Observations and Commentary
Matches of 8/25 and 9/22
Sorry for the delay, fellow shooters, but work and travel have been impinging on my writing as of late.
We have maintained a good safety record (= nobody shot) this year, but there have been recent disturbing lapses. Such as:
· Two negligent discharges while drawing the pistol. On the same stage, same target, I watched two shooters put rounds into the dirt three feet in front of the target. The shots were farther away than 6 feet from the firing line, so they weren’t disqualified. BUT! Those shooters had not made Rule 3 a part of their lives.
· A report to me of a shooter covering HIS OWN HEAD with the muzzle. This shooter was apparently unfamiliar with Rules 1 and 2. I certainly hope HE was observing Rule 3.
But, but…. “I put my finger on the trigger when I aim at a target.” Correct, one should. The modern technique posits placing one’s finger on the trigger and drawing out the slack, if any, when one is pointed in at one’s adversary. Not if one’s pistol hasn’t yet cleared horizontal. That does lead to a second thought: If the pistol is to be roughly horizontal when one’s hands meet and trigger finger is still off the trigger, how does a shot angle groundward? Wouldn’t the pistol remain horizontal as it is presented to eye level? IT SHOULD!
· A tale of my own foolishness. Like most, I glean range brass and left over factory ammo. Carelessly, after one stage I dropped a new .40 into my can of .45 ammo. Quite by accident. I also, quite by accident, loaded it into a magazine for the Sleeping Beauty stage. Split the brass and jammed my pistol in spectacular fashion. The Kimber was strong, however. I cleared the jam with a pocketknife and continued.
Don’t put your gleaned brass and live rounds anywhere near your match ammo!
· Lapses while reholstering. I have watched multiple shooters cover their support hand with the muzzle of their pistol while reholstering. Have advised everyone I saw that they might wish to use that hand again, so it would be wise to learn one handed reholstering. Remember that we are not out there to learn speed reholstering! Once drawn, don’t be in a big hurry to put your weapon away – Rats travel in packs! Also, take the time to observe your holster area for obstructions. Insert the pistol carefully. Glocks are particularly sensitive to accidental discharge during reholstering – either from an errant finger, or from a shirttail in the pouch. I also observed several shooters angle the muzzle toward their bodies while reholstering. They may not lose the use of their support hand, but a leak in a kidney, the liver, or other vital part would go beyond distressing!
· Early relaxation – and I’m not talking about breaking out a cold one. Many shooters, upon completion of a string of fire go virtually limp. Where this becomes a range safety issue is when the shooter is tempted to turn toward the SO or pick up dropped gear while still holding his pistol in his hand. Resist that temptation. Rarer is the shooter who allows his pistol to dangle loosely at his side. Same problems. Gentlepeople, remember, you have a fighting tool in your hands! If your pistol is out of its holster you have definitely HAD A PROBLEM and you would be wise to stay alert and ready for further action.
There has been a recent increase in whining and gamesmanship on the part of a few. This is deplorable and to be avoided both in the name of good sportsmanship and in the name of learning the technique.
Most defensive encounters don’t stress one’s marksmanship skills. If one examines the scores posted on Stage 1 of the classifier, one can readily see that nearly everybody can hit at 7 yards. On Stage 3 a different pattern emerges. The hit rate sags toward 50%. Out at 20 yards, the basics become critical. Those basics are:
· Consistent sight alignment
· Controlled trigger press
· Hard focus on the top edge of the front sight.
So easy to write, so difficult to perfect.
Many shooters, while fast out of the holster, have a difficult time achieving quick sight alignment at the top of the stroke. One of the reasons that shooters have trouble with this step is they have not joined their hands and built fore and aft pressure during the ‘look’ stage of the presentation. One’s hands come together – smack! – Immediately after the pistol has cleared horizontal. The pistol is then thrust forward and up with BOTH hands in contact. Don’t attempt to find your dominant hand with your support hand while you are trying to present the pistol!
Enough preaching today…. On to the shooting.
For the night match on the 27th:
· 3 stages
· Bring a flashlight! (AA Maglites are not adequate.)
· Bring warm clothes!
· Plan to shoot at least one stage with your carry ammunition – for your own edification.
· Start time will be posted next week!