Posts Tagged ‘practice’

Its time for us to say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014.  Its time to look back on our lives for the past year and see what we can do to improve ourselves or make life more enjoyable.  Its time for New Year’s Resolutions.

Since I’ve moved out of my parents’ houses and into an apartment with my fiance, things have been fantastic.  Life really is great and I couldn’t really ask for more.  That said, I have been neglecting my firearms and letting my skills wither away.  Its time for me to get back out there and do some shooting and practicing.

For 2014, I resolve to go shooting as often as I can.  I’m going to start out strong by going to shoot with my neighbor this Saturday.  He recently bought a 9mm 45 and has been really looking forward to shooting it.  Depending on where we go I’ll probably bring my rifles along.  I’ve been itching to shoot my SKS some more.  If we go to the indoor range in town however I’ll have to stick with just my .22 pistols.

Either way its going to be fun.  I’ll be sure to share how everything goes and let you know how badly my skills have deteriorated without practice.  Happy New Year everyone!

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I received a letter in the mail a few weeks back letting me know that my local shooting range, to which I was a member, was closing its doors.  They were kind enough to reimburse me for the remaining time left on my membership but nevertheless it was pretty sad to hear.

I hadn’t been going as much lately with all the changes in my life, so maybe their closing was partly my fault.  Maybe it was the ammo craze that drove gun owners everywhere to hoard ammo instead of using it.  Maybe it was the economy.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I will now have to travel at least 45 minutes any time I want to shoot at an actual range.  My dad’s house is only 15 minutes away and I can shoot there whenever I want, but sometimes an actual range is just much better.

If you’re lucky enough to have a range in your area, get out there and show them your support.  Let them know you want them to stay around and that you find what they have to offer very enriching.  And spread the good word to other gun owners so that business can improve.  If the ranges all close and we have nowhere to shoot out guns, how will we maintain our shooting skills?  For some of us, living in isolated rural areas just isn’t an option.

There are only a few days left in March so I thought I would do another ammo update.  Spring is officially here and its getting warm outside.  With that comes more opportunities to go out and shoot so make sure you get some ammo while you can if you haven’t already.

Here’s what was available as of 10:00pm on Thursday, March 28th, 2013:

.50AE
Able Ammo – Magnum Research ammo

.45ACP
Able Ammo – 7 options
Ammo.net – 18 options
Ammo For Sale – 20 options
Bulk Ammo – 21 options
Cheaper Than Dirt – 12 options
GunBot – Many options
J & G Sales – 3 options
Lucky Gunner – 21 options
Sportsmans Guide – 2 options
Surplus Ammo – 4 options
Ventura Munitions – 16 options

.40 S&W
Able Ammo – 8 options
Ammo.net – 2 options
Ammo For Sale – 2 options
Bulk Ammo – Speer Gold Dot
Cheaper Than Dirt – 5 options
GunBot – Many options
J & G Sales – 2 options
Lucky Gunner – 2 options
Sportsmans Guide – 2 options
Surplus Ammo – 4 options
Ventura Munitions – 11 options

9mm
Able Ammo – 10 options
Cheaper Than Dirt – 5 options
GunBot – Many options
Surplus Ammo – 6 options
Ventura Munitions – Lehigh Defense ammo

Its clear that 9mm has taken a hit since my last update just 5 days ago.  Everything else seems to have remained about the same.  Prices are still high, but there’s nothing we can do about that but grit our teeth and move on.  The days of cheap ammo may well be dead and buried.

The poll I ran last week asked the question, “How often do you practice? (Dry-fire exercises included)”.  There were 21 votes during the week it was posted and the results were pretty much what I expected.

11 people voted that they practiced weekly, 5 voted for monthly, and 5 voted for other answers.  The results would seem to indicate that the majority of people practice every week or every month.  That’s about where I’m at as well; I usually get to practice every two weeks or so.

I’ve mentioned this before in a few older posts:  Shooting is a skill that fades quickly when you don’t practice.  Taking only a few weeks off can significantly impact your results.  Shooting a gun is much like riding a bike because you’ll never forget how to do it.  But its also like bowling because it requires precision and consistency.  When you don’t practice, it takes longer to get built back up.  You can’t stay on top of your game without practice.

I’m not suggesting you practice every day.  Who could afford the ammo for that anyway?  I do think everyone should practice though.  Its essential in order to maintain your shooting skills.  Enough time off makes you forget even the basics.  Re-learning them is almost as hard the second time as it was the first time and that’s why my current bowling average is 40 pins less than in was 3 years ago.

So this weekend (its supposed to be very nice if you live in VA or surrounding areas) get out there and practice.  I know you’ve been hoarding ammo since The Great Ammo Drought of 2013 began and so have I.  Since ammo is returning to the shelves and becoming available again finally, its time we get back out there and refine those skills we’ve worked so hard to attain!

What are your thoughts on this issue?  How often do you practice and why?  Do you think everyone should practice every day or every week?  At what point do you start losing what you’ve learned?  I’m interested to hear other peoples’ experiences on this.

As I mentioned in my last survival post I’ve fallen behind on these.  To catch up I am posting twice tonight and twice tomorrow night.  Then I’ll be good again until time slips out of my grasp yet again.  Thanks for understanding as always.

33)  Conceal a Weapon

“When choosing a weapon for concealed carry, remember that smaller is easier”.  This is the one situation where you’ll hear a woman say smaller is better (its a joke . . . you know, ha ha?).  All jokes aside, smaller really is better.  Having a weapon that can’t be concealed kinda defeats the purpose anyway right?  And you wouldn’t want it to come busting out in public and frighten people when you’re only goal is to protect yourself and others.  Here’s two tips the book suggest you abide by at all times when carrying concealed:

Keep It On Your Hip:  There are hundreds of options for holsters out there.  You can get them for your belt, your back, your shoulder, and even places like your thigh or ankle.  These are great in some situations but surely not all.  If you have to remove your jacket, that shoulder holster may no longer be concealed.  Keeping your weapon on your hip makes it easier to keep hidden at all times (though its not always as simple as that).

Stash It:  Do you carry a briefcase to work every day?  Maybe a purse?  These are great places to stash a weapon that you wish to keep out of sight.  The disadvantage to carrying your weapon like this is that it wont be as easy to access in an emergency.  But, some situations don’t offer you many other options and having a weapon close by is better than not having one at all when you need to defend yourself.

I would suggest practicing both methods.  Make sure you’re capable of carrying your weapon on your body as well as in a briefcase or purse.  After practicing both you’ll become more comfortable with what you’re capable of.  Maybe having a pistol in your purse is perfect for you.  Or maybe you don’t have the coordination to quickly open that briefcase and pull out your weapon.  You wont know until you try.

What else can we think of?  What other tips are there?  Any advice you would like to share to help other readers avoid mistakes that you’ve already made?  Let us know in the comments below.  And please, if you would, take a second to vote in this weeks poll (over on the left side of the page) if you haven’t already.  It only takes a second or two and I would greatly appreciate it.  Maybe Ill return the favor with another ammo update tomorrow . . .

Thanks to the Gunmart Blog, I was lucky enough to come across an article over on Officer.com.  The article, written by Paul Markel, goes over a practice routine that keeps you from blasting away hundreds of rounds at the range.  With the current ammo situation, that is more important than ever.  Using this drill you can practice some very important techniques with only 50 rounds or less.

When you hit the range to practice, you should first have a plan.   If your plan is simply to shoot up a hundred rounds, that’s little more than noise-generation and empty brass creation.  A couple of years ago I developed a simple base-line training or practice drill that I call the One Box Workout™

  1. Slow-fire with two hands – Focus on trigger pull and sight alignment.
  2. Repeat with dominant hand only – Again focus on trigger pull, sight alignment, and “ensure your wrist is locked”.
  3. Repeat with off-hand only – Focus on the same fundamentals as the previous two exercises.
  4. Holster drills – Draw your gun slowly from its holster and fire twice at the target.  Go slow and focus on precision, not speed.
  5. Practice reloads – Load fewer rounds in your magazines and fire at the target until empty, then reload.  Repeat this two or three times.

The author then goes on to say if you have anything leftover, use the ammo to practice skills you didn’t do so well with.  If you did great in every drill but off hand, practice that.  To quote the author one more time, “We don’t improve by doing what we’ve mastered.  We improve by working on the areas that are difficult.”

So no more excuses, get out there any keep working on those skills.  And don’t say this is only for handguns because this could very easily be adjusted to use with a rifle.  Now get out there and have fun shooting!

Today I participated in the “Staunton Shoot n’ Greet” at the Hite Hollow shooting range in Augusta Springs, VA.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I wasn’t disappointed.  I got to meet a lot of people and saw a bunch of different firearms.  It was also my first time at the Hite Hollow range so I was able to get a look around.

I didn’t do a whole lot of shooting during the several hours I was there, but it was enough.  I shot 80 rounds through my Ruger SR22 and 40 rounds through my AR15.  There were about 10-15 people with the group and I didn’t want to take time away from others who shoot there frequently.  I just hung back and talked to everyone, shooting whenever I got the chance.

The wind was pretty bad and most of the targets everyone was setting up just kept falling down.  Eventually Dale (the event coordinator) brought out some plastic colored balls and tossed them across the range.  Everyone had a blast trying to hit them while the wind blew them back and forth.  I managed to hit the balls 22 out of 32 times with my AR and 31 out of 65 with my SR22.  Not bad at all for me.

Safety is a big deal for the group and Dale lead the entire group in a sort of briefing at the beginning to make sure everyone was on the same page.  Even people who weren’t in the group took notice when he blew his whistle and called “range cold” or “range hot”.  It was nice to see everything so organized.  I’m used to several groups of people trying to work together but never really being on the same page.  Dale’s method kept everybody safe and ensured everyone had a good time.

I would highly recommend that anyone in the Staunton or Augusta County area come to one of the meets and have some fun.  Its free and they meet once every two months.  You can find more information over on their website.  Their rules, FAQ’s, and lots of other information is right there and easy to find.  You can also sign up to receive email reminders whenever the group is going to meet.

Thats me off to the left in the brown coat

**  Updated on 3/18/13 to include an image from the shoot  **