just completed the class. I’m not as tired as I thought I’d be and my hands don’t hurt like I thought they would after firing 300 rounds of .45 Cal. hardball.
There were 10 students and 2 instructors. The class ran from 2:30 to 8:30pm. We had about an hour of classroom and then went right to the range. The draw was our first exercise. We started out at 3 feet and drew; fired 2 shots and re-holstered. then moved back and drew and fired again. They took us back to 25 feet with that exercise. (Funny how your groups widen out as you move back!).
The class was worthwhile. I learned a lot. The draw is really what they really dwelled on. We were timed in one exercise. Draw and fire 1 round. My best time was .73 seconds. Not bad for the oldest guy there!!! (There were two better times than mine!!!).
One of the things I learned was that a 1911 style gun requires much more reloading than a Glock. (Most everybody was shooting a Glock 9mm or a .40.) I had 3 - 7round magazines and 2 – 9 round mags. I was constantly having to drop a mag and reload compared to the rest of the class. They all seemed to have 15 round mags~~! You carried 5 mags. One in the gun and 4 on your belt.
Another thing I learned is that my 1911 guns gave me trouble. Even tho I’m very familiar with their operation. At about 150 rounds, my Kimber Ultra CDP II ‘blew a rod’. The guide rod is broken and was sticking out about 2 inches. Fortunately, I had my Colt Commander as a backup. I had to change out all the mags and begin anew with the Colt. Now, I’ve had this gun for over 10 years and have fired several hundred rounds through it but I had two ‘hangups’ with the gun during the rest of the course!!! One ‘stovepipe’ and one ‘fail to feed’. NOBODY ELSE IN THE CLASS HAD THOSE PROBLEMS!!!!! I handled the situations but it gives me ‘pause’ about my guns!!!! One thing I probably need to change out is the magazines. They’re Pachmeyer and I should be using Wilson Combat mags. I’m convinced that the hangups were caused by the mags --- not the pistol.
We had one 10 minute break during the whole class!!! They really keep you moving, firing, reloading and doing the next stage!! During that break, I talked with Patricia Stoneking – the gal who puts on all these shooting classes. She is quite a shooter and instructor!!! A real “redneck girl”!! She said that in ‘gun circles’, the 1911 is known as the King of Combat as well as the King of Malfunctions!!!! (Maybe I need to change my thinking about the 1911 pistol???).
After the two malfunctions, the pistol ran fine for the rest of the course. Because the Commander is a 4” gun and I’m very familiar with it, I shoot it better. My groups got better as the course went on. It was really a lot of fun!!! I was very impressed with 3 or 4 young guys there. They’re fast as hell and can group their shots nicely. We had two stages where we had to use ‘cover’ and had 3 “bad guys” we had to kill. You had to move to cover thru several different positions and shoot on the move. A headshot from 25 feet was what you needed to do with one of the ‘bad guys’. Another was a ‘hostage situation’ and you didn’t have much of the ‘bad guy’ exposed. Being able to place a shot was important in that exercise. Those young guys did it very nicely. (I did too – but not nearly as fast).
All in all, a good experience. I’m going to take the Kimber back to the dealer in the morning. Obviously, it’s going to have to go back to the factory to be repaired. I’m going to consider purchasing a Sig or a Glock or something other than a 1911 to carry!!! I’ll bet some of you are very surprised at that admission!!!!!