Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gun School?

Yep. Tam's taking another class; Peter Pan may've sung, "I won't grow up, I don't want to got to school," but it turned out he had 1337 combat skilz anyway.

Grownups have to learn 'em, or maybe relearn them, which is why my roommate, with tens of thousands of hours on the firing line, has put herself in the capable hands of Louis Awerbuck. Every little bit more of correct drill you do, every morsel of information from the folks who have Been There and Done That you absorb, the better off you'll be.

One of the basic benefits (and therefore often overlooked) is that any good class will instill and reinforce good gun-handling, a topic that has been much on my mind since I dropped a gun week before last. I'd had a little .32 repaired (a Star, a very pretty example of their 1911-inspired platform; like Tam, I'm fond of .32s but I confine my collecting to Star, Savage pistols and the occasional Astra) and the 'smith had put it in the triangular gun rug upside down to the way I'd sent it. Opened it too casually and down it went, right to the (hardwood) floor.

You might say, "No worries, it's steel and no self-respecting gunsmith would send back a firearm with one in the chamber!" True, but they're only human -- the fellow who fixes my Stars, he may be pushing "superhuman" -- and it is Always Loaded. Oh, it's not like I tried to catch it; one of the Minor Rules but an important one, Never Try To Catch A Dropped Firearm. Nevertheless, I treated a gun about like it was a slab of bread and darned near broke a toe in the process; and I'd've still been lucky if that was the only negative outcome.

The cure for that is more class time; barring that, more time on a range where the other shooters -- or at least the guy(s) in charge -- do not hesitate to call out bad gun-handling. Before you can think about hitting what you are aiming at, you've got to make safe handling skills your default behavior.

Which is a long-winded way of saying I have got to get to the range -- any range -- this weekend! And it's about time I took another actual class; somebody's got to be running a "Handgun 201" refresher.


Anonymous said...

Old axiom I learned from a Chief Petty Officer while still a green boot in the Navy and griping about all the drills: "Amateurs train until they can do it right. Professionals train until they can't do it wrong."

cap'n chumbucket

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Interesting point about not trying to catch a dropped firearm.

Same point applies to a dropped knife-and woe betide you if you succeed and grab it by the blade.

Obvious, of course, but requires a counter-intuitive mental process to dance back, away from it, getting toes / feet out of the way of a falling blade.

Trained chefs usually have mastered that, sometimes from painful experience. Others, not so much.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Remember back in my Scouting Days on what was needed to learn and practice before we got our Toten' Chip, otherwise known as our license to use a blade at Scouting functions. I am still amazed on how people dangerously handle Sharp Edges around one another. And ditto on what the Cap'n said.

Ed Skinner said...

I decided to watch my first Bullseye event rather than shoot.

"Sit behind *that* guy and watch," I was told. "He's a National Champion."

So, dutifully I studied his every move -- and then he shot a hole in the table. Oops!

What I learned is that *anyone* can make a mistake or have a malfunction -- so you better be following the safety rules EVERY time.

Tony Muhlenkamp said...

I agree with you about the need for training. I took a 3 day class with Mr. Awerbuck in June, then a 3 day class with his protege, Randy Cain, in August. Turns out everything I learned in June had disappeared by August, at least judging by my target.