Using a Range Diary for Self-Training Purposes?

This is a discussion on Using a Range Diary for Self-Training Purposes? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi there. I did do a search for range journals and range diaries and read everything posted in those subject areas. While historically folks have ...

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Thread: Using a Range Diary for Self-Training Purposes?

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    Member Array merischino's Avatar
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    Using a Range Diary for Self-Training Purposes?

    Hi there. I did do a search for range journals and range diaries and read everything posted in those subject areas. While historically folks have discussed using a log to capture information on gun use, dates, range time, rounds fired, malfunctions of various types, and occasionally gun performance/accuracy issues good/bad, I didn't run across anyone talking about using a range journal to record personal performance.

    Does anyone do this? My dbf (dear boyfriend) recommends this, particularly focusing on a per-range-visit amount of attention to what I was attempting to achieve ("always have a goal"), what I did great, what I did well, what need improvement. Plans for next time. yadda yadda.

    I have been to the range with my new weapon now 6 times, with a 7th planned for tomorrow. In that time, my little range diary (originally determined to be kept in a small little black book of the type that would fit in a shirt pocket -- so I'd be guaranteed to have it) has gone from several very well-meaning and attentive entries on each magazine shot, how many rounds fired, ammo details, description of POA vs/ POI results, diameter of grouping achieved, my "plan", my "performance" and my "next steps".

    This all seems, in practice, to be
    a) much more suited for a huge aka 8 1/2" x 11" piece of lined paper in maybe a binder or spiral bound notebook -- much much too big to fit on the little "bench" next to my weapon, my ammunition, my targets, my range-specific gear kept at hand. heck, it's hard to get a pen to stay on that bench reliably, let alone the tiny book.
    b) in a lot of cases, me making up stuff to put in, because perhaps I'm too much of a novice to know what my "plan" should be, how to self-identify what I'm doing "great/well", and not a terrific motivator to keep a detailed record of what I'm sucking wind at.

    If anyone has any practice at keeping a range journal or range diary for self-training purposes, would you mind sharing with me what your estimation of what is both useful and practical information to log?

    This training journal would be separate from the data I'm tracking for my weapon. I have started and have decided I will maintain an Excel database of all the information pertinent to tracking rounds, gun malfunction, and gun performance issues. It's the Merischino Performance Tracking that I need help ideating.

    I read Limatunes' old range diary entries (a good few, anyway), and it seems that she's definitely best characterized as "far from novice", and her practice notes seem to be mostly a record of what she used, what exercises she tried, and gun performance. I liked her inclusion of digital photos of each target shot. I also happen to have been taking digital photos of each of my targets since I bought the gun as well.... I'm just not sure that I'm ready to commit to learning whatever it would take to record my journey in a visual web page format. Too much work! Plus, only useful to do that kind of effort (when you have to learn it) if doing it would be of benefit to others as well. (in the case of a novice like me, I'm guessing: not of benefit to anyone but me.)

    So... what do you guys think? Anyone keep a training diary? What do you track? How do you measure yourself, and against what?

    For a little more information about my little journey, I'm in month 2 of being a gun person, week 3 of being a gun owner. In this time, I have gone from zero experience to shooting targets like I did today...

    I shot 201 rounds from my new Glock 22 today, with the express purpose and plan for the day to acquire all the required targets to self-qualify for the NRA Marksmanship qualified levels of "Pro Marksman" and "Marksman". My range wouldn't allow the recommended paper plates, and didn't have facilities to permit safe use of the seated supported position, so notwithstanding my actual accuracy, whether I actually qualified myself is arguable.

    That said, out of 153 shots fired "for qualification", only one missed the target, which was a 8" diameter circle on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper at 5 yards distance. 2 were not counted as qualifying because they didn't meet the rule specifying that on a 9" diameter circle, all shots must fall within a 1.5" margin from the outside edge.

    I'm sharing this because I'd like to bring this back to the journal/diary question: what would I write in a journal about this exercise that would be helpful for the future? "I had a plan. I executed on it. I'm awesome. Next time, go for the Sharpshooter?" or "sweaty palms, taking a long time to line up the sights, something wonky with every 4th shot with felt recoil going through the roof but the actual projectile hitting the x smack on inexplicably" or what?
    People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
    - Abraham Lincoln

    A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
    - Winston Churchill

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    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merischino View Post
    in a lot of cases, me making up stuff to put in, because perhaps I'm too much of a novice to know what my "plan" should be, how to self-identify what I'm doing "great/well", and not a terrific motivator to keep a detailed record of what I'm sucking wind at.
    It seems to me that it would be best to try to keep some objective measurements: so many points in so many rounds on such and such a target at distance x, or whatever.

    Perhaps name and describe certain exercises that you can measure performance on, such as "draw from concealment and fire 3 shots at an 8.5"x11" target at 10 yards as fast as possible". If you go with someone else you could always time each other to add an extra metric to the drill, etc.

    Me, I'm not nearly so organized. My progress-o-meter just consists of "I can hit the target at rapid fire a lot more now!", or "drawing seems to be getting easier."
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    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

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