Tighten Your Grip to Tighten Your Group

nancy-in-uniform-crop1At my first Nationals, I received a government issued 6″ 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Our team arrived early for this competition to practice and get all our new guns sighted in. I absolutely could not “get it”. I created shotgun spray pattern, one after the next, on each and every target. The range faced north at one practice location, the range faced south at the other. That must have been why I shot so poorly. The hour of the day, the angle of the sun, the cloud cover, THAT must have been why I could not master this new weapon.  Of course, I was told to grip the gun more tightly, but I WAS. Or, so I thought. I cursed, I carried on, I lamented, I gripped that gun tighter with each practice session and I kept getting worse, until I started to listen fully to the coaching offered me. First, I had to grip the gun so tightly that I did not need to re-grip it with each shot fired, but not so tightly that I made myself shake. It is a delicate balance, one requiring trimming my finger nails to almost nothing. This really did make for stronger and more consistent gripping. I did not need to re-grip the pistol with each round fired but I also had to commit to a grip that was still not quite but almost unbearable. The design in the grip punched painful dimples into the palm of my hand. But, I was starting to notice improvement on my target. TIGHTEN YOUR GRIP TO TIGHTEN YOUR GROUP. I won the Top Female semi-auto 1500 event that year because I never gave up.

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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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