Over at GNM, Caleb was pontificating about logging your round count, keeping track of malfunctions, et cetera.

It’s probably a good idea to keep a log of rounds fired, although it’s not something I’ve always done myself.  Even more important, though, is keeping a practice log – a record of the drills you shoot, the times and scores you put up, et cetera.  I’ve been keeping a record of my practices since 2008, and I’m constantly referring back to those old notes.  I use them to figure out where my weak points are, what I need to practice more, and how I can further refine my training.

So, some dudes in the comments section mentioned a web service called Rangelog.com.  It looks like an interesting service – you can log your practice sessions and matches online, keep track of your round counts, maintenance, modifications, and tons of other information.  It’s an interesting idea, and I’m thinking about signing up for it.  Anyone out there ever tried this service?


Tactical Solutions AR-22, Wherein the Author Actually, Y’know, Shoots the Thing.

Ok, so I’m back from my first local Steel Challenge match with the Tactical Solutions AR-22 upper, and I have to say that I’m thoroughly happy with the thing.  The gun ran with zero malfunctions.  I shot the match with Federal .22 bulk pack ammo, the sort that is available at Walmart.  It also ran with a couple of magazines of Winchester Super X, and the handful of ancient Wildcat .22 LR ammo that was kicking around in the bottom of my range bag.

Since I’ve got four magazines, I pretty much shot the entire match using one magazine per stage.  (We run each stage three times, so given the average number of targets one magazine allows plenty of ammo per stage, even assuming a couple of misses.)

One of the other shooters brought out a suppressor, an AAC Pilot, and it screwed right on and ran with no problems.  The only downside I found was that the thread protector could come loose after heavy shooting.  That could be alleviated with a bit of locktite, I’m sure.

Tactical Solutions AR-22 and Steel Challenge.  Like chocolate and peanut butter, they just go together.

Tactical Solutions AR-22 and Steel Challenge. Like chocolate and peanut butter, they just go together.

Also, in my previous post I noted that the AR-22 upper didn’t fit onto all of my lowers.  A fellow shooter put a call in to Tactical Solutions (thanks to rtr over at the Colorado AR-15 board) and was told that if the upper didn’t fit, that the solution is to use a judicious amount of gun oil and some pressure.

Between some grease, an AR-15 pin punch, and a few light taps with a hammer, I was able to mount the TacSol upper to a Rock River lower.

I’ve got some videos from the match, and will be uploading those hopefully by the end of the week, as well as some ideas about a new kind of match with the tactical-ish rimfire guns that seem to really be hitting the market now.

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!

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.

Practice Log – 10/11/2008

Place: Thurmont Conservation and Sportsmans Club

Gear: TSS 5″ Limited Gun, 300 rounds of .40 180grn. match ammo

Goals: Focus for the day was on 1.) testing my new 20-round STI/Bolen magazines, 2.) transitions, and 3.) position entries and exits.

Got to the range at around 2:30pm, and set up three MGM Targets Standard auto-poppers, about five feet apart.

Started shooting 1×3 drills at 8 yards, from the holster.  Averaged around 3.0 seconds, I could push it to 2.7-2.8 but I got some misses.  Auto-poppers are tough targets, even at 8 yards.  You have to be watching your sights, and you trigger press has to be perfect.

Moved back to 15 yards, same drill.  Times ran about 4.0-4.5 seconds.

I noticed no difference in times or accuracy when starting from hands at sides vs. starting from surrender.  That’s a good thing, I suppose.

Finished the day by setting up a field course simulator.  Two shooting positions, about 10 feet apart, at 8 yards.  Starting at the 15-yard line, draw, move to the left shooting position and engage each targets with one round, then move to the right shooting position and repeat.  In order to further mess with my own head, I allowed myself only 7 rounds for each rep.  This really forced me to read my sights and focus on accuracy.  A good par time for me on this drill is 9 seconds.  I’ll have to try it with paper next week.

Results: The new STI magazines with Bolen guts and basepads worked flawlessly.  They are reloadable with 20 rounds.  CJR recommends!

I need to spend some more time refining my trigger press.  The STI is more sensitive to a misplaced trigger finger than the G35 was.

Get low when moving.  The sights bounce around much less if you keep your hips low.

My ability to track the sights through recoil, even during transitions, has improved a great deal over the past few months.

Limited A, here I come!