Rock Island Armory Ultra FS at USPSA

It’s time to get busy. After a layoff of nearly two years, Sunday I headed out to Sioux Falls Practical Shooters to shoot a club level USPSA match. As it turns out, this was the best attended match that club has ever had, with 55 shooters, some driving up from as far as Sioux City to attend. How’d I shoot? Both better and worse than I expected.

Let’s start with my gear, which was excellent. I’m still using the same Safariland ELS belt I used for Single Stack Nationals in 2013, because it’s awesome. All my pouches are also the Safariland pouches, but my holster now is a one-off I got from Annette that attaches directly to the belt. It’s purple, but I don’t care because it’s also a pretty awesome holster for single stack.

My main match gun continues to be the Rock Island Ultra FS 1911, which scored a perfect 100 on our 1911 review. I’ve upgraded it with a Techwell TGO to help on reloads, and that’s it. It went through 134 rounds of Freedom Munitions American Steel at the match, bringing the total to 2208 without a failure of any type. There is some serious devil magic in this gun.

On to my match performance itself. I made the decision at the start of the day that I wanted to shoot aggressively, move aggressively, and essentially stay on the throttle the whole match. My rational behind this was that coming off of two years, the best way to shake of the rust would be to kick the tires and light the fires. Especially since this was a club match, so the penalty for massive failures wouldn’t be a huge loss or anything. I accomplished my mission of shooting aggressively, and my stage times were usually only a few seconds shorter than the Open shooters that ended up beating me at the match. Ultimately, I won Single Stack (out of 4 shooters woooo) but more importantly I finished 6th overall out of 55. I know that combined results aren’t an official USPSA score, but to me when you’re shooting small club matches, you should care about your finish in the overall. Of the 5 shooters who beat me, 4 were in Open, and one was in Limited.

The result of my aggressive stage plans was that I did make mistakes. I shot a no-shoot, and I had two mikes during the match. One during the classifier and one on a different stage; but the point was to go hard and see where I would have issues.

Interestingly, one of the side effects of pushing hard was that for the first time in a long time, I was generally happy with my movement through the stages. That’s the first time I can recall in a while where I’ve been pretty pleased with how hard I hit my positions and how much shooting on the move I did. The problem areas for me cropped up when I was shooting at partials and low percentage targets; I found myself taking far too long to confirm my sight picture than I actually needed to. I think at the range today I’ll do some work on partials and focus on shooting as much of the available A-zone as I can.

Overall? Pretty happy with the match. I’m sure as the season goes on I’ll get more critical of my ability to perform, but for now I liked how things went down. I identified some trouble areas that I can work on at the range, so today I’ll be hitting Badlands to do just that.


  1. Interesting to hear that you consciously stepped on the throttle and had a good match. Most of the time when shooters set a goal of trying to consciously control speed, they out shoot their sights and things go tits up in a hurry. Were you pushing the actual shooting, or just the movement?

    1. Mostly the movement; as I mentioned in the post there were a few places where I took too long to get on the sights on targets. I was TRYING to push the shooting as well, and had some success. But I also outran my sights a couple of times, most notably on the no-shoot and the hardcover mike I ate.

  2. It will come.
    And, if it doesn’t come quickly enough, watch this before your next classifier.

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