Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pushing the Envelope...

So I took the little Bodyguard 380 to a mini-class from Chuck Haggard of Agile Training & Consulting at Paul-E-Palooza 3. This was moving into uncharted waters for me and the little pistol, running it from a belt holster like it was a real gun. (Well, mostly. Lacking anything like mag carriers, I was feeding reloads from my jeans pockets.)

The class, listed in the program as "Combative Pistol/Low-Light Pistol", was divided into two two-hour blocks of instruction separated by dinner. The first part stressed robust pistol manipulation skills, and was structured to introduce shooters to drawing from the holster, malfunction clearances, and reloads. Chuck explained everything clearly and laid out the reasoning behind all the techniques he taught.

Sadly, the sky had threatened rain and so I left my cameras secured in the tent, only to be taunted by merciless sun when I actually got down to the range. Therefore I don't have any pictures of the first half of the class. Bad blogger! No cookie!

With a slide stop, usable sights, and a conventional mag release, the BG380 functioned like a smaller version of a real pistol, rather than requiring any exotic manual of arms changes that would have been necessitated by a heel release or lack of a slide stop. The largest difference between it and my regular carry gun was the necessity of running the slide with a two-finger pinch rather than an over-the-top whole-hand grab.

Students readying for the night shoot before being split into two relays.
After dinner, the low light portion of the class began. There were a couple fewer students in the second half, as one-handed pistol shooting while manipulating a flashlight in the other hand is a couple notches up the skill tree from two-handed daylight shooting.

Someone whose name will not be mentioned but who looks exactly like the author of this blog post left her clear glasses in her range bag at home, and consequently shot the night portion while wearing Wiley-X shades. I was offered clear glasses, but kept the sunglasses on as penance for my error. Truthfully, I didn't really suffer that much for it, as the flashlight offered enough illumination to see the target and sights distinctly, despite the tinted lenses.

I used the light I carry in my pocket every day, the 75-lumen LED Lenser P3 AFS, which is not the brightest in the world, but clips in a jeans pocket unobtrusively. (I'm actively looking for a replacement light, but until I find the right one, I'm sticking with what I know.) The tiny light made reloads and other manipulations of the small gun pretty easy, since it's easy to hold on to between a couple fingers without being so bulky you can't do anything else with your hand.

Unless you have ISO 1600 eyes, the range was much darker than this.
 The class covered the Modified FBI Technique for searching and the neck index for shooting, as well as introducing the Harries Technique as a possible option when longer shots might need to be taken.

Still ticking...
The BG380 ran like a top, experiencing no malfunctions of any type. I used 115 rounds of the Fiocchi 95gr FMJ from Lucky Gunner. Props for their sponsorship; go buy BBs from them.

That's 755 rounds in the books with no cleaning or lubrication. There have been three light strikes on primers (#140, #357, #628), but otherwise the pistol has gone through the complete cycle of operation with each pull of the trigger. 1245 rounds to go.