Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Match Review - Sparta USPSA, April 19

The match director Dave Bianchini for the USPSA club matches in Sparta, IL (at the World Shooting Complex) always puts on challenging and fun matches.   The bays at Sparta are able to accommodate stages with 180 degrees of movement.  But Dave always invents some cool field courses.

This was my first USPSA match with my STI 1911 Sentry, and my first shooting major power factor. I like it.  A lot.  I was shooting Single Stack to prepare for the Single Stack Nationals in a few weeks (May 1st), so I needed get some practice running around stages with a heavier gun, reloading with 1911 mags, and doing stage planning with only 8 rounds to throw at every array of targets.  It wasn't has difficult as I thought it would be, just different.

Since the USPSA rules forbid stages where more than 8 rounds are required from any one position, they are all in theory Single Stack friendly. The reality is, however, that if there is steal in that 8-round array, you better not miss or your reload plan is screwed.  That only happened to me once on Saturday.  And wouldn't you know it, the first stage of the day had 17 pieces of steel, including a Texas Star. Not a good stage to start my SS practice.  That was my worst stage.  After that, I did pretty well, except for a jam on the last stage that cost me about 4 seconds.  I still don't know why that happened. That's the thing about 1911s that I don't like—they can be finicky with reloads and all that—at least for me.



If you look at that chart you will see that my accuracy was really good.  The one mike I got on the last stage was the first shot I fired after my reloading jam and I was just pissed.  I need to work on that.  When something like that happens in the middle of the stage I can lose it really easily and then the whole stage is a wash.  But back to the point.  I was really accurate at this match.  I was slower than I would have been shooting Production with my M&P, and that might have contributed.  But truth be told, that STI Sentry is so much more accurate than my rickety M&P.  Sigh.

I do need to work on SS reloading in dry fire practice for the next 10 days.  Besides that, I think the SS Nationals match will be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Striker Test

A friend recommended an interesting way to test the relative power of strikers.  Unload your gun, of course.  No live ammo around.  Cock your unloaded pistol, point the pistol straight up, and insert a pencil in the barrel with the eraser side down.  Pull the trigger and watch the pencil move.

I did this with both of my M&Ps and the pencil only moved about an inch.  The pencil never even came close to leaving the barrel.

When I tried this with my STI Sentry (45) the pencil launched from the barrel and almost stuck in the drop ceiling in my basement.

No wonder I get light primer strikes in my M&P when I use hard primers like Remingtons, CCIs, or Magtechs.