Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quantico USPSA Match

I finally made it up the monthly USPSA match by the Quantico Practical Shooters this past Sunday. The half-day match is held at the Quantico Shooting Club ranges on Marine Base Quantico. I admit I wasn't so enamored with the idea when the alarm went off Sunday morning, thanks to that "Daylight Savings Time" switch. However, an extra cup of coffee got me on my way to the range. I wasn't sure what to expect getting on the base, with a gun, but the process was hassle free; an ID check and I was on my way.

The morning started out cool, around 32°, and I was glad for the last minute decision to wear an extra layer. But, as is typical for Virginia, four hours later when finished up the temperature had gone up 30 degrees!

The first of four match stages required the shooter to start with an unloaded gun, with all magazines set on barrels around the stage. It was a fun stage and something a little different than usual. It took extra concentration to remember not to try to reload from the belt. I had my best hits on that stage, so maybe the extra thought process involved was a help! Stage Two consisted of an array of six targets in a line along the berm, with some no-shoots interspersed. The shooter shot two strings of fire; the first was one shot on each target, reload, then one shot on each strong hand only. The second string was the same except the weak hand was used.

Stage 1

Stage Three, in addition to the usual paper targets, had 5 bowling pins placed at distances ranging from very close to "slow down and aim." The paper targets were also placed at wide-ranging distances. It was a fun stage requiring some extreme changes in shooting speed and aiming techniques. The final stage was the USPSA classifier Melody Line 99-08. It consisted of 6 targets, each engaged once, followed by a mandatory reload and 6 more shots.

As a "bonus," the club had set up a final optional stage with two plate racks. The shooters could shoot three strings, and the fastest time won bragging rights; no divisions or classifications taken into account. My times were nothing to brag about but it was good shoot the stage solely for the opportunity to get in a little practice on the plate racks.

I enjoyed the match very much, although I didn't shoot as well as I would have liked. I found myself shooting low a bunch, so will need to focus on correcting that for the future. I've been wanting to get up for one of the Quantico matches, and was glad it finally worked out. It was good to see some old friends again, and make some new shooting friends as well. The match was fun, relatively close to home, and didn't consume the entire day. I'm definitely looking forward to shooting this match again.

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