Anxious as could be about getting a chance to actually shoot my new Glock Gen4 G34, I headed over to the range this morning for my first live fire session on the new platform. I’ve spent about an hour a night over the last week dry firing the Glock trying to get used to the new pistol, holster, and magazine pouches with mixed results. I really don’t like to dry fire that much without getting in some live fire to validate my form is correct, but schedules being what they are, I just haven’t been able to get out until today.
I arrived with all of my training planned out and immediately got to work hanging steel and setting targets. I started out just shooting groups to verify that my sights were dialed in and get a chance to get a feel for my Vanek Custom trigger. I shot groups freestyle, strong hand, and weak hand and was still shooting about 3 inches to the right when shooting weak hand, an issue that just came on and I can’t seem to shake. I tried a few different grips and angle to no avail, and then tried bringing my elbow closer to center and that for some strange reason brought my weak hand groups back on to the paster. Strange, but glad I now know how to get my hits weak hand.
Now that I verified my zero and sights were hitting in the right place I moved back to 25 yards and started shooting a 6″ steel plate with mixed results. I setup a 25 yard Slow Fire target and tried shooting that and noticed that I was hitting off to the left. Looking back at my 7 yard groups showed a slight left side grouping that I hadn’t noticed since I was so close, but amplified to 25 yards it was enough to push me off of the 6″ steel plate. A couple of adjustments over a couple more 25 yard Slow Fire targets and it was hitting spot on and was getting about a 70% hit rate on the 25 yard 6″ steel plate. Not great, but I’m still trying to figure out my grip to get the sights to return to center from recoil. I then backed up to 40 yards and spent a couple of magazines on the 6″ steel plate at that distance to figure out where my sights needed to be to hit it.
My training partner and I have been wanting to take a crack at the Frank Garcia Dot drill from Ben Stoeger’s book where you have to hit a 2″ dot six times in 5 seconds without going outside of the dot from 7 yards. It really is demoralizing to shoot this drill. We moved up to 5 yard to have any hope of acing it and it really didn’t make too much difference. I was able to get 4 inside the dot before the par time, but never all 6. Brutal.
While we had the two USPSA targets up and shot to pieces we decided to shoot the Four Aces drill, another from Ben’s book, but instead of using the lower A zone, we substituted it with the head. The drill has you draw and put two shots into the A zone, then reload and put two more shots into the A zone. The Glock just devoured this drill and just kept putting rounds into the A box of the head, consistently in the 4 second range.
Borrowing yet another drill from Ben’s book, we setup the Accelerator, a drill that has you setup a USPSA target at 7 yards, 15 yards, and 25 yards, all in a line. You draw, in our case, to the 7 yard target, and put two hits on it then move to the 15 yard target for two hits, two more hits on the 25 yard target, then perform a reload and put two more hits on each target. The goal of this drill is to force you into a different sight picture and shooting speed for every target which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to pull this drill off quickly with all A zone hits is darn tough.
After we shot the Accelerator for a while we taped up the targets and ran a few Bill drills on them, all at 7 yards to see how fast you can put six rounds in the A zone of a target. The Bill drill is a classic drill for a reason. It let’s you know how fast you can run the gun and track the sights. It also points out any imperfections in your grip since your sights will not return strait back down and your hits will be slow and all over the place. I took a few cracks at it and couldn’t get under 2.40 which is about what I used to run with my M&P. The funny thing is that I could get .14 splits with the M&P all day long and can’t touch that with the Glock. Even with the Vanek trigger I rarely get under .20 splits so I’m really making up the time on the draw with the Glock. The grip is the reason I moved from the M&P to the Glock in the first place and it’s already paying dividends. My draw is nowhere near where I want it but already faster than it was with the M&P since I almost always nail the grip and in turn, pick up the sights sooner. So even with the slow splits I’m getting to work on the targets faster which is ultimately more important in my opinion.
There is a Transition Drill in the Enos forums that I’ve been wanting to try where Brian has you put three USPSA targets 1 yard apart with you starting 10 yards away. When the timer sounds you draw and from left to right put 1 round on each target 3 times for a total of 9 rounds, being sure to get A zone hits. You take your time and add a half of a second for every shot outside of the A zone to calculate your total time for the drill. You are supposed to run the drill 6 – 10 times and get your average time, then PM Brian with the time and he will ask you to try something different the next time to run it that will improve your times. Reading through the posts it seem like whatever Brian is telling people to do is showing real improvement for people that rerun the drill, so PM sent! I’m looking forward to the information he gives out to improve transitions since that is a real weak point for me. My training partner on the other hand has transitions that are commonly the same times as his splits which is a goal of mine and really fun to see him perform. Instead of the “bang, bang, pause, bang, bang” you normally hear it’s just “bang, bang, bang, bang” and done.
We finished up by going back to the 25 yard 6″ plates to gauge how we were doing after being warmed up and dialed in, again, looking for a percentage by noting how many misses from a 10 round attempt. I missed two for a total of 80%. The interesting thing was I missed shot 2 and 3, adjusted my grip pressure by squeezing tighter and made every shot after that. I know there is a lot of back and forth about grip pressure vs. accuracy but it really does seem they are not diametrically opposed, rather increasing one means increasing the other, at least for me. The only real drawback for me is that I can only apply that kind of pressure for so long before the fatigue kicks in. And trying to be consistent in dry fire by giving the same grip pressure is probably going to result in some kind of overuse issue in my wrists and elbows. That is one thing that I have a love/hate relationship with in this sport. You really never stop learning. You never can tick the box on a certain skill and move on. You’re always learning and hopefully improving.
With that, we decided we’d had enough and pulled targets and policed our brass. It was a half day of pretty intense training and our attention spans were pretty much cooked at that point. All in all, I had put 400 rounds downrange and felt like I was already starting to meld with the Glock. It was great to see our groups tighten up throughout the day and now it was off to start thinking about everything we discovered throughout the day’s drills. I was also deeply pleased with how well the new Glock ran. 400 flawless rounds right off the bat is a great way to start the relationship! So no regrets from moving off of the M&P so far. I hope with a little more practice I can get my splits back down to the .14 range, but even if the platform just won’t allow that, it really makes up for that in ergonomics. I’m already looking forward to the next practice session with it!
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