Just returned home from Thursday Night Steel at the Phoenix Rod & Gun club with Exurban Kevin and the Great Satan crew Ms VRWC & The Capitalist Pig.
Steel shooting is more fun than punching holes in paper and even more so when shooting with friends. Tonight was a really good time. The SCQueen came along as well and planned for her to participate as well. There was a holster & magazine carriers and enough bullets for the both of us. But for lack of a belt, her gun stayed in the bag.
The CRO's safety briefing was brief and to the point. We are all experienced shooters and there was no need to drag it out.
I hadn't shot steel in quite a while. In fact while getting dressed, I realized this is the first time I'd used the Fobus paddle holster since purchasing it at the NRA convention last year. It *has* been a while.
We did the stages in reverse order and never had to wait for more than a couple minutes before taking our turn. We all made it through our first stage (alternating circles and squares. one hit on the circles, two on the squares). I did ok until I started to rush and that cost me.
Second stage not so much. The stage was three plate racks from three boxes (each squarely in front of the respective rack). Click here for a picture of the stage. Kevin decided it was a good time to practice MALF drills. Then I developed a flinch and wasted a lot of rounds. My plan called for cleaning the first two racks on one magazine (17 round magazine. 12 hits, allowing 5 misses) then switch to a second magazine enroute to the last box. Wrong! I swapped magazines on each transition and ran to slide lock at the end of the 2nd rack.
Third stage had 6 targets, one hit each, from each of three shooting positions. No memorable problems there or on the last stage (five torso targets, one hit each from four shooting boxes placed in a line one ahead of the other.
In all, the stages required (at least for me) careful aim and concentrating on a good grip and trigger squeeze. Carelessness was NOT rewarded. Also there is something about the running timer that adds stress to the situation. We have seen shooters run fine on the normal range but have MALF after MALF once the clock is running. I also decided I don't like the PT-92 grips. They felt "prickly" when I shouldn't even notice them. I'll be shopping for some Hogue's this week.
Shooting Steel, especially at the informal end, is a much more social game than shooting at the range or rifle competitions. It is much more fun like a round of golf and go as a "foursome". There is time to talk while reloading magazines and waiting to take the stage. We all look at the stage and plan our attack.
Anyway you slice it, it's great fun and a really good excuse to disassemble 100 rounds or so [so we can reload them later of course]. Yea it was "warm" (111F on the drugstore thermometer just down the road), but we had a bit of cloud cover and enough wind to keep the personal evap cooler* working.
Same time next week? And we'll take the action item to get the SCQueen a belt so she can play too.
* personal evap cooler = sweating like a pig. The dry air evaporates the water, and latent heat of evaporation takes heat from the skin. It works, but best to pre-hydrate before heading out and keep the water bottle close at hand.