Friday, July 29, 2011
The Teeny TIny Terrorist Twenty-Two Tactical Tournament is a .22 Rimfire match sponsored by our friends at Action Shooting Sports. Use .22 caliber rifles and pistols to engage the Teeny TIny Terrorists! Shooters will compete in squads/heats, beginning close to the start of every hour.
When: August 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM.
Where: Bristol Skirmish Field!
Registration form is at Action Shooting Sports.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Todd Green, from Pistol-Training.com, beat me to the punch and put it into words better than I ever could:
Why Training Matters
By now, we have all heard about the killing spree of madman Anders Behring Breivik last Friday. While media pundits will use this, vulture-like, to push forward anti-gun political agendas, pistol-training.com has never been about politics. Instead, I see this as a horrible example of why training matters.
I am not a police officer, not a soldier. I’m not likely to find myself in pitched battle along side a squad of Marines or an impromptu pick-up team of cops. As I tell people all the time, my worst case scenario is much different: sitting in the local shopping mall eatery with my wife when some bad people with guns decide to start shooting. It doesn’t matter whether they are wearing keffiyeh or trenchcoats. It doesn’t matter whether their motivation came from a radical Imam or playing too much Doom. Evil is evil. And evil people do evil things. Horrific things.
If that worst case scenario comes to pass, I would rather have the means and will to do something than watch the slaughter as a bystander… or victim.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Fellow shooters, as of this Sunday night, on the 24th of July we have endured 10 days of our USPSA program being suspended for a “Safety Stand Down” that I initiated. After the violations of safe procedures that I personally witnessed, that decision was reached easily although one I did not take lightly.
We as a group of competitive shooters, whether experienced by years of matches and thousands of rounds of practice or new to the sport, are viewed by our fellow club members in a different light with varying degrees of acceptance. However, if there is one thing that is consistent it is that we are held to a high standard of safety. Our sport has endured years of competitions without a single serious accident and each one of us is responsible for keeping it that way. Pine Tree Pistol Club will be a leader in continuing that standard.
I want to be clear that I blame no one for the events leading up to my decision. I am as accountable as anyone. Many professions have proven time and again that serious accidents are not cause by a single failure but rather a series of events that could have been prevented had a single link in the chain been broken. I simply took the step necessary to break that chain of events.
Our Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday evening. It is appropriate that I will be absent and that the meeting will be chaired by your very talented VP Brian Frayne. Having made this difficult decision, I should not influence the debate for its outcome. It will be up to Board to develop a plan to go forward. By no means do any of us desire to stop our practices or matches. However I have directed and expect a set of guidelines to be developed that will be followed in the future.
You as a member of this club and an active participant in shooting sports also have a responsibility. If you’re an “old fart” rethink your standards, review the rules, and be a mentor for our new shooters. If you’re a new shooter, watch and listen; become a member of USPSA and learn the rules. And always be a safe shooter.
There will be a shooter meeting on the 28th at 6pm and we will shoot after that. I will personally get some stages set up that we will all enjoy. I look forward to seeing everyone.
Decided to treat myself to making shooting more a bit easier - again I was spending so much time reloading on my 450 that I decided to step it up to the next level and get a machine that would feed my addiction with the greatest ease.
This thing is awesome:
The course condenses some of the transitions & steel target rep-work from his excellent Speed on Steel course and reiterates some of the fundamentals of holster work, reloads, and trigger prep. I'm always stoked to hear John's breakdown of the fundamentals since it engrains those concepts a bit more in my brain...
Additionally, it is always fun to see folks getting pumped up via the "man vs. man" stress drills and standards drills - most folks rise to the challenge!
Lastly, we managed to have some fun:
Mik3 and I have the WI IDPA Match coming up on the 6th, then I'm going to hit Bristol on the 7th for the most awesome outlaw match...
Monday, July 25, 2011
Additionally, Greg and Perry will be conducting two Intro to Competitive Shooting Course.
Both events are on the Training Calendar - the first class will be in August and the second one will be in December.
These are excellent opportunities to learn how to play USPSA/IDPA and get setup.
Friday, July 22, 2011
These events usually get full fast... Check out the flyer if you're interested.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
How do you promote action shooting sports?
I have been blessed with an awesome wife and two great children. Along with them, I'm also blessed with the good graces of all of my children’s friends.
I have been to their birthday parties, graduations, school musicals, plays, and have hauled them all, at one time or another, to events all over the place: we have been on vacations together, to Disneyland, on bike riding trips and canoe trips, and when we can, we do a shooting fun day. It doesn’t have to be super crazy, we just scheduled a day to all go shoot together, bringing a few different guns and plenty of ammo!
The kids absolutely love to go out and shoot and that makes me feel good! It is such a special feeling to be able to share my love for the shooting sports with them - to see the look on their face when they shoot is a gift!
They, of course, must listen to me go over the safe handling of the weapons and understand that safety is the number one concern. I usually teach them all at the same time how to handle the weapon that they will be firing, and when it is their turn, give them a brief refresher. Make sure you talk to them and ask them questions to help understand the level of their individual comfort zone and give them the support they need to have fun. When they are waiting to shoot keep them busy by having them learn to load magazines, pick up brass, and also support the other shooters so they get some positive feedback right away.
Remember to bring extra eye and hearing protection; the younger they are the better the hearing protection should be since you don't want them to fear anything - it should be comfortable for them at all times.
Don’t try to impress them either with amazing shots and ultra realistic targets or super tactics: I’m sure they're all playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" to learn all of that stuff, right? (HaHa!) Keep the targets as close and as still as they can be so that they can’t really miss. Make the targets fun: cans, buckets, balloons. Steel is fun also if you have some! When they develop their skills, they will let you know when they are ready for a more difficult shot and then, and only then, will they enjoy the challenge that the shot will bring them. We got shoot some trap with 20 and 12 gauge shotguns, then my AR15, my Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm Pro and M&P Full size.
This last trip was great I would like to personally thank Dennis and Lori Bearows for graciously allowing us to go make some noise on their awesome property! Especially for the cookies and pound cake we had after we were done! (Wow - life is good!)
It was nice to just spend the afternoon together shooting and enjoying each other’s company
We can get caught up in training to win a state match, and letting our egos think that winning is promoting the shooting sports. In reality, though, that is only a personal achievement; To promote shooting sports in your area try taking some kids to the range next time, or even some of your adult friends, that have never been able to shoot a rifle or handgun before.
The kids, after all, are the future of the shooting sports. We won’t be able to shoot forever and need to pass on and promote it so that it continues. Some day, when you’re in your 90’s, sitting in a rascal scooter without the strength to hold a rifle anymore, one of those children may just come by the nursing home to pick you up and take you shooting...
Monday, July 18, 2011
A few of us headed up to shoot the Wisconsin Sectional north of Madison at the Winnequah Gun Club. It was, well, Grueling would be the right word for it: 99F in the shade, many malfunctions - both mental and equipment related: magazine jams, my Glock failed when debris kept it from going into battery, etc. (Wow! 240 Pts down in penalties!!)
The match itself was a lot of fun - the shooting was pretty much straight up - and we did ok:
Scotty "Lightening" managed to take 2nd C, JCotts walked away with 1st D and I ran on autopilot well enough to finish 8th in production class.
A few of us are going to have video, but here's Ben Stoeger's masterful, winning performance:
If anything, this has reinvigorated me to work harder and put in the hours practicing - Wisconsin IDPA match is a few weeks away!
Friday, July 15, 2011
As posted on PineTree's Site:
All Thursday Night USPSA events are canceled until further notice. This decision will be discussed by the Board of Directors at their July 26th meeting.
A mandatory shooters meeting will be held on Thursday July 28, 2011 to cover participant's responsibilities, attitude and safety rules, among other topics. If you can not be at this meeting, you will either be covered on these topics on your next visit to PTPC for a USPSA event, or you will not be shooting.
All USPSA event participants will be required to read and abide by the policies established by the USPSA and Pine Tree Pistol Club concerning these events, or be asked to leave.
Please understand that even though many members of the club’s Board of Directors are either USPSA members or regular participants of this sport, our first and foremost concern and responsibility is the safe operation of the ranges and the safety of our members and guests.
The 2000 Round Challenge: How do you start to evaluate a new gun?
In today’s "Information Age" I think there is a tendency for people to train themselves and improve their skills by reading about how someone else did it in a forum where all the information is the holy grail of perfection. And, after reading, they get the feeling that they are better because of it.
There are so many great resources out there today for shooting, but these are no substitute for applying, trying, working, and just flat out DOING the drills, the dry fire, and putting in the time pressing the trigger. Don't get me wrong, visualization has it’s place in any sports, and, one can learn from reading, but that learning must be confirmed by action.
Get out and shoot that new gun
Case in point: A lot of folks believe that a certain firearm was a good purchase simply because "ultimatesnipermaster666" said so in some forum. After the purchase, they just leave it at that and don't run the gun through it's paces at all to evaluate. Certainly, electronic resources should be used to inform the purchaser, but that is not enough.
One great place to start is Pistol-Training.com's 2000 Round Challenge.
The rules are simple and paraphrased here: Using a single firearm, fire 2,000 rounds through it with no maintenance, lubrication, cleaning, etc. Report stoppages, malfunctions - both gear and shooter induced - on the forum linked above.
So I tried it with my Smith & Wesson M&P 40 L:
Pistol: Smith & Wesson M&P 40 L 5”
Ammunition: Reloads of 180 LTC with SOLO 1000, WWB 165, 165 plated with Clay's and 180 plated with Clay's
Dates of testing: 5-May-11 to 9-July-11
Total rounds fired: 2,020
Pistol had no rounds through it before the test began other than test rounds from factory. Cleaned it, changed the rear sight to a Warren Tactical Night sight and put in a Apex RAM carved up the sear since the L version comes with the standard sear. Polished all trigger componets and striker block, put on the grip tape, lubed it all up and that is it.
After the 2,020 rounds reported above, the gun was still relatively clean and still felt smooth, Solo and Clay's powders do burn pretty clean with Clay's a bit cleaner than Solo 1000.
I also used the 40L at a local IDPA match with the McHenry IDPA club.
It worked well, this is quickly becoming my favorite gun - not because I read about it in a forum (I still haven't seen another 40L) - but because I have shot it and I've found that it works well for me.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Check out the gallery here.
The logo competition ends today - we're running with #18/#9 - if you have any feelings either way, leave a comment.
The icing on top of a cake called "a job well done" is Chicago Tribune reporter John Kass' coverage of the event -
Please see http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0714-20110714,0,7101950.column for original story.
Babes with Bullets and other women who believe the Constitution applies in Illinois
July 14, 2011
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a concealed carry bill late last week, making Wisconsin the 49th state to allow trained, law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed firearms.
And this means that Illinois is the only state without such a law. In Illinois, our Chicago aldermen can carry guns in their purses and even in ankle holsters, and criminals obviously carry guns, since breaking the law is what they do.
But the rest of us, the chumbolone law-abiding taxpayers, can't carry.
I'm not desperate to carry a gun, but the fact that Illinois has exempted its citizens from the Individual Rights Sweepstakes is so constitutionally depressing that there's only one sight that could cheer me up:
A few dozen women with Smith & Wesson handguns learning how to get lethal, with the help of top female shooters and instructors in firearm safety.
And so I spent a recent afternoon with a group called Babes with Bullets, hosted by the Oak Park Sportsmen's Club in Plainfield, where sisters, mothers, daughters and friends learned how to shoot safely and well.
They ranged in ages from their 20s to their mid-60s. And what struck me was how serious they were about learning.
"I'm a secretary and work for accountants," said Diane McGrath, as she filled the magazine of her Smith & Wesson 9 mm M&P (Military and Police) handgun with bullets.
"My husband shoots," McGrath said. "And all my bosses are hunters. And I heard about Babes with Bullets and thought, 'What the heck is that?' I couldn't pass it up."
Deb Ferns, of Tucson, Ariz., is one of the co-founders of Babes with Bullets. And while we took a break from the shooting range, I asked her the simple question: Why?
"I was 45 and I never shot a gun, but the kids left for college and my husband was traveling and I was alone in the house and we live off in the country. And you know what? I heard all the creaking. Every creak. And I thought, I'm going to take control.
"So I went shooting. And I learned that a gun is a tool and to respect it. And so I started shooting, competitively, in matches. And I got hooked. What we want is for women to get involved."
Ferns says that while there are guns in many households, the guns most likely are the province of the male. And that the women of such households often don't know a thing about them.
"Is that smart, or good?" Ferns asked. "All these households with guns, and the women don't know anything about firearms? Is that a good thing? Of course not."
More than 2,000 women have gone through the Babes with Bullets camps, and most are first-time or novice shooters who show up with their relatives, like members of the Runkle, Boyll and Busso families, from Indiana and Michigan.
Analise Busso came with her mother, Melanie. They live in Valparaiso.
"But I think you're mistaken about concealed carry in Illinois. Are you sure it's outlawed?" Analise asked.
Yes, I'm sure. Our Gov. Pat Quinn won't allow it.
"But I get the news out of Chicago, and every night people in Chicago are carrying weapons, aren't they?" she asked, feigning confusion.
Yes, I said.
Happily, sarcasm is not dead.
A few minutes later, I watched the smart-alecky Analise and her cousins out on the firing range with top instructors, serious champion instructors like Lisa Munson and T.D. Roe, of Lemont, who teaches personal protection shooting.
And there was Kay Miculek, of Louisiana, another co-founder of Babes with Bullets. From now on, when I think of a serious person, I'll think of her.
Miculek has many national titles, and her husband, Jerry, is one of the top shots. She's middle aged, and I liked the way she worked with the young women, calm but serious, because what they were doing was serious.
She had them stand properly, weight balanced. She made sure no one touched the trigger until each shooter was ready to fire a round. There was no joking, no bravado, no posturing.
With women like Kay Miculek, you could tell that a gun was a tool that does not forgive. In her hands, it was only a gun, not a symbol.
"We're working with beginners, and this is all about safety," she told me. "We're working to get their feet right, to have them be comfortable out here. To learn. And safety, safety, safety."
Marie Bonter, of Paw Paw, Mich., was one of the young women in Miculek's group.
"My dad's in law enforcement," she said. "He likes the fact that I'm getting good instruction. I know how to shoot. I grew up with it. But I haven't worked on handguns for a while. I want to do this the right way."
They were serious women, taxpaying women, law-abiding moms and sisters and daughters and friends.
And they're the women who have the audacity to believe that the Constitution applies to them, too, even in Illinois.
Three cheers and tiger for TD!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
- Front sight focus
- Constant triggering/take-up
- Surprise break
- Followthrough, etc...
The trouble is that that the rigid focus on the front sight can "wash out" as stages get progressively confusing/disorienting, with moving targets and/or movement... Below are some suggestions for ways to re-develop adequate sight technique.
Slowing down and working on group shooting is an excellent way to redevelop the mental traits necessary to precision shooting.
Additionally, methodical dry fire with hard front sight focus and triggering, a la Pistol-Training.com's Wall Drill, is a great way to tune your vision into seeing what it must see to make accurate front-sight driven shots.
Without these fundamentals, going faster may just reinforce bad habits or sloppy sight picture.
If keeping front sight focus through groups or dry fire isn't an issue, then perhaps the distraction of the target/flash/etc are interrupting the mental skills necessary to continually focus on the front sight. Luckily, Phil Strader has an excellent suggestion:
If you don't know what a "Bill Drill" is, check out Mik3:
Putting it All Together
Transitioning from close to far targets seems to be the easiest way to develop the ability to keep all the skills together. Pistol-Training.com's "X Drill" is handy.
As focus shifts to a larger target from a smaller target, cadence generally increases and vice versa. With much movement of the gun, sight picture and focus on what part of the target you are hitting at become very important!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Looks like they've decided to pull the "Speed on Steel" class in August and offer 2, 1-day courses instead. Not a bad idea as the SOS course is exhausting. The calendar has been updated.
1-Day Carbine Class: August 27, 2011
Due to the restrictions on the skirmish field, only pistol caliber carbines will be allowed, though I'm under the impression that you might be able to ask Krupa to use a DSA ZM-4 converted to fire 9mm.
More details and registration form at TeamSpartan.com
1-Day Shotgun Class: August 28, 2011
On Sunday, there is a great shotgun course available!
Again, details and registration form are at TeamSpartan.com.
I'll be helping out at the carbine class and taking the shotgun class - been wanting to get into some 3-gun and this might be a good time to learn some good skills...
Monday, July 11, 2011
An Interview with Gordon Carrell
I had a chance to spend some time with IDPA Distinguished Master Gordon Carrell and took the opportunity to get to know him and pick his brain for shooting tips. I want to thank him in advance for treating me like one of the boys after only knowing me for a couple of minutes and also for the genuine care and concern he showed for my learning experience.
One thing that he very graciously took the time to explain was how he breaks down the basic skills involved in shooting a IDPA stage. This is something that I've done in most aspects of my everyday life, but not something I'd applied to shooting a stage. See, If you want to be advanced in any endeavor, the secret is break complicated concepts down to the most basic and fundamental forms. I learned this from Shihan Akira Tohei in my many years of studying Aikido. Gordon applies it to IDPA as follows:
There are 5 basic things you have to do when you shoot most stages:
- Draw: Applies anytime you need to draw the gun from the holster.
- Transition: Anytime I have to change my point of aim. E.g. "Two to the body, one to the head", would count as a transition. The first target after a setup or a draw does NOT count as a transition.
- Reload: Slide Lock or Reload with Retention
- Setup: Anytime I have to take two or more steps to acquire the next target.
- Disappear: Number of targets that disappear on that stage.
Analyzing the stages from the Carolina Cup, we see something like:
Where Does the Time Go?
Gordon explained for example there were 13 draws from the holster over 16 stages - so if his draw to first shot would be .2 seconds faster than mine, he just gained 2.6 seconds over the duration of the match: .2x13=2.6. So, now that you you see how the sheet works, you must know your skill set times in order for it to give you an idea of what you should dedicate more training time to in order to get the most bang for you buck.
Lets do another example: if Gordon's transitions are .23 and mine are .33, over all the stages of the Carolina Cup he will have gained a total of 7.2 seconds!
I’ll be using this sheet to track the skills which will allow me to remove the most time by implementing a training and dry fire practice plan focusing on those areas of development.
Friday, July 8, 2011
In early September of 2010 I finally got settled enough to get my second-hand Dillon
Ah, the early days of factory ammo and 1 gun...
Anyway, back to the story... The Dillon
The Dillon Shed
Then, in early December, teammate Kerry-D and I made it a point to start practicing weekly and soon I was coordinating group buys of powder and bullets for a sizeable group of us and reloading ALL THE TIME! Just to give you some sense of scale, in May, prepping for Phil Strader & Mike Seeklander's most excellent class, I spent 10 hours over two weeks loading 3,000 rounds for the class (I shot far less than that!). The basement became my home - most depressing.
At this point, the wife was overcome with wrath. I must add that it was not directed at the fact that I was doing my thing, as she really is my #1 fan, half-heartedly listening to me recounting harrowing tales of strength and fury, but rather at the fact that my process was inefficient to support my goal. See, the Dillon
After my finish at the 2011 Illinois State Match, she said, in no uncertain terms, that if I was following the Bassham method, I should "reward myself" with a better press: one that could support the dual goals of having X-thousand rounds on tap when I want AND allow me to take an active part in our family life. Additionally, she said she needed the basement back and that I should move my gear into my office room. She flipped through the Dillon Catalog, pointed at the 650 and the 1050 and said, "You really need to choose..."
So, this weekend I prepare to setup my new press!
Additionally, now that my day job has settled a bit, I'm hoping to have a full report next week regarding the press, along with a handful of articles on how to develop "front-sight focus" (for Ted G!), reloading for the .40 (some tips/tricks/my overly anal approach), a review of the most awesome 180gr .40 Bayou Bullets that I'll be using (I'm working up a new load!), and the first in a series of book reviews that were suggested by Tom B. 'Till then, go harass Scotty "Lightening" and Tony A. at the OPSC USPSA match this weekend!
Oh, and lastly, take a look at the contest for the new WIILSHOOT logo - Crowdspring is pretty amazing!
We're really set on #9, but if anyone things otherwise, leave a comment here...
Thursday, July 7, 2011
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Fast and the Furious - Mexico Grift|
Folks, when the Daily Show is busting a gut at the antics of the GOV, there are some serious credibility gaps....
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A pretty interesting read: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/9C0NWF4M.pdf
Can't help but wonder how much taxpayer $$ was spent fighting that... I guess the upside is that maybe someone may consider opening a range in downtown Chicago, preferably close to a Portillo's!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This past weekend at OPSC IDPA, the top SSP score was 129.85 (27). Tony finished 131.98 (26) and a stage win! Both scores were higher than the SSP Masters.
Nice, but I've got two words: "Sand Bagger"...
Seriously though: training, motivation, and the will to get out there and do it are taking Tony far!
The match is setup as a one-day event, shooting all 16 stages, or as a two-day event, shooting 8 stages per day. We shot the two-day format and shot it fast! As you can see, most of the stages in the video (also on mikewiilshoot’s channel) weren’t crazy. Pretty much all were what I would consider typical for major IDPA matches. All were fun and challenging! An interesting side note is that there wasn’t a single stage or prop failure over 16 stages with almost 400 shooters - that really speaks to the quality of the setup and the personnel working the match! In fact, there were 3-4 people working each stage and most of the time they didn’t even let us paste - they did it all with a smile on their face: Thank you for your hard work!
I had a blast watching and learning from every shooter on the squad - they were all teaching me something. As far as my shooting: it suffered some from my trying to take in all that was going on. I wasn’t as focused on my game as much as I was watching everyone else’s. I did manage to win 6th place out of 33 shooters and I am happy with that.
This trip was more about shooting with my Marine brothers than it was about me shooting to win. Along the way I met some great people, learned a lot, and had a ton of fun. After all, this is why I started shooting again in the first place: to have fun. (Every now and then Ernest reminds me of that because I can get wound a little tight) Rather than digest all my stages and analyze every position to try to shave some time off, I’m remembering the fun times I had, reflecting on just how lucky I am to have been able to go shoot the match, how lucky I am to have met some really great people along the way, how lucky I am to be able to shoot again after a 20-year long hiatus, and how wonderful my family is to support me in my endeavors.
Don’t get me all wrong: I haven’t gotten soft! I’ll still be working on improving my shooting skills and implementing things I learned from watching some talented shooters. I am even more fired up then I was! I set some goals for myself last year and after achieving some of them this year and seeing how much I have learned, I have realized that I can set my goals even higher then I thought and still have a ton of fun achieving them! I don’t need another job, one is enough, so if shooting has become “work”, be careful! If you only learn one thing from me, I would like it to be what my good friend tells me at the end of almost all shooting talks, questions or lessons: “and remember have fun, because that’s why we do it!”
Friday, July 1, 2011
Happy 4th of July folks!
I know a couple of folks are popping off fireworks by shooting OPSC's IDPA or Bristol's 3-gun match: Shoot Straight!
I'll be in Corpus Christi, Tejas, for the weekend as a cousin of the wife is getting htiched - he's a flyboy for Uncle Sam and runs C130's back and forth.