2009 OH State Match Report

Posted: September 20, 2009 in IDPA
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I had a great match today at Ashland Lake Gun Club. Big thanks to Tony Lavelle, John Moson, the SOs, match staff and everyone else who helped make it a wonderful day.

I got up at 5am, had a coffee, got my things together and left around 5.30am. I’d packed most of my stuff the night before so I could take my time getting ready. The club is only 1.5hrs drive from my house and at that time of morning I made good time.

After registration and the shooter’s meeting I joined the rest of my squad on stage 1. I had a small snafu on this first stage where midway during the string, the mag fell out of the gun, it was a box start stage, so I either pressed the mag release while grabbing it, or I somehow touched the mag release during recoil.

I could have finished that stage feeling down and perhaps in a time before reading Lanny Bassham’s book, I would have resigned myself to a thought along the lines of “what a way to start off, I guess that’s the way this match is going to be”. But I didn’t do that. I thought about how I had positioned my feet well so I could pivot and that my shots were good. I purposely did not think about that incident again and instead chose to fill my mind with thoughts on how I was going to break down the next stage and how well I was going to do.

I got to the chrono stage and handed the SO my gun. He ran it through the chrono and shook his head. I couldn’t quite understand what he said at first, but then he said “that’s not going to make it, do you want me to shoot another 3?”. He shot another 3 and started tapping away on the calculator. Each time he said I was coming up really short. I had downloaded my ammo but I was fairly certain that I had measured the charge so that I would at least make the 125k ESP powerfactor. Of course since I handed him a 1911 he assumed I was shooting in CDP and so he was looking at a chart of velocities for 165k PF. After recalculating it a couple more times, the verdict was given and the ammo *just* passed: 125,167 PF. Wow that was close! I think the cooler morning temperatures must have affected the velocities. I may have to look into changing powder, because I don’t think clays is not consistent enough at this powerfactor.

Stage 10 was standards with 3 targets. String 1 was 6 shots support hand only at 7 yards. String 2 was 6 shots strong hand only (from draw) at 10 yards. String 3 was 6 shots freestyle at 20 yards. Since the last time I’d shot was beginning of August, I went to the local range Friday and shot 200 rounds, quite a few of which were support and strong hand only type drills. When I got to this stage I knew I was going to do well because I had just practiced something similar the day before.

I shot the rest of the match really well with no major errors. There were little things here and there which I could have done a little smoother, or slightly differently, but I was really happy with my performance overall.

ESP SS First Place
At the end of the day I finished first in ESP SS with a time (including points and PEs) of 171s. Since I beat more than 10 in my classification (and the EX guys) I got bumped up to Expert. I was 3rd overall in ESP and 10th for the entire match. I could not have been happier with my result. ESP division champion was Morgan Allen with a time of 138.29. Match results are posted here: 2009 OH State Match Results.

There were a lot of stages with targets that had to be engaged in tactical sequence, which sometimes caught a few people off guard. Surprisingly I think there was only one partial target and one swinger in all 12 stages. We did have a nice prop stage where the shooter had to stab the first target with a bayonet before moving on, and yes the stab was a scoring hit.

Chef Larry Wenger did a great job with the food. We were also fortunate to have some SO instructors shooting with us, as well as Area Coordinator Joe Buchanan and IDPA Vice President John Sayle.

It was great to see a lot of the central OH crowd, many of whom also did well and received awards.

2 Weeks To Go

Posted: September 4, 2009 in IDPA
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Only two weeks to go until the OH state match, so I’m going to be doing dry fire practice and working out on the elliptical machine every day. This is the final push before my first major match.

Although it’s my first major match, I’m going to treat it as just another match. Every match is important and I need to perform at 100%.

I will run through my pre COF routine as I usually do. I’ll do the same things I usually do, like:

  • Having my mcdonalds coffee in the car ride to the match.
  • Taking my bottled water and protein snack bars and taking sips and small bites after each stage.
  • Putting myself in a good mood prior to and right after a stage.
  • I will always focus on what I did really well and forget about any misses, dropped shots or other errors.
  • I will enjoy the shooting challenges presented in the way of hard shots, or shooting positions.
  • I won’t let the little things bother me, such as weather, score, shooting order, etc

This weekend I’m going to file down the Smith and Alexander magwell so that it will fit in the IDPA box, check the tension on my mag pouches, load my match ammo and hit the range to sight in my new load. So by next week my equipment will be perfect and ready for the match.

Sharpshooter in ESP

Posted: August 24, 2009 in IDPA
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I ran the classifier twice last weekend. The first run was terrible. My hits were all over the place and by stage 3 I had a ridiculous amount of points down. When I went forward to score the targets and all my hits were along the right side of the targets. I had several misses and a lot of shots scored -3. I couldn’t believe I had done so badly. I still scraped sharpshooter, I think I was perhaps 3 seconds into it from marksman. Certainly not what I had hoped for.

At the end of the day after I’d run everyone else through there were just a couple of SOs left. I decided to put up a target and put 2 sighters on there from 10yds to see what I was doing wrong. Both shots were about 2″ apart about 8″ right of center. I looked at my gun and found the rear sight was way off to the right. It has a grub screw in the rear sight and I guess it had worked its way loose and kept drifting over under recoil.

I got it centered back up and ran through the classifier again. I missed 3 headshots on stage 1 (something you should never do), but the load I was using was impacting a little lower than usual. I decided to continue despite this and ended up at the top end of SS, just 4.5s off getting Expert. I would have gotten EX had I not dropped the headshots. Final scores were:

Stage Score Raw Time Points down
1 37.11 27.61 19
2 28.53 22.53 12
3 47.42 38.42 18
Total 113.06 88.56 49

Classifier tomorrow

Posted: August 21, 2009 in IDPA
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Tomorrow I’ll be shooting the IDPA classifier (ESP) in preparation for the OH State match. Considering I had a disastrous last match, I made sure I doublechecked all my equipment and have everything cleaned and ready to go.

I’m even bringing my XD and associated gear so if I really get into a tight spot I can at least shoot that in CDP. If I get the time, I may be able run the classifier in both. I also have separate and clearly identifiable containers of ammo for both guns, since they’re loaded to different specs.

Right off to bed, ready for a good night’s sleep.

Squared away

Posted: August 9, 2009 in IDPA

Although I had fun, I had an epic failure at the last Pickaway match. I usually clean my gun before every match but had failed to do so for this match, believing that was “clean enough”. I was also trying out some new reloads using moly coated 180gr rounds. I had not shot a lot of these through the gun and tested them at my local indoor range. The two of these issues, plus a whole host of other issues caused me to post some really awful times. While I don’t like to dwell on the past too much, especially bad performances, I did learn some interesting lessons.

Every match is important.

I went into it thinking it was probably going to be a throwaway match due to possible ammo problems, but it’s still not a good feeling to post awful times. Matches are the time to perform. As a safety officer and designer of 3 of the 4 stages at the match, I need to be at peak performance, that means myself AND my equipment.

I should not shoot matches expecting problems, or expecting to put in bad scores. As Lanny likes to say, your performance equals your expectations.

While I have not let it get me down, it’s still got me thinking about things. If I am going to enter state matches and possibly nationals at some point in the future, I need to treat every local match with as much respect as I would a major match. I shoot far more local than major matches, so therefore they become my training/practicing at shooting matches. If I don’t take them seriously, how am I supposed to suddenly change my performance at a major match? It can’t happen unless every match is important to me and treated as such. Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

I have the classifier on the 22nd at Big Darby Creek and the OH State match mid September, so I cannot afford to get lax or have my equipment fail, I need to make sure I have everything squared away.

PCSI IDPA Match Video August 2009

Posted: August 8, 2009 in IDPA
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PCSI IDPA Match August 2009

Although I had a ton of problems, I did have a lot of fun. The weather was great and I was able to put in a few quick times.

I need to do some more work on my trigger control and follow through as I had a few silly misses and more points down than I should have had.

The compilation video contains some of the better runs, although I didn’t get footage of all the runs today. This is my first time with my new video camera, so getting it out is not yet part of my routine.

IDPA Dry Fire Videos

Posted: August 4, 2009 in IDPA

I bought a new Canon FS20 flash memory cam corder and thought I’d try recording myself to see how it turned out. So here are a few videos of me doing some basic dry fire drills:

Reload with Retention

Tactical Reload

You can see I’m not wearing a cover garment for this video, but I may post the same drills later on using my vest to compare.