Changing it Up – Production to Limited

Bruce, my Gen 2 G17

I recently shot my first USPSA match in about 18 months, and I must admit, my lack of practice in that time showed. To me the biggest hamper was that my magazine changes made me even slower that normal. As a result, I actually shot next to last in Production. I was not happy.

So, in order to speed things up a bit, I have decided to change from Production to Limited class for the next match. For those who don’t know, the main thing for me will be that my magazines can hold as many rounds as they can hold, instead of being limited to 10 rounds in Production. So now I can shoot twice as many shots before requiring a magazine change.

Now, I am still going to shoot Bruce, my G17, which means I will be shooting Minor power factor, which puts some lesser value on the C and D shots. So, this means I need to shoot all A’s, doesn’t it. Yes, I know this will automatically put me behind from the beginning. But, I don’t expect I would win if I shot Major, and right now I can’t afford a Major gun, nor the ammo.

So my plan is to compare how well I do in Limited, to my Production performance, and if I do well enough, then start saving for a Glock 35, in .40 caliber, which would be Major power factor.

I’m probably going to but new mag pouches as well.

So, please keep me in your thoughts on December 8. And, please feel free to share your thoughts about what I might do in order to maximize my scores. I know I can use the help.

Happy Anniversary

Gun Review - Glock 17Exactly twenty years ago today, on December 28, 1992, I went back to the pawn shop in a small town in Alabama, laid down four portraits of Benjamin Franklin, and left the proud owner of a Gen 2 Glock 17 pistol, which I named Bruce.

It took me a few weeks to decide what pistol to buy, then to find this one. Thanks to the Brady law, I had to wait at least five days to pick it up, after filling out the background check paperwork.

My next stop was the shooting range, where I got the break of a lifetime.

I’ve written about this purchase before, and I’ve reviewed it here, and told of its extended life here.

It’s on my hip right now.

Happy Anniversary, Bruce!







GSSF River Bend Ballistic Challenge V

Photo courtesy of Glocking Tall
On Sunday July 15, 2012, I traveled to the River Bend Gun Club in Dawsonville, Georgia, for the GSSF River Bend Ballistic Challenge V.  
As usual, I shot my Gen2 Glock 17 Bruce, and it performed perfectly, as expected. For those unfamiliar, you can refer to the GSSF course of fire here. 
The GSSF course of fire consists of ten strings – 4 on Glock the Plates, and 3 each on 5 To Glock and Glock M. So, owning 11 magazines, I am able to pre-load my magazines and not have to do so at the range. That’s a nice thing.
One thing to remember is that we are allowed 11 rounds total per string, so if I load all my magazines with 11, and I don’t shoot the gun dry, I will need to strip one round off the next magazine before using it.
In fact, since 5 To Glock is exactly two shots per target, with no chance of make-ups as there are on the other two stages, I load my magazines 11 – 10 – 9. Then, I have one in the chamber after the first two strings, but the slide is closed. And, the slide locks back empty after the last shot, so showing clear is simple.
Before the match I did my usual pre-match checklist
Life has a way of throwing curve balls, though, and one thing I learned in baseball was never to sit on a pitch, that is, never assume you know what’s coming next.  This came to the forefront with a pre-match malfunction.
For dry firing I almost always install my plastic 5.11 training barrel. However, during the course of practice, the end of the recoil spring must have slipped off the notch in the barrel, because I couldn’t get the slide to slip off as I disassembled it, no matter how hard I tried. I tried everything I knew to get the slide off, to no avail. Finally, I had to resort to cutting the guide rod, and replacing it with a spare.
When I arrived, it had been raining, sometimes hard, for about an hour. Footing was still good, but some stages had the cardboard NRA targets covered with plastic to protect them.
I elected to shoot Glock The Plates first, without a warm-up round, since the plates weren’t affected by the rain. Bad idea. I left 4 plates standing my first round, and I could tell from the paint missing from the support that I had been shooting low and a little left, meaning I was jerking the trigger. I know enough from golf not to try and diagnose and fix problems mid match, so I just aimed a little high and right, and I had no misses the rest of the day. My Plates runs were in the mid-7 second range, which was about a second longer than normal, but that was okay.
I had one other close call, when I flinched on one of the long 25 yard shots on 5 To Glock. I called the shot low, and I thought it might be a miss, but it was a D, low and left. Even the RO commented when we were scoring. Some of my other 5 To Glock shots were in the D range, and those 3 second penalties hurt.
Some time while I was waiting for the third stage, Glock M, it stopped raining and the sun came out, all in the space of about 2 minutes. The temperature climbed, but the humidity stayed the same – 100 percent.
All this meant good hydration was essential. I had already drunk about 300 ml of the 1L of sports drink I had brought, and I drank another 500 ml while I waited, and ate a couple of granola bars. Of course, none of this alleviated the temptation to walk across the way to the Holy Smoke barbecue stand operated by a local church. The wind was blowing that tempting smoke our way all day. But I resisted.
I shot the last stage in a decent time, with all Alphas and three Charlies. One thing I did now that the sun was out was step forward a foot or so, so that my fiber optic front sight was fully illuminated by the sun. This helped a lot.
All in all, my overall match score was 188.1, not a good time at all. Four Mikes and a bunch of Deltas, combined with subconsciously slow shooting in the rain, add up.
There are usually a decent number of booths at the Dawsonville match, but a lot of them called it quits during the rain, before I arrived. So, I didn’t get to buy any cool Glock items.
I did pay a visit to the factory Armorer, even though Bruce had been given the once over just a couple of months ago to relieve the Gen2 frame. I also told him about my training barrel incident, and he gave me a new recoil spring, making this the third year in a row my recoil spring has been replaced. Everything else was fine, though, as I expected.
I was tweeting after the match, and found a new blog, Glocking Tall(@GlockingTall), whose author was at the match as well. I am looking forward to getting to know him, and I added him to the blog roll today. 
So now we wait for Glock to post the scores. I won’t win a gun for coming in first, but in a few weeks the final scores will be posted, including the random drawings. There’s hope for me yet.

Pistol Choices

I’ve recently read several posts from other bloggers about their choices of Every Day Carry (EDC) pistols, and how they arrived at those choices. This got me thinking about my own thought processes, what I’ve chosen, and why.


Anyone who’s read this blog more than once knows that I own Glocks. While I sometimes play the devil’s advocate to others about their gun choices, I’m not going to fault anyone for choosing the guns they own.

I can, though, tell you why I own my Glocks.

G21, G17, G19

I bought my first Glock 17, Bruce, in 1992. At the time, Glock was about the only affordable “high capacity” handgun on the market. I picked 9mm for the same reason I have them now – availability and cost of ammo. It helps that modern 9mm defensive ammo is almost ballistically comparable to .45ACP. But that’s another posting.

I got my other two Glocks, a G21SF and a G19, by way of my membership in the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation. The G21SF I bought at the Law Enforcement price, and the G19 I won in a GSSF match. So my choices of gun came about as much by serendipity as it did by conscious choice. 

My next choice in a handgun will probably be a Glock, because I and my family already know how to run them, and I already have spare parts, magazines, holsters, and the like.

Now, if a similar circumstance arose for me to acquire a similar striker fired polymer gun, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so. With enough practice and training, I and my family would learn to run them just as well.

Having said that, I don’t think I would ever get a 1911 as a home defense or personal carry gun. There are several reasons for that.

In my home, besides me, are my wife, son , and daughter. Each of them has shot and trained with these guns. They know how they work, and they are comfortable shooting them. In an emergency, I would not hesitate to assign them each a Glock, and they would not hesitate to carry it and shoot it if need be.

However, the weight, reliability, and complexity of the 1911 precludes my family from ever being able to rely on them. This can best be illustrated by relating a story I heard from someone who is a frequent guest on a lot of the podcasts I listen to, who claimed that the 1911 was a superior gun precisely because it was so complicated that, if he lost it or it were taken away, an assailant would not be able to operate it. I thought that was one of the most ridiculous statements I had ever heard, especially since I am more likely to need to enlist someone’s assistance than I am to lose a gun to an assailant.

So, here is the current batting order, as it were:

Batting first, as EDC, is my Glock 21SF. About 90 percent of the time I carry it on a belt holster.

Batting second, in the top shelf of my pistol safe, is my Glock 17. It also doubles as my competition gun.

Batting third, on the bottom shelf of my pistol safe, is my Glock 19. 

Now, when the Glock 17 goes off to compete, the G19 pinch hits, and moves to the top shelf of the safe, with a G17 magazine installed. 

And, in the times when circumstances preclude my carrying the G21, the G19  goes in a IWB holster under a tee shirt or polo. The G21 goes on the bottom shelf of the safe.

Note how this is arranged: there’s always a 9mm Glock on the top shelf of the safe, and there are always loaded spare G17 magazines on top of the safe with a flashlight. There are also loaded G17 magazines in other places around the house.

In case of zombie apocalypse, I would take the G21, my wife would take the G17, and either my son or daughter would take the G19. In that event, I would also take the Mosssberg 500. We would also move the the lower half of the lineup, and break out the SKS, Ruger 10/22, and Browning Buck Mark. And, in the extreme case that the Mongols are coming over the hill and we need to go long, there is also a Mosin Nagant.


COMING: How the guns we have figure into a matrix of preparedness – who is involved and what are we up against.