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. 

 

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. 

More …

The Gun Nut

Sooner or later, your friends will find out you’re into the shooting sports, and this will lead to one of four reactions: 

1. “Huh. I never knew that about you.”, followed by a gradually distancing of the relationship as your friend doesn’t like being around a “gun nut”. 

2. “Huh, I never knew that about you”, followed by a normal continuation of the relationship as your friend thinks that the shooting sports is just another hobby, akin to building ships in bottles or needlepoint

3. “Cool. Whaddaya shoot?” (The best outcome). 

4. “Huh. I never knew that about you. Say, I’ve been thinking about getting a gun for the home and…” 

That last answer is the trickiest. Giving advice to another person on what gun they should buy is kinda like married people giving dating advice to a single person. Yes, I know what works for me, but that’s only because I’ve made some mistakes, thought about things, and put a lot of time and effort into selecting what I shoot. 

Larry Mudgett lays it out very nicely

A PGB (Potential Gun Buyer) should start by asking himself several questions. What do I want this gun to do for me? Is it for self defense? Will I carry it concealed? How large are my hands? Will I seek professional training? Once trained, how often will I practice? Do I know what level of recoil I can tolerate? Who else in my home will have access to this firearm? Would my spouse have the necessary skills to use this firearm? Once you have made this list you should prioritize your requirements. 

Unfortunately for the PGB, there isn’t a whole lot of resources out there for guiding such decisions. There’s a lot of places for raw data, such as gun manufacturers websites, online gun stores and gun magazines, but very few places that have a list of guns in a certain price range and with a list of the the pros and cons of each, and worst of all is the gun-owning friend him/herself, who has the tendency to evangelize what they shoot and like to any all (buyCZs!:) ) around them. 

That’s why I always, always, recommend that a PGB goes to a gun range that has a rental counter before making their first gun purchase, and ideally, go with a friend who can steady their nerves and help guide (but not direct) a PGB through the process. Spending $50 and trying out a few guns before they buy will help calm nerves and give a sense of empowerment: It’ll be the the PGB who makes the decision of what they’re buying based on their experience and their priorities, not someone else handing them a gun and saying “Here, this is the gun for you.” 

Owning a gun for personal protection is fundamentally an act of self-reliance: It is taking your safety and the safety of your loved ones literally in your hands. Anything we as the shooting community can do to extend that sense of self-empowerment to the selection and buying process can only add new shooters to our ranks. 

More …

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.  

More …

The Journey Begins

A long, long time ago, on a pistol range far, far away… 

Like, say, 2 years ago at the Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club

A few years ago, after a pair of brutal home invasions in the Phoenix area, my wife and I decided that we needed to improve the protection of our home and family. We installed a burglar alarm, and I bought a pistol for home defence. 

I decided on a CZ75 after trying all the 9mm pistols at Caswell’s Indoor Range. I tried Glocks, S&W’s, Springfields and my groups were the tightest with the CZ, so I went to a gun show the next week and bought a pre-B CZ75 from a dealer there for $400. 

Then I went to get training. I took the NRA FIrst Steps class at Rio and learned about something called “Practical Pistol”, and it looked like a good way to get myself used to using a handgun in a semi-stressfful environment. 

This intrigued me, as I knew I was good enough to shoot well at a static target on a firing range, but I also knew that wasn’t any guarantee that I’d be able to shoot well when the lives of my loved ones depended on it, and USPSA looked like a good way to learn how to shoot fast and accurately as fast as possible. 

So I gave it a try. And I liked it. A lot. I shot about once every other month, and I got to the point where I became a “D” Class shooter. Better than the lower 2% of shooters out there, but there’s lot of shooters better than me. 

Classification Bracket Percentages

Grand Master – 95 to 100%
Master – 85 to 94.9%
A – 75 to 84.9%
B –  60 to 74.9%
C – 40 to 59.9%
D – 2 to 40%

That’s got to change. And that’s what this blog is about.