02 September 2012
Last Saturday, August 25, Pickle and i packed up a nice picnic basket of goodies for lunch. We then motored the 15 miles or so, over to the Beaver Valley Rifle and Pistol Club, to attend the Fundamental Pistol Phase 1 course offered by Low Speed High Drag. Talk about a well spent Saturday! It was a beautiful day on the range. Hydration was very important as we did have a student succumb to the heat that was hovering around 90°.

It started with the usual safety brief. Reinforcing the 4 rules of gun safety, administrative loading and checking the status of the firearm (to determine if it really is loaded). We then went to the firing line and shot maybe 10 rds. (don't remember exactly) into the 10 ring to show each individuals marksmanship skill. Then the training began ...

We worked on various skill drills. Ball & Dummy (having your partner set up your gun either loaded or empty). This could also be accomplished with some dummy rds. or snap caps. It's humbling/frustrating, when not doing your part, to see your front sight waiver when the hammer falls on an empty chamber. When this happened we had to do remedial dry fire practice before continuing. We also worked from the low ready, holster, timed drills using a timer and eventually some walk-back elimination drills.

To reinforce how easy it is to shoot DA, we also had our partner balance a fired casing on the front sight, while successfully working the trigger DA at least five times without the casing falling off. All of this progressed at an easy pace while getting individual instruction from the Instructors. We had very good Instructor/Student ratio with Jay Cunningham, Ashton Ray and Sam Lech divided among 10 students.

Sam coaching Pickle

For the most part it was (for me at least) a review of things already learned. There are a few things i've taken away from this course that i do need to improve on. Hard lessons learned. And, Oh Boy ... do they ever need improvement.

Mainly trigger management. It does no good to balance an empty casing on the front sight, while continually dry firing the Ruger P95 DA without it falling off, IF during the ball & dummy drills my trigger management returns to crap ... Anticipating and 'heeling' would make the shots go high, while mashing on the trigger would send them low left.

I also have an issue with gripping the gun that needs worked on. Now that i think about it, it may also reduce my highly developed ability to mash on the trigger during ball & dummy drills ... For the last ten years or so, i thought the problem of the pistol randomly not locking open on the last round was a simple malfunction. Since this random gremlin occurs with every single mag i've used ...it must be me. Apparently my support hand grip is not up to snuff. It appears that if the pistol can be kept from doing soopersekretninja moves while firing it, that my thumbs won't inadvertently keep the slide release from doing it's job and locking the slide back on the last round.

Pickle seems to have the same issues as i do, except for the slide lock problems. These issues came to light from working the pistols double action and not single action. Huh ... imagine that. The longer and heavier stroke is controllable. The improved support hand grip should help to isolate one problem while while aiding in isolating the muscle groups of the trigger finger.

One other thing i need to break the habit of is 'rolling the gun' to catch the round when clearing, it and Clint explains why ....

 We both rate this training 5 stars, and highly recommend it. We are both going to continue attending the LSHD classes to advance our skill levels.

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posted by Johnnyreb™ at 3:47 PM | Permalink |


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