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Patrick Sweeney

The Early Days of IPSC

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On ‎11‎/‎11‎/‎2004 at 1:03 PM, tightloop said:


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. ;)

Wow you brought up a name from my past also I started my shooting in Colorado at the Aurora Sportman club a couple of years after I started a man called Ross Seyfried started shooting, he was good right off the bat, I later learned that he was a close friend of Elmer Keith.  Ross and I had fun and I cherish the very few times I was able to beat him

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OK, a bit of updating. I haven't shot in a match-match in a while, who has time to practice? But it seems at every gun company PR event, or gun writer get-together, someone in charge has the same "Hey, kids, let's put on a  show" thought. Let's have a shooting contest. When I started going to these things, I thought "OK, this could be interesting." Then I found out that most gun writers then (and now) can't shoot.


Oh, hunters can hunt, and they can hit what they shoot at, but think about it: there's not much time pressure. They can stalk and get into a solid position, and take the shot they need. Any hit that pokes a hole through a basketball-sized sphere gets the job done. Put a timer on them, or an audience behind them, and for a lot of them it is meltdown time.


After a while, the "Let's have a contest" produces a sea of faces turned towards me.


I loved the prizes, but it got old.


At the last one I did, the contest was break a single clay bird on the hill at 75 yards or so, with a handgun. Me, I was busy with other things. Well, when my boss's boss's boss reminds me, for the third time "We have a shooting match going on at the other end of the range" I figured I can't avoid it. The pistol is a polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm with a suppressor on it. No-one has hit anything but the backstop. Soon after, the company receptionist hits the clay bird. Then I do. (Hey, I may have to be roped into it, but I'm not going to throw a match.)


She and I go back and forth until I hit and she doesn't. Was it luck? Yes. Were there congratulations? Not really. next time, i'm going to break a leg if I have to, walking to the range where the match is.


Except The Pin Shoot, of course, which is back on, and I have been to, twice.

Edited by Patrick Sweeney

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On 11/12/2004 at 4:39 PM, Patrick Sweeney said:

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.



I think that is a great story, even if it is 15 years old.  Cops are not taught safety (40 year retired cop/30 years Range Master) like we are in USPSA.

Years ago I introduced USPSA style shooting to my Officers.  Most loved it, because it was cool to run from one location to another shooting at

something besides a B-29 target.  But, prior to my joining their dept they all shot just the required amount of rds and their pistols went to slide lock.

I put a stop to that, but it's hard to get that out of their minds.  During a stage the Officers had to reload twice.  One of the Officers upon reloading a

pistol that had a round in the chamber would rack the live round out.  When we got done; I asked why he did that and he said, did what.  I told him 

and he said, no way.  So we went back to the two areas where reloads were needed and on the ground at each one was a live round.  He swore that

was not his ammo, until other Officers told him; he still had trouble believing it.  That's why USPSA type training is important in LE.  I also had a Lt

say; I just got used to the last type of shooting (all in line, shooting at static targets) and now you are changing it.  Gotta love em.......


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OK, it has been a while, and I thought I'd regale you with tales of the past, now that they are past: the 2011 World Shoot, in Greece. In prrevious shoots, we had had to schlep our own ammo to the match. Which meant dodging the arbitrary and B-S 11 pound limit on ammo. For Greece, we had one of the shooters make arrangements to have all of our ammo commercially shipped, provided we packaged it properly, and shipped it within the US to the central shipping point. We all held our breaths,b ut there it was; all our ammo, in /greece, at the range.


Getting out was something else.


Every step of the way there, there was paperwork. Each person we encountered, it seemed, had a new form for us to fill out, and a copy to be kept. Not that any of them wanted to see any paperwork that had been generated by the previous stops. No, just fill out theirs, keep a copy, and move on.


Oh, and a peculiarity of Greek law on firearms; the firearms case was a case of its own. You could not put your firearms case into your regular luggage. (This will be very important much later, for me.)


When the match is over, it is time to leave. the match was on Rhodes, and we US competitors all had the same flight. (More or less, there had to have been a succession of flights as waves of shooters left the island.) We fly from Rhodes to Athens. there, we all gather down int he lower section of the airport, where we had been told we could pick up our firearms. We gather there, and we can see the big rolling bin that our gun cases are in. time is getting short, and we start to become insistent. I think it was Lisa Munson who finally walks up, forces open the big double doors, and tells the Greek handlers in no uncertain terms, that we need oru guns or we'll miss our flights.


So they roll the bin out, and proceed according to the usual custom: one of them looks at the list, and calls out a name. The others there (2 or 3, at most) start pawing through the cases, looking for that name. We put up with that for one name. then we rush the bin, start grabbing cases, and calling out names. We all know each other, so it is all over in a couple of minutes. when the cases are all gone, and everyone has their case, we leave, and let the locals figure out how to finish the paperwork.


Every time I found myself aggravated by the local law, paperwork, etc. I reminded myself: a generation ago, this was a military dictatorship. That we are here at all is a miracle.


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Favorite story from the World Shoot in Rhodes (I have a much longer one about having to go visit Germany for 45 minutes)--


The first flight out after the awards ceremony was to Athens (as are nearly all the flights from Rhodes) and full of shooters.  Which the airlines and police were not really aware of.


At the time Greece was having strikes all over and occasional riots in and around Athens with brick throwing and tear-gas and the like.


So, with a mile-long line of shooters all trying to get themselves and their guns checked in, the harried Rhodes airport counter staff announces of the PA


"Anyone going to Athens that doesn't have a gun come over to this line".


Cue a small group of non-shooters heading over, then looking back at the still-big line of people with guns and they start asking "Um, do we need guns?  Why do they all have guns and are taking them to Athens?  Nobody told us it was that bad there...".



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