Yesterday I packed up a bunch of guns and headed to Champion Arms bright and early to beat the crowds if possible. With only half of their lanes open there’s usually a waiting list to shoot, but yesterday wasn’t bad. Well… the wait wasn’t.
What was bad was that I’d been in such a rush to get out of the house I forgot my glasses, and since I don’t use them for driving I didn’t notice until I got to the range. Aside from driving I wear them full time, so shooting was going to be interesting, but my curiosity was piqued so I tried shooting without them. It was… interesting.
I started with the AR 9mm pistol, and with the Bushnell red dot mounted it was easy to hit at 25 yards, but the groups weren’t really good. Moving in to ten yards and running strings of double taps results were comparable; everything more or less where it should be, but a bit sloppy.
Then I tried my favorite carry revolver, my 3″ M1902 in .38 special. Uh oh. I couldn’t really see the front sight, and at seven yards rapid-fire groups were running 5-6″, but well centered. Double-taps were hitting pretty much centered but strung out 6-8″ vertically. Switching to my Colt Police Positive Special .32-20 results were similar, and I realized I was basically wasting time and ammo. Disappointed, I headed home.
Still, it was interesting and useful; it gave me an appreciation for what I can do if forced to shoot without my glasses. With the AR/red dot combo I did well enough out to 25 yards. With the revolvers my shooting was adequate at seven yards, but not terribly precise. I figure I would likely be able to defend myself adequately in most situations I might encounter… but I know I’d better not try for a ‘hostage shot’ at twenty feet. Having a realistic understanding of your limitations is important, and allows you to plan around those limits.
So, a teachable moment indeed.
27 June 2020:
This afternoon I headed back, with my glasses this time. I wanted to do some load and gun testing, but more importantly I just wanted to shoot. You know, for fun. Remember fun? It’s what we used to have prior to this year…
It being the weekend of course it was horribly busy. I put my name on the list and spent the next couple of hours, pleasantly enough, chatting with Chris from McCallen Tactical, some of the range staff and a couple other friendly folks also waiting for their turn. I also perused the shop and picked up some gun-cleaning supplies. Finally it was my turn, and I grabbed my stuff and headed to my freshly sanitized shooting position.
I’m not going to go into too many details, just captioned photos. Long winded captions of course; I’m still me.
Well, there you have it, my weekend adventures and misadventures at the range. I gotta say, after all of this time it was nice just to shoot for pleasure. It’s been a long spring, and Lord only knows what the summer will bring.
Hang in there everyone, and I hope that you and yours stay safe.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 27 June 2020
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