Practice the reset. People talk about the DA-to-SA transition but really if you think about it, every single time you reset the trigger it is going to SA mode. So once you learn how to reset the trigger properly, you always follow that up with a light, short, smooth SA trigger stroke regardless of whether the previous shot was DA or SA. While a lot of people get wrapped up on trying to guarantee they reset as short as possible, the most important thing is to maintain contact between your trigger finger and the trigger throughout the string of fire. When people let their fingers move all the way forward to where the trigger would be in DA mode, they lose contact with the trigger and become far more likely to slap it on the next shot.
Learning to reset the trigger correctly has made the biggest difference so far in my shooting. It (mostly) got rid of my trigger jerk and dramatically improved my accuracy. Learning to ride the trigger from *BANG* to *click* is quick and easy and should be the next thing a shooter learns after “aim, breathe, squeeze”.
We’ve had a bunch of good, small 9mm’s arrive on gun store shelves as of late. The Ruger LC9, the Sig P239, the S+W Shield and the Beretta Nano are all first-rate and teeny-tiny defensive pistols that are VERY popular right now.
And if you want to compete with any of those guns, your choice is IDPA BUG (BackUp Gun) matches …
… and that’s about it.
I’m not a big fan of BUG gun matches because they’re one-size-fits all. To quote from the IDPA Rulebook,
All CoF for the Back-Up Gun Division must be limited to five (5) rounds maximum per string (no reloads on the clock) to allow autos and revolver shooters to compete equally.
Which kinda sucks if you own a small 9mm that holds more than 5 rounds, as 5 round stages are BORING.
So BUG matches are 5 rounds only, which leaves pocket 9mm owners without a match to shoot. Even a comparatively short 14 round IDPA stage is a looooooong time to be shooting with one these little guns (even if you can talk your way into shooting in whatever division you manage to hornswaggle yourself into) and even if you do, you’ll most likely run out of ammo before you run out of targets if you shoot an IDPA stage with these guns.
How do we “train like we fight, fight like we train” if there’s a dearth of competitions out there in which to train? Maybe something like a Steel Challenge or Bianchi cup for BUG guns, where each match consists of the four same stages all the time, and those stages would be designed to reflect a variety of “Real world” scenarios.
Something like this…
Limited Vickers count. The idea here is to practice retreating to cover and the need to do a “failure to stop drill” when needed. I specifically avoided the “Put two on T1, three on T2” type of briefing because we just don’t know when we’ll have to do a failure to stop, and leaving it up to the shooter to decide is more reflective of that fact.
An “Oops, what the heck is going on here!” stage, designed to help with opening doors while armed, movement and use of cover.
Again, a “Oh, crap, what’s going on!” stage. I hate stages that are supposed to represent “surprise” real-world scenarios but then have you start out facing your target, knowing where everything is in relationship with where you are.
And yeah, there’s no distances written on any of these stages, as these are just me spitballin’ what a standardized defensive match format might look like, but figure 10 yards as a maximum distance for any target.
So that’s just one idea I had to get all those pocket 9mm’s out of their boxes and on to the range. IDPA was created before sales of pocket guns went through the ceiling, so their idea of a “defensive” gun hasn’t caught up (yet) with what we’re carrying, so there’s an opportunity out there for “IDPA V2” to accomodate gun owners and their brand new pocket pistols.
The job search ain’t goin’ so well, so it was off to the range for some recoil therapy.
Dot Torture Drill: 48 out of 50.
Yeah baby! Not bad for my second time trying this drill with my dead-stock CZ P07, and things could have been better had I paid attention on that center dot.
El Presidenté Drills
I blame those two Mikes on the P07 runs on me getting too anxious to see my hits on the last shot. Besides that, though, I had my best score ever with the P07, and my fastest reload ever with the CZ75. Also, my split times were durn close to each other with both guns.
I may not be competing much as of late due to my funemployment, but at least my skills aren’t withering.
And for giggles, I ran through a F.A.S.T. drill at the end of the session (yeah, I know, you’re supposed to shoot them “cold”, without any warmup).
This is just one website that posts stuff from Facebook from one city. How many thugs are there that DON’T post on Facebook, and how many other cities of similar size are there in the U.S.?
That’s a scary thought.
Also interesting/frightening is the weaponry these maroons are posing with. Yes, there is the obligatory Hi-Points and Bersas, but there’s also AR-15’s and Saigas in the mix. If this is what the cops are dealing with, maybe there is something to this militarization of the police thing after all…
What’s truly pathetic about all of this is how much of what is put up on Facebook and elsewhere is just posing. They want the world to know they’re not to be messed with and they are richer/stronger/more heavily armed than anyone else.
Fun fact. I don’t pose. Ever. Even when I have reason to do so. To quote Vince Lombardi, act like you’ve been there before.
This works right up to the point we encounter someone who’s used to social violence, and because his world is not our own, he becomes a predator to us. To him, it’s a way of life. To us, it’s a threat against our life, and our response may not be what he’s used to, resulting in a chaos situation that may go quite badly for our would-be predator.
I will not be a threat to others, but will not have my family’s lives threatened. I owe them that much.
Put yourself in George Zimmerman’s shoes for a second. You’ve had to use your gun in a situation that you perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be a threat to your life.
As far as I can tell, Mr. Zimmerman has no firearms training outside what is mandated by the Florida CCW law (if I’m wrong, link it in the comments). More training might have told him that following a suspicious person is a very bad idea if you’re not a cop. More training would have warned hm that it wasn’t his job to detain Treyvon Martin, it was his job to keep his family safe. More training, and Treyvon Martin might still be alive and George Zimmerman would have his life back.
I am not advocating compulsory training. I am saying, though, that we practice and practice and practice hitting the bullseye. Maybe a little practice dodging legal bullets would come in handy as well.
A few months ago, I read an excellent online article on spotting the differences between someone engaged in casual conversation and someone about to commit a violent assault. It was two or three page post or PDF with photos of a “typical” parking lot encounter, with specific tips to look for regarding feet position and nervous glances and was the best resource I’ve found so far to point out what to be on guard for out on the street.
And, like an idiot, I didn’t bookmark it.
Has anyone else seen something like this, and if so, can you post a link?