Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun on the Range and Family Life

Saturdays are a busy day in our lives. Both girls do Little Athletics which starts early. You have to be there for an 8am start and as we live 25mins away it's often challenging getting everybody up and ready for it!

While I think Little Athletics is great for the kids we're not too stressed about it, so when my youngest had a birthday party also on Saturday morning we let her leave Little Athletics and go to it.

This week the programming was a bit strange and after my eldest sitting around waiting for her first event for an hour and a half (all other age groups had been called) I went and had a talk to the club manager - who spoke to the co-orindators and it seemed that they had forgotten to program that age group! Anyway she got called for an event shortly afterwards.

My husband took my youngest to the birthday party at 10 and then came back to the oval. By 11.45am my eldest had only done three events - one of which was the 70m where she came 2nd (which for her is great!).

My husband needed to pick up my youngest around 12 and I needed to leave by then also to get to the range in time for the trainees. We heard the co-ordinators say that they thought the program would run for another hour and half at least so I asked my eldest if she minded missing her last two events (100m and discus) and to come up the range with me. She was okay with that so we went home, got all the equipment and headed for the range.

This week I had four trainees. Two were on week 3 of the training course, one other on week 5 but we've not seen him at the course for a month or so and the other on week 4. Of the four one of them was a women. It's great to have women in the training course. This week we had two - I had one in my group and the Chief Instructor had one in his (he also had seven other students - four newbies and four on week 2 of the course).

Basically, the training course is nominally 12 weeks. During which time we cover a number of competencies. We run this course however on a rotating basis and base the actual topics we cover on the people that turn up for the day. Therefore until the students arrive we never know exactly what we are going to do or what equipment we need.

Once I knew which students I had, I decided to focus the session on starting and shooting positions. We had done some the week before (mainly loaded and holstered starts), so we reviewed those first and then moved onto the unloaded starts; starts where you retrieve gun from a prop; and then kneeling / sitting and prone starts.

We had practiced the "facing up range" starts the previous weeks too but as one of the students hadn't done these before we reviewed these again starting both loaded and unloaded.

The "going prone" position is always the least favourite amongst the students but as I said to them, at least it wasn't raining and I did put down a plastic mat over the gravel!

During the course my husband arrived to pick my eldest up and she was not happy. She had been sitting on the range watching the trainees and didn't want to leave. I had a quick chat with her and after promising her that we could come up on Sunday and she could shoot then she was okay about going.

We used about 65 rounds on the training range before moving to the competition stages for a practice. Five stages had been set up for the shoot and there were two squads shooting. The other group of trainees had already moved onto a stage as well.

The two free stages were only stand and shoot stages rather than a stage which involved movement. We had done this type of stage the week prior and I particularly wanted a stage where the trainees had to move about and do mag changes, so we decided to wait until the other group of trainees had finished with their stage.

While we were waiting I suggested to the trainees that they started to plan their shoot. There were 13 paper targets and 4 poppers (two small, two large) on the stage with five different shooting positions. Each of the trainees had four magazines and only 35 rounds. As our mags are 10 round mags I suggested that they share the bullets around their mags so they can time their mag changes to their advantage.

I was really pleased with how they shot the stage. All of them had planned their mag changes well (do them while moving rather than static) and apart from one student who had troubles with the poppers no one shot the gun dry at any time.

I did have to pull two of the students up on having their finger on the trigger while moving or doing a mag change but that was it. Muzzle direction was good and they coped well with moving backwards and doing mag changes while moving both left to right and right to left (skills we had practiced the week before).

Great fun was had by all but as we had waited for the other group of trainees to finish we didn't get off the range until after 5.30pm. By which time the cold beer in the clubhouse was looking very good.

On Sunday I took my daughters up to the range to have a go with my friend's air pistol and the 22 winchester. Both shot really well and had a great time. I was really impressed at how patient they are about lining up a good shot before pulling the trigger. I didn't get any photos this time as my new camera died last week :( and I am waiting on a replacement (it was still under warranty).

After the shooting and a hot dog at the club house we came home and my eldest had an assignment to finish.

1 comment:

Ride Fast said...

Isn't it great when a full, busy day includes some range time? Even training others counts (for me) as shooting goodness.