Shooting match update:
Last week 70 guns gathered in AZ to compete in accurate steel shooting at high speed. I was able to take first place centerfire autopistol overall.
This week 60 guns gathered to complete in an accurate steel shooting rematch at high speed in ‘tactical order’ as specified by the match directors. I was able to take first place overall centerfire handgun.
What shooters should be practicing, learning and engraining is accurate shooting, then, and only then, progressing to applying accurate shooting at higher and higher speeds. This allows shooters to pre-calculate the speed at which their personal skill level will allow them to make a shot on various sized targets at various distances. Training and experience is the key. There is no free lunch, it takes dedicated work to achieve high performance. The modern idea of giving shooters more and more ammo capacity with less training leads to more missing. Missing is a waste of time and ammo, and missing can endanger innocent people in tactical / defense situations.
I was using one of my Pro Model 1911 pistols in 45 caliber with my fairly new 200 grain bullet load. The pistol is now approaching 200,000 rounds through it with nothing but routine maintenance. Not even a barrel replacement has been required due to the bullet coating. Bore cleaning is quick and simple because there is no more copper fouling. (conventional bullet jacket material would have required multiple barrel replacements by now). As one famous shooter said; you should not measure your practice ammo by the case, it should be measured by the ton.
Some people complained that I was shooting an ‘old pistol’ that I was used to, as if that was somehow unfair. Others said I should be shooting a modern plastic pistol because it was ‘newly designed’, held more ammo and was ‘cheaper’ than a custom 1911. Others complained that I was ‘shooting wrong’ because I was not body positioned as they were, and my ‘leverage grip’ was wrong because it was different than the norm. Performance speaks for itself. Experiment until you fine what works for you and your shooting requirements.
I did not observe any other shooters using 45 acp pistols. The practice of shooting a duty / defense capable handgun in competition has been abandon by many. Prior to the match shooters were fine tuning powder puff loads and spring rates in hopes that their competition guns would make it through the match without failure. Loading 95 grain bullets in 9mm cartridges with velocities so low that you could SEE the bullets track to the target were in the competition. Autopistols using springs as light as FIVE POUNDS were on the firing line. Shooters risked using unreliable ‘game guns’ in an effort to gain any advantage possible. Revolvers with triggers tuned down to a 6.5 lb double action pull were on the range. There was no margin of error when it came to making them fire, without the exact right load and primer they would light strike and not fire at all.
Competition shooting is an excellent way to improve shooting skills, and it is a great way to test and develop new gear. However, gear that is developed to only win matches does not serve defensive shooters well. Defensive and duty gear not only needs to be of a mechanically safe design, it needs to operate reliably over a wide spectrum of operational conditions. Do not game your gear down to unreliability. If you are a defensive marksman, focus on training with your duty gear full time all the time.