Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The R1 Update

At heart, I am cheap. I know it, and I embrace it. I wanted a magwell on my 1911, but didn't want to drop the coin on one, I also am rather fond of the Main Spring Housing (MSH) on my R1 and see no need to replace it in order to get a decent magwell too. So, I found a set of Mako magwell grips for less than half the price of a magwell. The down sides  to this option are losing the aggressive factory grips already on the R1 Enhanced, and then of course the potential lack of durability. I can solve the texture issue easy enough, but the durability problem is a little harder to address.

The grips installed without an issue, pretty easy swap. The fit isn't perfect around the magwell. I think the grips are intended for, or at least designed to accommodate use with a magwell that has not already been beveled and the R1 Enhanced comes from the factory with a beveled magwell. That means the lip of the magwell on the grip very slightly overhangs the lip of the beveled magwell on the gun. A cosmetic issue really, but it still bothers me for some reason.

So far the reloads are certainly faster and easier to execute. I haven't put them on the clock yet because like I said, I am cheap, and haven't gotten around to getting a mag pouch. I have just been running reloads from the pocket, or with mags tucked into my belt. The grips have only seen 60-80 reloads, so long term durability is yet to be determined. So far, they are functional. We will see how long they stay that way.

The gun has hit the 700 round mark, mostly 230gr FMJ of various manufacture with a healthy helping of 185gr Remington Bonded Golden Saber with no malfunctions. Nothing really impressive, but honestly better than I expected from a 1911 that cost less than $1,000. The only "tuning" I have done is tentioned the extractor. It was really loose from the factory, but that is a pretty easy fix that most end users should be capable of making.

You might also notice from the picture below that I am sticking with the same type of magazine supplied by Remington with the R1 Enhanced, Mecgars. I know that other brands of 1911 magazines are considered "the best", but I found the internet to be void of information on Mecgar 1911 magazines and thought I would contribute. I personally think the design of the Mecgar follower is genious, although it does have one drawback. Watch the blog for a more detailed review of the Mecgar magazines specifically.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Safariland Model 18 IWB Holster

This spring I had the opportunity to take Mike Seeklander's Defensive Pistol class hosted by Last Resort Firearms Training. Mike was using a Safariland Model 18 IWB as his carry holster. I was, and still am happy with the holster I was using at the time for concealed carry, but then a friend decided to buy one with the 50% off discount card that Mike passed out to all the students at the end of class. After looking it over, I was impressed but really had no need. It is a pretty ingenious hybrid approach to the classic Galco Southern Comfort style IWB holster. Then came along a 1911, for which I didn't have a holster and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to make use of my own 50% discount card.

The holster has a synthetic suede outer over a kydex like material. Safariland calls it Safarilaminate. How they accomplish it exactly I have no clue, but it works pretty well. You get most of the benefits of a leather holster (i.e. traction against clothing) and most of the benefits of kydex (i.e. holster stays open, positive retention, etc.). Even the belt loops are made of the same material. One thing about all leather IWB holsters is that eventually they wear out, generally quicker than a kydex holster because they absorb moisture being carried against the body. This holster, with its hybrid construction should last for quite some time.

What I really like about the holster is that the belt loops are adjustable for cant by loosening 2 allen screws. I think this is really important on a holster intended for concealed carry because different guns will require different amounts of cant in order to conceal well. For example, when carrying a full-size 1911, more holster can't will generally help keep the butt of the pistol grip from printing. Adjustable cant also means this holster can be carried in different locations depending on the user's preference. Mike Seeklander is an AIWB guy, and being able to adjust the loops to have zero cant or even negative cant facilitates that mode of carry. I on the other hand am a pretty traditional 3:30 to 4 o'clock carry guy, so the holster works well for me too.

The holster is also fast for an IWB holster and the draw I feel is very sure. These are important attributes because having to fumble with trying to get a gun out of a holster in the middle of a fight is not exactly desirable. I was using the Model 18 while running these Bill Drills.

All that being said, the speed and good access does come at a cost. The Model 18 does not conceal as well as the other IWB holster that I use. What that translates to is that I cannot carry a full-sized 1911 under an untucked polo as well. The holster also isn't as stable on the belt as I am accustomed to. Part of this is due to running it with a 5" 1911, and part of it is that I am used to a holster with mounting points set further apart. I think running a lighter and/or shorter barreled handgun in the holster would help tremendously with this.

The holster strikes a good balance. Fast, secure, and great build quality that will last for a very long time. I expect this holster to be my regular EDC and IDPA holster for the foreseeable future.


This guy puts together some of the best match videos I have seen. Plus it is just fun to watch an open shooter blast their way through a stage.

Monday, July 8, 2013

50 Yard Work

Part of my criteria for a carry gun is being able to hit a "man sized" target from 50yd. To me, being able to employ a handgun from at least 50 yards should be a minimum standard. I have since raised my personal standard of performance to being able to keep 10 rounds in a USPSA A-zone from 50 yards, no time limit. I gave it a shot with the R1 a few days ago. I was a little concerned because I had noticed while inspecting the gun that the rear sight is pushed over the left slightly. It is just barely off center, but anticipated it might push the shots left a little.

Honestly, I don't think it did. At least not enough for me to care. Here are my results with one obvious flyer.

The sad part to me is I don't remember calling that flyer in the D-zone through the sights. Not seeing the mistake as it happens means I cannot address the problem because I don't know what it was. More work to do.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why the R1

When I made the decision to try a 1911 and started looking at my options I really had no idea which way I wanted to go with it. All I pretty much new was I wanted to stick with a 5" gun and get something that could do double duty as a carry gun and a match gun. On the front end, I really knew nothing about 1911's, it is probably debatable how much I know now after just a month of owning one, but I really had no idea what I was looking at. The thing about 1911's, as I understand it, is that it is pretty difficult to tell a good one from a bad one just by looking at it assembled. Disassemble the gun and you can get a little better idea, but even then, until you shoot it you don't know for sure. My 1911 choice was basically based on what I like in a gun, or what I thought I might like because some of the things I wanted I actually have very little or no experience with.

On my hit list were a fiber optic front sight, plain rear sight, checkering on front and back strap, beaver-tail grip safety, front cocking serrations, aggressive grips, non-ambi thumb safety, and a mag well. I wanted was as many of these items out of the box as possible. I didn't really want this to be a "build" gun. I wanted to be able to buy it, maybe make a couple tweaks, then run it hard. It is fairly easy to find a 1911 with all those options, what gets difficult is finding one for under a grand. Obviously, I didn't get everything I wanted with the R1, but I got most. The only thing missing is the mag well and front strap checkering. Both easy enough to fix with a little grip tape and new Main Spring Housing (MSH). I also stayed under my price point, which means AAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And that is a big deal.

For now, the gun is being run in factory condition to see how it runs from the factory. The only adjustment that has been made is to the extractor tension. I plan on running it with the 2 factory magazines (which are Mec-Gars) as much as possible to see how they work out. The idea is to see how well the gun will run from the factory with only a slight user adjustment. We will see how it goes. Round count isn't high enough to matter yet.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Learning the 1911: Pedal to the Floor

Due to some range limitations on the indoor ranges I frequent, yesterday was the first time to really run the R1 as fast as I can with some Bill Drills. I was also testing a new IWB holster, a Safariland Model 18. My focus for the day, using the advice of Todd Green in my Learning the 1911 Part 2 post, was to work on speed. I can work slow fire at indoor ranges, but really can't open it up unless I am on an outdoor range and that doesn't happen as often as I would like. So I loaded up and started working single shot draws, then a few 2 round draws. My best draw to first shot was 1.48 seconds, which is pretty normal for me. After that I started hitting some full fledged Bill Drills at 7 yards on a USPSA target.

I will be honest, those split times blew my mind. I had no expectation of being that fast. I have never run splits that fast that I am aware of. My slowest was a 0.20!! That is usually my fastest. On both of those strings I dropped one round in the C zone which means that is my limit, or actually just beyond it, but it is better than I expected. It also proves a point that Todd Green made on his own blog about the strengths of the 1911 trigger being running at the ends of the spectrum, either super fast, or super slow for max accuracy.

Next time I think I will see how it does in that middle ground around 20-30 yards just to have a performance benchmark. Quite honestly, I don't spend much shooting time there.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The little things...

In 1911's there is a thing called a Vertical Impact Surface (VIS). It is where the lower barrel lugs contact the frame to stop the rearward movement of the barrel. There is a fair amount of stress on the lower lugs during this process, so some manufacturers in order to mitigate the effects of that stress use what is generally referred to as a "bow tie" cut. A portion of the VIS is relieved so that the only the upper portion of the lower barrel lugs contact the frame. It is called a "bow tie" cut because it leaves a shape resembling a bow tie at the top of the VIS. By doing this, the strongest part of the lower lug is bearing the load and it minimizes the amount of leverage the forces have on the lugs. If the lower part of the lugs contacts the frame not only is that the narrowest and weakest part of the lug, but also being the furthest away from the base of the barrel it creates greater stresses on the lug. Over time, with this increased stress, the lower lugs will shear away from the barrel or otherwise become damaged.

From my understanding, some models of the Remington R1 do not have a "bow tie" cut, or did not have a "bow tie" cut. There was also some issue of the bevel between the barrel bed and VIS that is supposed to provide clearance for where the lower lugs lie into the base of the barrel being too large. Which if a specific gun did not have a "bow tie" cut on the VIS would prevent one from being added because it removed too much of the upper half of the VIS.

My sample of 1 happens to have a "bow tie" cut and while the same type of bevel is there, it is not as large. I am not certain if this is a disparity between the base model R1 and the Enhanced version, or if there has been a production change. Rumors floating around the Internet are pretty inconsistent. Just be wary of older production R1's or base model R1's. They may or may not have a properly machined VIS.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Miculek Awesomeness

Just stumbled across this video today. Pretty good information and some outstanding shooting. I would love to spend an afternoon on the range with Jerry Miculek.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Different Things Work for Different People Differently

I was reading on Gun Nuts today (great blog by the way) about Bob Vogel's pistol class and how he emphasis the grip. Interestingly enough, I took a class from Mike Seeklander earlier this year and he also emphasised the grip. From what I gathered in Tim's post on Gun Nuts, Bob and Mike have different approaches as far as technique, but the results seems to be pretty similar. You can check the article at Gun Nuts for video of Vogel and here is video of Mike Seeklander running a G19.

For info on how Seeklander teaches the grip he has a youtube video.

This is a great example of why we should try to experience different instructors. I would be willing to go out a limb and say both guys have the same, or similar goal as far as shooting; to perform at a very high level. I would also be willing to say that both guys do just that. But in this case, they have two very different approaches to the same thing. Which tells me different things work differently for different people. In order for us as individuals to find what works best for us, we have to do a little exploring sometimes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10-8 Extractor Test, Take 2

After last weeks struggles with the 10-8 Performance extractor test I made a slight tension adjustment to the extractor. I followed the advice in these two videos.

My extractor is currently set where it will hold an empty case pretty well. I have to shake it fairly hard to get it to come out.

Today, I ran the extractor test again.

Leave it to a 1911 to make me out to be a liar. The last couple times I have run this test, it has passed the freestyle portion of the test. Not this time though with 2 malfunctions. Not sure what the deal is there. It does do better on the SHO portion, but still not a pass.

I could add more tension to the extractor and see what happens. I guess eventually I would end up getting fail to feed malfunctions, but for now, I think I am going to leave it the way it is. I am wondering if maybe it is not a tension issue, but something in the profile of the extractor claw. I am not ready to cross that bridge. My comfort zone with the 1911 does not include filing on parts yet. Maybe someone who knows more than I do can jump in on that one. If the gun continues to run like it has under normal shooting conditions, I may not make anymore changes.  Or I may buy an aftermarket extractor and firing pin stop to mess around with.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Learning the 1911 Part 2

The trigger system on the 1911 is both a blessing and a curse to me. Running the gun fast at closer ranges on moderately sized targets I really have to remain of my trigger control. I am not sure if it is just being used to Glock triggers and not yet being fully transitioned over to the 1911 or just my style of shooting and the SAO trigger, but I have developed a slight, pre-ignition push (aka anticipation). At further distances or when shooting a slower pace for precision, I love the SAO trigger. It makes the work easy.

As evidenced by the video below, I am shooting right around 0.35 splits on a 6"x6" scoring zone at 7 yards. If you slow the video down to quarter speed though, you can see the muzzle dip just slightly right before shots 3 and 4 break. It could actually be that I am having to fight the gun a little bit under recoil because I am still working the kinks out of my grip, or it could just be the "shoot right now" trigger is throwing me off. Either way, I have much work to do. I need some more ammo.

Remington R1 and the 10-8 Extractor Test

As I have learned more and more about the 1911 platform over the past month or so, a go to source for information has 10-8 Performance and the Modern Service Weapon blog. The 10-8 Performance guys are well known for their 1911 specific courses and putting out good aftermarket product. They obviously know what they are doing (now they just need to have a class in Arkansas).

One of the tests that they use to ensure 100% function of a 1911 is the extractor test. Typically, this test is referred to as the 10-8 Extractor Test, but if I have my story right, it did not originate with them but rather with Ken Hackathorn. Supposedly the test is also used by Larry Vickers and Wilson Combat as a quality assurance measure. The test consist of two phases, shooting 8 rounds, one round at a time, without the magazine inserted in a normal shooting stance with a two handed grip and the second phase is repeating, but shooting strong hand only. You can read more about the test here.

The R1 passes the first phase, has twice now, but has consistently failed the SHO phase.

I have adjusted tension on the extractor prior to this test to where I think it is about right according to information gleaned from this article by Bill Wilson. If anyone knows what they are doing, I imagine he does. Considering the results of my extractor test, I am guessing it needs just a touch more tension. Will update once I am able to hit the range again. My supply of .45 ACP is dwindling, so I have to pace myself.

Other than malfunctions during the extractor test, the gun has been 100%, but the round count is still pretty meager at 258.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Press Check: When and Why

I have a friend who is not a fan of press checks. I know of one other instructor who is the same way. I personally have no issue with press checks, if used properly. Firearms are mechanical devices, doomed to eventual failure by their very nature. Mechanical devices get worn out, bent, dented, whatever. Eventually they stop working as they should. That is why you will hear some people refer to a press check as a status check. There are two ways to confirm a round is in the chamber ready to go. Press the trigger and the gun goes bang. Good chance there WAS a round in the chamber if the gun goes bang, no guarantee there is one now though. Or press check.

Some people will argue that the press check is a gamer thing to do. It is something done by shooters who compete. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I know that certainly isn't where I learned to do it. I learned to do it from a long time SWAT operator from a local PD and another SWAT operator from the State Police. Neither of which are gamers. Their reasoning, the same as the first paragraph. Mechanical devices fail, if there is something we can do within reason to ensure proper function or status at least up to a point, then it is generally a good idea. Can we eliminate the potential for failure all together, no, we can't. We can only try to stack the odds in our favor as much as possible.

Now this part is important. There is a time to do a press check, and there is a time not to do a press check. It is very important to keep these times separate. I will press check when initially loading my gun for the day before I head out the door. That is the only time I press check. I do not press check in competitions, I do not press check when I run drills at the range. The press check is a very deliberate and a purely administrative task. Where some people get a little too wrapped up is they will press check ALL THE TIME. That I do not agree with. If it becomes a habit I may look, but not truly see anything, and not realize it. The less I do it, the better off I will be because I want to make sure I have to think about it when I do it. But, I still have to do it, at least once.

Overreliance on the Long Gun

Several months ago I started to write a post about what I believe a duty or defensive carry handgun/shooter combination should be capable of doing. I never finished that post (the distractions of life) but recently the topic has come back up as it relates to shooting at distance with a friend who is former LE from the east coast. I believe that any handgun being carried for duty or defensive use should be capable of getting C zone hits from 50 yards in the hands of whoever it is that will be carrying it. Some, in fact probably many, would argue that there is no way you could make an argument for self defense if your bad guy is 50 yards away. I would argue that 1) it depends on how your state law is written and whether it allows defense of a 3rd party and 2) if said bad guy has a rifle, I bet you would think otherwise, especially if he has half a clue about how to use it.

To be extra clear, I am not saying go find a gunfight, what I am saying is that there are plenty of circumstances where I might be forced to engage at a further than normal distance. In my experience, 50 yards is not that far. There have been many times where I may be 50 yards away from a family member or friend at a store or some type of event. When I go to the mall, I don't always have my family in my hip pocket, sometimes we aren't even in the same shop. I would assume that to be pretty normal.

So getting back to the point of the post. The reason we carry handguns is because they are convenient. They fit in nice little holsters that go on our belts or in our pockets and can be hidden from view. A long gun isn't quite as easy to carry, and definitely not as easy to conceal, so we don't usually carry them on our person even though the long gun is generally superior to the handgun in every way. What that means is we have to rely on our handguns to solve problems that in training we would probably typically solve with a long gun. This is probably especially true of law enforcement. The long gun probably stays stashed in the patrol car, but what if you can't get back to the patrol car in a reasonable amount of time to deploy the long gun? You just have to work with what you have.
So this is where we run into our problem. We are faced with a problem that would normally be solved with a more capable weapon (a long gun), but all we have is a handgun. Do I just not solve the problem and let the events run their course, which probably means I lose a family member or friend? Do I try to reposition myself so I can solve the problem? But that eats up valuable time and gives the bad guy opportunity to counter. Or do I try to make sure ahead of time that even though it may be less than ideal, I can still solve the problem with what I have on me at the time, a handgun?

50yd w/G21
I kind of think of it like this. I would like to have that calculator to solve this fairly complex math problem that just got put in front of me with 3 seconds to solve or someone dies, but I don't. Instead I have to solve it the old fashioned way. If I am good at math and working problems in my head, probably not an issue, if I am not good at working problems in my head because I always use a calculator for these types of problems I might be in trouble.

Not to be misunderstood, I am not saying shooting at longer distance should be a training priority over more typical distances. But, it should not be ignored either and if we are smart about how we train, we can usually kill two birds with one stone. All shooting at distance is, is understanding the fundamental concepts of shooting and applying them. That is all it is. We should be practicing that anyway.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

First Shots

So far, the R1 only has 200 rounds through it. A mix of 230gr FMJ or various manufacturers and 75 rounds of Remington 185gr Bonded Golden Saber. Despite my best efforts, it took me over a week after buying the R1 to get it on the range. The up side is I had plenty of time to do my homework. From what I could learn, the R1 came from the factory with an extractor that was a little on the loose side. I left it alone for the time being, until I could run it through the 10-8 performance extractor test.

The very first rounds downrange were two magazines of the Bonded Golden Saber. No problems. Next two magazines where the 10-8 test. Not to my surprise, the R1 failed the test. Had a couple cases eject through the mag well shooting freestyle, and several stovepipes shooting SHO. Oh well, about what I expected from my initial inspection of the gun.

For the remainder of the range trip I didn't have anymore issues. When shooting under normal operating conditions (with magazine inserted) there haven't been any malfunctions. Toward the end of the day, I repeated the freestyle version of the 10-8 extractor test with the Bonded Golden Saber and the R1 passed. I imagine it has something to do with a change in slide velocity from the anemic 230gr FMJ target loads and a full power defensive load.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

VTAC 1-5 Drill...Goal Setting

I am a big believer in setting performance goals to help push to the next level. One of my favorite drills is the VTAC 1-5 drill. If you scroll a few post down you will see this video of me shooting it.

That is at 7 yards, on a USPSA target with all hits in the A-zone. Time is 3.42 seconds with iron sights only. Not a horrible run. Then you watch this video.

That is Travis Haley shooting the same drill, or close to the same drill. The targets are different and I don't know what the distance is, but still. That is a smokin' fast run.

This weekend, I took Mike Seeklander's Defensive Handgun level 1 course, and Steve Aryan is one of his adjunct instructors. He posted this video last year.

He does a really good job of breaking it down and laying out a plan of attack to get to his goal.

My goal is to hit 2.5 with iron sights. I think it is a feasible, long term goal. The short term goal will be to break the 3 second mark. I think that will be pretty easy, getting from 3 down to 2.5 is probably going to be the hard part.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

45 vs. 40

I recently had the opportunity to put some rounds through a Glock 21. I had never given much consideration to .45 ACP Glocks. I don't typically buy into the "bigger is better" line of thought when it comes to wound ballistics...and I still don't. But I do buy into the "if it shoots better, it shoots better" line of thought. I have a lot of time behind .40 S&W handguns, it has just always been what I ended up shooting. I have a marginal amount of time behind 9mm handguns, and I like them well enough but I could always source more .40 S&W than I could 9mm, so I stuck with .40. Just through happen stance I got my hands on Gen2 Glock 21. The original intent was to do a series of post on modifying the Glock, and thought the Glock 21 would make a good host. Before I did anything, I shot it, and decided I liked it. My splits on the 21 are running in the low 0.20's on a USPSA A-zone at 7 yards. Best I can usually do with a Glock 22 is mid to high 0.20's. My 9mm times run in the low 0.20's and high teens. In all honesty, it caught me completely off guard to shoot the .45 that fast. I thought it would be the opposite. But it is what it is. Might just mean the demise of my .40 cal. handguns. Plus, I can actually find .45 ammo right now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gripping a Handgun

A while back I was approached by someone about some basic tips for handgun shooting and wrote up a quick "how to" on gripping a handgun, or at least how I grip a handgun. Step one of building my grip is acquiring a high, master grip with the shooting hand. The web of my hand between the thumb and forefinger is pressed into the rear tang/beaver tail of the handgun. The goal here is to get my hand as high on the gun as possible to limit the amount of leverage the reciprocating slide has over my grip. For handguns with slide mounted safeties (i.e. 1911, etc.), my shooting hand thumb rest on top of the safety. This helps to properly position the hand, as well as ensures that the safety is disengaged during the draw stroke, and remains disengaged throughout the firing cycle.

When initially establishing my grip, before the support hand has come to meet the gun, my shooting hand thumb remains flagged in an up position. This allows access to where the support hand needs to go in order to maximize contact with the firearm. If the thumb is folded down, or not raised high enough, it will block access to this area, or end up under the support hand.

When bringing the support hand to the gun, I use the top of my index finger as a physical indexing point on the trigger guard. By using a physical, repeatable index it allows me to have consistency in establishing my grip and make any necessary adjustments early in the gripping process. 

Once the index is acquired and confirmed, the support had is folded into the grip. The support hand thumb points forward, along the side of the slide, and the “meat” of the support hand at the base of the thumb is pressed into the side of the grip by the clamping force of the fingers. The majority of the gripping force on the gun comes from this hand when shooting for maximum accuracy. That allows my muscles in the shooting hand to relax slightly, which permits greater motor control over the trigger finger. This especially applies to the shooting hand thumb. I have found that keeping the shooting hand thumb loose will have a direct effect on the amount of control I have with my trigger finger.

As my support hand is folded into the grip, the support hand fingers wrap around the gun under the trigger guard. This completes the grip on the handgun. To further solidify the grip, my elbows are rotated up slightly while keeping the wrist locked and applying rotational torque. This creates a lateral pressure on the grip of the handgun and further enhances my recoil control. It isn't a very noticeable change from the outside looking in, but this was one of the break through moments for my handgun control when I started doing this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Continuum of Sight Alignment

It is important as a shooter to instinctively recognize what needs what, based on target size and/or distance. In other words, understand and be able to "see what you need to see" as it is often said.

Something that probably took me way to long to learn is that sight alignment exist along a continuum. At one end I have zero use of visual reference to shoot, and at the other I have perfect sight alignment and an intense focus on the sights. In between is everything else.

Up close at or near contact distances, my need for referencing the sights, or any visual reference at all, may be zero. At 50 yards, my need for referencing the sights is pretty high, and in between is everything else. A demonstration that really drove this point home to me what a demo Mike Seeklander did on an IDPA target. He intentionally misaligned his sights to show where the round would hit. It barely hit outside the -0 zone from 7-ish yards with the front sight post nearly all the way outside the rear notch on an M&P 9. The only way to find out what your gun and sights will let you get away with is to go try it. Just remember that you still have to execute good trigger control to get good results.

When I am shooting at a closer range target, my front sight is basically never sitting still. It lifts with recoil, drops back into the rear notch, or close enough to it, just long enough for me to see it is there and then lifts again because I have fired another round. This is one of the reasons why I like the Ameriglo front sight on my chopped Glock 22 and the plain black rear, it is really to see the orange circle floating around in the rear notch.

A good example of the front sight never really sitting still is the video below. The gun is pretty much always in motion, and I am not even that good. The target is a USPSA A-zone at 7 yards.

This is an example of when a more precise and more refined sight alignment is needed, along with very careful manipulation of the trigger so as not to disturb the sights.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Chopped G22 Completed

I finally finished all the work my chopped G22 (aka G27 SL). I am pleased with how it turned out. Stay tuned for a post on how I got it there.

Look vs. No Look Part II

My last blog post about reloads garnered a little discussion on Facebook, and I think a little clarification may be in order on what I think has to happen on reloads. The ideal, is to not look the reload in. Where that becomes problematic, is learning to do it. There is a term that floats around called "muscle memory", the scientific version is called myelination (stolen from Mike Seeklander's Your Defensive Handgun Training Program) and is the process of strengthening a neural pathway so that it becomes "second nature" for you body to execute an action. Like a reload.

The problem is, if you do not execute an action correctly, the myelination process can become corrupted and fail. So we have to find a way to execute the action correctly in order to "write" the program correctly before letting the program run on itself. I think there are some key components to doing this. First is having a consistent and repeatable positioning of the firearm in space. With a handgun I pin the inside of my upper arm against my torso. This gives me consistency and stability so that the gun isn't "floating" and hard to hit with the reload. Second is being sure to execute the action (the reload in this case) as perfectly as possible many, many, many times in a row. This may mean moving at a slower than 100% pace initially, and may also mean looking the reload in until the program is successfully written. Once I can hit the reload consistently, on demand (the sign that the program has been successfully written), then I start increasing speed and start reprogramming my eye's to look elsewhere. But, in order to reach the highest performance level, for the initial learning process I need to look the reload in, then progress towards not looking it in.