I'm getting older, so are you, but I've reached 'older' to the point it's becoming a nuisance. Eyes don't see as well, ears don't hear as well, the mind doesn't remember as well...............hmmm, I forgot the rest.
I've come to the conclusion that getting older isn't good for you and that senior discount is of little consolation. Hmmm, if I start paying full price will I start getting younger???
My round count is 9400 for the year. For quite a bit of that, Iíve been evaluating a number of things that pertain to shooting - ammo, carry holsters, and especially off-hand marksmanship.
Just so weíre all on the same page here, by marksmanship, I mean marksmanship Ė the ability to put rounds where you want them Ė not necessarily slow fire, although that is part of it, but not fast as you can pull the trigger either. Hereís an example. This is 25 shots, fired from 7 yds with a G17 RTF2, with a Ghost Rocket Connector, and with stock Glock sights Ė and are you sitting down Ė 115 gn Wolf ammo. The shots were fired very close to one round per second.
As you can see, I had three bad rounds ; I could see them curve left right before they hit the target . So with that preface, lets begin with guns, sights, and sigh, older, well, everything, but especially eyes. I like my Kimber 1911s, Glocks, Sigs, Berettas, H&K, and M&Ps. I go through stages: I re-discover a feature I like on a gun and become enamored with that gun. Then, I guess I just get tired of it or see another feature(s) on another gun and off I go with that.
All in all, I have to say, itís just hard to beat a Glock. My favorites are the G17 RTF2 and the G21 SF (.45 ACP). Thatís not to say thatís all you should carry Ė not saying that at all. But somehow, I shoot Glocks, both 9mm and .45 ACP better than any gun Iíve ever shot. And I have a lot of range time and thousands of rounds down range to prove it. But again, I need to be very clear here, just because I shoot Glocks well doesnít mean the next person will or that they wonít shoot a different brand better. I can only speak for me. And, that doesnít mean I wonít be carrying a 1911 next week.
One thing that has come as a surprise to me is that I shoot Glocks better with stock Glock sights than with any other sight. Iíve tried Trijicon, Hienie, Wilson Combat, Novak, FO, and that new triangle looking thing that I forget who makes it (am I getting forgetful in my...). Anyway, almost a year ago, I decided to develop a standard drill to evaluate my off-hand marksmanship ability with a handgun.
First, as you can see in the pic above, I use white targets with black lines Ė thereís a good and significant reason for this. I want to see how I do at my best and shooting at black targets with black sights just doesnít accomplish that goal. The black sights are far more distinct on white targets than they are on dark targets. Remember, this is not tactical training; this is evaluating me Ė my eyes, my sights, my sight picture, the gun.
My eval drill is five shots at 3, 5, 7, 10, & 15 yards. This is not a random selection of ranges. At 3 yards you get a very sharp target, very distinct target features, the X for example, a very sharp sight picture, and the hits should be as tight as theyíre gonna get. Five yards is a bit more challenging, and of course 7 even more so, but I find typically I get tight groups out to seven yards. At ten yards, target clarity and the sight picture focal point (target features) are almost gone. My target isnít as Ďcrispí as it is at shorter ranges. Fifteen yards is anything but precise (for me). Target features are gone and what I find myself aiming for is the group from previous ranges. That brings us to aging eyes.
My eyes will be 66 years old 22 Dec. On top of that, my eye doctor has me in soft contacts to see if I like the vision arrangement of my right eye being my distance eye, sounds counter productive to shooting doesnít it, and my left eye for up close. What this means is that I donít see the target very well with my left eye. In fact, I loose that 'both eyes open' advantage. Fortunately my shooting eye, my right eye, will nearly focus up to the front sight. Well, if I like the arrangement, the doc is gonna burn the prescription in with Lasek, thatís right Lasek, not Lasik, they are different procedures.
In the mean timeÖÖ.soft contacts produce ever changing sight. Sometimes theyíre razor sharp, sometimes they, well, aren't. And, Iím expected to shoot under those conditions! So, I decided to experiment. I had a tech at the doctorís office remove my contacts. Iíve tried, I canít do it. I know, I know, everybody else in the world that wears them can, but I canít. Fortunately, Iím far sighted so I can go to the grocery store, BiLo is the best in my area for this, and buy reading glasses ($15) of the same type but different strengths to Ďroll my owní prescription.
So I take off to the range to evaluate via my standardized drill. What I found was surprising. I shot better in glasses that did NOT allow me to get a sharp focus on the front sight!!! Iím trying to focus on the front sight - the rear is out of focus slightly, and the target is way out of focus. What I discovered was a trade off works best. Itís a compromise between target clarity and front sight clarity Ė that was what my contacts were already doing. Well I went home disappointed and sulked and whined a while. After about two days, I put my contacts back in and did several more evals. Hereís the last one, shot Saturday, 15-Oct. Shot with a G17 RTF2, stock sights, Ghost Rocket connector, 115 gn Wolf ammo, slightly blurred front sight. The drill was my now standard five shots each at 3, 5, 7, 10, & 15 yards on my now standard reverse B-27 target. Hereís what it looked like:
The two shots out of the X ring were NOT at the 15 yard range! They occurred earlier because I got a little Ďbentí because my contact went Ďoffí. Still, only two shots out of the X ring, means that all five shots at 15 yds were inside the X ring. Thatís the best Iíve ever done with any gun, but Iíve come really close with the G21 SF.
Considering, Iím nearly 66, I canít see, and Iím using Wolf ammo, Iím more than pleased with the eval shoot. I will say this: I used to expect to get every shot inside the ten ring in the eval test Ė now Iím thinking all in the X ring???
I think the big surprise, and Iím not sure I can explain this fully, is the trade off between target clarity and the front sight clarity. I wonder if younger eyes simply see better over a longer range of focus and donít have the trade off issue. But, in discussing this with an eye doctor, he seems to think that even younger eyes canít have that longer range of focus.
But the other issue is target and sight brightness. Since young eyes see nearly twice as well at night as older eyes, it is reasonable to think that that might apply at all lighting levels.
Sooo, thatís my story and Iím sticking to it!