Out of the comfort zone, onto the firing line.. (Range report for myself and my gun)

Out of the comfort zone, onto the firing line.. (Range report for myself and my gun)

This is a discussion on Out of the comfort zone, onto the firing line.. (Range report for myself and my gun) within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Let me be the first to say that I'm shy. When I get in a comfort zone I like to stay there and be happy ...

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  1. #1
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    Out of the comfort zone, onto the firing line.. (Range report for myself and my gun)

    Let me be the first to say that I'm shy.

    When I get in a comfort zone I like to stay there and be happy there and I don't enjoy pushing myself to new and greater heights. I'm not afraid to be pushed further and when others step in and say, "It's time," I generally jump right on the band wagon and take off smiling.

    I guess you could say I'm a crappy self-motivator.

    On traditional, set distance ranges, I had tried shooting my other 3" 1911 at 25 yards and had gotten very discouraged when only a few rounds would find their way on the paper. At the time (almost a year ago) I was doing a lot of things wrong and didn't even know it (including grip, stance and sight alignment (the three most important things in shooting)) and so I took my target in to about 5-7 yards and decided to work my way up. I've improved a lot since then.

    I believe that one should take their time when building their skill levels. If an individual tries to do too much too soon they can do more harm than good. Instructors don't start out at 25 yards with a .357, they start at about 5-7 with a .22 or 9mm and build from there.

    While taking your time is a good thing sometimes it's hard to know when it's time to go on in your training when your trainer is yourself.

    I should have taken the hint when one of our NRA instructors at our range, who's also a multiple award winning marksman, looked at my target and said, "It's time to take your target to longer distances."

    Did I listen to him? No.

    Then another instructor told me, "Start making those longer shots. You'll probably be surprised."

    Every time I looked down that range at the 10 or 15 yard mark I thought, "NAW... I can't do it," and stopped my target when it hit about 7 yards.

    I even consulted our instructor who said with a 3" 1911 at 15 yards I should be able to get a pretty good group and even be able to get consistent chest hits at 25 yards, but that's starting to be a long shot to make for a 3" barrel. At 25 yards I still have time and options. He said I'd probably get the best results at 15 yards but that doesn't mean I shouldn't strive for those distance shots.

    Finally Chris started that threat about the longer shot. I posted in it saying that taking those longer shots was prudent to training as it could help hone your skills. Oh hypocritical me, I hadn't even tried to take those kinds of shots in almost a year. I realized them to be important, but was afraid to make them myself.

    So I went to the range on Sunday and forced myself to make that day THE DAY.

    Our range runs out to 25 yards, but I took the advice afforded me and stopped my target at 15 yards. That looked like a long way down there for little bitty me.

    When I lined up my sites and fired that first shot I was pretty amazed to find I hit within the x-ring of the target I was shooting. My next shot did the same, and the next and the next. Out of eight rounds, seven of them hit the x-ring and the eighth was not far behind.

    I really COULD do it.

    So I tried to test my theory about longer shots honing your skills for the closer shots. I brought my target back in to seven yards and shot better at that distance than I've shot in the last two months.

    Even my husband was looking at me going, "DANG, honey! You are dead on today."

    After 120 rounds through the .45 I learned a few things about my gun as well as myself; one, it has too long of a trigger and I can't get a good grip on it and my finger slipping off the trigger after I've fired has started to give me a blister on the under-side of my trigger finger. I need new grips as the ones I currently have are chewing the crap out of my palms with the checkering. I also need a new thumb safety that doesn't protrude out as far at the base. It is hitting the inside of my thumb while I try to disengage it and leaving a slight bruise.

    Finally, I need to work on getting stronger arms and wrists because after a hundred and some odd rounds of .45 my wrists were KILLING ME (not to mention my blistered trigger finger and torn up palms) and my grouping at 15 yards started going down. Every shot I took sent fire through both hands but I kept shooting anyway only to find the pain was affecting my shooting and it was time to stop.

    Already, since I bought it, one week ago today, I've put well over 300 rounds through it and the only time I had a jam was when I accidentally grabbed my husband's magazine for one of his guns and tried shooting with that. It shot well, even with the wrong magazine and I only had one slight jam. Not surprising when you consider the error. After fatigue started finding my arms I found the trigger pull to be a bit much but I think getting a shorter trigger will help with that.

    I'm very impressed with it's accuracy, and flawless performance.

    So home I went to clean my CDP, do push-ups and search for rubber grips and look through brownells for a medium length 1911 trigger and new thumb safety.

    I learned a lot on Sunday because I forced myself out of the little box I'd built around me in the form of a comfort zone.

    Here's hoping my next trip to the range consists of targets at 7, 10, 15 and possibly even 20 yards with a little more of a modified gun.

    I guess this is an admonition. Most of the time when we shoot we are our own trainers. We have to assess what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong and how to correct it, and when it's time to advance to new levels. If any of you, like me, have trouble knowing when that is, you might be surprised to find the time is now.

    You might even be surprised to find your equipment needs a little modifying as well.

    I used to dread the class I'm going to be taking this fall. I used to fear I'd look like a complete idiot and novice. I'm actually starting to look forward to it because I think I'll be ready with my equipment and my shooting. I hope they challenge me and I hope they push me and I hope they make me do things and go places in my training I've never visited before.

    And after that.. I want to do more combative types of training!
    Last edited by limatunes; May 29th, 2007 at 09:26 AM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Paladin132's Avatar
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    Good job! Sounds like you took a good first step and if you continue to practice that you will do very well in the future. It doesn't hurt to fail in practice as long as you learn from the mistake and move on, which it sounds like is exactly what you are doing. Keep it up and be safe!

  3. #3
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    I learned a lot on Sunday because I forced myself out of the little box I'd built around me in the form of a comfort zone.
    Good job lima - it can certainly take some effort to make that move but it is (usually) a voyage of useful discovery.

    Much as I would like to do some top notch training courses I still pretty much work on the ''personal assignment'' approach - made better if I have a shootin buddy to shoot with. IMO it is essential to expand the envelope and certainly, include in that longer distances.

    Further areas of work include (if possible where one shoots) - shooting on the move, and close retention shooting etc - which are things initially which can be hard to master - resulting in disappointments because of poor performance. If persevered with tho results come and only by forcing self out of the comfort zone!

    Your grip issues, sore hand etc ....... seem well in hand as you have enough analytical ability to diagnose your problems ....... all of which means that for most part, you are doing a good job of training yourself Do not be shy of leaving that comfort zone
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  4. #4
    Member Array Julie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I used to dread the class I'm going to be taking this fall. I used to fear I'd look like a complete idiot and novice. I'm actually starting to look forward to it because I think I'll be ready with my equipment and my shooting. I hope they challenge me and I hope they push me and I hope they make me do things and go places in my training I've never visited before.

    And after that.. I want to do more combative types of training!
    Hi Lima,
    What class are you planning on taking this fall?

    I took one last fall that included some of the things that P95Carry mentioned (shooting on the move, close retention, etc..). It was one of the most thrilling things I've ever done. I guess I got an adrenaline rush or something because I couldn't stop talking/thinking about how cool that class was. It really boosted my confidence in my abilities. Make sure you tell us all about your class when you take it.

    Also, good job at practicing the longer shots. I need to do more of that myself. Good motivation there, thanks for reminding me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    Further areas of work include (if possible where one shoots) - shooting on the move, and close retention shooting etc - which are things initially which can be hard to master - resulting in disappointments because of poor performance. If persevered with tho results come and only by forcing self out of the comfort zone!
    I did shooting on the move about a year ago and I was VERY nervous that I would fail miserably and people would laugh at me and discourage me.

    I was pleasantly surprised that every single round I fired hit the targets. I didn't really group very well, but with four targets at different distances while running and finding cover, I wasn't expecting to hit a darned thing. Every shot I fired at least made a hit (even if it was just a shoulder hit) which encouraged me.

    Also, I was pleasantly surprised that the people shooting with me were so very encouraging and supportive. While they were still screaming at me to move and find cover and retain my magazine and get down and keep running, they were still being supportive and constructive in their criticism which calmed my worries of at least feeling like a complete idiot.

    I wish I could do more shooting on the move. Once I realized how vital it was to my training (after a couple times of just stopping to reload instead of continuing to move my feet and find cover) I wish I could get more active in it.

    Also, after seeing my cousin run past four targets and put perfect holes COM then reloading while finding cover and putting another two COM from cover, I found a new goal to work up to if I had the facilities to accommodate.

    You're right though. It SHATTERS the comfort zone to branch out to such types of shooting but it's necessary and can become quite fun!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Hi Lima,
    What class are you planning on taking this fall?
    It's a defensive pistol class. It's pretty much a step above the basics (at least from what I've read) but I'm thinking it will at least have some movement and close quarters shooting in it. If it doesn't I think I'll be a little disappointed..lol. My husband enrolled us both earlier this year and I'm pretty eager to see what it will be.

    After that I might look into something more advanced, and possibly into other more combative trainings, even to go as far as some hand-to-hand or knife.

    I never want to be caught with my pants down (so to speak) because I thought I was trained enough.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Lima,
    I'm pretty sure I still have an Ed Brown single-safety, in stainless, never fitted, that has had the control surfaces mod'ed, similar to what it sounds like you want. (I've always narrowed and profiled my 1911 controls)

    Again, your smith would need to fit the lock-up to your pistol, but if you want it, its a "freebie"- I'm out of the 1911s for good. PM me,if interested. I'll double check the parts box tonight.
    -RC

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob72 View Post
    Lima,
    I'm pretty sure I still have an Ed Brown single-safety, in stainless, never fitted, that has had the control surfaces mod'ed, similar to what it sounds like you want. (I've always narrowed and profiled my 1911 controls)

    Again, your smith would need to fit the lock-up to your pistol, but if you want it, its a "freebie"- I'm out of the 1911s for good. PM me,if interested. I'll double check the parts box tonight.
    -RC
    That sounds fabulous! PM coming your way... Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array jualdeaux's Avatar
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    Limatunes,

    Are you allowed to draw from the holster and shoot at your range? If so, one thing that I found that is nice is to have your shooting buddy, while standing safely behind and in a clear spot, tap you on the shoulder in irregular intervals to indicate when you should draw and shoot. It helps to get you out of a rhythm. You don't know when that tap will come.

  10. #10
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    excellent post lima. I think i may take some of your advice next time I go to the range :)

    and Rob, may i ask why you are leaving 1911s alone? Just curious

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Sounds like a fun day. It's nice when you find how much you've improved without realizing, isn't it?

    I notice you mentioned you'd like to work on your wrist and grip strength. You might like to check these out. If you were to get the Guide and Sport and work your way up to closing the Sport or Trainer you might find your .45 a lot more comfortable to shoot. These things are worlds away from the cheap spring grippers you see at sporting goods stores. I started with a trainer and worked my way up to the #1, now I can fire a .500 S&W with no problem. People are always surprised that I can shoot big bores easily since I'm short and skinny, but since I can hold onto the gun it's no problem. The books that they sell by John Brookfield are also very good, they have a lot of different exercises you can try.
    - Kurt
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