Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Quarterly Qualifications

It was a warm day for one in the beginning of February today, at least by New York City standards, warm and damp, and even sometime wet. The steel gray clouds held low and promised rain, and every now and again they obliged that promise today, and the rains fell. Mostly gentle drizzle, sometimes a bit harder, up to a steady rain, but nothing to severe. Then back to being just damp again. That was okay by me, it had my spirits pretty high because I had to go to the range today for quarterly qualifications and the range is an outdoor one. With great timing, great for us shooters, the skies held back their tears as we left our training in the classroom and headed outside to shoot. So it turned out to be damp and warm, at least for a February qual. Warm meaning about in the low to mid 50s; and you can bet, that was good.

What wasn't so good though was my first score on the pistol course of fire. I have not shot as poorly as that in at least 24 years , and I mean that literally. When my range officer got done scoring it, he looked at it again, and asked me: "Where were you?" Where was I indeed to have scored a 220 out of a possible 250. I don't know, though I can think of some excuses, but excuses don't make one shoot better, or do they. I figured on what to do to improve by examining those excuses and a couple of other possible variables, and I then shot a 241 out of 250 on the second go round. Now that is none to great either. I have been known to shoot my fair share of perfect scores, but not that much in the last couple of years. That drop in score from the mid to high 240s, from scores in the mid to low 240s, which is what I usually shoot lately, is probably due to the eyesight not being what it once was. Oh well, that I can live with. A 220 score though, that is a tough one to live down for me, but I guess we can all have our off moments - better those off moments come at the range than in a gunfight.

As for shotgun, a perfect score. As to the MP-5 Submachine gun, I shot a 243 out of 250, which was good enough to satisfy me. Had I not turned around my pistol score though on that second go round, I would have been heartily disappointed for the rest of the day, maybe the rest of the week. I still cannot believe I shot a low score like a 220, very disappointing indeed. Still though it was uplifting to have brought up my score the second time around; so I guess I left the range a happy camper, qualified for another quarter, and with some extra ammo for practice. I'll be pretty sure to be shooting the practice ammo in the near future, I don’t want another 220 next time. As for the clouds, they remained friendly, the air remained crisp (or warm depending on how you look at it for February), and all in all it made for a great day at the range. Yes you can even shoot poorly and still have a great day at the range. Like fishing, a bad day shooting is better than a great day in the office; and this while not my best of days at the range, was far from a bad one.

All the best,
Glenn B