I’ve been shooting for just over a year. I’ve learned quite a bit: about guns (that cranky 1911), competition, and shooting. But I’m not getting any better, really. I still come in dead last or in the bottom 5 at every match. A friend and I were trading email about our journey and he wrote: “I classified as an IDPA Marksman a few months back and am going to try for Sharpshooter”. We shot our first match together. I’m still a bottom ranked Novice. I am not happy about this.
One of the contributing factors was getting pushed into buying a 1911. I waited for the slim grips to arrive and I essentially started from scratch. I wasn’t used to a gun with a thumb safety and I had spent too much to sign up for more private lessons last fall. Several competitors at matches where I’ve shot have volunteered their opinion, “Whoever told you to buy that 1911 did you no favors.”. One of the local shooters I watch gave up on his 1911 (for now). It’s a great gun. It’s just more gun than I know what to do with and it requires additional knowledge and experience to use well. Dealing with “hardware” issues has distracted me from developing my shooting skills.
Add to that I took off work at lunch on Good Friday (forgetting that it was a holiday) and intended to practice at the range — only to find a 45 – 60 minute wait for a lane. So back to work I went with no practice. The weekends are worse.
What have I been doing? Shooting a match or live fire practice at the range once a week.
What am I not doing? Dry fire practice and getting instruction. At this point I don’t even trust I’m practicing the right things.
Time for a change…
We all have constraints on time and money, but I found a class that I can afford, with an instructor that comes highly recommended by a match director and many past students. I’ll be packing a lunch Saturday and heading north for a full day of basic competition instruction. Once I have that refresher, I need to make time to do much more dry fire practice and see how that works.
I feel like I’m a slow starter, but I know I’m not a quitter. Signing up for this class makes me feel more positive, should improve my skills, and gives me the opportunity to meet other shooters.