Second Report

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

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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The Scandal That Wasn’t

The scandal that wasn’t

Quick update: I posted a gun-related article up over on the mothership.

Oh, and by the way, you know what’s another word for an “uncompromising” political advocacy group? 

“Ineffective”. 

Join Gun Owners of America if you want, but the one thing that GOA leadership and the Brady Bunch agree on is that the NRA sucks. 

Also, if GOA is so effective, how come the NRA is the anti-gunner’s boogeyman and not Gun Owners of America? 

You fear what can hurt you, that’s why. 

Words To Live By

Words to live by

“If I were to sum up what I’ve learned in 35 years of service, it’s improvise, improvise, improvise.”

“Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.” 

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” *

“An untrained or uneducated Marine .  .  . deployed to the combat zone is a bigger threat to mission accomplishment .  .  . than the enemy.” **

General Mattis, Commander, CENTCOM 

* Translation for civilians: The Cooper Colour Code – Learn it, live it, love it 

** Translation for civilians: Get some training if you’re going to carry, or else you’re just a walking ND (or worse) waiting to happen. 

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Sometimes Good Enough Is Good Enough

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.

Wait, What?

Wait, what?

The United States observes International Small Arms Destruction Day

The United States is pleased to join the international community in observing International Small Arms Destruction Day as part of our ongoing efforts to reduce armed violence and support the rule of law around the world.

Excess, loosely secured, or otherwise at-risk small arms, light weapons and munitions pose both a security and humanitarian risk worldwide. Since 2001, when the United Nations first called for an international observance of the impact of illicit flows of small arms and light weapons, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has invested over $130 million to destroy more than 1.4 million small arms and light weapons, and 80,000 tons of munitions, and almost 32,000 man-portable air-defense systems, which could have posed a threat to global aviation in the hands of terrorists or insurgents. 

Ummn, I’m not sure this is something to be excited about. I’m not a fan of private ownership of land mines, Stinger missiles and other military equipment (private ownership of an M163 PIVADS excepted, of course), but I can’t completely support this i light of the Second Amendment. If we are commited to spreading personal freedom and prosperity around the world, we must be committed to spreading personal security as well.After all, today’s insurgent with an AK-47 is tomorrow’s upright citizen with the means to defend his family and home. 

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First Report

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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The Gun Nut

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. 

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