2014 Shooting Season: Well, now what?

If you read yesterday’s 2013 Shooting Season Recap, you know that 2013 was a somewhat frustrating season for me. On the gear front, the Colt CCG was (and still is) an amazing gun, but my performance left a bit to be desired in multiple matches. Big disappointments in Bianchi Cup and at IDPA Nationals left me feeling a little frustrated. Now that winter has officially set in for South Dakota, it’s a good time to take some downtime from shooting, and look at what I want to do with my 2014 season.

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One of the big reasons this is important is because the off-season, which really runs from mid-November through mid-March is a perfect time to train up dry-fire skills. It’s also a great time to work on strength and conditioning, because Always Be Bulking, Bro. But back to shooting, here’s a look at major matches I plan on attending in 2014.

  • IDPA Indoor Nats
  • IDPA Nats
  • Bianchi Cup
  • NRA Action World Championship

There are always quite a few matches that I’m “maybe” about, such as Steel Challenge or the ProAm. I’d also really like to get qualified and get out to the ICORE Nationals in 2014, if for no other reason than to visit the central coast of California. Of course, a lot of that will depend on how busy things are with the company.

Now, with regards to off-season training, it would seem that if I want to move up the ladder in IDPA and actually win a national championship in SSR, I need to step my revolver game up across the board. Looking at scores from the 2013 IDPA Nationals, I finished with a raw time 33 seconds slower than the 1st Master and 43 seconds slower than the Division Champion. My accuracy is good for a Master class shooter, I only dropped 2 more points than the 1st Master, but it’s not going to cut it to win DC, who dropped 30 points less than me. So if I want to win an IDPA National, I need to be faster and more accurate.

My goal for Bianchi Cup is to finish in the top 15 and shoot an 1800 or better. That means being more accurate. Trigger control, trigger control, trigger control, and a bit of sight alignment. I can work on that in dry-fire by just dry firing my wheelguns until my fingers fall off. It will probably help, and I can work in some range time as I’ve outlined in my Bianchi Cup training plan.

The IDPA goal will be tougher. There are a couple of ways I can pick up some extra time right off the bat, and the first eliminate gear issues. I had a persistent issue with my reloads where occasionally the speedloader would bind on the grip and thus the cartridges wouldn’t insert fully. I know for a fact that cost me 3-5 seconds at Nationals. I also threw away a ton of points on the standards stage, which I should have shot a lot better, so there again is the accuracy issue.

Based on that, the best way to train in the off season for me looks like: tons of reloading drills, and tons of dry fire at reduced targets focusing on sight alignment and trigger control. It would seem that there really is no such thing as an “advanced shooting technique,” just the basics executed quicker and with more accuracy than your opponent.


  1. We are going to be holding a back to back level 2 USPSA match in Oxford NC (Home of the Carolina Cup Match). We are designing the match to test the theory of adding the 8 shot Revos to the Revolver class in USPSA. The idea is to shoot the match on day 1 with 6 shot, and on day 2 shoot with 8 shot (if you are lucky enough to have one). These matches will be open to every division and class, it is NOT restricted restricted to Revolvers, that was just the drive to do the matches.
    ZSA, Zombie Shooter Association is the club who is holding the match and The Range in Oxford, NC id the hosting facility. It would be great if you could make it, or pass on the info.

    Also, since the first ZSA NC State championship match was such a success there has been talks about doing another on in 2014. Send me a note if you are interested any any of these. ZSA id getting bigger every year and each match is a fun safe environment for newbies and seasoned competitors.

  2. The Florida Open in February would give you a reason to do a lot of live fire while it is still cold everywhere else. The norm is 10 stages all field courses of the 29 to 32 round variety . Always a hard match, always a lot of fun.

  3. Would love to see you at the Carolina Cup, but the USPSA match put on by the Zombie Shooter’s Association mentioned above will be a great one as well. They do a remarkable job with stage design and have access to all of Frank Glover’s weird and wonderful range props (including a full-length school bus). ZSA founder John Z. is a revolver guy, & Cliff Walsh regularly makes an appearance at the big ZSA matches.

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