I Am A Expert (Ex-Spurt?) Pistol Shooter.

I Am A Expert (Ex-Spurt?) Pistol Shooter.

I decided to put my money where my memes are, and shoot the Marine Corps Combat Pistol Program Qualifier with my carry gear, from concealment.

Now, as I shoot a 9mm Shield with a max magazine capacity of 8 rounds* and not an M9A1 with 15 rounds, I had to alter the ready magazine routine a bit and shoot from multiple mags. Also, I didn’t score, paste and repair in-between strings because I wanted to see my results all at once.

And what were those results? First, a review of what the levels of Qualification actually are.

Expert: 364/400
Sharpshooter: 324/400
Marksman: 264/400

I shot a 376, and qualified as Expert.

Now Kevin, I hear you say, there are only two holes outside of the 10 point scoring zone on that target. How could you have scored only 376 and not 396? Well, the truth is, on the last string of fire on Stage One, the one with the Tactical Emergency Reload, I got my cover garment (a loose t-shirt) stuck on my tourniquet pouch and it took me 14 seconds to make the reload which resulted in two shots that were on-target but outside of the par time and therefore count as misses.

Whoops.

Other than that, I found the par times were ridiculously long for each course of fire. I didn’t quite shoot each string in half the required time, but I was shooting them in 2/3rds the time or less. I also learned a valuable lesson about practicing with your carry gear: Practice with ALL of it, rather than just the shootey bits. My t-shirt got hung up on something (my tourniquet) that I’ve never had on me in a class or at a match.

Lesson learned.

Knowing that I qualified at the Expert level is an ego boost, and it’s potentially a boost in the courtroom as well if I shoot it under supervision. It also gives me another baseline to measure my progress on my ability to defend myself with a pistol, and gives me a platform to reach up even higher.

 

* 9 rounds if I’m using the magazine with the MagGuts +1 follower.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 701-800

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 701-800

I made a trip last week up to the local public range (the official name for it is the “Cecil M. Webb Shooting Range,” but I like to call it the “Dunning-Krueger Exhibition and Fairgrounds”) to sight in a new rifle scope (more on that next week) and to put some more rounds through the Colt Competition 1911.

I decided to up the workout I was putting on this gun and shot 100 rounds of Federal Aluminum-cased 230gr .45ACP FMJ through it, and because the range bans “rapid fire” (and with good reason, I might add…) I worked on one-handed shooting and accurate shot placement.

All 100 rounds of ammo fed into and out of the pistol with no issues, except that my arms wound up covered in bits and flakes of charred paint or something similar. How much of this is inside the gun and how it will affect performance is anybody’s guess.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
100 Rounds Federal Aluminium 230gr FMJ .45ACP

Results:

No issues.

Thanks again to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.

“My Dad Was A Cop. He Taught Me How To Shoot.”

“My Dad Was A Cop. He Taught Me How To Shoot.”

Oh really?

Cops have a lot of jobs to do, and shooting people is only one (very small) job among many. I’m ridiculously happy that the cops are around and they should be celebrated for what they do, but chances are “firearms instructor” is not one of the jobs they perform on a regular basis.

Speaking of trust icons, let’s talk about the “I know how to shoot, I was in the military” canard. Yes, you may know how to lay down suppressive fire with an M240 Bravo, but that skill (thankfully) doesn’t have a whole lot of application in the civilian world.

Pistols? Pistols have a LOT of application in the civilian world, and the standards for excellence in the military for pistols is not so excellent.

The new Marine Combat Pistol Program Qualifier is designed to be a more “real world” qualifier than their previous one which was pretty much just a bullseye match in olive drab.

Here’s the course of fire for the new qualifier.

Yes, you have FIVE SECONDS to draw and shoot two rounds into center-mass of a target that’s seven yards away, and the rest of the par times are equally ridiculous. If you’re any kind of competition shooter (like D Class or better) or have taken a decent two-day pistol course, you should have no trouble qualifying as Expert on this course of fire.

And it’s not like the target they use is extra-small, either. The 10 Zone, the highest-scoring part of the target is bigger than the already generous scoring area of a USPSA target, and compared its a veritable broad side of a barn compared to the IDPA target in the photo to the right. Heck, I’d bet that 3/4ths of my friends on social media could qualify as Expert using half the allotted time for the drill, and more than a few of them could easily do it in half the time and at double the required distance.

Are their good, nay, great military and law enforcement shooters? Of course there are. Does being in the military or law enforcement automatically make you a great shooter? Probably not.

 

 

 

Match Report, Louland Practical Pistol, January 11

Match Report, Louland Practical Pistol, January 11

As part of commitment to shoot more matches this year, I was able to squeeze in the Thursday night practical match at Louland Gun Club last week.

It’s a very lightweight match, usually all-steel courses of fire that have designated shooting boxes and less than 30 rounds apiece. One bay, though, is set up as a more typical USPSA stage, and that’s what we’ll look at here.

Stage Briefing
Targets A and B must be engaged from shooting area 1, else wise it’s shoot ’em as you see ’em. Target C back there is a right bastard of a shot that can only be engaged from the gap in the shooting area at the top left.

All in all, a fun little stage with a mix of hoser shots and a tight, tough shots with no-shoots.

How’d I do? Not bad.

Some things I like here:

  • I’m up and running as I do the reload. Not much hesitation at all, and I am up and on-target as quick as I can.
  • I shot the two targets at the end of the shooting area on the move, and then the last two as quickly as the ones before them. In fact, on the waveforms in the audio portion of the video, the spaces between all four shots are pretty much the same.
  • Most competitors shot the first two targets on the left side in the main shooting area from one spot, then moved up a few feet to take the partials behind the barrel. I figured out that I could split the difference and engage all four from one spot, saving me a few seconds on the stage.

Some things I don’t like here:

  • All that time shooting three shots at that first target, and I went Alpha-Mike. I figure I must have jerked the first shot (Ah, the joys of a DA/SA gun…), hit the second shot and then got a little anxious on the last one and tossed it off into the bar somewhere.
  • Everything looks good, but everything looks… slow. If I could speed everything up by a third, I’d be happy.

All in all, a good run for me. Had I not thrown that Mike, I’d have been the top non-Open shooter. As it is, I wound up third amongst iron sight shooters.

Gumby.

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

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.

 

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1039 – 1140

Ruger LCP2 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

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.

Attention, Practical Shooting Organizations.

Attention, Practical Shooting Organizations.

USPSA, IDPA, 3 Gun Nation, Rimfire Challenge, the whole lot of you.

Now is your chance.

The NFL is self-immolating itself, and the NBA and Major League Baseball are right behind them. They’ve decided that 50% of the country shouldn’t be watching them play sports, so all of you have a great opportunity to step into the void.

How many of your top-level competitors are former military? How many are current law enforcement?

What are the odds that people who are ticked off by the shenanigans of the NFL would look up to the patriotism of such people?

Is there is a chance that 50% of the country might like to watch a sport where athletes are really and truly role models?

Get to work. You have until the NFL pre-season starts next year to make some hay off of this.

And if you need a hand getting it done, my email address is over there —>.