Things I wonder

Why doesn’t Ruger have any sponsored shooters in USPSA/IDPA competition? One would think that with the SR9 being a solid seller (now that they got the trigger figured out) that Ruger would want a piece of that sweet, sweet practical shooting money. Of course, I’ve wondered the same thing about Taurus as well, but Taurus does have sponsored shooters, they just don’t shoot in US matches all that often.

Beretta is too busy rolling around in piles of DoD money to run sponsored shooters – I totally get that, but the Ruger thing doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, the Ruger Vaquero is the most popular revolver in Cowboy Action Shooting, and while it’s no Performance Center gun, the GP100 can be slicked up to shoot pretty fast for Revolver Division. From everything I’ve heard, the SR9 is a perfectly fine pistol, although the magazine safety is idiotic, there isn’t anything I’ve read in reviews that would prevent Ruger from buying some WarriorWear polos from Blackhawk! and putting the “Ruger” logo on ’em and paying a few up and coming shooters (coughcough) to go shoot their SR9 at matches.

These are the questions that keep me awake at night.

M&P Pro approved for Production Division

Back at SHOT SHOW 2009, one of the guys at the S&W booth mentioned offhand that the M&P Pro was about to be approved for production division. USPSA officially released the announcement yesterday that the pistol has been approved for Production division, having met the requirement of 2000 units produced. Of course, in the press release there is a list of people on Team S&W who will be shooting the new Pro series in any Production division matches:

This year several of the Team S&W members are expected to compete with the newly approved M&P Pro Series model including Gordon Carrell, Jeff Degracia, BJ Norris, Dave Olhasso and Gilbert Perez. Julie Golob, Doug Keonig and Jerry and Kay Miculek are also expected to shoot the Pro Series in any Production Division competitions they enter.

One of the things that was noticed by more than a few people during last year is how large S&W “Pro Team” is. They easily have the largest number of factory sponsored shooters in the field, and often grab up new talent as fast as it comes on the scene. At this rate, S&W is going to end up as the Yankees of practical shooting.

Practical Shooting Report

From Paul Erhardt at DownRange.tv’s blog, comes several interviews with top practical shooters about their sports gathered during SHOT SHOW 2009.

Chris Edwards/GSSF

Bob Vogel

Jessie Abbate

BJ Norris

Tom Hines

Julie Golob

Competitive shooting has been on a definite upswing lately, receiving more attention in the mainstream media as well as an influx of new shooters.  If you look at USPSA or IDPA, you’ll see a lot of people getting started in the Production/SSP divisions with their Glocks or Sigs or Berettas, and then they end up hooked on the game and graduate to the hard drugs – Limited/CDP/Single Stack/et al with super trick guns and high-capacity magazines.  I should point out that I’m not knocking Production guns, it just has the lowest bar for entry of all the divisions.

The Curse of the Rules Lawyer

Anyone who has shot competition matches for any length of time has run into the Rules Lawyer – the guy who tries to use the rulebook to gain whatever competitive advantage he can, and often wheedles and wines about the letter of the law.  I actually love the wikipedia entry on Rules Lawyer that I’ve linked to; as it’s correct in that I first encountered the term when I was in the military, and I’ve most often heard it referenced in role-playing or board games.

Now, the problem with rules lawyering in the shooting sports is that some of the shooting games’ structures tend to make this sort of behavior easier.  My 2nd favorite shooting sport (behind Steel) is IDPA, which unfortunately due to the sometimes unnecessarily complicated rules you end up seeing this sort of behavior come out more and more. For example, the favorite topics of the rules lawyers in IDPA are three things:

  1. Improper use of cover
  2. Reloads
  3. Trying to do the RO’s job for them

For example, during a club level match, say you accidentally forgot to retain a magazine that had rounds in it, and reloaded USPSA style and kept shooting.  Now, if the RO and you didn’t notice, then it’s no big deal.  However, a rules lawyer will have noticed, and will point out to the RO that you dropped the mag with rounds in it and that you should get a procedural. The rules lawyer also loves to point out if you’re not using cover correctly, or just generally try to act like it’s their show.

Now, there are several ways to deal with this character.  The first, and best way, is to be classy.  If he points out a legitimate penalty, you man up and take it.   That way you end up looking like a classy guy, and the rules lawyer ends up looking like a dick.  If you happen to be the RO, and some guy in the squad is constantly rules lawyering, take them aside from the other shooters and politely remind them that they’re not the RO.

I will say this though; usually the worst cases of rules lawyers happen at club level matches.  Sanctioned matches usually have measures in places to counteract this sort of activity.  Unless you get a rules lawyer as your RO, which is pretty much terrible.

Rules lawyering isn’t limited to IDPA.  I’ve seen it happen in steel matches, USPSA, and even bowling pins – the key thing to remember if you run into one of these guys is to not let them ruin your fun.  99% of the guys that you’ll shoot competitions with are good guys,  and are there to have fun and shoot some bullets.  Only rarely will you run into that 1% of guys who want to spoil the fun for everyone else.  When you do, just let it ride, keep shooting, and have fun.  That’s the most important thing you can do!

Matt Mink in the news

If you don’t know who Matt Mink is, don’t worry – you’re not alone.  However, if you follow USPSA, you know who he is, especially after his Silver Medal in the Production Division at the World Shoot in Bali, and the fact that helped lead the US Team to their first Gold Medal in Production at the World Shoot.

Matt was recently featured by a TV station in a video about local celebs in Arkansas – it’s always nice to see the shooting sports getting positive media coverage.

Edit: Looks like the video embed doesn’t work – so hit this link to view the story on Matt Mink.

Gun Porn at USPSA Area 2 Championship

Dave Sevigny with a textbook speed reload.

Miscellaneous pictures

Gilbert Perez, Team S&W

“One for the Ladies”

Dave Sevigny leading Production Division

Stats heading into the final day

More miscellaneous pictures

A couple of quick comments.  The Area 2 shoot is always one of those that I want to go to, primarily because it’s in the southwest at a time of the year when I’m freezing my trigger finger off up here in Indianastan.

Secondly, it seems like Team S&W is trying to become the Yankees of Production Division, scooping up lots of good talent to pack their guns into top 5 finishes, which is a pretty awesome strategy.  Production is dominated by Glocks, M&Ps, and Springfield XDs at the competitive level, so it will be interesting to see how this shakes out over the next few years.