Friday, November 09, 2007

Bowling Night Report, 11/8/07

I could also call this "Aaah! My ears!" night.

Tonight's first set of targets was shot through what is called a "Cooper Tunnel," which is basically to get you used to firing out of enclosed spaces. The "tunnel" is actually a 55-gallon plastic drum cut to half its height It's then set on its side on a frame, so basically you're shooting through this big "O" shape. You don't actually crawl into it, thankfully. However, you do get very close to it, and every shot is amplified as the noise echoes off the inside of the plastic barrel. Some people wonder why I wear double hearing protection (foam ear plugs underneath headphone ear protectors that cover the entire ear) when shooting anything louder than a .22. One, it's a habit from when I was in the Air Force. I fixed aircraft avionic systems and there were times you'd have to go through your operational checkouts by running the engines. Also, when launching or recovering aircraft, you'd be close to two very large turbofan engines so you'd be near noise levels of over 90 decibels (that's really loud). At full afterburner, the noise from the engines would go up to 180 decibels, and you do NOT want to have anything less than double hearing protection. So, by default I always kept ready a pair of foam earplugs for regular work noise and a headset for engine noise. This way I managed to stave off a lot of hearing loss. I always had good hearing as a kid, and I don't relish the idea of only having average hearing as I get older. So, to keep that hearing as good as possible, I wear double ear protection.

As for the shooting, my nemesis is apparently steel targets. I couldn't seem to hit them on the first shot at all last night. They're narrow targets so pulling shots left or right will be a definite miss. This is why you need accuracy. You also need to be able to knock the target down, which requires a decently-powerful round. Also, you need to do so quickly, as your score isn't just based on where you hit your target, but also how fast you completed the course. This is summed up in the motto of the group who invented the game, the International Practical Shooting Confederation. It's "Diligentias, Vis, Celeritas" which is Latin for "Accuracy, Power, Speed." Pretty simple, no? These are three simple ideas to combine and balance to achieve your goal of becoming a better shooter. I think I'll need a lot more practice during the week as well. Hopefully I can find the time for it.

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