Ends and Pieces

Not a lot of coherency here, but I’m just going throw a few random ideas at the wall and see if anything sticks.

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At Rocky Mountain 3 Gun this year, I had a couple of startling realizations. I was more out of shape than I thought, and had put on a lot of weight. The first realization hit me after completing the last 1/3 of a stage that involved running flat-out up a gully, engaging targets with a handgun along the way. After completing the stage, I was pretty much bent over and out of breath. The second realization came when watching the video footage that had been shot of my course runs (as well as the AK video.) They say the camera adds ten pounds, not so sure it adds twenty five or so.

After the match was over, and at the urging of my noticeably-less-winded co-blogger, I joined a local Crossfit gym.

Frankly, this has been about the best thing I’ve done for myself in years. The exercise regimens are somewhat difficult to describe, as Crossfit’s purpose is to help with strength, stamina, and flexibility, so the workouts tend to be much more varied than a typical regimen.

They’re also flat-out ass-kickers. Which sucks while you’re doing them, but has a couple of added benefits. Due to some of these workouts, I’ve completed exercises I would never have attempted on my own, and the workouts tend to be fairly short in duration, often times under an hour.

In the time since I’ve started Crossfitting, I’ve dropped a significant amount of body fat, and have gained a noticeable amount of muscle mass. For shooting, this has translated into my being able to more quickly navigate a course of fire, run more quickly, and get into and out of positions like sitting and prone faster than in the past.

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I need to figure out a way to work regular dry-fire practice into my schedule. This is one of the things that I really have a tendency to slack on, and I’m not sure why. Any tips on setting up a regimen and sticking to it would be greatly appreciated.

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In talking to some of the old hands about the now defunct Soldier of Fortune matches, there seems to be a lot of nostalgia for them. It seems like SoF was to competitive shooting what the 1960′s were to Rock and Roll; a high-water mark punctuated by a lot of talented people experimenting with new ideas and coming up with some pretty cool stuff. It strikes me as odd that there’s not really a written history of the SoF matches available anywhere.

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That’s about all I’ve got for now. Nothing terribly earth-shattering, and to make up for my ramblings, here’s some gun pr0n:

Ernest Langdon Advanced Handgun Skills class – 11/21/09 thru 11/22/09

This past weekend I took part in Ernest Langdon’s 2-day Advanced Handgun Skills class.  In this AAR, I’m going to try to get some of my notes and class thoughts down on paper.

Background

The class was held at a private range just outside Culpeper, VA.  The facility was large and well-equipped, with plenty of space for nine shooters plus Ernie.

I’m going to gloss over a lot of Ernest Langdon’s background, because frankly, it’s too much to relate here.  Suffice to say, Ernie has done just about everything a shooter/instructor can do, between his service in the Marine Corps, his professional firearms training, and a very successful competition career.

The students were a mixed bag.  Several current or former special warfare types, a couple of federal cops, two parachute designer/instructors, and at least one geeky museum exhibit designer.  The overall average level of skill was pretty high.  One interesting note – out of the nine students and the instructor, six of us were recreational skydivers.

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The “Israeli” Draw

I’ve been seeing a resurgence of interest in the so-called “Israeli” draw; that is, in carrying one’s defensive pistol with an empty chamber, and cocking it during the drawstroke.

Please do not do this. There is no good reason to carry a pistol with an empty chamber, and many good reasons to carry your pistol loaded. If you’re afraid that your gun will go off in the holster, get a different gun, a different holster, or get educated about how your gun works. If you’re afraid of accidental discharges, get some professional instruction. If you think the Israelis are all cool and badass and you want to carry like the Sayeret Matkal do, get a life.

That is all.

Pimp My ACOG.

I’ve been running an ACOG ScopeFly on top of my AR for the last few months, and I have to say, it’s an excellent little product. If you’ve run an ACOG-equipped rifle, you’re already probably aware of and annoyed by just how effective the scope’s light-gathering ability can be. Under direct sunlight, the reticle can have a tendency to bloom, or glow so brightly that it can be hard to use with precision.

A lot of shooters deal with this problem with the field-expedient measure of sticking a piece of tape across the top of the light-gathering fiber-optic or wrapping their scope with a rubber bicycle tire inner tube. While these methods work, they have their problems (tape falls off, the inner tube is not quickly adjustable).

Enter the ScopeFly, a product available from 3Gun Stuff. Basically, it’s a couple of pieces of nylon fabric and a zipper that are held on to your scope via the use of adhesive velcro strips. The result is a product that allows you to quickly and precisely adjust the amount of light reaching your reticle. It’s a handy device.

An ACOG equipped with a 3Gun Stuff ScopeFly and Progressive Machining OEG.

A quick disclaimer: I am friends with the owner of 3Gun Stuff and have done some work for him. So take that as you like. He’s a stand-up guy with some neat products available.