24. August 2012 · Comments Off on Carbines Again · Categories: Carbine · Tags: ,

Yet another carbine event. It was not nearly as hot out, so that helped! The course also didn’t require as much time spent in the sun.

First we ran forth and shot at 200 yard targets. Unfortunately, on the first go, the line was stopped a little short of the berm and some of us were aiming low because we were coming at it from an angle. Gravity was working differently from the perspective of our scopes. So we tried that again. And I hit something! Yay! Then we had movers. They were balloons. Didn’t get that one. Then we had two different stages of movers to shoot at from two positions.

We then went over to the shorter ranges and a course was set up that required moving from the 100 yard range to the 50 yard range with a wide range of targets and scenarios to do. First at 100 yards, we had targets out at 50 and 100. Some people went prone (me!) and others used the post markers as supports. Then on to the other side where there was a lot of moving back and forth from one target to another.  We had to shoot at some targets while moving towards them. Eventually we’d clear our rifles and put it down, draw our pistols, and go after some more targets. Including walking backwards!

Hey! I just did that yesterday (well not really, I just shot and then walked backwards. C’mon.). Damn, that’s hard.

Overall, it was a pretty fun event. My PS90 performed great with the exception of a gunky magazine that needs some lube. We also tested out and then zeroed in my new AR-15 which is good to go in my next carbine game. A very satisfying weekend.

24. August 2012 · Comments Off on Indoor Action · Categories: Pistols · Tags: ,

We thought we were showing up for PPC but turns out we got the dates wrong, and it was Indoor Action! Which is even more fun! We also finally got our membership. I can get to the range and practice without attending a competition.

This was the first time I’d taken my new PPQ out to an event. Meanwhile, my husband took over my P22 for a change.

There were fewer people at this event because it was sort of cancelled at such a last minute that only half of us got the message. It’s amazing how little time it takes to set up a quick and dirty stage when you’re in a hurry.

I finally get up there, and on the first stage, the first thing I’m supposed to do is shoot over a metal barricade, but below the metal railing that is above it, thus shooting through a rectangle.

As I mentioned before, the PPQ had way more kick than I expected. So when I came to this event, the first shot goes off and the gun flips up, smacking into the railing. I was pretty surprised and it stuck with me through the event. The guy keeping time was very helpful and gave me advice after each of the four scenarios we went through.

In the sidelines there were a couple comments suggesting I had ‘too much gun’ and I should downsize.

Whatever. I can handle it, I just need to learn how to get that good grip.

For the most part, these guys are friendly, helpful, and encouraging. But some of them are a little socially awkward.

Two different people had to ask why the girl had the .40 and the guy had the .22 and while a little teasing might be ok, a pattern is not so much. The first time I attended this event, the guy doing introductions reassured me that there usually are other girls around. Well, this is why they’re not as around as all that.

I’m even more determined to stick with the gun I picked. I’m not out to win anything. I’m not out to prove something to anyone else.

Now I just got to find the right sights for Bruce.

23. August 2012 · Comments Off on Another Appleseed · Categories: Rifles · Tags:

We attended another Appleseed event. The husband ended up walking out of there with an orange hat, as an instructor-in-training. We brought along a bunch of our friends and had a great time overall.

This was an unusual variation on the theme of Appleseed. I ended up renting a gun because of how this place was set up. They didn’t have one with a scope available for me unfortunately, but there was the red dot. The instructor was kind enough to adjust for me and gave me larger targets. My goal was to work on tightening up my groups so that next time I had something better to work with when I had more appropriate equipment.

Working with the rifle is reassuring. There are a lot of limitations for me but, with the right optic, it levels the playing field. I just need to get the right zoom to get even with other peoples’ eyes. Red dots are amazing! And I am loving my scope. I am confident that with enough practice, I can learn to read the wind as good as anyone, and factor it in.

We went on another scouting trip to Cabela’s. I focused on looking through their scopes to find what adjustment features, ladders, etc. I could use. I found a ladder that would work but it’s an order of magnitude more expensive than I can afford right now. Well one of these days when I get a high-powered rifle of my own, I know what to put on it!

16. August 2012 · Comments Off on Carbine Camp · Categories: Carbine, Competition · Tags: ,

I’m getting a little behind on my write-ups!

I attended another carbine event that had a lot of fun activities squeezed into a long day. The first thing we did was shoot at movers. Unlike the first time, I had my scope with me so I was able to play this round. I made a couple hits! I was pretty thrilled to get my first hit on a moving target (I haven’t been back to a shotgun event yet).

Next we went down to the short distance range and got in some serious close-quarters action. We started at 50 and advanced towards our targets doing different drills. Unfortunately I was already past the 20 yard mark when someone pointed out my shots were all low and reminded me that as you get closer, the zero isn’t going to work so great anymore. Uh, yeah. I took a sideways look at my rifle, I recalled the enormous gap between the red dot location and the barrel, and I switched my tactics to line that barrel right up with the center of the target. I did better then.

I’ve got to say that the red dot makes target acquisition ridiculously quick. It also looks like I have pretty good familiarity with my trigger now, at least in these nearly point-blank applications. Quick target acquisition followed by two smooth squeezes while taking advantage of the trigger reset led to consistently good timing.

There was one point where we had to work offhand, because we had to shoot from both sides of a barrier. Someone else on the line reassured me that everyone has this problem, where they are squishing their face around so that they can get their dominant eye on the sight, because, most people don’t train with off-hand work. I did the face-squish and pulled it off. It may be one of those cases where the raised rail gap worked to my advantage.

The last portion didn’t work out for me. We were really hot and during a water break I noticed my hands shaking. Calling that out resulted in a whole lot of well-intended scrutiny.

Anyway, things got a little confusing when it came down to the pistol drawing stage. I of course had to be there with my P22 with its weird mag release and external hammer and 50 safety features (I’ve at least taken care of some of these oddities now that my PPQ’s holster arrived). I decided not to take that round.

I find that in a stressful situation, having a half dozen people trying to give you uninformed directions is pretty stressful. I would recommend that the guy in charge be the one to deliver instructions and call it a day. I expect that people will feel safer all around.

Having the magazine release be part of the trigger guard really freaks people out. I will have to remember that when I am in these events in the future and clearly articulate when I’m going to drop my magazine.

Well that last part was embarrassing but overall it was a great day. This is the most fun event I’ve been in to date.

02. August 2012 · Comments Off on New Toys · Categories: Pistols, Rifles · Tags: ,

I brought home a couple new toys recently.

First, I bought a lever-action Henry. These are supposed to be great for training. It is supposed to be a great training gun because the ejection of the bullet is separate; you can do it at your leisure, you have less recoil because the firing is not used to eject the casing. That also means less of a trigger pull because less work has to be done with each click.

I found this to be a very easy weapon to use, but my arms grew tired even on this little one and I will have to work on my stamina (seriously, can’t even finish the tube?).

I also bought the PPQ. I needed a full-sized, full-capacity centerfire. I didn’t really like the options that most people had. I didn’t want to get into the 1911 platform, I don’t like glocks, I was ambivalent to the M&P (but anything glock-like, I’m not a fan of), and the CZ I saw looked promising but they don’t come out of the box like that.

In the PPQ I expected good ergonomics, good balance, and from the videos, a ridiculously short trigger reset. I got all of those, but it turned out to be not exactly what I expected either.

I have a PPS which I enjoy a lot, but being a compact gun, it’s not really conducive to any of the games. It’s in .40cal because I actually like having a bit of recoil and the 9mm just didn’t do it for me. I got the PPQ in .40cal too. I expected that, since it’s a bigger gun, there will be less felt recoil. With people going on and on about how little guns have lots of kick, that seemed well, obvious, right?

But I was totally wrong about that. There’s more barrel so less gas is wasted. The PPQ has substantially more recoil than the PPS. So much so that I was genuinely surprised. I haven’t figured out a good grip yet, especially on this larger gun where there’s more room for my hands to move around, so the minute tilts that I would get in the past because of a limp left hand was wildly exaggerated. At first, I didn’t know what hit me when it’d cant wildly and the casings would fall on my head. I eventually fixed that, but then I started having feed problems and I just don’t know how to reliably make that not happen yet. I really need to take a good look at how I hold the gun and work it out.