What better way to spend Easter afternoon than shooting guns with your family? We started with some rifle speed drills and when somebody finally ran out of .223 ammo we switched to handguns.
I am not sure what the lesson is here, but every single shooter who brought a handgun had a Glock of some kind. I had recently bought a Glock 17 and wanted some trigger time with it. This is a handgun that changed the world and it’s on my list of guns that every gun guy should own. In my own love-hate thing with Glock pistols, I sold my first one and, waking up to that mistake, I ordered another G17 a while ago.
I have to admit; I struggled for a while and was disappointed in both my speed and accuracy. The different grip angle of the Glock always requires some recovery time for me after shooting with other handguns. But there were larger reasons. Without going into details, suffice to say that I have had a tough winter. Due to some lingering injuries I have not gotten in enough handgun trigger time. In fact, the truth is a single local plate match a week prior was the only serious day of powder burning with a pistol in several months.
With this much ring-rust built up, the striker-fired Glock was a bit of a tough transition from my single-action 2011 STI competition handgun.
Still, a lesson I need to relearn from time to time is that it’s important from a tactical aspect to spend time shooting wide range of guns. Sticking to a single platform or a single gun is not a smart approach for a defensive shooter. In a fight you need to be proficient with any gun you have in your hands, even if it’s not yours. I tend to gravitate to my hammer-fired, single-action trigger competition guns for practice sessions and often ignore the others.
The thing is, I carry striker-fired guns for defense so how stupid is it to not practice often with those pistols?
That’s rhetorical, no need to answer; we all know it’s stupid.
So this past Easter I properly welcomed this new Glock into my world and shot it exclusively. By the end of the day I had fired more than 250 rounds, all in timed and scored drills and I was feeling much better about my ability to shoot this gun.
But none of this is the lesson I want to point out today.
What’s the old joke?
Gun guys talk about 1911’s, shoot Glocks and carry a J-Frame?
Lots of truth in that. While J-Frames are currently the target of disdain from the multitudes of keyboard warriors, a lot of serious gun guys carry them. Including me.
I am rarely without my S&W Model 340. No matter if it’s my primary carry gun or back up, it resides in my front pants pocket most of the time I am out and about.
After any long shooting session I try to end with a few drills using the gun I am carrying that day. We had been doing the 2X2X2 drill with rifle and handgun off and on all day, so I started with that.
Three targets, two shots each. With the laser showing well on the target in the gathering dusk I was blazing fast, except when I got to the third target I only had one shot left.
While I could do this drill multiple times without reloading with the Glock, I did not even have enough ammo in the J-Frame to complete it one time. That’s a shocking lesson about ammo conservation.
This point isn’t limited to the J-Frame or LCR or any revolver by any stretch. Even if you carry a micro .380, or one of the small, single stack pistols, this point still applies. They all have a limited ammo capacity compared to a full size, double stack handgun.
Running out of ammo so quickly can be a head banger after spending the day shooting high-capacity firearms. Your mind is programmed to blasting fast and furious and no matter if it’s 5, 7 or 8 shots in your carry gun, it’s a sobering reminder when you see how quickly it runs dry.
I am not going to debate the pros or cons of carrying a smaller, lower capacity gun here today, that’s for another time. The truth is that a lot of us do that and I only want to point out that if you do carry one of these smaller handguns, you need to be mentally programmed for the reality of its ammo capacity.
At the end of any shooting session, put your carry gun where you carry it and run the drills a few times. Draw from a holster or from your pocket, it doesn’t matter. Shoot a big drill with multiple targets. Don’t think about it too much, it’s just another drill. Do it fast and on the timer so you are “in the zone.” Then be prepared for a shock. I promise you will look at your empty gun in disbelief.
Doing this helps to re-set your brain to the reality that you no longer have all that ammo in your handgun.
With a defensive handgun, count your shots and make them count.