Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 TX Open Championship

The first match of the year has come and gone and the 2014 TX Open Championship is in the books.  Pretty decent finish, 2nd overall in Production (1st GM after division winner) but a little to far behind the winner.  He shot a real smooth and error free match and I was a little off the pace.

Here is the video....

I started the match on stage 1 and shot 1-8 on the first day.  A strong line of storms blew through the night before so the first few stages were a little muddy, kinda had a slight effect on scores since 2 of them were 160 point stages with movement.

Stage 1 was OK, the second time.  The video is the first run and at the end I was going back to the last target on the right to make up a miss that I make up a miss.  The RO was right there and blocked me so I got a reshoot.  It was an ok start to the match but was a little slow because I couldn't really get my footing on the right side.

Stage 2

I shot pretty decent points but my time was way off, partly because of the deep mud in the start position but also due to a poor plan.  I think the plan would have been better in the dry but it was still not the right one.

Stage 3

Pretty quick stage with 2 disappearing targets on the left activated by a bear trap.  All that was required was that they be activated.  My plan was to shoot everything then just activate them but after loosing time on the last popper I decided to shoot one of them to get a few more points.  Would have been a great stage if I didn't rush the shots on the popper.

Stage 4

Not the most friendly Prod stage with a few reloads in such a small area but it went OK.  I decided on a conservative plan that added an extra reload but meant I wasn't shooting to 11 on steel then to 10 on the next array.  I shot mostly A's, only 2 C's

Stage 5

Pretty straightforward stage, the first one after lunch.  I was a little to deliberate with my shooting and choppy while moving.  I thought I pulled off a target early before the reload and for some reason took a look at it before reloading and moving, cost me a little time.

Stage 6

Pretty solid stage

Stage 7

This was a stage win for me and a real strong run.  It was about the only reload that really nailed on the whole match.  I was real happy about the plan.

Stage 8

Started out ok but missed my grip on the first reload and tried to force the shots on the poppers anyway.  They both required make ups which cost me more time than just fixing my grip.  The rest of the stage was ok but got a touch sloppy in the back half trying to get some time back, it cost me a C or 2 but not a total match killer.

Stage 9

This was a fun stage and I had a pretty good plan.  I shot a strong stage and only had one hiccup on the last reload which was a slide lock reload.

Stage 11

Pretty solid run to finish out the match.  Made a slight mental area after shooting the right side window, started to reload and caught myself.

I really enjoyed the match and the entire match staff was awesome.  Many thanks to them for all the hard work they put into such a good match.

2014 season has begun

A little over a week ago was the start of my 2014 match schedule, all in all the match was a success.  I have been trying to get some decent practice in over the winter but the weather has not been that helpful.  Now that spring is finally here it looks as though the weather is getting better.

Over the winter I mad Grand Master in Production so this year is going to be a little more work and I will have to keep up on my practice.  Looking forward to the challenge.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Been awhile

It has been awhile since I have updated my blog.  I have shot a bunch of matches in the last few months and things have been going pretty well.  I will be going back through them and putting up some recaps of each of them in the next few days.

Monday, March 12, 2012

2012 LA State IDPA Championship

            The opening match of my 2012 season ahs come and gone and even though I had a few slight issues I finished fairly well.  I was 1st place SSP Master and 3rd overall out of 150+ shooters.  I know in my last post here I was talking about using the Glock and that it was going well…….well after a lot of comparisons I decided to go back to the CZ 75 Shadow.  It is may a touch slower but I have the confidence to make the tough shots and in IDPA that goes a long way.

I will do a quick breakdown of the stages…

Stage 1 – A quick 6 reload 6 drill.  Went pretty well just relaxed my focus a touch on the last shot and dropped 1 point. 

Stage 2 – Pretty decent stage but was playing Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits around the barrel at P2.  It cost me a little bit of time.

Stage 3 – This was the first stage I shot, and it went pretty well considering it was early, a little chilly, and more that a touch slippery.

Stage 4 – I was going pretty good on the stage until the last target.  Ther tarp they used to enclose the building was flapping around inside the door and I couldn’t get a good sight picture on the last target.  Took a little time to find the -0 and then with it slightly obscured I ended up with a make up shot I didn’t need.

Stage 5 – The boat.  Interesting stage and I was glad I didn’t have to shoot it early.  With targets placed behind a picket fence I knew I would be better off waiting until later in the day.  This is why I don’t think a prop like this is best for a sanctioned match.  I cost myself time on the swinger, as soon as I was done shooting I knew I should have attacked that differently.

Stage 6 – Good stage with a choice of going left or right first.  I shot it in a good time but got sloppy on the movers.  They were easy shots but for some reason I decided to put a little lead on them even though they were barely moving, this cost me 5 points on those 2 targets.

Stage 7 – I had a good plan but the targets were tucked in behind stacks of barrels at 15+ yards.  I knew I had 2 shots hit the barrels so I had to make them up which forced me to reload before I move instead of while I was moving.  Again cost me time.

Stage 8 – This was the most interesting stage.  15 targets (11 static, 1 swinger, 1 dropturner, and 2 steel) all getting 1 scored shot.  The stage was not scored Limited Vickers but they made it so by limiting the rounds you could carry, gun loaded to 6 and 6 rounds in only 2 other ammo devices regardless of division.  Interesting concept but I am not sure the legality of handing out multiple FTN’s in this stage.  I shot it OK but rushed 1 shot, called a wide 1 but it turned out to be barely a 3…………..and a FTN.

Stage 9 – Another good stage as far as design but this one cost me the most out of the few bobbles I had in the match.  The 3rd target I engaged was an easy stating but I rushed the shot to get to the swinger when it was in the position I wanted and that got me a miss.  Again the used a picket fence, this time in front of a pop-up target.  I didn’t index to the right spot when the target cam up and had to pop 2 rounds quickly, of course the last one found the fence and didn’t score on the target, so that was another miss.  13 down on that stage was just a killer.

Final thoughts

Overall the match went well.  The stages were fun to shoot and the match staff was great as usual.  I left atleast 16 seconds out there in sloppy of unlucky shooting, 41 points down and half of that in 2 stages is not good enough to get it done.  I will be working on a few things and be back at it in a few weeks at the MVSA Regional.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Season, new gun

Well, winter is here but that does not mean we are not shooting, at least here in TX. I have been thinking the last few months about my competition guns and what I like and don't like about them. After looking at them I decided that I would try a Glock. Now I will say that I think they are great guns but I am not a fan. They are like grabbing a 2x4 and have no aesthetic value at all, but they do work and work pretty well.

What lead me to this was a couple of things that I think the Glock brings to the table with it's design. First, you can get a higher grip on a Glock and closer to the bore line with a Glock than just about any other handgun. Even with my small (but fat) hands I can pretty much engulf the gun with my grip, this is huge in controlling recoil. The second aspect is the grip angle. This is the part that most that don't like GLocks really don't like, the grip angle is such a departure from every other platform that it feels odd. What makes this work for competition shooting is in the way it helps the shooter roll the wrist forward to keep the sights on target thus putting the right amount of tension in the wrist. This tension also transfers into the forearm and shoulders which really aids in recoil control. THe last part is the trigger. Being a constant pull and after some minor parts and polish a very short and light constant pull makes it ideal for the shooting sports.

I decided to go with the 17, I know just about every shooter and their brother says the 34 is better, but for me the 17 just balances better. Sight radius is not an issue since the sight radius is the same on the 17 as every 1911 I have. Extended controls was not a concern either (will talk about that in a minute). I have had the gun for a few weeks and I think I finally have it where I want it. I changed the sights (black rear FO front), new connector, put in a LW adjustable trigger housing, lighter springs, and added some grip tape. I am still running the stock mag and slide release but I may try out the extended parts. I am little weary on the extended parts because I have seen too many shooters kick the mag out on table starts or ride the slide release during shooting. But I know enough people that run Glocks that I can borrow some parts to try.

After all the parts and playing I took it out to shoot some matches and drills. SO far so good, I am a little slow with some parts since I am getting used to it. As far as shooting, well I can shoot it faster with tighter groups then any of my other guns, once I got used to the grip it points and controls very well. Splits, Transitions, and points down have all improved. Mozambique's for instance, with the 1911 9mm I was around 1.8, CZ 1.75 range, and with the Glock I am at 1.5. Draw speed is pretty much on par with the CZ and around 1.15 from cover. Seven yard hammer drills dropped a touch also with a much, much tighter group. The only part that is slower at the moment is the reloads. I am just having issues with the getting the gun back into battery because I am fumbling with the slide release. It just seems to be in an awkward spot for me but with some more practice I think I will be quicker than with the other guns.

I can't say that I will stick with the Glock for good but I want to give it a true test. For around $700 all in with extra mags, holster, and parts I added you really can't go wrong.

Here is a video of the first monthly match I have shot with the Glock.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 IDPA World Championship

The inaugural IDPA World Championships has come and gone. I was looking forward to this for the last few months, I was hoping to have a better showing than I had at last years IDPA Nationals. I had a decent showing, 5th ESP Master out of 21 and 19th overall out of about 390, so it was a pretty good match. The match offered some tough shots, shots are some difficult movers, options on how to shoot multiple movers, and some stages that were fast 6 round hose fests.

General Match Thoughts

The Good

My general thoughts on the match are slightly mixed. Overall I thought the staff and SO’s did a pretty good job. The weather during the first part of the week was pretty bad, high temps and torrential rain every afternoon made getting shooters through the stages, and keeping the stages set was a challenge. I definitely applaud them for the great effort. IDPA HQ tried a new system this year by assigning a Squad SO to each squad. This SO was responsible for scoresheets, shooter order, assisting the stage SO’s and other admin functions that really helped shooters just focus on the shooting the stage. I think this system worked great and can see other big matches use it to help keep things moving and better organized.

Most of the stages did a good job of testing all parts of the shooters skills. You had to be fast, you had to be accurate, you had to be able to move to and get into position well, and in a few you had to have a real good plan. If you showed up to this match with some of those skills lacking you had a long match. Most of the stages were straight forward and didn’t have any traps that would setup shooters to earn a procedural. If you knew the rules and listened to the COF description most stages were pretty clear and easy to follow. For the most part the stages followed the rules and didn’t make a shooter do something that they knew was against the rulebook. Some matches do this and it can cause time lost since a shooter that knows the rules can be unfairly penalized, in this match this was not really an issue.

The no so good

As I said above, the stages for the most part were good, some were better than others as is always the case with any match. There were a few that I thought that should not be at a National/World Championship level match. A stage that requires to shoot a pick-up/stage gun (a 1911 .45) strong hand only for the entire stage for a score doesn’t belong in a match like this. Yes, every shooter has to shoot the same gun and stage but not every shooter is familiar with the 1911 platform or have even fired a .45 before. They are now asked to be scored in a stage using a platform and caliber they have never used before in the biggest IDPA match of the year. I think this is not a fair test of that shooter as they should be tested using the equipment they have selected and setup. Also since it is not the shooters gun and ammo how are malfunctions handled, should it be the shooters fault if something they did not choose to shoot fails in the middle of the stage?

Another aspect of the match that I found not quite up to a World Championship match was the number of very quick, close range 6 rounds stages. Five or more of these types of stages just to provide filler and round count just seems like a waste. I would rather see 15 or so quality stages than 22-27 stages that are comprised of many quick 6 hammer drill stages. Also some stages had movers and other targets behind soft cover items. That seems fine on the surface but the SO’s and shooters both need to be clear on how hits on those targets are going to be scored. If you are going to hid tagets behind a clothes rack then a clear method of scoring of shots fired through that rack needs to be laid out so the shooters know how the holes/rips/tears/other holes are going to be scored. Finally, the use of t-shirts, while an interesting problem for a shooter to solve, needs to be used more judiciously. Not every stage needs to have targets covered with shirts and in the stages that do have them keep them consistent. Having half the target covered, half open and the same for the No-Shoots just seems odd and doesn’t provide a feeling of a cohesive match. I also feel that placing a white shirt over a No-shoot right next to a shoot target in a white shirt should not be used to try and confuse the shooter. Let the shooters actual ability to shoot determine their score, not how well they can see white on white.

Over all I think the match was success. While there are some things that could be improved and the location for that time of year is questionable I think the hard work and effort of those that worked the match made it work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 Double Tap Championship

This past weekend I was at the Double Tap Championship where I shot production. Overall I had a good match, I made some mistakes that cost me time in a few stages but overall I am happy about the match. I took a different approach to this match, instead of getting all wrapped up in the speed thing I took the approach that it is just a longer IDPA match. It seemed to work pretty well as I got good points and the stage times were pretty good. I finished 2nd place B Production and 16th overall out of 73 Production shooters. I am starting to get a handle on the USPSA game and my results are getting better, I was 82% of the Production winner which is about a 10% improvement over my last couple of USPSA matches. I need to work on getting some things ironed out but I feel like I am on the right track.