Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Range Report March

Did some carrying in Virginia with the 1911. Man...

First, I am still not comfortable carrying a 1911 in an unsecured IWB holster with the pistol cocked and locked. So it was in Condition Three. Full magazine, nothing chambered. Not the fastest way to react to a threat, but sorta ok if I am not the center of the threat's attention. In the future I'll stick to the Sig. Until I work through this concern.

I came to the conclusion that what everyone needs is liberal CCW AND Open Carry. It solves all sorts of problems. You carry with a good holster and if you HAVE to conceal, wear a coat. In the summer time you'd end up OCing all the time cuz who wants to wear more than a t-shirt? Why this policy? Comfort and convenience. (Also note: This is just the Galco summer IWB holster thingy. I don't have a Milt Sparks for the 1911, yet.) With this new system T-Bolt has enacted nationwide we'd not need pocket guns as everyone would be cool with sporting the full size single-action sidearms.

Now that I've solved that global conundrum I can turn my attention to fixing the designated hitter rule in baseball.


Realistically, I just need more practice carrying and growing accustomed to the extra stuff hanging on me. Until I feel better about the whole 1911 cocked and locked thing, again, I can carry DA stuff.

And yes, personally, if the climate allows, I'd prefer to carry concealed for the 'surprise' tactical advantage. I'd not OC carry unless I was in a large group that was OC carrying. Just my preference. It's not a judgment against people that do prefer to OC over CCW.

Speaking of DA stuff. I got the opportunity to shoot MBtGE new PX4. He got it to go with his CX4. The PX4 of his is in .40, and it's a 'Crunchenticker'. In other words you carry it with the hammer down but after the first Double Action shot the subsequent ones have the hammer back and fire Single Action. I didn't try the DA part, but it was a pretty smooth single action, uh, action. My shot all landed a few inched high of the bull and were in a horizontal line from 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock. I'd fired the CX4 carbine before, but tried it again. It shoots very nicely and my only quibble with it is it's a little rough on the cheek. It's is a bit of a smacker. My M1A doesn't slap me that hard.

One guy a few lanes over was shooting his Garand. That rifle sounds much different indoors. Love it.

The glass partition between me and MBtGE had a tell tale blemish. Someone had an accident and shot to their upper right hand side at some time in the past. Prolly 90 degrees to their stance. This is the NRA range! The partitions are glass, and double pane. Bulletproof glass. The bullet didn't penetrate even one layer. So that filled me with some safety confidence. Looks like a biggish windshield ding. Somebody didn't pay attention. I wonder if they pulled his card?

Anyway, on to the targets. This is the first one, cold pistols. You can see the 1911's big holes in their usual places for my shooting. Low and Right. The little holes are .22 from my newish S&W617. Single action. All the .22s I've shot shoot differently than my full power pistols. Odd, that. Not horrible shooting performance after a month of no practice, but certainly not good. 21 yards [update: FEET not yards...]:

Here is the second set. I'm still not shooting well, but it's better

The .45 is the low and right. The BIG splotches. The stuff above the bullseyes is my shots with the Beretta PX4.

And the final target that got 5 times the holes punched in it than the first 2, thanks to Shoot N See stickers and pasters I re-used the same paper:
Mostly .22 that you can see there, and the flash didn't go off for some reason. On this target I am getting tired. Over 100 full size loads and easy the same in .22. But I did have a bit of an epiphany or two...

I shoot better when I bend my knees.

Not just flexed. BENT. Not silly bent, but noticeable. Why? Dunno. I have a theory though. When I bend at the knees a bit it forces the head/chin up and I lean forward at the waist some, leaning INTO the shot, and that also helps my arms to present better. Even when tired.

The other epiphany... I was getting those good headshots because of mindset, I think. I am better when visualizing that the target is a zombie. As in "that blue paper head out there is an undead poor schlub and he wants to bite and eat me, so I better make this shot count" I Did MUCH better that way for some reason. All those hits were from one cylinder. Amazing.

Here's the back of that last target. Low and right on this is low and left from the front and are probably MBtGE's shots or his Boy's.

I'm still not scaring that red spot in the center much. I'm gonna have to do a weekly practice run for a couple months someday soon to get some serious practice and see if I can finally Out Out That Damn Red Spot. Lady MacBeth style.


Earl said...

The whole pistol firing goes better with bent knees, the bending forward into the shot, the preparation to move to another position, to go lower, to raise up - just ready. A real combat shooting position.

Ian Argent said...

I got to go to the NRA range a while back; and man, I wish I still lived near there...

Which reminds me (since I was there to let my wife take Armed Canadian up on his standing offer) - if you're going to be introducing newbs to shooting, get some electronic ears; not having to shout means you're not as intimidating to people.

Boat Guy said...

Second on the electronic ears. I use Peltors but there are others around. Well worth the expense and they can be had for decent money if you look around (I bought mine through Amazon of all places).
Having lived in NorVA off and on, it's one of the best places ever to learn to carry.
Becoming accustomed to the 1911 in Condition I may take some time, but what it really takes is understanding and having faith in the mechanics of your pistol. The "having faith" part comes from KNOWING that your hammer/sear/disconnector are all in perfect condition - which they will be unless the piece has been subjected to some shade-tree "gunsmithing". Detail strip the pistol and inspect with your own eyes...sharp edges or worn? smooth or burred?
A friend from those days in Va used to refer to OC as out "Outreach Program" - if you're ready and willing to engage your fellow citizens in discussion OC can be a great tool for gun rights education.

Ian Argent said...

I bought some no-name ones at Dick's Sporting Goods and they're adequate; though I am seriously considering some low-profile ones now that I have a rifle.

Mike W. said...

That's pretty good shooting @ 63 feet. Our pistol range only goes out to 25 yds. IIRC.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

DAMMIT! Not 63 feet. Sorry, I should have said 7 yards or 21 feet. My bad.

Yeah, that would be good shooting for me at 21 yards.

Geodkyt said...

Two things to remember about the 1911 when carrying it.

1. A good IWB holster (like the Milt Sparks Summer Special II) will have a stiff "sweat flap" that is somewhat modled to the gun.

I found that it holds the thumb safety in the SAFE position, and it fits and feels funny if the gun is off SAFE. I've had that Milt Sparks SSII holster for about 15 years now. . . Your mileage may differ.

2. The 1911 was designed (at the insistance of the US Cavalry) to be safe if loaded, cocked, thumb safety on FIRE, dangling on the end of a lanyard on a galloping horse. The grip safety WORKS, unless you tinker with it (like pinning it or replacing it with a solid MSH/fake grip safety that is solid).

It's all a matter of getting over the idea that a cocked pistol is "unsafe". Never forget that almost all autoloading rifles and shotguns are carried "cocked" with the safety on. You just can't see the hammer until you start to strip the gun.

OTH, I feel your pain -- I felt the same way when I first started wearing a 1911 outside of military use. I was working in a gunstore, without a CCW (Virginia hadn't yet reformed to Shall Issue, and permits in my town went to friends of the judge), and felt horribly exposed if I had to walk out into the store floor with an open top holster, plus being a little skeeved out at the though of carrying a cocked pistol.

So I got a pistol with a thumb break, that sat between hammer and frame when the gun was Condition One. I still use that method with shoulder rigs and the 1911 (although there, more to make sure the gun stays put).

It's not hard to find a reputable, comfortable IWB 1911 holster with a thumb break. Bianchi, for one. I still use a Bianchi Pistol Pocket 3S for my 3" K-frame revolvers (sorter barrelled revolvers really NEED a retention device for IWB).


I can unreservedly recommend it for any pistol they size them for, which includes both full size Government and mid size Commander 1911 pistols.

Among other things, it has readily adjustable cant that is also readily locked so it doesn't shift. Lossen screw, rotate holster to desired angle, retighten screw. All sizes available in both RH and LH.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

thanks, EVERYONE. Good gun tips in the comments today.