A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Moving to the 1911

A surprise awaited QJ at the range this afternoon. I had finally allowed him to observe me shooting. He had noticed that I shot a 45 caliber 1911 frequently. He had not asked to shoot my preferred firearm though. Perhaps he was leery of the recoil or the noise. Perhaps the Condition One pistol he had seen in my holster bothered him.

As he was shooting his Buckmark, I removed a 9mm Colt Commander from my range bag. Click to enlargeI locked back the slide and laid the polished blue pistol in front of him. "I'm not shootin' that thing!" he exclaimed.

"It's a nine millimeter. You've shot it before," I informed him.

"Yeah, but it's gonna kick!"

"Yes, it will, but you know how to control it," I continued. I showed him the basic manual of arms for a 1911, and then I stood a 9mm cartridge beside a .45 ACP cartridge on the bench. "I've been shooting this," I said, pointing to the 45.

QJ picked up the Colt pistol, and I showed him how to dry fire it. "You see," I said, "The trigger is very much like your Buckmark. It's not like the Beretta. This is a single action only pistol."

QJ dry fired the pistol several times. "It's like your Buckmark. When you chamber a round, it's cocked and ready to shoot. You have to engage the safety to carry it safely. In fact, it has three safeties." I showed him how the grip safety functioned. Click to enlarge

"Ok, so where's the third one?" asked QJ.

"Between your ears," I replied. "Locked in your memory with the Four Rules. People get freaked out by this pistol because they can see the hammer cocked back. In truth, after you chamber a round on your Buckmark, the hammer is cocked back as well. You just can't see it."

QJ looked perplexed. "The thing is, once you grip this pistol properly and snick off the thumb safety, it will shoot the same way, every time," I continued.

"Like my Buckmark," said QJ.

"Exactly. The pistol is not unsafe, but you can be unsafe with it if you do not practice safe gun handling," I emphasized. "When you shoot this pistol, keep the thumb safety engaged until you have the barrel aligned with your target. Disengage it right before you place your finger on the trigger. Confirm your sight picture, and squeeze off the shot. Use the isometric grip I taught you. Same stuff, different gun."

Click to enlargeI showed QJ how to load the 9mm magazine, and then how to insert it and release the slide using the slide stop. "It's yours to try," I told him.

QJ tentatively accepted the pistol, and slowly brought it to sights. "Now snick off the safety," I said. I quickly, discretely, evaluated his grip to ensure he would not get bitten by the hammer, and I waited as he squeezed off his first shot from John Moses Browning's brainchild.

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13 Comments:

Blogger TrueBlueSam said...

I get happier every time I read a QJ update. He has been well taught; that is a great target!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I have enjoyed this series too. It's made me want to bring out a new shooter to the range.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good shooting QJ!

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

I'm sure St. Gabriel Possenti is smiling down upon the both of you!

1:49 AM  
Anonymous beth said...

I want a 9 mm commander!

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great series! I'm looking forward to reading 'QJ Thoughts'.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

Careful, QJ. He's trying to make a 1911 convert out of you. ;-)

9:33 AM  
Blogger Crucis said...

I went through this same drill with a new shooting partner last weekend. He felt the .45 had less recoil that +P .38s in my M13. He really liked my full-sized 1911, but I think he'll go for a revolver for his first pistol.

He's a conservative in all aspects. :-)

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm... apropos 9 x 19 mm
X, do you own a sig p210?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

No Sigs here anon.......

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the QJ lessons, and likely to learn a tip or trick I didn't already know. Good on you Xavier for bringing another new shooter into the fold.

5:29 PM  
Blogger CounterClckWise said...

Xavier, I'm really enjoying this series with QJ. I'm teaching a new shooter myself and it's really helpful to read your perspective.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Mikael said...

I'm a bit surprised he was still afraid of a little bit of kick.

Heck first pistols I shot(my first 20 pistol bullets, 10 each) were 9mm and .45APC. The .45 bucked a bit more(and being a glock, was the lighter gun), but neither had much felt recoil(then again my frame of reference for recoil is hunting rifles and shotguns). Still, I could easily have shot off the entire magazines in under a second per bullet and at least hit the target with 9/10 bullets.

7:16 PM  

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