The Big Orange

At the 2700 last Sunday, I discovered an irresistable stimulus / response; when the dot slows its wobble inside the 10 ring, my conscious brain yells, “Now!” And as any Bullseye shooter will tell you, that’s almost guaranteed to be a jerked shot, low and left for right-handed shooters like myself, or low and right for lefties.

For the several months preceeding, I shot nothing but iron sights to try and break the “jerk” habit and, by keeping my eye focused on the front sight, the resultant blurring of the target “way out there” kept me from knowing exactly where the gun was aimed and, consequently, I could often get a smooth trigger release.

I thought the “jerk” was mostly cured and decided to resume shooting with the dot but, within a couple of hundred rounds, it was back.

So, last night at Nighthawks, I tried something suggested by John Zurek.

He said to make the dot huge, to cover up the black completely so I won’t know exactly where it’s aimed. No stimulus, no response. I would then be able to smoothly move the trigger straight back until the shot breaks.

So I tried it and it seems to be working. I cranked the dot all the way up so it was a huge orange ball. It obliterated the black on the target. Although I could sort of tell I was close to the center of the target, it was impossible to know when it was exactly there. All I knew was, “it’s close.”

I would start the trigger as the giant orange ball mostly covered the black and just let it keep going. And I had some nice releases. I was able to call many shots very accurately, and I also knew most of them were not “jerks.”

Good.

But fatigue plays a huge part in this as well. If I don’t rest my grip after a couple of Slow Fire shots (or maybe after every Slow Fire shot?), everything goes to pot. And while I can make it through the five shot strings in Timed and Rapid Fire without completely losing it, by the end of a full 2700, things are tenuous at best.

Today, Wednesday, I drove to LA for work. It’s a seven hour drive from door to door and, for the last two hours of the drive, I got to practice my 1911 vice-grip on the steering wheel in LA traffic.

Posted speed limits on the LA freeways were 65 but no one, I mean NO ONE, not even the cop who, with lights flashing, roared up behind me before swerving around my left and rocketing west on 91, went that slow. Indeed I was going 80 in the right-hand lane to avoid being rear-ended.

That’s fast!

By the time we — the wife is along for the trip — reached the hotel near the marina in Redondo Beach, my right hand was well exercised and tired.

Thank you for the help with my 1911, Los Angeles!

P.S. – News reports say that gun sales have skyrocketed since Barack Obama was elected President. Who would’ve thought gun stores would reap a reward from his election? (Hopefully this right will remain open.)

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