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Tips and Tricks Needed!


Thaunk

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This Saturday my local USPSA club is doing a classifier match. They've released which stages they're doing and I was hoping for help, suggestions, tips, tricks etc. I'm exceedingly new to competition pistol shooting, this being my second match. Any and all help appreciated. We're going to shoot CM 03-05, CM 13-06, CM 03-09, CM 03-18, CM 06-10, and CM 09-03.

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For the most part I agree with the previous posters, not to try to go too fast, but thought I could give you a couple of things to think about.

You gave zero information about your gunhandling skills, whether you have access to a range, so I am going to suggest doing a few dryfire things at home.

If you do not know how to dryfire and have good safety practices for dryfiring ignore all my suggestions! These suggestions are at YOUR own risk!

MAKE SURE YOUR GUN IS UNLOADED and POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION!!!!!!!! Don't have ANY ammo in the same room if/when you are dryfiring. You don't need any bullets for any of these suggestions.

Don't worry about the actual stages themselves. You are going to go too fast and have misses and hit no-shoots and may zero some of the stages, don't despair, we have all done the same thing.

Look at the classifiers (hopefully you know how to find them online and see what you are facing). Google CM 13-06 for example and the stage description will show as a pdf.

If you are a new shooter, pay particular attention to the start position and stage procedure. Some of these start with hands relaxed at the draw and some are surrender starts. Might want to brush up on surrender starts if that isn't something you have done before so you aren't fumbling your pistol.

You will also want to see if there strong or weak hand strings. Looks like 03-18 High Standards is going to as you to shoot 1 string freestyle (both hands), then reload, then use your strong (right or left) hand only. Sure worth it to me to do a little dryfire practice of holding the gun with both hands, reload, then strong hand only and see how much the gun is bouncing and shaking when you extend. Second string on that one is freestyle, reload, then weakhand. I'd be willing to bet you haven't done a lot of reloads, then transferred the gun to your weakhand. Dropping the gun means going home, so although you may not be fast at that process, find a way to NOT drop the gun.

09-03 has the gun laying on a table. Again, don 't need any particular props to practice picking it up smoothly, getting a good grip and getting a good site picture.

When you do step up to the classifiers, they are just like another stage. Do NOT go too fast. Seriously. You need points more than speed as a rule. Misses and noshoots will give you a zero. Getting your hits (at your level) in a slow time will at least get you a score.

Good Luck!

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let the RO at each stage know you're new and ask to go last or towards the end of your squad. watch how everyone shoots each stage (the order they engage targets, head or body shots, etc) and see what works best for you and follow suit.

since you know the classifiers, practice them with an empty gun at your home.

at the end of the day, it's just another stage, and you'll shoot plenty more classifiers over the course of your competition career.

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You didn't say what division you are shooting, so this tip may or may not help, but...

When a classifier requires a reload, I always remove at least 1 round from my mag to reduce the pressure on the mag spring and make sure that it seats properly when reloading.

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I'm planning to shoot a Walther PPQ M2 9mm in production. It is bone stock. I did use a tag for a change, and considering how often I view those it likely would have been good information to have in the post somewhere. In my head I was asking for procedural tips for running the stages (what to shoot when, a suggested movement path, etc.) I have found the stages in the USPSA handbook and printed them out. I even did a partial setup on them yesterday at a friend's outdoor range who shoots IDPA. My gun handling skills are beginner. I've only been shooting about a year and this is only my second competition, my first being a level one in January. The one handed shooting is something I'm not familiar with at all, though I practiced it for an hour yesterday to get at least start getting used to it. I found the pistol shakes some in my left hand but not too bad in my right. I'm expecting to make mistakes and miss targets. In fact, I can't do any worse than I already have as I zeroed out the classifier in January after shooting the no shoots because I wasn't developing a good sight picture and wasn't taking my time. If this was easy, it wouldn't be a competition. When you guys practice at home do you use one of those battery powered bullets that has the laser built into the tip so you can see where your pointed?

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Not surprised that the gun was shaky in your left hand. If you don't practice strong hand/Weak hand, that is what happens.

Don't get a laser pointer thingy. It will move your focus from your front sights to the target and you do NOT want or need to do that.

When we all tell you to look at your front sight, you should be looking so hard that you can see dust on it, or the serrations if your sight has it. That is WAY more important than a laser. In fact, I shot with glasses for 2 years so I could see the targets clear. Now I shoot with glasses focused for my front sight and the targets are pretty fuzzy. I don't miss nearly as much since my focus is on my front sight now.

You will NOT get classified as a Master this weekend. In fact, you have a good chance of zeroing some of these even if you do look at your front sight and squeeze the trigger properly. Don't get discouraged, but it will take some time and in fact quite a bit of time to be efficient at most things.

See your sights, slow down and get your points.

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recommended to me, and I follow, with one handed shooting to cant the gun slightly towards your centerline (not full 90 degree gansta) and anchor your empty hand somewhere on your body so it's not flailing around. go slow and get good hits (yes I know it's hard to do that); you'll have plenty of time to go fast later.

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I'm expecting to make mistakes and miss targets.

There's only two suggestions for a 2nd match:

1. be safe - don't get DQ'd

2. hit the target - don't miss - sounds tough, and it

is tough iff you shoot too quickly - slow down and

hit the target, safely.

Good luck. :cheers:

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How does Steve Anderson say it?

Badly paraphrased: You do all your work in dry fire and live fire practice - you just go to the matches to collect the prize you earned in your practice.

Haven't been practicing? Yea well...welcome to D-Class assuming you don't zero all the stages. Everyone starts somewhere.

Have a few days? Set them up in simulated dry fire and practice every skill used in the classifiers. Shoot as fast as you can get an acceptable sight picture AND control your trigger press - especially SHO/WHO.

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I've got the books on order. Shot the match in the rain today and made some bone headed mistakes that cost me points but didn't do anything to get DQ'd. Hit a steel target and didn't realize it didn't fall until I had holstered. Apparently that's partially an ammunition issues as I had 115 grain rounds. Other mistakes can be attributed to being too fast. I'd have had much better accuracy taking a moment to get my aim right. Still I did better overall than I thought I would but not as well as I would have liked.

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