Range report: Father edition
Posted by Lissa on September 22, 2009
Saturday morning Mike and I met my father up at Manchester Firing Line for some father-daughter-son-in-law bonding time Sadly, they didn’t have the Smith & Wesson M&P Mike wanted to play with, so we settled for the Sig 226 (.40).
I hate to say it . . . but I did NOT like this gun. I thought the sights were wretched and the kick was serious enough to screw with my aim. Shot after shot would go low and/or wide. After we’d jointly put 50 rounds through it, I said the hell with it. Why beat up your hand, beat up your wrist and not enjoy yourself? I walked out and rented the little Sig P239 darlin from my last trip.
Maybe I just can’t shoot .40? Or I’d have to get used to it? I understand that it has a lot more stopping power than 9 mm, but I think everyone agrees — better to get one 9 mm with less stopping power on target than to have .40s hitting low and wide. It was a wise decision on my part; I went from being frustrated and disappointed to happily hitting the target.
(It may also have just been a bad day to try .40; I overdid the coffee Saturday morning and my hands were quivering no matter how hard I gripped the gun. It was easier to control with the 239 than the 226; my hands were noticeably trembling with the bigger gun. I know it was noticeable, because Mike noticed and commented on it. Q.E.D.)
After I finished off my box of 9 mm — and yes, I did let Mike run through ten shots on the P239 compact; he was more accurate as well — we cleaned up our lane and went to go bother my father.
(I also took a gun-profile pic of his piece, but . . . dude. It’s a Glock 19. It’s very functional and it has no soul.)
Daddy was West Point, so he’s been shooting guns just a wee bit longer than we have. Just a wee bit longer than we’ve been alive, actually; tack on a few extra years for his being an Army brat. Anyway, for the most part he let us just have fun, but every once in a while he would give us tips on our shooting.
Having ascertained that Mike (and I) tend to anticipate the shot and therefore dip the muzzle while squeezing the trigger, he ran through an AWESOME exercise with Mike. He removed all the bullets from the magazine and handed them to me, clearing the gun and locking the slide back on an empty chamber. He had my husband face forward towards the target and proceeded to hand him the Glock a number of times. The first time, the gun was empty; we all clearly saw the muzzle dip as Mike pulled the trigger.
We repeated the exercise a number of times, with a twist. Sometimes Daddy would take a bullet from me and put it in the chamber before closing the slide. Sometimes he would simply pause a few seconds before closing it. At all times Mike faced forward, so he didn’t know whether he’d be dry-firing or shooting an actual bullet. (I don’t really need to say so, but — of course the gun was treated as loaded whether it was or not. Duh.)
I thought this was a FASCINATING and very helpful drill. Watching Mike go through it and applying the lesson to my own habit of anticipating the shot, I changed my firing method. Instead of squeezing the trigger smoothly, I concentrated on pulled it back as slo-o-o-o-o-owly as I could. The results were IMMEDIATE:
The center bullseyes were all from the first magazine I shot with the new slo-o-o-ow trigger pull. I did that consistently with my next few turns, too. (I could hear my father even through my ear protection, commenting to my husband that he was a little scared of me. *grin*)
So . . . if a goblin ever breaks in, I just need him to stand very still at five yards for the ten seconds it takes me to pull the trigger . . .