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Walt

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About Walt

  • Rank
    Looks for Range
  • Birthday 07/20/1982

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    http://www.waltinpa.com
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Reading, PA
  • Interests
    Cigars, Firearms, and Photography
  • Real Name
    Walt
  1. I record the bulk of the stages I shoot with 3 cameras (4 if it is a big stage). I wear a POV camera and setup two Kodak Playsports downrange (connected to Gorillapods - either on the ground or hooked to a wall / prop). I don't worry about remote starting the camera, I just hit record when I set them (it usually means I miss a last-minute walkthrough of the stage). I edit out all the extra later. The real issue that I run into is editing. I have to sync up all my clips during editing (sometimes it is easy and sometimes it can be a huge pain if there is a lot of shooting going on in the bay beside my camera). The appeal of the Playsport Cameras is that they are rugged and easy to operate in the event that I need a volunteer cameraman. I also have a Flip HD Ultra I use,with its own Gorillapod, in the event that I'm shooting a stage that I can't cover with the 2 down range cameras.
  2. The first time I shot at Southern Chester, all of the No-Shoots seemed a bit strange but I've gotten used to them. Having gotten more involved in the stage design process, it makes sense. If you're making newer shooters run downrange, engaging targets left and right, it is nice to have a safety net in place to force the shot before reaching an unsafe position. In terms of setup, it isn't a big deal. Once the target is in position, you just drop the no-shoot in place and be done with it. I can't recall a time where adjusting the no-shoot position became an issue. The only issue I can see developing is a stage eating into your supply of targets stands. Here is one example of a stage setup last year. There were 6 targets that required an additional 6 no-shoots (12 stands in all) If you stopped setting up stages in this manner, I think you would see an increase in DQs from 180 violations but I don't think you would be wrong for making the decision. I guess what it boils down to is that I'm indifferent. As someone designing and setting up stages, I don't have an issue either way. As a shooter, I don't have an issue with it either way.
  3. I tend to go a little overboard when designing stages. Since I've been doing it for a short period of time, I like to try to flush out any issues before the stage hits the ground. They always need a little tweaking during setup but I have yet to run into an issue where one just didn't work. Stage Graphic: During setup we added a couple of wing walls so that you couldn't shoot the low targets around the ported wall. We also wound up adding a barrel for an unloaded start. The image below is the stage once it was setup. AutoCAD Stage Design: http://screencast.com/t/jjDgilRY9YS We wound up using this stage about a year ago. It turned out pretty well and I had fun shooting it.
  4. Graham, I don't know that there is anything you can do to the current system without someone being upset. From what I understand, you have a set time that you need to be off the range (and cleaned up) as well as a time as to when you can start shooting (both of these elements are out of your control, correct?) Short of expanding the match itself (using the 100 yard range in addition to the others or enlarging squads a bit) I don't know that there is anything you can do to make extra room for new and occasional shooters (which is unfortunate because USPSA clubs are limited in the area - at least in my area). I think that no matter how you handle registration, the guys that shoot at the club regularly and going to do everything that can to take advantage of the early notice. That may mean one guy having a smart phone and signing up himself and his 6 shooting buddies as soon as the email hits his inbox. You could setup a blog/website for USPSA at Southern Chester and post announcements as to when registration is open to the public, and include the link to Formstack. York IWLA handles pre-registration with a public announcement on thier blog, instructing anyone that wants to shoot email them with details. You could continue to email the setup crew and usual RO's a day in advance to ensure you've got enough volunteer help to run the match. Just kind of thinking out loud....
  5. The last two matches that I've shot have been very interesting. There were larger matches going on that conflicted with both club matches, so the usual guys that tend to win the division were out of town. Last month, for the first time, I won my division (Production) and it had an interesting result. A couple of the guys that I shot with at that match were keeping at eye on me during the second match. It added a little pressure on me to have a repeat performance but I tried to put it out of my mind when the buzzer sounded. The video starts out on Stage 1 (I was on Squad 1) and finishes up on Stage 6. Stages 2 and 3 are backwards (they shared a bay) but it only matters if you look at the attached stats information. As a C Class shooter, I'm only seeing so much in terms of what I'm doing well and what I need work on. Any advice is appreciated. Stage 1: This particular club has pistol bays that are cut down below grade. As a result, water tends to pool in certain areas. In the case of this stage, it was like a swamp in the center area. In an attempt to save time, I opted to side-step past a corridor rather that run down it, in the slick mud, then come back up-range. I was the only shooter to take this approach and looks like it was a poor choice on my part. Score: 158 of a Possible 160 points (31 A's | 1 C | 99% of available points) Time: 35.04 H/F: 4.5091 My single C was on the far left target. I'd imagine it was my second shot but I don't know for sure. Stage 3: My plan on this stage was pretty straight forward. I would step on the activator (actually, stand on it to get a tiny bit closer) and engage targets from right to left. I couldn't have asked for better timing on the swingers. Some guys were standing and waiting for the second swinger to appear but in my case it was coming out when I transitioned to it. Unfortunately, I shot a little too fast and had a miss on the right most swinger. I'm not sure which shot it was but I think it may have been my first shot. Score: 17 of a Possible 40 points (4 A's | 2 C's | 1 D | 1 M | 43% of available points) Time: 4.47 (This low time was the only thing that pushed me to 2nd place on the stage - I'm not particularly proud of it) H/F: 3.8013 The stage description dictated that arms must be fully extended above head. Stage 2: This stage has a small pond on the far left side, which is why I stepped into position kind of gingerly. I also think I should have slowed up just a little bit on the follow up shots. Score: 68 of a possible 8 points (11 A's | 4 C's | 1 D | 85% of available points) Time: 16.49 H/F: 4.1327 Stage 4: This stage was made up of 2 Texas Stars and Poppers. The first star had a couple more misses than I would have liked but overall I don't think it was terrible. I've been trying to keep myself out of ports and was glad to see that I unconsciously took a step back before I began shooting. My first shot on the steel poppers missed the mark but I kept going down the line. I had another miss that I made up on the spot, then had a miss on the last popper and made a big transition away from it to makeup my first miss. The second texas Star had less misses than te first and I was pretty happy with how fast I engaged it. Score: 90 of a possible 90 points (18 A's | 100% of available points) Time: 22.41 H/F: 4.0161 Stage 5: This was the classifier High Standards and contained two strings. I was pretty happy with the first string but my reload could have been smoother. My second string was decent but I spent a lot of time getting the gun into my weak hand and my reload could have been a little smoother. On the far right target I had 1 miss. I was surprised when we scored the targets and thought there was no way I missed the target completely, but sure enough there weas 1 less hole than there should have been. I don't know which shot missed but if I had to guess it would have been my first strong-hand shot. Score: 87 of a possible 120 points (15 A's | 7 C's | 1 D | 1 M | 73% of available points) Time: 22.42 H/F: 3.8805 Stage 6: This stage was fast paced and I had major issues with reloads. Watching the video, it appears as though I have a tendency to hold the gun low when I reload on the move. I need to work on that and get the gun up higher, like I do when I'm shooting from a fixed location. I was also shooting too fast, which is where I think the B's came from (pulling the trigger before the gun was back down from recoil). Score:164 of a possible 180 points (29 A's | 2 B's | 4 C's | 1 D | 91% pf available points) Time: 23.20 H/F: 7.0690
  6. I'm curious about the outcome of this question. A week, or so, ago I was jotting down some thoughts on a potential stage. What it boiled down to was two separate shooting areas. They were both narrow and long, running down range. The shooter would pick one or the other to shoot the entire stage from. Each shooting area would offer its own challenges. If it turns out to be acceptable, I'm eager to turn those scibblings into an actual stage. If not, I haven't invested too much time into it. Eather way, I think it would be fun.
  7. I shoot two clubs on a regular basis. One club does Pre-Registration and the other doesn't. The club that doesn't do Pre-Registration is fun to shoot but has a tendency to run a little long. I generally don't worry about it too much and block out the entire day on my schedule. This seems to happen mostly from getting a larger than expected turnout. From the club perspective, I don't think it matters too much as there doesn't seem to be any time constraints as to how long the USPSA crowd has the pistol bays occupied. The second club that I shoot at does Pre-Registration but does not offer Pre-Squadding or Pre-Payment options. I wouldn't mind Pre-Paying (I'm one of those guys that rarely carries cash and needs to make a special trip to the ATM before shooting a match) if the option were available, but I can understand why clubs would want to steer clear of processing credit card payments online. This second club is somewhat new to me. I've just started shooting there this year but there always seems to be something going on to improve matches. In the last several months I've seen two pistol bays expanded and additional steel added to the prop shed. The match director even made a remark of going the digital route for scoring at some point. I'm finding the club to be very impressive and it would seem others see it the same way. I hear grumblings at every match about how pre-registration is maxed out in a day or two. I've seen walk-on shooters every month but I can't say that I've ever seen anyone turned away (I'm sure it has happened, I just haven't witnessed it). Between the two clubs, I actually prefer the Pre-Registration process. It seems to keep squads at a manageable size and there isn't an excessive amount of time spent standing around. It also gets us broken down and leaving the club at an approximate time (In the case of the second club, I think they need to be completely cleaned up and out of the way by a certain time). The only issue I've ever ran into with Pre-Registration is with a third club that I shoot from time to time. They do Pre-Squadding and use Palm devices for scoring. While I've never had a problem getting registered, I have gone to a match with a walk-on friend who I couldn't get squadded with. While not the end of the world, it was a bummer to car-pool out to a club and not be able to shoot together. In any case, my answer to the question at the start of this topic.... Yes, I would shoot a club with Pre-Registration (and would probably prefer it over no pre-registration) Yes, if available I would most likely Pre-Pay for the match if the option was available
  8. Walt

    Warming Up

    I've been trying to do my part and volunteer at local matches. At one club, I arrive a couple of hours early and help setup one of the ranges. Depending on the complexity of the stage we are setting up, I sometimes wind up going right from setup, to the walkthrough with the Match Director, to Registration, and before I know it I'm being squadded and getting ready to shoot. At the other club I shoot, we had a light turnout this month so I went out early and helped setup there as well. I had much more time this time around to walk each stage before getting started. If my first stage is fairly straightforward, I don't mind being the first shooter. It is actually kind of a relief to get that one stage out of the way early and be deep in the rotation for the remainder of the match. I still feel as though I'm shooting kind of clunky, but once I'm finished with that stage all others only seem to get smoother. You are right, I need to spend a little time before the shooter briefing to walk each stage and at least create a rough game-plan. I can then refined my plan when we perform the squad walk-through.
  9. I need a lot of practice when it comes to calling my shots. The recoil happens so fast that I can't consistently determine where the shot impacted the target. I can determine if I was on target, but calling an A, B, C, or D zone hit at this point is a guess. Thanks for the suggestions. I put an order in for both books (I was going to get one now and one later but with Fathers Day coming up, I thought why not just get both....)
  10. Walt

    Warming Up

    Running the stage at full speed is something that I've never done during my walk-through. I usually take it nice and slow, counting off rounds and determining where I want to be engaging targets. I'll do this 3-4 times, depending on how many shooters are on the squad and how much time I have. At the next match I think I'm going to do a little stretching before we are squadded then try doing my walk-through at at least 3/4 speed to loosen up. Thanks
  11. Since March, I have been shooting two USPSA matches per month. The more time I accumulate on the trigger, the better I perform. I'm happy with my skill progression but have run into a problem I can't seem to work out. My first stage of the day is my worst stage of the day, more often than not. When I go back and review video footage, my first stage looks clunky and slow compared to later stages. It is almost as if I need a warm-up stage to loosen up. Once I'm past that first stage, I feel like I'm shooting better and better with each subsequent stage. To compound the problem, the last couple of matches I have shot have had me leading off the stage, on deck, or in the hole. This leaves me feeling rushed when coming up with a stage plan. Last month I tanked my first stage of the day by running past a target. My first match this month was better but I took it extra slow to make sure I engaged everything. What I'd like to know is, does anyone else have this same problem? If so, what do you do to overcome a poor first stage?
  12. I picked up a Contour HD when they were on clearance at Amazon (new models were being rolled out). I use it at every match I shoot and it has been great, but it leaves out a lot of the things I want to see. For that reason, I have a squad mate film me with a little Flip HD Ultra. I'll then combine the footage and review.
  13. I shoot with the same three guys on a regular basis. Two of them shoot a Springfield XDM (One guy shoots a standard XDM and the other shoots a 5.25) and they are both about your age (50's, as you mentioned above) and both of them use their weak hand to release the magazine during reloads. It looks very slow but between how stiff the button is and comfort, they don't want to do it any other way. I suppose it all comes down to your competitive drive. Neither of my shooting buddies are trying to burn up the course and win a given match. As a result, they are okay with the slower reloads. It sounds like you intend on being competitive, which is great (actually, it would be great even if you weren't and were just getting out to get some practice with your gun). Some people say I get a little carried away (I think they're crazy) but I track my progress in a spreadsheet. Others have mentioned striving for 90% of the available points. I've found the only way I can do that accurately is to punch the numbers into Google Docs (or Excel) and see what a quick calculation spits out. At a quick glance I can a variety of things to concentrate on during the next match. For instance, based on the numbers, did I shoot too fast? Was I shooting consistently from stage to stage, etc...
  14. Welcome to USPSA. I'm still fairly new (My first match was July of last year) and I absolutely love it. Like you, when I started I was at a disadvantage with limited magazines (limited as in quantity, I had four) and there were some close calls in regards to finishing a stage without running out of ammo. When the shooting season here in PA ended, I found myself with a little extra cash and wanted another production gun. I switched from a Smith & Wesson M&P (which I still own and love) to a Glock 17. I had Warren Tactical sights put on it (black rear, green fiber optic front) and installed a Glock 34 Extended Magazine Release (I had trouble dropping magazines with the factory release). So far, the gun has been great. Good luck with future matches and whichever gun you decide on.
  15. Thanks for the recommendations and the articles. I hadn't considered setting smaller goals, just all encompassing goals. I like the idea of setting small goals, especially if I apply them on a match by match basis. The couple of clubs that I shoot at definitely have their own feel. One is geared more towards running and gunning, another uses a lot of distance shooting, another uses angles to make targets only visible from certain spots, etc. I can tailor smaller goals for each club and track my progress that way. Thanks again
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