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Texas Shootout AAR

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  • Texas Shootout AAR

    Leejo had been kind enough to PM me and point me to some gun ranges in our area after I expressed an interest in shooting. I told him I never shot before and wasn't comfortable going by myself, you know because of the whole shooting myself thing. So he volunteered like the true TG trooper that he is to come with me.

    We agreed to meet me at http://www.topgunoftexas.com

    My girlfriend had been saying for years that these online "war games" were recruitment tools for the CIA. And here I was going to do some shooting with someone I had never met before. I thought hmmmm....maybe she'd been right all along. How exciting!

    Leejo shows up with a gun case and a two packs of winchester ammunition. Clean cut looking guy, CIA material for sure. When it's time to choose the targets he insists on the FBI circles. I was like yep, covert CIA mission here I come. The first thing I noticed was that even with the ear protection the other shooters surprised the hell out of me. Leejo opened his case and out came a Springfield Xtreme Duty Sub-Compact 9mm. He showed me, how to load it, how to take it apart and we took turns taking shots. I left my thumb behind the slide a couple times and it cracked my thumbnail. Ouch. It's amazing how accurate you have to be to hit a target as little as 30 feet away. I liked the XD a lot, but I am going to go back to try out a Smith and Wesson 642 revolver. Overall my fear of guns went from a 10 to a 3, it was definitely fun and got my juices flowing. Afterwards we went over to a local pub called the Velvet Melvin for drinks and gossip. It was fun meeting someone that I had been exchanging posts with for a couple years.

  • #2
    Re: Texas Shootout AAR

    This is exactly how it is supposed to be!

    The shooters next to you will startle you for a few range sessions, but your body adjusts to it after a while. Trigger control is everything, it is suprisingly hard to shoot a target 30 feet away at first. Video games make people think it's easier than it looks.

    Revolvers are fun, but they aren't for everybody, I personally don't care for them much. They are good fun though...

    I'm glad that your fear of guns has been reduced. I liked the XDs for a bit, but I am a Glock convert and 1911 guy now :D

    Hope that your next range session will be as fun as the first...

    What am I saying? Of course it will!!!!
    |TG-X|Turkish

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    • #3
      Re: Texas Shootout AAR

      You really should not have fired a round until you learned a proper grip.

      I've heard good things about the XD. However, buying for target practice I saved 70% and got a HiPoint instead.

      Revolvers are much more forgiving. If you can't learn a proper grip, a revolver won't bite your hand... however, you will never be accurate without grip, and without accuracy, Bad Things Happen. (Capitals For Emphasis.)

      Poor grip may be related to the size of the gun. If you have piano-player fingers like I do, larger models are much easier to handle. Concealed-carry size pistols give me trouble, since my fingers are in the wrong place, causing the pistol to yaw when I pull the trigger, and sending everything to the left.


      What size were the targets you used? I usually shoot from 50 feet at some 7 10 cardstock.

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      • #4
        Re: Texas Shootout AAR

        Cool! I'm glad you had fun. Just last weekend, I bought a Springfield XD-40 ACP, subcompact with a stainless steel slide. I LOVE the way it shoots. I put 100 rounds through it on Sunday and not one jam, unlike the junky Baretta M-9's I'd shoot in the military. If there is a shooting range north of Houston, I wouldn't mind meeting you some night within the next couple of months, since I'm working in Huntsville right now.
        "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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        • #5
          Re: Texas Shootout AAR

          Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
          Revolvers are much more forgiving. If you can't learn a proper grip, a revolver won't bite your hand... however, you will never be accurate without grip, and without accuracy, Bad Things Happen. (Capitals For Emphasis.)
          You left out "stance" which I consider just as important.

          Poor grip may be related to the size of the gun. If you have piano-player fingers like I do, larger models are much easier to handle. Concealed-carry size pistols give me trouble, since my fingers are in the wrong place, causing the pistol to yaw when I pull the trigger, and sending everything to the left.
          I had this issue when going from my full-size Colt 1911, to my Kimber Compact. It turns out I was "milking" both triggers, but the full-size was forgiving enough to still keep me on target.

          My solution was to go purchase a Beretta .22 Neos (full-size) for around $200 and use it solely to practice trigger work. My aim improved remarkably in a short span, and the cost was minimal when you compare prices in ammo (you can buy ~500 rounds of .22LR for the cost of a single box of 50 .45ACP, even cheaper if you go online). The main things to focus on is using your fingertip to pull the trigger, and to make sure the first "section (you have 3 actually in the finger portion of you hand)" of your trigger finger is parallel to the barrel of the pistol.

          Firing a gun isn't an event, it's a process. Like any process people do, it can come to look like a single event when you have enough experience. One of the fun things to do at the range is to watch other people shoot. You can tell the ones who are running through the process in their head. They pick up the mag, think about it, insert, purposely hit the slide release, bring the gun up, focus, then fire, reset, then fire again.

          Whereas to me, the whole process is like one single event. I choose to fire the gun and it all goes into motion. It's the same thing as learning to drive a car. You don't think about what single steps you have to take to get the car in motion, you just do it. But that first month of driving was probably a lot different.

          What's my point? Nothing really, except that you should never get ahead of yourself. Take your time, it's not a competition. I routinely see people at the range watch me shoot (almost rapid fire), then they mimic me. The difference? I spent the time and money to learn how to shoot and I'm blowing a single hole through a target at 10 yards. Most other guys at the range are lucky to hit center-mass.

          And Ham, sorry I never got back to you about shooting. I've only been like twice in the past year, which is a damn shame. I'm glad leejo got you hooked up.

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          • #6
            Re: Texas Shootout AAR

            "You left out "stance" which I consider just as important."

            I consider it one and the same. :D

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            • #7
              Re: Texas Shootout AAR

              I had a very nice time meeting Hambergler. Very nice guy. Shooting is fun and all, but the chat and the beer after was what I enjoyed the most.

              I am no sharpshooter and have never had a formal lesson, so I may not be the best person to guide Hammy B's progress toward official Gun-Nut status. I was mostly focused on very basic safety issues like not looking down the barrel, keeping the gun pointed down-range, keeping his finger off the trigger between shots (did I mention I sneaked a flask into the range?), and keeping his thumb out of the way of the bolt, while helping him RELAX a little.

              It was clear to me that he was pretty nervous when we met. I was exhausted from my work-week to the point of near-incoherence, which didn't help. We had a brief chat about what we were going to do, how everything would work, saw the Man to get our eyes and ears and a lane, and headed in.

              When we got to our lane, someone fired a round and Hambergler jumped. We walked through some safety rules, I showed him how to work the various parts of the gun, showed him the safety features on the gun. I took it apart quickly so he could see and hold the pieces. Things I thought might help him get more comfortable and also something to do while getting used to the sound of gunfire all around.

              When it was time to shoot, I loaded a single round at a time for a little while, so Hambergler could get used to shooting and so I could watch how much the barrel waved around after he shot. I wanted to make sure he didn't fire a round and turn towards me with a big stupid "look what I did" grin on his face, finger on the trigger, barrel pointed at God-knows what. No offense, but I'm pretty paranoid with things that go bang. But sure enough Hambergler isn't an idiot and showed good discipline in that regard so pretty soon he was loading the magazine and working the action and so on.

              We did work on posture a little because I could tell he was very tense. The thing that works for me is simply to try to feel athletic. I don't really have an analogy for it but maybe something like the way you'd stand and feel between shots if someone were helping you hit down-the-line forehands in tennis. Sorta leaned forward, coiled but not rigid.

              When I saw his thumb starting to creep up toward the bolt, I explained what happens each time the round fires and why it's a very bad idea to stick your thumb behind the bolt. We talked about grip then and I showed him two grips I know. Sure enough, at one point he had to excuse himself to wash a little blood off this thumb. Nothing teaches like experience and pain.

              Long story short, we had a nice time plinking our targets and then headed over to the Velvet Melvin for a drink and a chat. About an hour later we were having a terrific discussion (I thought) when my wife called wanting to know if I planned on coming home or not and I had to split.

              I'm very glad we did it and to have made Mr. Hambergler's acquaintance. Looking forward to next time.

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