As I recall I was filling the tire ring as you describe.
I only split about 1 cord a year, of big chunks or birch for kindling, so I get limited opportunity to practice my 'flick'.
But I always hit the chunk and it usually flies apart
We use a a Pacific Energy Super27; best money I ever spent for family happiness.
We start a load with a fast burn, then turn down the primary and use the secondary burn to combust the gas coming off the coal bed; lovely dancing blue CO flames.
In the coldest weather (-20 to -30C) we load at 22:00, turn down at 22:30, it coasts nicely until 06:00. Then turn up and re-load.
My best overnight wood is yellow birch, which often grows with a crinkled, folded grain that is tough to split.
I also get maple, some ash (for now
) and a bit of oak.
White birch I split down for kindling.
Jack pine (heinous tree), linden, rowan and other scraps from my house property we use for autumn/spring quick burns of an evening to take the chill off.
As mentioned elsewhere, people on the forum use different definitions of 'cord'. I burn 2.5-3.5 true cords (128 cubic feet), 1-4 stove loads a day, to heat from October to May in a fairly well insulated house.
If I was burning straight softwood I would probably burn 5-8 cords, and would have to be more careful about my stovepipe (which is never dirty currently).
With well seasoned wood (usually 2 years) burns are almost always clean.
But it is tricky to properly season wood in my climate.