Second Report

First, the bad news. The speed demon had me it it’s claws again, and I blew the Dot Torture Drill. 

Dot Torture Drill (3 yards): 40 out of 50 

Whoops

But despite going backwards, I was able to narrow my focus more on maintaining a good front sight picture and accuracy, which resulted in better El Presidente times. 

Run P07 1 P07 2 CZ75 1 CZ75 2 CZ75 3 Sccy 1 Sccy 2
Target One A B C D 2A D M 3A C 3C M 4A 2A D M 3A C
Target Two 4A 3C M 2D A C 2A 2C 3A C D A B D M 3A B
Target Three A 2C M 3A D 2C 2D 2C 2D 4A A C D M 2A B C

             
Time 8.48 9.13 8.57 8.16 10.42 12.29 11.92
A’s 6 5 4 2 10 4 8
B’s 1         1 2
C’s 3 3 4 7 1 1 2
D’s 1 2 4 2 1 3  
M’s 1 2   1   3  
Points 33 16 36 23 54 -1 52
Score 3.89 1.75 4.2 2.82 5.18 -0.08 4.36
Draw 1.89 1.79 2.07 1.82 2.16 2.71 2.81
Reload 2.79 3.71 2.61 2.6 2.88 3.99 3.81
Avg. Split 0.38 0.4 0.39 0.37 0.54 0.56 0.53

2 runs with P07, 3 runs with the CZ75, and 2 with my current carry gun, a Sccy CPX-1 (more on that gun later). 

Run #2 was done for speed, run #3 for accuracy. Overall, my scores are MUCH improved from my last practice, so I have reason to be hopeful. 

And I wanted to shoot my carry gun. It doesn’t do me much good to be a whiz with a megasuperdeluxeautoblaster competition gun and then fall to pieces when I need my pistol the most. My setup was my CPX-1 in an IWB holster concealed by a t-shirt and a spare mag in my offhand jeans pocket. The first run was for speed, the second for accuracy, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. 

Sccy CPX-1

The Sccy has been a bit of a problem child for me: It’s gone back to the factory three times, and each time they’ve sent a new gun back to me along with two extra mags. Great service, but I prefer guns that have good warranties but never need them, and that’s why I got the P07. 

 

Heat gun

“My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.” 

– The Ghost, Hamlet Act I Scene V 

“Ditto.” 

– Me 

Off to shoot the Thursday Night Steel at Phoenix Rod and Gun. 

It’s 112 degrees here right now. If the heat causes a round cook off in the chamber, I don’t think I should be DQ’d. 

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Sometimes good enough is good enough

“Know thy enemy, know thyself, and you will be invincible.” 

– Sun Tzu

When I was a professional photographer, once someone found out what I did for a living, I’d usually at a party, “Say, I want to take better pictures, what kind of camera should I get?” 

My answer to this was always “Well, that depends. How many rolls of film do you shoot each week?”, which would usually end that part of the conversation as the would-be photographer grapples with the concept of shooting an entire 36-shot roll of film each week, much less more than one, where it was not uncommon for me to burn through two dozen rolls of HP5+ or TMZ covering just one high school basketball game. 

The point I was trying to make is that it’s not the camera that limits the photographer, it’s his or her ability to put in the time necessary to realize their vision and their desire to push their creativity that limits a photographer.

Looking back on this now, I realize my answer to the wannabe photogs was/is snarky and condescending: People want to take better pictures not to become the next Mark Seliger, they want to capture memories that are more evocative and aesthetic, something all of us share. 

Which brings me to practical shooting. I’m blessed/cursed to call Rio Salado Sportsmans Club my home range. It’s loaded to the gills with USPSA Grandmasters. It’s a blessing in that each match is challenging and exciting, but each match is meant to be challenging and exciting to shooters like Rob Leatham, Vic Pickett and Matt Burkett. 

This can (and does) discourage beginning shooters. Imagine cranking off the best golf drive in your life and then have Tiger Woods shoot behind you and out-drive you by 100 yards. 

The upside to this, though, is that in the words of The Chairman Of The Board, if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere. And  another great thing about shooting at Rio is the opportunity to participate and shoot in some 1st-class matches like the Desert Classic and Mystery 3 Gun, which bring in shooters from around the country. I get to meet some of the best shooters in the world, and the prize tables for each match can be really good

All of this explains why I’m shooting a laid-back, easy-to-shoot steel match with friends on a regular basis rather than the more difficult but less friendly USPSA matches at Rio. I like Rio: I do all my practicing there and I’ll still shoot a USPSA match there as often as I can, but right now, it’s important that I believe I can shoot well and do so when needed, even in the toughest of competitions. My practice sessions are there for me to prepare me physically, the steel matches are there to prepare me mentally. My standard for success needs to be me and the progress I have made, not the best shooters in the world can do.

First Report

I suck. But I already knew that because I’m a D Class shooter and not, in the words of Brad Engmann, a USPSA Grandmaster. 

Dot Torture Drill (3 Yards) 43/50

Dot Torture Drill Results

Seems like I need to work on my draw from holster and my strong-hand only shooting. And that trigger jerk is STILL there. Grrrr. 

El Presidente: 2 Runs

Actually, 4 runs, as I wanted to get in some trigger time with my brand-new CZ P07. 

Run CZ75 #1 CZ75 #2 P07 #1 P07 #2
Target One A, C, 2M 4A 2A, 2C A, 3C
Target Two A, D, 2M 2A, C, D 3A, D 3A, C
Target Three 2A, C, M 2A, 2C 2A, 2C 2A, 2C

Time 9.10 11.43 10.77 11.16
A’s 4 8 7 6
B’s
C’s 2 3 4 6
D’s 1 1 1
M’s 5
Points -23 50 48 48
Score -2.53 4.37 4.46 4.3
Draw 2.33 3.08 2.5 2.88
Reload 2.61 2.61 2.13 2.6
Avg. Split 0.42 0.58 0.53 0.57

That first run was a disaster: I’m shooting too fast and missing, and half-second splits are way too slow. What do I need to improve on? Everything, but I need to learn to take my time and at least glimpse the front sight before I shoot most of all. On second run, I made sure to get a flash sight picture on each shot, and it sure made a difference

It could be worse, I guess. Everyone, with the possible exception of Rob Leatham, had to start at the bottom and learn this stuff along the way, and this is my first real attempt to get better at a sport I’ve been participating in for over two years. 

The good news is my CZ P07 is just fine right out of the box, which is very comforting to me, as I’ll soon start using that as my everyday carry pistol. 

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Systeming the game

So, why USPSA and not IDPA? I’ve shot IDPA and liked it, (although the only time I’ve DQ’ed myself (so far) was at an IDPA match), but there are three reasons why I’m going with USPSA instead of IDPA. 

1. My home range (Rio Salado) doesn’t have an IDPA match

2. I like the freestyle run-and-gun format of IPSC/USPSA more than IDPA’s shorter, more controlled stages. 

3. The Desert Classic is a USPSA match, and the whole reason I’m doing this is so I don’t embarrass myself at this year’s match. 

I shoot Production in USPSA, and I’m NOT a big fan of Open class, so there are few practical differences between how I shoot a USPSA match and how I shoot an IDPA match. IDPA teaches good use of cover, IPSC teaches on-your-feet thinking a little better, IMO. Both are good at providing artificial stress, which is the reason why I got into this.

This is not to say that IDPA isn’t worthwhile or I won’t ever shoot it ever ever. Quite the opposite. Here’s proof. 

P07

Yep, it’s another CZ, a brand-new, dead-stock P07 Duty, courtesy of Armed American Arsenal. This will soon be my new daily carry pistol and it’ll also serve as my IDPA gun. I’m putting it through it’s paces right now, and once I’ve put 500 or so rounds through it, I’ll team it up with some kind of tuckable IWB holster (still figuring out which one. If you make hybrid holsters and need a website, call me 🙂 UPDATE: I went with a Crossbreed Supertuck for the Springfield XD). Once I get that all done, the P07 will be my new my day off /after work sidearm, and because I firmly believe in “fight like you train, train like you fight”, I’ll also use it in IDPA starting next year, probably the Tuesday night matches at the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club. But that’ll wait ’til I get to where I’m going in USPSA.

And as for clays, that’s on the list as well. I have a 20 gauge 870 Wingmaster that is just BEGGING to be turned loose on Rio’s sporting clays course.  

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Site picture

Not a typo, rather, bay three of the Phoenix Rod and Gun Club

Looks nice, but what you can’t see is the heat. 105 degrees in the shade when we started shooting tonight. And by “we” I mean me, Danno from Sandcastle Scrolls and Capitalist Pig and Mz. Vast Ring Wing Conspiracy from Great Satan Inc

This was the first match I’ve shot when there’s been somebody I know socially to chum along with, and it won’t be my last. It makes a fun sport even better, and I highly, highly recommend it. 

And I shot pretty good, too, which makes it even more better. 

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