I’m going into the last week of my six-week teaching sabbatical, and in between writing assignments and such I tried to live up to my New Year’s resolution to get some trigger time for myself.  Several hundred rounds went downrange in high speed drills.

Glock 19 Gen5 proves shootable for really old guy in IDPA match. Spent 9mm case has just left ejection port, muzzle still on target for next shot, as range officer in foreground holds timer.

It seems to have been helpful. The second weekend of the year I was able to shoot a couple of matches, which my schedule has kept few and far between and will again this year.  At the Little River Gun Club’s Tier One IDPA match  in Valdosta, GA (International Defensive Pistol Association, www.idpa.com) I managed to get through the ten stages in unseasonably cold weather and win CCP division, and also come in first place Distinguished Senior (translation: “least slow REALLY old fart”), and place second for most accurate shooter.  CCP stands for Concealed Carry Pistol, requiring the sort of compact guns most folks actually carry concealed in public. I used a Gen5 Glock 19 9mm, which I like very much.  I think these new Gen5s have the best “street triggers” Glock has put on their popular defensive handguns yet.

Itty-bitty Glock 42 kept all its itty-bitty .380 bullets inside the X-ring of close range target (left) and inside the 10-ring of the longer range target, right. Sights are geezer-friendly AmeriGlo.

The following day the Evil Princess and I were able to shoot an indoor league Glock Sport Shooting Foundation match (www.gssfonline.com) at the Tallahassee Indoor Shooting Range. The shooter’s mark is a single D-1 target, 50 fixed-time shots with 9mm and larger calibers, and 25 with the Pocket Glocks, the .380 G42 or the 9mm G43 models.  I managed to shoot a clean 250 out of 250 possible with the little gun, which I’m told is worth a cool patch.  Couldn’t break out of the 490s to get a 500 out of 500 patch with the bigger guns, though.

Guess I need more of that there “practice” bidness…

Ya know, when you’re the guy who said “Friends don’t let friends carry mouse guns,” it’s a little embarrassing when you shoot a .380 better than a 9mm. Of course, the late Jeff Cooper would probably have said that a 9mm is a mouse gun, so it may just be a matter of perspective.

My high point of the weekend was watching the Evil Princess shoot. After her first string, with every shot in one small, ragged hole, our range officer Brian said dryly, “Well, that target’s gonna be easy to score…”


  1. My wife and I will be practicing more this year and trying new skills as a commitment to each other and ourselves.

  2. I wonder what the Col. would say about recent 9mm advances? I still say you can’t change physics, having known a few people who have used it for real. One has studied under you Mas, and says the caliber never should have been invented. Anyone?

    • Paul,

      I love Col. Cooper. But when I go to the range to fire pistols, I like to fire 50 cartridges. I’ve found bigger calibers in small guns hurts too much. So, for me, to carry a small semi-auto I would go with 9mm, and for a snub-nose revolver I would load .38 Spl.+P. I’m sure others are fine with big calibers out of small pistols, but the laws of physics do apply.

  3. For the small gun 250 and the big gun 500 (as well as the 300 you’ve referenced frequently in the past), what are the parameters of the qualification test in terms of distance to target, time limit, and 4″ diameter targets for each?

  4. About that practice thingy, Mas. Just how many rounds do you think you’ve fired in practice in your professional life? A few hundred thousand? Close to a million?

  5. I have a replica of the Model 19 in BB pistol from Pyramid Arms, which allows practice every night. It is Co2 and reciprocating slide.

    I know, I know, it’s less than a “mouse gun,” but I am convinced it is more the muscle memory than the recoil management that makes for fast, accurate shooting. It fits perfectly into my carry leather, and is the same frame as my carry gun, although sometimes I confess to putting the 23 slide on my 27 frame for concealment.

    The gun gives the same accuracy at 12 yards as its real progenitor, and it doesn’t need the Gemtech Blackslide…

    it’s also more fun to shoot inside my hallway. Feel free to correct me if you think I am wrong, but please say why…

    I practice once a month with the “powder gun” when I do the CCW qual with my classes…

  6. I have a replica of the 19 in BB (CO2 powered) which allows practice inside my house every day.

    I think it is more muscle memory than recoil management that keeps the edge. YMMV, but the gun fits my carry gear and the trigger is very similar. The CO2 and BB’s are in the mag, which is the same weight as the loaded Glock mag for practice.

    Feel free to disagree, but tell me why.

  7. Competition with a 380/9mm is fine (I don’t recall hearing of any competition with 500SW or 480 though …)
    On the street with a 380 or 9mm does not make me comfortable, although I’d grab a 22 if that was all that was available.
    For me, G30 running 200g +P, and J-frame backup. A .38 Spcl revolver with twice the power of a 380 auto-jammer always seemed more reasonable, and keeps me a little happier.

  8. While the locals don’t have a LSROG category, I found another way to end up in first place: shoot revolver.

    Having found a piece that needed rescue (and being retired), I’ve reacquainted myself with the round guns-other than BUGs. One definite plus, don’t have to bend down to pick up brass.

  9. Hey Mas, Are you going to shoot pin`s this year up at central Lake Mi. ??. I have not been up there since the late 70`s (second chance) I bet we both look a little more experienced , It would be nice to catch up with you and chew the fat.

  10. I don’t believe you for a second Mas, when you say you were surprised with your performance with the little .380. I suspect you’ve long known how well you can shoot it. I discovered early on after I retired and started concentrating on smaller handguns for every day conceal carry that, while greater concentration on the basics were required at the 25 yd line, accuracy was easily achieved using little J-frames and subcompact .380 and 9mm pistols, and from 15 yds in, shot placement was just as easy as with a full size. Sight alignment may be a little more critical as distances increase, but is doable. I just shake my head when I hear some folks ranting that a snub nosed revolver or subcompact pistol is useless past point blank distances.

    I will tread on even more thin ice when I admit that when shooting combat courses with a .22 pistol and see how effectively I can quickly put lead on target, my mind is telling me that a.22 might be a viable defense weapon for some folks.

    • Josiah, closest comparison is a Gen3 or earlier with NY-1 module and 3.5 pound connector. A federal agent who carries the similar G19M describes it as the difference between going up a ramp (Gen5) and tripping over a curb (his previous Gen3).

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