Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shots over Perry

Practice is always a question in the mind of serious shooters.

Why do we practice?  What practice do we want?  What practice do we need?  How often do we practice?  How much practice is needed?

poor stance.
This is why we practice.  Poor stance, no front-back stability, bobs up and down between shots.  Really....Is this a bear taking a dump in the woods?

The why question is easy to answer.  Practice builds skills we want and may need.  It helps prevent the erosion of hard-earned skills.  It demonstrates both faults in our training and in our equipment.   It makes us aware of what we were unaware of.

I try to shoot the Camp Perry reactive targets every time I can.  Why?  Practice can be fun.  It doesn’t have to be the mind-numbing, drudgery-filled activity associated with memorizing the seven times tables. 
ORPA  runs a double header on Labor Day weekend at Camp Perry just west of Port Clinton (not named for the president).  Rifle on Saturday and pistol on Sunday, fun both days.  All the courses of fire consist of 40 reactive, pop-up targets.  

 I had a lot of fun out there.

I don’t have access to a 300-meter rifle range with pop-up reactive targets.  Playing whack-a-target with as many as three targets at a time is a lot more fun and challenging than clanging steel at 182 meters.

AR shooting at Perry Pop-up
I had an end slot so it was hard to see if the other targets were standing.  Why?  If yours are down and your neighbor's are standing, you know you've scored a hit.  I'm shooting the little blue guys out there.

How did I do?  Well, I’m happy with most of it.  I shot a 33/40, a dreadful 25/40 and redeemed myself with 37/40.  I need more reloading practice with my rifle and smoothing out my trigger pull.

The pistol match ran fast this year.  More than half the targets were singles with enough doubles to keep you from getting complacent.   I could only shoot two relays on Sunday and I’m happy with my results. 

I shot a 37/40 with my Beretta .380 ACP and 38/40 with its bigger brother, the 92F.  I just wanted to prove to myself that I can consistently hit with a smaller gun.  The .380 has reasonable sights and it’s all about watching the front sight.

Perry pistol targets staged waiting to start
Despite the overcast weather the little plastic guys were ready for action.  So was the shooter.

Should you shoot the Perry pop-ups?  Here’s what one shooter told me.

“I’ve been in the military for some time, mostly overseas in Europe, and this is the nicest military shooting range I’ve ever seen.”

The next pop-up match will be rifle (only) the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I hope to see you there!

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