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Chuck's Journey


Charlestiller
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Well, it’s hard to think of where to start. I have been interested in guns since I was a kids. I had a cousin that was a couple years older than me move in with us when I was about 13. He was from Virginia and came to live with us in South-Central Kentucky. 

We became best friends and bonded watching action movies and he shared his limited knowledge of guns and I became very interested. 

 

 

When I was 16yrs old I had a friend that took me to a gun store one town over so I could look at guns. While there I put a brand new Glock 23 on layaway. The plan was for my friend to come back and purchase the gun for me at a later date 🤫.  Being the overly honest child that I was though, I couldn’t keep it from my dad so I shared with him my desire and interest in guns and told him about the gun I had on layaway. He was super cool about it and actually let me give home the rest of the money and he went and picked the gun up for me. It was the coolest thing I had ever owned. I was as cool as Tommy Lee Jones in U.S. Marshals, which was a strong connection for me because I have an uncle that is a U.S. Marshal and that is what me and my cousin wanted to be when we grew up.

 

Well, since I was a teenager working at McDonald’s I didn’t have lots of money for things like ammo, so I saved up for “important” things....like a crimson trace laser grip! Man I was cool! I did lots of internet research and began heavily trading guns once I turned 21. I still didn’t have that much money so I could never afford more than one or two pistols at a time so I was trading almost weekly.  During this whole time I never got into rifles. Pistols were all I was really interested in. 

 

 

When I turned 24 I got hired by my local Sheriff’s Office and went to the Police Academy at DOCJT here in Kentucky.  At my specific department we were not issued firearms and instead had to purchase our own.  So I went with what was the most popular choice for officers in my area and that was a Glock 22 gen4 with a TLR-1 and a Glock 27 gen3 as a backup gun.  I was at the Sheriff's Office for approximately 5 years, and during that time I went through probably 5 or 6 different sidearms.  Since we could carry anything we wanted I would switch pretty regularly just to keep things interesting.  I was doing quite a bit of shooting by this point and had gained a pretty high level of proficiency.  The training that I had received at DOCJT was actually quite good and gave me a really good foundation to build upon in my own practice and training.
 
While I was at the Sheriff's Office I was afforded the opportunity to go to Firearms Instructor School, to become a KLEC certified firearms instructor for law enforcement.  That was some of the best training I've had to this day.  I went through that class while carrying a Smith & Wesson 1911 E-series with a TLR-1.  I had the only non-Glock in the whole training class, except for one guy that had a Sig P229 in with a DAK trigger.
 
Fast forward a few years and I have now switched to a local municipal agencey (City Police Department) and I head up their training and firearms program.  I began to shoot so much that I needed to start reloading in order to keep up with my shooting demands.  My wife got me a Hornady LnL AP press for father's day a few years ago and I started cranking out rounds just so I could go to the range on weekends or take some friends out shooting.  Well this went on for a few years and I got to talking with one of the EMT's that works at our local EMS agency and he was talking about his cousin who was into competition shooting.  So my friend and I started going over to his cousin's house and shooting with him some and he showed us what we needed to know and what base level gear to get in order to get started in USPSA.  We started going to club matches in Wilmore, Kentucky and at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky.  We even went and shot at the Battle in the Bluegrass a few years ago when we started.
 
The first gun that I took to a match was a Ruger SR9 that I had laying around because I just so happen to have a bunch of magazines for it and it was one of the only 9mm pistols that I owned at the time.  My current department that I worked for issued us Glock 21's in .45ACP and I wanted to start USPSA in production so I wanted to do that with a 9mm and most of my guns where .45 because I liked to have caliber similarity with my work guns.  
 
Once I knew that I really liked competition shooting I ditched the SR9 and purchased a new Smith & Wesson M&P 9L.  I purchased slightly better gear and started to really enjoy doing the local matches, but alas, life got in the way and I had to take a break from shooting USPSA for a couple years, which brings me to today.  I haven't shot a competition since 2018 because of some life (kids, wife, moving houses, etc.) and this year I decided to get back into the game.  That is why I'm starting this range diary.  My thoughts and goals are a little different this time around.  I am thinking about using only my carry guns or department issued guns for competition shooting.  I know that I won't be as competitive, but my main goal is more about keeping my proficiency up than it is to climb in class ranking or competing with anyone.  
 
I'm going to be selling my Hornady LnL AP and getting a new Dillon this year I think.  I want to invest in a case feeder and thought that if I'm going to sink any more money into reloading equipment then now is the time to switch to Dillon before I do that.  Not sure which division I'll be shooting in when I start back, but my wife caught me watching USPSA videos on youtube yesterday and said that she would like to try that so now we are looking at maybe getting her trained up to shoot some competitions this year, and that opens up a whole new level of enjoyment for me in the shooting sports.  
 
I'm making this diary to keep track of my progress and changes and hopefully things I learn along the way.  It should be entertaining if nothing else to see how this process unfolds.
 
I'm not really looking for feedback, but I don't mind if anybody posts or comments on my diary or has any questions for me.  
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