SHOT Show

I just got my plane tickets and hotel reservations confirmed for the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando.  My Dad and I have been attending since 2005, but I skipped out this past year to go to Gun Skool at Blackwater, instead.  I’m really looking forward to this one.

Whenever I’m at the SHOT show, I try to make the time to shoot a local match.  Fortunately, both central Flordia and Vegas have a pretty good selection to shoose from.  Last time I was down in Orlando, I shot a wonderful USPSA match at the Port Malabar Rifle and Pistol club.  This time around, I’m looking for something on the third Friday or Saturday, not too far from Orlando.

Hmm, I wonder if this blog means that I could swing a press pass for the Show?

Zzzzz…Now with Videos!

Yeah, perhaps I should post something one of these days.

Work lately has consisted of cleaning up other people’s stupid mistakes, and covering up their stupid decisions.  I don’t normally object to this, but when it starts cutting into my free time, I can get a little short.  Not much of an excuse for my posting laziness, but there you go.

Not much shooting, lately.  The last match of the year was the weekend before last, and I’m thinking that I’m going to take the rest of the year off.  I’ll do a bit of dryfire, and try to get ahead on the reloading, but no shooting until the new year.

In the meantime, here are some short videos of the USPSA match at York, PA.  Forgive the lack of editing, post-production, et cetera, as I do not share my co-blogger’s talent.

Turn your iPhone into a Shot Timer

Over at the always readable Firearm Blog they’ve got a new entry up talking about an iPhone app Surefire has created that allows you to use your iPhone as a shot timer. I’ve played around with a couple of friends’ iPhones, and thought it to be a very cool piece of technology.  This just makes me want one even more.

Couple of Quick Notes…

Ok, just a few unorganized and random thoughts.

Weekend Match

Shot the local IPSC match yesterday.  Poorly.  Had one squib out of a batch of rounds I had a gut feeling was questionable.  Did ok on the classifier, though not fantastic.

Panic Buying

With the ascendancy of the Postmodern Messiah the panic buying has been in full swing.  Thankfully, I bought the big important stuff I needed a few months ago, and have been slowly stocking up on various magazines and other accessories.  The night of November 4th, I did lose my mind a bit, and put an order in for one each of the Tripp Research 42 and 52 round Cobramag.  They’re pricey, but seem to be extremely well made and come with a pretty high recommendation from several shooters whose opinions on such things I trust implicitly.

Tripp Research

A couple of days after putting the order in with Tripp Research, I had a follow up question. So I sent an email to them with the question in it. Within 15 minutes, my phone rang, and I spoke to the guy on the other end of the line, who answered my question quickly and satisfactorily.  Customer service doesn’t get any better than that.

Ok, so that’s my boring weekend.  I should have the writeup of the last tactical rifle match done probably next week sometime.  Work’s been busy, so the amount of time I’ve had to screw off and blog has been reduced.

YAPL – November 8, 2008

Place: The Range at NRA Headquarters

Gear: TSS 5″ Limited Gun, 200-odd rounds of the new load.

Goals: Yet more shot-calling practice, plus some long-range work.

Hit the range at 1:00pm or so, on my much-needed day off. Drills for this session as follows:

  1. 50 rds. freestyle group shooting at 15, 25, and 40 yards
  2. 50 rds. calling single shots from the holster at 15 yards
  3. 50 rds. calling 2x from the holster at 15 yards
  4. 50 rds. 2-shot doubles, from the holster, at 7, 15, and 25 yards
Shot calling is slowly getting better. I noticed that I’ve developed a tendency to grip too hard with my strong hand, and that when I do this I get uncalled shots off to 9:00. More dry-practice with the grip seems to be the solution.
Slowfire groups at 15y were in the 1-2″ range, at 25y were in the 5-6″ range, and at 40y, well, they were all in the C zone. I’m wondering if my Limited gun is ready for a new barrel – it has almost 15000 rounds down the existing tube. All the groups/patterns were centered nicely, though.
2 As from the holster at 7y is running just about 1.1 seconds. At this distance, I don’t use the sights on open targets (I absolutely do if there’s hard cover or a no-shoot about.) At 15y, my time climbs up to about 1.5-1.6 seconds. I can push it to 1.4, but I get some Cs. At 25 yards, my split time really starts to climb, about 1.4 for the draw and 0.5 for the second shot split.

Results: More dryfire. I’ve been slacking a little lately, and it shows up in the concsistency of my grip. Watch the sights!

Life, Liberty, and Panic Buying.

I took a day off yesterday, and spent most of it running around northern Maryland getting paperwork filed.  I got my MD Collectors Application filed for the third time (the state po-po lost the first two applications), which will allow me to bypass the stupid one-gun-a-month law that MD has in place for “Regulated Weapons.*”  I also filed the NFA paperwork/fingerprint cards for my suppressor.

I had to have a weekday off work to do all this, and it took me half a day and half a tank of gasoline.  Go Bureaucracy!

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It’s going to be very interesting to see how the GOP responds to getting their collective asses handed to them last week.  After Bush and McCain, the national greatness/neocon/warfare statists have no credibility left, so I doubt we’ll have to worry about them for a while.  It would be sensible to start tapping the Evangelicals again, as they organize and get the vote out like no one else.  Problem is, the Evangelical base is getting smaller as the country gets more urban/cosmopolitan**, and kissing up to them will kill off any chance of building a coalition among the economic conservative/socially permissive guys.

The best course of action, in my view, would be to throw a few tax and spending cuts to the Econs*** and try to put together a coalition with moderates and independents by striking some of the pro-life/anti-immigration/war-on-drugs language from the platform.

Right, I know.  I’m a sucker for wishful thinking.  Huckabee for Prez, 2012!

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The Obama election has already produced a major spike in firearm and accessory sales.  Pretty much everyone is out of ARs, AKs, and the associated parts kits, and magazines are flying off the shelves as fast as they can be restocked.

Myself, I’m using this as an excuse to ramp up buying stuff that I was going to buy anyway.  I have another 10 STI .40 140mm magazine bodies on the way, along with a handful of 9mm 140s and 170s.  You can never have too many magazines for your match guns.  I’m already pretty well stocked with AR and pistol mags, so the next thing to keep an eye out for is a spare AR upper.  I like having spares.

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*Regulated Weapon = anything fun.  All handguns, and 99% of tactical rifles come under this heading here in MD

**Recent polls indicate that more than 50% of the country lives in large cities, and the percentage is growing.  Deny it if you like, but that’s the way America is trending.

***Econs = EConomic Conservatives.  I just got tired of typing all that out.

Giant Douche Defeats Turd Sandwich…

…film at eleven.

Being either drunk or hung over for the past two days, I missed out on all the early wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments, but so far every single prediction I’ve made about the Prezidental Elkeshun has come true (to wit, McCain would get buried in a landslide, and Obama would carry both Virginia and Colorado.)  Also as expected, A quick ring ’round the gunblogosphere reveals about an even split of temperate disappointment, and spitting, snarling, hysteria.  Sheesh.  Some people need to get their Ativan scripts refilled…

But hey!  I didn’t vote for either of the asshats!

More on politics and what this means for the shooting public later.  I gotta get on a plane here shortly.

Multigun: Cowboy Style.

Once a month, a local dude ranch, The M Lazy C holds a multigun match.  It’s a fun place.  The range is usually used for local Cowboy Action matches, and has been built up to be reminiscent of the old west.  The stages are generally pretty short range, so opportunities to work on target transitions and speed shooting abound.  Lots of steel targets make for quick stage set up and a high level of satisfaction.

Frontier-style shooting range.

Frontier-style shooting range.

All of the stages require the use of all three weapons; pistol, rifle, and shotgun and many of the stages have a unique flavor, often at least one of them will require engaging targets, and then moving to another range to continue the stage.

Ok, enough setup.  Here’s my run through Stage 1:

Since the stages are generally fairly short-range, with the long shots being maybe 70ish yards, this is a fantastic match to work on speed shooting as well as rifle skills with non-magnified optics.  The rifle I’m using is a fairly standard Rock River entry carbine with an AimPoint T1 on top.  In the video, it’s hard to see, but one of the steel targets was a flipper that tosses a clay pigeon into the air when it falls.

A competitor gets his game face on for the first stage.  Note SBR.

A competitor gets his game face on for the first stage. Note SBR.

matt_stage2

Another Competitor with an SBR on the second stage.

Due to the short-range nature of this match, more than one competitor broke out their SBR’s.  These rifles handle very well with some of the close quarters of the matches, and the short-range nature of the target setup doesn’t adversly affect these shooters’ ability to hit the targets quickly and accurately.  Note that all NFA rules apply, and that to own these firearms requires jumping through additional legal hoops.

Stage 2 involved a sitting start, drawing a pistol and engaging targets before hot-holstering, moving across the range setup and engaging further steel targets with rifle and shotgun.

One note regarding the practice of “hot holstering” or putting a loaded, just fired handgun back into your holster while on the clock; you must be absolutely meticulous about indexing your trigger finger along the side of the weapon, re-engaging the mechanical safety (if applicable) and putting the weapon back into your holster without covering the RO or yourself with the muzzle of a loaded weapon.  When you’re shooting under time constraints, it can be extremely easy to screw up the order in which you commit an action, so if re-holstering under such circumstances isn’t something you’ve done regularly be sure to exercise extreme caution and step through the process with deliberation.  At worst, it will cost you a couple of extra seconds, which is far, far better than a trip to the emergency room.

Ok, on this stage, I made several mistakes.  The first of which was starting with a pistol that only had four rounds in it.  This forced me to execute an unnecessary reload, which cost time on the clock.  I also have a bad habit of leaning or stepping through doors and ports, which probably added another couple of seconds.  I also missed once with the shotgun, which meant stuffing an extra shell in the gun during the reload.  Despite that, the stage was still a lot of fun.

Stage 3 was a quick blaster of a stage that was pretty easy to clear.  Pistol and shotgun only.

The only tricky portion on this stage was engaging a moving buffalo-shaped steel target with the shotgun.  Fun stuff, but not as fun as what came next.

For the longest time, I’ve harbored a secret fantasy of shooting a match styled after a George Romero zombie movie.  Lots of targets, and only “head shots” counting.  Admittedly, that might be a little bit grim, but chalk it up to a love of B-grade horror flicks, too many late-night conversations revolving around horror movie protagonists who constantly make poor decisions, and a somewhat twisted sense of humor.

EEEK! Ghouls!

EEEK! Ghouls!

Evidently the match director is a mind reader, and the second half of Stage 4 had a bunch of Zeds.  Being a nice guy, he even added some pretty excellent target embellishments.

The overall setup was quite good.  Engage pistol steel, holster, move to the shotgun, engage shotgun targets, ground shotgun and then move to the final portion of the stage with the Zed targets where there was a mandatory rifle reload thrown in.  You can see a bit of indecisiveness on my part when shooting that portion of the stage and that cost me in the end.  The lesson?  Have a plan, visualize it before shooting the stage, and once the buzzer goes off stick to the frickin’ plan.

Well, that’s pretty much it for this match review.  I’ll have another one for a local bolt gun match up soon!