Sunday, March 28, 2010

On The Range #13: Back in the saddle.

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the seas of my life are calming just a bit I decided yesterday would be a good day to get in some good, long practice/training/fun. It was a beautiful day, if a bit windy.

The first thing I did was take my rifle (S&W M&P15t) out to my range. I practiced shooting from a variety of positions:

Since I'm a limited to iron sights with my rifle for the foreseeable future I did at least half of my practice at close range (25 yards). I realize this is slapping distance with a rifle, but I've found it's a good way to really practice different shooting positions, use of cover, etc. and be able to see exactly how you are doing without having to take a long walk in between each string or keep a spotter or binoculars handy.

I also did a fair amount of shooting out at around 75 yards from various shooting positions. I did some 'move and shot,' practicing taking up different positions as I went and reloading as I changed positions (harder than it sounds!).

All in all, my shooting is pretty good even out at 75 yards using iron sights. Obviously I do my best shooting from kneeling and prone, but I was almost always on target even on the move.

I want to set up some variable distance targets, along with spreading some random cover along my hundred yard range for some more active training as time goes one. I've found I really enjoy this kind of shooting.

Next up I did my 100 Round Pistol Drill (@7yards) in what I hope is it's final evolution:

Warm up-8 rounds from two handed grip, slow
Strong hand only-16 rounds, 8 slow and 8 at normal speed
Weak hand only-16 rounds, 8 slow and 8 at normal speed
The 'Bill Drill'-36 rounds(6x 6 rounds each), 3x slow and 3x normal speed(timed)
Mozambique Drill-18 rounds (6x 3 rounds each), 3x slow and 3x normal speed (timed)
With the remaining six rounds I do either another Bill Drill or a couple of Mozambique's at longer distances.

Slow for me is taking as much time as it takes to make a perfect shot. Normal speed is going as fast as I can and still doing the drill correctly (sometimes this means I rush and screw up, but I like to be able to compare how good I can be to how good I want to be at speed).

My plan is to move the distance out as I get better to keep the challenge on. Hopefully I'll be able to afford enough ammo to keep this regimen up regularly. I'd like to do the 100 Round Drill at least once every two weeks (once a week would be better). My idea is to alternate rifle and pistol training week to week. This will keep down my ammo costs as much as possible while allowing me to get in a some serious training.

In the future I also want to work some rifle to pistol transitions into my practice, as well as doing different drills with the pistol and any new stuff I come across with the rifle.

As time and money allow, I want to take some formal training courses in both rifle and pistol, as well as upgrade some of my gear. I really like my Ultra Raptor, but I think I'd be better served by a commander sized 1911. With a new pistol will of course come a new run of holsters until I find what I like best. I've also need to get some decent optics on my rifle, and while I'd love an ACOG or EOTech, I think I'll end up with this.

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