Sunday, May 12, 2013

On The Range #86: The Masters 2013 IDPA Match

Yesterday I shot in my first sanctioned IDPA match, The Masters 2013, at Brock's Gap Training Center in Birmingham, AL.  It was ten stages of both fun and frustration.

All of the SOs, saving one man on one stage, were great.  This one guy stood out as an asshole, but fuck him.  The other SOs were wonderful even if they all had a variety of styles and mannerisms.

The stages were all challenging and fun, my favorite being one that was set up to mirror the scene from The Outlaw Josey Wales in which Clint Eastwood comes out of a general store, hands full, to find himself confronted by a group of Union soldiers.  As they stare each other down, he says, "Are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"  You, of course, are Wales.  That was also probably  my best stage overall.

I ended up 16 out of 20 in Stock Service Pistol/Sharpshooter, and 104 of 140 total shooters.  I wasn't dead last, so I'm happy about that.  I shot about middle of the pack with the SSP/Marksman, which is what I'm used to.

I was almost disqualified on a stage for possibly unsafe muzzle work.  One SO saw it, one didn't.  The one who didn't decided I could rerun the stage after the stop call.  Personally, I'm not sure.  The stage required me to back up and then run down the 90 degree line.  My muzzle typically goes where my eyes go and I didn't look past the 90.  A few of my squad mates spoke with me after and said I was close but didn't break it.  Anyway, I was very conscious about it the rest of the day.

Overall, it was a good match.  I had fun, but by the end I was exhausted.  My allergies were driving me insane.  I had a runny nose for most of the match and was eating Claritin at lunch (which helped not at all for once).  Match results didn't come out until late and I was in bed by 8:30 last night so I didn't see them until this morning.

The Glock ran perfectly though out the entire match.  I the match using Winchester Ranger 127gr. 9mm +P+ JHP, my carry ammo.  I bought it for the same price I see PMC 115gr FMJ going for so I figured I might as well use it and have the extra oomph for steel activators.

I'm looking forward to the next club level match later this month, and I may look into shooting a few more sanctioned matches around the southeast.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On The Range #81: Way of the Gun Intro to Performance Carbine

This past Sunday I attended my first rifle/carbine training course in Anniston, AL.  The course, titled Intro to Performance Carbine, was put on by Frank Proctor of Way of the Gun.

  My favorite kind of classroom.

As a result of the latest run on ammunition there were only five students in attendance.  This gave each of us a lot more one on one time with Frank as he led us through the day's training.

The course was in many respects a facsimile of the Intro to Performance Pistol course I took a few months back, though very much more tailored to the carbine.  All of the fundamentals of shooting were the same, as one might expect.  

Frank's philosophy is that whether shooting for competition or shooting to defend yourself the person who scores the most points fastest wins, therefore the focus of the course was on fast and accurate shooting.  Frank pushed us to operate our carbines as fast as we were able to make accurate hits.  

We worked a number of drills that were new to me.  I plan to incorporate a couple into my practice at home (including the reload drill I learned in the pistol course).  

One of the drills was the VTAC 1-5 Drill:

As I said before the small class size gave each of us a lot of one on one time with Frank.  I found this very helpful as he gave me some tips to improve my shooting with the carbine and pointed out some bad habits I'd picked up.

About to make some steel sing!

Probably the best shooter in the class is in the photo above.  His speed and accuracy were really amazing, especially since the rifle he was using was brand new and only zeroed that day.  He's a competitive pistol shooter and you could really see that skill cross over onto the carbine.  

At $180 I feel like I got my money's worth out of this course.  The instruction and atmosphere was great.  Frank is a really excellent shooter who wants to pass on what he's learned to others.  He has a very positive, approachable attitude and has no problem leaving his ego out of it.  As much as he's there to teach he's also willing to learn from others as well.  

We finished up the day doing some shooting at steel targets set up at 60, 100, and 140 yards (roughly).  I was able to hit the reduced size IPSC tagets at all distances, but struggled with smaller stuff past 100 yards.  Still, it was nice hitting anything even at that range.  

I took the opportunity to test a few pieces of gear I've picked up.  I have a Condor MA1 Tactical MOLLE Drop Leg Platform - OD Green
 set up to hold rifle mags that I used for a while.  I've used it before and while I like the idea I'm just not a fan of having things on my legs.  It's not comfortable and just feels like it's weighing me down.  I also used a BladeTech belt mount single mag holder.  I found this a MUCH better method for quickly retrieving a mag and much more comfortable.

My Lucid HD7 red dot held up fairly well.  Under 50 yards it's great, and it works at distance well.  The battery held up all day with no need to replace it.  I'm pretty impressed with the batter life.  The sight has an auto off after being on for two hours which works like a charm.  The only issue I had with it was one of my own making.  After almost six hundred rounds it had come loose from the rail.  I figure this was result of me not having it tight enough.  That's something I'll be sure to keep a check on.

My AR held up very well.  I had zero malfunctions related to the gun, and one related to a magazine.  The magazine issue was a result of overloading my PMag.  PMags will hold 31 rounds but they will usually not lock into the mag well with the bolt forward.  Other than this, no issues.

I'd recently started using Slipstream Weapon Lubricant
 on my AR.  My gun stayed slick all day even though I was shooting dirty Monarch brand steel case ammo.  I did a thorough cleaning, including bolt dis-assembly  and relubed with the Slipstream.  This stuff will be going on my Glock and 1911 for further testing.

I hope to get some more training from Frank Proctor in the future, and I recommend him to anyone who is looking to get some formal instruction without breaking the bank.  I feel like I learned quite a bit that will help my on the past to becoming a better shooter.