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Thomas H

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About Thomas H

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    Calls Shots

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    Thomas Howard

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  1. Thomas H

    Limited Ready Glock17

    So what are your times like, compared to the people winning the Limited division in the matches around you? Preferably Level II and above? Getting all alphas is good, but if it much slower than others, that's not a winning combination. It all depends on what your goal is, though. If you want to have fun at locals, a G17 with basepads is a great way to go.
  2. Thomas H

    Classifier vs match bump

    I'm not sure I'd necessarily agree with that. I know several A and B-class shooters who are very, very fast. They just aren't consistently accurate, but every once in awhile (and you can see this in big matches also, occasionally), they burn down a stage AND get lucky enough to get good hits. They aren't GMs (or even Ms) but they are fast, and every once in awhile they get lucky, so they blaze a stage. I've seen similar things happen on classifiers---someone gets a stage score that is vastly outside of their actual skill level due to a hero-or-zero type run where they got lucky. So take a set of classifiers, run each of them multiple times in a hero-or-zero fashion, and by luck, some of them are going to go really, really well. May take awhile, but if you can redo them as many times as you want, it'll happen. Collect them all, and you can get yourself kicked significantly above your actual skill level in terms of classification. (I'm the opposite---I can't seem to run classifiers well to save my life, though I do decently in matches. ) For me, personally, a "paper GM" is someone who is a USPSA GM who got there by hero-or-zeroing enough times, often due to repeated runs at the same classifier, until they managed a set of 6 in the appropriate range---and who can't manage major match finishes remotely close to the other GMs, and who get beaten by people classed several places below their own. I've seen several. And there's certainly been discussions of others. I think that it has already been shown (by a particular shooter who even made the claim that "anyone can make GM") that someone can, with enough hero-or-zero runs on repeated classifiers, get a GM card without even remotely being able to finish on a GM level at matches. In general, in my own mind, I have four different levels of "GM". 1st Tier are the guys who finish top three nationally and internationally. These are the guys who normally just destroy everyone else. There aren't many of these, and they are just that much better than others until another Tier 1 comes along. 2nd Tier are the guys who normally finish just behind those Tier 1 guys, who every once in awhile give them a run for their money, and who are always beating the Ms and lowers, who tend to be in the top five at Level III major matches that aren't Nationals. The 2nd Tier guys are the GMs who can do it on a consistent, regular basis whether on classifiers, standards, or field stages---that's simply their skill level all the time. 3rd Tier GMs are the poor guys who just made it into GM. They CAN shoot GM-level, they just aren't doing it all the time yet, so while they mostly are in the GM-group-finish at majors, occasionally an M squeaks by one of them. Their classifiers and field stages are closer to GM-level than M, but every once in awhile they slide a little. They rock at locals and do solidly well at majors, and normally are working on getting more consistent in shooting GM-quality all the time. They got their GM-card after having a whole ton of scores almost get them there, and then one last one finally tipped them over the line. And the paper GMs are the guys who have a GM card, mention it periodically to everyone, but don't have match scores that support it in majors, and sometimes in locals get tromped by M and even A-class shooters. That's just my opinion, though, based on my experiences with people. All are GMs according to USPSA, though. And it all gets sorted out when a match comes along.
  3. Thomas H

    RO’s Stationary or Move With Squad

    This is for Level II and up matches. Some staff (CROs, at least) shoot prior to the rest of the competitors showing up. (We normally try to shoot as much of the staff as possible earlier, but sometimes some of the squad ROs still shoot with the squad.)
  4. Thomas H

    RO’s Stationary or Move With Squad

    I think that one of the issues also was people not making a separation between the RO and the CRO for the stage. At our level II matches, we differentiate between the CRO and the squad RO. The CRO stays on the stage, runs the timer, and that way the stage itself is done exactly the same for all shooters, and the CRO running the timer is experienced at making sure the timer picks up the last shot for all divisions on that particular stage. The squad RO, on the other hand, moves with the squad, is used to the squad and can keep them in order, running smoothly, and knows if certain people need a little reminding to help on the stage and so on. Having both stay on a particular stage is fine, also, but we've had a lot of good luck with squad-dedicated ROs (running the tablet and the scoresheets) for our Level II matches. We prefer to also keep the guy running the timer (the CRO of the stage) on that specific stage.
  5. Thomas H

    New format for Steel Challenge idea

    [snip number of good points] ....all of those points are excellent with regard to good practice. That's separate from making a good match, though.
  6. Thomas H

    Rimfire Rifle Build

    ^^this. The entry-level Kidd trigger is ridiculously good.
  7. Thomas H

    Practiscore for SC Practice?

    On Pendulum, the most misses (by far) I see occur on the 10" plates, in other words plates 2 and 4. (Assuming we are counting as plates 1-5, not 1-4 and S.) As such, if people are shooting 1254S, the number of people who screw up that plate, go to the stop plate, then go back, is pretty large. Similarly speaking, the number of people who hit the stop plate and get a miss penalty is also pretty large. I prefer going R-to-L, so I shoot 5421S. The transition from a side plate to the center isn't a big deal,, since the stop plate is large and close, and going from an easier target to hit to the stop plate also raises the chance of not screwing up. I've seen people do it all sorts of ways, so you should do whatever works well for you. That being said, I've seen a number of high-level shooters just go straight across, then hit the stop plate.
  8. Thomas H

    Showdown penalty rule.

    I would either remove the penalty for creeping (if the timer hasn't gone off, wait until they are in the proper position, if the timer did go off then stop them and reshoot the string) or make a clear division between "creeping" and "false start." I think that is the problem, really. The current "creeping" definition actually includes what happens when people false start. (Currently, if the person does a false start reacting to an outside sound, realizes it, and stops before drawing and then the beep sounds, they get a creeping penalty plus get hammered on a bad run. That's not creeping, but they get hit like it was.) Getting rid of the penalty, period, would be easiest. If not: "Creeping: Slowly moving to a more advantageous position prior to the start signal." "False Start: Quickly attempting to begin the course of fire." "In the case of creeping or a false start when there has been no audible start signal, the RO will wait for the competitor to return to the start position, and repeat with "Are You Ready?" In the case of a false start and an audible start signal occurs, the competitor should be stopped, and then should be given instructions to reshoot the string of fire. In the case of creeping and an audible start signal occurs, the competitor will be given a procedural penalty." In other words, if you react to an outside sound and the timer goes off before you can reset, you reshoot. If, on the other hand, you are slowly lowering your hands trying to get closer to your holster and hoping the RO won't notice and the timer goes off, you get a procedural because you were trying to cheat. I'd still prefer to remove the penalty altogether, and just reshoot the string of fire automatically for everyone.
  9. Thomas H

    RO’s Stationary or Move With Squad

    RO or CRO? I think that for larger matches (level IIs, at least), having the CRO remain on the stage (the guy running the timer), and the RO (that runs the squad and the scoresheets) travel with the squad, works best. With people shooting multiple guns, and (often) small squads because of that, having an RO who knows the order, recognizes the shooters, and is able to keep the divisions straight, is just a good idea. Plus, it often goes faster, as the RO is used to the squad and can set up the paperwork automatically and quickly each time. (I'll also note that recently at a couple of level II matches, our squad decided to keep the same order without dropping the order by one on each new stage, simply because running it that way we all knew exactly where we were, and what we had to do to keep the stage re-painted in a timely manner. I wouldn't want that in USPSA, but in SC it worked really well.) Having the CRO stay on the stage helps in terms of match equality (every competitor on that stage gets run the same) , plus the CRO will also know specific things to do for their stage to a accurately get times and such. (For example, on Outer Limits remembering to get near the .22 rifle or PCC on for the last shot is easier after the movement is easier, if that is what you have been doing all day, and so on.) For local matches---if everyone moves, it'll work out. For larger matches, I personally like the moving RO, and stationary CRO method.
  10. Thomas H

    9 days of Nationals

    37 in Limited-10 https://practiscore.com/results/new/68796?q_division=2 Edited to add: And yes, of those 37, seven were female.
  11. Your first sentence conflates two different types of issues, and then attempts to use those issues on a third topic. And it just doesn't work that way. Most timers WON'T pick up all shots on a stage unless the RO manages to be in the right position to pick up everything on that stage no matter where/how the competitor moves, and does so while NOT picking up any shots from a different stage or from anything bumping the timer. That is one issue. (And it isn't an important one, since none of the mid-stage shots matter, only the last one does.) Picking up their own beeps is a sensitivity and lock-out matter, and is a different issue. (And it isn't an important one, because the first shot time therefore reads a number that occurs faster than the competitor has drawn, so it is obviously not a shot, and it doesn't affect the timer's ability to record later shots.) And NEITHER one of those things have anything to do with the ability to verify that the final time on the timer was the last shot fired---because the last shot fired being caught by the timer is easily verified by the RO having the timer's readout up in his/her field of view during the last shot and after so the RO's peripheral vision catches the fact that the timer readout changed on the last shot. If the argument is "the timer should pick up all shots and the reading is invalid if it doesn't!" then that argument fails because the rulebook itself only requires the final shot time to be accurate. If you want to change that requirement to be "all shots must be picked up by the timer" that's fine, but you'll need to literally come up with a different way to time people, because the current timer set and stage design means that not all shots will be picked up. Are you thinking that the timer should be clipped to the competitor or something? (I'll note that RF timers when hooked to things like the Big Board from CED occasionally drop mid-run shots and don't show them, and that's on stages in Steel Challenge matches where there is no movement and the timer is kept in an optimal position the entire time. In other words, I'm not sure the tech right now will support any change to a "all shots must be counted!" requirement in the rules.) And since at the moment there isn't any such requirement, the timer, when monitored correctly by the RO, does exactly what it is supposed to do---which is acccurately record the time of the last shot. As such, this statement: "Basically you are making assumptions because you don't know any better and timer is not letting you know or making it too hard or to long to get better idea or ROs not bothering to check it because they have other things to do at the stage." ....makes no sense, as the RO can verify that last shot easily. I'll note I'm perfectly good with additional data to use for practice purposes. That's separate from whether or not the argument made by euxx was logical---and it wasn't.
  12. Thomas H

    New Rules

    As an example, because I got curious, the Great Plains Steel Challenge Championship this past year had 205 entries. (We originally had 288, but when the blizzard hit, many people stayed home. ) On Outer Limits, only 86 people had stage times under 20 seconds, and most of those folks shot rimfire or rifles. Only seven of them were shooting centerfire pistols. (The other 67 people shooting centerfire pistols had over 20 seconds on that stage.) For a number of those folks, being able to shoot all in one spot would have made a difference, particularly for those folks who thought they got a hit, started to move, realized they had a miss, came back, etc....or left anyway and had a miss in addition to the movement because they didn't want to go back. Shooting all from one spot not only saves movement time, but also means that fixing errors is simpler. At the SIG Sauer SC match, 62% of the centerfire pistol shooters had times over 20.00 seconds. Canadian Nats, 78%. US Steel Shoot, 50%. If anyone can stay in the center, it makes it a very different game except for the people at the top of the sport. Is that the point of the potential rule change?
  13. Thomas H

    New Rules

    My comment wasn't "people who do this will suddenly get GM scores" my comment was "the vast majority of people, shooting it all from the center box (with the given penalty) will be a significant jump in their scores" and there's a pretty significant difference between those two comments. It'll make the stage suddenly something really different for D/B/C class shooters, where staying in the center box WILL make a difference to their overall score on that stage. At the price of removing several of the skills specific to doing well on that stage. Looking at a random sampling of general local SC matches, I see that most (by far) people shooting centerfire pistol have stage times over 20 seconds. For those folks, my guess is that their scores will change fairly significantly if they don't have to move. Will it help GMs? Nope. Will it make for a different match for most people? In my opinion, yes. If the point is to remove movement and position exiting/entrance skills from SC, then that's one thing. But if those skills are part of what is supposed to be important on that stage, then allowing everyone (not merely people with physical disabilities) to ignore those skills means ignoring the point of the stage. People are supposed to be required to move and shoot on Outer Limits. If people don't like that, then people should get Outer Limits removed as a stage, or officially change the stage to something else, with a concurrent different peak time for the new stage. If those ARE supposed to be required skills on the stage, then the only reason to not perform the stage requirements should be (IMO) due to specific physical disabilities for safety and health reasons.
  14. I tend to pick one division and shoot it in local SC matches for a year, then the next year I pick a different one. In major SC matches I shoot as many divisions as I can, so normally four or six divisions. For my one division for the year when I am shooting centerfire, I shoot whatever division I'm shooting in USPSA that year. If that year's SC gun is a rimfire or PCC, I pick whatever I don't have a GM classification in yet. (Next year, for example, will be CO for most matches, with a little of SS, Production, RFPO, RFRO, PCCO, and RFPI thrown in during larger matches, or for an occasional local match.) The following year I may head back to Production, which is where I belong. I don't have a classification in RFRI or PCCI, and I'm not sure if I ever will for RFRI. (I don't have a rimfire rifle that only has iron sights at the moment.) Sometime, maybe. I do have an extra upper for my PCC that has a removable optic and some good visible iron sights, so sometime I might try that just for humor's sake. I doubt I'll ever shoot either revolver division, and probably not Open until I get an open gun, which won't be for a long, long time. I could borrow my wife's Open gun, but I'd want to practice with it first, and my practice time is currently spent on whatever CF division I'm shooting in USPSA. (Last year it was PCC, this year it is SS, and next year will be CO. Prior to all that I was Production for years.) In general, obviously, I like shooting multiple divisions in SC. It is fun to change things up. (This is the opposite of USPSA for me, where I focus on one gun for at least a year at a time, if not for multiple years.)
  15. Thomas H

    New Rules

    Having it as 3 seconds just as a standard procedural is a choice I like, just for ease of scoring. Not too many people have medical disabilities disallowing them from moving like this, so it doesn't occur often. Any competitor being able to do it...? Not so much liking that one. If a person doesn't have a medical reason for not shooting the stage as written in the WSB, then a procedural should apply, IMO. For the vast majority of people, shooting it all from the center box (with the given penalty) will be a significant jump in their scores (overall on the stage, particularly for people shooting PCC and RFRO), and they will be doing it versus the people who will be trying to shoot the stage as described. I prefer the idea that people may only shoot from the center box (with the appropriate procedural) if they have demonstrated medical reasons for doing so. Making it a choice---makes for a very different stage for many people.
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