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Patrick Sweeney

The Early Days of IPSC

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Our club started IPSC matches back in 1977, when clubs were affiliated directly to IPSC. We started shooting 3-gun sometime in 1981 or 2. (I was there, I just don't remember which year it was.)

Early at our present location (It couldn't have been later than 1984) we had a brief influx of the ancestors of "malls ninjas"; "gunshow commandos." The high point came one Sunday for 3-gun when I saw a camo apparition pass outside of the clubhouse window. I had a moment to brace myself before he came in to register for the match.

He was camo'd from head to toe. Hat, bdu blouse, trousers, boots. (Where he found camo boots in 1984, I'll never know.) And everything was a different pattern. The hat was a woodland-pattern boonie hat, the blouse a tiger stripe, the trousers were some French or Italian pattern, with blotches of dark red in it, and the boots were green fabric jungle boots with applied dye for a camo pattern.

But wait, it gets better. He'd taken the time since getting out of his truck to put on web gear! And hanging on the left side, upside down, with electrical tape, is the biggest damn bowie knife I've seen outside of the movies! The only thing missing is camo facepaint and an American flag do-rag. (Or crossed, belted ammo.) After he signs up and walks out to get the rest of his gear, one of the members gets up, closes the door, and we roll on the floor laughing.

His performance was so uninspired that I don't even recall what he shot, or how he placed. But I'll never forget "CamoMan."

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Patrick

What a great post...brings back great memories...of the 80 Natls, shooting in the same squad with Bill Wilson, talking between stages with John Shaw, meeting Ross Seyfried and his then wife Judy...pictures with Jeff Cooper and Ray Chapman....watching Raul walters shoot the mover, seeing Tommy Campbell with his sternum holster, Mickey Fowler and Mike Dalton....getting my hat handed to me by Heidi Lippmeyer (15yrs old and a girl)...all good stuff..

Thanks for the memories. ;)

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Then there was the Detroit Police officer who showed up to shoot with us. Back in the early '80s revolvers were still competitive. And DPD allowed big-bore revolvers. He goes racing up to the barricade on one of our two stages (A big club match back then was three stages, 100 rounds total!) shoots around the left side, then pivots on his heel, puts his back to the barricade, does a reload with his S&W 25-5, .45 Colt, and rolls to the right side, closing the wheelgun as he comes up on the next target array. He was done shooting before the RO or spectators could get up off the ground and tell him he was DQ'd for sweeping.

We could not convince him what he'd done was a bad thing, because "That's the way they teach it in the academy" and "That was the way I reloaded the last time I shot someone."

What could we do in the face of such logic? We kept his score as-shot, then made sure we had the relevant rule copied for the next occasion.

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We could not convince him what he'd done was a bad thing, because "That's the way they teach it in the academy"

That excuse should be a the source of amusement!

and "That was the way I reloaded the last time I shot someone."

But you really can't say much to THAT! :blink::unsure::blink:

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"That was the way I reloaded the last time I shot someone."

Did you ask him if the last "someone" he shot was a Bad Guy? :unsure:

Ed

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" back in the early 80's revolvers were still competitive."

Ah...the good old days ! ;)

I really miss those days..... :(

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We had a guy in our match today wearing a Chapman High Ride holster!

That's old school, baby!

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In old Detroit, everyone who gets shot is a bad guy. As Ted Nugent once said "For years Detroit was the murder capital not because we were more violent, but because we could shoot!"

The appaling thing is, the DPD qual course back then (and until they went to Glocks) was so pathetic you could (and frinds of mine did) pass it with a revolver and spare ammo stuffed in your pocket, loose. No holster, no speedloaders, no problem. I once bet a DPD trainer that I could pass the qual course with a pair of cowboy guns. He declined, not wanting to have to pay.

I could never reconcile the high body count with the pathetic firearms training. Maybe just karma?

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Two things:

First; CamoMan is not dead, I have shot with his grandson "OperatorWannabe".

Local 3-gun back in about 2001. this guys shows up, Rambo hair, Wife beater T, webgear, nomex gloves, BDU's an HK Mk. 23 SOCOM in a thigh rig, and an HBAR Colt with more crap hung on it than you ever saw. This guy had trouble finding the magwell to load the things but he had some sexy gear.

I shit you not, we asked what the pouch on his other leg was for and he honestly replied "Gas Mask". He had it and was willing to wear it for the match, actually expecting a stage where....oh who the hell knows what this guy was expecting.

Remember, he's lugging this much crap around in July in Florida.

Personally I shot in my pink thong that day, Lt. Dangle style.

As to Big City PDs. I read a book written by an old scuffler from the depression era. The author says crime (gangs et al) got so bad, and budgets were down, that they actually paid bonuses for every kill a cop would make. When things got lean a lot of drunks got picked clean, shot, and turned in as armed robbers or the like. I heard mostly about Chi-0Town, but who knows what happened in the Motor city.

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We had a guy in our match today wearing a Chapman High Ride holster!

That's old school, baby!

Hey, I resemble that remark! I love my Chapman. Fast and beautifully made LEATHER. It even smells good!

geezer

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Hey, my first "race holster" was a Chapman Hi-Rise (the "gamy" version with the cut-away front).

Shot IPSC, "combat pistol", even Steel Challenge with that thing for years!

Bruce (still have it, too.... not that I'm a pack-rat or anything ;-)

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Heck, one of my regular shooting partners has a 5,000 USPSA number. He's still pretty flaming fast too.

I get to hear about the good old days every match we go to. :D

tomB

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One of the shooters at our monthly match holds one of early CA numbers --- that's a two digit Charter Annual membership dating back to 1986.....

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My shooting partner down here is about 12 yr older than me, but he started IPSC when, well IPSC started.

His USPSA # is CL132. no kidding!!

He tells all these old timey stories abuot the nationals back in 78 or 81. "Yup that was the year, ammo was privded and we shot the whole nationals on poppers".

Is any of this stuff true???

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I don't know about free ammo and an all-popper match, but my USPSA number is Charter Annual 157. We had stuff showing up at matches that would bug your eyes out today. Not just Browning Hi Powers, but MAB 15s, P-38s, Lugers (god's honest truth, a guy showed up with a Luger once) every manner of revolver. We had to make a special re-entry category for the .380s and .32s.

We even toyed with an enhanced scoring system: Pocket-Minor-Major-Magnum. Pocket guns were scored 5-1-1. Minor 5-3-1, Major, 5-4-2 and Magnum 5-5-3. Then we bought three dozen poppers out of boiler plate (in 1981) and told the Magnum shooters they'd have to throttle back to Major.

Back in Prohibition, Detroit had the Purple Gang, who had as good or better numbers as Al Capone, just not the P.R. machine. With Canada right across the river, there'd be huge-engined speedboats roaring back and forth laden with booze and armed crewmembers, with furious gun battles on the water and at the shores. You'd have thought it was practice for D-Day.

Decades later, Detroit still had special four-man cars for bad neighborhoods: One officer (the driver) with a sidearm, two with shotguns, and one with a Thompson SMG. In the days before SWAT, you did not want that car responding on your block. DPD did not issue rifles for a long time, but allowed personal-owned ones. Most common rifles? M1 Carbines and Winchester M-94 in .30-30.

An armed robbery suspect holed up back in the 1960s or 70s could expect two cars in short order, responding with: an M1 Carbine, a .30-30, two 12 gauge pumps, a .45 smg, and all their sidearms, which would have at least two .357 magnums, and at least one .44 or .45. And you wondered why we lead the nation in body count?

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We have a guy who is a regular at my home club in Terre Haute (WVPPS) whose number is in the low A6xx.

That's not six thousand, but six HUNDRED and something.

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Not just Browning Hi Powers, but MAB 15s, P-38s, Lugers (god's honest truth, a guy showed up with a Luger once)

My understanding is that Bob Shimek once wrote an article about shooting an IPSC match with a Luger. I've never seen that article though I've always wanted to read it.

You know someone wrote an interesting article when it's decades later and people still mention it occasionally.

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Duane, the article can be found in the July/August 1982 American Handgunner magazine, starting on page 50

"Is The Parabellum Practical" by Robert Shimek looked at using an Interarms Mauser Parabellum 06/70 (AKA the Swiss Model) in IPSC. IMHO, an excellent article, not only for the curiousity factor of using a "Luger", but also the insight into the early days of IPSC shooting.

The holster was an altered inside-the-pants Bucheimer Clip-on for a Mauser HSc .380. The "speed safety" was a glued on piece of rubber tube on the thumb safety. Hi-capacity was not as much of an issue in those days, and since the Luger's magazine held 8, (one more then the 1911 magazines commonly available then) evidently Shimek found it held enough for the COF's of the day.

On a personal note: A plaque that I am proud of was my 1st Place "D" class finish, at the Ashland Gun Club Practical Shooting Division match in November, 1985. I used a Walther P-38 (one of the West German Police trade-ins), since it was the only automatic I had at that time. And it was fun to shoot the match with. And that is still one of the big reasons that I shoot, the fun factor.

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It's a small world. One of the first handguns I ever owned was a West German Police trade-in P38 - plus a leather full-flap holster and two mags for $200. Such a deal.

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Then there was one of our first 3-gun matches. (this would have been around 1981 or so.) We settle on a longe range rifle stage, since on our new range we have the elbow room. As we're all relatively new to it, we settle on 300 yards as the maximum distance. Ten rounds at 200 yards, then five rounds each at 225, 250, 275 & 300 yards, any positon. But the grass is a bit high, so prone is hopeless past 200, and we all haul packs, shooting sticks, etc with us.

Mark V, a really good shot back then, shows up with his .300 Weatherby. It is the most accurate rifle he owns, and has the flattest trajectory. Except Mark is about 5'8" and might weigh 145 pounds in a driving rainstorm.

By the time we got back to 300 yards, I'm not sure Mark was hitting the planet except due to the inevitability of gravity. If he's hitting the 80-foot berm behind the targets, it's by accident.

He was definitely a case of "ridden hard and hung up wet" once the rifle stage was done.

Then, in the shotgun stage, we had to jump over a "fence" which was string/light rope between posts. One of the shooters caught his toe in the top rope, and took a spill with a loaded Mossberg 500. Twisted knee, impact marks from ground and shotgun. He was still trying to finish the stage when we caught up with him. As I recall, he managed to get into work the next day without a hint to anyone that his knee was banged up. He then timed the dropping of a carton of office supplies in a stairwell when someone could hear, and when they found him lying on the stairs, his twisted knee was on the job and medically reimbursed.

Anyone remember the 1982 or 3 Nationals, in the Quad Cities?

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Remember the 82 Natls well...they were in Illinois...Shot well till the Superman Boogie, and 0'ed the stage with a death jam...

Were you there Patrick...

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That was in the range in Moline, right? I remember one stage, I forget the name, with a truck, gas pumps and a section of wall. The wall has a window, and a mover passes in front of it. (I forget what activated it.)

Well, the start is with both hands on the gas pumps, and you engage some targets from that box. Then, the next box was on the other side of the truck. A real, honest to god, lifted on big wheels, truck. We'd scramble under, while the RO wold run around the front or back, to meet up on the other side. Then shoot some more, and run to the next box, where the mover would appear.

So, who today would scramble under a real vehicle? What RO would run around, to meet up with the shooter on the other side? I vaguely recall that we holstered (again, wassup?) then re-draw on the other side.

Chip McCormick gets up (he was one of the killer-good shooters back then) and runs screaming through the course. And races right past the mover box. Instantly we're buzzing, and calculating factors on our looseleaf-sized calculators. "Chip, why'd you skip the mover? Was there an advantage?" "I forgot it."

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Yes, I remember Chippie shooting it like you described...also had the cafe classic with all the tables and a literal sea of no shoots...sitting at the table with the glass at your mouth..

The Colorado Speed match, and the Concealed match with all upper A hits and heads only.. and a 6x3 steel at 25 to stop the time...

Good stuff..

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