Saturday, September 01, 2007

Retro Friday

So I was out at the range in Clear Creek Friday — yes, the one I have to drive an hour to because of those big ole USFS "POSTED" signs! — where I was supposed to do a show-and-tell with my new production crew. Unfortunately, I had failed to factor in the hellish holiday Interstate traffic as the entire city of Denver trys desperately to get to the mountains, so I ended up at the range alone with a Honda Element-full of guns.

Instead of doing what I usually do...50 rounds through this one; 100 rounds through that one...I hauled out the 1911 .45, the Kimber overhauled by Cylinder & Slide, and launched into a classic practical shooting set of drills — one-shot draws, two-shot draws, multiple targets, all at varying distances. I figured a 500-round practic session would be good for my return to USPSA Single Stack; then I discovered I only had 450 rounds of .45, but what the heck!

I've been changing my foundation shooting style lately as a result of my recurring bouts with shingles effecting my right eye. Rather than whining about how I'm gettign old, which heaven knows I am, I've started making major changes in my shooting to reflect the new reality.

For a start, I've gone back to a "hard," or classic Jeff Cooper, Weaver stance from the isoceles I've shot in competition for decades. The Weaver has accomplished two things for me...the gun is slightly closer (call it five inches) to my dominant, and weakened, right eye, making it easier for me to focus on the front sight, and the platform is rock stable, which allows me to run the .45 more aggressively. A side effect I hadn't anticipated is that hte locked-tight Weaver seems to take the heat off the elbows, which is a good thing.

I'm also going back to shooting with my weak eye closed, which allows me to focus more clearly on the front sight...especially out of the Weaver!

So anyhow, I was standing there shooting drills when I had a 25-year Flashback — what was I doding 25 years ago, 1982, as summer slid into fall? Well, darn it, I was doing exactly the same thing! Standing on a range with a 5-inch 1911 .45 ACP shooting drills getting ready for an IPSC match.

I'd already changed from Rex the Wonder Gun, my first 1911 Combat Commader with S&W revolver sights, to an old Gold Cup a friend of mine had got right at a pawn shop he worked at. Of course, I'd quickly managed to shoot the pinned-in rear sight off and had scraped up enough money to have Bob Cogan at Accurate Plating & Weaponry do a trigger job, bevel the mag well, open up the ejection port a bit and put on a Bo-Mar rear sight, which looked weird on the Cup but shot just fine. That Gold Cup was one of the best-shooting 1911s I'[ve ever owned...Bob did an amazing job with it...wish I still had it!

I hadn't yet transitioned from the Weaver to the isoceles, nor taught myself to shoot with both eyes open. I weighted less, however...but not by much...

And NO, I didn't have a friggin' earring!

Holsterwise, I was using a Gordie Davis "Chuck Taylor Special" leather vertical belt sheath and a leather Davis double mag pouch. I still have both, and they remain great, if somewhat battered, 1911 gear. In a year or so I would switch over to one of the newfangled Rogers' holsters made out of...what was that stuff again?...oh yeah, kydex. Except, of course, Bill Rogers offered his revolutionary holsters covered with a thin layer of leather, because who would use a plastic holster that looked, well, plastic... the Blade-Tech I was using yesterday, perhaps. But the B-T exactly mirrors the Davis/Taylor, if with a bit less style. Yesterday, strangely enough, I was using an old Rogers clip-on single magazine pouch that dates back to the mid-1980s...still works great, BTW.

So, hell, what does that say about me? That I'm relatively consistent or simply boring? Maybe what it says that in the end, I would rather shoot a 1911 than any other gun in the world. After so many hundreds of thousands of rounds over so many years, my hands "recognize" the 1911, and there's something comforting about it.

That's what I think USPSA is being extremely smart in sanctioning Single Stack competition on a formal's still the most popular gun in the world...especially with old farts like me!

PS: When I finished my 450 rounds of .45 ball, I ran a couple of hundred rounds (.44 Special Cowboy stuff; 240-gr @ 750fps) through the Ruger 4-inch Redhawk I'm going to use in the GUNSITE revolver class in a couple of weeks. SWEET! Yeah, it's a Ruger trigger, but it's smooth. Gonna work GREAT for the class!


Sebastian said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one that drives around a Honda Element full of guns :)

Anonymous said...

A friend and retired NYPD calls his Element the Tactical Toaster


Fibber Magee said...

It's been years since I was at Clear Creek. But, I'll never forget the horrible smell in that outhouse or the wind coming down the canyon in the winter. Used to shoot IPSC and IDPA matches there. Great bunch of people and while waiting to shoot you could watch the goats on the hill accross I-70.
If only it wasn't 900 miles away...

DonWorsham said...

I did some practice today. Shot 10 rounds through my practice revolver and 5 through my carry piece. No holster. I'm good to go!

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