Thursday, June 23, 2011

That Remington 870 & Me - We Still Do That Same Old Magic...

... but oh how my shoulder hurts ever so much more from it now than it ever did when I and the 870 were younger. It hurts because, at the NRA training to day, in Allentown, we fired a lot of shotgun rounds. Mostly it was bird shot and about 20 rounds of buck shot and another 20 slugs in the mix. The first go round that we fired slugs, we fired from 5 from 15 yards and 5 from 25 yards. I had a single hole about the size of the knuckle side of my fist (not including holes from the wads). I looked up and down the line and saw only 2 other shooters out of 30 had even come close to that. Granted, I was shooting slow-fire but so was everyone else and I finished before mos of them. Next time we fired slugs, I had 9 of 10 shots in about a 6" group with one flier about 2" further out. That was for qualification and I fired as fast as I could fire while most of the other shooters fired fairly slowly. My coach for the day told me to slow down but I kept up the pace. That is how I shoot for shotgun quals, as if my life depended on it in a firefight. My group was not as good was my earlier one but my score was perfect 10 out of 10.

Surprisingly 8 of 30 shooters (I am pretty sure of that number) did not qualify on the first go round! At the NRA training to day, in Allentown, we fired a lot of shotgun rounds. Mostly it was bird shot and about 20 rounds of buck shot and another 20 slugs in the mix. The first go round that we fired slugs, we fired from 5 from 15 yards and 5 from 25 yards. I had a single hole about the size of the knuckle side of my fist (not including holes from the wads). I looked up and down the line and saw only 2 other shooters out of 30 had even come close to that. Granted, I was shooting slow-fire but so was everyone else and I finished before mos of them. Next time we fired slugs, I had 9 of 10 shots in about a 6" group with one flier about 2" further out. That was for qualification and I fired as fast as I could fire while most of the other shooters fired fairly slowly. My coach for the day told me to slow down but I kept up the pace. That is how I shoot for shotgun quals, as if my life depended on it in a firefight. My group was not as good was my earlier one but my score was perfect 10 out of 10. As for my pistol qual, it was pretty good but nowhere nearly as good as a couple to a few of the other guys in this class. Still though, when I looked up and down the line at targets, I am guessing I would have been ranked about 4th or 5th out of 30 shooters if they assigned a numeric score.

Surprisingly 8 of 30 shotgun shooters did not qualify today on the first go round for shotgun. I do not know how they did on their 2nd attempts. In addition to that, I heard that 10 of my classmates did not qualify with pistol yesterday on the first go round. A few of them must have qualified on their second chance but there were at least a half dozen of them who stayed after class today to practice for their last chance to qualify tomorrow with pistol.

We all are afforded 3 chances to qualify, to pass the instructor training course, and I am betting everyone will have qualified by tomorrow. It would really stink to attend this class for 5 days and then to be flunked out because of not shooting a high enough score while passing everything else. While the course is an instructor course, and not really about shooting ability, I think the NRA looks at it as: If you cannot maintain a high enough proficiency with firearms and with shooting them then how can you be expected to give instruction in the same. As I said though, I think all will make it. I am pretty sure those who did not yet qualify only messed up because of the jitters and nothing more. That has been a common occurrence in other classes I have taken over the years, it seems a lot of folks get nervous when taking a class like this. Most everyone usually gets over it at crunch time and pulls through. I am hoping it will be likewise for this class because all of the folks in the class are really nice people. As for me, I am done, I qualified with both pistol and shotgun on the first attempt and do not have to try again.

All the best,
Glenn B
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