Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Targeting Targets

h/t Oleg Volk Studio

Oleg presents a new target with a rational for its appearance.
Visit his site for a downloadable pdf.
"VCA" Violent Criminal Actor Target
Seem to recall that Germany outlawed "humanoid targets ...
leading to double-headed ipsc targets.
Anyone know the truthiness of that? Or urban legend?

Deutschland legal?

I've collected target graphics for some time.
To compliment Olegs new one, a review of a few classics ...

FBI target ... "The suit" Reworked for cover of "Print" annual

Old School Thug
The full thug target with crotch area is always popular for a range date.  Shots to the genitals are always fun for some gals. Not sure why.

The crazy Magpull folks
Zombie matches ... of course require zombie targets.

Nothing beats a simple bulls eye for basic handgun work.
Lee made a diagnostic version to point out shooter errors based on where you're hitting.

This target gives the shooter a precise point of aim.

SigArms factory test target, artists reproduction

 Speedwell is a large supplier of all kinds of targets.

Calm hostage with boogerhook'n bad guy
I could do this all day. There's thousands of printed targets available out there.
Next time, I'll have to break it down into sub-groups ...

you gots yer political targets, yer photo realistic targets, of course yer hi-viz targets, yer exploding targets ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saturday Practice League

Another Saturday. Another round of practice.
Midwest Rod & Reel 'ait & Tackle
Good size crowd.
Twenty guys maybe?

Shot my Colt LW Commander. Serpa CQB holster. Hand rolled reloads, 200 gr Rainier FMJ RN over 4.5 grains of Titegroup.

Ol' Jack ran variations on two scenarios. Here's an example of Stage 1.

Stage 1; artists rendering
Shooter stands ready, facing targets, at position "A", approximately 5 yards from target 1. Engage targets 1, 2 and 3 with two hits each. Mandatory reload anywhere during stage. Keeping muzzle pointed downrange move to position "B". Engage target 4 with two hits. Move to position "C" to engage targets 5 and 6 with two hits each.

Stage 1, position A; 3D temporal reality

Stage 1, position B; JR gettin' it done
Jack varied how we ran this stage each time. Second run, shooter had to backpedal while engaging targets 1-3. Targets 4-6 same as before. Third run, shooter started with back to targets,  turn 180º, engaging targets 1-3, strong hand only, 1 body shot, 1 head shot. Targets 4-6 same as before.

As usual, my times were abysmal. About double what most of the guys got.
I did manage to shoot one stage clean. Progress! The biggest lesson is that I ain't the deadeye tacticool combat shootin' hombre my massive, yet fragile ego would like to believe.

Interesting note; Just last week, I wrote about phone app shot timers. As guys were waiting and watchin', phones were drawn, apps were downloaded and tested as other guys shot. Carteach0 writes about his experience with phone apps here. I sense a meme.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday Range Run; There's an app for that!

Spent a couple hours on the pistol range last Friday. As always, it was an interesting outing.
Been trying to get at least one range run a month this summer. I know ...'tis pitiful. That's actually an increase from years past.
Wanted to run some FAST drills ... to get a baseline of where I'm at. I mean, I know I'm slow. But how slow? 
courtesy of

When shooting at a club match, there's all kinds of perks you don't get when practicing solo. Like a Safety Officer, running a timer. A FAST drill without a timer is ... meaningless. 

I ain't gots me a timer. What to do? Wait. I've got an iphone. I KNOW there's a gotta be shot timer app, right? Sure enough ... there's a handful. Surefire has one fo' free!
So downloading and installing app went on the list for range run prep. That went off without a hitch. Cool. Print out copies of FAST target. Done. Collect guns, ammo, range pass, etc., etc., and we're off.

Range was fairly busy. There was still plenty of room available. As I was carrying gear to the line, there was one guy shooting near the sign-in shack. At the far end of the line, a foursome of older teens, under adult supervision, taking up four lanes. They appeared to be having a lot of fun. Watching them from a distance, gun handling habits appeared to be up to par, muzzles kept pointed downrange, actions open when on bench, etc. Good to see.
Pic confirms my refurbed Nikon Coolpix no longer focusses. !@$!#

The "Barrister o' the Berms" showed up. After some warm up targets, it was time to see if the shot timer actually worked. Since this was an informal test, I strayed from the FAST drill just a bit. We were already set up with targets at 10 yards. We left the targets there rather than call the range cold and pull the targets to the specified 7 yards. Drawing from the holster is allowed, as long as all other safety rules are being observed. However shooters unfamiliar with IPSC, or IDPA, tend to get a bit nervous. As a range courtesy, we elected to just pick the handgun up from the bench at the buzzer. We also shot a total of 5 shots/string vs. the usual 6. We did include the reload after 2 shots.

Looks slick ... but does it work?
Operation of the app is simple and straight forward. Hit the START button. You can adjust the mic sensitivity on the fly. This allows you to filter out unwanted shots from down the line.

Adjust settings, enter email address, etc.
The settings screen allows you to enter your email address. The app can send each strings results to your mailbox. You can tweak the start delay option, from 1 to 3 seconds, for solo training or enable the Par Time mode and try to beat the clock. Adjustments can be made to filter out unwanted shots, calibrate microphone, etc. Further instructions can be found at the "Help" screen.

Displays the elapsed time and the split time for every shot fired

Bo'b shot the FAST drill while I ran the timer. The first drill, I was picking up shots from all the shooters on the line. I was able to adjust the sensitivity easily to pick up only Bo'b's shots. We each ran the drill a half dozen times or so. After each string, I hit the "email results" button. Wasn't sure this was working til later.

emailed results!
One bug I quickly noticed, the app added a shot at the beginning of each string. It consistently added shot1 at 0.10 secs. Once added this at 0.29 secs. Not sure if this is a sensitivity issue, software bug or what. Further range runs will tell.
All in all, I liked shootin' with this app available. While it won't replace a dedicated timer, it fills the niche for a shooter that doesn't own one. After one use, I'd give it a B+. As a free app, I've got no complaints. The mysterious added shot is the only thing keeping it from being an A+. I'll keep ya posted on further use of this cool app. SureFire is offering the ShotTimer application free for a limited time ... if you don't have a dedicated timer, and have an iphone, grab it now!

On future drills, I'll adhere to the FAST drill parameters more accurately. To answer the question of "How slow am I?" ... umm ... 10+ seconds being the floor for Novice ... well ... whats below novice? Doofus?

Full disclosure: SureFire LLC provided zero remuneration or consideration for this blog post. Just thought I'd share my results of using this app. YMMV.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Great Britian, 6000% increase in sales ...

Of aluminum bats that is.

Seem that when one kind of defensive weapon is outlawed, the peasantry and other assorted serfs and peons default to arming themselves with the next level of weaponry. Self defense is a God given natural right. All God's creatures share this right. Even if your elected officials tell you they'll take care of that.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grant don't get it

H't Revolver Liberation Alliance.

Grant Cunningham has a backlog of gunsmithing work, so deep (2 years!), he's not taking any new orders. In this economy, that's admirable as well as enviable. I guess that's what happens when you've built your reputation on quality work. His blog is a must read.

Grant confesses that he doesn't understand zombies. Read it here.
How about "just becuz". I've heard zombie match participants rave enthusiastically about "high shot count" matches. It's a "politically neutral" humanoid target. At least until the zombies organize, and start a political action committee.