Gaming the Test: Rogers #8

8-Jun-12 – 09:48 by ToddG

This is the eighth installment of the nine-part Rogers Shooting School test series.

Stage 8: weak hand only, from the ready, 30 seconds
Maximum points: 23
Seven targets appear, pause for reload, eight targets appear, pause for reload, eight targets appear

This is the Weak Hand Only Blast Drill. It’s the longest part of the entire test and has the most possible points of any stage. For the most part, it’s pure shooting. You need to be fast and accurate with your weak hand only shots and you need to have a decent weak hand only reload. Still, there are a few things worth keeping in mind that could score you an extra point or two.

Tip #1: Capacity helps.* If you can put enough rounds in your gun to keep you from reloading between the first and second wave of targets then you save yourself the trouble — and potential fumble — of the first WHO reload. But you need to be absolutely sure you have enough rounds for the next eight targets before you decide to skip a reload. That doesn’t mean you have eight rounds left, it means you have eight plus however many make up shots you might need. It becomes an ammo management issue. You need to know how many rounds you shot to knock over the first seven targets and you need to know how many you started with. If the remainder left in your gun is too low, you need to reload. My personal comfort zone is +3. So if I know I need to knock over eight more, I want at least eleven in the gun.

Tip #2: The sequence, while not random, is complicated. I don’t doubt that there is an ideal order in which to shoot the plates, but instead all I’ve done is prepare for the beginning of each of the three strings. Two targets rise simultaneously, T1 plus something else. So I always knock over T1 then the second target. I also know which target appears next after those two.

String 1 begins with T1 and T7 rising together, then T5 at the top of the wall.
String 2 begins with T1 and T2, then T7 at the far end of the range.
String 3 begins with T1 and T3, then T2 behind the hostage comes up.

After that, I pretty much just shoot them as I see them.

Tip #3: Because you know T1 is the first target to rise each string, plan for it. If you finish your reload early (or you are able to skip the reload) be waiting aimed in slack out ready to ambush the T1 plate as soon as it starts to rise each time. Even if it only gives you a couple tenths of a second advantage, that’s something you can take with you throughout the string. It could be the difference between having time for a make up shot or not.

Tip #4: It’s perfectly legitimate to shoot near targets before far targets even if they pop up in the other order. But if you’ve taken the time to aim and begin your shot on a far target, don’t abandon it just because something else appears closer.

Tip #5: Don’t waste all your time and ammo on a target that doesn’t want to cooperate. If you’re having a hard time with a particular plate for whatever reason, let it go and get back into the sequence. It’s far better to leave that one plate then waste the whole string trying to knock it down. Other plates appear and disappear in the meantime and you won’t  even get a shot at them. Personally, if I miss two or three times — depending on the target and whether I feel “ahead” or “behind” overall for the string — I just give that plate a reprieve.

Here is a video of me shooting it down one:

YouTube Preview Image

A few notes about this run: I began with 23 rounds in the gun and planned to reload only once, after the second string of plates was down. For whatever reason, my brain failed to cooperate. I reloaded at the first pause. Luckily, I play it cool and avoid doing anything like cussing at myself on video… because that would just be unprofessional.

The mistake distracted me and led to me hammering multiple shots at plate #6 (the one over the short wall in the middle of the range). I ended up nicking it once and still scored a point, but it was poor… and cost me five rounds that I might not have been able to afford depending on my ammo management to that point. Then on the third string I missed it completely. I couldn’t tell you whether I was thinking about all the misses from the prior string or not. But when I realized that plate was giving me fits again, I drove past it so I wouldn’t lose the time I needed to knock down the rest of the plates.

Getting my hits fast meant I had a little extra time for my reloads. Doing reloads fast on top of that meant getting the gun out and ready to ambush the first target for the second and third strings. All of that, in turn, meant that I had a little extra time each string to earn points.

* Check with the instructors before using extra-capacity magazines. I was using a +5 extended floorplate for “big stick” duty during most of my last trip to Rogers. On the fourth day I was told that their rule is you cannot have more than a +2. Nonetheless, another student in the class was running a SIG and was allowed to use 20rd (+5) magazines throughout the course. The test is shootable with 8rd magazines so it’s nothing to get worried about, just make sure you know what the instructors will and won’t allow.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 3 Responses to “Gaming the Test: Rogers #8”

  2. More than a quarter of the total score? By my math, it encompasses 18.4% of the total score. I would definitely agree that it encompasses like 50% of the total FUN, though. I loved this drill.

    Awesome writeups on the tests, BTW. Thanks!

    By MDS on Jun 8, 2012

  3. T1 appears five times total within the three waves — two times on wave two and three. Since T1 is close, and is exposed less time than other targets, I always shoot T1 when I see it.

    By GJM on Jun 9, 2012

  4. MDS — Doh! You’re absolutely right. I did the math thinking of all the WHO shooting (32 points).

    By ToddG on Jun 9, 2012

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