If One Can Operate a Pistol, then One Can Operate Any Pistol… Right?

In many ways, shooting a pistol is like driving a car. So, yeah. Sure. If one can shoot a pistol then can shoot any pistol. However that doesn’t mean that if one can shoot one pistol well, then one can shoot any pistol well. Ever rented a car? One that was a very different size than the one that is driven every day? That’s what I’m talking about.

DateOctober 20, 2019
Match TypeLocal IDPA Match
Class / DivisionCustom Defensive Pistol (CDP) / Unclassified (UN)
RangeAustin Rifle Club
HostTexas Tactical
GunSig Sauer 1911 Emperor Scorpion
Ammo.45 ACP 230 Grain FMJ Magtech
Score220.78
StandingOverall: 35 out of 39
Division: 2 out of 2
Division & Class: 1 out of 1

I’ve mentioned that I don’t carry the same gun every day. Sometimes, I change things up. As such, I’ve generally attempted to maintain the ratio of trigger and practice time with each of the guns I carry equal the ratio of frequency I find myself carrying each of them. That logic led me to decide to run the 1911 in an IDPA match. It was time to bring it into rotation and get some trigger time with it under a little bit of competitive pressure. That and it’s the 1911 is a fun gun to shoot and I wanted to shoot it. So I did.

The results were eye opening to say the least. In terms of personal performance, this match was in my top 3 worst match performances. I should have anticipated that. I mean, I knew my score would be worse my typical score with the P229 (which gets the most trigger time, dry practice time, and competition time). But, I didn’t expect it to be that bad.

So what happened? A number of things.

  1. I forgot to disengage the thumb safety a couple of times which lead to a slow start.
  2. I got a bad grip on a draw which led to a bit of time lost while I struggled with the grip safety.
  3. The sights (which are Sig’s night sights) were more difficult to acquire without the big green dot on the front sight of the P229 (which was Sig’s X-Ray sights) this added tiny fractions of a second to every shot (and may have been part of the reason for the high number of points down).
  4. It takes me more time to recover from the recoil of the .45 ACP rounds in the 1911 than the recoil from the 9mm rounds in the P229, this difference in recoil management also added tiny fractions of a second to every follow up shot.
  5. I’ve gotten used to the 10 round limit in the SSP division. This meant slower reloads as it took longer for me to realize that the gun was empty as I found myself counting to 10 out of habit.

What does this all mean? Well, it means that difference in my ability to run the P229 in 9mm and the 1911 in .45 ACP is much greater than I believed it was. As a result, I think I will avoid carrying the 1911 for defensive purposes until I can improve my abilities with it. This means I need to put in much more trigger, dry practice, and competition time that I have previously put into it. On the other hand, I don’t want to reduce the amount of trigger, dry practice, and competition time I dedicate to the P229 as I still want to improve my defensive skills with it.

More than likely, it means the 1911 will spend more time in the safe as a safe queen and range gun than on my person as defensive carry tool for the time being. I’ll still take it out and shoot it. I also had so much fun shooting it during an IDPA match that I may still run it once every 10 matches or so. I doubt that will be enough to increase my skill level any time soon, but it should be enough to maintain it and have fun in the process.

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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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