There’s Always a Lesson

I have to admit that it’s been nice to squad up with a group of people who has the same training as you. Well, at least for me it is. The mentality on the squad is definitely a lot different from a competitive environment. I mean, lets face it, I like doing my reloads and shooting like the way I’ve been taught. Not the “competition way”. I’m also glad to have the opportunity to problem solve the stages on my own.

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Ideally, it’s no different from IDPA in what we need to shoot. I guess if you were strictly doing it by the SCSA guidelines, it might be frustrating. Then again, I doubt that their rules are that complicated as IDPA. Either way, working again with the same crew is pretty welcoming at times. And when I say “at times”, I mean when I personally am not sucking!

In keeping with my recent experience with IDPA, I decided that I would continue my practice and work on my concealment draw. Of course the exception was that I didn’t really wore a cover. The main reason why was because in a conversation with another student, I made a comment that I’ve managed to end up last on the list in regards to my time. Even the scores last week, I was still last.

Well, he made a good point that I was shooting with a stock duty gun. In addition to shooting, I was practicing and reinforcing my skill sets and not really doing it for time. So yes, he was right. I’ve been trying to fix my trigger jerking since day one and it’s such a big pain in the booty at times.

So he challenged me to switch over to my 9mm and not the usual 45 and see if my time would improve. Well needless to say, I did that. So I didn’t really go all the way in regards to doing a true concealment draw. However, I did wear my IWB holster as well as my concealed carry holster. I will admit though, it was really awesome to have that extra 2 rounds in the 9mm versus the standard 8 I carried in my 45.

Who would have thought that 2 rounds would make that much a difference?

Still, it threw me for a loop several times. I had a hard time trying to keep track of my ammo count after each run. Naturally, I would do a tactical reload only to see that I was on my last round and the mag is empty. Other times, I got busted for doing an admin reload instead of a tactical reload.

So when in doubt, change it out!

As my instructor says, you should be managing your ammo at all times.

On a side note…

I will admit that I get a little “jealous” whenever I see the TFA guys pull out their sub guns and run it select fire mode or control burst. Either way, it’s so freaking awesome I want to sell all of my possessions just to buy an MP5! Even the Sterling the boss was running is pretty damn awesome, especially with that suppressor.

Another lesson in life that I got from today is that everyone was a beginner once. And it’s never too late to learn something new. With that being said, there was a new shooter in the group. She’s an older woman. Quiet. Kind of shy. Or maybe she was conceited and didn’t want to talk to us? Just kidding. She seems nice. But totally new. I remember seeing her in December working with the instructor, shooting a .22 pistol.

I have to admit, watching her today I was really impressed by her new skill sets. Not only when she load and made ready, she even did a press check and tactical reloads. I mean, if you were to look at her, you wouldn’t think she knows how to shoot. Frankly, I think she shoots better than me. (Ok, seriously, who can’t out shoot me? After all, I’m still so lacking with my skills…)

So the real lesson here is to never under estimate or judge anyone by the way they look. Even though there were a lot of young shooters on the range and a few older men, she is doing very well in her marksmanship. I can’t wait to see her run a full size 9mm. So I better step up my game and keep working hard. She’ll definitely out shoot me pretty soon.

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Biggest lesson of the day and I think this is important; is having a mindset. Whether you’re training, competing or on the battlefield, your head needs to be focused.

There was a incident this morning where one of the shooters had a negligent discharge. Luckily no one was hurt. What happened was that the shooter race through the stage, but when the shooter returned to the high ready position, a round went and the gun ended up smacking her in the face. I was told she was startled and walked off the range until her squad mates had her stayed and continued her run.

So this tells me a couple of things. First off is that she forgot the four golden rules of gun handling. Thank the Lord that her gun was still pointed down range. Secondly, she was not focused on the task at hand. What was her mindset at the time? I don’t know. However, even if you’re on the line, it wouldn’t hurt if she took a pause to reset herself. I can understand that we all want to go fast and beat the clock, but I would rather be safe by going slow and making sure all my post shooting protocols are done correctly.

Ironically, that is something I’ve noticed about competition shooters. Most of the ones I’ve seen, do not do any type of post shooting protocols. Nor would they be expected to since they are really on a competition mindset.

Most of the competitive shooters I’ve seen doing all the time as their post protocol, is to drop a partially full mag on the deck and reload with a new one for the next run. Perhaps maybe if she did have a set post shooting protocol of her own, it might have helped her from having a negligent discharge.

Its amazing how many lessons there are on the firing lines every time I’m out there. Sometimes, I see them plain as day. Other times, I would need to think about it and then extract the lessons learned. But if you asked me, this is probably the biggest OODA loop that I’m doing here and you can always find a value from other people’s mistakes, including your own, if you’re observant as well as open-minded.

  • Greg Silver

    Dont beat yourself up too much. You have a skillset that most dont, nor would understand without the same training you have done so far. Great post!