Early December is usually much colder in my part of the world. This autumn into winter has been quite mild. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to ride my bicycle late into November. Recently though, the temperatures dropped significantly and combined with the wind chill factor naturally associated with cycling, the bike riding option is no longer viable until springtime. It s just too cold to be riding a bike. So, today after lunch, I headed over to the Rod and Gun Club where I am a member and I set up a half dozen targets for a short practice session with my favorite carry revolver; my trusty Smith & Wesson Mod. 19 – chambered in .357 mag.
Due to the sharp rise in price of ammo over the past decade, I have been exceedingly conservative with use of ammo for target practice. Availability has also been an issue for some folks. I always try to keep a good stock of ammunition in the various calibers that I shoot. Keeping enough ammo on hand for your guns is important, because guns are useless without the ammo to feed them. I would even accept the descriptive of stingy as a way to explain my recent ammo use for shooting practice
I have found that it is best to have a plan on how much ammo you will expend during each shooting session. Not like the good old days when I would shoot 3 or 4 times weekly and spend hours at the range shooting and taking notes. Of course, I was fully set-up to reload my own ammunition back then. Currently, I do not have the space to dedicate to that hobby.
So, my plan was to practice a clean, smooth draw-stroke from the holster with the revolver. It has been about two years since I last shot this piece and longer since I actually worked from the holster with a wheel-gun.
I set out 6 each – six inch paper plates. They are the cheapest target available and for handgun practice it is a good way to measure your skill level to keep everything inside the plate.
Three targets placed at 10 yards ( 9.144 meters) and three at 25 yards ( 22.86 meters).
The short range is standard practice distance for off-hand pistol shooting. The average distance of a lethal force encounter is usually under 12 feet (about 3 meters). In other words, the assailant is almost climbing on top of the victim during a lethal confrontation. The idea is to be able to quickly draw and fire your defensive weapon in close quarters and to score hits on center of mass.
Here is the Testing and Evaluation for the Master Handgun Rating:
1) Marksmanship— Fire 6 rounds into the A-zone of an IPSC target at 15 yards unsupported.
all 6 rounds in the A-zone in 30 seconds.
2) Draw and fire drill— Draw and fire 1 shot into the A-zone of an IPSC target at 7 yards; repeat 6 times.
all 6 rounds in the A-zone, all times under 2.0 seconds.
3) Multiple target drill–– Draw and fire 1 shot at each of 3 targets at 7 yards; repeat 4 times.
No hits outside the C-zone, all strings done in 3.5 seconds or less.
4) Reloading drills— Draw and fire 1shot on IPSC target, gun goes to slide locked open, reload and fire 1 more shot on same target. Repeat 3 times. No hits outside the C-zone.
time is 5.0 seconds for each string, 6.0 if magazine does not fall, 8.0 for revolvers, no hits outside the C-zone.
5) One handed shooting skills–At 4 yards, draw and fire strong hand only, 6 rounds in 6 seconds, all in the A-zone. Repeat with the weak hand, starting from the low ready position.
All A-zone hits, time is 6 seconds, either hand.
6) Moving and shooting— Standing in a 6′ box, close enough to touch the target. On the signal, draw and fire 2 shots. Do this twice backing up in a straight line, twice to the right and twice to the left. Shooter must be outside the box by the time the second shot is fired.
Time is 1.8 seconds; all hits in the A-zone.
7) Moving targets— At 7 yards, when the target appears, draw and fire 2 shots into the A-zone of an IPSC target. Approximate target exposure time is 2.5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
All A-zone hits.
LOW LIGHT DRILLS
8) Draw and fire drill– Draw and fire one shot at an ISPC Target at 5 yards. Repeat 6 times.
All 6 hits in the A-zone, all times 2.0 seconds or less.
9) Multiple target drill— Draw and fire 1 shot each at 3 IPSC targets, 5 yards. Repeat 4 times.
No hits outside the C-zone, all strings in 3.5 seconds or less.
Malfunctions: Allow an extra 3 seconds for a level one stoppage, and an extra 10 seconds for a level 2 stoppage. If gun becomes inoperable, then the student may retest with a new gun. If the student has to reload to complete a drill, add 3 seconds to the time.