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.

 

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.

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 —>.

Conflict Of Interests

First off, kudos to Glock for turning the fifth time they’ve had to update Perfection™ into a major gun event.

It’s a good idea, and a great way to get the fanboys excited for something outrageously innovative, like sights that are actually useful or getting rid of those STUPID finger grooves.

But.

It’s also the same night as the Macgregor-Mayweather fight.

Think that a large part of Glock’s target market is going to more interested in the fight than being the first to shoot a new gun?

Me too.

Update: We have photos of the new gun! It’s, umm, well, a Glock! Without finger grooves! And with a high-tech innovative feature called “an ambidextrous slide release”.

Something that other guns have had for decades prior to this, but now, they’ve perfected it!

Perfect 5th.

What So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Gaming the Crap Out A Stage?

One thing I’ve noticed about the practical shooting sports is that people consider them to be Very Serious Endeavors and Should Not Be Taken Lightly.

I swear, some people look at a pistol bay like it as if it was a church, and we’re not playing  a game, we’re meditating and seeking to unite our souls with the spirit of St. Cooper.

And then we wonder we newcomers seem to feel intimidated when they come to a match.

Why not embrace the gaming element every once in a while? Better still, go full happy fun run and gun in an event that serves as introduction to the sport, and leave the target overlays and rules lawyering for another day.

Simple, easy, lightweight stages with a low round count, lots of steel and no timer are perfect for this. The point isn’t get people thinking about their time, it’s getting people thinking about what they’re doing on a stage, and how much stinkin’ fun it can be to shoot well on a stage. The emphasis shouldn’t be about the score, it should be about the fun.

Getting New Shooters To The Range Is Only Half The Battle.

Getting them to shoot is the other half.

Put yourself in the shoes of a new gun owner. You’ve just bought a pistol for self defense. You keep it safely loaded at home, and you want to start carrying it more often, because darn it, the neighborhood with that terrific sandwich shop is getting rougher and rougher, and the nephew of your friend down the street got jumped by a pack of thugs and beat up pretty badly.

You’re scared. You want to feel safe. You know carrying a gun and using it well might help keep you alive on a very, very bad day. Your CCW instructor told you that competition is a good way to help prepare your mind to think clearly and use a gun effectively under stressful situations, so you go out to the local range with your gun, your holster, a few mags and a couple of boxes of ammo.

What do you find when you arrive there?

Match directors, how do you handle someone who shows up with a Ruger LCR in .22Magnum or a Sig P238 at a USPSA match? Do you turn them away, or do you have them shoot for no score? Do you want newcomers to enjoy the sport and learn from the experience, or do you want enforce the rules above everything else?

And why are competitions that are .22LR only considered to be an effective on-ramp for new gun owners? That new gun owner just spent HOURS of deliberation before buying that Glock 19/Sig P320/M&P/P10C* they now own. Then, when they reach out for advice, we tell them that the best way for a beginner to learn how to shoot under stress is to buy a .22 pistol, something that a gun store clerk has just told them (over and over and over again) is not a effective self-defense tool. It’s like teaching people to ride a motorcycle by handing them a bicycle. Is bicycle riding fun? Of course it is! Is it the same as riding a motorcycle? Well, sorta, but not really.

I’m not bagging on the .22 sports, they are a LOT of fun, and I love shooting my red-dotted M22A. However, the .22 sports appeal to people who already have a .22 they can compete with, not to someone who spent hours and hours agonizing over their first handgun purchase.


* Like I’m NOT going to add in a CZ to that list.

Roots Radicals.

Listen to Michael Bane talk about what drove the birth of Gun Culture 2.0.

Learning the rules of gun safety… competition… drawing from a holster… moving with a gun… concealed carry…

We’ve won. Gun Culture 2.0 is now the dominant force inside the gun industry. Personal safety is now the main reason why people buy guns. Now that we’ve won the war, what are we doing to win the peace? What is the gun industry doing to keep the victory going?

What organization is out there doing the things to get people involved in their sport? That podcast is from 2011. In 2011, the iPhone 4 came out. Snapchat didn’t exist, and neither did Facebook Live.

In the past six years, what sport has encouraged growth by changing what they offer new gun owners*? What is the on-ramp to IDPA**? Where is the organization that is will do step up and help people gain enough confidence with their new gun that they a) carry it and b) compete with it?

‘Cause brother, I am looking for it, and it is nowhere to be found.

And yes, the title is yet another musical reference.


* NOT new shooters. There is a difference. Shooters insinuates that they shoot their gun on a regular basis. This is different from a new gun owner who buys a talisman of ballistic self-protection and keeps it unloaded under their bed.

** I will throat-punch the first person who says “Steel Challenge!” or some other sport where you stand still and shoot targets with a custom .22 is the answer to this question. Those sports are how we get people who have a safe full of guns out to the range, not how we get someone who’s just bought a Glock 19 as their first gun.