Last night I was able to go to one of our local ranges that offers a Gun & Run match either in pistol or rifle depending on the week.
It was Long Gun Day so I took my Ruger PC 9 which I have shot, but not run under stress (for me and the gun) in order to see how truly bad and rusty I was (been over a decade since I did any “tactical” rifle) and also to see if the gun and gear are truly reliable. The results were both expected and perplexing.
First, sweet Jesus, I am not only old’er’ but with a brain that deluded itself to think I was a much younger and more trained person. On the first stage, my brain and my body were having a spat: while the Gray Matter was shouting “faster! faster!” my Knees and Back were “Would you shut the eff up? This is as good as it gets unless you want to facepalm.” And this is after losing all the weight and doing gym for almost 2 years. It makes me shudder to think about how worse I would be otherwise.
Now, to the stupid part. One of the lessons of participating in a match is that you are forced to run a course of fire you did not design and therefore not an exercise you subconsciously choose because you are good at it. Enter hubris: The first stage I shot unsupported while I should had known better. I mean, not even a hasty-hasty with the sling as told in Appleseed Project,I just went Hollywood Stupid and the paper showed it. It was my worst and horrifyingly bad, bottom of the barrel score and so bad I ended the worse shooter overall because of it. Lesson learned and for the next two stages I did use the sling properly and was reflected on paper again: I went for the depths of scoring Hades to somewhere below the middle of the pack on each stage.
On the gun & gear side, I had two double feeds out of otherwise reliable and accurate gun. I was slow in recovering at first because it has been so long it took me a too long moment to recall the clearing procedure. Good news, the PC9 is just a joy to have to recover from a double feed. Half the back of my brain is pestering me about the issue being the fault of one of the Magpul Glock 27 rounders while the other pessimistic half is arguing that maybe 27 rounders are not simply too reliable for this gun. I did run the last stage with a Magpul 15 rounder and not a hiccup. I guess I will have to start burning ammo trying to duplicate the malfunction and find a cure, but I did segregate the possibly offending magazine just in case.
Speaking of magazines, by watching other shooters I found out that AR mags, no matter the maker, are not too happy about landing on hard surfaces. Some lost ammo and others had ammo halfway out and one particular magazine which caught one round on the rim by the mag lips and pointing at a 90ish-degree angle (See the re-enacting pic below). Lesson learned: Be nice to your AR Mags.
And the best part of the match was that I got to shoot among fellow shooters and had fun at it. Even with the issues, I left the range with a smile on my face and even got home before sundown fully relaxed.
I call it Ballistic Therapy and it indeed works.
PS: Murfreesboro desperately need an outdoor range.
PS2: I did double up on ear pro. I don’t have a lot of hearing left, but I would like to keep what I got.