Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Match Review - Sparta USPSA

This is a Tuesday afternoon match review of the USPSA club match in Sparta, IL, on Saturday, March 15th.  Honestly, I'd really like to forget this match.  I didn't shoot well at all.  But I suppose it would be helpful for me to analyze it just a bit.

I had issues with my reloads all day.  Come to think of it, I've had issues with reloads during dry fire and live fire practice all winter.  One of the issues has been the failure of the magazines to drop with any kind of consistency.  I've had problems pushing the mag release consistently.  As I have thought about this for the past few days, I've come up with what may be a partial answer.  At the end of the shooting season last year I switched out my grips on my M&P.  The M&P comes with 3 sizes of grip inserts.  For 3 years I've been using the medium-sized grip.  In the Fall last year I decided to change to the large grip.  I thought it might give me more surface area to grasp the gun and help with my accuracy.  I think that experiment failed.  The grip may have felt better with more of my support hand in contact with the left side of the gun, but I can't see that it did anything at all for my accuracy.  What it did do is cause me to have to stretch my thumb farther in order to depress the magazine release button.  That's caused problems which I should have identified earlier as a problem.  Instead, I just tried to work through it.  But I've not been able to work through it.  I switched back to the medium size grip on Sunday and dry fired the gun for the past three days with almost no reload issues.  Dang. How come I didn't notice this earlier?

My accuracy problem has nothing to do with the grips.  The M&P contributes to the problem a little. It's just not a terribly accurate pistol.   My 1911 is so much more accurate.  Even so, that's not the real problem.  My trigger control is the issue. I just need to work on that.  Hard.  I took multiple shots on poppers and steel targets that were 10 yards away and easily hittable.  That's not the gun. That's me.  I've been sloppy in my IDPA matches as well, with way too many points down at the end of the match.  Sometimes I am tempted to change to a CZ, but I don't think that will really solve the problem.  I don't think the problem is my gun, but my gun control and technique.  Anyone that knows my shooting style, knows that I am a "hoser" and not a "turtle."  Slinging shots at targets as fast as I can is my besetting shooting sin.  Perhaps Lent is a time for me to give that up and work hard on accuracy.  Sigh.

This was the first USPSA match of the season.  And by the end of the match I had settled down some.  The final two stages were much better, if not entirely satisfactory.

Here's a video of Stage #6, I think.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Morning Match Review - March ARPC IDPA Club Match

Last month the match wasn't worth talking about.  Our monthly match on February 8th was very cold.  I think it was 15-20 degrees in the morning when we were shooting.  And we were standing on a couple of inches of ice and snow, so there wasn't a lot of movement.  Every time I took my hands out of my pockets to load or shoot, my fingers were hurting bad.  It's really no fun shooting in conditions like that.  And it's probably not really very productive for practice.

This Saturday (March 8th) we had better weather.  It was still cold, hovering around freezing.  But it wasn't as bad as February.  We had 6 really good, challenging stages so the match was fun.  Lessons learned?  First, I pulled a mike on the only swinger in the match.  I continue to be frustrated by stupid swingers.  I need to work on them a lot more before the real competition begins with major matches.

Second, I think all my dry-fire practice over the winter paid off, mainly with draw times and transition times.

Third, as for stupid mistakes, I dropped a partially full magazine on one stage while moving from one position to another.  I had to stop and retrieve it.  I don't think I lost 3 seconds doing so.  Sometimes I go into USPSA mode in IDPA matches.  I'm not sure there's a great deal I can do to fix that.  It's unconscious.  I'd be more concerned if I accidentally went in the IDPA mode at USPSA matches.

The results of the match can be found here.  No pictures or videos this time.

And here's Ken's USPSA-style analysis of the match.


I don't like 94.5% accuracy at all.

This coming Saturday is the first USPSA match for me in Sparta, IL.  I'm looking forward to the USPSA season!