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Gatekeeper 03-29-2010 05:15 PM

First USPSA Weekend
Saturday New Competitor Orientation

Well I went on saturday morning with my cousin Dave to E. Huntington's uspsa New Competitor orientation. It's not required to attend this free orientation but I'm glad I did. Had a couple of very nice veteran shooters and RO's go over the safety, basic rules, scoring, and classifications for a couple of hours first thing, then we split up into squads and went out to the range to shoot a couple stages under the watchful eyes of the RO's and other volunteers. There were probably just under 40 people attend the class session and around 30 brought their pistols to shoot.

The RO's, GM's and other experienced shooters that helped us out told us that we would have our plan for shooting a stage but the buzzer would be like an eraser to that plan. Just take our time and above all, be safe and have fun.
And they were right, I was jittery as hell at first but took my time and quickly realized how much fun action shooting was. I got a lot of good tips on shooting, moving, strategy, and cartridge reloading. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful.
We shot three stages, I did pretty well after I settled down a bit considering I'd never really did any shooting "on the run". Had a couple of misses and d-zone hits, but more importantly I was complimented on my safe gun handling and trigger discipline so that made me feel good.
The section coordinator was serving as a our RO for a stage and ask me if I had come over from IDPA or another action shooting club and acted like I was BS'ing him when I told him I never shot any competition.
Maybe he thought I was sandbagging or was just effin with me but it made me chuckle.:rolleyes:
Cousin Dave shot very well and safely with his XDm 9mm and had a huge grin on his face the whole time.
The SIS ran flawlessly through the 100rds of 230gr WWB I took which was good, alot of the newbs were having malfunction problems, I was glad I didn't have to deal with that. The only issue I had was a couple of times my mags didn't fall completely free during reloads. Maybe I wasn't holding the release long enough or not pressing in fully.
Had a great time and was looking forward to the first match on sunday:cool:

Gatekeeper 03-29-2010 05:16 PM

Sunday First Match
Went back sunday morning by myself since Dave had a research project to work on.
Got signed up and was welcomed back.
I got squadded up with 5 or 6 other guys. Most of them were shooting open class high capacity 9mm/40 1911's and wow, those guys were impressive to watch.
The guys in my squad seemed like they all knew each other very well, but did not hesitate to welcome the newb into the group and make me feel at home.
Especially after I told them I was just looking to be safe and have fun. Once again I got a lot of encouragement and pointers on strategy, some welcome constructive advice on my technique, and a little good natured newb ribbing.:D

I thought I had mostly gotten over my jitters the day before, but had the adrenaline pumping when I started again.
Shot 5 stages this time, my times were similar on the stages I had shot before on saturday but this time I had no misses, no no-shoots or procedural penalties and most of my targets scored A-A or A-C, worst were I had one swinging target go C-C, and had only one D zone hit all day, and that target was A-D. I was very happy that my accuracy improved.
Had a couple steel poppers that I had to shoot at twice, I think I got to rushing on them too much and blew my first shot:o

One other guy in my squad was shooting my class (Single Stack) and he helped me out alot as well. He shot very well but was having some malfunction problems, that we seemed to narrow down to being ammo related.
Shooting single stack is crazy fun, especially on one 32rd stage I shot(it took me 34, damn poppers). It seemed like all I did was reload, and under stress the magwell seemed like it had shrunk to the size of a pencil:p
I need to order another mag or two to help me tac reload on some of the longer stages.

The Kimber SIS once again was great. No malfunctions this time either. Shot @ 140rds of my handloaded 230gr HornadyXTP's(cheapest jacketed I could find locally:rolleyes:). Still had a few mags that didn't drop free. It must be something I'm doing wrong because it wasn't isolated to one mag or another. I had it happen on a 47D, a Tripp, and a KimPro. Got to figure out what I'm doing
I had an absolute blast the last couple of days. I can't believe I waited so long to try this. Everyone I have met have been extremely welcoming, friendly and helpful.
If anyone has thought about trying action shooting, I'd have to say go for it and have fun! I'm already looking forward to the next shoot!

skullcrusher 03-29-2010 05:29 PM

Sounds like a great weekend. I've thought about it, more now that I have a 1911. Your report has put the bug in my ear again.

When I purchased my 1911, the shop owner told me about some 1911 only shoots that go on somewhat close to me. He said depending on weather and number of shooters, they shoot 3 to 5 stages. I think I will have to check that out. :)

Gatekeeper 03-29-2010 05:39 PM

You'll love it skully!
USPSA/IPSC has a class I'm shooting called Single Stack that is 1911's only, limited to 8rd mags (in 45) or 10rd if you are shooting minor power(9mm, 38super,40).
Check out United States Practical Shooting Association there's a spot you can enter your zip code to find area clubs on the right side of the page. Thats how I found clubs in my area.
You don't have to be a member of USPSA, and don't have to be a member of the local club to compete in most local matches.
Match fee's for me were only $15

CA357 03-29-2010 05:40 PM

That sounds like it was fun and a good learning experience. :cool:

Gatekeeper 03-30-2010 03:40 AM

It was extremely fun and educational.
Its amazing what even the small adrenaline rush of competition did to me.
I experienced some decreased motor function, slight tunnel vision, and a distorted perception of time.
Once I fumbled with a mag change what seemed like ten seconds, dave told me after it didn't seem like I fumbled at all and the change only took a second or two. Go figure:rolleyes:
I can only imagine what an adrenaline dump in a real life defensive situation would be like:eek:

skullcrusher 03-30-2010 04:01 AM

Funny how competition can do that to a person. For years you did not notice it ways back in HS or college, but now it comes back. I gotta check out some of the matches. Fire in my stomach kind of thing. :D

NGIB 03-30-2010 10:45 AM

Gate, sounds like you had a great time. While I've shot a ton of pin matches, the heart always ramps up big time as I head to the line for the first match. There's an active USPSA club fairly close by and I may have to check it out...

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