I had Bob scheduled for a 2 day class here in Pittsburgh before the Alias drama blew up and took my schedule with it. It was to be my first time training with him and truly the shooting class I was most looking forward to this year. So when it cancelled me and two of my closest shooting buddies decided to book him for a one day at his place in Ohio for just the 3 of us. This is the first time with all the hosting and everything in several years that I have paid for shooting instruction out of my own pocket and been a straight up student, it was worth every penny.
It was a 5 hour drive and cost us $250/each for the lesson. We went from 10am when we arrived until 6pm when we wrapped up with less than an hour of break for lunch (we packed lunch). Shot about 600 rounds.
First off Bob was super friendly and just a normal fucking dude. He had us in his home and besides the awards and trophies all over the place it was just like going to any friends house. I felt really comfortable immediately.
First order of business was we sat at his kitchen table and discussed our individual levels of experience. What shooting sports we played, rank, how long we had been shooting and training formally, etc. We then went over very simply discussing safety with an emphasis on muzzle control and some anecdotes about the sort of failures he commonly sees in safety and that he expected us to be fine with our experiences. We also discussed dry fire safety, the importance of dry fire, and how he approaches it.
Strong emphasis was put on starting grip work from the draw, shooting multiple rounds on multiple targets, and realistic grip pressure and working the trigger dry. The interesting part here that I hadn’t been exposed to before was that Bob gets that first press click out of the glock but then for subsequent shots he moves his trigger finger the full range of motion as if the trigger was still there at the pace and pressure he would realistically. I had used cardboard to keep the gun out of battery before, or pressed the dead trigger back into the frame, but Bob is really focusing on moving the trigger finger just the same as if the trigger was not dead. Doing this combined with real grip pressure exposed some movement I had not seen in the gun before when dry or even with a sirt gun. On the sirt gun he prefers to use a real gun instead with his method, and discourages use of the laser for dry fire.
There has been some talk of the Vogel grip method and how he torques the gun. Nothing Ive read or heard on it has done it justice. Bob does a demo where you get your grip, take your support hand away and he put his support hand in its place and the amount of force you need to exert to keep that fucker in front of you is astounding. If you watch him shoot youll notice the gun cants slightly due to the torque. His explanations of how and why are detailed and complete. Im definitely going to be working on it.
First shots where slow fire bill drills at 10 yards so he could see our groups, again with generous par times from the ready, and then our first timed shooting drills where bill drills at 7 , 15, and 25 yards. Each of us went several time through, pasted and timed each run and discussed the groups. Bob had insights as far as the level of detail you need visually at these 3 ranges. My initial index and first shot really suffer at 25, I’ll be focusing on this personally.
The rest of the day consisted of work moving and shooting around barrels. moving from spot to spot to spot, setting up in position (that’s what I desperately wanted to get from this!) and then tracking movers. Bob had quality technical details on each portion and reviewed with us through several iterations how to lower our center of gravity while moving, how to plant the lead foot when hitting position, and how to effectively track movers. Large emphasis and big lightbulbs for me when he talked about having the confidence to shoot a mover wherever it is in the cycle and shoot it as if it was a stationary target as you track it.
The biggest personal performance piece for me was the final exercise of the day where we had a steel activator for a mover with a no shoot to the left, to the right a large popper, a partial cardboard with no shoot and a small plate and on the far left a small popper. Bob asked us first how we would shoot this array, we are at about 10 yards. I say I would shoot the activator first, hit the large popper as its close and big then go back to the mover then run the rest of the targets. I said I didn’t think at my level I would have time to hit more than one target.
Bob hit the activator, large popper, partial, small plate then hit the mover on its first pass out and ended on the small steel. Of course he did, hes a world champ. He then talked about how most people don’t have a real plan for this type of problem. They shoot always trying to keep an eye on the mover, are slower, miss onto the no shoot as they rush the shots to get back, and since they don’t have realistic pace in dry fire and walk through they end up over shooting or waiting on the mover, but if you can focus on each shot you have enough time that by the time you get to the mover its on its way back and since you can shoot it wherever in the cycle you see it you nail it on the way to the last popper. This tied in a lot of his input through the day on realistic dry fire as well as both shooting movers, and the part that was huge for me – the confidence to shoot each shot with focus. I said I would try what he did , and crushed it. I would never had had the confidence to think I could have pulled that off. I ran it in 5.30 with a miss on the activator on the first shot, ran it again and nailed it at 4.70 clean. That was a perfect last run of the day, and Im feeling stronger in this skill set as a result.
On a side note I really really liked his sights and he installed a set for me before we left. I was having elevation issues with the Y notch sights as time went on that would show up from time to time and had already switched back to my old cheap ameriglo FO set but the front on those was too big. The Vogel sights have a nice clean big deep rear notch with solid square lines I like, and Im told that if Bob installs them himself your hit factor goes up 10%