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  #1  
Old 08-03-2023, 1:03 PM
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Default Larry Vickers Test and 45 acp.

Big fan of LV’s test, I will usually run it with whatever handguns I take to the range or that I?m training with that day.

With 9mm and 40 never have a problem passing the test, I challenge myself by trying to shoot a low time. 7 and low 8 second range for 9mm is the norm with 40 in the mid to high 8?s and low 9?s.

My problem is with 45acp, granted I have not been shooting a lot with it this year. So far I?ve only ran it 5 times with a 45, four 1911s and a full side M&P and failed it each time.

Today I shot it with my WC CQB, not from concealment but with a ALS retention holster. I was good and warm had already put about 100 rounds through the gun doing other various drills and quals. My draw felt solid and fast, got on target quickly. Had a good smooth rhythm going all eight rounds in the 10 for a score of 80, shot the darn X out. I thought I had it, until I glanced at my timer 10.27 failed again. It?s starting to get in my head now.

I also ran it with my Ruger Mark II, I know it?s cheating running that drill with 22?s but it?s fun. All 10 in the black with a 99 score in 5.77, with hardly any recoil you can shoot it smokin fast.

Think I?m just gonna have to start shooting my 45?s more, this is really starting to bug me. Anybody else run the Test with 45?s, wanna share their times and wisdom with me. I?ll take whatever I can get, gotta get past this.
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Old 08-03-2023, 2:12 PM
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I took his class 6 or 7 years ago I believe. It was supposed to be his first class with Rob Leatham but Leatham had to skip it with an injury. Most of the others were military or law enforcement. This was at a small range near Phoenix. One group came from Minnesota.
I can't remember the name of it but we did the other drill with shooting standing, kneeling, strong hand, weak hand all at about 20-21 yards. I did not do well on that. Actually the highlight for me was the test. 10 rounds at 10 yards in 10 seconds with all in the black (5.5"). I can't remember if he used the scoring rins other then they needed to be in the black. Most were shooting regular round nose 9mm. There was one other old guy (like me) shooting 45. I was shooting 200 gr swc my USPSA major ammo. One shooter went at a time with everyone else on the line watching. My 45 swc holes really stood out after all the 9mm. I put them all in the black in 8.2 seconds. I had brought some 10 round mags with me and used those. The younger guys were asking about my ammo. This was with my Wilson CQB. Not one malfunction in around 1000 rounds.
It was a fun class. He is a character. The shooter who did the best on the slower paced 20 yard drill did not do well in the 10 yard test.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2023, 2:35 PM
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Do you even lift, bro? Joking aside, you are pointing out you already know the answer. Less recoil is easier to shoot fast. That's really why competition has power factor rules. Build some bunny-fart .45 rounds and you could shoot fast again. You didn't mention, but I assume your draw time is similar, and that means it's just your splits that are slower, resulting in the longer overall time.
The only way to be the same speed on high-recoil and low-recoil shooting, is to recover shot-to-shot equally. If your splits are slower, that's what you are struggling on. Some of that is just pure strength, which is why the lifting joke, but it's also true to a point.
You may try filming yourself from the side if you can. There might be a little bit of your technique that is slowing you down, if you over-correct pushing the muzzle down after recoil and then have to lift it back up to center. I know I do far worse with this with .45 than I do with 9, even if it's only an extra .2s per shot that would add up. That's still a "recoil management" issue, but it could point to what specifically you need to work on. If you're doing this, you need to get the gun flat and break the shot on the first time the sights go through the target. Yea, easier said than done. Practice, practice.
It's the same kind of problem with transitioning left/right if you "rotate" too fast, go past your target and have to rubber-band back to center. You may be doing that vertically, because you're pushing too hard against the heavier recoil.
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Old 08-03-2023, 2:54 PM
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Yeah it’s absolutely the splits that are killing me, I think you might be on to something with the over compensating and pushing the muzzle low and having to bring it back up. The 45 recoil is just different I don’t do it with 40, the muzzle may rise a little higher than 9 but it settle right back down on the target. Tracking just seems a lot slower with the 45 for some reason, I do reload my ammo a little on the hot side to more closely match the recoil of my carry rounds. So definitely not powder puff rounds, not looking to go that route. And yeah I’m an avid lifter, got some fairly impressive guns on me. Makes it all the more frustrating.
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Old 08-03-2023, 3:39 PM
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Can you pass it shooting 5yd? If so, then you need to determine your recoil mgmt issue. Slo-mo video from the side can help with that.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2023, 11:13 AM
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It's your splits causing the issue, not the gun's. Your gun is cycling every ~.06 seconds. You should be sending another round off every .4-.5 seconds. That is enough time to confirm sight picture with each press. Your sight should be returning somewhere in the black of the B8 with some minute adjustment as needed. Send me a video of your shooting so I can see your support hand side.

Recoil management is a passive skill, it is physically impossible to control recoil during the gun's cycling. The gun driving back down below the target during cycling is caused by excessive tension in the firing hand, or when making another shot caused by a flinch or change in grip pressure. Every time you press the trigger the gun should be returning very closely to where it was before.
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Old 08-04-2023, 12:05 PM
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For what it's worth, I think you're on the right track. I normally shoot 9, but if I temporarily switch, I do better on splits with a 40 vs 45. To me, the 40 recoil is more "snappy" and the 45 more "pushy". That pushy feel messes with my timing so I spend more time (probably unnecessarily) waiting for settle. By not spending time on 45, it's hard for me to get the shooting rhythm down, while 40 seems easier to adjust to.
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Old 08-04-2023, 6:32 PM
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Exactly the way I feel with it, there was a time when the majority of my handgun shooting was with 45 (2018 and earlier). I use to smoke the test with 45 back then, now that I don’t shoot it nearly as much I’m having issues with it. The recoil on a 45 is different than a 9 or 40 that’s for certain, having problems adjusting to it. I think now that I let it get into my head I’m over analyzing it and probably over compensating like the other poster said.

The majority of my shooting now is with Glocks, running the test with them is never an issue 9 or 40. I do own a Glock 41 my only Glock 45acp, I have not run the Test with it in years. When I used to I almost always passed, think I’m gonna have to run it next.
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Old 08-05-2023, 4:41 PM
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I was under the impression this drill was supposed to be shot cold. You can keep running this drill trying to game it until you get a perfect score, but that is not the point. Drills are designed for you to fail and to expose your limits/weaknesses.

Nothing you said was anything to be concerned with. I've seen someone shoot a bill drill in 2 seconds and an el pres in 4 seconds clean. I can't shoot that fast but they clearly can. They failed those drills because they weren't pushing themselves hard enough.

Move yourself closer, increase your target size, or increase your time allotment until you get a perfect score. Then either move yourself back, shoot a smaller target, or lower your time allotment until you fail. Once you fail, you know where your limit is. Work on your fundamentals (trigger press, draw to first shot, recoil management, split times, etc.) and watch your time go down and accuracy go up. I would recommend not shooting this drill more than once per session.
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Old 08-05-2023, 10:02 PM
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An El Presidente in 4 seconds seems to be pushing it pretty good. How many shooters can do that even just putting shots into the berm?
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Old 08-07-2023, 6:38 PM
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An El Presidente in 4 seconds seems to be pushing it pretty good. How many shooters can do that even just putting shots into the berm?
USPSA classification for El Presidente is 4.7 seconds clean for Open GM and just over 5 seconds clean for Limited GM. Four seconds aren't a problem mechanically (into the berm), but extremely challenging to get good hits because there are four transitions. And this classifier is completely shot out (hero-or-zero approach to get high hit factors).
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Old 08-07-2023, 8:12 PM
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USPSA classification for El Presidente is 4.7 seconds clean for Open GM and just over 5 seconds clean for Limited GM. Four seconds aren't a problem mechanically (into the berm), but extremely challenging to get good hits because there are four transitions. And this classifier is completely shot out (hero-or-zero approach to get high hit factors).
I'm just pointing out that with all of the nay sayers who are never impressed with any drills or test results that very few shooters could even get the 12 shots off including a reload in 4 seconds. Yes GM shooters have the speed. It depends how you look at it too. In USPSA there is no requirement to hit all alphas. It's hit factor. If you ran it as a test and required all alphas it would be interesting to see what shooters of varying abilities would average to get all alphas say 50%of the time.

Just as a Bill drill is supposed to be all alphas at 7 yards but you see shooters posting videos shooting 16" steel.
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Old 08-06-2023, 11:48 PM
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Shooting a clean El Pres in 4 seconds flat reliably? Show me.

Sitruc:
"Drills are designed for you to fail and to expose your limits/weaknesses."

Who told you this? Did he show you how to ricochet bullets into the maximum scoring ring as part of qualification too?

Range activity that is designed for failure? Failure. Who's failure? Ask the instructor for your money back. And remind him that Drugs & Alcohol on the range are prohibited.

And does anyone else believe this?
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Old 08-07-2023, 9:12 AM
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Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
Shooting a clean El Pres in 4 seconds flat reliably? Show me.

Sitruc:
"Drills are designed for you to fail and to expose your limits/weaknesses."

Who told you this? Did he show you how to ricochet bullets into the maximum scoring ring as part of qualification too?

Range activity that is designed for failure? Failure. Who's failure? Ask the instructor for your money back. And remind him that Drugs & Alcohol on the range are prohibited.

And does anyone else believe this?

Drills are designed to fail. That is why once you master one, you up the challenge, more distance, lower par time, more X's, etc. You figure out what is not working and how to improve until you master that next set of criteria. Then adjust again and fail at those until you get better.

If you are not trying to get better then your drills are passive and either just confirming your current ability no matter how high or low, or wasting ammo.
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Old 08-07-2023, 6:45 PM
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Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
Sitruc:
"Drills are designed for you to fail and to expose your limits/weaknesses."
...
Range activity that is designed for failure? Failure. Who's failure?
...
And does anyone else believe this?
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Drills are designed to fail. That is why once you master one, you up the challenge, more distance, lower par time, more X's, etc.
Practice drills are to push the limits (and fail), standardized tests (classifiers, drills that have a name, standard courses of fire and alike) are intended to measure performance and are usually not good for training.

I wouldn't consider El Presidente or Larry Vickers Test a "drill" in the training sense. It's not something you set up thinking "I'm going to work on this until I get it right." It's something you set up once in a while to see whether your current skill is above or below the threshold and by how much.
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Old 08-08-2023, 12:14 AM
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Attaching the words 'Drill' and 'Failure' together is some kind of ploy a bozo shooting instructor would use on confused & insecure
student who is under the false assumption that some sort of certification from said instructor has value.

A drill is series of steps used as a performance indicator.

Take the word commonly used with Drill...Drill Instructor, right? Not Failure Instructor.

What kind of shooting nonsense are some of you guys listening too?

In a feeble attempt to show the world their prowess in all things firearms training, some yahoos think they can show how progressive
they are by altering the definition shooting jargon to make them appear important. Don't fall for this horse-pucky. And don't compare
your current abilities with others, it's counter-productive.

Shooting is all about applying the four fundamentals of marksmanship in the correct order deliberately and often under pressure.

Last edited by hambam105; 08-08-2023 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 08-08-2023, 10:56 AM
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When all else fails bring a Glock for me anyways.

Shot LV’s test with my Glock 41 this morning shot a 97 in 9.54. Ran it a second time trying to push the time lower, I did with a mid 8 second run but put one in the 8 ring.

Also shot it with my Glock 44, it’s cheating but like I said fun. Also a 97 in 6.43.

In the end I think it comes down to I’ve just been shooting Glocks so much lately I’m a little rusty with the 1911s and other makes.



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Old 08-24-2023, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by stormvet View Post
Think I?m just gonna have to start shooting my 45?s more, this is really starting to bug me. Anybody else run the Test with 45?s, wanna share their times and wisdom with me. I?ll take whatever I can get, gotta get past this.
The first time I have heard and tried the "The Test" was when I took LV's class, shooting with a 45ACP (Fiocchi 230GR) H&K USP Expert. This was in 2019-Feb. We scored it both "Hackathorn" and "Vickers."





The second time I did it, albeit in 9mm and with a red dot since I cannot see the iron sights anymore, was at least a year back 2022-Jan - got a 98/4x

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke954Y-t3io



In terms of tips? While I am confident that my fundamentals are way better now than in early 2019; since I only did it twice, do take my advice with a grain of salt... I try to ensure that my grip was strong, steady and neutral. This ensures the consistent return of the sights (irons or a red dot) back on target, ie., the path should be "up/down." Then, the trigger - my reset to the breaking point happens during recoil such when the sights return there is minimal pause as I simply fire the shot.


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Old 08-25-2023, 7:36 AM
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Those were some nice runs and yeah there are a lot of variations of The Test.

I keep it simple, anything over 10 sec fail, anything outside the black fail. I do use the scoring rings, but anything in the 8 or 7 is an automatic fail so don’t bother counting that.

Ran it yesterday with a Beretta APX a1, 10/10 in 8.38 with a score of 99. I know 9mm that’s cheating.

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Old 08-25-2023, 8:24 AM
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I do use the scoring rings, but anything in the 8 or 7 is an automatic fail so don?t bother counting that.
Yup! I would recall that was why I failed the 5-yard run; there was one outside the black. A fail as per LV.


Quote:
Ran it yesterday with a Beretta APX a1, 10/10 in 8.38 with a score of 99. I know 9mm that?s cheating.
It's still the same... Who still shoots 45ACP nowadays?

Maybe I will find a chance to run it again when I am in the range (less opportunities nowadays with work/family). Curious on where I stand, ie., I have ran it only twice so far. As some have already opined - it is more of a "standards test" rather than a "practice drill."

But... It is very doable - here is an IDPA Classifier run with a G21SF Gen 3 in mid-2021. Factory Fiocchi 230GR and a stock OEM trigger/springs/RSA. 5-shots at 10-yards to an 8-inch target. This was a cold run (8:00am in the morning) - 1.37-draw (a sluggish one indeed, probably still sleepy) and .70-splits average. Accounting for a slower split to a more precise 5.5-inch target (the black of a B8) - 1.37-draw with .90-splits puts it at 9.47 (.90 is a conservative estimate as my splits actually got way better in the last string in spite of a headshot to a 4-inch target).





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Old 08-25-2023, 9:17 AM
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It's still the same... Who still shoots 45ACP nowadays?


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That was my reason for starting this thread, I was confident and comfortable with my skill training, most of it with 9mm. Then I broke out the 45?s and that confidence evaporated.

There was a time when the majority of my training was with 45 and I shot those 45?s the way I shoot my 9?s today. But after several years of primarily shooting 9?s that simply isn?t the case anymore.

My conclusion, with the transition to almost exclusively 9mm we?ve made it much easier to improve our times and scores. But at the same time weakening our skills with larger caliber handgun rounds. I?ll be sure to train more with 45 for now on.
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Old 08-25-2023, 9:33 AM
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That was my reason for starting this thread, I was confident and comfortable with my skill training, most of it with 9mm. Then I broke out the 45?s and that confidence evaporated.

There was a time when the majority of my training was with 45 and I shot those 45?s the way I shoot my 9?s today. But after several years of primarily shooting 9?s that simply isn?t the case anymore.

My conclusion, with the transition to almost exclusively 9mm we?ve made it much easier to improve our times and scores. But at the same time weakening our skills with larger caliber handgun rounds. I?ll be sure to train more with 45 for now on.
Ah!!! Now I see where you are going...


That said, let me tell you where I am with this... YMMV.

While my carry and competition guns are 9mm; my primary HD is still a 45ACP - G21SF Gen 3. Hence, I take one (I have 2) out at times to matches (a major PF gun in a minor division like Carry Optics) OR always my pistol on day #1 of a tactical/defensive class (nice handicap as I try to outperform the other students).


Whenever I go to a range for live fire practice, rather than the "The Test" or something else, I always start with a B8 pushback drill with a 45ACP. Less than a box but very effective in warming up my "recoil management" and "trigger control" (Glock stock OEM trigger) for my work with the 9s...




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Old 08-25-2023, 9:57 AM
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In addition to the 10 yard test we did a drill he called 3-6-9. Same 5.5 in black. Start at 3 yds. Shooter has gun on target ready, take up slack, then at the beep shooter must simultaneously press the trigger. The shooter can't wait until they want. It must occur at the beep. Repeat for 5 shots. All should be in the x ring. Move back to 6yds then 9, etc. I do this myself occasionally and always when starting a session with my wife or other occasional shooters.

Even at 3 yrds they can feel it when they drop the muzzle or otherwise flinch. Having to press at the beep makes a huge difference.

I have primarily shot 45 or 40 major in USPSA. Recently have shot some Limited minor and noe Limited Optics minor. I shot a match in major again and could notice the difference but not that much really.
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Old 08-25-2023, 10:05 AM
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That was excellent shooting, outstanding group. Great trigger control drill.

I do something similar, a slightly modified SWAT qualification course from my old department.

All from the holster with speed reloads it’s from 3 to 25. 46 out of 50 go hits needed to qual. A go hit is in the white and next lighter shade of blue in the body.

3 yard-Failure drill x 2
3 yard- Failure drill retreating from target x 2
7 yard-Failure drill x 2
7 yard-Controlled pair strong hand x 2
7 yard-Controlled pair support hand x 2
10 yard-Failure drill x2
10 yard-Failure drill advancing on target x2
15 yard-Controlled pairs x 4 (move off your spot between pairs)
25 yard- Controlled Pairs x 2 (move off your spot between pairs)

This is a 49/50(1 head shot just out of the white)
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Old 08-30-2023, 10:30 PM
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That was excellent shooting, outstanding group. Great trigger control drill.

I do something similar, a slightly modified SWAT qualification course from my old department.

All from the holster with speed reloads it?s from 3 to 25. 46 out of 50 go hits needed to qual. A go hit is in the white and next lighter shade of blue in the body.

3 yard-Failure drill x 2
3 yard- Failure drill retreating from target x 2
7 yard-Failure drill x 2
7 yard-Controlled pair strong hand x 2
7 yard-Controlled pair support hand x 2
10 yard-Failure drill x2
10 yard-Failure drill advancing on target x2
15 yard-Controlled pairs x 4 (move off your spot between pairs)
25 yard- Controlled Pairs x 2 (move off your spot between pairs)

This is a 49/50(1 head shot just out of the white)

Oh! I will be bookmarking this one... I did a mock LAPD Metro/SWAT qualifier with ITTS a couple of years back

https://internationaltactical.com/metroSwat_qual.html


However, I lost my notes on what were the strings of fire. What you wrote feels like what we did...

I wrote an AAR

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/....php?t=1715411

and here was my target





That said, do you have the time limits for each string?

Cheers!


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Old 08-25-2023, 6:31 PM
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The Test is a great standard to see where one?s ability lies and what one needs to work on. The beauty of The Test, like a lot of drills, is one can always push to be faster, be more accurate, be more faster and accurate, etc.

We do The Test in our Pistol 1 class and it is very humbling for those that have never shot at a faster pace (usually because of indoor range restrictions).


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Last edited by T3Pros; 08-29-2023 at 11:09 AM..
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  #27  
Old 08-30-2023, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by stormvet View Post
Big fan of LV?s test, I will usually run it with whatever handguns I take to the range or that I?m training with that day.

With 9mm and 40 never have a problem passing the test, I challenge myself by trying to shoot a low time. 7 and low 8 second range for 9mm is the norm with 40 in the mid to high 8?s and low 9?s.

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My problem is with 45acp, granted I have not been shooting a lot with it this year. So far I?ve only ran it 5 times with a 45, four 1911s and a full side M&P and failed it each time.
Tighten your grip starting at pinky, lock wrist, lock elbow, push-pull from shoulders, nose over toes.

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Today I shot it with my WC CQB, not from concealment but with a ALS retention holster. I was good and warm had already put about 100 rounds through the gun doing other various drills and quals. My draw felt solid and fast, got on target quickly. Had a good smooth rhythm going all eight rounds in the 10 for a score of 80, shot the darn X out. I thought I had it, until I glanced at my timer 10.27 failed again. It?s starting to get in my head now.
Tighten your grip more.

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I also ran it with my Ruger Mark II, I know it?s cheating running that drill with 22?s but it?s fun. All 10 in the black with a 99 score in 5.77, with hardly any recoil you can shoot it smokin fast.
22 LR makes one lazy. I shot it all but exclusively during the second Obama ammo draught. I think I did 100 rounds of centerfire that year. It really messed me up. I had to buy a case of ammo and really work on things.

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Think I?m just gonna have to start shooting my 45?s more, this is really starting to bug me. Anybody else run the Test with 45?s, wanna share their times and wisdom with me. I?ll take whatever I can get, gotta get past this.
[/QUOTE]

No, change your technique. Whatever you are doing is wrong if you pass with one gun but not another. You shouldn't pay too much attention to recoil until you get into something hot, like fast 357 Magnum or or mid-range 44 Magnum. You can do it with 40 S&W, which is annoying for what it delivers. If you can do 40, you should be able to do 45.

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Last edited by tomrkba; 08-30-2023 at 11:45 PM..
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2023, 4:13 PM
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Sorry don’t have the times off the top of my head, I’d have to dig through some old records to find them.

When I first started running it many years ago, I’d use a timer. But after always running it well under the time limits (they are generous) I just stopped using a timer on it.
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Old 09-02-2023, 1:36 PM
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When I first started running it many years ago, I?d use a timer. But after always running it well under the time limits (they are generous) I just stopped using a timer on it.
Good point there! I would agree - the times are very generous.

I was told that if I made full use of the allotted par, I would have gotten a perfect score. Since it was my first time, I told the LAPD officer, "... at least I know there is room for improvement..."



BTW, nice insight on recoil management from Hwansik Kim (along with Ben Stoeger on the PTSG group) -




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Old 09-02-2023, 5:36 PM
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Agreed with poster above that .22lr makes you lazy.

Been.shooting a .22lr ruger lcr a ton and it it was useful for the heavy trigger but def affected my shooting.

That said been shooting a bit too much (about 3 to 4 times a week last 5 weeks) and going to take a month off. Will be interesting to see how dry fire only maintenance is and skillset loss
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Old 09-02-2023, 6:24 PM
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That said been shooting a bit too much (about 3 to 4 times a week last 5 weeks) and going to take a month off. Will be interesting to see how dry fire only maintenance is and skillset loss
Due to work, etc. had something like that around May preceding the Piru Father's Day Shootout. No live fire for a month...!!! Only dry practice.





When I got into the line in my first stage - my heart was just thumping and thumping. So much so that I almost had a false start. Also had #mentalFart issues of engaging some targets twice. Also had an instance where I "lost" the dot. Hahaha!!!

That said, I came into the match without any expectations (I only decided to shoot it a few days prior, from prodding of a friend). I guess that made me relaxed, and in spite of the gaffes; came home with a trophy.

Could be luck? Could be something else... YMMV...


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Old 09-20-2023, 11:36 AM
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My problem was just a lack of time training with 45 acp and my 1911s, since shooting them more the test and 45 is no longer an issue. Last run was with my EB SFC 8/8 in 9.44 using a retention holster. It also had another side effect as it’s knocked about a half second off my times running it with 9mm, coming close to consistently getting into the 7 second range.
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