Matches and good classes are really the best place to test out your gun. Once you’ve established that a pistol is reliable enough for a match or a class, take it to an actual event and shoot it at speed. You’ll learn stuff about the gun that can’t be revealed in dry fire or single lane training. As an example, in this USPSA video featuring the VP9 is that at speed, even with a solid grip, the gun tends to have a lot of muzzle flip. It’s nothing that can’t be controlled, but at the same time it was a lot more bounce than I expected from a 9mm. It actually flips the muzzle more than my .45 ACP 1911, which is odd.
So take your guns to a class or a match. You might be surprised what it tells you.
Nice match and nice thoughts. Competitions are great places to test your pistol, your gear, and your technique. It has seemed odd to me that so many tactical types avoid competition.
Brian Searcy (Delta, Tigerswan) provided his thoughts on this in the May 2009 SWAT magazine (page 76). He said that the closest thing to combat was competitive shooting. He added, and these are his words, that most people who dismiss competition shooting “use tactics as an excuse for poor marksmanship.” Harsh stuff. Then again, what operator would want to get beaten by some gamers running around in colorful, odd gear? The whole piece is worth the read though.
People who know me know that I advocate USPSA. It’s an arena in which one can improvise more than on the typical indoor range. I am not alone though. Travis Haley competed in USPSA. So did Larry Vickers. The former won his division in the 2007 Aloha State Games. The latter won Limited in the 1995 Tennessee USPSA Championship.
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