365 Days of Training!

17-Aug-10 – 01:44 by Tom Jones

My name is Tom Jones. I’ve been a gun owner for about 20 years, but until recently I wasn’t really a shooter. In the Fall of 2007 I decided to get a concealed handgun license. As part of the training required for my permit I began to appreciate the distinct difference between owning a handgun and being able to use one effectively. In early 2008, I discovered pistol-training.com and decided to get “serious” about shooting. Since then I’ve attended over 300 hours of formal firearms training (most of it handgun), including classes from Larry Vickers, Magpul Dynamics, Todd Green, Ken Hackathorn, and Paul Howe.

Despite all this training, I’m not a very accomplished shooter. My best official F.A.S.T. score is 7.93. I’ve shot the IDPA classifier twice (Fall 2009 and Spring 2010) both times with a score almost exactly in the middle of the sharpshooter range. I was lamenting my rather mediocre IDPA classifier performance to ToddG, and he commented that I should easily be shooting expert or higher. He’s right. The reason I’m not is because other than shooting IDPA twice a month and at an indoor bullseye league once a week, I’m not practicing.

During a long drive home from a recent training class, I decided I wanted to train (be it dry practice or live fire) every day for a full year and post a daily log on the internet. I figured announcing this to the world (even if only a handful of people were aware of it) would make me accountable and keep me on track. I originally planned to start at the beginning of 2011, giving me enough time to ensure I had an adequate ammo supply on hand.

I mentioned my plans to ToddG and he said he might be able to help me out with the ammunition. He also said that he’d be happy to host my journal at pistol-training.com and encouraged me to start the project after the Aim Fast, Hit Fast class in Los Alamos at the end of August. Two weeks (and one very large check) later, a pallet with 52,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition was delivered to my house.

So, I’m just a regular 42 year old guy who works as an engineer and is not particularly gifted or athletic. I want to see how far and fast my handgun skills can progress with some dedicated and focused practice. My goals for the coming year are:

  • IDPA: SSP Master classification
  • F.A.S.T.: consistently under 6 seconds
  • Conventional Pistol (NRA Bullseye): Master classification

This project will be starting on Saturday, 2010-08-28. There will be daily posts of my training activities at jones.pistol-training.com and weekly or monthly updates here. Jim D has generously offered to let me use a thread at firearmstrainingandtactics.com for ongoing discussion of the project. Please stop by there and leave any questions, comments, or advice.

I’m looking forward to starting this project. It should be fun and will definitely be a lot of work. Wish me luck!

  1. 18 Responses to “365 Days of Training!”

  2. Good for you! Thank you for sharing your journey. I am sure the results will be amazing.

    By Steve B. on Aug 17, 2010

  3. Good luck dude. This is going to be fun to watch. Are you going to be videoing much of it?

    By Rob Engh on Aug 17, 2010

  4. good luck Tom; looking forward to the updates!

    By lindertw on Aug 17, 2010

  5. Is there another 52,000 rounds for someone else who wants to try this?

    By LT on Aug 17, 2010

  6. Good luck!

    By Shenaniguns on Aug 17, 2010

  7. Thanks guys! While this should be fun, there is a sense of foreboding as I wonder what I’ve talked myself into.

    Rob Engh — In addition to recording as much data as possible, I’m going to video as much as I can. I’ll occasionally post video comparisons of my progress or when/if there is something interesting (or just plain entertaining).

    LT — Just in case there is any confusion, I want to state that this project is in no way funded or sponsored by pistol-training.com. I had to pay for the ammo myself. ToddG is simply providing web-hosting and moral support. Having said that, if you (or anyone else) would like to undertake a similar project I think that would be awesome! I’ll likely need a support group before the year is over. :)

    By Tom Jones on Aug 17, 2010

  8. Good Luck Tom! Maybe I missed it but will you be using 1 firearm for this? If so which one?

    By rockyblend on Aug 17, 2010

  9. Gents — Thanks to the folks at firearmstrainingandtactics, there is a dedicated discussion thread for folks who want to talk about Tom’s endeavor or ask questions. Because we expect so many people to follow Tom’s progress, it will be easier for everyone (especially Tom!) if everything can be kept to one thread.

    By ToddG on Aug 17, 2010

  10. Tom,
    The best of luck to you!!!!!!!!!!

    Wile shooting 1000rds a week sounds like a ton of fun Im sure it will be harder than it looks!!!!

    I’ll be following this as I think it will really be cool for the firearm training world..

    By Prdator on Aug 17, 2010

  11. rockyblend — I plan on doing full posts at jones.pistol-training.com in the coming weeks regarding guns, gear, and methodologies. But to answer your question, every single round in the picture above will be fired through a H&K P30 V4, unless it breaks (doubtful) in which case an identical, backup P30 will be pressed into service. While it’s possible I could switch to a different gun during the next year, it’s unlikely. The LEM P30 is hard to beat.

    For Conventional Pistol (bullseye) related stuff I’ll be shooting a Ruger Mark III Competition with an Aimpoint Micro T-1 red-dot sight for .22 and an old pre-Series II Kimber Custom Stainless Target (without an optic) for centerfire and .45. I may switch my .22 to a Feinwerkbau AW93 (with an Aimpoint Micro). Additionally, I’d like to mount a red-dot on the Kimber.

    By Tom Jones on Aug 18, 2010

  12. WOW, that is a shooters wet dream wake up one morning and poof a pallet of ammo. Hardcore man its good to see NM representing. See you in class Tom.

    By Jimmy Creed on Aug 18, 2010

  13. Sounds like a serious task, to send 1000 rounds a week downrange.

    Good luck,Tom!
    I´ll keep my fingers crossed for a flawless year.

    By Frank B on Aug 23, 2010

  14. Hey Tom – just wondering where the latest updates are? Haven’t seen once since January and I’ve been actively following your progress. Hope you haven’t given up.


    By Billy Ng on Feb 18, 2011

  15. Billy — I’m still here and haven’t given up. I’ve just been busy/lazy/something. I just posted some updates this morning.

    By Tom Jones on Feb 20, 2011

  16. I’ve only come accross this now, and am very keen on checking out the daily journal. It seems though that the journal link(jones.pistol-training.com) isn’t working… Has it been removed since?

    By Johan on May 25, 2012

  17. Johan — Yes, the site was removed.

    By ToddG on May 25, 2012

  18. Thanks for the reply Todd. It’s a pity… seems like it could have been a good source of motivation. Obviously it depends on each person, but how I found this was when I started wondering more or less how much effort would be required to get to certain standards, for example, different levels of IDPA qualifications. At least this 365 DOT have inspired me to put in a good 200 reps of dry fire per day, and at least one live range session a week. Guess I’ll have to log and track my progress and find out for myself. Thanks for a great site!

    By Johan on May 29, 2012

  19. Johan,

    I, too, was disappointed when the site went down. The training journals at http://pistol-forum.com/forumdisplay.php?48-Training-Journals provide a pretty good replacement for my motivational needs, as well as giving more than one person’s data on the effort/progress formulae.


    By MDS on May 29, 2012

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