Archive for the ‘Front Range Gun Club’ Category

Get on the brakes

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Front Range Gun Club, IDPA

Last year before the Colorado state IDPA match, I had a course with Master-level shooter Matt Sims. He said that IDPA is like Nascar, you have to know when to get on the brakes, and when to get on the gas. It sounds simple and rings of truth, but putting this into practice feels counterintuitive, we have a natural desire to go faster.

Tonight, I figured I’d take a crack at getting on the brakes a little more. I shot the weekly pistol combat league with an emphasis on taking a little more time on my headshots and trying to be more accurate. The result was an improved score, and one of the highest I have had shooting in this format.

I have concluded that the league shoots place a premium on accuracy more than speed. Partially this is a result of the scoring of the target, which is more of an NRA target than an IPSC/IDPA style. Of course, the timing of the course of fire is the same for everyone, but it does take good speed to be able to get off all of the shots including the mandatory reloads.

What I have found lately is that I still end up finishing in many cases with two or three target exposures to spare. So tonight, I tried to slow down and take my time with the headshots in particular. In this case, the difference between a miss and a hit can be either 10(head) or 20(ocular cavity) points. In the past I have shot this faster than I could make good solid hits and I’ve had some misses. Tonight I just managed to get off all of my shots on the head, but they were much better, and my score rose as a result.

I still went a bit faster than necessary on the body shots, but here the difference between an X and a 7 is not as much of a factor. I did have two flyers that were misses to the body, but it was overall okay.

For this week’s “Top Shot” competition, we finally got to shoot guns of all things. Seriously, I was glad to not see another slingshot or bow. This week we fired a Ruger SP101 revolver, an adult air rifle, and a Hi-Point 9mm carbine. I will say that I liked the front sight post of the Hi Point which reminded me a little of an HK sight, and it had negligible recoil, but otherwise it was a huge pile of crap. One of the two magazines would not take a 10th round, and I got a double feed that I think may also have been the result of the magazine (couldn’t be operator error of course). The ejection port is ridiculously small, and the method for locking the bolt back is just stupid. I suggested we name our blue team: “*bleep* Hi-Point”

Now, I know they are American made and a lot of people like them, but I think it’s crap. The good news is this thing is very cheap. Of course, for a gun this ugly, it has to be.

Check out our club’s second “episode” of “Top Shot”

Back in the saddle

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Front Range Gun Club

After a few months of very little shooting, I come into the New Year with big plans for getting more rounds downrange and improving my shooting abilities. Of course, I’ve previously made similar statements and droned on about how even small breaks in shooting make a huge difference in just how well we shoot – so no more of that.

Last week I went back in and shot a fun-gun match at the Front Range Gun Club.  I came in at 6th out of 34 shooters. Overall, I shot much better than I was expecting going into it. My shooting speed is much the same, but I am not tracking my sights as well and the groups are larger as a result. The two main things I need to work on are reloads and accuracy. The good news is that reloads are easy to improve. I can dry fire and work on those at home and they should come together very quickly. I’ve found that dry firing over my bed makes it very easy to pick up the dropped mags and keep going. Accuracy of course is another story.

This week marks that start of the pistol combat league as well as the first ever “Top Shot” shoot at the Front Range Gun Club. This is simply a fun way for club members to try some unusual challenges similar to what you may have seen on the History Channel’s Top Shot. Of course, they have things like a budget. Fortunately, our game is not a popularity contest so it’s all going to be about skill – or so I thought… The first night of our Top Shot competition was just like the TV show, ridiculous challenges that ensured our firearms proficiency had little to do with our scores. Just watch below and see the train wreck that was my attempt:

The combat league shoot went substantially better by comparison. Not great, but much better. I look forward to shooting many more of these as they are great practice for some of my other shooting.

Last week I purchased a wearable camera aka helmet-cam to record my mountain biking adventures and shooting matches.  I thought this would be very handy for showing a better view of my grip while shooting and I won’t have to ask folks to record me as much.  I had done some research online previously and had decided to go with the Contour HD vholdr 1080P camera.  I had found that I could use my 20% off dividend coupon at REI on this camera, which seemed like a good deal because these are almost always full price.

So, the first question, how does it perform? Very well. I am very pleased with how easy it is to operate the camera when it’s mounted to the side of your head.  The camera makes little beeps to let you know when it’s going on/off or recording start/stop.  The instructions weren’t great, but it’s pretty quick to figure out. I used the video on a 720p setting with 60fps frame rate, check out an example below from last week’s Front Range IDPA match (note that youtube will show the 360p unless you specify otherwise).

Check out the fish-eye affect on the shotgun shells at the end of the video. I dig it.

To be honest, the camera got uncomfortable after awhile, I had it on the whole time I was at the match which was about half of the day.  I mounted it via Velcro cable ties and two scrunchies to my Peltor Tac-Sport electronic hearing protectors. Perhaps another method would be better, it wasn’t too heavy, but I could feel the mount pressing against my head.  Not a deal breaker though, and I’ll probably mount it the same way again, though I may go back and forth between this and ear plugs if it’s going to be a long day. 

Last night I shot the monthly ‘fun gun’ match at my local shooting range.  This is a chance to get out in front of the shooting booths, engage multiple targets, and shoot on the move. There are limited target options in an indoor setting, but the weather is a lot better than my outdoor matches, and it goes faster too.

This was my first time doing a man-on-man match indoors.  We had two shoot no-shoot targets with a load out of 8,2,8,2 in the magazines and a minimum of 8 rounds on each target.  One target seemed to be presented a little more than the other- so it took some discipline to not put too many rounds into the target that was presented more.

We also shot the 10-50-1 drill, otherwise known as the Triple Nickel. The goal here is to put 10 shots into 5 targets with one reload in under 5 seconds, while drawing from concealment. We use IPSC targets just cut down to just the side of the ‘C’ zone. So far, my best attempt was making 9 out of the 10 shots in 5.61 seconds. Tonight I dropped a few more points and didn’t shoot quite as fast.

In this case, I feel like my main goal here is to work on speed first and accuracy second. Even though I’m dropping some shots, I think that if I could put some dedicated practice into this drill, I could start to nail it. Index shooting this close and fast is not something I have really practiced, and it’s very unnatural to shoot with such a poor sight picture.