Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mr. Murphy über alles.

As we have discussed here before, Robert’s Rule holds that simplicity is Murphy’s only natural enemy.

Consider last night’s carbine match. The stage was a monster: About 30 targets strung along the entire width of the range. Targets at 50 yards, targets at arm’s length. Reactive targets, steel targets, paper targets, bowling pins. Doors to go through. Hallways to clear. No-shoot targets to avoid. Multiple magazine changes. Rifle-to-pistol transition. All to be shot in one long string of fire.

But I was ready, steady, geared up and good to go. I was dressed warmly but lightly. My boots were snugged up just enough. I was wearing my very cool Bravo Company cap. I’d function-checked the optic. Each pistol and rifle magazine had been loaded with love. The AR 15 had gotten an extra sip of lube, in favor of the cold evening. My strength was as the strength of ten, because my heart was pure.

I came to the firing line, intent on laying waste to the evil cardboard, steel and bowling pins arrayed before me. At the safety officer’s word, I loaded, press checked and holstered my pistol. I powered up the carbine optic and loaded the long gun.* I nodded with grim and steely-eyed determination to tell the safety officer “ready.”

“Stand by,” said the SO.

I stood by.

“BUZZ!” sounded the buzzer.

Smartly bringing the carbine up to a perfect cheek weld, I aimed through one of the odd-shaped firing ports in the VTAC barricade, the bright red dot of the optic centered on the small steel silhouette 50 yards away. My finger went to the trigger and  . . . the bright red dot disappeared.

Of course it did.

So I flipped up the rear backup iron sight and shot the stage with iron sights . . . at night  . . .  without the eyeglasses I prefer to use to moderate my miserable presbyopia, but which do not work with the optic and so were left in my range bag. Let us just say my performance on the stage was less than distinguished.

And thus we see demonstrated another of Robert’s Rules: “The rules apply to you, even if you make the rules.”

*Note position of top round in magazine, insert magazine, pull charging handle fully to the rear and release, remove magazine, confirm top round is now on the other side, re-insert magazine, push-pull to confirm the magazine is seated.