Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Double post...

Since I wrote out a big ol' AAR of the class I took here the weekend before last, I may as well cross-post it here, too...
AAR: AFHF Indianapolis, October 20-21, 2012
This fall's AFHF was my third class with Todd here in Indy.

My goal was to... well, mostly it was to not be Todd's "Special Needs" pupil again. Learning something would be awesome, too.

Class got off to a prompt start on Saturday morning, and the initial round of shooting tests was reassuring. (I'm sure I'm not the only person who, during the opening strings of fire in a class with strangers, is surreptitiously glancing around to see if That Guy has enrolled in this class.)

My first FAST drill of the day, although painfully slow, was shot clean and only a half-second off my best time with a 1911 back in 2010. Considering that I'd only been using the M&P for a little over a year now, this was encouraging.

Due to a couple of late cancellations, the class was fairly small, which meant that students benefited from a little more one-on-one instruction than is normally possible. The smaller class turned out to have an added benefit in that Todd was dealing with a bout of laryngitis, so thank goodness for not having to shout to be heard by the students in the back rows...

Todd remarked on how much my shooting had improved since last time, saying that it was obvious that I'd been practicing, and then proceeded to show me all the jillion and one bad habits I had that were keeping me painfully slow, such as reaching for the gun at a pace that could be measured with a sundial and a reload technique that was almost, but not entirely, exactly unlike what I should have been doing, even if we didn't take into account trying to stuff a handful of my cover garment into the gun as well.

No Chili's at the end of Day One, in the interest of Todd having some vocal cords left for TD2.

TD2 started out cool, and we did Dot Torture and worked on low-percentage targets in the morning; with the air temp in the high forties and low fifties, I was feeling pretty clever about my choice of thermal underwear. After lunch the temp crawled into the low seventies and we started doing SOTM stuff, and suddenly I didn't feel so bright anymore.

All in all, I was very pleased with the class and came away feeling pretty good about my progress. Last year I was having so many problems just hitting the target with what was, at the time, an unfamiliar pistol that I was unable to make use of a lot of the instruction I was receiving. This year I was upset when I missed, rather than surprised when I hit, and that allowed me to concentrate more on minutiae like reload technique and suchlike.

We closed out the weekend by going to Longhorn steak house which was a Totally Awesome Idea and whoever suggested it was a flippin' genius. And modest, too.

(Not to clutter up a software type post with gun nerd hardware-type stuff, but I truly believe I owe a lot of my shooting improvement to having a front sight that I can find rapidly, in this case, an orange Ameriglo I-Dot Pro. Recommend. Also, I disrecommend my holster, a Blade-Tech OWB with the most infuriating adjustable one-size-fits-most belt loop thing in Christendom. Further, the Amish dude that made my belt and the people at Blade-Tech have different opinions on what constitutes 'an inch and a half'...)

Apologies for any errors in this AAR, as I ain't much on fancy book larnin'. Thanks to JohnN for hosting the class and Todd for coming out and helping make me a better shooter.


Firehand said...

Those look like really nice sights; and they'd beat hell out of the three-dot type.

Murphy's Law said...

You know what they say: If you can't spot That's you. Been there!

Keads said...

Just let me know the next time you go to GunSkool. If I show up you have been relived of "That Guy" duty.

Scott J said...

Thanks for the tip on the sights. That tritium/orange outline with plain black rear for $79 looks like just the ticket for my XD-9

Will said...

Any specific reason for using an OWB holster for this class, when I believe you carry in an IWB?

BTDT, which was when I discovered that my OWB holster had a slightly different vertical angle from my IWB. This lead to the occasional refusal to move at the start of the draw, which is heart-stopping. (Probably aggravated by switching from a 1911 type to my backup backup, a Glock, with the very different grip angle.)

IIRC, your cover garment is a flannel shirt? Have you considered adding some lead weight to the bottom hem to help get it out of the way when you draw?

Maybe consider adding extra holsters (and belts) to your range gear for school use.

(First class I took, I loaned a gun belt to someone who was using a dress belt. We felt safer without him fighting to get his gun out of that rig.)

Will said...

Have you tried taking a class shooting left-handed? It would be interesting to see how you compare.

Anonymous said...

Which rear sight did you pair the orange front with?


Tom the Impaler said...

The truly burning question is; Did you get to dine in Chinatown as recommended while you were here?

Tam said...


"Any specific reason for using an OWB holster for this class, when I believe you carry in an IWB?"

I wanted to shoot the M&P, but I didn't have an IWB holster for the M&P with attached Lightguard until one arrived from Dark Star Gear yesterday. My day-to-day IWB carry gun for the last few months has been a Glock 19 because of this.


"Which rear sight did you pair the orange front with?"

I used this sight set:

Tom the Impaler,

"The truly burning question is; Did you get to dine in Chinatown as recommended while you were here?"

The class was here in Indy. I just mentioned the OK one on the blog because Todd had some last minute empty seats and I was feeling evangelical. ;)

Dave said...

I hear you on the BladeTech loop "adjustments". The holsters are a great value, but changing the loop width once is plenty for me, thanks.

Scott J said...

Oh and I'll add that how I spend the next $79 of my gun budget depends on how the election goes.

Already planning to pick up a new 870 Express in a 4473 purchase on 11/6 for symbolic reasons. I encourage anyone thinking about making a purchase requiring use of the instant check system to do it on election day no matter who wins just to create a symbolic statistical spike.

But back to the sights: if the bamster wins that $79 will be earmarked instead toward a barrel for an M4gery.

Tom the Impaler said...

well, damn, need to get into OKC so I can shmooze a celebrity.