Last Saturday I spent the day at the TigerSwan Training Collaboration Center with several other gun bloggers from North Carolina.
We started with introductions and the requisite safety instructions. Our instructor was Brian Searcy, a 23 year Army Special Operations veteran and past member of Delta Force as that unit's Operations Sergeant Major.
Attending as students were Paul of Arms are the Mark of a Free Man, Sean of An NC Gun Blog, Larry of Last Refuge of a Scoundrel, George of Newbie Shooter, and John of No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money and a few other folks that helped fill in the minimum number for the class.
Brian started us out at 25 meters and those targets looked pretty far away!
TigerSwan's basic pistol instruction centers on perfect execution of basic skills. The quote from the TigerSwan website is:
There is no such thing as "advanced tactical skills" - there is only perfect execution of the fundamentals under stress.
To this end we started with the most basic elements and added an element at each step. Stance, grip, presentation, sight picture, trigger control, sight alignment...as we progressed from stage to stage Brian kept adding more elements. At some point during the "Ball and Dummy" drill something clicked and I started regularly hitting inside the 9 ring. At 25 meters.
If you had suggested that when we first started I would have laughed.
For me the key seemed to be mostly grip. TigerSwan teaches a grip that pushes the thumb of the support hand WAY forward ...
... relaxes the gun hand to something like a firm handshake, and requires the support hand to then grip the gun with as much force as necessary to get control of recoil. They eschew the concept double taps (which is something that I've been having considerable problems with) and instead focus on putting two aimed shots on target. In fact, that's the primary skill that the Intro Pistol course strives to teach. While some other fundamentals were presented, the "two aimed shots" was the primary focus. The additional skills were working tools to get to that goal. Granted, it took 473 rounds for me to get there, but get there I did.
The following Tuesday I ran another 100 rounds through my STI Spartan at my weekly range trip. I'm not as fast or as accurate as I want to be but I'm much faster and more accurate than I was and I can see the places where I need to practice. My shortcomings are not instinctively using the forward grip and not following through after each shot. I'm afraid I've developed some bad habits while working on speed for the Ruger Steel Challenge - Rimfire competitions, like coming off the target too soon. Both of these are a matter of correct practice and I'll be doing that every week.
I plan on taking this course again in the spring and dragging Mrs. Knitebane along too. The 1-Day Introductory Pistol Course at TigerSwan is an excellent place to start.
UPDATE: Looks like the last update to my chosen theme broke comments. Let's try this new one on for size.
Having some technical difficulties with the old theme so I've reverted to the default one while I figure it out.
I big apology to anyone that has tried to comment in the past few (days? weeks? I dunno.)
But I won't have to play hooky to go to this school.
I'll be doing things like this:
I'll post an after action report when I get back.
My emailed response to Chairman Mims:
In light of your disparaging public comments concerning bloggers during the working group such a dismissive response is not entirely unexpected but still one generally sees more civil behavior in a public servant. I find it regrettable that you should take such a tone with a constituent. As a veteran I find such behavior distasteful. As a tax payer I find it offensive.
What I'm seeing here is that you intend to pass something that restricts shooting no matter what. The presence of the chairman of the county commissioners as chair of the working group and even the name of the ordinance both smack of ideology-driven politics. Perhaps that is not actually the case, but often perception IS reality.
As commissioner from District 7, the vast majority of your direct constituents all live in incorporated areas, yet you are driving the agenda that will mostly effect the residents of the rural areas of the county.
Calling the law on a neighbor and threatening them with jail time is not how I act toward my neighbors when I have a dispute, yet this so-called "Good Neighbor" ordinance will provide for just that.
These acts are unfortunate and I'm disappointed that it appears that agenda is going to trump reason. The tone of your comments towards people that you purport to represent lends itself away from this merely being a perception problem.
I urge you to reconsider both your attitude toward your constituents and your drive to pass an ordinance which reaches beyond the actual protection of the residents of the county and reaches into infringement of the rights of the other residents.
In the final analysis, my opinion and your opinion won't matter. What will matter is the opinion of the judge that hears the arguments against this ordinance.
And I can assure you, Mr. Mims, if you go forward with passing a ban on shooting in Johnston County it will end up in front of a judge.
Please scale this proposal back to only being against negligence and noise and everyone will come out a winner. Go beyond that and many of your constituents will object loudly and they will fight an over-reaching government action in the courts.
In today's difficult financial times, Johnston County does not need to be involved in expensive legal issues. Likewise, my money and the money of those that will likely back a suit against an overly broad ordinance can be better spent elsewhere. I would rather see that money be used in places with much more onerous restrictions, but that's not within my power to decide.
You, Mr. Mims, as chairman of the county commissioners and as chair of the working group, have the authority to make this stop now. I urge you to do so.
Thank you for your time.
CC: my wife, Mr. Carver who graciously took time to meet with me and, of course, all the evil bloggers.
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