Tuesday, February 21, 2012

96D vs. Glock 22

Up until I started shooting the 96D my go to gun has been a Glock in some form, most recently a Gen4 Glock 22. When I ran a Sig P226, it was very briefly (probably too brief) and I didn't commit to it like I have the 96D. I have been curious over the past few weeks how my 96D shooting is compared to how my G22 shooting was, or might be now. I was at the range today to pattern test and workout a new shotgun, and took my G22 with me to run a couple quick shooting tests. I ran the iHack, and the FAST.

S1 - 2.37 -1             
S2 - 2.61                           
S3 - 2.36 -1

1) 6.98 -1H -1B
2) 6.49
3) 6.74 -1H          

I don't know that it is very notable, but I do know that visually the gun appeared to be under better control. A better indicator might be seeing how I do on my next IDPA qualifier as compared to the last one I shot with my G22.

Oh, shotgun worked pretty well. I was dinging a 6" popper with it from 75yds. I like shotguns for some reason.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Alternative Lubrication Options

While I was at the local indoor range a while back I was listening in on a conversation between the range manager and one of the customers about a new lubricant that Wilson Combat was selling for 1911s. The owner of the range compared it to gear oil, like what you would use in a manual transmission or a differential. Being a guy that has a 30 year old truck with a manual trans as a daily driver, I knew exactly what gear oil was like and it struck me that gear oil just might make a pretty decent firearm lubricant.

So I went down to the local parts store and picked up a bottle of Royal Purple 75w-90. I am not an engineer, but it is my understanding that synthetic oils that have two oil weights listed like the Royal Purple function like the lighter of the two at room temp, and function like the heavier of the two at operating temp. I am not certain a handgun will reach and sustain a high enough temperature for it to make a difference, but it will be interesting to see what happens. I typically run a pretty light gun oil (Gun Slick Ultra Lube), so this is a departure from the norm for me and my guns. If it doesn't work, I guess I know what I will be putting in my truck's rear diff at the next service interval.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Training Update: 2/9/12

I was at the range with a friend on Thursday so I didn't record times for every shot like I normally do to save time and to make the session flow a little better. I started things off with the iHack like I had mentioned doing in my previous training update. That was a mistake. I only had 6 hits out of 18 rounds fired. I was coming in under time on all but a couple strings, but couldn't pull off the hits. I meant to finish up with this drill too, but forgot all about it and ran out of ammo before I could. Even though I royally sucked, I plan to keep this drill as my cold drill and last drill of the day when I can remember. I like to be challenged.

Ran Dot Torture at 5 yards after the iHack and did fairly well. I pulled one miss off dot #6 due to impatience, and pulled three off dot #8 with the WHO string. Five yards is really at the edge of my performance envelope to get hits on a 2" circle WHO. I need to work on that. It is just a trigger control issue.

Followed that with three FAST runs, a 8.91 -1B, a 6.69 clean, and a 7.83 -4B. On the last run I was really pushing to get a low 6 second time and even though I could see my front sight was high out of the 8" circle I couldn't stop myself from pulling the trigger. Sad day. Last time I put any effort into this test a couple years ago I was running a Glock and getting high 8's, low 9's on a pretty consistent basis. I would be interested to see what my times with a Glock would be now having put a significant amount of time into practice since then. I have been running the Beretta long enough to get a good feel for it, but I think I was still running a Glock better last October when I switched.

Ran a few random drills just messing around and then finished up with the current drill of the week. I did okay I guess, really feel like my WHO reps should have been better. It is surprisingly easy to do my version of WHO draws with the Theis holster. Not at all what I expected from an IWB holster.

SHO Reps -3
WHO Reps, -7
I ran my Theis holster for the entire day and was pleased with it. I just have to be careful about when I am wearing multiple layers. I tend to grab a handful of shirt with the gun, which a shooter problem and not a holster problem.  

In total 284 rounds down range. Not a bad day. Have another IDPA match coming up on the 18th. Hopefully it goes better than the last one, and is a little warmer than it is right now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

2,067 Rounds Later

I finally polished up the 2k round challenge on the 96D. I had one stoppage as noted in the 1/3/12 training update. Not perfect, but honestly better than I was expecting from a gun that has a reputation for having reliability issues.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Day in the Kitchen...

I spent the day today on the range with a good friend and local instructor running a few drills and catching up. He was talking about the people that come through his CHCL course who have a misplaced belief that because they have spent most of their lives around guns (a not so uncommon thing in Arkansas) that they automatically know how to run a handgun. His words to me were "I have spent years in the kitchen too but I still don't know how to cook." Classic!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Compete?

Over on a question was posed about which is better for skill development, competition or drills (which I took to mean actual training). The conversation got me thinking about why a shooter should compete, and to what extent should competition be allowed to take away from actual training. If a local match requires 100 rounds and we only have 200-300 rounds to practice with in a month, is it really worth it? Especially if we are a relatively new shooter?

When I first started shooting at the very end of 2007 I had one friend who owned a handgun (well two actually, but I only knew about one at the time). That one friend let me borrow his Glock 23 and quickly showed me how it worked as he passed it off to me by his truck so I could go shoot it the next day. I hit the local public range the next day and sucked pretty badly, and understandably so.

Fast forward a couple months (and having bought my own Glock 19 by now), circumstances allowed me to get some much better guided direction from far more experienced shooters. I wasn't shooting IDPA at the time, I was just lucky to meet these guys. I didn't meet them at any of the local public ranges or anywhere else your average recreational shooter (which is what I would call myself back then) might frequent (i.e. the gunshop), so I consider my personal experience a-typical in that regard and having spoken to other people about when they first started shooting I think I am on track with that opinion. These types of guys are not the "mainstream" of shooters that you will see at most public ranges.

Fast forward again to the spring of 2011 and I start shooting local IDPA matches and see the same sorta guys that first pointed me in the right direction. Not everyone at the match was, but a surprisingly large percentage were.  It is these experienced shooters that are willing to take a new shooter under their wing that I think really make competing in local matches worth it for a new shooter. You can get good instruction in a  8 or 16 hour firearms course, but in most cases you can't get long term direction and  development in one. In my opinion, building relationships with other shooters more skilled than yourself is one of the greatest motivators to get better, and often times one of the most efficient paths to getting better. So if it cost a 3rd of our monthly ammunition allotment to go shoot a match, I think it is worth it. I think I would even go so far as to say that if it cost half it is still worth it, as long as we take the opportunity to get to know the other guys shooting the match who might be willing to take us under their wing more so than actually compete in the match. I think that is where the real value is.

If you can draw, reload, follow directions, and handle a firearm safely, go shoot a match and start meeting the other real shooters around your area.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Training Update: 2/1/12

I hit the range today to try and finish up the 2k round challenge that has been going for a while. I still have 217 rounds to go. I should be able to get that in the next trip though.

I started the day off with drill of the week 17 from It is too late for it to count on the website, but since I hadn't done it yet I thought I might as well. I actually didn't expect much difference between the two cards at any distance because the reset point on my 96D it is pretty much all the way off the trigger, but at 5 yards you can kind of see it. (I apologize for poor picture quality, I had to use my cell phone).

I don't know how I did it, but I managed to miss 1 round on each 3"x5" card at 7 yards. I hardly ever miss a 3"x5" at 7 yards, in fact I don't even know the last time I missed that size target at that distance without some type of time pressure.

At 10 yards I pulled 2 off each target. Just barely low. You can tell that the group is not center on the card, probably just a POA issue. I had the cards taped to a light gray target and they blended into the background through the sights some at 10 yards.

I followed that with another whack at the iHack. :) This drill must have my number because it killed me today with a lot of misses and shots of PAR. 

S1- 1.75, 2.72, 3.45 (-1)                S1- 1.33, 2.12, 2.80                        S1- 1.63, 2.37, 3.12 (-1)
S2- 1.65, 2.83, 3.71 (-2)                S2- 1.37, 2.09, 2.81 (-1)                  S2- 1.59, 2.41, 3.12 (-2)
S3- 1.64, 2.73, 3.51                      S3- 1.57, 2.24, 2.91 (-1)                  S3- 1.82, 2.52, 3.27 (-2)

I thought I was going to pull it together on the second run, but fell apart again on the 3rd run. I am very tempted to make this my cold drill and last drill of the day to force me to work on what I feel like is one of my weakest areas, shooting low probability targets under time pressure.

My next big drill was this weeks drill, #18.

Start Position: High compressed ready
Reload Type: Slide lock (reloads from under closed front cover garment)

Total time for 3 shot presentations/draws: 19.61
Fastest: 0.87
Slowest: 1.26

Total time for 1r3: 40.37
Fastest reload: 2.54
Slowest reload: 2.87

This was the first time I have tried reloading from under a closed front cover garment. It was pretty warm today and I forgot to take a jacket to the range to use as a cover. I am also notoriously bad about practicing reloads without a cover garment. I guess it came back to bite me on this one. I also need to work on my splits on an 8" circle at 7 yards. I typically use an entire sheet of blank paper just because I always seem to have some around and not so much with 8" circles. My splits on the 8" target are about a 10th slower, but really don't have to be. I think the gun is there, I just am not as comfortable with the sight picture so I slow things down.

I polished the day off with an attempt at Dot Torture at 5 yards. In my head I was thinking I could do 5 yards because the iHack is at 5 yards and I was making a fair percentage of those hits. Without time pressure I should be able to make them all right? Well apparently not. I put in abysmal 43/50 Dot T. I wanted to move it in to 3 yards and try again but was out of time.

In total 313 rounds fired. There had been some concern expressed about the tip of the hot muzzle extending past my Theis holster, but I had no such issues today. My last couple drills of the day were Bill Drills, and after that the gun was immediately holstered and other than being a little warm through the leather I didn't notice anything else.