The Liberal Gun Club offers an instructor program that brings folks up to speed to teach its training curriculum. Since teaching something is the best way to continue learning something, I’ve decided to work on becoming an LGC instructor.
There are a number of pre-requisites to becoming a certified LGC instructor, amongst which is not being a “prohibited person as per 18 U.S.C. § 922,” which is a good thing. I’ve also completed roughly 60 hours of instructor-led firearms training (most of which was at the Clackamas County PSTC), so that ticks the formal training checkbox. A .22 LR handgun? Looks over at the locked storage box containing Glock G44. And a member of the LGC in good standing. Check.
There’s a further requirement: a range qualification!
18 of 20 shots into a 6” target at 15 yards, shot with a handgun from a standing unsupported position, two handed grip. An example target is attached; if you print it out full scale, it is a 6" circle, but any target will do. We are looking for shots into a target, not just a grouping smaller than 6". If you are qualifying for the Firearms Familiarization course, centerfire is required. For the Intro to Range Safety course, rimfire is adequate.
I’m pretty comfortable making 3" groups at 7 yards, so scaling that out to 15 yards should get me reasonably close to 6". With that said, it never hurts to practice, practice, practice.
(Mantis + Laser) x Repeat
I adjusted my usual dry fire routine to simulate the above requirements, which meant aiming at a 2" target from 5 yards. The G-Sight laser training cartridge allowed me to gauge my accuracy, while the Mantis gadget and app kept track of the trigger press.
After a number of days of lather, rinse, repeat, I got to this:
Which I figured was a sign that I was ready to do this “for realz.”
To the Range, Robin!
On a balmy Sunday afternoon I printed out a bunch of the 6" targets, packed up the S&W M&P9 2.0 Compact and the IWI Masada, and got myself situated at a lane at the PSTC.
The 6" target is clipped to the top of the larger target sheet. And it looks pretty darn tiny at that distance. Oh, the smartphone on the tripod is for documentation purposes to illustrate that yes, I did shoot that target myself at that distance. I ain’t that vain.
‘Ere We Go, ‘Ere We Go!
After getting set up, I went for the first attempt with the M&P. That particular pistol has the “pumpkin on a post” sight which I’ve found to be easier to get a comfortable sight picture, especially at 15 yards.
20 out of 20 on target! I’d say the dry fire practice paid off! Ah, but can you do that again?
Again with the M&P. I found myself a tad agog at the trefoil hole in the bullseye.
As noted in a previous post, the Masada has a combat-style sight, which means the front post pretty much obscures the target at 15 yards. Given that I’ve got two passing scores, why not try out the Masada for this challenge?
Definitely not as “on target” as the iterations using the M&P, but good enough to pass, and definitely better than the 15 yard target I shot the other day with this pistol.
I suspect that if I were to get a red dot optic for the Masada, I’d do even better. But that’s for another day.
Holes. Holes Everywhere.
To illustrate the relative target size, here’s a close-up of what I was shooting at.
And three iterations of 20 shots result in the following mess:
Just to not let a large piece of paper go terribly underutilized, I wrapped up the day with 10 rounds at 10 yards with the Masada:
Sloppier than the previous courses of fire, but I’ll keep practicing.
Carnegie Hall, Practice, Practice, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
The TL/DR to what could easily be taken as a self-congratulatory post (which isn’t the intent, truly!) is that lots of dry fire practice helped me get to 6" at 15 yards.