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New shooting sport? Pistol Drag Racing!


Dranoel
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Pistol Drag Racing

 

I have been disappointed by the lack of any type of “Head to Head” competition in the shooting sports world. Because of this I have been percolating in my brain a new shooting sport. Consider it a cross between pistol shooting and NHRA Drag racing.

Essentially, two competitors line up side by side facing a rack of six 8” steel plates on each side and a pair of pepper poppers that fall overlapping. Sound familiar? It should. It’s the Champion’s Challenge from the Steel Challenge. But I have added a few tweaks to turn it into a stand-alone sport.

 

First it would be an Elimination Ladder setup. Competitors would have up to 4 qualifying runs attempting to make the top 16. (Or perhaps top 32 if there are enough competitors to warrant)

Second, the start would not be a beep from a timer. It would be an NHRA style “Christmas Tree”. Rounds would be timed from the green light to the fall of the popper. Round times would only count to give lane choice in the next round and for Records.

The Christmas Tree would be operated by a Range Officer as follows:

When a competitor enters his shooting box his pistol must be holstered and ready. The RO will flip that competitor’s “Pre-stage” switch to “ON”, lighting the amber Pre-Stage light on the Christmas tree for that lane. The opposing Competitor then has 10 seconds to Pre-stage by entering the box. At that point, if a competitor leaves the shooting box, for any reason, it will be considered backing out of the lights and will forfeit the round.

Once both competitors have Pre-Staged and both lights are on, they will have 10 seconds to Stage. When the competitor raises his/her hands over their shoulders in “Surrender Position”, they will be considered ready for start and "Staged”. The RO will flip the switch to turn on the staged light on that lane. The opposing competitor then has 10 seconds to Stage. If a competitor lowers his hands after the “Staged” light is on, it will be considered backing out of the lights and the round is forfeit.

 

Once both lanes have lit “Stage” lights, the RO will press the “Start” button for the Christmas tree within 5 seconds and begin the start sequence on the tree. At the lighting of the 3 Amber lights the competitor may begin their draw.

 

The Green Light will be lit 0.4 seconds after the amber and start the timer. If  the timer detects a shot from either lane before the green light is lit, it will be considered a jumped start, a red light will be lit instead of the green for that lane and the competitor will be disqualified.

 

The Pepper Popper stop plate falling will activate a momentary switch to stop the timer for its lane.

 

All 6 plates must be shot and fall in linear order. If a competitor misses a plate and shoots the next plate in the order before felling the missed plate, it will be considered crossing the line and the competitor will be disqualified. All plates on the racks must be felled before continuing to the Pepper Popper. The winner will be determined by which lane’s popper is knocked down first.

Competitors will be allowed 10 rounds of ammunition in their pistol. Reloads will not be allowed. If a competitor misses enough targets that he/she runs out of ammunition before completing the course of fire, it will be considered “smoking the tires” and must wait until their opponent finishes the course of fire. If BOTH competitors run out of ammo before completing the course of fire (pedal fest) the competitor who progressed furthest through the plate rack will be declared the winner but forfeits lane choice in the next round. If both competitors progress to the same plate being knocked down before smoking the tires, then the lowest time to the last shot will determine a winner but lane choice will still be forfeit.

 

First round Elimination Ladders will be arranged by competitor’s single best qualifying run. Top Qualifier will face the #16 qualifier in the first round. #2 will face #15, #3 vs #14, #4 vs #13, etc.

Winners of first round eliminations will progress to the second round with the low Elapsed Time determining lane choice in the match ups. The winner of the first match up will face the winner of the second match up. Winner of the third will face the winner of the fourth. Fifth vs Sixth, etc. Elimination will continue until there are two competitors in the Final Round and the winner of the final round match up will be declared the Match Champion.

Several classes may be set up as follows:

  • Top Fuel Dragster . . . . . . Unlimited, Optics and Compensators allowed
  • Pro Mod . . . . . .  . . . . . . . Limited Optics allowed, No compensators/porting
  • Pro Stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . No optics, no comps, must be a production pistol. Accurizing and trigger tuning allowed
  • Sportsman . . . . . . . . . . . . Box stock production guns only


I think this would not only be an exciting sport for the competitors but an excellent spectator sport as well.

Thoughts? Opinions? Criticism? 

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All the time stuff makes zero sense when you have a double falling popper.
FYI man on man steel using that setup has been around a long long time..
Not to mention the whole light tree thing ?  Complicated for the sake of being complicated. Can do the same job with a 50 cent whistle.

Open,, comps and optics or anything your heat desires.
Limited,,  no comps or optics.  
dump the sportsman. No way to enforce it.

Far as match, you could do a double elimination bracket so everyone gets to shoot a few times and sticks around a bit longer.

For each round do a best 2 out of 3, switching sides each time.

Unless you came up with a way to score multiple stages realize this is a pretty small club event. Get too many people your stand around to shooting ratio goes way up.
Ive actually thought about doing the same exact style match at my club.. Basically with the core of pin shooters.  May be a fun diversion.

Edited by Joe4d
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1 hour ago, Joe4d said:

All the time stuff makes zero sense when you have a double falling popper.
FYI man on man steel using that setup has been around a long long time..
Not to mention the whole light tree thing ?  Complicated for the sake of being complicated. Can do the same job with a 50 cent whistle.

Open,, comps and optics or anything your heat desires.
Limited,,  no comps or optics.  
dump the sportsman. No way to enforce it.

Far as match, you could do a double elimination bracket so everyone gets to shoot a few times and sticks around a bit longer.

For each round do a best 2 out of 3, switching sides each time.

Unless you came up with a way to score multiple stages realize this is a pretty small club event. Get too many people your stand around to shooting ratio goes way up.
Ive actually thought about doing the same exact style match at my club.. Basically with the core of pin shooters.  May be a fun diversion.


Awesome!  And was there anything you DIDN'T like about it?

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They actually had this same thing at Rimfire Worlds. Billy Striplin made the setup. It is a lot of fun. He even had pads with sensors on them you had to rest the muzzle to prevent a false start. This kind of resembles The American Handgunner Match.

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American Handgunner World Shootoffs was an entire match of all man-on-man falling steel (mostly plate racks) with crossover stop poppers.  AASA down in Texas still does it.

Long ago Yank Price had a drag tree setup for a shootoff..  I think the shooter held a button down strong-hand to 'stage'.  Thats what I was going to do.

 

Generally nobody cares about the order of the plates or pins shot though.

 

Handicapping shooters has always been the main sticking point.  The Handgunner had enough entries they could have classes of roughly equivalent skill that shot against each other, but man/man at the club level is a foregone conclusion for the most part so there's little incentive for the lower-level shooters to get crushed.  Pins are a slightly different story since there's some more randomness built in, but most pin shoots I knew of had some sort of handicaps.

 

I was plotting to do it bracket-racing style with dial-ins.   Start lights for each lane come on depending on the difference in dial-ins-- if your dial in is 3 and the other guy is 5, his start light goes green 2 seconds before yours does.  Don't let go of your button before your light goes green or you lose.  Go under your dial-in time, you lose too.

 

That way you don't even need divisions unless you just want them.

 

 

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Very well could be.
IMO there basically is no difference when you consider what passes as a "production" gun these days.
Also we are talking mousefart level loads here, I doubt a compensator is doing anything but adding a bit of weight out front. I see no reason for a separate division in the game we are discussing.
Maybe a slight edge in the frame vs slide optic, but considering single shots per target even that isnt as drastic assuming reliability, nor was it mentioned in the proposed divisions.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/15/2020 at 7:25 PM, Dranoel said:

So what I'm hearing here is, "It's not the competition that shoot, so it can't be any good." 

Thanks for the input.

I think what you are hearing is, sure it would be a cool match but with the extra complication nobody else would want to run matches under the rules you propose because a start tree costs lots more than a whistle. Also for falling steel without power factor requirements many don't see the need for as many divisions.

 

The big problem with man on man is newer lower skill shooters know they have a very low chance of making it very far in the competition vs all the other sports where even a beginner gets to shoot just as many targets as a GM. 

 

The best Man on Man shoot off I have seen was at a USPSA State match, they had a plate rack and several poppers on each side with stacking poppers in the middle 

they handicapped the match ups by optic vs iron sight Irons had one plate down to start, then for every class difference between the shooters another plate was down to start up to a limit of I think 4 plates. 

so open M vs Production B the production B had 3 less plates to shoot 

Limited A vs CO A the limited shooter had 1 less plate

Production B vs Open C heads up. 

it worked remarkably well and most shooters had at least a chance

 

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On 7/26/2020 at 7:24 AM, Dranoel said:


Awesome!  And was there anything you DIDN'T like about it?

 

 

Heh. 

 

I've run matches and among them was a pretty decent sized steel challenge match with "carnival" sides set up. So lots of weird rules intended to be fun. 

 

I like Shred's idea for bracket times to even the playing field and make it accessible. Just have people pick their time interval and if they go over by too much or under by too much they lose. You would have to experiment with how much range to give people, but if you can get it to work you could in theory have a C class shooter win against an M shooter. In theory. One thing I learned about these weird things is you have to prototype it and test it unless you want live problems day of. 

 

The timing and staging setup you initially suggested is too complex. There's a reason shooting timers are what they are. They work, and they work across enough stuff that it is worth making them. 

 

As for the overlapping poppers being the determining factor of winning, well poppers aren't all equal, and even with the best design for this you will get some random variance greater than the delta between two very good shooters. 

 

Steel challenge is basically the drag racing of pistols. It's just not head to head because timers don't like that. 

 

The only way I see to do a mechanical head to head properly is where the last target is shared. That way it doesn't matter how beat up it is, if it isn't standing, you can't shoot it. But you can't do that without having reversed layouts for each shooter, which isn't really apples to apples. 

 

 

Not that it doesn't have the core of something potentially fun to shoot, but it definitely needs some development to be practical to implement. 

 

 

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