Shooting Under Pressure

Yes, a pistol match is not a gunfight — but a gunfight is a pistol match. With the peer pressure, performance anxiety and the inexorable dual concerns of the target score and the clock, this sort of thing is a good test of how a gun will perform if you have to shoot, reload and shoot some more with trembling hands and pumping lungs.

I didn’t have a match compatible with my schedule, so I used the Nighthawk Browning at a MAG-40 class I taught in Live Oak, FL in February of 2017. The staff shoots a pace-setter drill, demonstrating the qualification course before the students do, as they must to pass the course. We had 36 students and 17 staff not counting me, and for incentive I promise an autographed $5 bill to anyone who beats my score. Ego and about $255 to lose deliver a reasonable dose of adrenaline.

Left hand only, right hand only, shooting from cover positions and from two-hand standing, all 60 shots went into the center zone for a perfect score. The Nighthawk Custom turned in the best score and tightest group out of 54 that day. I think it passed the test.