Unexpected but good training

I just got back from a road trip to Eastern Oregon, for the Paul Harrell Symposium. My visit was for the 4-8pm on Sunday.

Weekend was somewhat normal slept in for me so 8hrs sleep and a slow to get going, instead of a Coast trip to work, spent time with the wife, went to the paintball field, visited friends, met a good friends new girlfriend, visited with old friends, 5hrs outside freezing 70 miles traveled, get home, then go on a double date with them, an average kind of Day for a Saturday not working…

Given my excitement for my trip to Eastern Oregon, trying to fall asleep for 3hrs, nothing. Got up, decided to finish packing so I would leave early (planned leave was 4-5am to meet a new friend flying in from Georgia for the same event and we decided to see about a place for some target practice before the Symposium).

Daylight savings ended so a 2:30am leave time became 3:30am leave time as a no hurry drive for a bit over 4hrs… Nothing really happened along the trip except bas weather and wind.

Arrived early to the bimart to pickup some ammo, still unable to nap… Now a good 24+ hours of being up with just over 325 miles to get out there… Met Joe for the first time, got out ammo, called the local tribal authorities to verify the place (an old rock pit on tribal lands) was usable and we would not be breaking any rules/laws with my CHL, carry, or suppressors. Got the okay for everything and drove out.

I know this is a bit winded but the backgound is a little important for the training I think.

We get out there, find good backstops, setup targets, and do most of out shooting at about 50yds, sone rifle, mostly pistol including my AR pistol and trying the new can for it.

Now the unexpected bit, it was a windy day, could tell on the drive out there, but the pit location, out the grass plains, we had a wind advisory come up and most of our target shooting was with 40/50/55mph sustained winds with gusts… By the time we got out there, probably 30hrs of being up. Wind so strong your typical shooting stance was not working well as the wind was trying to knock you over… stance into the wind and then aiming at a target where the wind was blowing you off target and when the gust ceased, then correcting for that…

Not something I’ve ever dealt with, at least with that strong of winds…

Shooting with a newly met friend, at a new location, with strong sustained and gusting winds, at targets about 50yds away, with his 226 and my G40 and my canik mete mc9 plus my 22lr rifle and AR pistol suppressed and his AR15. The wind was making shooting with the AR platforms even harder blowing them around.

Took a little bit to adjust our stances and shooting but it was a good overall experience. Ended up with accuracy close to a sheet of paper at 50yds with even the handguns.

Got some lunch, chatted a few hours, went to thr Symposium, self defense and other things, stayed after a bit before driving home around 325 miles, completely exhausted finally, 1am and after being up for 42hrs give or take, around 650 miles of travel… Slept for a bit over 12hrs minus 20min of helping my wife get out the door 6hrs after falling asleep.

Probably not the most advisable thing, but it was a great experience in training, for a person like me who needs rest each day to be up to spec. I dont run on caffeine, caffeine puts me to sleep.

Despite the long days, lack of sleep, and high winds, being able to hit the target and close with my carry gun and one I had never shot before plus the Mete MC9 which I have shot a little bit and be that accurate, at a distance away that I dont usually shoot at.

Got me thinking on adjusting how I target shoot and to bring out a variety of handguns just to pickup and shoot at 50yds and see what I can do with something I dont have recent time on the range with…

50yds of shooting is farther than what would be considered for self defence, although some cases have happened recently I believe around 40yds. Target shooting with handguns at 5/10/15/20yds has been the norm, but this experience is making me want to start pushing it out to 50yds and using less familiar platforms in the process to build skills…


I think it is good to practice for as many possibilities as possible. You don’t want the first time you have to try doing something to be when your adrenaline is through the roof and lives are on the line. Plus if you can reliably hit a target at 50 yards it’s going to make doing it 5 yards a lot easier.

One of my goals for this summer is learning to reliably hit a silhouette target at 100 yards with my G19.

Also good to practice in the wind and when your body and mind are not 100% to see what your limitations are under those conditions. Though you have to be extra careful on the safety protocols when your mind is not as sharp as usual.

Sounds like a fun and exhausting trip:)


Fortunately, safety protocols are so well driven, its not much of a concern and I dont mean that in a bad way.

I spend virtually every Saturday and more days when possible at my favorite FFL, often helping for 8+hrs a day… so much as many people believe I am an employee despite not being one and telling people I’m not an employee. Of course, doing this for over the last 2yrs.

Does not matter the firearm, new, used, customer brought in, off the shelf, everything is checked, rechecked, checked again, safe direction, everything even if I know its safe and unloaded.

Thats just me, even if I’m tired, there are no exceptions to the safety rules.

Thats why I dont worry about safety protocols, because they are always there, no exceptions. Almost machine like…

I’ve had thousands of hours with firearms, does not make a difference. What scares me is people who say they have the experience, are experts, and know, and therefore do t have to check that one time…


I sort of do the same thing. I have Reumatoid Arthritis. An autoimmune disease that can seriously put me on my ass. When I am having a flare up & my mobility is seriously compromised, I go to the range, get a private bay & find out what my limitations are so if, God fordid, I have to use my gun I know what to expect & how to adjust. It is an exercise in pain & I pay for it in spades but it’s something that any of us thst have physical limitations have to know how to adjust. At times I am pushing myself past (the wall) & seeing exactly what I am able to do on my worst day.