I went dove hunting this weekend with Jim from Generations Firearm Training and some other friends.
And by “dove hunting” I mean “I stood on one side of a dairy farm and blasted them as they tried to slip in for a quick meal”. Not much “hunting” involved here, we sat around and talked a lot and each bagged our limit in less than a couple of hours.
Mourning doves aren’t the easiest things in the world to shoot: They fly fast and low to the ground, making them the cruise missiles of the avian world. I managed to get one of mine with a very fast snapshot on a right-to-left mover without really sighting or thinking or considering what I was doing: It was just “Bird!, BLAM! plop”.
Which got me thinking. I reacted quickly, appropriately and effectively to what was happening while I had a gun in my hand.
Isn’t that what we train and compete for?
We spend SO much time in the gun world honing our chosen speciality and forget about how many other fun things are out there. Awhile back, I wrote about what the general skills for a gun owner might be, and as this year winds down and I start to think about next year, those skills are starting to pop up into the front of my mind. To review, they are…
Know the basic operation and use of:
A muzzle-loading black powder rifle
A single action revolver
A double action revolver
A magazine-fed single/double action semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed striker-fired semiautomatic pistol
A magazine-fed semiautomatic rifle
A bolt-action rifle
A tube-fed lever-action rifle or shotgun
A tube-fed pump-action shotgun or rifle
A tube-fed semiautomatic shotgun
An over/under or side by side shotgun
Be capable of:
– Field-stripping and cleaning any firearm they own
– Know the basic operation for any firearm they own
– Diagnose common issues with ammunition or operation that might prevent any gun they own from working properly and be able to deal with them correctly
Know how to (but not always accomplish):
– Draw a pistol smoothly and quickly from a holster (maybe from concealment, maybe not)
– Hit center-mass of a man-sized target at least 7 yards away
– Hit a clay pigeon in-flight
– Hit a man-sized target with a modern rifle 300 yards away
Know (and ALWAYS accomplish successfully)
– The Four Rules of Gun Safety
I’m satisfied with my progress with a pistol and improving with my AR’s. It’s time to think about being able to do a bunch of things fairly well instead of one thing very well. I’m also giving a rifle as Christmas present to one of my sons, so it’s time to start thinking about what my legacy will be to my sons versus working on my skills.