The 4 rules of gun safety

*The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

*The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

*The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

*The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Basic Pistol Shooting Class 4/30/2011

Earlier on in my endeavors to become more proficient with my handguns, I signed up for a class on Basic Pistol Shooting and Maintenance. This class was given by a company named Shot Group ( I selected this because I received a coupon from Charlotte Half Off which knocked the price way down. Figured I'd give it a whirl and see how things went.

The class was instructed by Damien Ristaino, a certified NRA instructor in self protection, basic pistol handling, and NRA range safety officer. He introduced us to the NRA basic pistol shooting course and did a wonderful job of walking us through the different types of handguns, calibers, safety, shooting process, and maintenance. We spent several hours in the morning going through all of the class room instruction and about 2 hours on the range shooting. I started shooting the provided hand gun which for me was a Smith and Wesson M22A. I'm familiar with this gun as I have one myself, so it wasn't foreign to me at all. Seems it has the same idiosyncrasy as mine with the magazine sometimes not going all the way in.

We fired a lot of single shot and multiple shot using the 22's before I was allowed to use my IDPA weapon, my Smith and Wesson Military and Police 9mm. While we were shooting from a short distance (approximately 3 yards), I was making nice big holes in my target.

I would highly recommend anyone in the Greater Charlotte Metro area to take a look at Shot Group and their classes and am eagerly awaiting their Concealed Carry Class.

Many thanks to Damien for a great day at the range today.

That's all folks. Shoot safe, shoot straight!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IDPA practice 4-26-2011

My second IDPA practice was held at Sportsmans Inc. in Rock Hill, SC. I didn't have a chance to do any practice between the last practice and this one because of vacation, so I was pretty much in the same shape I was the last time.

Here is a photo of our first COF that we fired. There were 3 layers of targets and you are supposed to shoot from front to back using tactical priority. I shot this COF in 16.23 seconds and went down 4 points. Had 4 perfect targets, 1 where I went in the -1 area, and 1 where I went into the -3 area. Overall, it was a nice way to get started. Targets were roughly 10 yards to 15 yards. The next course of fire had something I had not had a chance to try before, shooting from retention.

Here is the photo of the 2nd course of fire. It was pretty much the same as the last COF with the exception that the first two rounds are shot from retention (basically shooting from the hip at about 6 feet distance. This one I shot in 14.85 seconds and went down 5 points. Three targets were down 0, two targets were down 1, and the last target I shot was down 3. Again, not too bad for a newb shooter like myself. I can deal with COF's like this. Started to feel good about this point until we got to the next COF, which again, had something I had never done before.

The 3rd course of fire had the targets split with 3 on each side. This COF however, we had to draw and shoot two rounds at each target on the left while advancing, after engaging those, we had to move to the right behind a line to simulate a barrier, and then engage the other 3 targets again while advancing. Whee! It was a fun COF, but wow did I blow it. Down 24 points with 1 failure to neutralize. Only had one perfect target. Missed one round on 3 targets to put me down 15 points. the rest were just as bad. Never having done fire on the move before, I asked about my movement. Seems like I did that pretty well according to the folks watching me. I did not come close to advancing past the barrier which would have been a procedural error, so it just looks like I need to practice it more (unfortunately, it looks like these practices are the only place where I can do it with live fire.

Last course of fire was another "Bill Drill" from 15 yards. Ran this is 5.16 seconds and went down 4 points. My last round was thrown way left and I called it almost as soon as I shot it. My first five rounds had a pretty good group, but a little low and left. Wound up with 4 shots in the circle, 1 just outside it, and the throw away shot.

Again, had a great time shooting with the folks from Central Carolinas Shooting Club and hope to become a member soon.

Thanks for reading! Shoot safe, shoot straight.

IDPA practice 4-12-2011

The gun club I'm joining has a Tuesday night IDPA indoor practice at a local shooting range. I just finished my second practice. It was a lot of fun and reminded me just how much of a new shooter I really am.

Here is an IDPA paper target to show you how points are scored. If your shots are in the circle or in the head area, you lose no points. If it's in the area immediate area surrounding the circle, you go down 1 point. The exterior area, you lose 3 points, and if you miss, you go down 5 points.

My first practice was two weeks ago. Having never shot on the clock before, I didn't expect much and true to my thinking, it was BAD! We got in four stages/COF's each night. My very first time up, I missed about half the targets. I think a lot of that was just nerves, adrenaline, and never having done a timed fire before. The second course of fire, I did much better. Out of 6 targets, I was only down 4 points. The third course of fire killed me as well. Two shots each target with the first two targets using the weak hand, the next two targets using strong hand only, and the last two targets using both hands to fire. I haven't had much of a chance to do one handed shooting and it showed. I went down about 16 points having missed with three shots and one shot I put outside the 0 scoring circle. The last COF was called a "Bill Drill". We loaded up with 6 rounds from 15 yards and fired as quickly as we could. I only went down 1 point on this stage as I had 5 of 6 rounds in the circle.

I didn't notate my times from this practice. Right now, I'm mostly working on following all safety procedures and working to get better. My next post will have pictures and information regarding my practice last night.

Thanks for reading. Shoot safe, shoot straight!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sorry for lack of posts

Just got back from the Bahamas so no shooting for almost the last two weeks. Plan to get out to Central Carolinas Tuesday night IDPA practice. Will give my feedback about my 2nd practice after that. Hope all are having a great and safe Spring Break!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Plug for another site....

For folks who haven't gone back to the beginning to read posts, a great site is Steve and Rick are very entertaining and provide a wealth of information for new shooters. I highly recommend them. You can find links to their youtube videos at the bottom of this page.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Watching my first match

Figured I'd break up the posts a bit as they're getting a bit long lately. Saturday, I went and watched my first match. I traveled to the Central Carolinas Shooting Club located in Edgemoore, South Carolina. I arrived a bit early and spoke with Bill Wells who is the IDPA match director. I told him I was there to watch and help out picking up brass and pasting targets. He introduced me to Richard Hart who is president and Joe Delaquil who is the vice president of CCSC.

I helped setup some tents to provide shade for folks and staple some targets. After preparation, I attended the "new shooters" meeting even though I wasn't shooting so I could hear the club specifics. Each club has specific rules and new shooters should definitely be understanding of the rules regarding whether the club is a hot or cold range and places where you can practice your draw.

At this match, there were about 36 shooters with around 8 new shooters on hand. CCSC is looking for more shooters and members of their club. CCSC has five shooting bays, four of which are berm protected and one is in the woods shooting into a safe area. Each of the four berm protected bays are well laid out and provide a great amount of safety. The fifth bay is open into the woods, but is not berm protected. It is all land that is owned by the club and safety marked. I actually liked the fifth bay the most. It felt more like you were in the woods and running the scenario more lifelike.

Each scenario was a little different and required different shooting skills such as strong hand only, weak hand, standard two hand shooting, shooting at moving targets and pop-ups. My favorite course of fire was stage five in the woods. The premise of the scenario is that you are setting up a camp fire in the woods when you hear wild pigs around you. You are in a kneeling position facing away from the targets and must turn while continuing to kneel, once you face the targets, you can draw and fire at 5 targets arranged in a pattern of about 130 degrees. You do this while shooting through some brush. Most targets are fairly clear, but there are some where you need to pay close attention to your shots.

Other courses of fire included a return to your home which has been invaded in which you must clear it. Your first two rounds here were weakhand while your stronghand was holding a cell phone (you're calling the police). The second course of fire you are being assaulted. You push down a popper which releases a turning target and a popup and drop target. After shooting those, you retreat and fire rounds on two other targets on each side until you reach cover and fire at two more targets on each side from cover. This one was very difficult as you don't have much time at all to hit the turning target or the popup before they're gone. The third scenario is you are carrying your briefcase when evildoers assault you. You fire tactical priority at 3 targets with your strong hand, get to cover, drop your briefcase and go to the end of cover and engage three more targets.

Anyway, I won't go further into the rest of the courses of fire other than to say they were challenging to the shooters and has their basis in everyday possible situations.

All in all, I had a great time with the folks of Central Carolinas Shooting Club and look forward to going back out there again to "play the game".

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shooting at the range

Well, the last post had me giving my new PT-809 to my wife and taking her and my Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm and a new Taurus PT-92 heading to the range to shoot.

We went to the range with my youngest son and spent a little under two hours. We started off warming up shooting .22 rounds through a Smith and Wesson 22a. I like shooting this little gun. Has enough weight to feel relevant and it's pretty accurate to. Also helps me get my breathing and trigger squeeze under control. We each fired about 30 rounds of .22 before we switched over to our 9mm's.

My wife loaded up her PT-809 and fired off 10 rounds. Had a couple of issues with stovepipes and failure to feeds, but I think it had more to do with limp-wristing than the gun itself. All told, we ran 50 rounds through her gun. She continually had issues with failure to feeds and had to rack the slide to get the next round chambered. I fired 5-7 rounds with no issue at all, so I assume it was a loading or grip issue.

My son fired the PT-92 and had a blast with it. Pretty accurate gun right out of the box. He put 50 rounds through it with no issues with failure to feed or failure to extract. Just what I expected from a Taurus gun that has been around for a while and had most of the kinks worked out of it.

I fired 100 rounds out of my M&P 9mm. Very excellent gun to shoot. One thing I've been working on is focusing on the front site and keeping a soft grip. My finger on the trigger was also a problem with me shooting low and left. I'm still low and left at 15 yards, but it's much better than the last time I shot.

All in all, I left the range feeling really good about the M&P as my gun to shoot IDPA. Looking forward to my first match.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

PT809 back from Miami

Well, it took a while, but I got my PT809 back from Miami. I had decided that I was going to sell it to re-cover the costs of my PT92. After hearing it was at the dealer, I asked my wife if she would like to have the gun. She used to shoot with me when I was in the Navy with some friends and when she handled the gun while I had it in my possession, she liked it. I figured we could shoot together every now and again and it would make her more comfortable with the guns around the house.

She agreed and I picked the gun up from the dealer on Wednesday. Yesterday, we sat down and went over the gun and all it's parts. We put the small backstrap on the gun to make it fit her hand better and we did a field stripping and cleaned it up. Now we just need to go to the range and try it out along with my PT92.

I went to the gun show last weekend with the express intention of buying low cost ammo. They didn't have much there, but I did wind up getting 1,000 rounds to 9mm, 115grain ammo from PMC for $200. That is about the best you can do at the area gun shows around here. Winchester white box at Walmart is $22 for 100 rounds plus taxes, so we wound up saving about $30 for the ammo.

I found a great website while looking at videos of IDPA on youtube. I really like Steve and Rick over at . They've got a bunch of videos which break down IDPA and USPSA and also give some good basics on handguns. Check them out when you get a chance. I think you'll really like them.

Well, heading off to the range to try out the PT92, PT809, and get more acquainted with my M&P.