Confidence. It’s What You Carry.

Yes, I know, that’s Glock’s slogan and I don’t own a Glock. But Ruger stole a slogan from me, so I’m stealing from Glock. After all, all’s fair in love, war and advertising slogans.

I wanted to work out more with my Smith & Wesson Shield in a challenging, semi-realistic environment, so I went to Step By Step Gun Training’s “Shoot and Scoot” event on Sunday at Louland Gun Range to work on dealing with “regular” self-defense scenarios as well as defending against a “black swan” active shooter event.

And I was very pleased with the results.

22 yard 1/2 size USPSA steel

Take a look at the left-center target in the photo: That’s a 1/2 size USPSA target set up 22 yards away from firing line. On Ballistic Radio a few weeks ago, Greg Ellifritz laid down a number that corresponds with something I’ve mentioned in the past, namely, how much time will you have to take a shot on the bad guy with your defensive sidearm?

Greg suggests that it should take you no more than two seconds to put a round on-target from 50 yards away, or 3 seconds if you’re drawing from concealment. That small target size in that time frame is quite the challenge for a shooter, and I was curious to see if my current carry gear was up to the task.

And it was. Sorta.

Initially, I had two issues putting rounds on-target and on-time. My usual cover garment, an untucked t-shirt, was getting caught on the butt of my pistol, slowing my times, and I was missing the target. Surprisingly, there was one solution to both problems: I wasn’t lifting up my carry garment enough. Grabbing my t-shirt and pulling it up to my armpit on the draw allowed me to completely clear it away from my gun, and having my support hand so far up my body on the draw allowed my hands to come together closer to my peripheral vsion, meaning I picked up sights faster and put rounds on target.

After Jeff and Robyn worked with me on my draw, I went three-for-three on that plate, with draw-to-shoot times of 2.55, 2.63 and 2.75 seconds, well below the three seconds that Greg recommends as a baseline.

I can dig it. Thanks, guys!

All in all, compared to the last time I tried this, I was pleasantly surprised how the Shield performed in my hands. I hit my targets: Going 4 for five on that small 32 yard distant plate waaaaay in the back was definitely a highlight. I’m pretty confident in my abilities and my gear right now, and that’s a good thing indeed.