Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday Gunday: Pewpewpew

The next exciting chapter of Erin Gets a Glock!

Step 1 of buying a concealed carry pistol: Rent one and see how it shoots.

Today I went to the Hot Shot Shooting Range in Holly Hill. Built alongside a gun store-slash-pawn shop, it is a nicely air-conditioned indoor range for pistol-caliber weapons.

I decided to ignore my own advice and wear my best Derpy shirt for shooting. After all, what could possibly go wrong? ;)

I just don't know what went bang!

In this instance, not a thing. I rented a Glock 26 and after a quick safety briefing I started shooting. The range required me to buy my ammo there, so I shot a box of 50 rounds. The first target was at 25 feet (not yards!):

The first 10 rounds went lower than I expected, but other than the one flier which hit his hip/thigh/leg thing, everything was in the vital zone: lots of nasty gut shots, a shattered pelvis, and a couple of spinal hits. Once I figured I was aiming low, I loaded up another magazine and hit all sorts of fun internal organs like the heart, lungs, and more guts, along with more spine hits.

I do believe I have killed this target.

So I got another one and sent it out to 50 feet:

You're right, this isn't as good. Still, have I mentioned this was my very first time shooting any sort of a semi-auto pistol, let alone this particular model? Still, 22 bullets out of 30 managed to hit Mr. Blue here, and 14 of them were in the "vitals zone". I'm particularly pleased with my lowest shot there... it was a complete accident, but my bad guy had a very bad day for however long he was still conscious.

You will note no headshots. This is deliberate as I was aiming for center of mass the entire time. I'll go headhunting later.

All in all, this little excursion cost me about $50. Here is the price breakdown:
  • Lane rental: $15
  • Pistol rental: $10
  • Ammunition: $15  (all rented guns must buy ammo from the shop)
  • Targets: $2
  • Various taxes and fees: $5-ish
My exact total was $47.87. Kind of expensive, but worth it to test-fire a model before buying.

Why didn't I shoot other guns? For one, it was expensive, and I am still in "stingy poor person mode." Also, I honestly didn't see the need -- the Glock 26 felt good in my hand, the recoil was manageable, and you can plainly see that I could control it well enough to hit my target.

Why a 26 and not a 19 as I had previously stated? Looking at and holding the two of them, the 19 is just too damn big to carry concealed. If I could carry openly, then yes, I would get a 19. Sadly, Florida isn't an open carry state (yet). So I went with the Baby Glock, and was quite happy with the recoil and the grip. (It helps that I have tiny chipmunk hands, which made getting a solid grip on a small handle easier.)

Some handy size comparisons:
Top to bottom: Glock 17, 19, and 26.

Top to bottom: Glock 26, 19, 17.

So in conclusion:
  • I'm going to get a Glock 26. 
  • I would recommend the Hot Shot Shooting Range to anyone. A+ experience, would go again. 
  • I can shoot like a mofo. 


  1. I can't say how much of that lack of accuracy is due to the unstable grip (personally I can't stand any gun where you can't rest the pinkie on the grip) or due to other causes. However, I notice that you're pulling to the left and down which indicates that the problem is trigger control, you're probably tensing up too much.

    Also, if you're using a glock. Aim for the triangle (where the diafragma forms the triangles base and the upper tip is the point of the chin). 9mm means that the bullet probably won't have the necessary stopping power to put someone down with a gut shot. However, with the exception of the throat this "triangle" is also the coverage area for most protective vests. So if you suspect a vest, either aim high (head and throat, the best option) or low (pelvis and gut, below the navel, covert vests generally don't protect that area). depending on what confidence you have in your aiming skills.

  2. Cool, I wish I had tested more before buying. For me, the 19 was the smallest I was comfortable holding, I don't like my pinky finger hanging off the grip of the 26, just feels like my hold is weakened a lot. Plus, I have no trouble concealing the 19 so why not?

    I'm glad you're aiming for the gun you really want and not settling for whatever you can get. Many people (myself included) make a poor choice for their first carry gun.

  3. I would recommend something like this.


    It doesn't add a whole lot to the size of the firearm, and provides a place to put your pinky while fireing.  I found that it helps when I shoot my XD 9 subcompact.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  Good luck, and enjoy!

  4. Pretty fair shooting for a beginner, in my opinion.  I agree with BigDemonicBunny on the shooting to the left.  Many people, when squeezing the trigger, tend to push the gun slightly to the left due to not holding the gun tightly.  A bit of dry-firing practice could fix that.
    Sounds like you've gotten a pretty good start.

  5. OK, I forgot that you mentioned in an earlier post that you could rent guns to try at some ranges. I'll have to remember that when I get around to doing this.

    (This is why I like Monday Gunday. Even though I'm not a shooter, I always learn something from the post and something else from the comments...) 

  6. Yes, I will definitely be getting magazine extenders, for the reloads if not the actual carry mags.

  7.  I thought I was holding it pretty tightly.  On the other hand (literally), I could NOT figure out what to do with my left thumb. And I have been accused of being too tense while shooting.

  8.  I am a stress bundle, to be sure.

    Also, I couldn't quite figure out where the front post should go relative to the rear sights. When I set it even, I shot low, which meant I needed to have the front post higher than the rear. But exactly how high was never entirely clear to me. I obviously need more practice. :)

  9.  I'm glad that my hands like the one I wanted! I would have been devastated if I had tried all the Glocks and hated them all.

  10. personal observation: the grip extenders that allow for more ammo have a disturbing tendency to pop off at unwanted times, like in the grocery checkout line (i kid thee not). this is because they don't use the glock mag floor plate to stabalize the sides of the mag and keep it from sliding off. the Pierce extention that just adds a little shelf for your pinkie uses the floor plate and makes the gun much more comfortable and managable, and while it doesn't allow more bullets, it will never inadvertantly come off. just food for thought.

  11. proper grip of the Glock is very important.left hand wrapped around the right, both thumbs resting along the left side of the frame, right thumb over the left. lean slightly forward and into the recoil, bring the gun up to you eye, not your eye down to the gun. squeeze.

  12.  This is REALLY good info to have. Thanks Critter! :D

  13.  I was basically doing that, though I'm sure there were flaws in my technique.

  14. You may want to invest in some "snap caps".
    They're inert rounds that will chamber but will not fire.

    At the range you can take a magazine and mix them with live ammunition and that will let you see if you "flinch" when you pull the trigger. 

    Because you won't know which shot is a dud and which is live.  

    I like the A Zoom style that are made from a single piece of aluminum.

  15.  Good idea! I'll look into getting some.

  16. Yikes, thanks for the heads up in case I ever thought about getting them.

  17.  Watch your index finger when squeezing the trigger.  With most people, it will move slightly laterally at where it meets the palm.  This pushes the gun slightly.  You want to flex at the first knuckle from the palm, not at the palm itself, especially if you are shooting one-handed. With two hands, the second hand can help control that movement, that is why two hands is better whenever possible.

  18. Nice link showing different sight pictures here:


    Sight image #2 or 3 should put the rounds where you need them.  Sight picture 1 is for target sights.

  19. Point your left thumb at your target, then lay it alongside the frame just under the slide.

  20. You can't go wrong with a Glock...  I'm personally partial to the S&W M&P but I think between the M&P and Glock, if you go with whichever one feels better in the hand you won't regret it.


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