Saturday, November 15, 2014

USPSA Action Pistol Match 11/15/2014

Video from today's USPSA action pistol match. This was my last USPSA match for 2014. I was shooting my new EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited "Custom" in .40 S&W for the first time, and had a few unexpected malfunctions.  I had one light primer strike on the first stage, which I can resolve by installing an extra long firing pin. I also had a few unexpected slide lock backs on the third stage, which I discovered was my support hand barely touching the slide lock lever due to the thinner grips on this gun.  I can resolve this by simply altering my grip slightly, which is what I did for the 4th and 5th stages, and didn't have any issues (I have since changed the grips to Henning contour grips with grip tape, which are slightly thicker than the Xtreme grips that were on the gun). Unfortunately, I also shot a couple of "no-shoot" targets on a couple of stages which hurt my overall score (placed 4th out of 7 total). :-(  I still had a lot of fun despite the malfunctions and no-shoot hits, and the weather was perfect for mid November! :-)

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Custom

Monday, November 10, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 11/09/2014

Here's my video footage from yesterday's IDPA action pistol match at Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club. I felt like I did pretty good with the new gun and gear (placed 2nd out of 8 total).  I had a few bad shots, but no procedural penalties, so I was happy with my overall performance.

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Pro

Sunday, November 9, 2014

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Handgun

I already have two EAA/Tanfoglio handguns that I use for action pistol shooting competition, but I recently came across another one that caught my eye.  This gun was put together from parts left over from a custom gun that someone had built from parts and pieces of two different guns.  It consists of a Witness Hunter frame (same as a Limited frame, but with a blued finish instead of hard chrome) and a Witness Stock III top end in 10mm.  Together, the parts create a blued Witness Elite Limited with a straight barrel instead of a bull barrel (I'm calling it a Limited Custom).  It also came with a factory magwell and some Tanfoglio Xtreme aluminum grips.  I think the blued frame and silver grips and magwell is what appealed to me so much because it resembled the Tanfoglio Limited Custom Xtreme which was not available in the USA until recently.  I added a Henning competition magwell that I had previously purchased,  a Dawson Precision fiber optic front sight, and also added a silver hammer and controls to complete the look of the Limited Custom.  As much as I liked the way the Xtreme grips looked, they were too thin for my preference, so I replaced them with a set of Henning smooth contour grips covered with gray grip tape. I also installed a .40 S&W barrel which drops right into the slide without any modification or tuning. After playing with the gun for a bit, I swapped the hard chrome .40 S&W top end from my Witness Limited Pro, and I REALLY like the way it looks in reverse two-tone! :-)  So, now I have three Witness competition handguns with all three top ends switched around. I'll be using this new gun in USPSA's Limited Division, and will use my Witness Elite Match as an alternate/backup gun.

CZ-USA P-07 Handgun

I recently picked up a new CZ-USA P-07 9mm compact handgun for my daily carry rotation. I traded in my Springfield Armory XD-9 for it, because I just simply did not like the XD-9. The grip felt awkward in my hand, and the gun was not very accurate compared to my other 4" guns. Since I shoot multiple EAA/Tanfoglio handguns in competition that are essentially CZ-75 clones, I thought it would be nice to have a polymer CZ gun for carry. I was able to get a post-2014 version which has all the updates from the new full-size P-09.  Even though I already had a laser sight for the gun that was installed on the XD-9, I decided I wanted a laser/light combo unit after attending an indoor "zombie" pistol match where the stages were low light or no light. I went with the Crimson Trace Railmaster Pro unit because it was very compact, and I can actually carry it concealed IWB with my modified Blackhawk nylon holster that is made for laser equipped handguns. I also purchased an extended magazine base pad from CZ Custom Shop for home and range use that increases the magazine capacity from 15 rounds to 20, and I installed a longer regular length barrel from a P-09, which I had threaded for the cool factor. Although I usually carry the gun with a regular base pad magazine, it is still surprisingly concealable with the extended base pad. I am extremely happy with my CZ P-07!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

"Outlaw" Action Pistol Match 11/08/2014

Video from today's "outlaw" action pistol match at the outdoor action pistol range in Canyon, TX. This match was a combination of USPSA, IDPA, and Steel Challenge, which made it an absolute blast to shoot!  I placed 2nd out of 10 total. I was shooting my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match with the 9mm top end.

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match

Monday, November 3, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 11/01/2014 (new gun & gear)

I've been a little frustrated with my performance at the IDPA action pistol matches that I attend when compared to my performance at USPSA matches.  Early on, I decided I would compete in the IDPA matches using my true-to-life everyday concealed carry style gear (a .45 ACP 1911 in an IWB holster and an un-tucked T-shirt for a concealment garment), but I recently realized that I am hindering myself too much by doing this. Afterall, IDPA is a game, and you've got to have the right gear if you want to perform well.  So, I made some changes. :-)  I'm now using my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Pro in 9mm (in ESP Division) with a Blade-Tech kydex OWB holster, a 5.11 Tactical concealment vest, and a pair of Salomon Speedcross3 trail running shoes.

The Limited Pro in 9mm gives me several advantages over a .45 ACP 1911. The 9mm has much less recoil than .45 ACP, which allows for faster follow up shots. The Limited Pro is a double-stack platform, so the magazine well is wider for faster reloads and the use of an extended magwell is also allowed in the ESP Division. ESP also allows you to load your magazines to 10 rounds each versus only 8 rounds each for a .45 ACP 1911. Another advantage of this gun is when it goes to slide lock from an empty magazine, the slide goes forward automatically about 98% of the time when you slam in a new loaded magazine.  I don't think the gun is specifically designed to do this, but it sure is a nice inadvertent side effect when tenths of a second make a difference in this game.

The Blade-Tech OWB holster combined with the 5.11 Tactical vest (seemingly purpose built for IDPA) allows for a much quicker draw once the timer beeps as well as faster access to the extra magazines during reloads, and the Salomon shoes give me maximum traction on the dirt/gravel surfaces at outdoor matches.

The video below is from Saturday's IDPA action pistol match at the outdoor action pistol range in Canyon, TX.  Unfortunately, I had a brain fart on the 5th stage and lost count of my shots on the first target (it required 6), and forgot that the following three targets required 3 shots each instead of the standard 2 shots.  I realized this and made up the shots, but still got two procedural penalties (one for the incorrect shot counts and one for not using cover properly when making up the shots).  This hurt my overall placement for the day (placed 4th out of 8 total), but I was extremely happy with my performance with the new gear.  Unfortunately, the best gear in the world won't prevent brain farts! :-)

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Pro

Monday, October 20, 2014

USPSA Action Pistol Match 10/18/2014

Video from Saturday's USPSA action pistol match.  I had a couple of misses on the 1st and 5th stages (my shots were on the target, but in the black area, which counts as a miss), so I only came in 4th out of 7 total. :-(  The last stage in the video was for a side match, with a separate entry fee.  The winner of the side match received all the entry fees for the side match as a prize.  Although I initially thought that I had blown the stage (I got distracted by the empty mag not dropping free from the gun on my second reload), it turns out that I was 2 seconds faster than everyone else!  It was only a $21 prize, but it was still awesome to win it. :-)

EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match

Monday, October 6, 2014

Motorcycle Track Day - 10/05/2014 @ ECR

This was our last weekend at the track for 2014.  We were at Eagles Canyon Raceway near Decatur, TX with Ridesmart Motorcycle School.  Monica was only able to ride on Saturday, and the track photographer was only there on Sunday, so there aren't any photos of her.  She persuaded me to use her Honda CBR 600RR for a couple of sessions on Sunday since she wasn't riding, and I'm glad I did.  I recorded video footage of me on each bike and put them together for a two lap clip.  The Honda was so much smoother and easier to ride, and it was much faster in the straights.  I think I'm going to have to upgrade to a Honda for a track bike for next season! :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

USPSA Action Pistol Match 09/20/2014

Video from today's USPSA action pistol match.  I was using my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match, but with the .40 S&W top end from my Witness Elite Limited Pro that I recently purchased so that I could shoot major power factor in the Limited Division.  Major power factor allows for better scoring for shots on anything not in the "A" zone. I was really happy with my performance at this match (placed 1st out of 10), and I'm really enjoying shooting this gun in USPSA!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 09/14/2014

Here's my video footage from today's IDPA action pistol match at Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club (only three of the four stages were recorded). If it wasn't for all the damn procedural penalties that I received, I might have placed decent at this event (only placed 9th out of 11). :-( Next month's "Panhandle Classic" event is a larger match with more stages to give us local guys a feel for how an area match is run. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend because I'll be at Eagles Canyon Raceway that weekend for two days on the Ducati.  I hate to miss it, but riding a motorcycle around a race track as fast as I can takes priority over killing cardboard. :-)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motorcycle Track Day - 09/06/2014 @ COTA

We had an awesome time at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX with RideSmart Motorcycle School.  This track is a multi-billion dollar Formula 1 and MotoGP race track that is an absolutely top notch facility to do a track day. My day unfortunately ended a little early though. I was running some really good laps (for me) during my 5th session, but my right hand got a little numb which caused me to make a major mistake while braking for turn 11. The bike wasn't slowing down as fast as I thought it should, so I panicked and grabbed my front brake too hard which caused the front tire to wash out. I should've gone down, but I stuck my leg out and it hit the ground, snapped back and hit my foot peg, which instantly popped the bike back up straight. Very lucky for sure. Needless to say, my day was done after this. The back of my leg was a little sore the next day, but I'm still in one piece and the bike is fine as well. :-)  Below is video of my last lap and a half when I went off the track.

Monica was doing really good for her first time at this track.  She was getting faster and faster with each session, and was able to keep up with me. I am really proud of her! :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

USPSA Action Pistol Match 08/16/2014

Video from today's USPSA action pistol match (placed 1st out of 12).  There hasn't been a local USPSA match for a few months, so I was really looking forward to this match.  This was the first match using the new custom magwell on my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match.  It really helped with the speed and smoothness of my magazine reloads.  I had my first gun malfunction on the 3rd stage (hammer didn't fall when I pulled the trigger), but I was able to recognize it and work through it pretty quickly.  I really enjoyed the "drills" type of stages since that's the type of thing I practice during my dry fire sessions at home every night.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Motorcycle Track Day - 08/09/2014 @ MSRH

We decided to take a spontaneous vacation and attend a track day with RideSmart at Motorsport Ranch near Houston, TX.  This was our first time at this track and it was extremely hot.  Due to the excessive heat, we only went out for four sessions on the track, but we still had a lot of fun.

Monday, August 4, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 08/02/2014

Video from Saturday's IDPA action pistol match at the outdoor action pistol range in Canyon, TX.  I totally screwed up the third stage, so I only placed 7th out of 10. Otherwise, it was still fun, and that's all that counts. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yep... Another New Handgun

After installing a custom magwell on my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match, I had some extra parts laying around (magazine base pads, checkered walnut grips, and a factory magwell) that I needed to put to use.  So... I picked up a new EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Limited Pro in .40 S&W to install all the extra parts on. I also swapped the uppers (slide, barrel, recoil spring, and guide rod) between the two guns so that I can shoot the Elite Match with .40 S&W in USPSA with major power factor and shoot the new Limited Pro with 9mm in Steel Challenge matches.  The new combinations will work great for their intended usage, and I really like the way each gun looks with the uppers swapped.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 07/13/2014

Here's my hat cam video footage from Sunday's IDPA action pistol match at Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club. Honestly, I did pretty poorly at this match (placed 7th out of 12).  After reviewing the video, I could see all the mistakes I made where I wasted a LOT of time.  I think I've gotten myself too concerned about getting good hits on swingers as well as taking too many make up shots, which throws my plan for each stage out the window.  Recording all of my matches with a hat cam allows me to review my mistakes and hopefully learn from them. :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

IDPA Action Pistol Match 07/05/2014

Here's my hat cam video footage from today's IDPA action pistol match at the outdoor action pistol range in Canyon, TX (placed 2nd out of 16).  Other than forgetting to disengage my gun's safety on stages 2 and 3, I felt like I did pretty good. :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Steel Challenge Pistol Match 06/28/2014

Video from my first ever Steel Challenge pistol match at the outdoor action pistol range in Canyon, TX (placed 6th out of 17 in centerfire handgun). This was four stages, with four runs per stage. I had a brain fart on the third stage, but it was still a lot of fun. :-)  I plan on attending these more often, but I will probably use my 9mm USPSA gun.  I should be able to transition to each target faster since there is so much less recoil with that gun.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Magwell installation for my USPSA gun

I decided to install a magwell on my EAA/Tanfoglio Witness Elite Match 9mm handgun that I use in USPSA Limited Division.  The gun is a great shooter with very little recoil, but my magazine reloads have been a little inconsistent due to the gun not having a magwell.  The magazine opening of the frame isn't even slightly beveled from the factory.  To my knowledge, Canyon Creek Custom is the only company making an aftermarket magwell for the Witness Match, and it is designed to be welded on which would require the frame to be hard chromed again.  The alternative to this is to use epoxy to permanently attach the magwell to the gun.  I've read in the EAA/Tanfoglio section of the Brian Enos's Forums that the magwell eventually gets a little loose after time and has to be removed and reattached with epoxy again, so I've been reluctant to go the epoxy route... but... might as well give it a try. 😃

UPDATE 2018: Apparently Canyon Creek no longer makes this magwell or any other Tanfoglio parts.  If I were to do this again, I would just modify a factory magwell or a Henning Group magwell to fit the Match frame and use epoxy to permanently attach it.

I spent a little bit of time fitting the new magwell to the frame of my gun, and blending the frame's magazine opening with the magwell.

I also cut some matching grooves on the inside of the magwell and on the outside of the frame that line up when the magwell is in place to give the epoxy a small pocket for a better hold (hopefully).

Once the epoxy had been applied and was cured, I modified the factory plastic grips (previously sanded smooth and stippled with a soldering gun) to fit the angle of the magwell by under cutting them from behind rather than just cutting them off short. I think the grips turned out really good with the magwell.

Unfortunately, after I got everything back together I realized that my brand new Shockbottle aluminum base pads don't fit with the magwell (rookie mistake). 😞  I took a belt sander to one of them to get it to fit up inside the magwell properly, but they are still too short to be useful with the magwell.  So, I picked up some new Henning Group aluminum extended base pads, which are not cheap but they will work with the magwell and will give me extra ammo capacity. I still had to modify the magwell by cutting a groove into it to clear the rear spine on the new base pads.  Oh well... just another slippery slope of modifications that require more modifications. 😏 My magazine reloads during dry fire practice are now lighting fast and buttery smooth, so it was definitely a modification worth doing.

As of 2017, the magwell is still holding strong, but I don't use the gun much anymore because I prefer to shoot my CZs in Production and Carry Optics at USPSA matches.  Here are some pics of the gun with some older modified Henning Group aluminum grips installed.