Thursday, Range Day

Phoenix has been having unseasonably cool weather lately (at least when we haven’t been experiencing Biblical flooding from <3″ of rain), which has worked out great for my shooting schedule. I usually drive about half an hour out to the desert on Tuesday or Thursday mornings when I don’t have classes to shoot a couple boxes of ammo and try to work on whatever I suck at (which is most things).

I’ve mostly been shooting steel lately because it’s fun and the immediate feedback is helpful, but it doesn’t stress the same level of accuracy as shooting paper. For reference, my 1/4 scale TacStrike silhouette is roughly 110 square inches. Compare that to the black of a B-8C at 24 square inches and it’s easy to go fast and get away with a crappy trigger press or less than perfect sight alignment and still hear the clang of a hit, even at 25m. Paper is less forgiving, as I was reminded today.

I promised myself that I would start off shooting Dot Torture and I did, cold, with all draws from concealment using my Dale Fricke AIWB holster. Dots #1-4 went alright, only dropping a couple points on #4 (even though these all should have been easy hits). The next row down is when it all went to hell. To see why and learn what I need to work on, take a look at the target below:

I unfortunately threw away my original target out of shame, but I can still get something out of the template. Poor grip and a worse trigger press resulted in dropping three gimmes on dot #5, and contributed to missing several follow up shots on #6-7. On the bright side, I only dropped one on #8 because I forced myself to take time and pay attention to something I don’t normally do (weak hand shooting). But then it was right back to a crap shoot for #9-10. Although my reloads were decent by themselves, I sucked hard at getting back on target afterward and it hurt me.

In the spirit of every AAR I hated sitting through in the Army, here is today’s:

Improves:
1) Work on my grip so the gun isn’t slipping around between shots, which costs first time and then hits when I tried to compensate
2) SHO and WHO shooting
3) Target-to-target transitions

Sustains:
1) Draws were reasonably fast (I didn’t use a shot timer), but still kinda sloppy
2) Reload mechanics were sound and I was able to get the gun back up quick (I just couldn’t hit anything once I did)
3) Slow fire on #1 was one ragged hole, so keep doing whatever I did to get that

Instead of running it again, I decided to work on these for next time and go to the rifle since I wanted to confirm my zero after removing and reinstalling the optic. Even with the stock QRP2 mount I didn’t notice any shift, but then I started getting into it (the way Jeff Gonzalez just described here) and kept shooting ten shot groups until I’d gone through sixty rounds of Prvi XM193.

Finally, I spent another fifty rounds of 9mm split between Bill Drills to the circle and practicing draw-to-first shots on the 3×5″ box of a FAST target. This was a good way to end the day:

Even a mediocre trip like this was pretty fun despite the frustrations involved. Hopefully I’ll have some improvements to show next week.

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One thought on “Thursday, Range Day

  1. Pingback: Tuesday, Range Day | (Mostly Gun Stuff)

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