While IPSC, IDPA and many personal defense courses don’t provide a perfect simulation of real world armed self-defense scenarios, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of perfecting. The better you shoot under pressure, the better.
I shoot USPSA for just this reason, but I’m beginning to realize what I need to learn is not how to shoot, I need to learn how to fight.
Cleaning a plate rack at 15 yards is good and and fun, but the fact is, an attacker needs to come close in order to attack me or my famly. I need to train to defend myself at bad-breath ranges, and I need to learn to fight without a gun. Oh, and I also need to become an old SLIM white guy.
So next month, I start lessons at Arizona Wado-Ryu Karate, and kill a bunch of birds with one stone.
Doug Little, the club’s managing partner, is still in lease negotiations, but he said he expects the club will be south of the Santan portion of Loop 202 and west of Gilbert Road, pending city permits.
His plans for the club include 36 shooting positions in three bays and a 3,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art tactical shoot house more modern than any in metropolitan Phoenix.
Good. As much as I like Caswell’s and Rio Salado, the fact is the East Valley is still woefully underserved with ranges. What’d be REALLY nice is a long-distance outdoors range in the Southeast valley, either backing up on to the San Tans or out on the Salt River Reservation, and I still maintain that the Ahwatukee/South Tempe area is perfect for an indoor range. All that money in Ahwatukee needs to be spent on something.
The unfolding horror in Norway reminded me of an incident a long time ago that shaped my attitude on self-defence.
I’d been in the States for just a couple of years and was part of a local church’s college-age youth group. One weekend, a bunch of us decided to go camping out on the Mogollon Rim so we packed up our cars and headed for the hills.
After we had set up camp and settled in for the night (Guys and girls in seperate tents. This was a church function, after all…), a bunch of yokels set up camp a hundred yards away from us, carousing and carrying on around a huge bonfire.
And then they started shooting shotguns into the air.
Over in our tent, we were instantly awake. There was 7 of us, four guys and 3 girls, and I realized right then that if these yayhoos came over to our tents to cause trouble (or worse) there wasn’t a whole lot we could about it: All we had to arm ourselves was a couple of knives and a hatchet.
That’s when I realized I needed to take responsibility for my own safety. I may have grown up in Canada and gotten used to having Mounties around and a populace that was mostly gun-free, but in the U.S., things were (and are) different.: I understood then that I couldn’t play by Canadian rules while I lived in the U.S.
And now that I’ve lived a few years (more than a few, if I’m honest) I like the U.S. rules. No matter where you live, you will always be your own first responder, and unlike most other countries, the U.S. allows its residents to respond effectively to deadly force.
Freedom. It’s a beautiful thing.
Fun Fact: I don’t subscribe or buy gun magazines. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
A couple of reasons. Firstly, since I let my subscription to Wired lapse five years ago (after reading it from issue 2 onwards), I don’t subscribe to any magazines. Why should I wait around for someone to deliver a printed version of the Internet to my mailbox?
Secondly, well, it’s because what gun magazines I have read have been chock full of bad writing, advertisements thinly disguised as articles and articles on guns and gear I will never, ever, own. Ever. I have enough problems with the green-eyed monster as it is, I don’t need to stoke that fire.
If you read ’em and enjoy ’em, cool. I just can’t figure out what the allure is of any periodical or TV news show these days, not when it gets served up to me instantly via teh interwebz.
… I woke up at 6am this morning, thought about my honey-do list, thought about our finances, thought about the time I’ll be away from my family next week, thought about the lack of sleep I had last night, thought about the USPSA match this morning…
… and turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.
Rob Leatham (or any other top-notch USPSA shooter) would not have done that, and that’s what makes them top-notch USPSA shooters. I’m not on the top-teir of this sport, nor do I want to be. To quote that noted 20th century philosopher, Popeye, “I am what I am.”
I’ll still shoot the 3 gun match tomorrow, though. Shooting with friends is a whole lot more fun than shooting alone.
I’m shooting the USPSA match at Rio on Saturday and if (and that’s a mighty big if) I shoot a 47 or better, I’ll finally move up to C Class, and then I’ll have to rename the blog.
If you’re the Phoenix area and want to shoot either of those matches, drop me a note.
The people over at AmmoForSale.com wanted my opinion on PMC’s .223 55 grain Full Metal Jacket Boat Tail ammo, so they sent me a box with the provision that I’d shoot it and report back on what I found.
I shot the ammo off of sandbags over at the main range at Rio Salado, using my three Ggn AR with a Leupold 1.5x-4x scope. The target was 50 yards away, air temp was about 105 degrees (hey, it’s summer here in Phoenix) and there was a light (5-10 mph) breeze blowing. As a comparison, I also shot a few rounds of Federal 55 grain FMJ’s I bought at my local Wal-Mart.
PMC 55 Grain FMJBT
Mean Radius: 0.53″
Extreme Spread: 1.63″
Federal 55 Grain FMJ
Mean Radius: 0.55″
Extreme Spread: 1.29″
Target Measurements courtesy of Robb Allen’s nifty shot group analyzer gizmo.
Bottom line: The PMC ammo worked great. At eight bucks a box, it’s a real value suitable for competition, practice or plinking with the AR of your choice.