Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Range Day

To prepare for Top Shot (see? Positive thinking), I'm getting as much range time as absolutely possible, learning new weapons, and re-familiarizing myself with guns I haven't shot in a while.

I have a plan.  My plan is to practice everything ambidextrously.  I figure it's just a matter of time before the folks who come up with the challenges will dream up weak-handed shooting.  They got close in Season 2 with the Trick Shot Showdown, when the contestants had to shoot with both hands.  Besides, if you have confidence in shooting with your weak hand, you can pretty much do anything.

I'm good with my pistol weak-handed.  Slow, but good.  It took a lot of practice, but I like having the confidence that I can do it if I have to.  Honestly, it's a ton of fun to do, too.

One of my "boys" - one of my original shooting buddies - has stepped up to the plate and offered up his time and energy to help me out.  Mez and I have put a lot of lead down range together.  If I make it through the casting process, it will be because I've got a whole slew of people who believe in me and who are willing to help me out.

Before Saturday, I had never shot a long gun weak-handed, but I was determined to do so.  I was also determined to shoot offhand, as it's the most unstable and therefore most difficult position to shoot from.  I headed to the range with RockCrawlinChef (and his family) to meet Mez immediately after I finished a killer workout.  I'll call it a win that I could hoist Mez's 9.5# with my jello arms.

Here's the AR15 footage.  I shoot it like I shoot my pistol weak-handed - slow.

I'm surprised that my shaking arms weren't visible, but then even the slightest movement looks enormous when you're sighting down a barrel.

By comparison, the .45-70 was light-weight.  What a rush shooting that was!  I shot the shit outta that gun weak-handed.  However, you'll see in the video that my core was weak and the recoil pushed me around more than it should have.

 The Little Bastard...Gymnastics Boy...El Poquito Diablo, as my trainer now likes to be called, will be so disappointed in my lack of core strength.  Guess it's time for more Bosu work. I'll be buying one within a week to practice shooting from.  The next time I shoot this .45-70, it won't knock me around so much.

I had an issue while shooting my 870 weak-handed; I'm so used to racking the slide with my left hand that I'd fire, then try to move the pistol grip backward before I realized that I had to work the action with my right hand.  The tactical 870 that I built for myself had a mercury recoil system that I put in and it weighed 12.5#, so the recoil - even from shooting heavy slugs - was minimal.  I have yet to modify this shotgun and I'd gotten spoiled shooting one with next to no recoil.  This new one kicks like a damn mule.  The thing about shotgunning is that if you're not on your gun like you're supposed to be, it will tell you about it - often painfully.

I have just a couple of seconds of video of strong-hand shooting my 870, but I'm going to share it anyway because I *love* shooting my shotgun (even with the resulting mule kick).

I didn't get video of all of the guns I shot on Saturday, mostly because everyone else was shooting too!  But here's a list of what I shot:
  • Lever action rifle (.45-70) - my bad, I don't remember the make/model
  • Long barrel AR-15 (.223)
  • Remington 870 (12ga)
  • Remington 700 (.223) - shot from prone just because I could; strong-hand only because the eye relief for my weak-hand was completely wrong, but I tried.
  • Glock (9mm)
  • Double action revolver (.38) - again, don't remember the make/model
  • Ruger Super Blackhawk (.44 mag) - strong-hand only; forgot to trade hands
I think that's a pretty complete list of my three hours of playing with the bangsticks.  By the time we were done, not only were my arms completely toast, but my upper abs were en fuego.  Maybe an hour at Body Bootcamp before three hours of shooting was a bit of overkill.  But I'll do it again next week!

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