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  1. I know someone who trains at a gym with a fake gun designed to replicate the grip on his actual gun while also being clearly nonfunctional. I think it even has an optic and a dry fireable trigger. That said, I’m pretty sure he discussed it with the owner of the gym first.
  2. I honestly can’t think of any specific times this has happened around here. We don’t see a ton of steel around here in most of our local matches (for example, the diagrams for local match this upcoming weekend shows 5 poppers total in a match with 4 field courses and a classifier) and they are typically set fairly light. I remember a handful of reshoots last year for poppers blowing over but none for calibration. The only 2 times I personally remember seeing calibration were at a level 2 match, and it was done per the rulebook (well, I can’t verify that the RM’s ammunition was chronoed and such, but knowing him I’m sure it was).
  3. @Sarge having only shot for a couple of years myself, I can’t recall seeing many calibration issues at locals around here. I can think of a few times we’ve had issues with plate racks (mostly either with plates falling other than the one that’s shot or with plates bouncing back up), but nothing with poppers specifically comes to mind. Have you seen calibration challenges happen at local matches? How were they handled in the past? I definitely agree that the “knuckle test” is a good thing to do between squads to help prevent issues before they happen, but don’t know what we’ve done locally when issues do arise.
  4. That’s what I figured, but I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I figure as long as it doesn’t specifically give them an advantage or disadvantage on a stage, pretty much anything within reason is fair game when BSing with the shooters outside of the course of fire.
  5. First, I think it’s important to recognize that we can’t fix stupid. If someone is going to do something to get themselves DQ’d, unless we’re doing something that obviously leads them to do it when they otherwise wouldn’t, it isn’t our fault as ROs or other competitors. That said, I think how we phrase it might have an effect on their reaction: ”Hey, your front fiber is falling out!” vs ”By the way, after we score the targets, you might want to go to the safe area and take a look at your front sight. I think you fiber might be falling out.” I also think tone has an effect as well. Slowing and quieting your speech is probably less likely to get a knee-jerk stupid reaction. I’ll probably still point stuff like this out to my fellow competitors, but now that you’ve brought up the potential issue I’ll probably be more careful in how I do it. The other thing i’m wondering about this- if this were a major match and you were the RO on the stage, could pointing something like this out be a potential competitive equity issue? And if so, at what point does it become an issue?
  6. Fair enough. I tend to overthink these things even when it isn’t necessary. I still think the best solution is to change the rules and just treat everything the way we currently treat plates.
  7. Right, but at a local match with no official chrono, isn’t ammo that is highly likely in the appropriate range still better than random 9mm from whoever?
  8. The only caveat here is if your powder is temperature sensitive or if there is large variation from batch to batch in your reloads. Otherwise, I would tend to agree that chronoing a statistically significant sample size from a batch of ammo should be sufficient. And you can always rechrono more of it later if someone gets butthurt about it.
  9. Here are my two ideas for local matches to do the best job possible without putting undue strain on the match director: 1- Treat all poppers as plates for the purposes of calibration. If you hit it and it doesn’t fall, it’s a reshoot. If a pattern is noticed with a particular target, it should be adjusted. If a pattern is noted with a particular shooter, that shooter’s ammo should probably be chronoed. 2- The RM, MD, or their designee should acquire 9mm ammo that falls between 115 and 125 PF out of a particular gun. That ammo should ideally be chronoed at the extreme high, extreme low, and approximate average temperatures expected to be experienced during local matches. Poppers should be initially calibrated manually (no calibration shot) unless there is a concern about a particular setup or target in which case it should be checked per Appendix C1 using the above mentioned ammo and gun. The above mentioned ammo and gun will be used for calibration challenges during the match. Optionally, you could have a chrono available but not set up in case someone wants to argue about the calibration ammo, that way you could always recheck it and prove that it’s acceptable.
  10. @Sarge @motosapiens What would be a set of reasonable best practices for local matches? Obviously, getting out the chrono every match isn’t reasonable, but I would say that there’s probably a reasonable middle ground between “chrono once and call it good forever” and chronoing every match. Maybe chronoing a representative sample of every batch of the “calibration ammo”, in temperature ranges fairly close to that of the actual match? In any case, anything is already a huge improvement over “who’s shooting 9?” My minor loads make around 133 PF, so they’re already hotter than chrono ammo should be.
  11. I was under the same impression as you, but I actually just double checked Appendix C1. Initial calibration is actually supposed to be done from the farthest location that the popper could be shot from in the stage. I assume that this (and the ammo being subminor) is done to ensure that even the lightest possible hit on the calibration zone (125 PF ammo at the furthest possible distance) during the match has the best chance to knock the popper down.
  12. I’d say during the course of fire (between “make ready” and “range is clear”), stick as much as possible to the official range commands unless it is absolutely necessary to say something else. Actually, I’d start that slightly before the make ready command, just to avoid the awkward situation of someone hearing you say something and thinking it’s “make ready” when it was actually something else. So, in your first scenario, I would’ve waited until after the gun was holstered and the range was clear to tell them. Other than that, I wouldn’t have done anything differently from what you did.
  13. The problem in a match setting is that emptying your mind and focusing like this is very difficult for many people to do on command. The alternative most people settle on is giving your conscious mind a single task to focus on and letting everything else happen subconsciously. Lanny Bassham does a good job explaining this in With Winning in Mind, and Steve Anderson has translated it for USPSA (and similar sports) in his books.
  14. Agreed. A popper must be the size and shape of one of the poppers called out in Appendix B2. Any other steel target is not a popper and should be scored as a steel plate, assuming that it meets the criteria in Appendix B3. Anything that doesn’t meet either criteria isn’t a legal steel target for USPSA.
  15. I would think that the other factors involved in choosing an optic would be far more important than the weight difference, unless the weight makes the difference between qualifying for the division and being bumped to Open. That said, I’ve never played around with multiple optics on the same gun enough to see if it affects reliability or dot movement.
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