One of my favorite posts to write last year – even if no one read it – was the 2018 in Review post. This was a review of the year, followed by some plans and goals for the next year. My shooting year is basically complete at this point, barring a couple of matches, so I think it’s time to start looking back so I can move forward.
It was 5:30AM on Tuesday morning, and I had just been woken up by the soft sound of my smart alarm clock telling me it was time for another day of earning a living. I rolled out of bed, turned off the alarm, and grabbed my phone to do a quick overview of the day’s events. While perusing Facebook, I noticed that a 6PM slot at the USPSA match had opened up literally minutes earlier. I posted that I wanted it, then politely asked my wife if I could shoot it. This is perhaps the wrong order of operations for a happy marriage, but, fortunately, she acquiesced.
That is the story of how I wound up shooting this USPSA match. You want to know how it went? Keep reading.
Six months ago, I took a Modern Samurai Project red dot pistol class – really only a single day of it – and it totally blew my mind. I have been shooting red dot-equipped pistols almost exclusively ever since. I immediately signed up for the next class when it became available, which I took this past Sunday. This class was hosted by Green Ops.
Since I was only able to take one-day of the class (as I am Sabbath observant and can’t shoot on Saturdays), I will refrain from calling this an AAR and instead just call them “thoughts”. Read on for what I thought!
Despite my inability to hit a USPSA match for the past few months, I still consider myself a competition guy when people ask me about what kind of shooter I am. I enjoy the “defensive practitioner” side of shooting, but I know in my heart that I’m a boring guy who does boring things in safe places, and am rather unlikely to put those defensive skills to intended use. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they’re important – because sometimes safe places become not-so-safe, and boring things becoming dangerous – but shooting a USPSA match is the activity I’m most likely to be using a gun in.
Because of that, I put a heavy priority on hitting competition-oriented classes when they’ve available to me. I think you can get a lot out of them; the JDC speed shooting class brought my splits down to ~.25, which isn’t going to put me in GM class anytime soon, but it’s enough that I don’t feel as totally outclassed as I used to. Given those results, I was eager to see how the Green Ops Practical Pistol/Competition class this past Sunday would give me some improvement as well!
More after the break!
Continue reading Green Ops Practical Pistol/Competition Skills Clinic AAR
One of my new toys this year has been an AMG Lab “Commander” shot timer. I put off buying a shot timer for a long time because I didn’t really see the value in it. I wasn’t doing holster draws, I didn’t care about my splits, etc. I guess if you don’t care about time, you don’t need a shot timer.
But then I got bit by the training and competition bug a year ago, and suddenly, time mattered a lot more. That meant I needed a shot timer. Since I love having the latest and greatest, I thought I would give the hottest new shot timer on the market a fair shake.
I have a buddy from Green Ops who shoots at Blue Ridge Arsenal, so I figured I would give it a try.
Analysis after the break.
I am going to start this blog post off with a rather obvious, but still important statement:
“Factory pistols with red dots or red dot cuts on the slide may be the hotness, but they are not new.”
I say that because, well, it’s true. The first one I’m aware of, the FN FNX-45, was released in 2012, and it still took another three years for Chuck Pressburg (nee “Roland”) on Primary and Secondary to popularize the concept enough to start gaining mass market appeal (with an after-market milled slide by ATEi, ironically).
I say this because the training situation for them has really lagged. Until about 2017, when Modern Samurai Project started offering classes, I’m not even sure there was a class for red dot pistols outside of Gabe Suarez’s (no comment there). Yes, you had USPSA GM-level shooters doing training on Open guns – but those are a somewhat different beast than the Carry Optics pistols we’re talking about, both in terms of the gun itself and the way it’s carried rig-wise. I was fortunate enough to take the second day of MSP’s “2-Day Red Dot” on Sunday, and I want to share my (really great!) experiences. More after the break.
Shot an IDPA match at the NRA Range last night. Video below, comments after the break. Forgot to video the last stage.
For posterity, here’s a couple stages from the USPSA match I shot at NRA HQ range tonight.
Analysis after the break!
Here’s me dry-firing. No cuts, except for the one where my old camera conked out at a 4gb file limit, and a touch of trimming at the beginning and end for where I was manipulating my camera. I am not saying this is good or whatever, but I am saying that this is how it looks when someone does the work. It is not always smooth or perfect, especially at first.
Ignore the Instagram-driven BS. If it looks awesome all the time, you’re not doing it right.