I have been keeping rough estimates on the number of rounds I shoot through my guns over the last couple of years. For me I have always been kind of a numbers geek on certain things and this happens to be one of those things. Needless to say I have been logging practice sessions and matches and how many pewpew sounds my gun has made. I finally did the tally for the year beginning October 1, 2015 until today. I have fired approximately 15,112 rounds of PISTOL ammo. That’s right I said pistol, that don’t include the shotgun or rifles that I played with over the course of the year. The vast majority of that was through my Glocks with some through an M&P for work. Needless to say compared to some people my guns have been used this year and those rounds fired must have been worth something. What did they teach me?
I spent last winter dry-firing like crazy and shot a little at the indoor range. Dry-fire is a great tool, but I found I could easily lie to myself at times, and that the truth was revealed when I hit the range causing me to become discouraged. Those rounds taught me humility in shooting. They taught me to see the improvements that were made during dry-fire and how to analyze things more efficiently so I can work on them dry. They showed me that what I was seeing in dry-fire wasn’t the whole picture and that subtle things such as actual recoil could change a lot.
They taught me that my mind is an A**HOLE. This is actually 2 fold. First off, it is plain and simple the human body don’t like explosions going off that close to the organism. It is the bodies natural tendency to protect itself so when we make the gun go bang we have a tendency to flinch. I still do it from time to time but I have worked myself out of it to a point because it becomes a norm. The hard part is consciously recognizing the flinch and learning to feel when you do it. If you don’t learn that it will keep plaguing you because you can’t fix something that you can’t identify. Lets just say there were some ball and dummy drills that took place this past year.
The second reason my mind is an a**hole is it was too cautious. As some people out there know I am a cop and I have been for several years. One of my struggles this year was the training scars of having “perfect” sight alignment and not trusting myself to go fast because “every bullet has a lawyer attached to it.” Now I’m not saying that its OK to just spray bullets everywhere and that we should just throw caution and accuracy to the wind. What I’m saying is it’s OK to miss in practice sometimes. I had to get the cop out of my head and set aside the “perfect” to learn the “acceptable” and to trust my eyes and what I was seeing. I learned to trust what I was seeing and to process it faster. I learned that in most practical applications “perfect” and “acceptable” are almost the same thing, its just how long you wait to process the information provided by your eyes, and how much you trust yourself. Accuracy is still an important aspect and that’s why we train it, but it isn’t everything.
When I shot indoors last year it was focused on my accuracy more than anything. I really started to learn my gun during these sessions. How the sights were tracking, what was “acceptable” to still make my hit at X distance. I was feeling the trigger and what it felt like going straight to the rear and learned what it felt like when I did something that wasn’t right. For me this slower shooting and focusing led to me actually seeing the sights for the first time that I can remember during the shot cycle. I didn’t blink, I saw a muzzle flash and the sights go up and back down onto the target. It was amazing and it was a start of me actually trusting my sights. I still need to be able to read them faster but I can at least see what they are doing. I’ve learned some other stuff this year but I think I’ve rambled on long enough for today. But it does give me a few other ideas to write about.