Monday, October 22, 2012

Ow. My thumbs.

There are some gun school classes that boast about having a "high round count" as an indicator of how hardcore they are. I don't get that at all.

Hey, I could charge you $300 to come spray a couple-three cases of ammo into the berm for a weekend while pacing back and forth behind you, wearing Oakleys and muttering vague encouragements and suggestions, like "Fix your grip!" and "Good combat accuracy!" and then hand you an official-looking certificate with more shields and eagles and stars and lighting bolts than a bowl of Tactical Lucky Charms at the end.

Granted, this would have a learning value somewhere between a game of Counterstrike and watching Heat for the twenty-third time, but that seems to make a lot of folks happy. It's like they don't realize there's not some direct correlation between how many times the gun goes *bang* and how much you learn.

As it was, I used up a thousand rounds of 9x19 in two days, and at that pace I was hustling to keep mags topped up at times, despite Todd's pretty carefully set-up lesson plan. For myself, that's pretty much nearing the limit in how much I can shoot and still learn stuff.

Besides, my thumbs are sore enough as it is.
.

52 comments:

DanH said...

Tactical Lucky Charms...I think I have discovered a new business idea...

Tam said...

All the marshmallows are Flat Dark Earth.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Do the non marshmallow pieces have rails for attaching the Tactical Prize once you find it?

docjim505 said...

Did your class cover drills that can / should be done "at home" (with a carefully checked, unloaded pistol or dummy, of course)?

Tango Juliet said...

So, in other words, you had a good time, Lucky Charms or no?

Angus McThag said...

There's a humorous T-Shirt idea floating in here someplace.

$300 to yell at us while we waste ammo?

Tam, do you think there aren't people who would pay that just to say it'd happened?

Boat Guy said...

A thousand rounds in two days is still a LOT of shooting. Between Bride and I, we took a grand per weapon for each of us to Thunder Ranch (three day classes) and came home with ammo left in each can. It's not like Clint doesn't have people running the gun either. I was shooting a 625 for the first two days and left the line with my hand cramped into a claw at the end of the second.

Anonymous said...

Gun school: "A way to get you to give someone else your money for somthing you do anyway".- So now yer down 600+$ and all you got was printed paper and emty shell brass? Well I guess you must be rich. Hope it was fun.

Tam said...

Anonymous 9:44,

"So now yer down 600+$ and all you got was printed paper and emty shell brass? Well I guess you must be rich. Hope it was fun."

Some of us weren't born with the magical ability to shoot like a rock star encoded in our DNA, and actually have to go learn how to do things from people who know how to do them better than us and have the further ability to pass that knowledge on (not every good shooter is a good teacher.)

Further, some of us actually track our progress to see if our skills at doing certain tasks improve over time, while others are just happy to go turn money into smoke and noise, because that's fun, too.

It's all good.

NAVIGATOR said...


SO HOW DID YOU DO? GET THEM ON THE PAPER?

TACTICAL LUCKY CHARMS (" KIDS BE PREPARED FOR ANY THREAT AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE !") LOVE IT !

SOAK THE THUMBS ALTERNATING COLD AND HOT(NOT AS TO BURN) WATER ADD YOUR FAVORITE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY BY MOUTH
Q4H PRN

ARE YOU AWARE OF THE ORDNANCE/MEDICAL
CONDITION "M-1 THUMB"? CAUSED BY NOT GETTING OUT OF THE WAY QUICK ENOUGH OF THE BOLT OF A GARAND AND A CHUNK OF YOUR THUMB THUS BEING CHAMBERED
NOW THAT IS AN OWIE! FEEL BETTER!

Joel said...

Navigator: There's a button on the left of your keyboard marked "Caps Lock." I know you found it once. Try it again, it does two things.

Woodman said...

Boy, there seem to be an awful lot of crappy butt-hurt people on here the last few days. Did they blow in on the Spam storm?

I'm not crappy, even though I did forget the fun show was this weekend. I spent Sunday teaching my mother and aunt how not to shoot themselves in the foot with a firearm and blew the crap out of a ton of paper while I was at it.

I was going to make up for it by driving up to Nappanneennepppene for the gun show there, but I'm going to another range with my dad and my oldest daughter to try out handguns (The most popular rifle in America) for her CCW she just got, before I even got mine.

Woodman said...

"Navigator: There's a button on the left of your keyboard marked "Caps Lock." I know you found it once. Try it again, it does two things."

I have it on authority that the instructions you just gave don't work for him.

I think he posts via Morse code over an encrypted telegram wire.

rickn8or said...

Before your next convert-money-to-noise adventure: UPLULA.

Your thumbs will thank you. Your elbows, not so much.

Anonymous said...

The UPLULA mag loading tool has saved my thumbs at gun skool and long practice sessions. After I got one and started using it, I wished I had started using one years ago.

Glad you had fun, I have done AFHF twice, going to try for AIm Fast Hit Small and a Pat Rogers class next time they are within reasonable proximity to me.

Corey

Tango Juliet said...

:) I watched a movie once. Now I can shoot like John Wayne.

Firearms training with knowledgeable, experienced folk flattens the learning curve to a large degree. No need to continually back up and unlearn bad habits. There are countless "experts" on the net, but actual knowledge is hard to come by. I think I'll continue to pay out the $$$, get a good foundation, develop good habits and reinforce the proper mindset.

There's no knowing what you don't know.

Bubblehead Les. said...

You know, if you spent just a little more cash (for Food and Lodging), I'm sure you could bring along a "Gunnie Intern" to keep the Mags Loaded, clean them at night, gas up the Zed Drei, yada yada yada. Remember the old Medieval Squires? I'm sure that there might be one or two people out here in the Blogosphere that might be available.

Ted N said...

Love my little LULA loaders too.

And I know Navigator's gadget doesn't do little letters, but every time he posts, I still want to hide. Why's he always yelling at me!?

Woodman said...

That electronic custom is so set into my mind that I sometimes do cringe when I read all caps. Too many MUDs I guess.

og said...

back when I used to shoot a lot, I discovered the shape of my hand did not lend itself well to the shape of a 1911. Beavertail safeties made it worse, and I have scars where the web of my right hand was ripped up. My franken1911 is bobbed hard, so I can shoot it. My hands aren't big enough to get snakebit. This also causes some not inconsequential loss of grip, which is why i can't shoot that 1911 very well for very long.

I've been thinking of trying out a 220 and seeing how well that shoots for me,or maybe even (Gasp) a grock. But I'm a rifle shooter anyway, not a pistol shooter.

global village idiot said...

Les, "Gunnie intern" is by definition a non-paid position - the term you're looking for, I believe, is "Gunwallah."

Navigator asking Tam if she's ever heard of "M1 Thumb" is like me asking Patrick Fitzgerald if he's ever heard of graft.

All this said, I want Tactical Lucky Charms so bad I can taste them!

gvi

Woodman said...

Speaking of gun related injuries. My right shoulder has a nice pink area of burst capillaries today from yesterday's fun. I guess when shooting the Mosin, my 12 gauge, and my dad's new 12 somewhere in there I didn't get a good pocket.

I don't get enough time behind a shotgun so I'm assuming it was my Dad's Savage, since I haven't used a pistol grip before either. I need to get more time on my Winchester too, it's doing something weird so I really need to figure it out.

Tam said...

gvi,

My experience with M1 Thumb: Ouch!

Sport Pilot said...

I’ve spent a fair amount of money on firearms training and don’t begrudge any of it because I’ve always improved or “knocked the rust off”. I do have to agree though that 1K round’s in two day’s is really pushing it and doubt that I could pull it off myself. The UPLULA is indeed a worthwhile addition to a range bag but simply firing 1k round’s itself would trash my hand’s now with the mild to moderate arthritis I’ve developed. You’re a tough cookie Tam and I’m glad you are continuing with your training.

Tam said...

There was a guy in the class running a SIG 229 in .40.

Now, he may not have expended as many rounds as I did because "Okay, no repeat this drill for three magazines," meant 36 rounds for him as opposed to 51 rounds for me, but still...

Eight or nine hundred rounds of .40 through a P229 in a weekend would leave me hurtin'.

Geodkyt said...

You don't eat Tactical Lucky Charms from a bowl. You eat them off a plate -- two plates taped together, actually.

The Duck said...

In most of our classes people seem to start falling off around 300, and really 350 can push them in a days time. We do not do a lot of drills over and over, but we do a lot of different drills, and a lot of movement, I know when we hosted Tom Givens his 2 day Combative Pistol course they ran between 750-800 rounds, and everyone was dragging, but is was extremely hot also

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Tam, you're not using an UPLULA? Save your thumb. If it's a $ issue, just add it to your wish list. I'm sure one of your readers would happily send it your way via that means.

Firehand said...

Agreed on the Uplula loader; lady showed me hers at the range about three years back and I got one. And one for daughter. Damn things are frikkin' wonderful, especially with 13-15 round 9mm mags. Or .40 mags. Hell, I even use it on my single-stack .45 mags.

Frankly, I don't know if my hands would tolerate 1k rounds in two days anymore, but sounds like a hell of a class.

NAVIGATOR said...

DOES TACTICAL LUCKY CHARMS CONE WITH A FLAVOR PACKET OF HOPPES NUMBER 9 ?

Anonymous said...

two plates taped together, actually
Win.
Tape? Actually, they should be the Deadly Dining Israeli Non-Kosher
Food Delivery Co-Witness Multiplier Clamp System. Dark earth or coyote..
...Srsly, everyone needs to have an objective, knowledgeable person watch them manage their piece. We all get rusty and/or drift...

Jeff said...

Seems I'm a bit late to the party but Tam, you've really got to get an UPLULA. Costs about the same as an extra Mag but its soo much more useful. I don't ever want to go back to loading without it.

Joe in PNG said...

NAV- more like CLP.

BGMiller said...

Since it's been suggested and no one else has volunteered I'm going to jump in and call firsties....

I will be your personal mag monkey Tam. I'll even provide my own UPLULA.

All I ask is that I be allowed to borrow Huck for a few hours.

There are some folks I don't much care for but if they turned up shot or stabbed it's look too suspicious. Mauled by compact tiger? No worries.

BGM

ToddG said...

While the rest of you argue about caplocks and magloaders, I think I'll watch HEAT again. Great idea, Tam!

And it was good to see you as always. Looking forward to next year. Train hard & stay safe!

Tam said...

Anon 2:35,

"...Srsly, everyone needs to have an objective, knowledgeable person watch them manage their piece. We all get rusty and/or drift..."

This.

This plus one million. :)

Kristophr said...

But does the school have a tactical kitty laser sight class?

And what color of cat should you train for this?

Are Siamese Cats close enough to Dark Earth / Coyote Brown to be tactical?

Tam said...

Kristophr,

Don't be a 'tard. This was a shooting class, not a ninja class.

NotClauswitz said...

We shot about 180 rounds the first day, and maybe 150 the second, and speaking of, "Get it on paper"??? WTF he made us shoot at HOLES where there WAS NOT any paper, so you couldn't tell if you HIT it or not!!! And he went on and on and we had to LISTEN! OMG - it was a good lesson though and I got a taste of 1911-thumb when I wrong-handing bit on the support hand that I won't soon forget either (self correcting he called it).
Blood everywhere was... actually it only bled a little, and I'm a bleeder anyhow - hydration you know.

The Freeholder said...

NC, those targets with the pre-made holes are called negative targets. I ran into them this summer during a training and really got to love them. Mount them on a large backer if you aren't sure you're hitting the target, so to speak.

Their purpose is the record only misses, and let you see how the misses group. That tells you a lot about your shooting issues. I've seen the "correction target" (http://www.centerfiretraining.com/id15.html) before, but was never able to make sense of my shooting, what with some holes in right place, a few fliers and many holes all over the lower left quadrant. The instructor took one look at the negative target, diagnosed recoil anticipation, and 15 minutes had me roughly doubling my scores.

Worth every penny. I'm stealing his methods to help my daughter prepare for her CCW class.

Ryan said...

"It's like they don't realize there's not some direct correlation between how many times the gun goes *bang* and how much you learn."

If you shoot 3 cases of ammo and aren't doing better than you were beforehand it is just a fun day with sore hands and a lighter wallet.

I think you would have to measure learning against some sort of standard(s). Could be time, accuracy, safe manipulation through tactical movement or whatever. Do it before, maybe during and after to measure the improvement.

Measuring student improvement from a bunch of courses would be interesting for a lot of reasons. One of them would be to see what, if any, relationship there is between round count and skill improvement.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

When I saw the title of this post my first thought was of Mary Tyler Moore in a closet full of walnuts....

I'm sure you youngsters have no idea what I'm talking about. Sigh.

Ed said...

Regularly eating a bowl of Tactical Lucky Charms enables others to consume copper and lead at a much higher rate than you.

Gives new meaning to "sticking to your ribs."

Kristophr said...

Tam: What? You actually shot ammo instead of bragging about shooting ammo?

Gasp. I'll bet Gecko.45 is training his tacti-cat as we speak.

( I've had to limit myself to .22lr again ... can't really afford to shoot the bigger stuff. Working on my Distinguished Pistol NRA rating out here. After the first day of shooting, everyone else decided that a .22lr was a damned good idea ... )


As for the 'tard bit, I'm not sure I am even able to comply ... maybe I can fake it or something?

Anonymous said...

FS 30118 marshmallows?!? Ewwww.

Do UPLULAs come in FS 30118?

And can I get hearing protection for tacti-kitty so I can bring her to gun skool?

Enquiring minds want to know.

BSR

Will said...

Box,
the prerequisites for her to attend is the classes "Surviving the Installation of Feline Hearing Protection", Sections I,II, and III.

Class requirements include the purchase of the "Immobilization and Containment System, Feline, Domestic", in the correct weight range for the registered classmate, along with the support crew required for its proper and safe use.

Proof of medical and liability insurance is required prior to class attendance.

Geodkyt said...

When flying with a registered Feline Destructive Device, do I have to be present when Officer Pedo McGropey opens the "Immobilization and Containment System, Feline, Domestic" to inspect it and insert the red tag?

Or can I stay safely on the other side of a closed door, and just watch through a window?

Windy Wilson said...

Five hundred rounds of 9mm in a day? I was hard pressed to keep up with 200 rounds of 7.5 Swiss per day at the Appleseed I went to. Or maybe hard pressed isn't quite the right word. I was sorely challenged.

Brian said...

"Granted, this would have a learning value somewhere between a game of Counterstrike and watching Heat for the twenty-third time"

So...a lot?

Anonymous said...

Somebody tried to crash the back door a while back. Thankfully, the locks held, but I was too busy to notice. I dove for the tupperware and covered one entrance to the room, and tacti-kitty, bless her ancient soul, got all tacti-sneeky and crept around to check out the other entrance. I was able to watch my entrance and her at the same time. She peaked around the corner and scoped out the hallway but good, and when she relaxed and came back without alerting, I knew everything was okay.

I miss tacti-kitty. :-(

BSR

Anonymous said...

You did great Tam! On the shoot on the move drills you looked like a tactical kitty moving back and forth. I came away with some good info, but was junk by 2:00 on Sunday. Cleaned my 19, showered, grabbed a bag of frozen peas, stuck it in my strong hand and wrapped it with a towel and went to sleep. When you want to pick up the loader stop by the shop. Jimmy

Justthisguy said...

That ain't the best magazine story, Tam. I mind the one by someone who might be on your blogroll (I don't remember, give an old man a break).

It seems she was loading some magazines, and proceeded to slam the first one against her helmet, good and hard, to seat the cartridges in good order. Only problem was, she had forgotten that she wasn't wearing a helmet at the time. Oww! And stagger around the room! And admit to it on the internet!