Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Recap - yo ho, yo ho, it's a shooter's life for me

Ever been so busy doing stuff that you haven't had time to do other stuff??

The second half of 2015 flew by in one big blur - raising a toddler, taking 5,000 miles of road trips, holding down 2 jobs, and working on my little piece of home front didn't leave a ton of time for match shooting but it did provide me with the chance to become a range rat and gun store guy again.

2015 was an interesting year in guns, both for me and for the industry. My current project guns were shelved, new handguns took center stage, and I somehow managed to find the time and resources to build up a "budget" long-range gun and earn my 1,000 yard cred.

Glock, having sorted out the bugs with the Gen4 pistols, won me back into their camp. Initially, I wanted a "work" gun that matched the majority of the rest of the crew at the range but what I wound up with is a new go-to everyday carry (EDC) gun. The initial mods to my Gen 4 19 (GlockTriggers Hackathorn trigger system and 10-8 sights) turned it into a real shooter. Removing the finger grooves as well and mild contouring of the trigger guard fit the gun perfectly to my hand. The last combat match I shot with it felt nearly telepathic and I can't wait to bring it out to a 2-day class in March. Rarely do I leave the house without it - it has been absolutely reliable.

My Sig "summer fling" got a little serious, too. The P320 I picked up has been probably the best-performing polymer gun out of the box I've ever purchased. Beyond coloring in the rear sight dots, I haven't made any changes to it, nor do I plan to. It quickly became my new work pistol with the custom Longs Shadow Holsters retention rig Josh built for me. I have no plans to mod the gun any further - it doesn't need it and I have other projects demanding time and money. The trigger - straight out of the box - is money, and the square range accuracy and quick shootability is outstanding. Besides, it doesn't hurt to carry a Sig when I work for a Sig Master Dealer.

My new infatuation with CZ produced a well-timed impulse purchase last year, too. I found myself the new owner of an SP-01 which will eventually get tuned up as a new USPSA Production Division gun as I move toward earning my A Classification in Production. Right now it's just wearing a new set of VZ Grips panels and patiently waiting to get sent to Mesa for the loving touch of the CZ Custom crew.

This year I focused my training not on shooting but on practical basic trauma response and first aid from Dark Angel Medical and outfitted my EDC pack and my range gear with the appropriate med kits. They delivered absolutely fantastic real-world training I wish more people would add to their training schedule (because you might have to patch ME up some day!) and I strongly recommend their course and kits to everyone who carries a gun for fun, work, or protection.

Finally, I capped off 2015 by building a bolt-action rifle and learning the basic fundamentals of long-range shooting. One of our instructors is a former Marine Scout Sniper, and did a phenomenal job of taking me from a know-nothing pile of shooter to hitting steel from 200 to 1,000 yards on my first range session. I still have a long way to go, but I've tickled the surface of an entirely new shooting discipline and... daddy like. A lot.

I can't wait to see what 2016 brings. I'm already enrolled for a two-day "level 2" pistol class which will introduce vehicle dynamics, low light shooting, and other non-traditional skills we don't get to work on a square range. I'm focused on completing a number of gun projects including my 1911 field gun, finishing up my "budget bolt gun," reworking my shotgun into a true modern defensive tool, and updating my AR with new furniture and optics. I'm starting down the NFA road soon - rimfire and rifle cans are on the '16 wish list - and it's time to start working on the 10/22 clone of my bolt-action rifle which will become Lil' Normal's first .22.

In the meantime, every other weekend will find me slinging lead, preaching the gospel of John Moses Browning, and leading by example a true and virtuous Pew Pew Life. Swing by the range and say hi!

Stay safe, have fun, and have a great new year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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