Presidents Corner
&
Shooting Tips



10/31/11


Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,


Well, I hate to say, SUMMER is almost over, actually after the temperatures the last several days, it is over and winter is coming fast.  At least we are not getting any of that white stuff that the Atlantic coast got this past weekend.  But on a happier note, with winter comes the indoor season and it looks like it is starting to shape up well.  In speaking with the other Clubs and Associations it appears that we will have another full schedule. Check the site for the dates that we have so far.


We are gearing up for the Annual Banquet and it will be held at the Fenton Hall again this year.  We have set the date of Saturday January 14th, 2012 and it will be pretty much like last year.  We’ll have slow roasted prime rib, turkey and all the fixins. We’ll be providing the beer, mixers and soft drinks.  We will have the hall decorated a little more this year, some better music and we’ll try and get the lights turned down for the dinner ambiance. Put it on your schedule, guys dust off those dress pants and button down shirts, ladies find those high heeled shoes that we all like so much. We have done pretty well with the raffles this year and we are going to lower the dinner to $20 per person and like last year it will be pay at the door.  I do need a RSVP as soon as possible to help figure out the food needs.  We will have one gun to give away to all MPCPA members that attend and we will also have a second gun up for raffle.  Hope that everyone can make it.


The summer standings will be out soon, I want to thank all of the clubs that passed on their scores for our members and remind them that they can join our ranks at anytime and be a part of the MPCPA.


That is pretty much all for now.  Again, thanks for a great season, your support of the MPCPA, and the shooting sports as a whole.


John C. Poole

President




THE SHOOTERS TIP



I guess it is time to tackle the sitting and prone positions, these two positions should really be gimme 10s and Xs.  Now comes the hard part, trying to describe in a manner that makes sense what I can show you in a couple of minutes.  We will stay with the same theme of building a base. So in a step by step, begin with drawing your gun in a safe manner and going down to a sitting position. The first thing that you look at is your body alignment, are you facing your target, look at the numbers, a cross fire at this point really bites.  Your next move and decision is which leg/knee up, your left or right, that I can not help with, it comes down to a matter of comfort and preference.  As an example, I shoot with my left knee up when I shoot my revolver, but I have my right knee up when I shoot my semi-auto, and it is just a matter of comfort.  However no matter which knee is up several things are always the same.  The foot of my knee up leg is always flat on the floor.  Again, just like in the kneeling position, have a flat foot on the floor, there is no rolling or tipping and it is more stable.  My straight leg is out flat and is anchored over my knee up flat foot.  There is a tendency to try and hold onto my support leg with the toe of my down foot, but all that happens then is that the toe rises and suddenly you are rolling on your knee up heel and swaying to and fro.  I stress, keep your foot flat and your support leg and weight on top of it. At this point, I now set my GRIP, just like I have done in all of the other shooting positions, I lock the gun into my shooting hand the same way every time.  For both guns I do the same thing, I place my shooting hand and gun just to the side of my knee near or a little above the meaty area of my calf and bring my support hand all the around the front of my leg and grab my shooting hand and pulling it back and into the side of m

y leg and knee. I do not let the gun rest on my knee, shin, knee cap or any other hard surface around my knee.  It is hard to reason, but when you fire a shot, if the gun is resting on bone, it will actually bounce from the recoil before the bullet leaves the gun.  So, what looked like a 10 before you pulled the trigger will end up a 9 on the paper.  The sitting position is quite different from person to person, one of the things that effects it the most is the belly, you have to breath in this position and bunched up can really make that a hard thing to do.  As most of you know, I seem to have a rather large belly and to help me breath I off set my position just slightly to allow room for it.  This brings us back to alignment, always check your alignment, I off set mine for my belly, but, as I set my gun into position on my leg, I ensure that I am pointed straight down range.  This helps with the recovery after shots and allows you to come back on target quickly.  Things to remember, keep your foot flat, grip your gun the same way, and do not rest the butt of the gun on hard bone surfaces.


After you have followed through that last shot in the sitting position, it is time to move to prone. You have two choices, reload and then move or move and then reload; either way is fine; we are back to a personal choice. I reload first; it is easier for me to find a speed loader sitting up before I lay my big belly over on them. I place my gun in my support hand and then spin, kick out my feet and roll over. I prop myself on my support arm and establish my GRIP, the same way again and again. I hope that we are all catching on with that.  After I have my grip I extend my arms out making sure that my shooting arm is flat on the ground with my support arm also flat on the ground. Again being large it is hard to get my head down to the gun, to help with that I build a base with my support hand and place my shooting hand into that base.  It looks almost like a golf grip with my support hand only holding on to the last couple of fingers of my shooting hand, but it is flat on the ground, stable and supported.  You do not want to lift the gun up to your head by bending your elbows.  Doing that defeats all of the support that you have built in your base. You are holding the gun up by muscle and muscle fatigues very quickly and is very unstable. So keep your arms down and move your body or head to get it down to the gun. Those with prescription glasses need to move your head to be able to see through the center of the lens.  Most shooters accomplish this by rotating slightly to their sides and laying their head on their shooting arm. This allows a better view through the center of lens and less distortion. So, to recap the prone position; build a base, keep your arms flat on the ground, move your head to the gun, do not lift the gun to your head and breathe. The prone position pinches more in your neck than anything else. Find a way to breathe and try not to strain your neck and cutting off your blood flow to your eyes.


I hope to move on to some of the theories behind some of the mechanic and some of the mental aspects in the next couple of tips.


As usual, thanks for your time, interest, and dedication to the shooting sports and the MPCPA.


John C. Poole

President


4/4/11

Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,

Wow am I tired, it is just a couple of days since we finished the MPCPA Michigan Indoor State Championship and I think that is has finally sunk in that the indoor season for 2010-2011 has come to an end.  What a season it was, great matches, amazing turnouts for them, with our State match finishing up with 107 shooters.  I hope everyone enjoyed the State match and I want to thank all the attendees and everyone that helped put it on.  I want to extend a special thanks to the Fenton folks for their great hospitality again this year.

I hope that most of you noticed that we were able to add additional prizes to the match this year. We added five guns to the first place class winners and cash to the 2nd and 3rd place finishers. With a little bit of luck, we will be able to extend that next year. The match prizes were open to all shooters at the match and not just to MPCPA members. We will still be holding our Annual Banquet and will have an additional awards table for the MPCPA members only. With that, I hope that you all pass on the word, that joining the best shooting organization in Michigan will give you more opportunities to shoot, support the sport of PPC and win great prizes and accolades in our sport.

We have had a change in Club Treasurer.  Many of you know Marie Susalla and that she has been our Treasurer for the past year.  Unfortunately, her job requirements are consuming most of her time and she has stepped down from the position.  The Board of Directors has appointed Barry Flaga to replace her for the remainder of her term.  I want to thank Marie for all of her dedicated work to the Association over the years and I hope to see her back in the near future.

Currently, we have dates in August for the MPCPA Outdoor State Championship and NRA Regional Championship.  We are waiting to hear from the other Clubs for their dates and we will get them on the website as soon as possible.

That is pretty much all for now.  Again, thanks for a great season, your support of the MPCPA, and the shooting sports as a whole.


THE SHOOTERS TIP

So far, we have covered your shooting grip, and the importance of using the same grip every time, taking the time to reset that same grip every time.  We have discussed what to do with your support hand and how it is there to support and help your shooting hand.  We moved into the basic shooting position and built a base from your body to support your shooting hand.  With that theme in mind, let us move to the specific down positions of kneeling, sitting and prone.  I use the word theme because you need to use that basic thought in all of your positions, you need to build a base, a solid base.

In each of the 3 positions we are only shooting 6 rounds.  It does not seem like a lot of shooting, but in watching many shooters over the years, more points are lost in these  positions then the standing ones, and there is no real reason.  Heck, you get to use the ground as your support and your legs to prop up your arms if you want.  So why do we lose so many points?  The best answer is lack of stability in our positions, you have to build a base to shoot from.

In the kneeling position, your first decision is one knee down with the other up as a rest for your elbow, or both knees down.  For those of you that have the ability to go one knee up and one down must still build a base.  For the knee that is up, ensure that your foot is flat and not on the heel, if possible place the foot of the down knee flat on the ground and sit flat on that foot.  Always set your shooting grip after you have settled into your position.  Place your support elbow either in front of the knee with your triceps over the knee or behind the knee with your forearm on your thigh close to the knee.  Never place your round elbow directly on your round knee, they roll and are unstable.  Never place your bony elbow on your bony knee cap either, again very unstable. 

If you decide to go with both knees down, which many high masters do, again build the base. Let it mirror your standing position, knees slightly more than shoulder width apart, tops of your feet flat on the ground if possible.  If not, curl your toes under and sit on your feet.  Do not leave your toes pointed on the ground, they will rock and roll.  Sit back, but remember to have your upper body slightly forward of your hips and maintain your arms in the same position as you do in the standing.  If you can not sit back on your heels, use the Alter Boy prayer position, straight upright, weight slightly forward of your hips, point your toes out straight and try to have the tops of your fleet flat on the ground, again making a base of stability.

I am going to cut it off here and tackle sitting and prone in the next tip.

As usual, thanks for your time, interest, and dedication to the shooting sports and the MPCPA.

John C. Poole
President


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1/28/11

Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,

Here we are and it is 2011 and the MPCPA is in our 28th year and going strong. I just checked the website and we are at 30,990 hits and all I can say is WOW. I do want to take a moment and apologize for some of the issues with the website. I know that it was down a couple of times, but we should be good to go for sometime now. In the learning process about the website I found that, we purchase our Domain name MPCPA.ORG from Go Daddy. The website goes through DotEasy servers and that we were using their free service….Well we now have enough traffic to our site that I had to upgrade our memory and traffic levels, so sorry for the inconvenience, but “YEA!” for the MPCPA.

I want to thank those of you that made the Banquet this year, I had a great time cooking for everybody and it was a really enjoyable night. I hope that everyone liked the changes this year and I hope that it will be even bigger next year. I still have a couple of items left to get out to some of you. I have the Governor’s Twenty Pins and Buckles for those that wanted the Buckle and Gift Cards for those that did not choose the Buckle. That also goes for the Outdoor Top Twenty. I want to thank Bill Hohloch and the Fenton Sportsman Club for all of the help and the use of their great facility.

We are in the middle of the indoor season and things are going great, it was an amazing turnout at the Taylor Match for their 25th Anniversary and I hope that all the rest get the same turnout. There are several Club matches up coming, but everybody needs to put April 2nd-3rd down on the calendars for the MPCPA Indoor State Championship. It will be held at the Fenton Sportsman’s Club again. We hope to have more prizes and awards at the match, with the proceeds going towards the Annual Banquet.

Well that pretty much brings things up to date for me, I hope to see everybody at the matches and as usual, always feel free to give me a holler if I or the MPCPA can do anything for you.


THE SHOOTERS TIP

Well after my last statement from the last tip, “Remember, your shooting hand is doing the work and the rest of your body is just there to help it.” I guess I need to talk some about positions. Positions are hard to give a clear direct description of, why you might ask. To start with, age, strength, flexibility, comfort, pain threshold, eyesight, size (not just weight, actual size, height, frame, hands) and injuries, old or new. All of these will have some effect on your positions. Unlike the your GRIP, which no matter what, including almost any of the issues listed, should not change and will be in your shooting hand the same all the time.

So beginning with the basics of a position, I like to call it building a base. Almost everything we do in life it begins with a foundation, a base and a shooting position is no different. In building a house you have the cellar and the frame work. For shooting that will be your feet and bone structure, if you support yourself with a sound balanced foot position the rest of you just kinda follows along. I’ve played a lot of sports over the years and many of my coaches always started us with an Athletic Stance, whether it was basketball, baseball, even golf, it starts with an Athletic Stance. That is feet straight forward and slightly more than shoulder width apart, your weight slightly forward over your hips and just a slight flex in your knees. This should be a fairly comfortable stance and you should be able to stand in this position for a reasonable amount of time without any strain to your muscles. You can use this stance in all of your up positions with little change or strain. Even when you are shooting a barricade position, all you need to do is a simple shift of your weight over which ever leg matches the hand you are shooting on the barricade. This keeps you in a simple balanced stance with little muscle use or fatigue allowing you to concentrate on things like, GRIP, sight alignment and that last little thing, trigger control (squeezing). I cringe at times when I see somebody walking a tight rope on the barricade and trying to hold themselves up with muscle instead of bone support. You want to simplify your actions so you can spend more time and thought on those things that can affect the shot the most.

Ok so you have your stance, your basic position, you are now going to shoot your offhand stage, 7 yard line or quick six, what’s next? The targets turn and you get your GRIP, you draw your firearm and bring your arms up and sight on the target. The next step of support is your arms; they need to be fully extended, arms out and almost locking your elbows. You do not want to fully lock your elbows because in doing so you are using extra muscles and creating a strain which will begin to fatigue after only 10-15 seconds. Remember a straight line will absorb the recoil through the bone support and into your shoulders and upper body. With your weight over your hips and then down to solid leg support, all the way to your well placed feet puts you in a perfect position to recover from the recoil and be ready for your next shot. See simple. 


As usual, thanks for your time, interest and dedication to the shooting sports and the MPCPA.

John C. Poole
President


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9/09/2010

Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,

Well, we are near the end of the summer shooting season and looking forward to fall, with the kids going back to school and the indoor season just around the corner, I feel that we have had a very successful summer season. The MPCPA put on the Outdoor State Championships and had the best turnout in several years. We gave away 2 guns at the match and have plans for a pretty spectacular prize table at the Annual Awards banquet on January 8th, 2011. You all need to set that date on the calendar. Also double check the website as it will have the event flyer posted soon. I have to add, if you are not there, all prizes will go to somebody that is. In conjunction with the State match we put on the NRA’s Regional Championship and again had a better turnout than past years. I know I keep saying this, but thanks to all of those that came and shot. Next year’s matches should be bigger and with more give away stuff at the match. I want to thank my Board Members for their help and work to put on the event.

I also want to pass on a special thanks to the Taylor Pistol Club for the use of their range. The work that was put in by John Beesely and Sam Kershaw made us feel right at home. The range looked wonderful and everything functioned well for us. Another thank you needs to go to Mike Patrick of Michigan Ammo, he supplied the targets for the event and as always is a great supporter of the MPCPA.

THE SHOOTERS TIP

How does the grip transition with each change of position? The answer is really not that much, at least for your shooting hand or strong hand. You have to remember that out of a whole 1500 and all of the stages fired and positions fired, you only use your off or weak hand 4 times as your shooting hand. So one of the most important things you need to do is to grip the gun the same way every time with your strong hand. I have seen many shooters; even some pretty good ones not use the same grip every time. When this is done the shot group can change with every position. Some shooters in the sitting position will add more hand and finger to the trigger to get their hands around their knee or leg. Then when they move to prone, they raise the gun in their hand to help raise the gun higher so they can see the sights easier. Every time that is done it effects the sight alignment or factors that effect the sight alignment. I can not stress enough to place the gun in your shooting hand the same way described in the last shooting tip every time.

Now you ask what to do with that other hand? I say, pretty much what ever you want or need to do to support your shooting hand. You can move or place your support hand forwards, backwards, on the bottom of the shooting hand in the prone position, just about any way that makes you feel comfortable, secure and solid in your position. Remember, your shooting hand is doing the work and the rest of your body is just there to help it.

Thanks for your time, interest and dedication to the shooting sports and the MPCPA

John C. Poole
President


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03/2010

Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,


This is my first opportunity to say “Hey” to everyone. I first want to take this chance to say thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president. Most of you know that I am not a native Michigander, but in the short time that my family and I have been here we (I mean the wife) have decided that this is it, this is the forever home. As most of you know, I serve with the U.S. Border Patrol and have for almost 24 years now. I was promoted and transferred with the Agency in 2008 to the Gibraltar Border Patrol Station in Gibraltar (downriver by Trenton) as the new Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge. A little about my shooting and Association background; I have been a member of the Border Patrol National Shooting Team since 1989 and have had the chance to represent the Border Patrol pretty much around the world. In 1996, I was elected to the Board of Directors with the Texas State Rifle Association and then to an Officer’s position in 2004. I served with the TSRA until my transfer to Michigan. The TSRA membership numbers around 37,000 members or so. I am also a Life and Benefactor Member of the National Rifle Association and have served for Past President John Sigler on the Law Enforcement Committee. I am thankful for the chance to bring this experience to the MPCPA and look forward to doing what I can to continue the traditions of this Association.


Well, enough of my back ground on with the MPCPA business. As most of you know we will be holding our Indoor State match next month on April 17th and 18th, so mark your calendars for the match. We are still accepting membership applications for the Outdoor and Indoor Season. If you get your application in or renew at or before the Indoor State Match we can pull all of your scores from this year’s matches and rank you for the Top Twenty Indoor Season.


We will be taking over the NRA Outdoor Regional and run it in conjunction with the MPCPA State Outdoor Championship. Set the dates on your calendar for August 20th, 21st and 22nd. There will be a free PPC seminar for MPCPA members on Friday August 20th with open practice in the afternoon. There will be a $10 fee for non MPCPA members for the PPC seminar, all are invited. We have begun working and soliciting dates from other Clubs for the outdoor season. Keep an eye on the website for the summer schedule.


THE SHOOTERS TIP


It was discussed at this weekend’s match about having a regular shooters tip added to my corner, so here goes. I must admit that I had several people this weekend ask me about my grip and my barricade and down positions. So let’s start at the beginning, everything pretty much starts with the grip and proper hand position. Most everybody uses a standard grip where the gun sits in your hand with your thumb and fore finger making a “V” pointing straight up your forearm. I can’t stress enough that your hand needs to be as high as possible on the back strap of the gun. If it is a revolver, make sure that your hand sits all the way at the top of the grips to the shoulder of the frame. This ensures a proper pivot point for the balance of the gun and the recoil when fired. This also puts your trigger finger in its strongest position for a straight line pull. The same applies to the semi-auto; get your hand as high as you can into the back strap under the dove tail. This again helps maintain the proper pivot point in conjunction with your wrist and will better control your weapon, your recoil, and greatly reduce your recovery time to the target. Over the years, and I have done it many times myself, is not re-gripping properly after a reload. How many of you have stood there in Match 1 or Match 4 and said to yourself, those first 6 shots were right there, but after I reloaded, the next 6 went to hell. In my own experience, and talking with other High Master Shooters, you have to re-grip your weapon after a reload. You need to take that extra second and I really mean tenths of a second to grab your gun with your off hand and re-set it back into your shooting hand in a straight line with your forearm and high on the back strap. I can not stress enough to always re-establish your grip after a reload. In my next Shooting Tip, I’ll talk about how the grip transitions with each change of position.


Thanks for your time, interest and dedication to the shooting sports and the MPCPA


John C. Poole

President