Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Match Review & Kimber Ultra II Tactical

Just a few reflections on the ARPC IDPA club match this past Saturday.  The match was fairly straightforward.  6 stages.  About 95 rounds.  No shots past 15 yards.  One swinger.  One moving set of targets (from left to right).  Shooting around a truck.  Sitting at a table.  Through a small port.  Nothing terribly difficult.

Three of us decided to shoot "carry guns" this match, instead of our normal "race" guns.  So I shot with my favorite carry gun—my .45 caliber Kimber Ultra II Tactical.  Normally I shoot my M&P in SSP division, but this match I was shooting CDP.

Considering that I haven't shot this little 3-inch gun seriously in over a year, I didn't do bad at all.  I was 3rd overall and division champion in CDP.  But the cool thing is this: every time I shoot this little pistol I like it even more.  Even though its only got a 3-inch barrel, it is incredibly accurate.  I believe I'm more accurate with this tiny Kimber than I am with my full-sized, 5-inch STI Sentry.  My accuracy was really quite good at this match except for one stage where I got pissed off and dumped one round into hard cover and got a mike.

I really hate it when guys claim that their own guns are the best.  It gets old on the gun forums.  I've shot a number of pistols over the years.  I've owned quite a few that I've since sold because I just never really liked them.  But this little officer-sized 1911 from Kimber is one of my favorite guns.  I carry it in the Fall and Winter, because it's just a little heavier than my Kahr PM9 and not the best for summer clothes.  I've shot this gun in bug matches and in a night match a few years ago.  In every situation it performs flawlessly.  No malfunctions.  Everything just works nicely.  Even the grip safety engages more reliably than my STI.

Here's a video of one stage:

I got a procedural on this stage because I tried to do a reload with retention before getting to the last shooting position, but I dropped my magazine, picked it up, and didn't get it in my pocket before I shot the last array.  IDPA rules can be maddening.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Morning Match Review – Illinois Sectional USPSA Championship

I shot the 10 stages of the Illinois Sectional all day Saturday, August 31st.  The heat was brutal.  It was near 100 degrees almost all day.  I drank three 32 oz bottles of Gatorade and at least that much water on top of it.  It was crazy hot.  I'm gonna blame the problems I had in the match on the heat.  Yep, it was the heat.

First the good stuff.  I had absolutely no ammo or gun problems.  Very cool.

I was pleased with all of my stage plans.  I shot with 1 GM (Alex Gutt) and 2 M class production shooters, and we all used pretty much the same plan.  Only once did I alter my plan after seeing how Alex Gutt shot the stage.

I was also fairly pleased (but not satisfied, of course) with my times.  I went into the match planning not to push myself but concentrate on shooting at a comfortable pace.  It turns out that I put up some decent times.  Having relatively fast times made up for some of my accuracy issues, especially the mikes.

I cleaned the plate rack stage.  Yay!  I was worried because my practice on plate racks the week before was pitiful.  But the rack was only 9 yards away.

I did well on all the hoser stages.

My rounds chronographed at 127PF.  Close.  I'm always cutting it close.

What to work on?  Swingers.  Dang, friggin swingers.  Three of my mikes were connected with swingers.  Two misses on the swingers themselves and one on a target engaged in between the activator and the swinger.  I believe I just need to work on aiming on these swingers and not just throwing 2 rounds at them fast and hope they hit in the A or C zone.  I must say, too, that my first two mikes were on the first two stages I shot.  And on both of them I had to do a reshoot because of prop failures.  Reshoots are seldom good.  And they weren't for me on these two stages.  The other mike was just stupid.  I went to slide lock (the only time in the match) because I missed a steel plate. I cursed, reloaded, and slung two shots at the last 15-yard target too quickly and pulled one.  I was pissed.  I was more pissed after they scored the miss.  Stupid.

Also, my reloads look slow on the video.  I didn't flub any reloads.  But they don't seem to be snappy enough.

The bottom line for me is that even though I was frustrated with some aspects of my shooting, I shot better than I have at any major USPSA match.  This was only my 3rd major USPSA match.  If I look at those three matches I can see real progress, and I'm happy with that.  I placed 7th in Production (out of 38 shooters), first in A class, and I also beat (just barely) the two M class production shooters in my squad.  I'll take what I can get.