Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Little Speedshooting

For a number of years, I've been doing speedshooting demos at events, just for fun. My normal demo is Jerry Miculeks "machine gun finger" demo (he doesn't call it that, but it's been referred to as such on a few TV shows etc...). I empty a magazine into an 8" plate at 7 yards.

Jerry does it with a 625 (6 rounds of .45) or 627 (8 rounds of .38spl). I've done it with a lot of guns, but I generally shoot the drill with my slicked up 625, one of my 1911s (I particularly like doing it with my custom 10mm), or a Browning Hi-Power. The low recoil, fast slide cycle time, and high magazine capacity of the BHP make it particularly fun to speedshoot, as people really do think you're firing a machinegun.

Unfortunately, we've never managed to get one of the demos on reasonable quality video, until a few weeks ago.

I did a little speedshooting at this years GBR, and we got it on high quality video:

This is first, and the slowest of the runs. Unfortunately, it was also the only one I got on my camera, vs. one of the other guys cameras. I'm trying to get the videos from the other guys.

We did runs on two 1911s, an S&W model 686, a 459, an M&P 9, and a BHP. I'm not sure who got what on video unfortunately. Instead of my usual 8" plate at 7 yards, we used an 8.5"x11" target at 10 yards.

For this run I was using Skip's (a reader) Kimber custom II, loaded up 7+1 with Win white box 230gr fmj, from a Wilson mag.

8 rounds, 1.16 seconds timed off the video (10 runs timed from the video, all of them hit within .02 of 1.16 which was the median) first bang to last bang, for a 0.165s average split (recorded on Android Shot Timer Pro android app).

The timer recorded the following times:

1 -> 2: 0.11s
2 -> 3: 0.22s
3 -> 4: 0.16s
4 -> 5: 0.09s
5 -> 6: 0.22s
6 -> 7: 0.08s
7 -> 8: 0.28s

I think there's a good chance the pairs of long/short splits are timing inaccurately. I can believe the 0.11s... I'm pretty fast... but I'm not sure that gun, with that ammo, and that recoil spring; could physically cycle fast enough for a 0.09 or 0.08s split; and the followup round from each pair is much longer than the average.

0.08s is the fastest I have ever timed a single split from my 625 (I'm sure of that one, because I've done it in the middle of strings over and over again, along with 0.09s and 0.10s.. but I can't get my averages that low. I've been told it's the fastest a 625 with a standard cylinder and ratchet will cycle; but with custom work and a lightened cylinder you can get down to 0.06s); and I know that under perfect conditions my 625 will cycle under my finger faster than a 1911 will.

I think it would be more accurate to average the long/short pairs and round up:

1 -> 2: 0.17s
2 -> 3: 0.17s
3 -> 4: 0.16s
4 -> 5: 0.16s
5 -> 6: 0.16s
6 -> 7: 0.18s
7 -> 8: 0.18s

On the other hand, when I slow the video down to 25%, some of the shots seem significantly faster than others... so I don't know.

That's still pretty quick, but not ridiculously so. Most good competitive USPSA shooters can get single target average splits on a string below 0.18s; some below 0.14s, and a few below 0.12s (remember, that's averages for a string. Fastest single target split time on a doubletap, from a top competitor with a prepped race gun, could run as low as .06-.08. It's just that most folks aren't that fast on every shot).

Also remember, that was on 10 yards not 7... but the difference isn't all that much.

I'm absolutely sure that on my fastest run with the BHP, I managed to get my average split below .14s on 17 rounds (from a KRD mag); because I'm dead certain I got down below 2.24s. My feel was that it was around 1.8s or maybe under (under .12s avg split), but I didn't have a timer on it. If I can get the video, I'll time it and see.

And yes, I'm a hell of a lot faster with my 625.

Jerry Miculeks fastest 8 shot run, from low ready, is 1 second, for an average split time on the string of a bit over .12 (.125 actually). If you consider reaction time, the average splits are probably a bit under .11. His fastest five shot string from low ready is .57, or .114 avg split.With reaction time that's probably an average split of .08 or.09.

I can run a Bill Drill in well under 2 seconds when I'm drawing well (not average first shot is around 1.4. Best I've ever managed was .84. Most of my Bills end up 2.5 or over); and a FAST drill in well under 5 seconds when my presentation and reloads are on (my reloads generally just aren't as fast as they need to be to be competitive, and I usually end up in the 7 second range); but when I manage it, I do it with split speed, not presentation or reload speed.

Or rather I COULD do all of those things, when I was shooting 500-1500 rounds a week in practice; which hasn't been in a few years.

The way things are today, and have been the last couple years (between the kids, work, and the cancer, I haven't shot very much... I doubt I've shot 1,500 rounds total in the last three years, and 300 of that was at GBR this year, and another 300 at boomershoot)... I have no clue. GBR (second weekend of September) was the first time I shot anything at all since Boomershoot (last weekend of April). Prior to that I hadn't shot since October 2010, and prior to that, February 2010.

I've been telling people for years that I was only a couple hundredths slower on the trigger than Jerry... Not that I was anywhere near as good as Jerry, or as accurate, or could ever get close to Jerry on target transitions, presentation, or reload (and that's where competitions are won, not in trigger speed. I'm nowhere near that good, or that fast)... Frankly, Jerry's reloads are just plain unreal... just that I was pretty close to Jerry's speed on the trigger.

Most of the time people don't believe me. Even after I do it in front of them (and I've done it dozens of times), they usually think it's a timing error... and it may very well be...

...but that was a cold string, from somebody elses unprepped gun, after not having shot handguns at all in a year, and not speedshot since GBR in 2009; and I still managed at least .16s, maybe better...

...I'm pretty sure that with a properly prepped gun, when I'm properly trained up and practiced up... I think I can match Jerry on split times (again, not on reloads, presentation, or transitions; just on splits). I don't think I can beat him, but I'm pretty sure I can match him.

I know I damn sure want to try.