I spent the first three days of this week helping with a “Rifle Operator Course” for our local PD. 24 hours, 800+ rounds – it’s very comprehensive and provides a solid evaluation of an officer that is about to begin carrying an AR as part of their squad duty gear. Of course, while you are helping teach . . . there’s no opportunity to send rounds downrange yourself. And while I am confident in my skillset, it never hurts to follow up that confidence with a few rounds myself just for “holes on target proof” as well as a bit of polish. So that was my task for this morning – evaluation and polish.
I set aside 100 rounds of .223 and 50 rounds of 9mm to work on both rifle skills and a transition to my carry gun. As I’ve said many times, set the “ground rules” first, then shoot your COF. For a hit to count it needed to be within or touch the line-defined specific shapes – high center mass box, pelvic girdle box, ocular cavity and then the 6 numbered cognition drill boxes around the outside of the silhouette.
The course of fire for the morning was . . .
10 single rounds high center mass box 10 rounds
10 single rounds ocular cavity 10 rounds
10 “hammers” (think a fast accelerated pair) 10 rounds
1 single round in each outer shape 1 thru 6 6 rounds
5 failure drills – 2 rounds HCM, 1 round in the ocular cavity 15 rounds
15 single round engagements HCM simulating rifle failure 15 rounds
45 9mm rounds shot as a failure drill with 5 rounds to the ocular cavity
5 rounds to “2” circle and 5 rounds split between the 3 and 4 box 45 rounds
7 “hammers” to the pelvic girdle 14 Rounds
1 “Bill Drill” from 10 yards 5 rounds
The final round count for this portion is 80 rounds of .223 and 50 rounds of 9mm all shot from the 10-yard line. For the transition drill I fired a single round to the high center mass with my AR and then transitioned to my sidearm – a Glock 17 – and shot a failure drill. This was done 15 times for a total of 45 rounds of 9mm. This left me with 5 rounds of 9mm in my pocket which I loaded as shot as the “Bill Drill” listed above.
The remaining 20 rounds were shot from a supported prone position from 50 yards and shot on the separate target in the upper left corner of the primary target. Each square is 4-inches in size with 1-inch square in their center.
As the title of this post says, the range will always teach you something. Today that lesson was . . . aren’t you glad you had backup irons?? My “duty rifle” has an older Eotech 517 mounted to it. It had come up just fine for the coursework earlier in the week but today, even with the backup set of batteries I had in the range bag, it was “no joy”, it was not going to come up. What an opportunity to work with my back up irons just to make sure that skillset is alive in well!!! Yeah!!!
So that’s what I did. I shot the above course of fire with irons. The first 80 rounds of .223 and 45 rounds of 9mm from my carry Glock 17 produced a score of 86%. Not the 90% I was looking for but well above 80% which is my minimum acceptable score. And as opposed to the scoring on LEO range work, the rounds needed to touch or be within the boundaries of the scoring areas on the target and not just within the silhouette of the target for it to count for me. Honestly, I look at this overall result as doing fine on this run. I can always improve but each range trip brings its own little issues.
However, looking at the final 20 rounds on the target in the upper left, I kinda lost my crap on that one. My shooting position was 50 yards in a supported prone position – my range bag provided my support. As you can see, the “precision” was fine with the groups being under 3 inches in size and they are separate and distinct groups. Where I lost it was in the accuracy with my group centers being well left or above of the desired targets. Heavy sigh. So, when I replace my Eotech 517 this coming week, I’ll tweak the 50 yard zero on my irons a bit to bring that back in.
All in all, a good range trip, some good work on transition from my AR to my Glock 17 and an obvious workout of my iron sights.
A fine time was had by all!! So – get out to the range. Have you worked on transitions from your rifle to your handgun?? Have you wrung out your irons lately?? Have you attempted more precise shots at longer distances but especially within the 50-yard range that would be typical for home defense? If not, schedule some time and some ammo to brush off the rust and work on the polish. Remember, you simply do not get to choose “the day”!!! It chooses you!!