Monday, August 25, 2008

Blackwater, Day 3

A day late.

Day three is shoot house day on range T7. Each range we were on had the rules front and center, just in case someone forgot.

The shoot houses at Blackwater are true 360° shoot houses. All the exterior walls are AR 500 armor plate. The interior walls are AR 500 plate finished with plywood to give a more realistic appearance. Interior doors were the same hollow wood doors found pretty much anywhere.

The shoot house roof was open and the entire structure is covered by the metal building to provide shade and protection from the elements. This was one of several shoot houses that we saw at Blackwater, and it is the one we used.

Before we did any actual clearing of the shoot house, Todd spent some time on the uses and advantages of using laser grips. Each of our pistols were equipped with Crimson Trace Laser Grips. Using each of the test monkeys bloggers, Todd demonstrated how effective lasers were at pointing out deficiencies in grip, trigger control, stance, sight picture and follow through. Laser grips can be used as an outstanding training aid, and these Crimson Trace grips were easy to use, bright and accurate. At 10+ yards Todd pretty much emptied a magazine into the same hole on a target. Not bad for a Commander sized pistol using frangible ammunition, not bad at all.

Running through the shoot house was our first timed event, and our first actual competition. To add a little pressure, the best shooter was to receive a pair of Crimson Trace Laser Grips of their choice. I really wanted to win V a set of these grips for her Browning Hi Power. It was not to be.

Here's everybody getting ready for the stage.

There were three people in the shoot house while it was hot. The shooter, Todd Jarrett, and the camera man.

Here you can see that the Down Range TV cameraman is happy to still be alive after one of the runs.

So who won the grips? That would be Mr. Robb Allen. He did an outstanding job. We shot two scenarios in the shoot house, Robb took first place in the first stage, and third in the second. I was very pleased in how I did in the first stage. While shooting the second stage, I did not time my mag changes at all and totally missed one target, did not even see it and passed it by.
One of the great things about this weekend was getting to hang out with Dave Hardy, and I think Dave's favorite part of the weekend was the shoot house.

When we finished up with the shoot house, it was time to try out ParaUSA's new AR style rifle, the Tactical Target Rifle. I'll be writing more detailed posts on all of the equipment we used later in the week, let me just mention that this is one heck of a nice rifle. It is pretty much a zero recoil .223, an AR with a folding stock. They are also coming out with a .308 that I am now really looking forward to shooting (don't mention to V that "shooting" is often a euphemism for "purchasing if it's as good as I think it will be").

The Range:

The instructor

And Tam, looks pretty comfortable with an EBR doesn't she?

We had several good rifle folk in the group and the gong was well rung.
Here is Todd shooting a 6 or 8 inch plate at ≈90 yards.

Equally as impressive, and a bit surprising, was the fact that Kerby (the ParaUSA rep) was also able to accomplish the feat.

Our time at the rifle range was almost surreal. While we were shooting the Tactical Target Rifle, the driving range behind us was being used and cars were ramming each other and/or spinning out when they were a little too aggressive in a curve and IED's were going off as they reached the other end of the track. Off to our right we could hear what sounded like a call to prayer followed shortly by machine gun and rifle fire. With the three gun match that was also going on, it seemed a busy Sunday afternoon at Blackwater.


Fits said...

In the first picture...all were good by the way...I couldn't help but notice the blood droplets behind the portly gentleman to the left.

Didn't know the training would be THAT for real. Was wondering if there was any vampire-shooting. Guess not.

John R said...


They asked us not to mention the special night training.

I did leave the tip of a weak hand finger in the magwell of my pistol when running the shoot house. I think I caught it between the base pad of a magazine and the mag well. Didn't even notice until someone saw the blood all over the back of my strong hand well after I was done with the stage.

John Hardin said...

Todd looks like he has Popeye forearms in that last pic. From firmly gripping many pistols over the years?

John R said...

He has ropes for muscles in his forearms, it is impressive to see.