Dang, I’d forgotten how much fun that sort of thing is. I kinda sucked at the 300 yard shots ’cause I shoot my AR with iron sights, but I did surprisingly well on the shotgun stages even though my scattergun is a pump action and carries one less round than most everyone else shooting tactical iron.
One burr that gets under my saddle is people taking pictures of themselves holding guns.
There are two three times when it’s ok to take a picture of someone holding a gun.
– When you are posing with your trophy/trophies from a successful hunt (Mosquitos do NOT count)
– When you are taking a group photo of your military or law enforcement combat team.
– During a course of fire at firearms competition.
I have exactly one picture of me holding a camera, despite being around some really neat cameras for fifteen years (if you ever get a chance to pick up a Sinar P2, I heartily recommend them). To a professional photographer, a camera is a tool, as worthy of special recognition as a belt sander or joiner is to a carpenter. Sure, there’s some really nice cameras out there and yes, we get excited about the latest and great thing to come down the pike, but by and large, the nice qualities a camera might have is a result of their functionality and not from their innate beauty (Although the Contax G1 is just *gorgeous* and really useful. I digress.).
This is also my attitude with my guns. I have some guns that are really pretty to look at and some that are not, but I judge each gun I own (with one exception) according to it’s ability to do the task that I require of it, from busting clays to plinking to IPSC to 300 yard shots. The exception to the rule is the M1903 that’s in the photo I linked above: It’s not capable of being shot as the receivers from very early Springfields weren’t heat-treated properly, so it’s job is to be a family heirloom.
And no, I’m not a fan of “barbecue guns“, and I’m not a fan of tactical-for-tactical’s sake either: If a rail helps, use it, if it doesn’t, leave it off. I just don’t understand how we in the gun community (rightfully) criticize the anti-gunners for turning guns into killing machines possessed of their own will and then turn around and elevate what was and is a tool, a (very) refined blunt instrument into an object d’art and statement of our self-esteem.
Whoever was in charge of telling just how much fun it is to shoot steel plates with a .22 semi-automatic pistol?
Wow, was that fun. Nothing fancy, just a little practice with my S+W M22A before next month’s .22 match at Rio. Three plates at ten yards, two round on each, but wow, before I knew, it, I had put a hundred round through the little sucker and could have plinked for hours longer.
Seriously, if you’ve not done it, do it. Most fun I’ve had with a firearm in my hand in a long, long time.
On a semi-related note, I made a had’jj over to the local Cabelas (it’s over in Glendale, Arizona, which is the back end of beyond for an East Valley guy like myself) and was shocked, shocked to discover they didn’t stock spare magazines for my S+W M22a.
I’d a bet money otherwise. Genuinely surprised about that. Oh well, shipping costs from MidwayUSA are about the same as what the local sales tax would have been, I just have a wait a bit more.
“90% of the game is mental, and the other half is physical.”
– Yogi Berra
I took a different approach to how I approached the Dot Torture drill this time. Rather than worrying about trigger press and front sight picture, I visualized the result I wanted to see, and then just shot.
And it made a difference.
Dot Torture Drill: 46 out of 50.
And it could have been perfect if I had kept my mind in the game.
Thinking about the end result is far more natural for me than thinking about the process. When I was a shooter (of photos), I began every assignment with a pre-visualization: I saw the photo I wanted in my mid first, the rest was getting it done. Ansel Adams was the master of this; the Zone System is nothing more than a way of defining how you want the final print to appear before you even set up your tripod.
If I can see it , I can do it, and I’ve known that this is the way that I think since my senior year of High School, when I’d get C’s in Algebra but A+’s in Geo-Trig. However, this is not how I’ve been training up to this point: I’ve been relying on the slow, methodical process of analysis so typical to left-brain thinking. However, I’m a right-brain thinker, and I learn via the creative process.
Now, the fact is, the actual methodology is pretty much the same: Drills and practice routines are still a part of both disciplines, but how I approach training will change. Instead of relying on a slow progress and analytical thinking, I have to wait (and trust) for the “Eureka!” moments, and then build upon that.
The first of which was today, when I remembered how I think.
El Presidente Scores
2A C D
Not a lot to say here, except that I’m happy that I’m not seeing a lot of swings in my scores. They may be low, but they’re not shifting into the utter horrible on occasion
On a June evening that had cooled to a mere 110 degrees, more than a dozen women waited for a timed competition as Carol Ruh, president of the Arizona Women’s Shooting Associates, went over safety rules.
The group’s oldest member is 89. The youngest is Susan Bitter Smith’s 16-year-old daughter, who has brought her AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and her American history homework to the range. Some look like anyone’s grandmother — silvery hair possibly just styled at the salon, pastel-colored golf shirts, pressed slacks, orthopedically correct shoes — but for the handguns on their hips.
Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!! Oh noes!!!1!! Pistol-packin’ mommas on every street corner! No permit for concealed carry! The streets must be overflowing with blood!
Eeerrr, not so much.
But gun rights advocates say that the District’s gun control laws — not to mention prohibitions against murder — did not prevent a drive-by shooting in March that involved illegal weapons. They also say that despite having nearly 158,000 people with concealed weapons in Arizona, their homicide rate of 6.3 per 100,000 is lower than the District’s, 31.4. That’s true of Phoenix, too, where the homicide rate is 10.5 per 100,000.
It’s almost as if criminals break the law or something.
I’ve filled in a huge gaping hole in my collection and acquired a .22 semi-auto.
Nothing spectacular about it, no 1 1/2 ounce trigger pull, no holographic sight, just a plain jane S+W M22, lousy front sight and all. I’ll be taking care of that front sight issue with a little bit of bright orange nail polish, and I’ll be using this to compete in the regular Sunday .22 match at Rio each month.
Previous to starting The Quest, I essentially hadn’t done any competitive shooting at all in the past year, aside from staff days prior to the Desert Classic and the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun. Therefore, I consider this a baseline to grow on rather than the be-all and end-all of my scores in USPSA.
The practice is working. Even with that long sabbatical from practical shooting, I shot better than this last classifier than the any one before it. A little more accuracy practice and a little more discipline can get me there, I think.
I think my goal at my next practice session should be to shoot my Presidente’s as cleanly as possible, ignoring speed and dropping every single shot (if I can) into the A Zone.