Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Same, but Different

IT's funny how your eye plays tricks on you.  We were talking about that at the club yesterday.  Subtle differences in shading, or the apparent lines or lack thereof, change the way that our mind processes distance.

All CFDA ranges are exactly alike in terms of the shooting lanes.  The target is 21 feet from the shooters line.  The target is a 24" disc with the center of the target measured 50 inches above the shooting line.  We take great pride in complying with these measurements.  The idea is that the playing field is the same, everywhere.  A shooter can go from his hme range, drive all the way across the country, and compete on a range that's the same as his range at home.

Our home range at Thorn Valley is indoors.  It's in an old barn.  Overhead are wooden rafters that support the loft run the length of the range, drawing your eye toward the target.   Below is a pic of the Thorn Valley range.  Big Mark in lane 1, and Sinister Sal in lane 2

The Thorn Valley Range, Melder, LA
Yep, it's 21 feet to the target, the light is 50 inches off the floor.

Below, is the hone range of the Big Thicket Bushwackers, out of Silsbee, TX.

The Big THicket Bushwackers, Silsbee, TX.
They look different, don't they?  Yet, from a technical standpoint, they're exactly alike.  Differences in lighting, background, concrete vs natural soil.  It makes a difference, but technically, those two ranges have the exact same measurements.

Thorn Valley and the Bushwackers are closely-knit clubs.  We shoot on each others ranges fairly often, yet we've had Bushwackers come to our club and ask "Are those targets at 21 feet?"  The answer is always the same.  "Yep, you can measure it if you want to."  And, when I go to the Bushwackers range, it always looks to me like their targets are a lot farther than 21 feet.

They're all the same, but they are all different.


Old NFO said...

Trompe l'oeil is alive and well! :-)

John said...

Old NFO is right. And during my tenure as a Firearms Instructor I kept a 100 foot tape measure in my range gear and used it to disprove the, "The targets are too far away!" (notice that nobody ever says the targets are too close)