Frustrated… so I signed up for a class

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.



2 thoughts on “Frustrated… so I signed up for a class

  1. Hey there.. how’s life been? 🙂 Work has been super busy; lots of stuff breaking, and even more stuff that’s never worked right in years, if ever. I enjoy the challenge, but it’s overwhelming at times. And, the more I learn, and the more I research, I’m terrified over how little I seem to know.

    I’m confident I’ll never get caught up at work.. I’m re-commisioning some systems currently, and they seem to be able to break stuff faster than I can fix it. But. like you, I’m hanging in there. Don’t get frustrated; don’t give up. 🙂

    I haven’t been shooting much lately.. if you don’t want to end up dead last at a meet, just invite me along. I am looking to get into reloading a bit more.. ordered some supplies recently, now just have to find the time to get to the ‘friend’s house’ and get going. I’ve actually been wanting to play with the .22 rifles lately.. 50 and 100 yard ranges. Seems like ammo availability is starting to loosen up; I was able to pick up a couple of bulk boxes of .22 recently. Was trying to get a case of .22 Wildcat, but it was delayed until May. And as usual, ‘too much life, not enough time’.

    The recent gun control news reports make me sad 🙁 Have you seen this one yet?

    “Asked how a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds would be effective in reducing gun violence, DeGette said:

    “I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those know they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.””

    From the mouth of Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, lead sponsor on a federal ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

    On a happier note, a couple of comments on some of your recent blog posts;

    I recognize those targets!!

    Concerning your photo; I like the pose, and I want to take some like that, but playing with the depth of field and focus point. I like this shot from Goodfellas..

    I’ve done some where the focus is on the end of the barrel.. cause that’s where your attention would be focused, I suspect.

    Anyway, consider this. Should the day arise you have to use lethal force against another (and I hope that day never arrives), are you going to be wearing protection.. hearing or otherwise? When I did my CC class, after we qualified, the instructor offered us the opportunity to simulate that situation. The scenario is a close quarters contact shot to the abdomen. I was using that snubnose .357.. can you see where this is going? Two shots to the adbomen; the cardboard was smoldering, and it took awhile for my hearing to come back. Glad I did it though.. I have a better understanding of what to expect. And.. as you know, if you had to do a low light/no light shoot with that hand cannon, you’ll be blind after the first shot.

    Ok, the sun is up, the day is warming, it’s time to get off the keyboard and get back to other things. Good to see you’re staying active with the shooting.. just remember, it takes more than a year to be a marksman.. err.. marksperson?

    Take care..

  2. You get the “Most Loyal Reader” award for writing comments. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

    I compete once or twice a month so if you want to go, just ask. Really. I’d love to have a “ringer” for the new last place finisher. You will have fun, I promise.

    In my class last weekend, I was shooting a drill and had moved my ear protection to the top of my head, so I got my first experience with no ear protection. Wasn’t terrible but it was noticeable. The odd part of the experience was this: I was so focused on the drill that it took me a minute to figure out what was wrong…

    And yes, you should recognize those targets 🙂

    Speaking of busy…. I’m off to eat & sleep…

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