2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Real Men Do It In The Rain

Went shooting today up in Delaware with a friend from work, Chris. The good news was that we had the range all to ourselves. The bad news was that we had it to ourselves because it was raining. It wasn't raining hard but it was raining constantly the 2 hours or so we were out on the range. To make it even more challenging the temperature was down around 50 degrees or so. It was more like early October than early June in Ohio. We put some rounds down range from my AK, Mosin, Hi-Pont Carbine and both of our .22's - his Savage and my Ruger 10/22. Then we shot his Hi-Point 9mm (its actually my old one that I have reviewed previously that I sold to him) and My Taurus PT845 and some rounds from my Bersa Thunder .380.

Chris wearing a full length body condom to stay dry

With the rifles everything went off without a hitch other than our targets getting wet and curling up on the stands. Both of us had pistol issues. His Hi-Point had some stove pipe issues and my Bersa had multiple, and I mean MULTIPLE, FTF issues. It got so bad that I stopped doing the tap-rack-bang drill and started to clear each one individually and reload as it was happening on every round for a bit. I was using the Fiocchi FMJ stuff I just bought. I guess the pistol doesn't like it since it has eaten everything else up to this point like a pig at the trough. The PT845 performed flawlessly, as I have become accustomed to expect. It is interesting to note that the perceived recoil of its .45 ACP round was noticeably less than the recoil of the Hi-Points 9mm round.

For anyone not familiar with the tap-rack-bang drill, here is a link to an excellent training video for it (embedding disable by request on Youtube)

By the time we were done I was sweating under my former Army rain jacket, wet in the seat of my pants and other places and my hands were cold and somewhat numb. And then it struck me, this was great training. Life is not fair, it likes to throw some curve balls and spit balls at you. A lot of people like to get their CCW and then shoot exclusively at an air conditioned indoor range with a lounge and cafe latte machines nearby. Most of the time that you would actually use your weapon to defend yourself you would be in an environment far from this one. You would probably be outside, possibly in the dark and at the mercy of the elements. At the least you would be at home in the dark. How do you train for this environment? You draw your weapon and suddenly notice that the grip you have become familiar with is strange to you with your hands gripping a cold weapon. The nice white dots you have become accustomed to acquiring in your sight picture are now dim specs in the dark and you no longer have a lighted range to illuminate your target. What do you do? You train beforehand! Get out in those less desirable times of the year and fire a bit, don't be afraid to get wet (though if there had been any thunder of lightening we would have gotten off the range fast!) or a little cold. Don't be afraid to get uncomfortable a bit, it won't kill you. As for training in darkness, not many ranges will allow you to fire in darkness (unless it is part of a defensive shooting course they conduct) so you may have to improvise. Use a dark pair of sunglasses over or under you protective eye wear to simulate reduced lighting conditions. Have a partner on hand to observe you and make sure that you are handling the weapon safely. Also shoot at human style silhouettes if you don't already to train your mind to pull the trigger at human target. Also you may want to try either steel plate shooting or IDPA or other competitive shooting events to get off of the square range for a bit and condition you to always scan your area for threats, and not just your 12 o'clock.

Here I am wet, sweating, water on my glasses with cold hands. Good times!! Don't infer anything from the sign, these were old tax bond signs someone donated to the range for general use - but yeah, good homes generally do make for safe kids, if you have some in your home and also have firearms, teach them well and keep the arms safely stored when not in use).

Training in uncomfortable environments conditions you mentally to ignore them in future encounters with them, or at least to allow you to work within the scope of their limitations. In the Army there was a saying that "if it ain't raining, we ain't trainin'". I always hated that saying, but it does have some truth. The enemy doesn't always choose sunny, pleasant days to show up on. Make sure you are ready for the others too.

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