Over the weekend I received a text message from my brother asking if I wanted to make a range trip on Wednesday. With nothing on my calendar, I made arrangements to meet him after work. He has been rather busy over the past couple of months and hasn’t had the chance to shoot his Taurus 709 Slim since it was returned for warranty repairs.
Throughout the week I was talking guns with a friend of mine on Twitter (@czerbe) and invited him along. When Wednesday rolled around, the three of us hit the range for a laid-back evening of punching holes in paper.
After about two hours, we said our goodbyes and left the range. As I drove home, I thought about the range trip and came to the realization that there were a few lessons to be learned from this experience.
Teaching in almost as fun as Shooting
When the three of us stepped onto the firing line, I didn’t shoot right away. One of the issues my brother was having with his Taurus 709 was poor accuracy. I wanted to stand back and just watch him put a few rounds down range to see what happened. Being a new shooter, I wanted to see how he was shooting to try and determine if the gun was still a problem or if it was in his technique.
When we determined that the gun was shooting much better than before the warranty return, I spent a little time watching Corey shoot. He is left-handed and was having some trouble with rounds drifting left. I didn’t notice a flinch and was a little baffled as to the cause of the problem.
Between shooting, we talked about technique and how to get better hits on target. I found that I enjoyed the instruction aspect almost as much as shooting itself. In the past I was considering taking an NRA Basic Pistol Instruction Course. This range trip has made me want to revisit that topic.
The Glock Platform has Grown on Me
My first full size range gun was a Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm. I love that gun and shot my first season of USPSA with it. Despite how much I liked the gun, I opted to go with a Gen 3 Glock 17 for USPSA the following season. The platform had several perks and I was convinced that I could learn to shoot it just as fast and accurately as the M&P.
With as much as I’ve been shooting, the Glock has really grown on me. I didn’t realize just how much until I fired a variety of pistols throughout our range trip. At this point I am convinced that I should purchase a Glock 19 for carry, to somewhat replace my Springfield XD Sub Compact.
I’m Glad I Purchased a Bodyguard and not an LCP
When I was shopping around for a pocket pistol, one of the guns I considered was a Ruger LCP. I liked the gun but it had a couple of drawbacks that resulted in my purchasing a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard instead. I thought I made the right decision then and now I am sure of it.
Corey brought along his LCP and allowed me to put a few rounds down range. When I pressed the gun out, the first thing that went through my mind was “Where are the sights?” The second was “Damn, the recoil on this thing is violent!”
While the Ruger LCP is a good little pocket pistol, it just isn’t the one for me.
I Really Need more options for .22LR
Before leaving for the range, I made a last minute decision to toss my wife’s Beretta Neos into my range bag. I’m glad that I did because the last forty-five minutes of our range trip consisted of talking and shooting cheap .22.
Corey brought along his Stainless Ruger Mark III and it was a lot of fun to shoot. There are certain aspects about it that I like better than the Beretta Neos and at some point I would like to own one of my own.
I don’t shoot .22 as often as I should and I definitely think that I need a couple more options for the cartridge. It is cheap and makes for the perfect fun for the whole family gun.
Sometimes it is nice to just shoot
The nicest part of this range trip was how laid-back it was. There was no pressure to work on a specific aspect of my shooting and I needed that little break from USPSA. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sport and all, but it was just nice to shoot for the sake of shooting and not worry about competing.
We talked, we laughed, we punched lots of holes in paper, and we had a great time doing it. I hope to have another laid-back range session with the guys again sometime.
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3 thoughts on “Lessons of a Mid-Week Range Trip”
You should think about getting a Buckmark. Much less fiddley to take apart and put back together than the Ruger. I shoot mine more than just about anything else I own. I even use it for our steel challenge matches. It’s almost like cheating it’s so easy to shoot, and I can shoot the match for a bit over a bucks worth of ammo. It was considerably more when using my Glock 35.
For the USPSA match I used the 35, I wish the grip fit better, but it’s so easy to shoot an accurate I don’t think I’ll ever bother bringing out one of the 1911s.
Thanks for the reminder on the Browning Buckmark. I’ve heard lots of great things about that gun but I’ve never been able to shoot one.
Corey has mentioned how much of a pain it is to tear down the Ruger, which is the only downside that I’ve seen/heard so far.
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The Ruger is a great pistol, but they’ve gotten pretty expensive and the pain of teardown. Well, putting back together. I have the Buckmark Camper, it’s the cheapest one but shoots great and has a pretty good trigger, one of my best gun purchases ever. And it’s not finicky at all, unlike my Sig Mosquito. Probably has 10k rounds through it and still shoots like new.
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