I took the noob shooters to Red’s yesterday.
I picked up Tom at his place and from there we went to Cabela’s for whatever extra gear was deemed necessary for him – all he had at this point was a brand-new never fired XD 9 and some ammo.
He grabbed some eyes and ears, and decided on the spot that since 9mm loaded ammo was scarce, that he wanted to learn reloading. Okely dokely then. Easier said than done, he has zero equipment right now… I grabbed a case of that 12ga from one of the storied pallets I mentioned in an earlier post. Cheap… but once I opened the cardboard box I realized that I could get the same ammo (Winchester Super X) even cheaper elsewhere. I grabbed 500 115gr 9mm projectiles too – Berry’s plated stuff. Plus one box of Win Silver tip .45 ACP since I build up defense ammo reserves slowly but steadily.
We met up with Craig at the range and rented two lanes. I spent most of my time teaching grip-fu technology to the shooters, and reinforcing muzzle discipline (not that it was a problem, I was just determined that it NOT be a problem.) I had Craig in the 8 ring with his first shot – Tom was in the 9 ring. I grabbed Craig’s pistol after his first 2 8 ring hits and popped the X out of the target on the first shot. I forgot how nice that Hardballer shot… and Craig now knew that if the gun didn’t hit where he wanted it to, well, that was all him.
Tom was doing OK; I spent time on his grip but I spent more time with Craig since his shooting experience was practically nil. Once everyone was comfortable shooting at all, I set about working on trigger reset awareness, and use. Craig had a hard time pressing and holding the trigger – the gun would go bang and he’d forget to keep holding. S’ok, I had the same problem initially too.
All in all Craig and Tom shot pretty well. Craig’s groups were slowly opening up from fatigue – Tom’s from impatience. He said his hand was hurting and I think he was pressing on his left scaphoid bone with his right thumb – another common issue. He’s got gorilla hands so I think he really was putting pressure on it, as he was stringing up and down the left side of his target.
As far as my shooting went, as much as I like the M&P overall, I’m having a little trouble with the trigger. The trigger that is so crisp and solid, if a bit heavy, when dry firing the pistol becomes something of a liability in my hands when shooting at paper. The pointability that I so admire in the pistol when bringing it to bear becomes a nose that too-easily turns when I apply the necessary pressure to the heavy trigger. Suffice it to say, left, left, left.
Now to be fair, I was concentrating on trigger reset shooting more than slow fire, but still, I was shooting left much worse than I did with the CZ-75 within the same exercise. My M&P 9 doesn’t have the magazine disconnect either, so it’s about as good a factory trigger as they offer. So, either the trigger will get better with shooting (as I expect) or I’m going to have to break down and get some trigger work done.
Afterward, we went to eat and then back to my house for cleaning and lots of enthusiastic n00b gun talk and questions. I think Craig felt a little bad about his pistol’s disassembly and reassembly – a 1911 with a full length guide rod, versus our easily taken down plastic fantastics. But that’s the name of the game. Nobody really enjoys the swingy toggle link game on reassembly. It’s good for him though.
All in all a fun outing. I just wish I’d shot better. Maybe the KR kids have some suggestions for shooting straight with a lightweight pistol and a relatively heavy trigger break? (If you say “XD” I will not be amused.)