Friday, June 12, 2015

Back To The Range

After a hiatus of a couple weeks I managed to get in some range time this week. Colleen and "Checkered Flag" came along as well so we got to push each other, and have some fun too. Leaving the competition targets in the car, we set up our stands with our old friend "B-34," or "postage stamp guy," as we refer these targets. For the next couple hours we worked on a wide variety of drills and scenarios.

Movement played a large role in the afternoon's practice. Besides the usual walking forward and backward, we also worked on lateral movement, shooting at both single and multiple "threats." Strong hand and weak hand only shooting was also combined with the movement drills. We practiced drawing on the targets at "bad breath" distance, shooting from retention while moving back and transitioning to a two hand grip. This drill tends to tear the paper targets apart, but also provides valuable feedback regarding the "blast back" experienced, and is likely closer to a "real" self defense scenario.

Precision shooting, or at least an attempt at it, came into play with one of our old favorite drills using the target ring numbers. The idea is to put one shot on each number, horizontally or vertically, in the sequence 7-8-9-X-9-8-7. Done from 7-10 yards, it gives a good idea of how well your trigger press is progressing. And when done as a group challenge it makes for good fun too.

We also spent time working on drawing from the holster and producing accurate hits quickly. From 5 yards, the challenge was two shots to the target's small head area. This is where I got to really find out how quick I could pick up the fiber optic front sight that I recently added to my gun. I was pleased to post a best run of 1.26 seconds, though that was not drawing from concealment.

We went through a stack of targets, so I need to make a note to check the supply at home. Changing targets frequently, or pasting them, is imperative to get valuable feedback on your training. This was especially important as we focused many shots on the tiny 3"x4" head area of the target. It's been a while since we got in a good day of self-defense practice as a group. It was an exceptional practice session, with an added challenge of being one of the first really hot and humid days this season. We had a lot of brass to pick up, which was spread throughout the bay. It's a good sign when the brass bag is full and the cardboard target backers are ready for recycling.

As with any good day at the range, we followed it up with good beer and good food. We headed downtown to Spencer Devon Brewery for dinner. The restaurant posted their summer menu this week, so naturally it needed to be checked out — for research purposes of course. My pints of Fall Line APA were delicious as always. I enjoyed a bowl of Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder, followed by absolutely wonderful Lamb Burger with Feta cheese, tzatzkiki and tomato-olive concasse served on flatbread. They sure do beer and food right at Spencer Devon. A tiring range workout and full belly made for a good night's sleep.

A well-earned pint

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