Saturday, January 07, 2006

Range Day

I went to Rex's Indoor Range in Hendersonville this morning. Shooting in an indoor range is good training for people who carry for self defense. The only way to become accustomed to keeping focused on your front sight while other people are shooting just a few feet from you (a situation that is common in gunfights) is to shoot while other people are shooting just a few feet from you. This morning's training session was very good for that. There was a man in the next lane shooting a Benelli 12 ga. and the next two lanes had women shooting AR-15's (few things are sexier than a woman with an assault rifle). There was even a guy teaching his wife to shoot a 9mm SMG (a full auto weapon, my liberal readers just pissed themselves).

I took my Glock 23 (.40 S&W) and my Colt Combat Commander (38 Super Auto) and my Browning Hi-Power (9mm). Since I hadn't been shooting since Nov. I was a bit rusty. I shot the .40 first because it has the heaviest recoil. After about half a box of ammo I was keeping everything in the black at 15 yards so I moved the target out to 20. I was still in the black although the shots tended to hit a little high and to the left. Next was the .38 Super. I didn't shoot this as well. The gun has a satin nickel finish and the microscopic front sight that used to be standard on all Colt autos except the Gold Cup. I just couldn't see the damn thing. When I put it on the target it would just disappear so I had to guess where it was. Still most of the shots went into the black at 15 yards. Finally the 9mm. I saved it for last because it has the lightest recoil. I shot at 15 and 20 yards and when I was finished with 50 rounds the X and 10 rings were gone.

That Hi-Power is my favorite pistol. The main reason that I don't carry it is because the safety on those old P-35's is very stiff and only held in position by friction. I've had them work off in the holster and that can be dangerous. When I send it out to the Cylinder and Slide Shop for a feedway job and new sights I'm going to have them put on one of their safeties. Another reason I don't carry the Hi-Power is that it will only feed ball ammo reliably. Ball ammo is not a good stopper even in .45; in 9mm it is delivers one shot stops only a little more than 50% of the time. To make it a viable defense pistol you must use hollow points.

I need to go to the range more often. Shooting is a discipline which must be reinforced by regular practice. It takes surprisingly little time for hard-learned skill to be lost. Having once learned to shoot you can recover skills after a little range time, but the armed home-invader or car jacker will not wait while you practice. If you carry a gun or keep one in your home or business get your buttocks to the range on a regular basis.