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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A "back to basics" shooting range session


DISCLAIMER:  I have no credentials as a firearms expert or as an instructor;  I am just an average gun enthusiast and shooting hobbyist.  This blog post is akin to idle prattle over a drink once the guns are cleaned, oiled, and locked safely away.  If you are among the majority who shoot better than I do, bless your heart. If you are among the few who shoot worse than I do, hang in there,  you will soon get it all down and done.  

Recently, I decided to drag the .22 caliber S&W Model 63 out of the safe to help give me a restart on the fundamentals of double-action revolver shooting; stance, grip, trigger control, and sight picture.  This is something that I do periodically, but likely not often enough.  I have an arthritic strong-side hand; the .22 removes recoil from being a painful distraction during the re-learning process.  Lately I have had the luxury of going to the range once a week but I probably will soon drop that down to once a month; I dunno if that will be often enough to get to the proficiency that I desire.  We shall see.



The cartridges used for this session are from a box that is at least twenty-years-old.  Thirty-five of the thirty-six rounds did fire on the first try while one cartridge required a second whack.  



Up until now I have been limiting my practice sessions to plus-or-minus thirty-rounds, with around ten-rounds fired at each of three B-27 silhouette targets at distances of five-yards, seven-yards, and ten-yards (without coincidence, the qualifying distances for Illinois Concealed Carry, which I completed back in June).  For this session I switched to a different style of target.  In the future, I won't be completely giving up the B-27 silhouette targets, but I do think I'll be doing more of my practice with this alternative style of target, a design which I feel gives me more focus and feedback on my shooting.  Overall, each sheet is the size of a B-27 but there are six target areas per sheet and the scoring area on each circular target ends at the outside edge of the six-ring, giving each target a ten-inch diameter.  



This is an iPod photo of my target-sheet at twenty-one-feet.  In realtime the six target sections on the sheet look much larger than they do in this photo, but you get the idea of the challenges and advantages.  BTW, the B-27 target to the right of my target is sitting at seventy-three feet, and the shooter was master-blasting some mighty small, tight groups!  For now, I can only aspire.



Above, six rounds slow-fire, double-action. 



Above, all six rounds slow-fire double-action.  A bit better.



Above, all double action, three rounds slow-fire and the three rounds semi-rapid-fire.



Above, all six rounds slow-fire double-action.



Above, slow-fire double-action.


Above, semi-rapid-fire; one total miss (edged the target paper on the far right, highlighted by the three blue arrows).



SESSION SUMMARY NOTES:

I may switch out the Model-63 classic splinter-grips (stocks) for boot-grips identical to those on my J-frame .38 carry revolvers.

Shooting is still fun.

I need more practice.

Life is good.

2 comments:

Jason said...

Nice S&W! You keep dragging some nice ones out of the safe!

James Zachary said...

I'm getting so senile that everything I own is a surprise to me ;)