Tony has a provocative idea. In his Harmonic Functions on Manifolds blog, he suggests pulling out your best scores from the record book — you all write down your scores, don’t you? — and tally them up to discover your true potential.

Well, although my official outdoor ranking is Sharpshooter, it is worth noting that I typically shoot Expert scores with the 22 and sub-Sharpshooter scores with the 45. So, on average, that results in my current ranking.

Following Tony’s exercise over the last dozen matches, here are my “best” scores on those two guns.

22 45
Best SF Match 177-3 172-5
Best NMC Match 281-8 279-9
Best TF Match 193-8 194-9
Best RF Match 193-5 189-5
Agg. of above 844-24 834-28
Percent of 900 93.7% 92.7%

Well, that’s an eye-opener!

If I “fired my potential”, I’d be at the mid-point of Expert class on both guns, not just the 22.

Immediately it’s clear that my problem with the 45 must be consistency. Although I can (and have, as seen above) shoot Expert class scores with that gun, I have a lot of trouble performing at that level for any period of time.

And I’m going to guess that my problem with that particular firearm is fatigue. The 1911 demands a much stronger grip and the heavier trigger, only 0.5 pounds but, my, what a difference that makes.

Yes, I can shoot Expert-class scores with it but doing so consistently, well, that’s the challenge.

But now that I see that I can do it, it becomes a question of re-applying myself to each shot.

One shot at a time.

Thanks, Tony!

4 thoughts on “Potential

  1. I did this all the time while shooting both PPC years ago and Bullseye this past winter. All it did for me was to cause more frustration knowing that I should be a Master….but I kept shooting Expert scores. I’m still an Expert at PPC and still shooting Expert scores at Bullseye. I’ve convinced myself now that if I go to a match thinking about score, expectations, or classifications, I’ll end up choking. I try to keep this stuff out my head. Just my $.02. But Tony is alot better than I am, so there must be something to learn here.

  2. I agree: Thinking about scores is the fastest way to mess up accuracy. After many experiences of this damaging practice, I’ve become mostly immune to thinking.

    Mostly, that is.

    In last night’s league I decided to shoot my 22. My ego needed it. I did “OK” in slow fire which remains a major challenge. But for timed and rapid I shot mostly 99s. There didn’t seem to be any way of keeping that one shot inside the 10 ring.

    But finally, in the first of the two rapid fire targets, I cleaned one. Hooray.

    And, yeah, you guessed it. The next target was a 95.

    Would someone please invent an “off” switch and install it in the backside of my head?

  3. Ed, I wanted you to know I’m fervently working on that “off switch” you so timely mentioned.

    Once perfected, I’ll be happy to share it with anyone. Just hope it doesn’t take the better part of my lifetime to be completed.

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