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CO nationals top 10: 75-85% Alphas


Kenaxford
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I thought this might make for an interesting discussion or maybe just an interesting observation:  I traditionally have heard that 90-95% Alphas is what is needed to be competitive but a quick analysis of carry optics nationals (which is all minor scoring and notably a worse penalty than major) shows the top 10 were all about 75-80%.  It seemed to me that match as a whole was pretty well rounded and not favoring any one style or a lot of distance shots that might throw that number off.  I just thought that was interesting and maybe something I will keep in mind during my own training to push the speed a bit more and be ok with that.  other thoughts?   

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First I will preface this was my first pistol nationals so I do not know what the norm would be, or have much to compare it to.

 

To me there was a lot of long stuff, about a half dozen (possibly a few more) with open targets out at 23-36 yds.  The open targets gave you the impression you could possibly shoot them a little faster.  Also some Gimmick stages, (carrying a 20 pound ammo can) to shoot I believe 12 targets one handed.  One stage where first string you shot 6 rounds reload 6 strong hand, second string you shot 6 rounds reload 6 weak hand (Virginia count).  One stage was shoot last three targets weak hand with targets at about 5 yds., 10 yds., and 18 yds. (is the target range most shot that stage with their week hand).  A few timing stages where if you missed steel, it would throw your stage plan off.  A stage had 2 swingers where the IPSC targets was essentially cut down to the top 1/3 of the target (lots of mikes on those targets).  

 

All in all I though it was a good test of a lot of myriad of different shooting skills.  During the match, I did not know how I felt about the gimmick stages, but after discussing with other shooters on my squad I felt the same way they did as I have had time to reflect, it was a good test.  I will say there was a few competitors there that weighed under 100 pounds or just over 100 pounds, so to asking them to carry a 20# ammo can seem to throw off competitive balance a bit.  At least it did in my eyes. The ammo can stage also compelled the PCC shooters to shoot their rifle one handed.  Not sure how I feel about that when there is a specific rule about not making PCC shooters shoot one handed.  Yes I understand you are not making them shoot one handed but to be competitive for PCC on that stage you pretty much had to shoot one handed.  

 

Section C is where all of the gimmick stages seem to be so you shot them all on one day.  That section seem to eat a lot people's lunch.  

 

Overall I liked the stages, and felt they were pretty diverse.  I thought the stage designs allowed the shooters to essentially get themselves in trouble by not respecting certain targets, or giving the shooter a false sense of their shooting ability on certain target presentations.  

 

Learned a lot, and at least what to work on for the next one. 

Edited by Boomstick303
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I’ve always aimed for 90-92% of points shooting minor, which is about 75-80% alphas. It’s pretty uncommon to see someone shooting minor and have 90%+ alphas. And by pretty uncommon, I mean almost never. I am talking about the people that have a competitive time, not the people that shoot very  accurate but take 2-3x the time of the division winner.

Edited by Rich406
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/20/2021 at 10:19 PM, Rich406 said:

I’ve always aimed for 90-92% of points shooting minor, which is about 75-80% alphas. It’s pretty uncommon to see someone shooting minor and have 90%+ alphas. And by pretty uncommon, I mean almost never. I am talking about the people that have a competitive time, not the people that shoot very  accurate but take 2-3x the time of the division winner.

This. 
 

90-92% of the total available points is the target for minor scoring. Not 90% alphas. 
 

And 93-95% of the points for major scoring. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/3/2021 at 11:04 AM, Steve Moneypenny said:

I generally push for speed in training and go for alphas as quickly as I can grab them in a match!

 

I'm transitioning from open to CO and i have that habit as well. at a match, how often do you see yourself hitting C's over A's? at what point do you dial down the speed and focus more on the accuracy?

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5 hours ago, Kwontanamo said:

I'm transitioning from open to CO and i have that habit as well. at a match, how often do you see yourself hitting C's over A's? at what point do you dial down the speed and focus more on the accuracy?

I’m sure others will chime in here but as I get more matches under my belt, I continue to work the balance between speed and accuracy.  simply put:  “allow myself to see the sights on target and get a bit of confirmation before breaking the first shot.”  (Follow up shot is usually “predictive” for closer targets meaning I don’t acquire a 2nd sight picture)  When I push too fast and don’t allow for that sight confirmation enough, the score suffers or I waste time making up shots on steel.  Of course close targets need very little confirmation (just a flash of the dot in the a zone) and longer shots need a bit more confirmation ensuring the dot settles on target.   Yesterday’s match was a reminder of what happens when I push too fast and don’t get a good enough sight picture.  “Ouch”  As mentioned above, I also push the speed in dry fire especially to try and speed up my hand-eye coordination.  and I push live fire too but when live fire starts going south, that’s my cue to dial it back and get more sight confirmation.  If you don’t have a sense of your ability to see the dot on target, review the score breakdown  and I still think 80% alphas is a good rough indicator of whether a competitor is pushing too fast or maybe not fast enough.  Just my perspective so far as I near the end of my first competitive year. 

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  • 1 month later...

I feel this read was a nice reminder to me that this sport is a mix of speed and accuracy combined. When I first started I was slow trying to make A’s. Looking at it now. Getting C’s faster would have scored better in the long run. Getting back into the sport now after a long break, it’s been a struggle to find that balance point. But of fresh air though to see the amount of C’s even great shooters get. 

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  • 1 month later...

A little more personal data to the thread. Shot a match yesterday and the biggest takeaway I got from it is to speed up!!!  I found myself aiming for the A zone but if I felt a little pressure under time, I let her rip if I was on the brown. Here is how I placed vs a person that I sort of follow and use as a reference 

 

me:

Place 52/85 overall

24/41 in division 

86A, 12C, 1D, 1M, 1NS

time 111 seconds 

CO U

 

followed shooter 

place 29/85 overall 

11/41 in division 

62A, 32C, 3D, 4M

time 71 seconds 

CO A 

 

By math, he simply got more points per seconds than I did and my NS took a toll as well. Dry fire seemed to help me a lot but short movements in the house isnt going to cut it. For me, it’s time to take it out back and set up lanes. Hope this helps someone out there 

 

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1 hour ago, X5SigChris said:

A little more personal data to the thread. Shot a match yesterday and the biggest takeaway I got from it is to speed up!!!  I found myself aiming for the A zone but if I felt a little pressure under time, I let her rip if I was on the brown. Here is how I placed vs a person that I sort of follow and use as a reference 

 

me:

Place 52/85 overall

24/41 in division 

86A, 12C, 1D, 1M, 1NS

time 111 seconds 

CO U

 

followed shooter 

place 29/85 overall 

11/41 in division 

62A, 32C, 3D, 4M

time 71 seconds 

CO A 

 

By math, he simply got more points per seconds than I did and my NS took a toll as well. Dry fire seemed to help me a lot but short movements in the house isnt going to cut it. For me, it’s time to take it out back and set up lanes. Hope this helps someone out there 

 

Interesting. That's what I would have thought in general, but nice to see some data.

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I defiantly knew that my speed would sacrifice points overall but I did not expect it to be that much. When I heard “alpha, alpha” a lot I got excited. Only to be crushed lol. It’s forcing (a good change) me to change up my entire training plan to work on speed overall to be competitive. 
 

not the outcome I wanted but a great learning experience first hand. 

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IMHO it is biased to speed over accuracy, a SLIGHT amount in the current era of target size , speed and firearm/shooter accuracy, I think it should be looked at and readjusted a small amount. 

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HF scoring isn’t biased to speed over accuracy. It fluctuates based on the course of fire.

 

Folks that can distinguish when to focus on one or the other excel in this sport.. and those that get hung up on one or the other live in B class. 

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6 hours ago, Dirty_J said:

HF scoring isn’t biased to speed over accuracy. It fluctuates based on the course of fire.

 

Folks that can distinguish when to focus on one or the other excel in this sport.. and those that get hung up on one or the other live in B class. 

Maybe.. but your mindset should never really be "speed up" or "slow down" based on a stage, right? I think the people who excel in this sport are the ones who always "see what they need to see" in order to make acceptable hits on target, and can do that quickly regardless of what the hit factor math on a stage is. Maybe I am misinterpreting though. 

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15 minutes ago, CC3D said:

Maybe.. but your mindset should never really be "speed up" or "slow down" based on a stage, right? I think the people who excel in this sport are the ones who always "see what they need to see" in order to make acceptable hits on target, and can do that quickly regardless of what the hit factor math on a stage is. Maybe I am misinterpreting though. 

I’m still terrible at HF math on stages. I get the concept but can’t get the execution…yet. 

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My point is though that I'm not sure there is any "execution". In a match you shouldn't shoot any faster or slower than your ability to see what you need to see. Again, that's just my understanding.

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39 minutes ago, CC3D said:

My point is though that I'm not sure there is any "execution". In a match you shouldn't shoot any faster or slower than your ability to see what you need to see. Again, that's just my understanding.

That’s correct. You never go faster than your ability to see… 

 

BUT… that doesn’t mean you get a better sight confirmation on an extremely point heavy stage or tight array. 

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On 3/22/2022 at 12:27 PM, Dirty_J said:

HF scoring isn’t biased to speed over accuracy. It fluctuates based on the course of fire.

 

Folks that can distinguish when to focus on one or the other excel in this sport.. and those that get hung up on one or the other live in B class. 

 

100% this

 

 

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On 3/22/2022 at 12:21 PM, Sinister4 said:

IMHO it is biased to speed over accuracy, a SLIGHT amount in the current era of target size , speed and firearm/shooter accuracy, I think it should be looked at and readjusted a small amount. 

 

I don't think you quite understand how hit factor works then.

 

Hit factor is self adjusting based on stage layout (can you flow or do you need to stop/start), target array locations, target difficulty (itself a combination of distance, available scoring zones, and awkwardness of the position from which the targets are available), and shooter skill.

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20 hours ago, Dirty_J said:

BUT… that doesn’t mean you get a better sight confirmation on an extremely point heavy stage or tight array. 

 

That's what he said when he said "you shouldn't shoot any faster or slower than your ability to see what you need to see"

 

Emphasis added by me

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What people mean (I think) when they say the scoring system is time biased is that a fast C is better than a slow A. If, for example, an A was worth 10 points, then there's no C hit fast enough to beat that slow A. 

 

There are people, generally newer shooters or Old Timers with a PPC/Bullseye background who think that shooting a stage with all Alphas should be a "perfect" score. They don't "like" that a fast run with A/C hits crushes a slow run with all alphas. 

 

They also struggle that there's no "perfect" or "maximum" score. LE shooters struggle with this as well. 

Edited by konkapot
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