Monday, March 30, 2009

Proarms Podcast, Training Drills......

The latest Podcast from the Proarms crew! Very interesting training or practice drills. I have been doing a lot more weak and strong hand at the Cavalier match recently.... that might turn into an all weak hand match!What do you think? Of the podcast? What are some of your training drills?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Ballistics gel...........

Cavalier IDPA Stages 3/22/09

Stage 1-String 1 Bill Drill, engage one targets with a minimum of 6 rounds while moving lateraly. Free style. 20ish yards.

Stage 1-String 2 Bill Drill, engage one targets with a minimum of 6 rounds while moving lateraly. Strong style. 10ish yards.

Stage 1-String 3 Bill Drill, engage one targets with a minimum of 6 rounds while moving lateraly. Weak style. 5 yards

Stage 2. More moving and some hard cover on the targets, 18 rounds Vickers count.

Stage 3 18 rounds Vickers All shots fired while moving, weaving between vision barries.

The Incident



The "Snubby"

For anyone who has not listened to this yet it is all about the past present and future of the snub nose revolver! I really enjoyed the last side match at Cavalier and we will be doing more of the same in the months to come. Andy
Here is the winning run from the Great McHaffa!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Carry Ammo

Another fantastic podcast from the Proarms crew! This one is on carry ammo! Listen and be amazed.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

IDPA Improvements

I have been serious about IDPA for about ten years now and while I may not be any good, I still think it a great sport. As a student of the game, I think we should rethink a few things.

First, I think we emphasize the quick draw from concealment a bit too much for a true reflection of defensive use of the handgun by non-military and non-police applications. We don't do a lot of room-to-room clearance work (or at least we should not) and we don't do a lot of traffic stops or felony warrant service. I know that the execution of a concealed draw adds to the "time pressure" of the game but who among us is actually going to draw against a BG who has the drop on us? Sure action beats reaction but I am probably going to run first. I am not a big fan of retrieve from the box but it is realistic.

I also think we should rethink the HNT or -5 (miss) a bit more. Not being covered by the legal concept of "sovereign immunity", as armed citizens we are going to be at least civilly liable for each round we cannot account for in court. DUSM always calls it the "little girl with the bunny rabbit" - you are done in that event. Our friends in NASCAR seem, in my experience, to encourage speed to an extreme they may well be unhappy with in the event. Let's put out lots more NTs like the mall!

Maybe, we should also formalize the BUG class. After all, for many of us (me too) it is actually the CCW that we wear most. Maybe in the upper echelons we can do pocket draws. If BUG is what we are armed with on a general basis, then that is what we should shoot. Yes and not because the only match I ever won was a BUG match either! An un-named local CCW instructor has reminded me that the G34 may not be the carry gun for the true IDPA competitor when they actually carry the G26 all the time. One former federal LEO we know goes about with a G22 in his belt most days but few of the rest of us actually "dress to the big gun"!

Movement - we do a lot of flat footed shooting at multiple targets. We need to "Get Off the X!" and move. Proximity negates skill and distance is the friend of the better shooter. Utilizing the distance specified in the Tueller Drill (7 yards), we need to practice evasive action a good deal more than we do. I am not talking about the sport run and gun stuff but a few quick steps to cover, backing away from the target or even just laterally.

Distance - I know that some of you MDs personally design these long distance courses of fire just to make me lose bad. But, if you think I am going to shoot at somebody at 35 yards without a rifle, I think you have me confused with someone else. I know it is hard but so is PPC and Conventional Pistol. It is not supposed to be about hard! I think we need to emphasize close in targets a bit more than we do.

SHO/WHO - I know someone who hates to do Weak Hand Only who I will not mention. A good IDPA match is going to test that skill and SHO as well. Most of us won't practice it either so putting in in a COF will do just that.

I hate a head shot. Some MDs put those in there just to make me crazier that I already am. Most of us will simply shoot them to the ground. If they are wearing body armor, then it just isn't my day! Like multiple mag changes, I think this a rediculous convention.

We need to cover the targets with shirts more than we do. It is a good thing to get away from counting little bitty holes in the target. I really liked that steel target that RRPC has that has the hole in it that reacts only when you hit it correctly. I would love to see our targets change in shape from the current to some sort of tactical theodore-like thing.

I would love to see more charging targets and lateral movers. We will get Cowboy Lou's lateral racer and I love shooting at that. How about more non-penguin shaped steel that falls? After all this is the Instant Gratification Homeland!

Your comments, brickbats and ideas would be appreciated. Anything I forgot?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Martial Art or Game?

Andy has again asked me to take the lead on another issue of some currency. It appears that we have ignited among ourselves a dispute between the followers of International Defensive Pistol Association on one side and the International Practical Shooting Confederation on the other.

Back in the day, as they say now, Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper and others created IPSC from whole cloth meaning a new competitive program in the field of handgun shooting. Prior to this in the mid-70's the only other options were silhouette, conventional bullseye and police practical competition. All of this may be had from Wikipedia should you be interested or unable to find your back copies of SOF or American Handgunner. This was an outgrowth of the earlier "leather slap" matches of the South West Combat Pistol League which had earlier served Colonel Cooper as a test bed for his emerging theory for the Modern Technique. Rules were few in comparison to other disciplines.

However, by the early '80's, IPSC had begun to divide itself up into the Martial Artists and the Gamers. The martial artists were about "combat" while the gamers were about "competition" and both moved up in the heirarchy. Additionally, the equipment began to change rapidly as well with the entry of compensators, high speed 9mm rounds and rudimentary optical sights we now deride fairly or otherwise as "space guns". Lots of competitors lost interest but the speed and showmanship of the events began to draw attention. In essence, the Competitors came to dominate the Game.

The reaction to this was IDPA. In the 1990's Wilson and Hackathorn among others came up with the concept of a new competition with relatively strict limits to return to "real world" guns, accessories and scenarios. The vision for this is outlined in the IDPA rules and will not be detailed here but there are stark difference between IDPA and IPSC.

First, IDPA guns are supposed to be "street machines" and not "hot rods". Stock service pistols and revolvers were pretty much what was in the minds of these radical revolutionaries but some allowances were made for Custom Defensive and Enhanced Service categories as well. The very idea is the guns selected would be "carry" guns and not "match" guns. IPSC has responded with divisions for Limited and Production in an attempt to address the issue in other ways. We in IDPA do see the odd bleed over or refugee from these IPSC classes.

Next, the scenarios and courses of fire selected by the two sports are generally much different. IPSC is somewhat more athletic with its apparent emphasis on "running and gunning". They have lots of shooting with movement and long strings of fire. Speed is king. You not only have to be accurate but you have to be fast. This could be why the sport is dominated by a series of young strong guys. IDPA prides itself on short sharp engagements torn from todays headlines! The emphasis is supposed to be "realistic" scenarios in lieu of the "platoon in the assault" sort of thing all too common with IPSC. IDPA requires the use of cover to a much larger degree than IPSC. And, IPSC has shooting boxes that restrict the point of engagement not found in IDPA (supposedly).

Finally, there is the matter of the Uniform and both sports have them. IDPA requires the use of concealment and as a result the photographers vest is our new sports shirt with exceptions. IPSC appears to be more interested in sponsorship than concealment but nonetheless they have their own high speed, low drag uniform too! Right down to the running shoes.

I know I have skipped over a lot of detail but time does not allow me to hold forth forever despite my redundancy. So, where are we?

In 1978 when I was a young hot-to-trot Deputy Sheriff, my supervisor (a wise, wise man) told me that two sorts of folks joined the fire department - fire fighters and checker players. Both would move up in the hierarchy and that is exactly what has happened with IPSC and now IDPA. Some turn out to shoot because they have mistaken the games for training and others for trophies or the praise of men. It takes all kinds. But to return to my boss, you need to make up your mind whether you want to fight fires or play checkers.

If you come to IDPA or IPSC you need to follow the rules as written without regard to your interpretation. This means bringing legal equipment to the right match as a competitor. It means entering into the spirit of the game for the right game. And, if you a match director, actually following the correct rules for the particular event you have advertised!

None of this is going to make you a ninja or commando. IDPA is not perfect. It does not penalize misses or HNT as much as it should. But in the end it is only a game. Try to play by the correct rules. Here endeth todays rant...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Self-defense trigger pulls

Please listen to this no matter what gun you carry for defense! What do you think?


Hit the little play button............