It could be snowing. It could be 90 degrees. Despite the conditions, any day at the range is a good day.
Shooting is fun. It beats shaggin' calls.It's physically, mentally, demanding. Each scenario is a challenge to adapt to and overcome.
This year, we started with a cold qual on the new state standard. No one in my group had shot the course before. There's no grade. You pass or you fail. There's two parts: Long and short. I was the only one who passed both.
Tommy T's gun wouldn't fire. The magazine wouldn't feed. The armorer who assembled his Glock after his last range improperly installed the magazine springs. For months, he's had a brick in holster and didn't know it.
Big Island's new gun had been sights. You can't hit what your sights don't see.
Then, shot through fail to fires: empty reloads, jams, stove pipes, and double feeds. It's all the same. Fix the problem. Get back in the fight. Tap, rack, and go.
We fire through boxes of ammunition, fifty rounds at a time, aiming at a paper target's head or the state seal in the belly.
Next, we broke out the helmets. I've never fired with one on before, never had to acquire a sight picture through the scratches in the riot visor: moving and firing, advancing and retreating in teams, shooting numbers and colors on the instructor's command.
Finally, we shot from a felony stop, sitting in stationary cars at shifting, swiveling targets, firing in two rounds bursts, ejected casings bouncing about the interior of the squad car. Don't hit the hood. Don't hit the spotlight. Fire 'til you're dry. Cover and covering. Reload and fire. Fire from all four positions. Fire 'til the barrel's hot. Fire 'til the range is cold, 'til we break down our guns, police the brass, clean up, and go home.
Range is always a fast day. Range is always fun.