For most of the last year I’ve shot one of my guns at least once a week. I bought a gold membership at PDHSC and while that was in effect, it was an easy decision to go to the range and shoot. I’d limit myself to 100 rounds most visits and I’d be there about an hour.For some months I had a shooting partner and we would discuss drills and ideas, but most of those trips were solo.
During that time I’ve come along way with my gun handling skills and safety awareness. I remember early on when I’d pick up a magazine and I’d have to puzzle out which direction it should face when I put it in the gun. That is now something I don’t question.
I’ve shot competitions and I’m past the point of nerves and adrenaline. I’m reasonably competent but I’m not a competitive shooter. But that isn’t improving.
With the expiration of my gold membership, I’ve decided to rethink how I’m spending my “gun time”. Continuing to put lead downrange is fun, but I’m not convinced I’m structuring my range time to be productive.
Also, with the purchase of the XDS, I want to get comfortable with carrying a gun other than at the range and at a competition. That is what prompted the last post in carrying in the car — and I appreciate all the feedback on why I should not leave the gun in the car permanently.
I bought a Remora Concealment Holster and intend to start carrying it around the house with the gun unloaded at first just to see how this works. It has a rigid opening and doesn’t collapse when the gun is drawn, it has a flap to make it “tuckable”, there is a clip but it can be removed (it snaps on), and it’s a “sticky” holster. I tried it on in the store at 9Forward and it felt comfortable.
However, I’ve drawn from it and it’s very different from the dropped, offset holsters I’ve been using for competition. It was at this point that I realized that I might want to switch my focus from “getting better at competition” to “getting better at self-defense”. I’m not going to be able to conceal a dropped offset holster unless it’s a very cold day and I have no plans to remove my coat, so I think I need to suck it up and start working with the equipment that is practical for everyday carry — even if it’s not designed with the easy access of a competition holster.
The XDS in the center console of a my car
When I buy something, I like to use it. I’m up to four 9mm pistols at this point and I’m going through a process of deciding where each “fits” in my life — or whether to sell one of them.
- I’ve parked the H&K in my bedroom. It’s the only gun I have with night sights.
- When I bought the 1911 it replaced the XD9 as my competition gun (for now). I tried putting the XD9 in the car, but I wanted it in the center console. It’s too big. I can’t really reach the glove box quickly but I can pop the center console and access items next to me fast. So the XD9 went back in my range bag as a back up competition gun.
I have a CCW but I haven’t gotten comfortable carrying a loaded gun on my body outside of the range or competitions. So I decided my next baby step would be to carry in the car.
If you’ve been reading you know I bought the XDS in 9mm. It’s a perfect fit for the glove box. I took the holster that came with the gun and attached it to a heavy CD case (metallic blue with a zipper in the photo) using a rubber band in order to test out the concept. The holster keeps the gun upright and centered. The CD case keeps the holster in place when I draw the gun. I practice drawing at least once a day now and I’m happy with this system. I just want to find something more reliable than a rubber band to make it work.
The next time I’m at The Range and it’s fairly empty and dry, I will try driving my car out into a bay and practice a S L O W draw with a transition to shoot through the driver’s window and or passenger window.
At this point I have questions. So if you are reading and you are willing to share:
- Do you carry in your car? Why or why not?
- Where do you carry?
- Do you leave the gun in the car full time or remove it once you are home?
I have many conversations with shooters but never with a consistent mentor and this is the kind of thing I will figure out on my own, but would really like pointers.
No I’m not talking about dancing or sex, although I can dance a fabulous east or west coast swing. I’m talking about moving targets.
When I complete in IDPA most matches have a few of these and that is the only time I get the chance to attempt to shoot them. So I took Frank up on the offer to come shoot at The Range over the July 4th holiday. There was one stage at the Carolina Cup that had two swingers and no electronics. I was hoping they were still in place and I was in luck. I also wanted to spend some time with the XDs 9mm I bought just before the Cup.
Single Swinger before
In the photo above and below, look for the “L” shaped metal boot .Step one is to hit the boot. That sets the target swinging.
Double Swinger before
I remember during the competition shooting through the straw bails to hit the target as it was swinging and seeing straw go flying. This time I wanted to be able to set it up, try shooting, see the results and try it again to see if I could figure out how to hit these.
Single Swinger after
I tried this several times and never did figure out how to go about hitting the moving target. I got some lead on the targets but I have to admit it was a stroke of fortune, not skill.
I also realized that once the target stopped swinging, I could continue with the current magazine by switching to head shots. I seemed to do worse with the double swinger than I did with the single swinger, but possibly that was because i had twice as many opportunities to miss.
Double Swinger in motion
It was very muddy after all the rain we have had and I managed to show up at a cookout later that afternoon with red mud on my jeans but I was really happy to have to opportunity to give this a try. Also, the more I shoot the XDs the more I like it.
Double Swinger back behind cover
One other note: Frank says he knows the website is down for the Range and they are working on getting it back up. You can find contact info here if you want to check the schedule while the site is down.
Happy Independence Day!
I’m headed up to The Range to get in some shooting time, wet or dry.
I encourage you to get away from the computer and to spend time with folks that mean the most to you.