Yesterday, I shot through the entire 13 stage match at the 2013 IDPA BUG Nationals. Going into the match, I didn’t honestly know what to expect, because I knew that all the strings of fire were limited to five rounds. I thought, “what can you do with five rounds to present an interesting shooting challenge?”
As it turns out, the answer to that is quite a bit. The match was set up in 13 stages, most of which were divided into individual strings of five shots each. There were two strings of fire on stage one that were 4 and 3 shots respectively, which also represented the only Vickers count stages of the match. All other strings of fire were Limited Vickers. Limited Vickers scoring has two interesting side effects: 1) you really have to aim your ass off, and 2) it eliminates penalties for Failure to Neutralize. So for the course of the match, the only two real penalties on the table are procedurals (got one) and hit on non-threat (got one of those too).
What I liked: I really enjoyed the stages. I thought that for the most part, they were creative, and really forced shooters in some cases to push these little back-up guns to the limits of their performance envelopes. I know for a fact that if I’d brought something like an LCP, I would have been properly hosed on some of the stages that required actual shooting.
I also liked that the stages showed at times just what these little guns are capable of. Nothing crazy, no 25 yard shots or something like that; but there were plenty of stages where you really had to bear down and aim. Lots of partial targets, lots of low or no-light meant you really had to bring your accuracy game.
What I didn’t like: I did feel like there were a few too many strings that were “shoot five on this target”. I understand why that happens, because this is the very first match of this type, so there are inevitably going to be bugs in stage design that need to be worked out.
As far as my performance goes, I shot okay. Not great, not terrible. I made a couple of simple mistakes in the early running that cost me some points down, and later I picked up a no-shoot and a procedural. It happens, and I moved on. I mostly just had a lot of fun shooting this match, despite having some really…interesting stages. I’m looking forward to coming back to this next year and shooting it again…with a different gun, I think.