Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teachable Moments

Coming to you from the triple digit Texas Summer is a group gathering for some brush-up and training with which only serious (or certifiable) shooters have a tendency to involve themselves.  That reminds me, That Guy was there and has a great post as well.  Practice and training are one of those things that you just have to do at some level if you take your personal defense seriously.  I am not professing to be anyone that is a master of anything.  I just recognize the importance of learning - and learning correctly.  There are some things that are personal preference and some things that, if done improperly, will get you hurt or worse.  At least twice a year our small group of friends gets together to have fun and get in some serious training.  We each get our at home and regular range practice in between that.  The last couple of years it has involved traveling and paying for training for both carbine classes and defensive handgun classes.  This year a combination of all of the things that seem to keep us all from doing what we love (finances, logistics, timing) seemed like it would throw a wet blanket on what has become our annual serious training trip.  Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, we decided that training all day in June in Texas in a caliche pit was the smartest idea EVAR.

Reach out and touch the solar flares
Future trips WILL be better planned for timing.  Regardless, we accomplished our task.  I’m fortunate that our group has good shooters with some great training and experience.  The important thing is that you can learn from your friends that have taken training if you can’t afford to or make the time to hit up a professional.

and for my next trick...  levitating magazines
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give is cross reference what you learn.  I don’t care if it is from a “professional” that you paid to teach you, or your buddy that took a class himself; make sure and check out your basics against some trusted sources.  AND if it doesn’t sound or feel right, it probably isn’t.  By the way, the friend running ours did an awesome job.  He showed me something that will probably shave about 1/2 second off my mag change. We'll see since I have to do about 1,000 repetitions at home to unlearn and learn.  Moral there is be open to learning things.  Don't ever think you know it all.  Lastly, for goodness sake, HAVE FUN.

How can this NOT be fun??  (Rossi Ranch Hand in .357 Mag)

So, we ran basics first, then stepped into mag changes and right into multiple target acquisitions WITH mag changes.  Timers are fun to have just to test your progress and/or induce stress.  From there, we did some drills working around corners while engaging a target in a hostage situation.  Next was shooting and changing magazines on the move.  Finally came just playing with toys.

It's like holding puppies, kittens and fuzzy ducklings all at once!

For some reason this, naturally, takes up a pretty good block of time.  You just have to let the fun time happen.  If you crack a whip on training then it isn’t something you’re going to want to do on a regular basis and you will lose your new learners.  Not everyone is hardcore and you have to remember that.
I stand corrected.

Safety is that boring subject that is the most important piece of any shooting trip.  Learn it, teach it, enforce it.  Speak up and don’t get upset when someone points out something that could be unsafe.  Understand and discuss what is best to keep everyone safe and if someone can’t deal with a strict safety regimen, don’t shoot with them.  And then remember... HAVE FUN!

Brass!  Get yer red-hot brass!

Well, or casings (because we were mostly using steel), but it just didn't sound as good.  Stay safe, shoot lots and learn something.  The fun will happen.  There is almost no way to stop it.


  1. Awesome time. Thanks for letting us invade the property. I DEFINITELY need to work on my skills. It is amazing how fast they go away.

  2. I understand. It's best to have your brain lock-up in training instead of a fight. I know I identified points I need to work on.

  3. Love the captions on your pics. Very funny stuff. You should have started blogging long ago.

  4. Why, thank you. The gun blogs are an extremely nice and polite community, that is for sure.

  5. i've been eyeballing that ranch hand for awhile - what were your impressions?

  6. It is a friend's Ranch Hand and in his own words it has "all the negatives of a rifle and a revolver" but what it for sure is is cool and fun. He bought it for exactly that reason and it fulfills all expectations.