Thursday, March 19, 2015

Range Trip – 3-19-2014 Remember . . . It’s YOUR trip . . .


The range has finally dried, snow is gone, water is gone and it’s only muddy is patches. Temps in the 40s . . . about time to break out the beachwear!! I finished up with a client in town and had about an hour of spare time . . . and only 2 miles to the range. What to do . . . what to do . . . RANGE TRIP!!

Some thoughts . . .

Practice with purpose

I’ve pretty much made this phrase the intro to any discussion of a range trip. Why the heck are you going? What are you working on? How much time do you have? Does the purpose fit within the time frame? Decide these things before you go. Remember – this is YOUR trip. This is YOUR training. It needs to fit within YOUR parameters for what you want to work on.

For me personally, this year’s focus is simply accuracy. At least half my range trips this year will focus on that. The folks at put a post on their blog containing the response from 20 well known shooters on what their favorite drill was to work on their accuracy. It’s a very good read, take a few minutes to roll through it . . .

My secondary purpose today was to keep evaluating the installation of my new set of sights for my carry Glock 17. I’ve not sent many rounds down range with them yet, so part of my evaluation was to see what my grouping looked like and use it to evaluate if adjustments needed to be made.

Time constraints being what they were, here’s my drill for the day:

  • 5 rounds – 5 yards
  • 5 rounds – 7 yards
  • 5 rounds – 10 yards
  • 5 rounds – 10 yards
  • 5 rounds – 7 yards
  • 5 rounds – 5 yards

Total round count – 30 rounds. The target is a standard B-8.

I checked off each distance as it was completed and took a photo. The results look like this . . .

20150319_163320 (Medium)  20150319_163505 (Medium)20150319_163645 (Medium)  20150319_163758 (Medium)20150319_163905 (Medium)  20150319_164002 (Medium)

Doing this type of record keeping is for YOUR benefit. It lets you track progress. It highlights your “issues”. It allows you to see progress. It holds you accountable. The results are YOURS – good and bad.

And, this type of documentation shows that you, as a person who carries a handgun to defend yourself – take your responsibility to train seriously.

My goal was to keep all my rounds within the 9 ring. I dropped 2, a 93%. It’s a starting point for this year. It is also a 3 inch-ish sized group. Again, a starting point. It seems to indicate that I need to move the rear sight to the right a tad since the group was fairly well defined. I’ll make a final decision on that after my next range trip.

The major component of accuracy is trigger press. It felt smooth today, we’ll see how the next trip goes. That said – unless you document your trip, it is all too easy to talk yourself into pretty much anything you want to as far as progress goes. Images, Range Trip reviews go a long way towards keeping you honest as a shooter and as an instructor.

I did some work with a training group I joined at their facility this past weekend (there’s a post floating around in my head, it’ll work its way out soon) and I had taken my Springfield 1911 along for a bit of range time. We had some surprises during out 2 days together and the range work never happened. However, my .45 was still in my bag along with a box of ammo. And, I hadn’t done anything past 10 yards on this trip . . . why not. So, I posted a new target, loaded 2 magazines with 5 rounds each and moved to the 50’ line. My personal goal for today, keep everything within the 8 ring.

20150319_165258 (Medium)

I met my goal with a squeaker at 10 o’clock. But for today, after nearly a year away from the 1911, I’ll take it as my starting benchmark for the year.

I post these range trips to encourage my students to hit the range, make it count, make a plan, document their training and then look for their weaknesses, note their improvement and keep their feet moving forward.

For instructors – same goes for us as well. And, it shows our students we’re still out there training, we still have things to work on and that we all have room for improvement.

Remember – range trips are for YOU. Have a plan, make it count, focus – work – push – fail – improve . . .

It’s the only way any of us will improve . . .


  1. I have a list... I just need for the weather to cooperate... sigh

  2. I have a list... I just need for the weather to cooperate... sigh