I’ve been doing a lot of shooting lately for TTAG. Unfortunately, not many of those shots have been for my own personal pleasure or joy. I’ve been really focused on collecting data or trying to break something. Even though I have put thousands of rounds down range this year, I haven’t focused on becoming a better shooter. My peers call that “a really sucky situation.”
With my fiancée working another graveyard shift and the cat giving me the stinkeye, I decided to hit the range with my very dusty 1911. I wanted to put some holes in paper just for the sake of putting holes in paper. And honestly, the old girl needed some attention (the 1911, not my fiancée).
My dad bought this particular Colt in Houston in the early 80’s after a break in. He shot it a few times over the years, but it remained largely unused. I resurrected it last year after being afraid to shoot it as a youngster. And I’m happy to say that I regularly outshoot my stall mates at the local range with a gun that is close to thirty years old. But after spending decades without getting regular exercise, I know the old girl is sensitive about lack of use. I should be a better caretaker.
If I’m being honest, I need to get my ass in gear about getting my CHL. I know it and so do you. So I figured that this would be a good opportunity to practice some very basic FTF drills, mag changes, and one handed firing. Ideally, I want to establish a baseline for where I am now versus where I want to be six months from now.
When I arrived at my favorite range, I realized that I didn’t own any snap caps. Luckily, my local shooting hole is more than happy to sell me snap caps for just a bit more than MSRP. While I was at it, I figured I should film myself shooting so I could critique things later. I picked up on some nasty habits watching myself shoot for the Umarex/Colt reviews. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my first go round using said snap caps.
First off, I have no idea why my index finger is riding the front of the trigger guard. If you had told me that I do that, I would have called you a liar. Second, look at that flinch when I squeeze the trigger. I never would have known that I did that without the caps. And the camera. I’m not sure if you can catch me cursing at myself under my breath and that’s probably a good thing. Fast-forward a few minutes and about 20 rounds later…
I fixed that little finger thing and felt like I had quite a bit more control over things. And check out that snap cap fire. I cut down on the flinch. And damned if my shooting didn’t get a lot better for it.
So what have I learned? $15.95 was a small price to pay to not only identify my weak areas, but bring them out in the bright, harsh light of reality. I’m willing to bet that some of our readers are going to pick apart some other aspects of my shooting form, and I welcome the criticism. I’m only going to get better because of it.
I also know that I won’t feel comfortable carrying concealed until I’ve spent some time with a competent instructor. I hope Nick is ready to do some pistol shooting while he is down here. Lord knows I need the help.