I’m going to initiate a new “category” today – Range Trips. This will hold summaries of my range trips in a more appropriate location than just lumping it into training.
While I enjoy a “just to blast away” range trip as much as the next guy, I seem to migrate to the focused trip more often than not. I may work on my marksmanship, draw from an open-carry holster, draw from concealment, draw from concealment under winter clothing or draw from concealment with movement. I might use a single weapon or take a couple. So as part of the header I’ll do a quick inventory of what I am taking, what I am going to work on, post the final “tale of the tape” target, post a summary of the trip and some thoughts about what I learned. All of this is in hope that there is some nugget contained in this post to help you with your training.
Inventory: Today I shot one of my Ruger 22/45s (black, open sights only) and my carry Springfield 1911 .45 with night sights. In the Ruger I shot CCI tactical .22 ammunition and in the 1911 I shot Blazer FMJ rounds.
Clothing: It was in the very low 50s today so my cover garment was simply a long, long-sleeve pull-over shirt. My weapons were warn and drawn from the 4 o’clock position
Goals: Clean draws, time to first shot as close to 2 seconds as I can get them. An 80% hit rate (hit meaning within or touching the outlined of the silhouette on a “Law Enforcement Target” SEB Special Weapons Team target) or within or touching the border of the circle, triangle and square outlines.
Distances: Distances would include 15,21,30,50,75 and 150 foot distances. All shots were free standing.
Engagements: The marksmanship engagements would be from low ready and be contained on the circle, square and triangle outlines.
One engagement from the 50’ line would be engaged using 2-Hand, Full Extension, Focal Point Shooting. The remaining engagement from that distance and beyond would use 2-Hand, Full Extension, Aimed Fire. All remaining engagements beyond 50ft would use 2-Hand, Full Extension, Aimed Fire. All engagements between 15ft and 30ft, other than the marksmanship drills, would use 2-Hand, Full Extension, Focal Point Shooting.
Results for the day: In order of fire, the results for the day were as follows.
#5 Triangle 15ft 2H, FE, Aimed 9/10 Rounds 90%
#6 Triangle 21ft 2H, FE, Aimed 9/10 Rounds 90%
#1 Circle 30ft 2H, FE, Aimed 10/10 Rounds 100%
#2 Circle 30ft 2H, FE, Aimed 10/10 Rounds 100%
#3 Square 50ft 2H, FE, Aimed 10/10 Rounds 100%
#4 Square 50ft 2H, FE, Aimed 9/10 Rounds 90%
Moving on to draw and engagement from concealment. All .22 engagements were with two magazines and a total of 20 rounds. The two engagements with the .45 were with 4 magazines and 28 rounds for the first engagement and 27 rounds for the second engagement (loading issues with the second magazine lead to one round being discarded). The results were as follows:
#1 .22 21ft 2H, FE, FPS 20/20 Rounds 100%
#2 .45 21ft 2H, FE, FPS 22/28 Rounds 79%
#3 .45 21ft 2H, FE, FPS 25/27 Rounds 93%
#4 .22 50ft 2H, FE, FPS 12/20 Rounds 60%
#5 .22 50ft 2H, FE, Aimed 19/20 Rounds 95%
#6 .22 75ft 2H, FE, Aimed 18/20 Rounds 90%
#7 .22 75ft 2H, FE, Aimed 19/20 Rounds 95%
#8 .22 150ft 2H, FE, Aimed 12/20 Rounds 60%
The training with the .22/.45 is just as valuable as training with my carry 1911. There is little difference between the hit percentages. However, I did notice that my time-to-first-shot was about ½ second longer with the 1911 than with the .22/.45. My only thought is simply the difference in mass between the two weapons causing the 1911 to be a bit slower to bring up on target. I’ll keep an eye on this to see who it goes.
My time-to-first-shot hovered in the 1.9 second range for the .22/.45 and around 2.5 to 3 second range for the 1911. You will notice that once I reached 50ft with the use of Focal Point Shooting, my accuracy dropped radically. You have MORE time at that distance, use it. Switching to aimed fire for the remaining 50ft and 75ft engagements brought my accuracy back up quickly.
My accuracy again suffered at the 150ft range. I only had time for a single engagement at this distance – that are the final holes in the “Tale of the tape” target seen below. My natural adjustment would have been to elevate my aim point to move my low hits up. Still, these are things a shooter has to remember, not correct. Heavy sigh – stuff to remember, stuff to remember . . . .
And that will be one final purpose of these range reports – a reminder of things to do differently on my next trip.
“The Tale of the Tape”
I realize most are not as anal as I am about their range trips. And a trip to just make holes is nice once in a while. However, for your “business trip” to the range – plan it, execute the plan, document it and then review it.
It’s one of the best ways I know to accelerate your learning!