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New Competition Shooter From TX


Western
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Hey folks,

 

I recently started shooting competitions for the first time two weeks ago.  I've been to two matches at a gun range close to my house and have had a good time, I definitely plan on going more.  I've always thought I was decent with handguns from shooting on the range and these matches have been an eye opening experience for me showing me how far I have to go - I was third from last place both times!

 

I shoot a Beretta 92 Elite LTT, it has been a great gun so far with no failures of any kind yet.  I've seen a lot of guys have trouble with their guns already so its nice to have one that has been completely reliable.  I did have to replace my sights because the fiber optic rod in my front sight fell out so I switched to some Ameriglo night sights.

 

I know I need to get substantially better at basically everything.  I'm shocked at how inaccurate I've been in timed conditions in general, I think I tend to yank the trigger under time constraints.  I haven't really had a chance to work on target transitions before because the ranges near me don't allow it.  I've practiced my reloads a fair bit and they've improved but still need work.  My draw/initial sight alignment could definitely be faster too.  Hopefully I can find some advice/drills here to work on all of this stuff.

 

I'm going up to New Hampshire soon where I have some land and a range available to me that I can set up with steel targets pretty much however I want.  I'd like to get to figure out what steel targets I should get and what ranges are best to put them at to practice this kind of stuff.  I also think working with a shot timer would help me get used to being under time pressure.

Edited by Western
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Here is a list for matches in the DFW area.  M160, Triple C, & JCSSA put on really good USPSA matches but many of the other also have good quality matches as well.  DAPs, DPC, NTXLF are great matches for new shooters but not official USPSA matches, they are fun and a great place to start learning the game.  NTXLF also will have practice sessions that I recommend for new shooters.

 

• Collin County – USPSA and IDPA (CCIDPA) o https://www.ccidpa.org/
• Mission 160 Range (M160)
o https://mission160.com/
• Dallas Pistol Club (DPC)
o https://dallaspistolclub.com/
• Dallas Action Pistol (DAPS)
o http://www.dallaspistol.com/
o https://www.facebook.com/groups/156122970226/
• North Texas Lead Farmers (NTXLF)
o http://www.ntxlf.com/
o https://www.facebook.com/groups/2353258271383548/
• XMG
o https://www.xmgforum.com/
• NTSA
o http://www.shootntsa.com/
• Johnson County Shooting Association (JCSSA) o http://www.jcssa.com/
• North Texas Multi Gun (NTMG)
o https://www.northtexasmultigun.com/
• Triple C
o https://www.triplecrange.com/

Edited by PGGUNS
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1 hour ago, Western said:

I hear USPSA often requires higher round counts - can I get through a stage with some misses if I have 3 15-round Beretta mags?

 

Yes. Generally speaking, the maximum number of rounds you'll see any course of fire is 32. You will want to enter Limited division so you can load your magazines to capacity. In Production division, you can only load 10 rounds, which won't be enough. Most people in Limited shoot .40 which lets them take advantage of Major power factor scoring. You'll be shooting 9mm I assume, so you will be scored as Minor power factor. This article is a pretty good summary of USPSA divisions and understanding scoring: https://www.targetbarn.com/broad-side/uspsa-scoring/

As you gain more experience and improve your skills, you may want to get more magazines (5 absolute minimum, 6 ideally) to realistically compete in Production. The bigger concern here isn't really about the total number of rounds you can carry on your body, but instead having enough actual magazines that you can drop mags that are only half empty to strategically reload without having to worry about "wasting" magazines. If you only have 3 mags in Production, you won't have the flexibility to proactively reload.

Additionally, if you get serious about improving and start doing daily dryfire practice, you'll want to have 2-3 separate practice mags to take the abuse of hundreds of reloads each week.  But don't worry about that until you've gone a month or two of dedicated dry fire practice 3 or more times per week. That's around the right time to think about making the next round of investments in the sport.

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14 hours ago, Western said:

I live in Dallas, I've been to two of the DAPS matches at Elm Fork since that range isn't too far away from me.

You need to venture down to ETTS in Waxahachie - http://www.ettsgunrange.com/portfolio - honestly one of the best ranges in the state, if not the country. 

 

The current match schedule (which I've heard is getting changed up a bit in 2020, but will be similar) - 

 

1st weekend - UML Multigun

2nd weekend - USPSA / Steel Challenge 

3rd weekend - Falling Steel

4th weekend - Traditional 3 gun (this is the weekend that's getting changed up a bit, will now be a rotation of match types from all rifle, all shotgun, etc.)

It's $40 a match for non members. The matches are designed and run by Sky and Ryan Killian who are both world renowned and world champion shooters. They are phenomenal matches. There is a great group of regulars who shoot matches there that are a wealth of knowledge for beginners. 

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8 hours ago, ClangClang said:

 

Yes. Generally speaking, the maximum number of rounds you'll see any course of fire is 32. You will want to enter Limited division so you can load your magazines to capacity. In Production division, you can only load 10 rounds, which won't be enough. Most people in Limited shoot .40 which lets them take advantage of Major power factor scoring. You'll be shooting 9mm I assume, so you will be scored as Minor power factor. This article is a pretty good summary of USPSA divisions and understanding scoring: https://www.targetbarn.com/broad-side/uspsa-scoring/

As you gain more experience and improve your skills, you may want to get more magazines (5 absolute minimum, 6 ideally) to realistically compete in Production. The bigger concern here isn't really about the total number of rounds you can carry on your body, but instead having enough actual magazines that you can drop mags that are only half empty to strategically reload without having to worry about "wasting" magazines. If you only have 3 mags in Production, you won't have the flexibility to proactively reload.

Additionally, if you get serious about improving and start doing daily dryfire practice, you'll want to have 2-3 separate practice mags to take the abuse of hundreds of reloads each week.  But don't worry about that until you've gone a month or two of dedicated dry fire practice 3 or more times per week. That's around the right time to think about making the next round of investments in the sport.

Thanks, this was really helpful.  If I stick with it and get to a decent level, switching to Production definitely makes sense to me because I have no desire to shoot .40 or substantially modify my 92 in any way.  If I end up with 6 magazines, how do people generally hold all of them? A lot of the more experienced guys have some mags on their 11 and 7 o'clock pointing in weird directions.  Right now I'm just using an Esstac KYWI double pistol mag pouch on my belt.  Could I just extend this setup with 2 more of them?  The retention on them is a bit too strong for my liking so I might switch to kydex mag pouches if I buy more.

 

1 hour ago, bulldog009 said:

You need to venture down to ETTS in Waxahachie - http://www.ettsgunrange.com/portfolio - honestly one of the best ranges in the state, if not the country. 

 

The current match schedule (which I've heard is getting changed up a bit in 2020, but will be similar) - 

 

1st weekend - UML Multigun

2nd weekend - USPSA / Steel Challenge 

3rd weekend - Falling Steel

4th weekend - Traditional 3 gun (this is the weekend that's getting changed up a bit, will now be a rotation of match types from all rifle, all shotgun, etc.)

It's $40 a match for non members. The matches are designed and run by Sky and Ryan Killian who are both world renowned and world champion shooters. They are phenomenal matches. There is a great group of regulars who shoot matches there that are a wealth of knowledge for beginners. 

I've heard good things about ETTS before.  I love shooting steel so I signed up for the steel match this weekend.  I'm not 100% sure I can make it because it's a long way from me but I'll do my best.

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I'm shooting a stock 92fs in Production right now using a couple of USGI mag pouches and a dual-mag holder that came with a Springfield XD9.  Definitely make-shift, but I haven't had any problems running 4 mags on my belt and one in the gun to start.  Santa might be bringing me a cheap competition belt and mag holder setup off Amazon, though.  Like you, I"m not interested in modifying my gun much or adding calibers, so Production is the place to be.  Not many of us shooting Berettas, though. 

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On 12/20/2019 at 10:22 AM, Western said:

 If I end up with 6 magazines, how do people generally hold all of them? A lot of the more experienced guys have some mags on their 11 and 7 o'clock pointing in weird directions.  Right now I'm just using an Esstac KYWI double pistol mag pouch on my belt.  Could I just extend this setup with 2 more of them?  The retention on them is a bit too strong for my liking so I might switch to kydex mag pouches if I buy more.


In Limited, you can have mag pouches on your belt in any location like you describe above.  Most (but not all) people find the 11-12 o clock position offers the fastest reload.
 

In Production, you carry them with 5 or 6 kydex mag carriers on your belt. I found a photo on the web that shows a pretty common Production belt setup.  In Production, you can have mags at any angle you prefer and that works with your arm/shoulder, but your mag pouches (and pistol) must be positioned behind your hip bones.  My production belt has 5 pouches on it and I keep a 6th mag in my rear pocket with 11 rounds for the "make ready" command (you are allowed to start with 10 in the mag + 1 in the chamber).

I agree that retention on Esstac KYWIs is a bit too strong for USPSA. I have a set of them which I really like, but use them for Run N Gun biathlons (2 gun match integrated with a 5k-10k trail run) where making sure they stay in your belt is more important than a sub 1 second reload..

Typical Production belt:
aCVHO.jpg

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On 12/20/2019 at 8:12 AM, bulldog009 said:

You need to venture down to ETTS in Waxahachie - http://www.ettsgunrange.com/portfolio - honestly one of the best ranges in the state, if not the country. 

I got out there today!  They have a great facility, it's really cool that you can bring your own steel and set up your own bay.  Took a video of me shooting one of the stages.  There were less than 10 other people out there which was a nice low-key environment.  I missed quite a bit, I'm definitely noticing that my trigger press is messed up unless I really focus on it while under time pressure.  I also bungled my last reload, couldn't get the empty mag to drop out.

https://youtu.be/2usOIm19eDg (is there a way to embed this?)

 

5 hours ago, ClangClang said:


In Limited, you can have mag pouches on your belt in any location like you describe above.  Most (but not all) people find the 11-12 o clock position offers the fastest reload.
 

In Production, you carry them with 5 or 6 kydex mag carriers on your belt. I found a photo on the web that shows a pretty common Production belt setup.  In Production, you can have mags at any angle you prefer and that works with your arm/shoulder, but your mag pouches (and pistol) must be positioned behind your hip bones.  My production belt has 5 pouches on it and I keep a 6th mag in my rear pocket with 11 rounds for the "make ready" command (you are allowed to start with 10 in the mag + 1 in the chamber).

I agree that retention on Esstac KYWIs is a bit too strong for USPSA. I have a set of them which I really like, but use them for Run N Gun biathlons (2 gun match integrated with a 5k-10k trail run) where making sure they stay in your belt is more important than a sub 1 second reload..

Thanks for the advice!  I've had good holsters made by JM Custom Kydex for both my handguns in the past and I know they make mag carriers. So when I get around to buying more magazines I'll probably start using their carriers.  The Esstacs will end up being used for hiking/hunting/outdoor stuff, I might look into doing those Run N Guns too, that sounds like a lot of fun.

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Hey, don't let these USPSA guys push you too hard too soon.  Nothing wrong with trying IDPA to start.  Pistol and three magazines with inexpensive carry holster and double mag pouch is all you need to get going.  Do that for a while and when you starting winning those matches, jump into USPSA and see how losing feels again!!

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5 minutes ago, RangerTrace said:

Hey, don't let these USPSA guys push you too hard too soon.  Nothing wrong with trying IDPA to start.  Pistol and three magazines with inexpensive carry holster and double mag pouch is all you need to get going.  Do that for a while and when you starting winning those matches, jump into USPSA and see how losing feels again!!

Yeah, I think I'm going to just try both and see what I like better.  I've just been shooting local stuff so far.

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29 minutes ago, Western said:

Yeah, I think I'm going to just try both and see what I like better.  I've just been shooting local stuff so far.

Local is good.  Both sports are good.  Heck, all shooting sports are good as long as we keep building them.  Some folks get snobby when it comes to USPSA vs IDPA.  Don't get pulled into that BS.  They both have a place.  I shot USPSA for nearly 10 years before I tried IDPA.  I like them both, but IDPA fits my profile, budget and schedule better these days.  

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On 12/21/2019 at 10:22 PM, Western said:

I got out there today!  They have a great facility, it's really cool that you can bring your own steel and set up your own bay.  Took a video of me shooting one of the stages.  There were less than 10 other people out there which was a nice low-key environment.  I missed quite a bit, I'm definitely noticing that my trigger press is messed up unless I really focus on it while under time pressure.  I also bungled my last reload, couldn't get the empty mag to drop out.

That's great! I hate I couldn't make it, but the weekend before Christmas had other responsibilities. The steel match is always what I suggest for people to try first, its an easy way into the shooting sports, you only have one gun and one type of target to worry about. I'm hope you enjoyed it enough to come back! 

If you want another similar match, North Texas Multigun in Cresson (south of Fort Worth) is hosting their New Years Blaster match on saturday the 28th. Its another one gun, paper target, bay style match. Info is here - https://www.northtexasmultigun.com/new-years-eve-blaster-match they have the wrong date on their info page, but the Practiscore page has the correct date. I'll hopefully be able to make it out there for this one. 

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6 hours ago, bulldog009 said:

That's great! I hate I couldn't make it, but the weekend before Christmas had other responsibilities. The steel match is always what I suggest for people to try first, its an easy way into the shooting sports, you only have one gun and one type of target to worry about. I'm hope you enjoyed it enough to come back! 

If you want another similar match, North Texas Multigun in Cresson (south of Fort Worth) is hosting their New Years Blaster match on saturday the 28th. Its another one gun, paper target, bay style match. Info is here - https://www.northtexasmultigun.com/new-years-eve-blaster-match they have the wrong date on their info page, but the Practiscore page has the correct date. I'll hopefully be able to make it out there for this one. 

I'm going back up to NH for school on Jan. 3rd so I probably won't be shooting any more matches the rest of the time I'm home.  There's a local gun club near my college though that runs some stuff I plan on going to.   I had a great time at ETTS, it's the best range I've ever been to and I'll be back whenever I'm in the area.

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