team candidates are Col Hays, SMSgt Bouchee, Col Teskey, Lt Col Reardon, MSgt Noblit, Lt Col Ogawa, and Lt Col Nyenhuis. Please contact Lt Col Nyenhuis and Ed Hall to ensure they have your most current match schedule and score/quality shots reports so we know how much ammo to give each member. Then contact MSgt Noblit and I to determine how to get the ammo allotments out to you. I need to know ASAP how much ammo you can transport back from Interservice. I don't want to ship more of your allotment than you can take home with you, i.e. I don't want to lift it twice to load it and then unload it.

REPORTING TRAINING AND MATCHES Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis As Lt Col Ogawa alluded to in his ammo distribution section. Ammo issue, and team status, will be tied to performance. Col Teskey has said this a number of times. We are now attempting to be up front about how that performance needs to be documented and to report/track meaningful and suitable metrics. The metric we have decided on is based on you making a quality shot - inside your hold, using your process. We believe that these shots, your "good" shots will be closely (although not perfectly) correlated with the "good" shots defined for the postal match competition. Therefore, what we need you to report is the schedule of matches and league events you plan to compete in as well as the training & practice sessions you put in to get ready for the competitions. I will attach an Excel worksheet to the E-mail that this newsletter comes with to assist you in completing this requirement. The intent is to get needed data for assessing whether a shooter is progressing as planned, needs some help such as a Rikka session or help with proper reloading, etc. The data also will aid in determining who will fill key team spots at major events such as Interservice and Nationals. To repeat then, the performance metric is good shots - not points. We believe strongly that points will fol-

AMMO DISTRO PROCEDURES FOR 2010 - 2011 SEASONS Lt Col Lester Ogawa We will be distributing ammo this season and next season using the following categories: Primary team candidates: Based upon match schedule and training reports, up to 10,000 rounds of .45 wad, 10,000 rounds of match .22, 10,000 rounds of .45 hardball (if desired). Primary team candidates will shoot match ammo for both training and matches for the preceding 5 months leading up to Nationals and then at their discretion to get through at least team camp of the following season. Active Alternates: Based upon match schedule and training reports, up to 4000 rounds of .45 wad, 4000 rounds of match .22, 4000 rounds of .45 hardball (if desired). Active alternates will shoot the match ammo predominately for matches, but should complete one training session

low in due course but the focus is on making each shot a distinct occurrence of a good shot plan executed correctly - a "good" shot! At this point based on my and Lt Col Ogawa's experience it looks like somewhere between 70 and 75 good shots per 900 agg will correlate to moving to the next classification. More specifically using the EX rating of 9 or better at 50 yds and 10 or better at 25 yds and posting 65+ "good" shots has meant scores close to or over 850.

two 900 aggs with Lt Col Ogawa's backup Hammerli and a 900 agg (open sights) with his recently purchased High Standard Victor. Greg has signed on to working through the Red Book starting with mastering the .22 and coming out for a fall team camp if we can make one happen.

COMING NEXT ISSUE Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis Folks, if you like the idea of having a newsletter then you need to start thinking of articles you'd like to see and perhaps take pen in hand and give composing something yourself a shot. Lt Col Ogawa and I have some ideas for upcoming articles: Next edition should include a range report for the Ruger 22/45; I'm hoping to get an article out of either Coach Hall or Lt Col Ogawa on conducting training with a Rika Home Trainer; and I will be approaching David Sams to see if he would be willing to share more insights with the team regularly. By the way, he advertises himself as a USAF Pistol Team Gunsmith - sort of. More like he builds guns for us, but he has been easy to deal with and very informative to talk to. If you have an idea for an article or topic that needs to be addressed this is our forum, I hope you enjoy it. For now, that is all.... I'll see you on the firing line.

TRAINING PHILOSOPHY Lt Col Adam Nyenhuis Your focus needs to be on mastering the weapons you will use to compete with. This is a simple statement to make but it has many ramifications. For instance, ammo - needs to be nailed down and be completely reliable; guns need to be consistently maintained and must not proliferate unreasonably (you know who you are); Col Teskey only wants to use two weapons for this specific reason. Ideally we would all buy into this completely and early and expend our time and energy mastering the .22. The path the team has decided represents the most efficient and predictable route to producing a top level shooter is the Modified Red Book. I believe most of us already have been exposed to the "Red Book" but not all have completed their Jedi training. The official team training philosophy is to work through the Red Book, in order and in sequence. This represents both an individual and a team commitment to invest time and effort up front in the .22 and only after mastering it to extend the lessons to the other weapons. Expect more on this as the dialogue flows. We have a new shooter working towards joining the team, Maj Greg Barnett. Maj Barnett is currently stationed at Ft. Meade and will be moving soon to HAF/ A30-CO in the Pentagon. Greg recently shot his first ever 2700 (all .22) and fired

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