This weekend being Easter I of course went to the range for our bi-weekly IDPA practice session. We were fortunate to have the Area Coordinator come for a visit. He'll be conducting a New Shooter Orientation Course for my club this coming weekend which I find exciting. April looks to be a very busy month for my pistol shooting. I've got two bi-weekly sessions, the NSOC and a match. I received a verbal confirmation that I'm in my first match on the 27th of April.
I hope to get a couple of matches run at our club this year and get organized to try and run a match every couple of months all year long. The first match I hope to run will be a spring qualifier and the plan is to run spring and fall qualifiers. The competition season basically runs from April to October I hope to run a couple of winter matches to help keep interest piqued all year long.
On to the actual range report, we spent about an hour or two so on skills. We practiced reload with retention, tac reloads, drawing and firing, and lateral travel and shooting. The lateral travel exercise was interesting. Arrange up three or four targets in a line in front of the backstop. It's very important, I think, to stay close to the targets, about a meter or so away. This forces you to travel by the target rather than pivot to engage the next target as you advance. This is shot as two strings of fire, the shooter advance left to right on one string and right to left on the other string. The skill emphasis is on getting the shooter moving his feet correctly so that the muzzle of the pistol isn't bouncing with each step. I prefer to move with knees bent shoulders pushed forward and flat-footed, Some people can heel and toeing (normal method of moving) but I find the muzzle bounces too much.
Apparently I have to amp up my precision shooting skills. My speed is
satisfactory for engaging and aiming but my shot placement is starting
to slip a bit. This is of great concern to me because frankly I don't
have great shot placement and I can't afford to be slipping too much. I find my competitive streak is rising again and I hate being second rate. I'll be trying to slip in some additional range time this week. I have a meeting at the club Wednesday and I'll be taking my pistol up to get in some practice before the meeting. I also have Friday afternoons off so I may sneak up to the club a couple of times to sneak in a bit more practice before the match.
I spent about sixteen years doing Aikido and frankly it was great right up until I got my black belt. I had to start instructing and oh Lord did I suck at it. Especially with newbies. Defensive pistol shooting I've started quite differently. I've facilitated and coached a bit right from the beginning rather than just being a student which is my natural inclination. The result is that I'm bit better at instruction than I used to be.
One of the guys likes to trot out his collection of pistols for me to shoot. This weekend I got to shoot a Para Double stack 1911, a 1917 manufacture Colt 1911 (note the abesence of the A1) and a Sig 226. I guess I'm a 1911 man because I didn't like the Sig all that much. It fit my hand well but the trigger pull in double action is way long and the trigger take-up on the single action is equally long. The Para had a great trigger at about 4 pounds and the 1911 was a bit heavier (maybe 5.5 lbf). I got bit (slightly pinched) on the first three shots with the 1911. After I modified my grip I got pinched less on the remaining 4 shots. I have to say the extended beaver-tail grip safety of the 1911A1 was a marked improvement in the design. This just goes to show that John Browning didn't always get it totally right. Still a great design though!
Pistol shooting is just the redneck version of golf! God I love shooting!