2013 Shooting Season recap

2013 was an interesting shooting season for me. While on the one hand, I spent it with one of the best guns I’ve ever had the privilege to shoot, in many ways it was a frustrating year for me as a shooter as my performance fluctuated wildly through the year. It was however, a very good year for my business, which had the interesting side effect of limiting my practice time. It is somewhat ironic, that the company I founded to support my shooting habit has become successful to the point where managing it impedes my shooting habit. However, all that aside let’s take a look at the major matches and milestones from my 2013 shooting season.

March 2013: 10-8 Performance Armorer’s Class
I started my 2013 season with a class, and a good one at that. Spending the year shooting 1911s meant I needed to be up to speed on how to keep those guns running during a season, and the 10-8 class did just that. I strongly recommend this class to anyone who wants to run a 1911 hard.

April 2013: Ben Stoeger USPSA Class
This was the first major shooting I did all season, and it was very helpful in getting me acclimated to the new platform I was running. I did struggle with reloads, something that would plague me in major matches all season, but it did help me increase my speed when shooting and really tune my vision up to the next level.

May 2013: USPSA Single Stack Nationals
This was where the frustration began for me; I went into Single Stack Nationals and did not have the performance I was looking for. I finished 7th in my class (B-class) and 63rd overall. Overall I was happy with my shooting at the match, but frustrated with my stage planning and execution.

May 2013: Bianchi Cup
This was the real disappointment for me. I had actually spent a decent amount of time training up for the Cup, I had my gun and gear all dialed in…and I choked. That was really my most frustrating match. I didn’t shoot well, plain and simple. The Cup is all about shooting, and I shot like crap.

July 2013: Great Plains Sectional Championship
Hey, a match that I sort of did okay at! Honestly, I wasn’t happy with my shooting at this match either, but I somehow managed to win Single Stack. A win is a win even if it’s ugly.

July 2013: ProAm
It’s hard to have feelings about this match one way or the other. I had some good stages, some bad stages, and spent most of the time just wetter than a drowned rat. I wish I could have won my class, but if wishes were fishes something something we’d have a lot of fish.

July 2013: Steel Challenge
I was actually reasonably happy with my performance at Steel Challenge. For the third straight year, I improved my score even if it was just by a second or so. I know that this is a match I need to train hard for, and each year I’ve neglected my training in the run up for the match.

August 2013: Area 3
I finished 4th at this match. I shot well enough to finish fourth, 76% of the GM who won the match and 2nd B-class Single Stack. This was the last USPSA match I shot this season, and also marked the end of the Colt Challenge.

August 2013: Crimson Trace M3GI
This was the most fun match I’ve had all season. I got to shoot machine guns in the dark! I think that I could have shot better, and I also could have prepared my gear better as some of the guns I had weren’t optimal, but honestly this was just a great, fun match.

September 2013: IDPA Nationals
Another year, another 4th Master finish at an IDPA Nationals. Starting in 2012, I finished 4th in CDP at the Indoor Nats, than 4th in SSR at the regular Nats, then 4th in 2013 at the outdoor Nationals again. Switching to SSR right before the match might not have been the smartest idea, but after shooting 10,000 rounds through my Colt I was pretty burnt out on 1911s. I had fun, and more importantly I came back with a renewed sense of purpose.

Nov 2013: IDPA BUG Nationals
It’s hard to analyze my performance objectively. I had some good stages, some bad stages, but shot well enough to grab 2nd Master. More importantly, I had more fun shooting this match than you should be allowed to have with a j-frame, and it made me want to shoot more IDPA and support IDPA next year.

So that’s it for 2013. 11 major events or matches, not counting trade shows like SHOT, NRA, or NASGW. This was in summary probably my frustrating season as a shooter, because I spent most of it trying to get off the plateau as a high B-class/low A-class shooter. I saw some great gains by sticking to one gun for most of the season, but ultimately got burned out shooting that gun. In 2014, I’d like to stick to similar guns, for example all revolvers, but not necessarily just one gun to rule them all.

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