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What would you do?


robport

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I shot my first major recently. I was ready to give up in frustration after the first stage, but really enjoyed all the other stages. Besides getting, what was probably a record number of procedurals (one due to mixed instructions, my whole squad got it), I still had a lot of fun on balance and learned a few valuable lessons for if I ever do it again.

On that one stage, the targets were in the dark (completely), you were on your back, under a prop car, and the only light was one shining directly in your eyes (about 6 inches away). You couldn't move out from under the prop and you weren't allowed to use your flashlight.

I was wearing dark, so wasn't reflecting any light at the target.

I'm not exactly young, so the old rods in the eyes don't work like they used to either.

I understand there was a trick to it now, but I didn't figure it out in time.

My question is:

What would you do if you couldn't see the targets on a stage at all?

Just shoot the requisite number of rounds at it?...or just tell the SO you can't safely do it and quit?

Luckily, the word, on the trick, got out to many of the shooters after us, so many had a way to complete it safely. I'm not complaining...I wouldn't have won anyway.

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Well, what was the trick? Don't leave us hanging!

I can't say I've ever been to a match where I couldn't see the targets at all. Dim, sure but can't see the target at all? Never. Sounds pretty annoying. What kinds of stages a match offers are a big part in how I decide which matches to go back to.

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Stages that depend on an unobvious trick are not fair and equitable.

Inconsistent instructions that lead to a whole squad getting the same PE is not fair, either.

I would let the MD know my concerns and would plan my attendance from his response.

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+1 on what Jim said. There is a difference between a pistol match and a 'clusterfunch'. This sounds like the latter.

As far as targets totally in the dark and not visible.... how would any responsible gun owner know there was a threat and which targets were the threat?

As far as shooting in total darkness, there is a technique that uses the muzzle flash from the first round to get at least some portion of the front sight pointed in the right direction... with subsequent shots refining that 'flash sight picture' to get the rest of the bullets somewhere on target.

However, if you use this in a civilian self-defense situation you'd better hope everyone you put a bullet into has a weapon... and you're still likely to need a great lawyer.

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I wasn't crazy about the stage, but I still assume some of it had something to do with the condition of my eyes.

It may have just been dim and annoying to some others. It was just a dark image to me and definitely some others, which is why I am asking if I should have just dumped a bunch of rounds safely in the direction or gave it up.

I did bring up the confusing instruction (actually a specific answer to a question on target priority) with the stage manager and he took care of it with all other groups (we were the first).

He offered to let me file a protest with the MD. I didn't particularly want to protest the PE and neither did the other 3 (the fifth wasn't there when we all discussed hearing the instruction)

3 seconds after that disaster on my first stage was inconsequential to me...lol. Mistakes do happen and their offer to look into it was good enough for me.

I can't say anything bad about the match director or the operation. It was well done.

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+1 on what Jim said. There is a difference between a pistol match and a 'clusterfunch'. This sounds like the latter.

As far as targets totally in the dark and not visible.... how would any responsible gun owner know there was a threat and which targets were the threat?

As far as shooting in total darkness, there is a technique that uses the muzzle flash from the first round to get at least some portion of the front sight pointed in the right direction... with subsequent shots refining that 'flash sight picture' to get the rest of the bullets somewhere on target.

However, if you use this in a civilian self-defense situation you'd better hope everyone you put a bullet into has a weapon... and you're still likely to need a great lawyer.

If I was in a civilian self-defense situation, the first thing I would have done was cut out that durn light and get out from under the car...lol.

That was helpful about using the flash to aim subsequent shots. I'll have to try that some time. Thanks!

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