The 2013 ProAm represented a pretty interesting match for me. Coming into the match, I had no expectations of my performance, because I had no benchmark for my shooting. Because of the gun issues I had in 2011, I had no way of knowing how many plates I’d fired at that the gun simply couldn’t hit. Thus, my plan for this year was “show up, shoot, have fun.”
As it turns out, that was a pretty good idea. In the Limited match, I finished 28th overall and 7th A class. With the value of post match self-analysis, I can look back at the match and see two stages where I left about 15 total points on the table, which, had I shot them would have obviously improved my position in the standings fairly considerably. But I’m not too upset about it, because on 6 of the 8 stages I actually shot very well. I was pleased with my stage planning, pleased with my shooting, and very pleased with my accuracy. Shooting an 8 round gun instead of the 10 rounders that most of the other guys were shooting meant I had to be serious about getting hits; while you may not think that two extra rounds in the gun makes that big a difference, at a match like ProAm in genuinely does.
I had a great squad for the Limited match – a couple of dudes that I knew from previous matches as well as a good crew of guys I’d never met before. The thing that makes a squad good is that everyone was invested in moving through the stages. We didn’t have any guys standing around in the back not setting steel, despite the 90+ degree Florida heat which felt like about 1,000 degrees with the humidity. Once again, Florida in July was quite warm when it wasn’t pouring rain.
So I had a good squad, good stages, and I shot reasonably well. My gun worked great, even with the 185 grain SWC bullets. Sure, I’d like to go back to stages 4 and 5 and take another whack at them, but that’s the game, right? It was unfortunate that I made mistakes on two of the stages with relatively high point values, but it is what it is. If you recall my post Bianchi Cup analysis, I was fairly harsh on myself simply because I didn’t shoot to my ability. At ProAm, I did. I shot a solid A-class match, and like an A-class shooter I made a couple of mistakes that cost me in the standings. I can live with it, because the errors I made were shooting errors. I left a plate standing that I should have made sure I hit, and I left a popper up that made me return to a shooting box and cost me time. The solution for errors like that is simple: train harder, shoot better.
My 2013 ProAm match was a lot of fun. Shooting on a cool squad with a working, accurate gun really made me enjoy the Limited match. I certainly would have liked to finished better, but on 6 out of 8 stages I shot to the best of my ability. Thanks to Colt and GunUp the Magazine for providing me the guns and financial support to make this great match a possibility! Now it’s time to practice for Steel Challenge…