Weekend Wrap-Up

I was down in North Carolina this weekend, shooting the Tidewater 3-Gun match.  It was a good time as always, especially as the rain stopped just as the first stage started.

I’ve lately been trying out that trendy new shotgun quad load.  I’m not as fast with it as I am loading weakhand, but it’s getting better.  I might need to order some more carriers soon.  On the other hand, my pistol shooting was a little bit sloppy.  I’ve been spending most of my dryfire time working on that shotgun reload, and it’s showing a little bit.  Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

I should have some photos up soon.  Stay tuned.

Running the Glock Trigger, Part Two

Note – In retrospect, this should probably be titled, “Running the ‘Pistol XYZ’ Trigger.”  The methods and training practices that work well with the Glock should also work well with many other guns.

Recently, over at Pistol-Forum.com, there was a great discussion about managing the Glock pistol trigger at speed.  P-F.com member and firearms instructor Wayne Dobbs posted an excellent comment, including a training drill that I just got a chance to try out.  I’ll repeat the highlights here:

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.22LR Rifle Training for 3-Gun

I do a lot of rifle training with my .22LR AR conversion, both for reasons of cost (six cents per round vs. 25-50) and logistics (a lot of ranges prefer you not to use rifles in the pistol bays.)

Most of what we do in 3-gun, can be effectively practiced with a .22LR rifle.  Slow-fire accuracy, target transitions, setups and position shooting, reloading and weapon manipulations, all of these can be done with a .22LR.  The only things that cannot be effectively practiced with the .22LR carbine are recoil control on single targets, and long range holdover and wind doping.

When I’m practicing, especially outdoors, I like to break my training up into blocks.  I pick a skill that I want to work on, and do a warmup, some skill development drills, and a more complicated drill that ties everything together.  Ideally, I don’t have to change the stage setup for the entire block.

This is a training block that I use for position shooting with the rifle, based on the old Gunsite Rifle Bounce.  It’s designed for the .22LR, but it can be scaled up to work with any rifle, or even a shotgun with slugs…

For the targets, I use cheap 2″ steel plates at the indicated distances.  This scales up to 8-10″ plates at 100, 200, and 300 yards.  You can use other targets, but the drill really works better if they’re reactive and self-resetting.  The Bianchi barricade can be replaced with anything sturdy enough to use as a support – a trash barrel, shooting bench, table, or what-have-you.

Warmup -

  1. From offhand, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T1.
  2. From supported kneeling (using the barricade,) fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T2.
  3. From prone, fire ten rounds, slow-fire, on T3.

Skill Development -

  1. Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms.  On signal, fire one round on T1 from offhand.  Record your time.  Repeat 10x, and record your number of hits.
  2. Start standing in Box B, rifle at port arms.  On signal, fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling.  Repeat 10x, record your times and hits as before.
  3. Start standing in Box A, rifle at port arms.  On signal, drop prone and fire one round on T3.  Repeat 10x.
  4. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from offhand.  Repeat 10x.
  5. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box B and fire one round on T2 from supported kneeling.  Repeat 10x.
  6. Start standing in Box C, rifle at low ready.  On signal, move into Box A and fire one round on T1 from prone.  Repeat 10x.

The Working Drill -

  1. Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only.  On signal, engage the targets in the following order:  T1 from Box A offhand, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T3 from Box A in prone.  Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss.
  2. Start in Box C, rifle at port arms, loaded with six rounds only.  On signal, engage the targets in the following order:  T3 from Box A prone, then T2 from Box B in supported kneeling, then T1 from Box A offhand.  Record your time, add 10 seconds for each miss.  Score as above.

Running through this entire block takes be 60-90 minutes, and uses up 120-150 rounds of ammunition depending on how many extra repeats I do.  In that time, I get a thorough workout in the most commonly used rifle positions in 3-gun shooting, getting into and out of positions quickly, trigger control, and movement.  Each individual drill is a building block for the next, and the working drill ties everything together into a pretty good simulation of a 3-gun rifle stage.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting some more of these ‘block drills.’  Stay tuned!

Okay You Punks, Freeze!

How could I have neglected to link to this display of badassery?

AIWB Awesomeness

A couple of commenters in the thread mentioned the idea of an 80′s cop show themed pistol match. Maybe my collection of Hawaiian shirts is starting to affect my brain, but I find this idea intriguing.  Maybe use modified IDPA rules, limit guns and gear to stuff in production as of 1985.

Hmm.  I wonder if there’s any way to safely allow shoulder rigs?

Someday, It Will be Mine…

I wandered up to my friendly neighborhood arms dealer yesterday morning, to start the paperwork on a new Gen4 Glock 34.  Much to my delight, my Caracal F was there too, and I spent a few minutes checking it out.

Sorry for the lousy cellphone pic. Left my real camera in the car.

- The build quality on my Caracal was first-rate, at least to a visual inspection.  There were no visible machining marks, the finish was nicely applied, etc.  Overall, the Caracal gave the impression of being a quality piece.

- The trigger is wonderful.

- The sights…  well, there’s nothing wrong with them that a 5/32″ carbide ball end mill won’t fix.  The Caracal standard sights share the same problem as many other factory guns – the front sight is too wide, the rear sight is too narrow, and having the rear sight integral to the slide makes replacement, um, complicated.  This is one of those times when having a gunsmith in the family is really nice.

The Caracal is presently tied up in the bureaucratic hell that is the Maryland Handgun Roster Board, but it should be in my hands by mid-October.  I’m looking forward to running it through some heavy testing.

Thanks to Bob at Shooting Ventures for handling all the paperwork.  If you need a gun transfered in Maryland, he’s the man to see.

Running the Glock Trigger

Glocks are not, in my opinion, easy guns to shoot.

There are two types of triggers that lend themselves to natural accuracy, and selecting between them is mostly a matter of personal preference.  The first type is the classic “glass rod” trigger – short and light takeup, crisp break, and very little overtravel.  This type of trigger is normally represented in the 1911-pattern gun.  The second type of trigger is often described as a “rolling break” – constant weight across the full trigger travel, indistinct break, and lots of overtravel.  This type of trigger is commonly found in old DAO revolvers, and the new Caracal pistol has an excellent example of a rolling break.

Glocks have neither type of trigger; a typical Glock trigger has a fairly heavy takeup, a distinct break, and lots of overtravel.  This makes the Glock very sensitive to trigger finger position. A little bit too much/too little trigger finger, and you start getting wide shots left and right.

So what to do? Well, you can try removing some of the overtravel from your trigger. Lone Wolf Distributing sells a Glock trigger housing with an overtravel screw installed, or you could try a Ghost Rocket connector. I’ve tried both, with limited success.

You can also play with you trigger finger position, to ensure that you are moving the trigger straight to the rear. I’ve found that I need to use only the barest tip of my finger to press the trigger. Others have reported that they pull the trigger with the crease of the first knuckle.

When you dryfire, keep an eye on how the front sight moves. Any significant lateral movement during dryfire means the trigger is bearing to one side during the overtravel. Try doing twenty reps of a perfect trigger press with your normal finger position, twenty reps with a lot more finger, and twenty reps with a lot less finger. See which finger position yields the least sight movement. A laser sight can be really useful for this drill, as it makes lateral shake at the muzzle very easy to see.

-C