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Fatso

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About Fatso

  • Rank
    Finally read the FAQs

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tucson AZ
  • Interests
    USPSA: L4124
  • Real Name
    Andrew Wittke

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  1. Were you running around jamming magazines in your underwear during classifiers? hahaha
  2. I'm with you... I do this for the exact same reason--fun. This is why I stated I don't have any regrets about the path I took. I really enjoy firearms of any form and fashion, but the USPSA-style guns are the ones I really love. My wife bugs me about it, but I tell her it's cheaper than a classic car hobby... she usually nods & goes about her business!
  3. And for that, we must make them PAY.... for their own college. HA!
  4. I've handled and shot a lot of pistols. If we're looking at Glock a 0 and SVI as 10, a high point would be a -25. I'd put a factory STI at a 6, a CK at a 7, at Atlas at an 8.5-9, and an SVI at 10... haven't handled an AKai... yet...!
  5. Hi folks. I've read the books, I've bought the gear, I've spent endless hours dry firing and pouring over the results of local matches. By virtue of being close to Phoenix, I get the opportunity to see some of the best in the world compete locally. Yet I'm going on 8 years in this sport and have never shot a major. Why? Life gets busy. And that's okay. USPSA is top fuel funny car racing of the gun world. This is where we throw out ambiguity of concealment and cover rules, minimize footwork violation opportunities, and don't penalize you for dropping a mag or two with tokens left inside. We don't typically wear vests, and we don't typically carry dump pouches. We do, however, clean our magazines between stages, we spend stupid money on our guns and gear, we spend weeks in load development, and we greatly enjoy getting out into the dust, gravel, grass, and especially here in AZ... the sun. We shoot semi-powerful rounds more quickly and accurately than anyone in the world... at least the best of us do. That certainly doesn't include me, but I definitely appreciate shooting with those that are! As a beginner shooting a Glock 35... I felt waaaaay behind the other shooters shooting SVIs, STIs, CZs, CKs, and every other form of medium-to-top-shelf firearm, from 8000.00+ full custom guns with superb fit and finish, slide actions like ball bearings on glass, to super bizarre frankenguns--factory guns modified from 20+ super talented gunsmiths from here to Indy, LA and back. But guess what... there's a dark secret in here none of us want to admit to ourselves... the gear is what gets you the last few tenths or hundredths to the next class, and aren't going to take you from zero to hero. My Glock 35 got me to B in Limited, shooting factory ammo on a worn out recoil spring. After I classed, I dropped some coin to get into SS, but it took me a few more years to score a HF high enough to compare to my previous classifier performance. WHY?! Japan's most famed swordsman Musashi iconically stated; it takes 2000 hours for proficiency, but 10,000 hours for mastery... So... the well north of 2000+ hours of shooting/dryfire/practice with my Glock got me to B in a fairly short time. I needed to do another 2000+ to get there with my STI Trojan, right? But (un?)fortunately, I got bitten by the gear/gun bug. Also, I had more income than I had time in the past few years, so I've acquired firearms in varying calibers/chamberings in Open, Limited, SS, (with a backup in each caliber), production, NRA bullseye, among others (I hunt too... gotta get ready for deer and elk). Hey... who knew... folks that play in this sport like guns. But here's the rub... none of these gun purchases made me better--they actually contributed to making me worse. In a way, this recoil-centric identity crisis kept me from rising back to B, along with having kids and promoting at work... when time became my most precious currency. As it stands, I still haven't completed a coherent classifier to get myself to B in SS--the division I've been shooting almost exclusively in competition for over four years. As life stayed busy, I kept buying. Practice and match participation dropped. I bought a lifetime membership in USPSA. I would go a month without picking up a competitive gun. I'd shoot a match quarterly. I'd buy a gun every six months. I'd dry fire it for three weeks, and put it back in the vault for another three. Before too long, I spent more time tinkering, surfing, buying and installing fresh parts on different guns than I was dry firing, practicing, and shooting any one gun. While the vault looked great, the performance clearly plateaued... at best. It likely degraded, and by no small margin. When I'd get a chance to shoot a match, I defaulted to SS, since that was my woobie. Even then, the fiddling with other guns had disturbed my habit patterns enough to bring slide-lock reloads back into vogue. Not good. So... if you want the advice of a guy that bought a bunch of gear and gained nothing... if you're new to the sport, shoot what you got. Factory Glock? Great. Bought a 1911? Awesome. Went into the sport shooting a bushing 9mm 2011 you've been shooting in IDPA? Excellent. Instead of spending money, spend time. The following qualities are what you need for USPSA: 1. Reliability. If you have to perform a remedial action drill, you've lost.... often dramatically. If you're competitive with the top locally, an immediate action drill will lose it for you. 2. Accuracy. Most all factory guns shoot well enough to compete. If you have a factory gun with a 196MOA sight post, invest in a nice fiber optic setup from Dawson or similar. 3. Simplicity. If something breaks, you can fix it. 1911s and 2011s are kind of complicated, and it takes a bit of finesse to detail strip one at the range and get put back together in time to shoot the next round. I'm sure many on this forum will disagree with me, but I contend that they will yield the point that a Glock is much simpler to work on. I've spent hours trying to get the damned sear spring to seat correctly on my top-fuel full-custom limited gun I have yet to shoot competitively. I can replace any part on a Glock in 5 mins or less. This counts for something on match day. If you have the time to get a PHD in 2011 sear springs, then by all means. If not, save your pennies for when you plateau and stick with what you got. Spoiler alert... 2011s are more finicky than Glocks. So that's it. If you have excess income to spend on guns, by all means, buy them. Just realize that they won't make you better. The time you spend is what yields results on the range. Trigger squeezes are the real currency, along with mag changes, transition practice, draws from your competition rig, DRY FIRE... all will count as reps toward your 2k... and your 10k. In the mean time, your safe will swell, but do yourself a favor... shoot the one gun that possesses the qualities I listed above and shoot the hell out of it, lube and inspect it regularly. One of my best buds shot a dog's ass ugly G35 to high A-class. He plateaued there hard and hung there for a year. He practiced & competed like a madman to no avail. With that Glock, I don't think I saw him deal with a single malfunction. This allowed him to nail down stage strategy, footwork, etc. Then his infinity arrived after 18 months. He went through significant growing pains for another year as he acquainted himself to his new race car & new habit patterns. There was at least one DQ for ND for the trigger that was lubed by SV angel tears. After the honeymoon was over, and he'd found the perfect reload recipe, the perfect extractor tension, the perfect magazine feed-lip geometry, the perfect spring weights, and replaced his broken thumb safeties via warranty return, then... finally, he broke into Master. His tale is a great tale. He stuck with "Ugly Betty" until he reached his limit with her, and then he invested in the gear... as opposed to me, who went through a bunch of moderately expensive girlfriends while I had my own Ugly Betty sitting at home, yet never surpassed B. I am, however, happy with my collection, so there's that... so please don't read this post as regret, as I have none. I do admit that I'd most certainly have classed up by now had I stuck with my G35 all this time. So... just like any sport, every participant is different. If you're here for the gear, there are endless lines of vendors prepared to make you very happy. If you're here to win, that's only going to be accomplished by training, experience, and grit. Gear isn't the least important factor, but it is less important than training, experience, and grit. Show up, ask questions, tape targets, and don't be a 'brass-hole'... Most of all, have fun and do what makes you happy with a realistic vision of what your gear can and cannot do for you. Thanks for reading. FATSO
  6. Good suggestions. I need to get my grubby paws on a sight block gun before I decide. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. Greetings y'all! Mandatory disclaimer: I've read a bunch of this on the forums, yet I am having trouble making up my mind, so I'm asking anyway. Problem statement: I have two PT 2011 pistol kits with frame, slide, EVO grip, grip safety, and shielded safeties. I have not selected a builder. Thesis: I ordered them direct from PT to secure custom serial numbers in order to build two most excellent guns to fit my needs/desires. Narrative: I had planned to build identical 9 and 40 sight trackers. I love the feel, look, and action of an island barrel. I have an Apeiro 45 that I adore, but need MBX mags to escape the L10 regime (which is why I haven't shot it in competition yet... MBX said 6-8 weeks for the next run). Also, I recently snagged an Atlas Titan 9 off the forums here on a whim. I love this gun as well. So my plan to build identical 9 and 40s is interrupted, since I now have a very good 9mm limited gun to rage with. Adam really builds a great gun--seriously impressed. I also have a great semi-custom edge I grabbed from the forums which is a great limited gun already. Bottom line, I can pretty much get away with building whatever I want without seriously cramping my competitive 'style.' Turns out I've been shooting Trojans in SS. As I said, I love island barrels, but I am impressed with the Atlas... But, unfortunately, Adam will not build an island barrel sight tracker, since he's on the sight block train. He told me that sight blocks are better. I have not handled or shot one. I do know that I simply "like" island barrels for purely subjective reasons.... aesthetics? This doesn't mean I won't convert. Are sight block guns measurably better? I'd love input here. So... I have a couple of options with these two kits, and wondered what y'all thought. 1. Send one to Adam, and one to Akai. Build a sight block gun, build an island gun... both in 40. win/win, and I can shoot them heads up and review for the forums here. 2. Send both to one manufacturer, build a limited gun and a carry gun... might be interesting. The latest nighthawks look interesting! 3. Send one to a builder to be built into a Limited gun in 40, and the other to be built into a .45 wad gun for practice/fun/not 9-level limited shooting/steel. I have a predictable supply of 45 wad (minor). Let's call it a sponsorship. I'd like both to be island barrel sight trackers, but it's certainly not required. Most guns I've shot have trouble with SWC. I'd love to have a limited gun that can eat it. 4... what would YOU do with two 2011 PT pistol kits w/Evo grips? 5. I'm not interested in Open, per se. Sight block? Island barrel sight tracker? Sleeved, stroked tungsten lead pipe pewpew generator? 185gr SWC 45 spitter? Sky is the limit... lets get creative. Cleared hot with opinions--let her rip! Thanks! FATSO
  8. Such is the world of competitive USPSA. There are obviously many that don't understand why you'd yield any advantage available to you in open, and I totally see their point. I'd say if you're in it for the fun, however, buy whatever blows your skirt up. Fatso Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. I think to invest in an open gun in 40, you kind of need a compelling reason, like a desire to keep mag/ammo commonality from limited. I grabbed mine out of curiosity, copious amounts of brass & the capacity to load a buttload of rounds immediately. Thus, I can run Open while I collect enough brass to load for my 9 major gun. Oh, and it really is a blast to shoot (pun severely intended). It really is field artillery. I like shooting the 40 Open gun, but if I shot USPSA for a living, I'd definitely stick with 9 major! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. The special island ain't all that bad! Open 40 is just FUN! It's fun to shoot a gun that creases your pants while you shoot! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Thanks for the advice guys. Since it's the cheapest way, I grabbed a universal decapping die, a shell plate, and the RCBS crimp removal tool (appears to be idiot-proof, an important feature). I'll muddle through until I can grab a 1050! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. Hi guys! I have a bunch of 9mm brass that needs to be swaged. I'm planning on using it for 9 major. I do not, however, have a swager. From my reading, I've determined there are a few options, and I'd like for all of you guys to chime in with suggestions, and help me tighten up my shot group a bit.... 1. I have a converted RL450 (now mostly a 550b--incomplete). I could grab the Swageit, an extra 9mm shell plate & start rocking. I'd put a universal decapping die on station 1, punch the primer, swage, and it would be ready for my other fully configured 550b. Right? 2. Deburring bit & drill. Punch primer, pull brass back out, open the primer pocket, rinse / repeat? Possible negatives--open the primer pocket too much? 3. Franklin prep station? 4. Sell everything, buy a 1050, apologize to the wife, and it swages as you load, right? 5. Dillon super swage. Tough on the arm, slow, but pretty straightforward. What am I missing? Thoughts? I'm leaning toward the swageit since I have a spare press anyway...? What have I missed? Thanks in advance. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. I found mine advertised locally. It was a guy who shot at my local club, ironically. Looks like I got lucky! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. I'm fairly new to Open having shot a few matches with a bone-stock Trubor 9 major. I grabbed it with 6 mags (4 tuned) for a song, and it runs like a raped ape. 9 major almost feels like cheating, and Open feels supersonic after coming from SS! I'm sure there are plenty of good builders ready to make you very happy, but I'd suggest keeping your eyes open for a good deal in the interim / while you wait for your custom gun. Lord knows a handful of beautiful Open guns run through the classifieds here every month! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. So I went to train today with a few buddies of mine. I went between my new-to-me Edge Open 40 & my Edge Limited gun. I'm still not sure which division I'll shoot. Anyway, a homie of mine was shooting his much beloved XD--the one he's been shooting for five years of USPSA. And he's plenty fast with it.... Just for kicks, I hand him the Limited gun with minor-just-short-of-major rounds, and he proceeded to put in his best time of the day by a strong 2 second margin. Yeah... it's definitely about the gun. "Cheating!" Ha! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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