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Define success at the range

I celebrated the New Year today by… going to the range. I’ve decided it’s time for the quasi-annual switch to go shoot my 1911 in USPSA Single Stack and CDP for a while, and since I’ve improved as a shooter since last May (you have too, right?) I wanted to take it out and shoot some 20 yard head boxes just to make sure I knew where it was hitting and be confident in my ability to deliver the shot. I also had loaded a few .45s with the powder I happen to have an 8lb jug of, which isn’t the same powder I happened to have an 8lb jug of the last time I was shooting .45ACP (the brand really doesn’t matter).

So my goal for this range trip was: know where the bullets impact at 20 yards, and get an idea whether I had enough powder in the rounds. Thanks to Steve Anderson’s podcast, I know that until I define success, I can’t have any.

The way things worked out, I only had a chance to fire three 5-round strings at 20 (hitting 3″ high and 2″ right) before setting up the chrono and sending 17 rounds over it of varying charge weights. By then, it was time to pack up and go because the range was closing. Poor planning on my part, I know.

But I left the range totally satisfied. I defined success for the range trip, I achieved it in about 15 minutes with 37 rounds, and stopped. I was done. I could have kept shooting, but unless I came up with some other form of success (maybe start working on improving Bill Drill times or draw times or position entry) and then achieving it, more rounds would have just been a waste.

About Ben

Blog contributor. Active in IDPA and USPSA, and he won't flinch if you call him a rules lawyer. Ben is a beard wearing, bacon eating, whiskey drinking, motorcycle riding, coder.

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