I took a trip to the Virginia mountains with friends and the cabin where we stayed had a shooting range. I brought my 1911 and helped my host out by adding a few 9mm holes to the sign he bought to post on the gate at the road. I wasn’t sure if I’d get any splatter or flying metal, so I shot it at about 10 yards. I have no idea if anyone would take it seriously but it was a fun project!
My host has a collection of restraints so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try shooting in restraints while I was there. I included photos of two of the options I tried shooting with.
The challenge was the preparation steps: draw the pistol, load the magazine and then rack the slide. I was able to do that in 4 different types of restraints but not without difficulty. In the case of the bracelet restraints, I could only rack the slide if the metal was lined up with my wrist joint. If they slipped down on my arm at all, I could not rack the slide.
I remember hearing that you can rack the slide one handed by hooking it over the heel of your boot, but I decided that trying that for the first time in restraints with a loaded gun wasn’t a good idea. I’ll have to try that later with an unloaded gun. You never know when you may be wounded and down to a single hand in a defensive situation.
I don’t honestly think I’d ever end up with cuffs and still have my gun handy, but in that far fetched scenario, I know I can shoot and accurately.
I also tried filming video from the front for the first time. I bought a gorilla tripod for my flip camera. We set it up down range and just let it run. I used VideoPad to clip out the segments that looked like they might be worth sharing. I edited out the “load and make ready” segments because they took way too long. I’m thinking practice would make a difference but I’ll reserve my practice time for more realistic scenarios. So just to make it 100% clear: no one was downrange filming to get these video clips.
I shot a match last Monday night (July 20th, 2015). I had put about 120 rounds through the 1911 since I got it back from S&W and it had worked flawlessly, so I decided to shoot it again in a match. I switched from a USP Compact (a DA/SA gun) to a 1911 (a SAO gun). In more specific terms:
DA/SA is a double action trigger pull followed by single action trigger pull. The first trigger pull has to both cock and release the hammer. When the gun fires, the action of the slide cocks the hammer for subsequent shots. So the first pull is long and heavy. Subsequent pulls are light and short in comparison.
SAO shoots in single action only. My 1911 has a factory trigger but it’s light at about 3.25 pounds.
To increase my speed with the USP Compact I worked to prep the trigger as I was extending the gun for the first shot. When I shot the first stage of the match I had an AD (accidental discharge). I pulled the trigger after the gun was out of the holster and pointed down range but well before I intended to pull the trigger. The habits built with the H&K were not transferable to the 1911. Here are stills of the first accidental shot and the first intended shot:
The RSO noted that at matches with more structured rules I would have been disqualified. I would not have argued with that. Since the shot went into the backstop they did let me continue to shoot. The rest of my match went well.
This was a huge wake up call to focus even more on my draw and where my trigger finger is at all times. To pull the still of the AD, I found a way to step through the video in slow motion. I then saw all the extraneous movement in my draw and alignment for the first shot. That was another eye opener. When I watch it at full speed I don’t really see all the small movements, but in slow motion it becomes very clear.
I’ve included the video of the match. I’ll be shooting these stages again next Wednesday night. The Wake County Range will be closed for most of August for cleaning and renovation. The next Monday match will be in September.
Stage start with magazine and empty gun on the barrel.
I shot the IDPA match in Oxford today. Frank let us opt out of cover garments due to the heat. That was a great start to the match. Our squad started on Stage 2 so shot Stage 1 last and I got a treat: something totally new. We started the stage with the gun unloaded and both the gun and magazine lying on a flat surface (barrel top).
When the buzzer went off, I picked up the gun and the magazine, loaded, racked a round into the chamber and got buzy shooting. The video clip shows the first half of the stage with 2 shots on each cardboard target and one shot to knock down the plate.
New challenges are the #1 thing I like about shooting matches. This isn’t a difficult way to start a stage but you do need to try to get the parts together and get it loaded quickly to get to the actual shooting. Here’s how it went: