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helocat

Just Shot my first match! - New guy take aways

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Yesterday I shot my first USPSA match in Albany Oregon at the Albany Rifle and Pistol club.   Outstanding day and looking forward to the next local match in two weeks.   #1 thing for me was just finishing and no DQ’s.  Checked that box and finished clean.  

 

Take aways from a new guys eyes:

 

#1 - I had no idea how different (and fun) each stage was going to be.   I now see the sport gets really creative in setting up the stages so they are challenging but fun.  This may seam obvious to those in the sport but from the outside I had no idea. 

 

#2 - Be forward if your by yourself.   I was, no buddy there to tell me what’s up.  So I would just walk up and introduce myself and say its my first day.  Everyone I came in contact with was friendly and happy to help explain  what was going on and answer my questions.   Like “when on the clock and I step out of the shooters box, is it ok to step back in before I shoot?”  Stuff like that.  (Answer was yes) 

 

#3 - Get there early and ask if you can walk around and look at the stages.   No one told me you could do this.   But out of curiosity I started to nose around and discovered other shooters digesting the stages and walking/discussing how to shoot them.   Met more people this way AND quickly learned allot of what others just assume everyone knows on how to shoot the stages. 

 

#4 - Use a proven known gun and ammo, and dont mess with it the night before the comp!  A new shooter in my squad had all kinds of FTF issues with his gun and did lots of clearing drills on the clock.  This shooter had made some adjustments the night before to his gun.  Then a very experienced shooter with a race gun had all kinds of ammo issues,  he changed his loads the night before.    I was happy I had my old Glock that was cleaned 4 months ago 100% stock and my 50cal can of the same 115g loads I always make, these were made almost a yr ago.  It all  ran like a champ.   I am way way off from needing any crazy mods etc.  (NOTE: only thing I did the night before was to case gauge every round I would have with me for the comp.  I read that on this forum.) 

 

#5 - I assumed shooting Production was the way to start.  Fortunately I was coached by two different event organizers to shoot limited.   So glad I did.  From the outside production sounds the way to start, like in motor sports.  But no.  Not having to do allot of mag changes really allowed me to focus on being safe and finishing the stage.   Yes mandatory mag changes in stages, but “monkey see monkey do” works as you see all the others shoot before you do a mag change in that Same spot, makes it easy for you to repeat.    The ONE mag change due to running dry caught me off guard and was the ONE spot I almost DQ’ed myself, RO told afterword I came close to braking 180. (That target was about 170 so the degrees of operation for margin of error was small)  I also learned to count the shots and in advance know where your mag change needs to be. 

 

#6 - Run SLOW -  Slow is fast and slow is not DQ’ed.   I intentionally went really slow.  I am 48 and know 28yr old me would have showed up to “run and gun” only to probably go home early for something like finger on the trigger for a mag change.   My 48yr old self said, slow, slow and finish.  Glad I did, there is enough to keep track of just remembering how the stage is meant to be shot.   For example a stage with “Shoot all targets 3x”.   It was amazing the amount of guys before hand reminding everyone “remember this is 3 shots per target, its easy to forget”.  Only for them to get up to go and they double tap all the targets, show clear and are told of the procedural on all the targets.  Argh! Worst yet, the very NEXT guy does the same.    Keep it simple as a new guy, those guys that got the procedural were experienced and still made mistakes!  The KISS, (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle is so true applied here. 

 

Going into this match I did have an advantage as my local club CVSC in Dundee, has a new USPSA shooter chair person.  That person (Nick, great guy) sent me a ordination packet online that also included a written test of the rules.   Once read and completed I met Nick at the range and he had a mock stage already set up.  I had one on one training how to shoot my first match, with safety of course being #1.   This helped me considerably and I am very thankful for the volunteers that do this like Nick.   

 

Bottom line I can see this being very addictive and looking forward to more matches.   Time to load more ammo!

IMG_0652.jpg

Edited by helocat

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#5.  You aren't counting your shots during the COF, right ?   You pre-counted so you knew where

        you wanted to reload.   If you're shooting a revolver, counting shots might make sense, but

        not if you're shooting a 20-rounder.

 

#6.  Run FAST.   Shoot a little slower (Make sure you hit the target), but do Everything else FAST.

 

Sounds like you had a blast - as usual    :) 

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2 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

#5.  You aren't counting your shots during the COF, right ?   You pre-counted so you knew where

        you wanted to reload.   If you're shooting a revolver, counting shots might make sense, but

        not if you're shooting a 20-rounder.

 

#6.  Run FAST.   Shoot a little slower (Make sure you hit the target), but do Everything else FAST.

 

Sounds like you had a blast - as usual    :) 

 Shooting a Glock 34.  The round I ran dry on had a 20 shot stage.  

 

Yes running fast sounds good as I move into more matches, but for the first one I moved but not lightning speed.    Key for me was watching that 180 and not sweeping my hand or feet reloading or holstering. 

 

Looking forward to the next match in two weeks. 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0653.jpg

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On 10/13/2019 at 10:18 PM, helocat said:

#4 - Use a proven known gun and ammo, and dont mess with it the night before the comp! 

 

Where I live, a lot of guys use small, club competitions as a testing ground for these type of things; make some changes, see how/if it runs in competition.

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27 minutes ago, nickforney said:

have you started dry firing yet now?  


 

Little but looking for more info on how to train correctly with dry fire.

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Just now, helocat said:


 

Little but looking for more info on how to train correctly with dry fire.

I purchased Steve Anderson and Ben Stoegers books.  Ive found the BS book to be helpful.  I should probably give the anderson one another shot.

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Glad you are having fun. I'm new as well and my biggest issue is going fast. I need to work on slowing down and watching my front sight for long shots.

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1 hour ago, Mdooz said:

Glad you are having fun. I'm new as well and my biggest issue is going fast. I need to work on slowing down and watching my front sight for long shots.

 

I've been at it now for a few years and I found Steve Anderson's advice (and one of our local GMs said the same thing to me) worked really well.

 

"Don't think slow down to get your hits. Shoot what you see!"

Slow is not "smooth" it's slow and the sport is about points per second. But, think fast and we begin to disregard the targets and drop points and that's as bad as slow and smooth with a bunch of As.

 

If you think "speed" that's what you will get, so if you shoot what you see the "speed" works itself out. 

 

Close targets end up being fast (no double taps) and the further and more difficult ones get a whole lot more solid As and close Cs.

 

My match rankings have substantially improved since I took their advice.

 

One thing else Steve Anderson and others have told me, we have to be able to hit the targets which is why shooting faster than I can "see" the sights and the target means I'm just throwing "hopers" (I hope I hit something) at brown.

 

Good luck and have fun!

Edited by HesedTech

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14 minutes ago, HesedTech said:

 

I've been at it now for a few years and I found Steve Anderson's advice (and one of our local GMs said the same thing to me) worked really well.

 

"Don't think slow down to get your hits. Shoot what you see!"

Slow is not "smooth" it's slow and the sport is about points per second. But, think fast and we begin to disregard the targets and drop points and that's as bad as slow and smooth with a bunch of As.

 

If you think "speed" that's what you will get, so if you shoot what you see the "speed" works itself out. 

 

Close targets end up being fast (no double taps) and the further and more difficult ones get a whole lot more solid As and close Cs.

 

My match rankings have substantially improved since I took their advice.

 

One thing else Steve Anderson and others have told me, we have to be able to hit the targets which is why shooting faster than I can "see" the sights and the target means I'm just throwing "hopers" (I hope I hit something) at brown.

 

Good luck and have fun!

Thanks, I will try to keep this in mind. It seems that no matter what I tell myself, whenever I hear that beep it all goes out the window lol.

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On 10/16/2019 at 11:55 PM, Mdooz said:

Thanks, I will try to keep this in mind. It seems that no matter what I tell myself, whenever I hear that beep it all goes out the window lol.

 

 

Ya the beep is a mind eraser.    Hmmm prob helps to train with the timer and beep. 

 

 

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Ya the beep is a mind eraser.    Hmmm prob helps to train with the timer and beep. 
 
 


Haha, very true! Even dry fire practice with a timer is a good idea! I love setting par times and trying to get draws and first shots off before the second beep in dry fire practice. You can even use a free shot timer app for this application.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for passing along your experience. I will show your post to a new shooter who is going to start this year. 

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Sounds like your club has a very well developed new shooter program. I wish more did. Congrats on getting the first match under your belt. Keep up the analytical thought process and you'll progress fast. Get a hold of Steve Anderson's first book "refinement and Repetition" and his third book "Get to Work". I like his methodology on technical improvement and the mental game (Lanny Bashams's mental management system). Enjoy.

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