Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October USPSA Match

The October USPSA match sponsored by the Fredericksburg Practical Shooters was held this past Sunday. The day dawned cool and overcast and there was a steady rain falling while I was driving to the match. The rain was off and on all morning, but except for one brief outburst, was mostly light. The temps stayed in the upper 40's with a cool breeze. Definitely a classic fall day!

The match consisted of seven courses of fire. Six stages made use of the props left in place from last month's Area 8 Championships with the target placement altered to give us some slightly different challenges. It was interesting to talk with the other shooters on the squad and compare our recollections of shooting the stages at Area 8. The seventh stage was a classifier standard exercise.

One of the more fun stages for me was Stage 6. This course of fire had thirteen targets requiring 26 shots minimum. Except for the slightly different target arrangement, this was the setup for Area 8, Stage 8. So I had an idea on how to attack it, or actually an idea on how to better attack it. I had 22 A's, 1 B, and 1C, and then wouldn't you know it, a hit on a No Shoot. Despite that error, this stage tied with Stage 2 for my best finish of the day.

Another fun stage was Stage 3, which used the "shaky bridge" stage from Area 8. It was good to get another chance at shooting that field course. Four of the targets on the stage needed to be shot from the swaying platform. I received a suggestion on how to take those 8 shots from a squad mate while crossing the bridge in a low creeping walk. It worked better than previous attempts to cross the bridge with little movement. The last three targets on the stage were placed the same as at the Area 8 match. In watching the movie of me shooting this course at Area 8 I noticed I had been leaning backwards when I turned for the last two shots. I made a point to remember to position myself better this time.

Except for the classifier, the stages were set up to require plenty of movement, and good planning. They were challenging but still very fun to shoot. Overall I was pleased with my shooting, but I wasn't consistent which led to too many missed shots. I need to work on getting those A's more consistently and I'll be doing more dry fire drills to help smooth things out. That said, I was happy with my planning, and then sticking to the plan for each course of fire. It's easy once the starting beep goes off to lose your way. I've been trying to focus on better strategy and execution, and I'm seeing some improvement.

The interesting stages and fun squad of shooters made this one of the most enjoyable, and even relaxing, matches I've participated in this year. Despite the gloomy weather, it was a great way to spend the morning.

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