Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pistol I - Day One

"Pistol I" was hosted at Metcalfe shooting range in San Jose. The instructors, Ken Hardesty and Todd Nielsen were the instructors, are excellent.

Since handgun defensive skills are a perishable skill it is good to always refresh your skill sets and spot any weaknesses. This course was excellent for achieving both points for me.

I was using my M&P9 for the whole day and it worked without any troubles at all, I really like the M&P9 a lot! Other guns people were using includeded: Glocks of various calibers, 1911 style .45, HK, and a Kahr compact 9mm. The only gun to have consistent problems was the Kahr P9.

We started off at 9:00 a.m. with a grand total of 14 students in the class.

The first drill we did was to "shoot by numbers" in our own time. The target consisted of six circles about 4" in diameter with numbers in the center. We were to put a round in each circle starting from the low ready from 7 yards away. This drill was used to allow Ken and Todd to address any shooting skill problems and get a base line where the variouss students were at skill wise.

After that drill they set up a target consisting of six geometrical shapes with numbers in them of different colors. For example there would be two squares of different color with a number in it.

Ken would call out a color or a shape and we had to put two rounds into the target one in each shape or color. This allowed us to find the target and then engage another target while keeping our shots within the shapes and under some duress.

Ken and Todd constantly stress shot placement and always offered help to anyone who was showing some issues that could be diagnosed base on their results.

After that drill me moved to a silhouette type target then a front attack target and did the following drills/techniques:

Drawing and shooting: Five point draw technique

Three types of ready positions: Low ready/ SUL position/NRA SUL Position(The NRA safety circle).

Malfunction clearing. Type I - mag Type II - Stove pipe Type III - double feed.

Reload drills both tactical and speed reloads.

CQB type drill shooting from waist/hip.

Shooting at point blank.

Shooting from kneeling/three kinds. Double knee/single knee/single knee supported.

Shooting from prone/side prone.

Shooting from standing/kneeling/prone drill.

Turning and shooting. Left/Right/180 degree.

During the turning and shooting drills the instructor deemed it necessary to start off practicing the movement without actually firing our pistols. He wanted to make sure everyone was doing it safe and exercising proper muzzle discipline.

During one of the dry fire practice sessions a student had a ND (Negligent Discharge) due to improper trigger discipline. Luckly, the muzzle of the pistol was pointing down range at the time and no one was in danger. Also of interest is it was the host of the course that had the ND who has quite a few courses under his belt. It only goes to show that no matter how much experience you have you still have to be aware and concentrate on what you are doing.

An interesting side note is the host of the course is reminiscent of the psycho character "Able Turner" in the movie Lakeview Terrace played by Samuel L. Jackson who also played "Mace Windu" in Star Wars. The parallels are stunning.

Drawing and taking one/two steps to rear/side shooting.

Shooting on the move .

At all times accuracy was stressed and especially when movement or changing positions and shooting were involved we still had to maintain accuracy.

All in all it was an excellent day at the range. All the students were great in that there were no people holding up the class which is pretty amazing in itself.

It was a fast paced day and no down time lots of pistol time.

I shot about 350 rounds for the day which ended at 3:30 p.m.

Day two tomorrow!!

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