After Action Report: Step By Step Gun Training Glock Range Day / Night Shoot N Scoot

Shoot N Scoot

The Everglades Glock Range Day is a unique event for a number of reasons. It’s the only non-GSSF event that Glock’s involved with, and it’s one of the very few events designed to get people used to moving and shooting with their defensive pistols. (Disclaimer: I gave away a bunch of AR stocks I had lying around as prizes, so yes, technically, I was a sponsor. Yay me.).

The event has enough competitive elements to get the hardcore types out and compete against each other (I saw one guy plunk down $100 for a bunch of tickets in a quest to win one of the Glocks offered as a stage prize… not sure if he won one or not…), yet the stages are easy to shoot and the environment is laid-back so people who’ve never shot on the move or competed on a stage aren’t intimidated by the task at hand. There was vendor booths and a DJ and a food truck and door prizes and a good time was had by all.

Honestly, something like this should be an annual event at every range that hosts either a USPSA or an IDPA match. If we want our sport to be accepted and grow, it has to seem acceptable and bring in new people.

It’s not rocket surgery, people.

After the event was over and the booths put away, there was a night time training event where we had a chance to try out some tac lights and night sights options for our firearms.

I got a chance to try out a bunch of new gear in a situation that’s kinda sorta close to a situation where I might need to use it:

Trijicon HDXR Night Sights
REALLY useful in low-light situations where you can see and recognize a target but it’s not total darkness yet, but not so useful in total darkness. If you can’t see your target, don’t shoot at it, but up until that happens, those night sights were really handy.

Streamlight TLR-1 HL
Sha-ZAM. I have this light mounted on the front of my .300BLK pistol, and it easily lit up a target 35 yards away. I’d be very comfortable engaging targets up to 50 yards away with that light, and I like where I’ve got it set up on my pistol.

Streamlight Pro-Tac 1 Rail
Not as bright as the TLR-1, but it did the job mounted on my Kel-Tec SU-16. I was wondering if it tossed out enough light to be useful with a non-illuminated low-power variable optic (a Leupold 1.5-4x), and it does. Useful to know.

Condor Plate Carrier
Not as bulky as I thought it would be. I still need to figure out the best way to store my mags in their pouches (shooting left-handed gets a little weird at times), but I could run my AR pistol with no issues while doing my best Tactical Timmy impersonation.

Gumby.

One of the practical pistol skills I need to work on is moving out of a shooting position faster and moving more rapidly between positions. Coincidentally, this is also darn close to the skill of getting your assets off the X in a defensive situation. The same abilities that may help me get through a stage quicker at a match may one day help me get out of the one of fire just a little bit quicker.

But I hope I never have to find out.

Also, I’m not getting younger, and staying flexible and healthy means a BIG deal when it comes to quality of life as I get older. Might as well start on that now.

Well This Should be Interesting

The last major match I shot was the USPSA Area 3 Multigun Championship in October, 2014. Now a lot of you are thinking “Yeah, so what, I’ve never shot a major match, ever,” but for me, shooting two major matches each and every year (The Area 2 Desert Classic and the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun) was the norm for over five years. Over the last few years though, I kinda laid off the whole competition scene, for a number of reasons:

  • Time. The range wasn’t a half-hour away from me, rather, the closest range to me with sanctioned USPSA and IDPA matches is over an hour away from my house.
  • Money. Ammo ain’t free, baby, and I haven’t had my reloading bench setup in over three years.
  • Desire. I’ve said it over and over again: I got into the shooting sports not to become Rob Leatham in my middle age, but because I recognized that they are the most-effective way to get used to that “Oh $@*#!” moment that comes before a stressful situation.
  • Utility. I’m C Class USPSA, and the skills needed to push me up higher towards B and maybe beyond aren’t necessarily the skills needed to help my family live safer in an unsafe world. Quick movement between shooting ports and fast reloads aren’t exactly in-demand outside of the square range (or are they? More on that tomorrow.), so that hasn’t been a priority for me up until now.

But that’s changing. I volunteered to work (and therefore, shoot as well) the USPSA Area 6 Championship at Okochobee in April of next year. Time to get my dry-fire game on and start shooting some warm-up matches.

 

All The Feels.

There’s a difference between myself and many of my friends, and most other gun owners out there. My friends and I have taken the time to figure out what we are doing wrong when it comes to marksmanship, and we have invested time and money into solving those problems.

That is a HUGE difference compared to most gun owners. You ask anyone on the range if “they can shoot” and nine times out of ten, the response you’ll receive, is “Sure I can shoot”.

The lack of consistent grouping on their target will tell another story, and if you ask that same person a) what they’re best and b) what they need improving on, 9 times out of ten you’ll get a blank stare, because in their mind, they can shoot, so there is no need for improvement.

That element of “I suck at doing (something), therefore, I am not going to integrate (something) into my teaching, and downplay it’s importance,” is what comes natural to most people. It’s people like me and the other members of the 1% who say “I suck at (something) and I need to train (something) so I don’t suck at it, and let others benefit from my experience.”

The problem is that having the courage to say a) I suck and b ) I need to change that is a rare commodity. We ALL have a tendency towards confirmation bias. We forget that buying decisions (and our measure of the relative value of an item) come first from our emotions. If we *feel* like we’ve got our money’s worth, we like that experience. I’m not like most people: I look for training classes that challenge me and show where I suck because I really want to BE proficient, not FEEL like I’m proficient.

The trick is giving people the feeling of proficiency and then adding in actual proficiency, without destroying their self-worth by telling them how much they suck. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL in favor of standardized measurements when it comes to firearms training and instructors who forgo the idea of using benchmarks to improve performance are foregoing pretty much all of modern educational theory.

The goal is to create lifelong students of marksmanship, not one-and-done gun owners who either think they know everything after two days of classes, or who are so demoralized by their performance in a class they never set foot in a pistol bay again.

A good percentage of the instructors I know look at firearms training as an intellectual exercise… “In this class, you will LEARN (knowledge) how to draw from a holster and blahblahblah.”

How many of them add in an element of emotion? Can you do that without treading on tactical derpitude territory and claim your students will learn to shoot like a Navy SEAL?

If someone bought a gun in order to FEEL safe, what about your class and how you talk about it enhances that feeling? What detracts from it? Are you even asking those questions of yourself and how you teach?

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1039 – 1140

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

I took the LCP][ with me to this week’s Shoot N Scoot range day at Louland Gun Range, to put another 100 rounds of Lucky Gunner’s .380ACP ammo through it. Jeff and Robyn attract a lot of new shooters to this class because it’s a low-key introduction into the world of competition that gets people used to walking around with the weight of a gun on their hip.

Plus it’s a lot of fun.

The stages are really lightweight, usually comprised of 4-5 shooting boxes and 4-6 rounds per presentation, with no memory stages and pretty much 100% steel targets. It makes for a good intro the sport, which is why I shot it with my LCP][.

The biggest issue I found was reloading, as six round mags on the LCP][ meant that I was constantly feeding in fresh mags, and I also ran into some issues with the low-power .380 rounds not having the oomph needed to drop the poppers. This wasn’t an issue, though, as this is a training event and is not for score.

All in all, another successful outing with this little Ruger. My confidence with it as a carry gun grows each time I shoot it, and I’m continually impressed with how easy it is to shoot.

Rounds Fired: 100 Rounds Winchester White Box .380 ACP

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 1139
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993
Failure to feed: Round 873

It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

Hi, my name’s Kevin, and I have a turtle draw: I hunch my shoulders up and drop my head down when I draw a pistol, and that’s affecting the speed and accuracy of my first shot. Why? To be honest, I blame the Combat Focus Shooting class I took way back in the day, where you’re taught to hunch up and hunker down as the first part of your draw stroke.

It’s affecting my speed because I’m moving more muscles than I need to in order to get my gun on-target. I don’t need to move my head, I need to move my hands and arms so my gun comes up to the level of my eyes and I have a decent enough sight picture to make the shot.

It’s affecting my accuracy because of my nearsightedness. I wear bifocals now, and part that sees close is the part at the bottom of each lens. When I turtle, because of angle of my head, I’m actually looking through the TOP of each lens, and as a result, my front sight is blurry.

Whoops.

Fortunately, a friend of mine on social media posted this video of Max Michel: Watch how his head moves during the draw.

Hint: It doesn’t.

A brief dry-fire session over the weekend with my new stance had me making consistent sub-1.5 second draws from concealment into the down zero area of an IDPA target that’s 7 yards away, including one that was darn close to one second flat.

I’ll take it.

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 938-1038

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

I’m doing a review of an accessory for the LCP2, and I took it as another opportunity to put some more rounds through this little gun. This time, rather than shoot on an improvised outdoor range, I shot in a new indoor range that’s popped up near my workplace.

The gun, as usual, was ridiculously easy to control for pocket-sized .380, and I was putting round after round after round into the center-chest area of a target 10 yards away and upper head zone of a target 7 yards away. Even those this gun is about the size of a chocolate chip cookie, based on how fast I get rounds on-target from the pocket and how accurate this little sucker is, I don’t feel underarmed when I carry it. Sure, I’d like something with a little more oomph, a few more boolits and a little more ability to reach out and touch someone at 20+ yards, but that is just not an option for me on most days of the week, so I carry a pocket gun and I learn what I can and can’t do with it.

I shot 100 rounds of Winchester White Box from Lucky Gunner on this session, and I ran into two hiccups with the LCP2: On the 37th and 56th shots on this range session, the LCP2 locked up with a Type 2 malfunction, which I was able to clear the usual way and then continued on shooting.

All in all, this was another successful range session with a gun that’s a lot of fun to shoot, and one’s that’s gone over a thousand rounds now with four malfunctions. Not bad for a gun that pushes the boundaries of both form and function.

Rounds Fired: 100 Rounds Winchester White Box .380 ACP

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 1038
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993
Failure to feed: Round 873

UPDATE: This was the gadget I was testing, the new green laser for the LCP2. An instant-on green laser on a gun this size really, really improves its utility as a fighting weapon.

So This Happened.

I am the last person you’d describe as a “Tactical Timmy.” However, a few months ago, I wound up owning a couple of soft IIIA bullet-resistant armor plates, and rather than have them sit around on a closet shelf, I bought something to carry them in. Yes, it’s Condor gear, but it will suffice for now as this is my first plate carrier and I’m still figuring out what works for me.

This will NOT be a regular use item for me. At best, it’ll sit in my safe room until needed, or taken to the range for a class. The two smaller pouches will probably contain a handheld light and a spicy treat dispenser, and I may swap out one of the rifle pouches for a tourniquet.

AR500 plate carrier

It’s a start.

Product Review: Holosun HS503C 2 MOA Circle Red Dot Sight

red dot with circle reticuleAdvantages: Always on, great reticle, long battery life
Disadvantages: Finicky battery compartment
Rating: 5 out of 5

I was shooting a 3 Gun match a few years ago, and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had forgotten to turn on my red dot sight before I placed it in the staging barrel, meaning I had to take a few extra seconds to turn it on before I proceeded to shoot the stage. This was embarrassing at a match, but potentially lethal if I needed to defend myself with my rifle.

So I decided to try out some options. First up was a Sigtac CP1 3x scope which did the job, but the reticle was far too confusing for serious work. I then swapped that out on my SU16 for the Leupold 1.5-4x scope I originally got for 3 Gun, and it’s working out just fine.

But that left out my .300 Blackout pistol., and for that, I reached out to Brownells for a Holosun HS503C 2 MOA Circle Red Dot Sight. I was particularly interested in this sight because of it’s auto-brightness, solar cell recharging capability and ridiculously long battery life.

And so far, 3 months into it, I am very impressed with this sight. The sight illumination is always pretty much spot-on, although it does have some issues when I’m in a darker spot and pointing out to a much brighter sport. The reticle itself is clear and sharp, with a 2 MOA center that’s surrounded by a 65 MOA circle. I found that the circle fit neatly inside the torso of a standard USPSA target at 40 yards, making  rapid shots on close targets a breeze, and the 2 MOA dot was a nice, round circle, which, because of my astigmatism, doesn’t happen all that often for me.

I can’t speak to the ruggedness of the sight, as I’ve really not torture-tested it in anyway, but I did run into a spot of trouble when it came time to slide in a battery for the first time (and by “spot of trouble” I mean “I actually had to read the directions to see how things were supposed to work”). The battery itself, after three months of being left constantly on, is still going strong, where by this time, the battery in my Bushnell TRS-25 would have been a useless lump of metal.

I likey.

Bottom line is, if you’re looking for a 1x red dot for defensive or competition purposes, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better combination of features and pricing than this little sucker, and it’ll be my first-choice for such things from here on out.


FCC Notice: Brownells gave me this to review, not Holosun. Did I write a glowing review of it because of their generosity? Heck no, I wrote good things about it because it’s a good optic!
Duh.