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.


  1. Jeff why don't you try installing the Apex trigger system to the M&P? The trigger reach will be a shorter reach with a more pronounced reset. I carry the M&P on duty, and I do like the largest palm swell even though my hands are average, because the support hand grips even better, especially because I have stippled grips. I tried the "costa catalyst" from 21st Century gunfighter to get the extra extension on the mag release BUT the product didn't function smoothly when pressing the release button. It hung up somehow making a clicking sound. Anyway, look up APEX tactical and their M&P trigger stuff. Their trigger also has a flatter contact surface too. Take Care, Tony

  2. Tony, I installed the Apex competition trigger kit in both of my M&Ps years ago. I wouldn't shoot without them.