Friday, July 26, 2019

The Same Thing, the Correct Way, 48 out of 50 Times

I recently had to fire the Texas License to Carry qualification to renew my instructor certificate. In Texas an LTC instructor must qualify with a .22 caliber or larger revolver and a semi-automatic pistol. 

For the revolver I chose to qualify with a 4-inch S&W 44 Remington Magnum with a heavy (however not absolutely full power) 240 grain load that is about the equivalent of the Remington factory Semi-Jacketed HP load. For the semi-auto I shot my everyday carry SIG P320 carry in 9mm with the equivalent of the Hornady 135gr Critical Duty load. 

My goal for the semi was 50 shots in the "X" ring. To shoot well you must do the same thing, the correct way, every time. My students tell me that my mantra is often the one thing that really sticks in their mind. I tend to repeat it over and over during the course of a class. I did not do this with the semi and slipped two in the Ten ring due to two sloppy trigger pulls. The same thing, the correct way, 48 out of 50 times--I missed my goal.

Chased the same goal with the revolver and dropped a few more outside the "X" ring and two in the Nine ring. Grrrrrr. . .



The Texas License to Carry qualification is as follows: Your handgun must be .22 caliber or larger. 


Course of Fire:

3 yard line – 20 shots:

- 1 shot in 2 seconds, 5 times
- 2 shots in 3 seconds, 5 times
- 5 shots in 10 seconds, once

7 yard line – 20 shots:


- 5 shots in 10 seconds, once
- 1 shot in 3 seconds, 5 times - 2 shots in 4 seconds, once - 3 shots in 6 seconds, once - 5 shots in 15 seconds, once

15 yard line – 10 shots:
 

- 2 shots in 6 seconds, once - 3 shots in 9 seconds, once - 5 shots in 15 seconds, once

An LTC student must score of 70% or 175 points of a possible 250 to pass. An LTC instructor must score at least 90% or 225 points to pass. Five points for each shot within the 8 ring, 4 points for each shot within the 7 ring, 3 points for each shot within the colored silhouette, but outside the 7 ring, no points for shots outside the silhouette.

I fired a possible score of 250 on both qualifications; however, that was not the point.

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Advanced Low Light Course

In Mid-May 2019, I conducted an advanced Low Light course with two students who have progressed to this level. For the qualification, we fired the MAG 20 Live Fire course. I tossed in an extra challenge by covering each target with a new t-shirt so the students did not have a reference aiming point.

We used the San Antonio Police Department target and scored it as five points in the inner “bottle,” four points inside the next scoring area, and zero points outside the four point ring or for misses.

⁣We shot a single speed qualifier in daylight for a control score and then in low light with no moon. I shot the qualifier as well and achieved a 300 with a 5-5/8ths inch group. I used a P320 Carry with Lima Module, a Trijicon Red Dot and a Fenix hand-held flashlight.

To learn more about the MAG20 qualifier, go to the link here.


SIG P320 Carry with the LIMA Module
At 15 yards the standard MAG20 qualifier has six shots using the Weaver stance, six shots using the modified Chapman, and six shots using the Isosceles with a reload between each string. The only challenge with the qualifier was using the Isosceles stance at 15 yards—very difficult with a hand-held light unless you are using the syringe technique and then the pistol/light grip will shift with every shot. With the Fenix light I was using, the tailcap design makes the syringe technique almost impossible. The student’s flashlights had a similar design.

Given these challenges, I allowed the students to use the Isosceles or if they preferred the modified Chapman or Weaver. At 15 yards, I shot it using the Weaver, then Chapman, then Weaver and used the 
Harries flashlight technique.

Harries Technique
Harries Technique
You must practice low light techniques to have any hope of using them under stress. The students in this course have mastered low light shooting through practice and taking more advanced classes. 

You can practice these techniques with live fire during daylight if your range won’t allow night shooting. If your local range has IDPA matches, shoot the course of fire using your flashlight if the match director will permit it. You won’t win the match; however, you will learn how to shoot and manipulate your pistol under some stress.

To my knowledge, no data exists concerning private citizen-involved shootings with criminals under low light conditions; however, since a lot of criminal activity occurs after dark we can assume that there is a likely correlation. There are several reasons to use a flashlight: to observe and detect, to illuminate and navigate, to eliminate anonymity, and to identify and engage threats. Used properly, a flashlight lets you see danger before it can affect you and it can encourage the danger waiting in the dark to go elsewhere.

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