Saturday, August 23, 2008

Practicing the fundamentals - over, and over, and over

Shooting accurately is pretty easy. Use a proper grip, focus on your front sight, and squeeze (don't jerk!) the trigger. Getting these things to all come together for every shot is the challenge.

Todd Jarrett has been an excellent teacher. He's very personable and employs a hands on approach. He started the morning by illustrating a proper grip, and marking our hands with a Sharpie so we could quickly see if we were maintaining it or not. Such a simple act made an amazing difference. I never gave much thought to accurately shooting a non-competition pistol, with open sights, from 25 yards and having a meaningful grouping. Today I learned that if you manage to do things they way they should be done, you can do just that. Not perfect, but better than I expected from myself.

Then, it was time to move on to bigger and more challenging things. First, shooting on the move. Then, shooting moving targets. Got that down? Now let's combine the two...and then throw in some barricades and include enough shots that several re-loads are necessary to complete the stage. While I certainly didn't come away with any perfect scores on these set-ups, they were a blast to run.

After thoroughly crudding up our guns for the last two days, we finally got around to cleaning them at the end of the day today. I had never taken down a 1911 style pistol before. It's slightly more complicated that my Sigma, but I'm certain that after seeing it done once, I could now repeat it myself. Of course, when we were all done cleaning them, we still had just a few minutes until we were due for chow. So we promptly began to make them dirty again.

While I agree that the problem mentioned by Joe Huffman shouldn't be solved by telling users "Don't do that", my own habits have (so far) not made this an issue for me. I also agree with Sebastian's assessment of the seeming redundancy of a thumb safety on a DA gun, but hopefully proper technique will help me avoid this issue as well.

Is this the "perfect gun"? No. Do I like it, and believe that it will be both fun and reliable for the way I intend to use it? Absolutely. And since my lovely wife has given me her blessing, I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting for the day this pistol will be back in my hands, in my own home, where I expect it will remain for quite some time.

Other smaller highlights included the pimped out rides provided to us courtesy of Blackwater, and the thrill of running off rounds by the dozen, only to have more cases of ammo show up on the table.

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