Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Range week.

My week was pretty good. Of the last 5 days, I got to shoot on four of them. Of those 4 days, I was paid to shoot other people's ammunition on 3 of them, and on the one day that I was unpaid, I shot with my father.

The new Glock 19 is reliable, and easy to shoot, but I'm having accuracy issues with it. Even with the new sights, I'm not getting groups under 4" at 25 yards, from a rest. I honestly am not sure if the problem is me, or the gun. That said, shooting from the holster while qualifying with it yesterday, I was fast, and centered on the silhouette target. I went to a plate rack, and was shooting it fast. It will be great for off-duty carry, but I'm saddened that I'm not shooting better with it, even with fancy new sights. (Trijicon HD XRs).

We had a challenge match at qualifications, in which each officer fired at a bullseye target with their pistol (four shots at 15 yards), shotgun with slugs (2 shots at 20 yards) and patrol rifle (4 shots at 25 yards), all in 10 seconds. Highest score wins. I'm embarrassed to say that I came in second, and that I wasn't sucking up when the chief came in first. I will say that my scores were abysmal not least because the wind was steady at 29 mph, gusting much higher, during the shoot. But it was for most of the other guys' shooting, too. It's shameful not to be making all 9's or better, with a carbine, at a mere 25 yards.

I also taught an hour block on Use Of Force and Officer-Involved Shooting Post-Incident Procedure, as regarding our new policies.

The next day, I took out the officer who wasn't able to come (because he had to work that night) to group qualifications, and we went shooting.

Yesterday, my chief and I went to qualify, and I got my little BUG G42 qualified along with my G19, duty G31, duty shotgun, and duty carbine. After he finished, he noted that he had a few mags still loaded up for his SIG P220, and suggested that we hit the plate rack, at the side range. We went there, and happily knocked down plates at speed.

I noticed an older man a few lanes over, shooting at a paper target with a Beretta PX4 Storm full-sized .45. At 10 yards, he was barely hitting the 3'X5' silhouette  target paper. It was hard to watch. He had a very low grip on his pistol, with the better part of an inch of air between the web of his strong hand and the upper part of the tang of the pistol. His support hand was in a teacup grip. As a result, the muzzle flip was utterly uncontrolled, and he tried to fight the recoil by pushing back into it, "helping" the round by another one foot per second down range. It also caused his shots to go low, on average.

My chief and I picked up and went toward our cars, discussing work scheduling as we went. We stopped for a minute to converse in the parking lot before leaving, and as we parted, the older gentleman came walking up, new pistol case and new box of .45 in hand, with his ear muffs over his forearm. "How's that Beretta Storm working out for you?" I asked.

He sucked his teeth, and said, "Well, I've been around firearms all my life, but never much handguns. My wife and I got our license to carry, but I'm having some issues with this gun."

I asked him if he would mind if I offered him a couple of pointers. He said that he welcomed them. I started to show him (with a half-empty water bottle) how he could help his grip, and then said, "Hang on." I grabbed some of my personally-purchased extra ammo for my G19 and my duty G31, and took him back to the plate racks. It took him two magazines, and then, everything clicked. I loaded a magazine for the Glock 31, and had him shoot a hostage plate target with it. It had a 5" red plate on either side of a reduced-sized black silhouette steel target, which swung back and forth to either side of the head of the silhouette when hit. With my 9mm, I could just get the heavy steel to swing around, if I shot it at the outside edge of the plate. He was hitting it on the near edge with the .357 Sig rounds, and was flipping right smartly to the other side. Bang-clink flip. Bang-clink flip back. Bang-clink flip... and so on for 16 rounds, missing ONCE.  I began to think that I'd been set up with a ringer. All of the bullet splashes on the recently-painted plate were slightly low of center, in a 2 or 3 inch group.

This was costing me a little bit of money, and I was low on ammo. I said, "Sir, you keep doing that, safely, and I think that you need to start shooting local pistol matches. Consider it." He told me that he and his wife were mostly interested in being able to defend themselves, and I pointed out that the stress of being timed and shooting against others while being watched was pretty good practice. I looked at my watch; my chief had left an hour before. Time to go.  We shook hands and left. I think his name was Larry. I'm not going to lie; bringing a guy from "barely on paper" to reliably hitting a 5" plate at 10 yards in two magazines was pretty damned fulfilling. Worth every cent of the box of ammo he shot.



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