For all the crazy things that happened this year, “2020” may very well be on its way to becoming synonymous with FUBAR, perhaps to the annoyance of optometrists for whom that designation means good vision. Perhaps there’s some irony in that, which I’d like to look (ha ha) back through hindsight’s rear view mirror (in which memories are much larger than they appear).
What’s (Been) Going On?
In the 30 days since I last posted, there’s been the snowballing death, misery, and splash damage from Zee Virus(TM), causing the Governor of Oregon to impose a two week “Freeze” which hopefully drizzled something flame-retardant atop the continuing COVID conflagration (almost said “dumpster fire,” but didn’t… oh, wait).
As we’d been in varying degrees of lockdown mode ourselves, this “Freeze” didn’t have a much of an impact, aside from the PSTC closing for the duration of that time-out. Which was fine; I get it. I kept up with dry fire practice, did a bit of pellet plinking, and occupied myself with learning container-wrangling in the cloud (a.k.a., kubernetes).
The “Freeze” has since thawed into something slushy (while COVID continues its inexorable and relentless slouch, that rough beast!), and I did return to the range last week, but I also wanted to document some of the other live fire practice that happened before all that.
I Saw Three Guns Come Sailing In
This particular outing involved three firearms in the loadout, a couple of .22 plinkers and a 9mm subcompact handgun.
Fantastic Plastic Machine
I think of myself as primarily a pistol person, only because that’s what I practice with most of the time. I did have the opportunity to dust off the S&W M&P 15-22 Sport and put a few rounds through it.
The PSTC indoor range allows for a maximum of 25 yards distance to a target, which perfectly suits my crappy eyesight and rifle marksmanship. Everything that I’d learned at the Appleseed weekend in February required a rifle sling, and without one I’m even worse than crap.
However, that doesn’t mean that poking holes in paper with the 15-22 isn’t fun; au contraire mon frère, it’s a lot of fun. The 15-22 is mostly plastic, probably because (a) the .22LR round doesn’t require the metallic construction of larger rounds (although I was informed that there are polymer lowers for the AR-15 platform, which then leads me to posit that…), b) it’s a lot cheaper to crank out polymer than aluminum for what is basically a practice/learner’s firearm.
It’s said in a lot of other places on Zee Interwebz, but the 15-22 is lightweight, easy to handle, easy to clean, and definitely easier (and cheaper) to shoot than its 5.56mm (and larger) cousins. Two words: ammo shortage. Can’t shoot it if you can’t feed it. Anyway, it was a lot of fun practicing with the 15-22, even if the results weren’t particularly noteworthy.
Going for the One (Hand)
I also practiced a bit of one-handed shooting with the S&W M&P9 Shield which may not have been the optimal choice for such an exercise due to its “snappiness,” but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Here’s a target sheet after it’d been ventilated with the Shield, fired one handed (right) at 7 yards. Not the tightest groups, but better than I thought. The smaller holes are from the 15-22 at 25 and 15 yards. I was cheating like mad by using the magazine as a monopod (not a bipod, nor a tripod, but somewhat like a monobrow… erm, unibrow?) to steady the rifle.
The loose group of holes at the bottom of the target sheet was with the Shield, one handed at 10 yards. The cluster of .22 holes in the #3 target was from a Glock G44 fired one handed (again right) at 7 yards.
Wrapping Up with the G44
And speaking of the G44, I wrapped up the range session with a course of fire at 25 yards.
This isn’t going to win me any bullseye matches, but I do find it good practice to go for the distance, as it makes me focus on all the marksmanship habits that make up an accurate shot.
Anyway, it’s a lot cheaper to throw 30 rounds of .22LR downrange than any other caliber these days.