Editor's Notebook: Range Exercises
This feature is from an edition of our companion service, the Tactical Wire from last November.
Holster drills are best practiced using the holster you normally carry and use. Be mindful of re-holstering safely, including keeping the holster mouth clear of clothing.
Normally, I won't go to the range on weekends or holidays, preferring to be able to get done what I need to get done without a lot of traffic. I made an exception to the rule last Friday, Veterans' Day. Fortunately, I was relatively unimpeded and had the opportunity to put myself on the sights and the trigger to drain away the stress of the silly season known as 'election year.'
It seems that, for a moment, politics won't be drying up supplies of certain types of ammunition -- .22 LR and .22 Mag – and perhaps folks can stop stocking up on magazines and do a little range work.
I'd been working on the regular carry Glock 19, one that's been fighting a move into the rotation since 2012. It took that long to get sights on it and to get the sights more-or-less regulated to my eyes and grip. A Gen 4, it's different enough in handling that I've been struggling with that sighting issue. On top of that, the sights aren't "top edge" strike, being more regulated to "cover with color and press" – or something like that.
Working one-hand skills is vital.
I started at fifty yards and put three hits on an IALEFI-Q. The good news is that I've been struggling with just getting three in the "bottle" from fifty yards with anything
. This time I made it, though I need to simply work on that stage with this gun to ensure that they're three good hits. As for "one in the face from 25 yards," I hit the edge of the IALEFI "softball" in the head of the target. I'm calling that good.
I opted to use some ammo and effort in part of the Tactical Professor's (Claude Werner) "Neutralize the Threat" Benchmark course, a variation on the FBI double-action revolver course. As I had the IALEFI-Q target posted – and that's the target he prefers for the course – I was ready to do the close stages.
Good news for me and the gun I chose to carry: at the closer ranges, both in times and hits I was in good shape. There was one trophy-grade trigger snatch that kept me from cleaning the five yard head shot stage, but I was all good in the slow fire "parrot" string (that's his term for the circle on the upper right side of the target – it's like the parrot on a pirate's left shoulder).
Using a double action revolver -- using the trigger to cock and fire the piece -- is ideal for trigger control exercises. The last string being a slow-fire precision string helps end a practices session on a positive note.
I had trouble making the times at fifteen yards because I chose to draw from the holster for the two-shot strings. The course calls for shooting them from ready, but I felt like I needed the holster work.
The skills to work are trigger control, time to the first hit from the holster – both of which can be accomplished with dry practice – and making hits at distance. I believe the latter is more of a confidence issue than a shooting issue.
I finished up with one- and two hand shooting strings with a Smith & Wesson Model 63 Kit Gun. The last eight rounds were put in the circle on the IALEFI "patch" logo on the target. I put eight rounds in about an inch from seven yards – the best I ever shot that little gun with its fiber optic front sight.
More than sights, it's in the trigger. Be nice to the trigger and it'll be nice to you.
Finish every practice session with truly slow fire precision shooting. End with success.
-- Rich Grassi