A fine day at KR Training. Due to that polar vortex, weather was abnormally wonderful: didn’t get higher than the mid-80’s, partially overcast, and tho it was very humid, you couldn’t ask for a better day. Classes on tap ere Beyond the Basics: Pistol and Skill Builder. These are solid intermediate-level classes that help to drive home the fundamentals. Look at any sport, any discipline, and the best in that area know that fundamentals are what everything is based upon. Mastery of fundamentals is key, and here, that’s ultimately about trigger control.
Or at least, that was the order of the day. Yes, trigger control was the biggest issue all day, tho by the end of the day there was marked improvement with very little trigger slapping going on.
Here’s some comments about what I saw.
Slapping, yanking, jerking, whatever you want to call it… it’s when all your shots wind up low-left, or more generally, they go where you don’t want them.
It comes back to what we kept saying throughout class: slow down, press the trigger. Yes, the feel of the trigger gets heavier as you press, but you don’t need to smack it to then overcome that resistance – just keep pressing.
Work this in dry fire. Start out working slowly, getting the feel, reinforcing that feel. Focus on the front sight, don’t let it be disturbed by your trigger press. But remember that one drill we did? The “ball and dummy” drill? Remember how the first time we’d do it slowly, but later on we did it faster, where you’d press the trigger, round goes off, and as soon as the gun came out of recoil and you had the sight picture we’d have to press again? Work that too. Don’t always make it a slow, deliberate pause between presses, because ultimately you’re trying to get faster so you have to work faster. It will smooth out. Push yourself a little faster, a little faster, until you see things break down; stay there for a bit and keep working it.
A few people had issues with shots going all over the place. From what I could see, it’s a grip problem.
First, it’s about griping hard enough. Yes, it’s going to make you tired because you need to clamp down as hard as you can on the grip. You’re not used to that, your muscles will fatigue, and you will lighten up your grip to alleviate the discomfort. Don’t do this! Keep clamping down, because you need to build up that strength and endurance. Remember how we were saying just 10 minutes of dry fire every other day? Well, you should be able to work that clamp grip every time you dry practice, and you just watch! Give it two weeks of consistent work and you’ll see your grip improve.
Second, it’s about gripping properly. Remember to get your primary hand up high on the gun, with that cushioned part of your hand between your thumb and index finger smooshed up into the beavertail area. Remember to cant your support hand forward, get it high up on the gun, and clamp hard with this hand. Do this every time. Work to have consistency in your grip.
Third, consistency. Be sure that you grip the same way every time. That you are gripping hard enough every time and that that grip pressure remains as constant as you can make it. Try this. Hold the gun in a proper but very loose grip and line up the sights with your eyes. Now, don’t move anything else and just clamp down your grip on the gun. Did you notice the gun moved? The sights are now off and you do not have a proper sight picture? Try it a few times, and notice how not only things move, but they move differently each time. Often what happens is people start out with a loose grip, then they know the gun is about to go off so they suddenly clamp down their grip and you get what you saw above. That sudden clamping shifts the direction of the muzzle, a different way every time, and so you wind up with almost no consistency nor accuracy in your shots.
A few yeas ago .380 became the new hotness. All these small guns, the growth of women and people recommending guns chambered in .380 to them. Trouble is, there are problems with .380.
First, the shame is that there are few guns that are of decent quality in that chambering. So many of the .380 guns are cheap and of questionable quality and reliability. Usually when we see a .380 in class, there are problems and failures with it. If this is the gun you’re betting your life on, you need to trust your equipment and know it will perform when called upon.
Second, it’s a marginal caliber. I don’t need to say much here, as Greg Ellifritz recently wrote a good article on this very topic.
A .380 is better than nothing, but I would encourage folks that choose a .380 to step back and examine why they chose the .380 and to see if there’s a better alternative that can satisfy your same reasons and requirements.
For the Ladies
The student body was majority female, and just about everyone stayed all day. I forget what chapter they were from, but most were from A Girl and A Gun, and it was great to have them out there.
What I wanted to mention here was the notion of “drop and offset” holsters. This is a holster where the belt loop is of course at the belt line, but then the holster itself is dropped down a bit and offset a bit from the belt, which helps to work with a woman’s body structure (hips). Take a look at the International from Comp-Tac. See that picture? See how the holster is dropped down and offset from the belt loop? That’s what we’re talking about.
Granted, this isn’t the best solution for every day carry, but for classes, for range work, for competing, it’s an option to look into.
Thank you all for coming out and choosing to spend your day with us. It was a pleasure to have you, and we look forward to seeing you again on the range.