Back to bullseye pistol shooting: Part 1
This report covers:
- Arkansas Airgun Show
- Get in shape
- Walk a mile
- Back story
- Upper body
Arkansas Airgun Show
Before I start I need to tell you that I am getting ready for the Arkansas Airgun Show this Friday and Saturday. I have to work in a food drive at my church on Thursday from 9:30 to 1 p.m., after which I plan to go directly to Malvern. That means I have to get a couple reports in the bank, for Friday and Monday.
So my reports are going to be a little terse, so I can write many of them. If you have questions just ask, though on Thursday, Friday and Saturday I will be hard-pressed to respond.
Today’s report series was suggested by reader Hank, whose blog handle is Vana2. He lives in the cold Canadian north and is getting ready to hibernate indoors for several months, so he is turning his shooting vision inwards to bullseye pistol shooting.
As we saw yesterday, BB Pelletier needs to do the same thing — so he is, as well. Hank asked me to write a series about this, so I am. I am doing a very dangerous thing — training in front of you and allowing you to watch my progress. Some motivator, huh?
Get in shape
BB mentioned in yesterday’s blog that he is old, fat and squishy. Well I can’t do anything about the old — it just seems to happen. The fat I can work on, and so far this is where I am. More work to do.
But the squishy is something I can and do work on. In truth I look a lot squishier than I really am. When I walk with people I have to slow down to let them keep up with me because I walk for exercise. I have been doing this for more than 40 years, when I blew out my knee running a marathon.
I used to walk three miles a day until I discovered that two of those miles were a waste of time. Instead I do a walking fartlek, which is Swedish for speed-play or running-playing. It’s a mixture of speed running mixed with moderate running to produce endurance. I use it for cardiovascular exercise. My resting pulse is 58-62 beats per minute, which always fools the people trying to take my blood pressure. I also have to caution them to watch the needle on the sphygmomanometer carefully, as my blood pressure runs around 120 over 70. Ten years ago it was 110 over 60. Some of that is hereditary, but a lot of it comes from well-developed collateral circulation, which the walking gives me.
Walk a mile
I walk a mile every day, and when I can’t I make sure that wherever I do walk is at high speed, to get the cardio in. At the SHOT Shows I walk 8-10 miles a day in the exhibit halls, and I make sure to pour on the speed whenever I can.
When I returned from Germany in 1977 I knew I was going to have to excel at the Armor Officer’s Advanced Course, so I started the first day I hit Fort Knox. I walked for three miles as fast as I could and gradually turned it into 5 miles of running. After finishing the course I was assigned to the Maintenance Department as an instructor. The department Sergeant Major took me under his wing and we started running 10 miles each day at lunch. That ended up in 1978 at the Cleveland Revco Marathon, which is where I blew out my knee. After that I was good for only a couple miles at best.
When I moved to Texas where the weather is civilized, I started walking three miles a day. Then my wife, Edith, who was also a runner, asked me why I didn’t try walking a fartlek. I did and the rest is history.
When I walk today I do 100-300 yards fast and then 50 yards at a regular (slow) walking pace. Fast and slow, fast and slow is the way to do it. My course is one mile and I finish in about 20 minutes — so not that fast. But it works. I get my pulse up to 140 BPM during the exercise, which is good for me. That’s what helps keep my blood pressure low and my resting pulse slow. When I was in the hospital in 2010 I was setting off the alarm all the time because when I sleep my pulse drops under 40 BPM, which is their low threshold.
All of this is well and good for my heart, but it does very little for my upper body — specifically my core and my arms/shoulders. And that is what was off in my test of the Beeman P1. I need more strength and stability up there.
Reader Faulty Manuel recommended free weights, but I quit using them 6 years ago. I had used them for 20-25 years and saw very little results. I now want to use resistance bands because I see real results in a friend of mine from church. He uses bands only and he is ripped, plus his metabolism is running at peak performance. Part of that is hereditary, but part is not and that’s what I want to experience.
I will have more on resistance bands when I start using them. Now let’s turn to the topic of the next report in this series — dry-firing.
Dry-firing is aiming the pistol and squeezing the trigger until it releases. Then noting where the front sight is, in relation to the target, when the sear releases The trick here is just like walking. You have to do it every day. I will begun with 20 shots a day and expend to 40 shots when I can. And, there is a huge BUT coming.
But — I plan to do my dry-firing with both my P1 and my FWB P44. I also will shoot the P44 for record when I’m satisfied I can hold steadier on the target. So, this series is going to be a big one. The P44 has the better trigger, better grip that I don’t have to let go of when cocking and loading and better sights. What I am really doing is tuning up BB Pelletier.
Okay, that’s it for today. That’s what I now do and also what I plan to start doing. Next time a first report on all of that.