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The Classics Never Go Out Of Style

The Classics Never Go Out of Style

I’m taking a class right after the turn of the new year, and for various reasons that will be made clear later, I’ll be shooting it with my 1911, and not my usual Glock 19 w/ dot.

This, of course, meant that I needed to get up to speed once again on the 1911. The last time I shot this gun was almost two years ago at Gunsite, and it showed. Trigger-wise, I was spot-on. When it came to manipulating the gun, however…

But we’re getting ahead fo ourselves. My 1911 is a dead-stock Colt Competition model in 45 ACP. It’s been a great gun, reliable and pretty much everything you’d want in a gun meant for Single Stack. My original intention with this gun was to shoot USPSA with it rather than use it as as carry gun, so I don’t have a carry holster for it. However, the class I’m taking will involve drawing from concealment, so I went and got a pancake-style Kydex holster from Bravo Concealment. Yes, I know, tradition dictates that I use leather, but for me, the juice of leather just ain’t worth the squeeze of good looks.

I’ve been doing dry-fire with this gun to get used to OWB and open-front concealment, and decided to check on my progress and shoot my usual 50 round practice regimen, which consists of a reduced round count Federal Air Marshal Qual and a 25 round Dot Torture.

And if I’m honest, I did better than I expected. I shot the FAM drill as I usually do, using a USPSA scoring and metric target. Here’s the drill and my results.

Abbreviated Federal Air Marshal Qualifier

16 rounds, two targets, seven yards
All stages must be completed in the allotted time in order to pass.
Maximum score on this shorter qualifier is 80 points, with a minimum passing score of 72. 

Drill 1 (2 Rounds)

  • From concealment, hands at sides
  • Draw and fire one round
  • Repeat

Time: 3.3 seconds total, 1.65 second average per shot.
My results: 1.74 secs, 1.63 secs, AC. 
I missed passing this by 0.1 secs, which I will take, considering that’s based on one week’s worth of dry fire.

Drill 2 (6 Rounds)

  • From low ready
  • Raise gun and fire six rounds

Time: 3 seconds total.
My Results: 
2.67 secs, 6A. Shooting Bill Drills with a 1911 is an absolute joy. The trigger is light and short, and I find the recoil of a 45 in a 1911 to feel about the same as a 9mm Glock.

Drill 3 (4 Rounds)

  • From low ready
  • Fire one shot, reload, fire second shot
  • Repeat

Time: 6.5 seconds total, 3.25 second average per string. My Results: 4.09 secs, 3.74 secs, 4A. Yeah, not surprised. I haven’t practiced reloads from concealment at all during dry fire, so guess what, it turns out I suck at them. Go figure. 

Drill 4 (4 Rounds)

  • Set up two targets, 3 yards apart
  • From low ready
  • Raise gun and fire one shot into each target
  • Repeat

Time: 3.30 seconds, 1.65 second average per string.

My Results:1.37 secs, 1.47 secs, 2A 2C. I keep having issues with transitions. I either shoot before the muzzle crosses the A zone or I shoot after it’s past. More work is needed here. 

Final Result: Passed on accuracy, failed on speed. But at least I know what to work on.

25 Round Dot Torture (3 Yards)

I purposefully shot this a little faster than I normally do, and the target shows it. I still need work with grip and trigger during one-handed shooting, but other than that, I’m very pleased with these results, considering this was after just a few days of dry fire to get re-acquainted with the 1911.

After the class is done, I’ll be using that 1911 as my daily carry, so to get used to this idea, I spent a day carrying it in that OWB holster. And you know what, it was rather comfortable. Yes, it was heavy, but it’s also skinny compared to my Glock 19, and skinny counts for a lot in a carry gun. The heaviness didn’t bother me all that much because a) I have a good gun belt (a Blade-Tech with the NextBelt ratchet system and b) I balanced out the gun with a spare mag on the other hip. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m hesitant to explain in court why my gun says “Competition” on the side of it, I’d carry the 1911 on a regular basis.

Gonna be an interesting class. Stay tuned.