Practice Log – 10/18/2008

Place: Thurmont Conservation and Sportsmans Club

Gear: TSS 5″ Limited Gun, 250 rounds of .40 180grn. match ammo

Goals:Today’s subject was calling the shot. I also wanted to work on reloads, especially reloads while moving.

I got to the range at around 2:30pm. Seems to be a trend.

As I mentioned above, I wanted to work on shot calling. Calling the shot, for those who don’t already know, is the technique of knowing where your bullet hit without looking at the target. I cannot overstate how important this skill is to practical shooters. It is the difference between firing two shots at a target and hoping they hit, and firing two shots at a targets and moving on, knowing both were ‘A’ hits.

To that end, I pulled out two drills from Saul Kirsch’s excellent Perfect Practice. The first drill was single shots at 15 yards, calling each shot in advance. For instance, I’d say, “Mid-C at 9:00” and then shoot a mid-C hit at 9:00. I ran through 50 rounds this way, then got out the timer. I set the par time at 1.5 seconds and fired single shots from the holster, calling each shot afterwards. The time limit was to give me some pressure; I found that I could only accurately call about 60% of my shots when going at speed. This is a drill I could do every day.

After that, I spent about 125 rounds doing reload drills – fire 2, reload while moving to the new position, fire 2. My moving reloads are hanging right at about 2 seconds, sometimes a little less, for a 15′ run.

At about round 225, I started getting failures to return to battery. I attribute this to the fact that my gun was filthy. I had been holding off cleaning it, trying to see how many rounds I could put through it before it packed up. Now I have the answer – around 1000 rounds. My gun is soaking in SLIP2000 as I write this.

Results: These shot-calling drills are something I could do every day. Someone once said to me, “Calling the shot is the most important skill you can have. If you can’t call your shots, practicing anything else is wasting time.”

When moving, get your hips pointed in the direction you’re going. This is a different technique than you’d use for shooting on the move, so be sure to practice both ways.

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