Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Range Time - A Sight Not Seen In Far Too Long

Other than the occasional local IDPA match, recent experience at the MD State Championship notwithstanding, I've been sorely lacking in my time spent at the range simply practicing. The matches, while fun, provide just 50 - 60 rounds downrange, and nothing in the way of repeated drills. Shooting is a perishable skill and I've lamented the lack of consistency I've developed. Reviewing my journal, it revealed I have not been to the range to practice since May of 2021. Shame on me.

As warmer weather settles in, I have vowed to change that. I've blocked time on my calendar to hopefully allow more trips to the local range. That activity kicked off this week. Loading the car took extra time due to cleaning the spider webs and nests from the range supply box that had sat untouched for so long. I took both the Full Size and Compact SIG P320 guns to work with. I've shot the Compact exclusively in matches since early 2021. 

A Long Missed View

I started with the Compact gun, but switched to the Full Size early. I really wanted to work with it again. For this first outing I stuck with shooting at 7 and 10 yards. It was mostly drawing from the holster to shoot 1 or 2 shots at the body or head zones, or a mix with each draw. Very quickly an issue with sight placement I have been experiencing in matches revealed itself and I worked to correct it.

This facility has extremely restrictive and unusual rules for shooting, which limits the shooting drills that can be done. These have contributed to my absence for so long, though we have maintained our membership. Without expounding too much on the frustrations over the years, the basics are this. Drawing from the holster is permitted, movement is not. Shooters are limited to only two shots in a string. There must be an "audible pause of at least one second between shots." The stated exception is what the club defines as a "double tap," two rapid shots on one target. The published rules state, "Any director, Officer of the Chapter or range safety officer (RSO) has the final say in rapid fire matters." Addendums to published rules over the years actually contradict themselves on rapid fire definitions and exceptions within the same paragraph. The final say in what is allowed is, and has been, subject to a broad and variable interpretation. 

Adding to the confusion is a concept the Head RSO created called "perceived rapid fire." This is defined as "A group shooting in unison so as to convey the perceived existence of rapid fire at a range." This applies even if both shooters are following the two shot rule. And yes, I have been threatened with expulsion for being with two people who pulled the trigger at the same time. This puts a damper on the fun of going to the range with a friend.

But restricted shooting is better than no shooting. This range is nearby, with the closest other option, indoors or out, requiring over an hour's drive. I will strive to make the best of it. Even with the limits, it will be beneficial, and even enjoyable. Needs must, as the saying goes.


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