Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Good Day in Columbia

It's nice to report on a well-shot match.  Today I travelled to the Green Valley club just outside of Columbia, MO, to shoot in their monthly USPSA match.  When I was pulling up to the club, after driving for about 2 hours from St. Louis, I got a call from my son that he had just been in a car accident.  Nobody was hurt, but his car was probably totaled.  I started to come back home, but learned that my daughter was at the scene helping him.  So I decided that driving back home would accomplish nothing. I would get home when everything was already over.  Turns out that there were some scary moments for my son after the accident. But that's another story.

I tried to put all that out of my mind while I was shooting.  There was really nothing I could do halfway accross the State to help him.

Turns out I did pretty well on every stage.  I didn't have my typical screw-up on the first stage.  I think that's because I was determined not to have that happen this time.  My times were good on each stage and my accuracy was above average. I only threw a few mikes for the whole match, and one of them was on a stage where we engaged three targets from 23 yards with 6 shots using our weak hand.  I don't believe I've every practiced weak-hand shooting from over 15 yards. Update: results are in and I finished 5th overall and 1st in Production division.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous

It's been almost a week since I've posted anything.  Last weekend (April 13-14) I was busy with church meetings and not able to shoot our IDPA club match on Saturday.  And then I was pretty sick the entire week.  I did get out for a little practice on Friday.  But yesterday I shot in the USPSA match in Sparta, Illinois.

First, the ridiculous.  The classifier stage at the match yesterday was "Raw Deal" (CM 99-33).  Nothing tricky, just shooting fast and accurate from a stationary position at relatively close targets.  I'm pretty good at that.  I got all Alphas (60 pts) and shot it in 6.93 secs.  My hit factor (8.6580) landed me in GM territory for that particular classifier (96%)!  Look, mom, I'm a Grand Master!  That's ridiculous. This is only the third classifier stage I've shot in USPSA.  I need three more to be classified.  This one will obviously kick up my percentage.

Second, the bad.  Once again, the first stage of the day was a disaster.  This time because I was first up and didn't know it.  The squad was a bit disorganized.  I didn't do a very careful walk through before the start and I ended up blowing by a target and not engaging it at all.  Two mikes in production division on one stage is not good.  That screw up pretty much meant the match was gonna be a fun match, and it was.

Third, the good.  I had problems on another stage, too, but mostly I did okay overall, even with 5 mikes!  I think I'm getting the hang of doing productive walk-throughs in USPSA.  I really love the Sparta range.  They are able to create some very interesting stages because you can shoot 180 degrees side to side on all the bays.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good F.A.S.T. Drill Today

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This afternoon I spent a few hours at the range practicing some drills with a friend. After shooting for about an hour we both shot three F.A.S.T. drills.  On my third attempt I got what I think is my best time/score ever (4.40 secs w/out a cover garment).

Afterwards we shot another friend's new Jerry Miculek Mossberg 930 shotgun.  You can see the video of that here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Some of the guys at my club are getting Jerry Miculek 930 shotguns to shoot in 3-gun matches.  I'm toying with the idea.  Hopefully, I'll be out Tuesday evening to see and shoot Steve's new one.  But I question, for myself anyway, the wisdom of spending $600 or so on a new shotgun that I will likely only use once a year, if that.  I am not planning on investing all that much time in 3-gun matches right now. I'd love to shoot a few of these matches at our club over the next few years.  It sounds like a lot of fun.  But I'll use my Mossberg 500 or even my Remington 1100 for now (but not my Benelli over and under!).

At this stage in my shooting I'm pretty committed to IDPA and USPSA competition.  I'm not planning on diluting my pistol practice, and quite honestly, doubt that I will have the time to devote to 3-gun matches.  I'd rather spend the money on ammo and more major IDPA and USPSA matches this year.  I want to perfect my game in these sports.  I still see a lot of room for improvement (obviously).  I'm gonna go whole hog and try to reach IDPA Master in CDP and ESP in the (near) future.  I also want to make some progress in USPSA Production division with my M&P 9mm.

So for now I think I'll pass on a new shotgun.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Steel Match Review

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Okay.  How many times do I have to learn this lesson at steel plates matches?  Take it slow and easy on the first stage!  Holy moly.  I owned the last 4 stages of this match.  I don't think I've ever shot that well.  I was in the zone – fast and accurate.  But the first stage was a disaster, at least compared to the rest of the match.  We began with Stage #4. 

The irony is: I slowed down on the next four stages and shot them much faster.  Slowed down just enough to be accurate.  

I really wish I had a video of that first stage so I could analyze it and find out exactly what I did wrong. But I'm pretty sure I know what the problem was because it happens every time I shoot a steel plates match - on the first stage I shoot.  

Turns out I did pretty well in the match over all.  But losing those 4 or 5 seconds on Stage #4 really irks me.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Random Stuff

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Dillon Precision's monthy catalog the Blue Press cracks me up. Every cover has a foxy chick posing with some cool weapon.  What a scream.  The catalog used to have a Christian fish symbol on the back and/or on the order page.  I can't find it anymore.  I think the cute chicks edged out the fish.

Dectective Britton's side arm was revealed in the most recent episode of Awake for those that were watching closely. His duty weapon is a Kimber Tactical .45.  Not your typical TV cop firearm.  I wonder if Kimber is a sponsor.  If not, how did they choose that pistol?

Tomorrow I plan on going to the steel plates match at ARPC.  It's always a lot of fun and just good practice, especially for making transitions.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

M&P Pro 9mm

I've been trying to locate and buy a new Smith & Wesson M&P Pro (9mm).  I've been looking for a few months, but can't find one anywhere.  I'd like to have one as a back up gun in case the one I have now tanks during a match.  The one I use now has a lot of rounds though it.  Of course, I could just get a M&P Pro .40 cal. I could then switch out the barrell for a 9mm.  The problem with that option is that I would not be able to shoot it in USPSA Production or IDPA SSP divisions.  I'm sure that I can't shoot it in IDPA SSP, but I'm not so sure about USPSA Production.  I'll have to find out.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wheelgun Match



Yesterday we had a Wheel Gun Championship match at our club.  This was the first time I've shot a revolver in a match.  Truth be told, I've not practiced much with my revolver either.  Last fall I had a few hours of practice with my S&W 625 because I thought the wheel gun match would be held in the fall.  But it wasn't.  I set it aside for the winter, concentrating on my skills with my M&P in SSP.  Last week I dusted off the 625, found some .45 RN ammo I loaded last year, and hit the range with about 200 or so rounds.   I also did maybe 15 minutes of dry firing at home on Friday night just to get some more practice on reloading.

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Anyway, it turns out that I didn't do too badly.  I think that's because many of IDPA or USPSA skills one learns in other divisions apply whatever gun you may be shooting.  The two big challenges I had were not big surprises—reloading and accuracy.  Reloading with the moon clips actually wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be.  There were a couple of times when I was on autopilot and reached back to my left side for a magazine as if I was shooting my M&P.  But most of the time I got the reloads right. And what was even more surprising, the moonclips dropped in the cylinder quickly and cleanly almost every time.  I may have had to shake the gun a bit to seat the clip maybe one time.  That was a pleasant surprise. I don't have my chambers chamfered so I've had problems in the past with some rounds dropping in quickly.  But not yesterday.

Accuracy is another story.  I had 49 points down in the match, with 3 mikes, and two hits on non-threats.  Why?  Well, first of all, I haven't practiced much with this gun, so what did I expect?  Second, the double action trigger is nicely tuned, but it's still a DA pull and I'm not used to that.  I could get used to it, I believe, if I really wanted to spend some serious time practicing with this gun.  I just don't know if I want to do that.  I don't even know if I will keep the gun.  Selling it and getting a new 2011 is tempting.  I surely could have increased my accuracy if I would have slowed down, but slowing down significantly would have hurt my score.

So all in all, the match was fun.  It was interesting and enjoyable to shoot a wheel gun in an IDPA match. But I think I'll stick with my autos for a while.