The new CZ is here…

… and apparently, the Israeli police department does not use holsters, but rather drags their pistols behind the car from callout to callout. The gun is in BAD shape, externally.

new_cz_sm

Sure looks good in pictures, though.

The good news is, the frame to slide fit on the gun is TIGHT and the trigger pull is a clean 12 pounds on double and 6 pounds on single. The plan is to send this gun off to Angus Hobdell and have him install a new hammer, trigger and fiber optic sights (much like he did with my other Pre-B) and then bead-blast the sucker and Cerakote it.

Any ideas for a finish?

New Acquisition: Another CZ!

Gosh, what are the odds?

AIM Surplus had these for sale last night, and I got one for myself (with the wife’s permission, of course) as a combination birthday/Father’s Day gift. Good thing I did, because they sold out an hour later after I bought one.

Used CZ75 for sale

Czech manufacture CZ 75 9mm caliber semi-automatic Handgun. Law Enforcement Trade-Ins from Israel… Incredible single/double action “cock and lock” pistols that feature all steel construction and a hammer forged barrel. These short recoil operated, locked breech handguns are in excellent mechanical condition, just some metal finish wear as the pictures show. Include one 15rd magazine.

So now (with a little work) I’ll have a backup to the Production CZ75 I’ve been using, and CZ-USA has Pre-B mags in-stock.

Cool.

I wonder if he shouted out “TWO ALPHA” after it was over…

Talk about a complete and utter failure in the victim selection process

A doctor was leaving home  to compete in a shooting competition held at Magnolia Pistol Range in Byram at approximately 7:45 AM today. He made several trips from the house to his truck carrying what he needed for the competition. Unknown to him, two black males were cruising Ridgewood Road looking for someone to rob. They happened upon him walking to his truck near the intestection Ridgewood and Eastover roads.  They took him captive at gunpoint and forced him drive to an ATM and withdraw a large amount of money

They stopped at Eastover and Pinewood.  They told him to get out of the vehicle.  The good Doc managed to grab a pistol as he exited the truck and began firing.  He shot and killed an Edwin Robinson of Cooper Road.  One person at the scene said “he shot the sh!t out of him”.

Huh. Musta been shooting Open…

This is how the media SHOULD be talking about practical shooting

Take a few moments to read this story on Wired.com about a big-time “Big Buck Hunter” video game contest, and ask yourself what it would take for Wired or Stuff or some other trendy media outlet to talk about USPSA or 3 Gun with the same amount of enthusiasm.

Some select points from the article:

“It’s all patterns,” he’d say. “If you want to win, just know the patterns.”

Patterns are key. Bucks appear in specific places at specific times. Knowing the patterns requires practice. Practice requires time. Time requires money. But my friends and I are young. We can find time and money.

Sounds a lot like Steel Challenge to me…

“Andy (a gamer in the article) touches on the growing trend of players owning personal Big Buck machines. “You used to be a douchebag if you did that,” he says. “But then those people started winning championships. So.”

Waiting for the inevitable “Playing Big Buck Hunter will get you killed in the woods” comments…

“The stereotype is that most of the people who love BBH are Republican, pro-gun, NRA members. That’s true, but only to an extent.”

No comment.

“By the time I get to The Pourhouse, (the site of the championship), the atmosphere is much as I remember it from Friday. Same faces, same outfits, same rodeo energy. The emcee implores the crowd to drink Old Milwaukee, because it’s the sponsor and it’s free. A hype video introducing “Big Buck Hunter HD Wild” plays on a screen. It has lots of new animals.”

Think about how SOCIAL playing this game is, and then think about how social the average USPSA match is. Sure, the guys on the squad trash talk with each other and have fun, but when’s the last time you were at a match that a) had spectators b) had facilities for spectators or c) encouraged spectators to be social and root for their favorites.

The finals offer a three-trek format, a change that benefits Tower, who tends to be a faster shot. He pulls away early, blasting at bucks even as they materialize. He hits them all. It’s freakish, and unstoppable. He takes the match. Green and orange confetti falls from the rafters. Tower raises his arms in triumph.

I catch up with him a little later. He’s glowing with excitement and perhaps alcohol. “Only had four beers all day,” he says. I have trouble believing him. Then he says he’s the fastest Big Buck Hunter shot in the world. I have no trouble believing him. I ask if he’s got any advice.

“Aim small, hit small,” he says.

I have no idea what this means, but damned if it doesn’t sound good.

Hey, look, a competitor who can differentiate his type of performance from everyone else out there! How fresh! How exciting! How completely absent from USPSA! We call Rob Leatham “The Great One” (and he is) but WHY is he the great one? What makes his style so dominating versus Max or Eric or Jerry? How do we expect to stimulate interest in our sport if the people who shoot it aren’t interesting?

Playing a video game in a bar is exciting, social and popular. Shooting a match is exciting, and if we can figure out a way to make it social, we can make it popular.

The question is, is that what we want to do?

Roadmap

“Run a stage once, and then look at the components of the stage that are giving us trouble. The sport requires the same stuff over and over and over again. All you have to do is identify what those elements are, and then practice them in isolation.”

Steve Anderson

In general, I don’t like comparing myself to other people, because it’s a no-win situation. Someone else will ALWAYS be better than you at something: There is no such thing as a master of everything.

But.

I think I’m pretty good at analyzing where my issues with practical shooting lie, what I lack is having a higher standard to measure myself against. I need to start recording the runs of the A Class shooters (and better) in my squads to see where they are picking up the seconds on a stage compared to my performance. In order to be better, I need to learn from my betters.

Little by little, bit by bit.

This is why people read Brian Enos, for little tidbits of information like this.

But no matter how you do it, the most important thing is that there is no lateral gun movement. You want your body pivoting into your holster and you want to have the gun lifting straight up out of the holster and then going on a straight line to the target. Your hip is just essentially pivoting around that straight line. The gun is always moving in a straight line to the target.

Brian EnosI’ve shot my share of El Prez’s, and I never once thought of the drill in that way. That tip is so simple and so logical, and now that I think about it, so bloody obvious. I’m finding that “Beyond Fundamentals” doesn’t have that “One Weird Trick To Becoming A Better USPSA Shooter” moment, but rather it contains a treasure troves of little nuggets that combine to form one big ol’ shining gold bar of practical shooting wisdom.

Now that I’ve (mostly) cured my trigger jerk, I can start to work on the jerk behind the trigger, and that’s where this book is really helping me see what’s next, where I have to go to get better and what my ultimate goal really is.

I’m not in it to win matches, because as others who do so are finding out, such things are a vain pursuit that is ultimately self-defeating because, as the cliché goes, you can’t win them all.

Clichés don’t get to become clichés unless they’re true.

Rather, I’m defining my goal in terms of what I can do at any given moment, at any given match and look for a consistency in my scores. And yes, I do have a “winning” goal in mind: I’d like to place 1st in “A” Class Production in a major match (Area championship or the like) before the ol’ bod gives out and my skills decline.

Quest for A Class, here I come.

Getting paid for what you know.

make_readyI had an idea while listening Ben and Luke talk about Apprentice/Journeyman/Master shooters during this week’s Triangle Tactical podcast. Would people pay to have their match performance reviewed/critiqued by a GM level shooter?

Imagine this: You and five other people pay $25 each to shoot on a squad with Rob Leatham or Shannon Smith or Mike Seeklander. Each stage would be filmed from both the shooter’s point of view and another camera. You’d get advice on stage strategy before and during the match, then a group debrief to go over the video a day or so later. As an added bonus, for $100 more there could be an hour long, one-on-one debrief where the match is dissected in detail. That’d put between $150 and $850 in the pocket of the shooter for two to eight hours work. Not bad.

If you’re a GM shooter, the trick would be, of course, to make sure that you provided valuable feedback back to your customers, something that is difficult if you don’t know how you provide feedback to yourself..

Match Report: USPSA at SWFPS

Had a chance to shoot an actual, honest-to-goodness USPSA match over the weekend, my first since October of last year. The match was held at the Southwest Florida Practical Shooters range up in Ft. Myers, about an hour away from my house (man, I miss the days of having 3 good ranges within an hour’s drive…). The range itself is a nice little gun club, with 5 bays, a 200 yard rifle range and stand for shotgun.

And man, it felt good to shoot some actual honest-to-goodness USPSA again!

The stages were nicely designed and the competition pretty decent, with two Master-Class Open shooters on my squad. I had been working a bit on my draw and my moving while reloading before the match, so I was curious to see what effect that would have on my times. In addition to this, I’ve been digging into Beyond Fundamentals quite a lot recently (having just re-bought it in Kindle Edition so I don’t lose the durn thing again), and I was interested in seeing what effect that would have on my shooting.

Here’s video of stages five and six.

First impressions: I’m quite happy with my movement: I’m setting up nicely for ports and  moving in and out of shooting positions quite well, sometimes TOO well, because I left a popper standing (a popper that fell in calibration, of course. Sonuva&@#$!….). Stage strategy is good, as is adjusting between the difficulty of the targets, for the most part. I still need to work on focus with my long shots, but other than that, I can see progress. Maybe not the progress I want at the speed I want, but progress nevertheless.

Update: Looking at the scores, I came in second in Production on stage six.

Out of two Production shooters in the match.

I was beaten by an A class shooter who ran it two seconds faster than me with 6 more points. The good news is, I know where I can pick up those two seconds (moving out of shooting positions faster) and where I can pick up the six points (better hits on closer targets).

Cool.

All In The Family

If you’re a member of a shooting club, eventually you’re going to run into shooting-club politics. The bullseye people think the practical shooters are a bunch of unsafe yahoos, the F-Class shooters want the long range on the same day that the 3 Gunners want it, and NOBODY can figure out those freaks that shoot smallbore silhouette.

One of the shooters last week wore a “SW Florida Marksman of the Year 2014″ t-shirt to the match. Now I have no idea how he got that shirt, but it got me thinking: What if clubs held a “Top Shot” competition of sorts that put shooters of all the disciplines at the club against each other? What if the bullseye guys had to (gasp!) move with a gun in their hands? What if the 3 Gunners did some 5 stand? What if the precision rifle shooters shot silhouette?

The divisions themselves would supply all the firearms for their stages and the points would be equally weighted between each so you’d have to put in a good showing at everything to be crowned “King of the Hill”, (and it would work better if there were cash and prizes on the line), but I’m thinking it would be a way to get people out on the range and trying new stuff.