Are You Performance Ready

competitive marksmanshipIt is summer; it is Match Time. Every summer, I would travel to Raton, NM for the week long event of Colorado/ New Mexico Regionals. As far as a match goes, the gear and the preparations for travel remains the same: firearms, cleaning kit, shooting box, eyes, ears, ammo, holsters. But, per location, particular attention must be paid. Raton, NM nestles in the base of the Rockie Mountains. The elevation boasts a nearly 7,000 feet altitude. To prepare for this, extra animal protein needs to be consumed the week before. In addition, extra water needs to be consumed. Without proper protein intake and hydration, the chance for altitude sickness increases. These nasty symptoms can include, sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness. Not being able to fully breathe makes a big difference between successful marksmanship and a poor performance. Remember, breathing not only calms the shooter down and sets the cadence for the firing sequence, but it also establishes the basis for maintaining clear vision- a must for locking your visual on your front sight. Get to the area as early as possible to not only practive for a couple of days, but to acclimate to the high altitude. Of further importance, consider the weather. The mornings start out crisp and cool, midday is HOT, and mid afternoon sports a rain that could be a light shower or a full thunderstorm. So, pack clothing as layers: shirts, light jackets and sweatshirts. Wear long pants so as not to sunburn your legs. There is nothing more painful than sun burned backs of knees from wearing shorts. Not that I know from experience…. To top it all off, pack a travel raincoat in your shooting gear. You will be glad you protect your weapon while shooting in the rain; the raincoat proves invaluable when in the prone position at the 50 yard line!

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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