So Roomie and I drove out to MCF&G to try out our spiffy new range memberships yesterday. The mercury was in the low 60s, the sun was shining, and other than the ground still being waterlogged, it was a perfect day for shooting.
I have a confession to make.
What with Eagle Creek, our local public range, not having opened yet this year, yesterday was the first time I did any live fire since Christmas.
Now, I'm a thoroughly mediocre shot under the best of circumstances. My best run on the FAST drill in Todd G's class last October was 10 seconds clean. When Caleb ran me through the IDPA Classifier with my 9mm Para, I scored "Marksman" which is the next step above "Helen Keller".
Yesterday, however, I was sucking pond water. After years of shooting pretty much every week, the effects of just a four month hiatus (and one that included a reasonable amount of dry-fire, at that) were depressing.
Due to muddy conditions in the pistol bay, we set up our firing line about ten yards back from the targets. I was using one of my "reduced scale" zombie targets, so the cumulative effect was like shooting at a normal silhouette at 20-25 yards.
Warming up with the Ruger 22/45, everything seemed okay. I have six magazines, and I'll generally shoot two each with both hands, strong hand, and weak hand. I ran through that twice and scoped the target. Hmm... A little looser than I like, and there were actually two rounds that missed the zombie...
After two more cycles with the Ruger, I started loading 9mm mags for the Para LTC9 as well. By this time I noticed that my front sight was starting to wobble all over the place: Holding a couple pound weight out at arms' length and squeezing the bejeezus out of it is actually an exercise that one doesn't normally get in the course of routine daily activities, and whatever muscle groups I have that were responsible for doing that had gone slack, slack, slack.
After just 75 rounds or so with the 9mm, I was useless. I was literally having a hard time hitting the zombie's noggin. I'd concentrate on pressing the trigger straight back and my grip would grow slack; I'd concentrate on squeezing the gun 20% tighter, and I'd find myself looking over the sights (which were wobbling worse than ever.) I was done. Rather than continue to reinforce bad habits, I ran another set of mags through the Ruger .22 and called it a day.
On a side note, while I was there I finally got to test-fire my M&P 15-22. I only put two mags through it, but it ran without a hitch. I need to get it down there and sight in the FACOG properly off the bench.
After that humiliating performance, Bobbi and I picked up the bay, leaving it cleaner than when we started (and shame on the slob who left that bowling pin there!) and headed home.
Good thing I got that range membership, 'cause it looks like I need to use it.
(UPDATE: Roomie has pictures from the trip.)