I've got to say, shooting other peoples ammo all day long and getting paid to do it might be the most fun I've had in....well a long long time.
I've really enjoyed the instruction, and have learned lots of things. I've also formed a few opinions.
So far, the Dan Wesson 1911 is running 100% reliable, with about 750 rounds downrange so far. I thought I had an issue this morning when we were doing night firing waaaaaay before the sun came up. I had 2 almost back to back failure to fires with the gun in battery. Both times I did a quick tap-rack-bang, we practice those with dummy rounds a lot. I told an instructor, and we both thought it was due to the magazine. Next qualification course, it did it again with a different mag, and I realized I had not let off the sear with my trigger finger. I put the questionable mag back in the rotation and never had it happen again.
So, how am I doing? We're shooting 2 different qualification courses of fire. A 500 point qual, and a 100 point qual., both are 50 rounds courses of fire with different scoring. I'm constantly shooting in the mid 90's on the 100 pointer, and around 480-485 on the 500 pointer. I am not happy. I'm constant at those scores. One other shooter varies between 85-98, and a third is pretty constant at 97-98. I want to be at 100/500.
No, I don't care that passing is 80 or 400. No, I don't care that the PD average score is 82. What I care about is that I know, I KNOW, I'm pulling some of my 25 yard shots. And I care that I'm being outshot. Two more days to go.
I'm very happy with my 1911. I would make a few changes though. The front strap is checkered at 25 lpi. From the factory is was needle sharp, I mean it hurt to hold tight. I took the gun down and used some 400 grip sandpaper and broke the tops of the checkering. That helped, but I think next time I would rather have 30 lpi if I could get it.
It has Heinie straight eight night sights. i like them a lot. In fact I like them more than I thought I would. I'll admit I've never had night sights before. I thought I would rather have 3 dot night sights, but I think these are easier. The front dot is larger and brighter, and it's hard to screw up the sight picture. The big bright dot goes on top of the smaller dimmer dot. You can't see both dots if you don't have a proper sight picture. Front sight to low, can't see it. Front sight too high, it's very noticeable. Front pointing left or right, you don't see the dots line up. I'm a fan.
I've also seen that some of the people in class brought ammo they bought themselves. Saving a few bucks on ammo for a class is now on the list of things to never ever do for me. I've seen misfires. I've seen under powered rounds. I've seen rounds that wouldn't chamber.
Quality. Demand it, and be willing to pay for it.
I'm also very happy with the attitude of the range master and the assistant range master. We're not just shooting static on the line with a certain number of rounds. Every course of fire, even the qualifications are shot with combat reloads, use of cover, and time restraints. We're shooting failure to stop drills. Except for the times we score, we use dummy rounds mixed in to force us to clear a malfunction. I am using 7 mags to shoot a 50 round course, so I'm getting lots of reloading practice. Oh, and did I mention I'm wearing my ballistic vest at all times?
My thumbs are sore. My arms are sore. I'm sunburned. The vest is hot. My back and knees hurt from getting up and down behind cover and prone.
This is fun!!!