Thursday, June 21, 2007


Reviewing my range book one day, I determined that I really needed to face up to the fact that my magazine changes were not all they were cracked up to be. The sun can only be in ones eyes so often, you know. Especially when it's getting dark.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

I start of by loading no more than 3 rounds in each mag. Nothing like endless repetition to improve the skills. Time to get to work.

Slide locks back...left hand drops, right hand curls...look through the guard, drop the empty...left hand up *thud*... damn, failed to seat the mag over, slower. How in the heck does this bastard do it?...Eventually, I am doing the changes very slow. Tai Chi slow. When did I stop pointing with the left index finger? Adjust the mag holster a smidgen forward on the belt, try again...

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast...economy of motion...aha!, moving my weight back for the change, what's up with that?...weight forward...slow it down...Got it! Now do it again...and again...and again. Increase the speed. Slowly, gradually, getting faster, still getting it smooth. Awesome.

Time to Qualify.

Rock on, my dry fire practice is showing. Talking trash to the man on my right, he questions a stray shot on my target. "This little, guy?", I point. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about this little guy". The target tells me what I need to work on, but all in all, it's looking pretty good. Moving right along to the next stage...

Remember, take it easy, breathe, relax, and all that trash. Run through this stage in your head, and wait for the command. Here we go...looking good...plenty of comes the mag change...gonna smoke it this time...Now!!

As a
result of my time spent on mag change drills, I suppose that I had gotten a little over confident. I resolved to blaze through the change during qualification, in order to give myself that much more time to ace the shooting. I had pride and a meal riding on my score, every point counted. When the time came, my left hand snapped down, grabbed the mag, and blazed back to the mag well...just in time to hit the empty mag falling away from the weapon. I watched in a sort of amused resignation as I one-handedly juggled two magazines...under the cocked weapon...on the firing line...during a qualification.

Eventually, my last full magazine decided that he had had quite enough of this bumbling, and immediately took a dive down the firing line to my right (banzai!). He tucked and rolled, (as much as the little bastard could) and stopped just to the right of the man to my right.


My left hand was already dropping for another mag...I had others, they were just empty. Sweet.

As nonchalantly as I could, I leaned over to my right-hand shooter. "Uh, think you might be able to hand me that mag?". Snickers and gun shots filled the air. He looked at me...looked at the magazine...looked at me...sighed...and kicked the mag over in my general direction. I grabbed the mag, slammed it home, and performed a half-way decent rapid fire.

That 'little guy' wound up with a few buddies, but I did ok on the qualification.

I did not win the meal.

Lessons Learned:
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Dry fire.
Body awareness.
Read the target.
Mastered that skill? Pffft, think again, dumb-ass.
Juggling on the firing line during qualification is not highly advised, but as long as muzzle awareness is maintained and correct, juggle on, you crazy circus monkey.
No such thing as too much ammo. Ever.

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