Neither class was sold out, which was a bit unusual (especially BP1). But it’s that time of year, school ending, shifting to summer mode, so it’s not too surprising. Still, a good turnout for both classes. BP1 was about half women, and AT-6 had one woman. I’m acquainted with the woman and we spoke a bit on the issue of how women tend to turn out in good numbers for beginning classes but it’s rare to see them in the more advanced classes. She had some good theories, which upon reflection bear out in my observations. Another topic for another time.
The day went really well. I actually got to do some of the lecture during BP1, which I don’t normally do. I liked that. I covered the section on revolvers and tried to keep it short because I know we often run long. Unfortunately in trying to keep it short I missed a couple useful points that I realized while on the range since there I worked the revolvers: I forgot to mention revolver cylinder rotation (and how to determine it), and also demonstrate loading and unloading. I did show this stuff to anyone that came up to me on the range to shoot a revolver, but I should have also covered it in the classroom. doh! Live and learn.
AT-6 didn’t really require much since everyone in there is skilled and knows the protocol. It’s just shoot shoot shoot drill after drill. I think the hardest part for me was all the walking, since we’d be at the 3 yard line, then the 25 yard line… keeping the wagon-of-stuff back that far and constantly fecthing the Pistol Pro Grip for folks. 🙂 Folks shot well, learned a lot.
Here’s some observations:
- Trigger control! It’s fundamental and never stops being important.
- Distance exposes problems. If you do all your blasting at 3 yards, you probably look great. Now take it back to 7, 10, 15, and 25 yards and see how well things look.
- What’s the most important shot? The first shot. What’s the easiest shot to screw up? The first shot. First shots are any shot that doesn’t immediately follow another shot. So, you draw and shoot? that’s a first shot. You reload then shoot, that’s a first shot. You deal with a malfunction then shoot, that’s a first shot. Read this.
- Double-action/single-action guns suck. 🙂 This goes back to trigger control, and how it’s hard to manage a 14# trigger — especially for your first shot — and then immediately shift gears to a 4# trigger.
- We all need more group shooting at long distances.
- Don’t shoot faster than you can get good hits and do things correctly. We get caught up in the need for speed, and then our trigger control goes to crap. See all the above points.
- Your stuff will break in class. If you’ve never really put your gun through its paces, a good class will do so. If it breaks, fix it. If it keeps breaking, get a new gun. Fancy guns, tight guns, all nice, but not always going to get you through a “serious” time… maybe nice for a casual day of plinking at the range, but for serious purposes get a serious gun. Don’t be too emotionally attached to your gear, especially if reality demonstrates its failings.
- The class was intended to just work drills, so we didn’t teach things like malfunction clearing… but a lot of people got practice in that very thing. Just remember: first you tap, then you rack (not the other way around). 🙂
- 98º, blazing Texas sun, all the sunblock in the world doesn’t help much, but you still better use it and other means to keep yourself covered and cool. Hydration is important — drink more than you think you need. Water is the minimum requirement, but in trying circumstances like we had, Powerade is better (IMHO) since it’ll replenish a lot more that your body is losing. We’re working with guns, and you and the other people on the line want to ensure your body and mind are working well. If you do feel a need to take a break, take one.
- FWIW, I’ve started to prefer Powerade ION4 over other such drinks because they aren’t just sugar and sodium. They do sugar, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium — all important electrolytes.