MARCH 23, 2023

Skill Set: LEOSA – Game Day

In our last installment, I was preparing for the ‘geezer range’ using a rimfire analog to my commonly carried GLOCK 19. By the end of the week, I went to the agency range to try my hand. As it was mid-March and our weather goes from “Spring time” to “McMurdo Sound.”

I arrived at the facility for the elderly extravaganza earlier than intended. Still, I was the third geezer to arrive. I expected only a couple of others as it was Kansas-March; 18° and gusty. Normally the greatest amount of wind at one of these gatherings carries tales of pensioners as they compare medical misadventures, aches and the “early bird special.”

This time it was prairie gales, winds out of the Northwest at 18-20 MPH, with occasional gusts. The National Weather Service estimated a wind chill reading of eight degrees.

I won’t argue with them.

The guns I used included the nearly-always worn Gen5 GLOCK 19 from the debut some years back. Accounting for weather and the clothing, I selected an outside-the-waistband holster, the Safariland GLS Pro-Fit holster. It has multi-fit capability and the Grip Locking System retention feature. The company explains it better than I: “Once a proper shooting grip is obtained, the middle finger will sit directly on the lever of the GLS. With this ergonomic design, as the gun is drawn, the lever is depressed …”

The ammo was CCI Blazer Brass 115 grain FMJ that I’d just picked up from Academy Outdoor Sports that week.

I noted how easily and smoothly I could draw, the gun ending up where the sights were at my eyes; they were focused on the “Q” on the target. Likewise, returning the gun was trouble-free. I just had to keep the cover garments from fouling the gun when reholstering.

The “Striker Control Device” – the “Gadget,” as it’s been called – takes the worry out of reholstering. I have one fitted to this pistol. The only other modification to the gun was the application of Talon Grips. The Ameriglo BOLD sights were installed by the factory.

For the revolver-part of the festivities, I used a favored mid-framed snub, the Ruger GP100 7-shot, 2 ½” barrel 357 Magnum. It’s absolutely stock, including the sights and stocks. For ammo, I used 38 Special, CCI Blazer Aluminum case 158 grain round-nose lead.

The holster was one I’d gotten for the gun when it arrived for test and evaluation. I’ve seen no reason to move away from it -- the Simply Rugged “Sourdough Pancake” holster.

One thing about adverse weather – while everyone’s in a hurry to get out of it, no one’s in a hurry to move you along so they can get to shoot. I was considerably slower in the draw with the wheelgun. I felt like I wasn’t getting a good grip in the holster – though it’s cut for that.

I didn’t shoot the GLOCK very fast, but the target was, for the most part, pleasing. As to the revolver, I’d used a bit more target due largely to numb fingers – I couldn’t feel the trigger movement – and, at 25 yards, a wind gust that literally moved the muzzle of the revolver just in advance of the hammer fall.

It was still 100% with both guns, but barely so with the revolver. The only other shooter on the revolver course was a retired captain. His “nearly out” round took a deep bite out of the line of the FBI Q-bottle.

The semi-auto target - before it got really cold.

Mine had creased it.

When we got back into the range building out of the wind, he looked at me and asked, “How did we do that?”

I said “barely.”

As I was thoroughly chilled, I didn’t change guns to leave the range. I loaded the GP100 with some spare ammo I brought – just in case – Winchester SXT 130 grain JHP +P ammo. Seven rounds of that, loaded into that heavy revolver carried in a Rob Leahy holster would be enough to get me home.

And to carry while walking the dog.

We’re good for another year – and thanks to the Sheriff, his agency and RM Gerald Graham.

-- Rich Grassi