Defensive Pistol Handling is a Perishable Skill

I missed a few matches since the last one. This was mainly due to prioritizing getting ready for deer hunting season over defensive pistol activities which I don’t regret. But I do regret that I completely put off any dry practice. Needless to say my performance reflected the lack of training.

DateSeptember 28, 2019
Match TypeLocal IDPA Match
Class / DivisionStandard Service Pistol (SSP) / Unclassified (UN)
RangeAustin Rifle Club
HostTexas Tactical
GunSig Sauer P229 Legion
Ammo9mm 115 Grain FMJ Federal American Eagle
Score150.16
Standing5 out of 8

The squad I was on was awesome. Not that I’ve ever had a bad squad experience, but this one stood out. I got to hang out and shoot with a couple of other shooters who were fast and accurate. Compared to me that describes most of the match competitors, but two of the guys in the squad finished first in their respective division. One of those two was in the same division (and class) I competed in. His overall score was about half of mine – meaning he was twice as fast and a lot more accurate.

Overall, I’m happy with my raw time. In fact, my raw time was the lowest (or best) to date. I think part of that was me pushing myself in attempt to keep up with the leaders of the pack. My raw time was down about 10% compared to my previous fastest raw time.

On the other hand, the points down due to shots placed outside of the A-zone (with 0 point deductions) were about 50% higher that the last match and more than double that of my lowest points down match. As I rewatched the GoPro footage, I noticed places where I didn’t mind my shot cadence on targets at increased distances, places where my grip got sloppy, and places I was jerking the trigger.

Looking back, I believe that with the increased speed this match should have yielded my best score to date had I at the very least been diligent about getting dry practice in over the past couple of months. While I suppose the increased pace decreased my accuracy, I think the lack of practice played more of a role in my performance. After all, defensive pistol handling is a perishable skill. Sure it’s kind of like riding a bike, but I definitely felt like my sight alignment and trigger squeezes were a little slower and less refined than they were a couple of months ago. Then again, maybe this is all in my head. Either way, it’s time for me to exercise some training discipline and get ready for the next match.

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Author: Uncle Zo

Just an average Joe who loves to geek out on firearm mechanics and ballistics.

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