The alternate title for this post could be “Old Age and Treachery once again triumphs over Youth and Enthusiasm”. I drove up to the match with a few other shooters from Atlanta Conservation Club, one of whom shot in my class and division…and who ended up beating me by about 2.5 seconds. Guess what I did at this match? That’s right, I shot a hostage. Just one. But that 5 second penalty was certainly enough to put me from the “winning” to the “losing” side of things.
Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way, let’s look at the match itself. The match was 10 stages, with a round count around 150 minimum, although I ended up expending about 165/170 thanks to extra shots at certain targets. Before I continue, I want to state that here, on this blog, I’m writing my opinions, so bear that in mind. The stages themselves were a mix of craftily designed stages that tested your shooting ability, and stages that I felt were designed to be ways to trap people into getting procedural penalties. Shockingly enough, I generally dislike the latter type of stage; but again that’s my opinion. Overall, I felt like the stages were quality stages, well thought out and designed. In fact, one of the “procedural trap” stages was one of my best stages – it required all shots to be fired on the move even if cover was available, which caused some of the die-hard IDPA shooters to have mental fits.
From an organizational point of view, the match went superb. The match director, Larry Hill and his staff did an absolutely excellent job of keeping things running like a clock – only once did we have to wait for shooters to finish in a bay before we could get our squad shooting. The Safety Officers were generally excellent, providing solid walk-throughs and explanations of each stage. My hat is off to Larry and Co. for putting on a great match.
As far as my performance? Well, I’ve been happier. There were some bright spots, namely my reloads which I had been working on practice were absolutely screamingly fast. There was a stage that required you to start with three rounds in the gun, shoot one paper target and a forward falling popper which activates a drop turner, reload and get the drop turner. I nailed that reload much to my personal satisfaction. Other aspects of my performance I wasn’t so happy about, and I was able to identify key areas of improvement:
- Patience – slow down, get your hits. There are no style points for looking cool while missing, or for missing fastest.
- Shoot smarter – Even though IDPA is much more strict about rules of engage, each stage is still a shooting problem that needs to be solved, so engaging my brain might be a good idea.
- Patience – seriously, slow down. Pay attention to the sights and the trigger and let your legs do what they’re going to do.
With regards to the patience, I’m glad that my next few matches are all wheelgun matches – I tend to be more patient when shooting a revolver than I am with an automatic pistol.
Once again, my hat is off to Larry Hill and the staff at MSSA. They did an excellent job with this match, and god willing I’ll be back next year to improve on this year’s performance!