Pistol clinic with World Champion Robert Vogel

18 June 2013, Comments: 0

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When you want to improve your skills, you seek out people better than you. Robert Vogel is a multi-time world champion pistol shooter, and I was excited to take a 2-day advanced pistol clinic with him and twelve shooters at my home range, the Richmond Rod & Gun Club in Richmond, California. Robert’s list of accomplishments are so many, that it’s just easier if you click here to see all of his wins. Robert has been an expert in multiple seasons of Top Shot on The History Channel, which is where Robert and I first met.

The author poses for a picture with Robert Vogel.

The author poses for a picture with Robert Vogel.

This particular clinic was action shooting focused, so prior USPSA, IDPA, or IPSC experience was required. We started off Day 1 talking about Robert’s current pistol grip philosophy. He discussed the physics of how to control recoil, it behooves us to gets our hands as high up and toward the muzzle as possible. He showed us his current grip, which looks something like this:

UPDATE: Ignore the top two pictures- they are incorrect. Take a look at the pictures in this forum instead.

Notice the support hand is forward of the trigger guard.

Notice the support hand is forward of the trigger guard.

The support hand index finger pulls toward the left side of the pistol.

The support hand index finger pulls toward the left side of the pistol.

Compare this with my current grip:

Support hand is more toward the rear of the pistol.

Support hand is more toward the rear of the pistol.

All the support hand fingers are wrapped around the shooting hand.

All the support hand fingers are wrapped around the shooting hand.

Notice how the support hand is really high up on the gun, and how the support hand index finger is wrapped around the trigger guard. One thing really hard to demonstrate in the picture is the pressure applied with the support hand’s index finger and thumb. This enhances the shooter’s ability to get a really strong support hand grip. Remember the 70/30 Rule- 70% of your grip strength should come from your support hand, and the other 30% from your strong hand.

It was neat to hear Robert break this all down, and it was a classic “get inside someone’s head” experience. We got to ask all the questions we wanted in this open-format discussion, and Robert was great at fielding the group’s questions.

Over the two day period, we went through stage analysis and execution where the group would go through a number of drills and get individual feedback from Robert. Due to the size of the group, each shooter would get about 5-10 seconds of feedback at the end of each run, which is what I expected in order to keep the group moving along. During breaks, Robert was available for any follow up questions.

Not only did we get individual feedback, but we got to see Robert show us how it’s done. It was impressive to watch him run through these drills, making it look easy. But any action shooter knows how much work it takes to make everything work like clockwork.

Robert Vogel taking out a bunch of plates:

Here, Vogel talks about one-handed shooting:

Vogel also discussed magazine reloads:

At the end of the two day clinic, I felt I had learned a lot from Robert – and other shooters expressed the same sentiment. Robert travels the country delivering clinics for shooters of all levels throughout the year. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Robert Vogel’s schedule on his website. You can also arrange to have a Robert Vogel clinic held at a range of your choice.

www.VogelDynamics.com.

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