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Tips for Newbies

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Production: The gun must be double-action, i.e. double-action only, traditional double-action or some other style of double-action that has been approved by USPSA.

Not exactly true. The first shot must be double-action or from a "safe-action" type gun. The second shot can be single-action. Consequently a double/single, such as a SIG 226 is legal.

Also, magazine capacity can exceed 10 rounds; however, you may only have 10 round in a magazine at the beginning of the course of fire.

These are very minor things, but might clarify what is permitted in Production.

Sorry I missed this previously. Actually it was exactly true, as written. The gun must be some form of double-action, which means at least the first shot is double-action. If the first shot is double-action and subsequent shots are single-action, then that gun is a traditional double-action, which I specifically mentioned. I never said every shot had to be fired double-action, only that the gun must be some form of double-action, which is must be.

On the magazine capacity issue, I said that magazine capacity was limited to 10 rounds in the magazine after the start signal, which it is. Sure, lots of guns have magazines that can hold more than that, but the rules don't address it. What I wrote was almost verbatim from the Production Division Appendix:

Maximum ammunition capacity: Yes, maximum 10 rounds loaded in any magazine after the start signal

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Thanks G-Man! Very helpful especially since I now CLEARLY know which division I can shoot in! Next 3G match, I will walk confidently to the sign in station and, without hesitation, check the "Limited" box......or maybe L10? :unsure:

Z

Hey, at least we've narrowed it down to only 2! If you have mags that hold 17+ (so you can finish a typical long stage with just one reload) I'd say go Limited....makes it easier in the beginning because you can worry more about shooting then when the next reload is supposed to be. R,

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Thanks G-Man! Very helpful especially since I now CLEARLY know which division I can shoot in! Next 3G match, I will walk confidently to the sign in station and, without hesitation, check the "Limited" box......or maybe L10? :unsure:

Z

Hey, at least we've narrowed it down to only 2! If you have mags that hold 17+ (so you can finish a typical long stage with just one reload) I'd say go Limited....makes it easier in the beginning because you can worry more about shooting then when the next reload is supposed to be. R,

In 3 gun, the divisions aren't quite the same! Limited will usually mean you're shooting Iron sights on your rifle. Shotgun, 8+1 for ammo, no optic, no speedloaders. Pistol will usually be a Limited division legal gun.

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Thanks G-Man! Very helpful especially since I now CLEARLY know which division I can shoot in! Next 3G match, I will walk confidently to the sign in station and, without hesitation, check the "Limited" box......or maybe L10? :unsure:

Z

Hey, at least we've narrowed it down to only 2! If you have mags that hold 17+ (so you can finish a typical long stage with just one reload) I'd say go Limited....makes it easier in the beginning because you can worry more about shooting then when the next reload is supposed to be. R,

In 3 gun, the divisions aren't quite the same! Limited will usually mean you're shooting Iron sights on your rifle. Shotgun, 8+1 for ammo, no optic, no speedloaders. Pistol will usually be a Limited division legal gun.

Good point(s) I probably should have put a disclaimer in the first post that this thread was Pistol, not 3G specific. R,

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Good point(s) I probably should have put a disclaimer in the first post that this thread was Pistol, not 3G specific. R,

3 gun/multigun seems to be getting more interest of late. Besides, you don't normally shoot 3 gun, do you?

Not even a G-man can cover alllll the bases :D

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Good point(s) I probably should have put a disclaimer in the first post that this thread was Pistol, not 3G specific. R,

3 gun/multigun seems to be getting more interest of late. Besides, you don't normally shoot 3 gun, do you?

Not even a G-man can cover alllll the bases :D

No, not normally....I don't want my wife suddenly getting cranky when I start buying a bunch more long guns :P

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New tip for newbies, SEE THE SIGHTS!

I was at an informal indoor match tonight, shot in the dark. I managed to score 90 points in 17.82 seconds on the long field course, making for a 5+ hit factor.

This was pretty amazing for me because that's not how I normally roll.

I can honestly say that I called every shot, including my miss, which I made up. I never saw the holes in the target, I just knew that my sights weren't where they should have been and so I made it up.

See the sights!

Edited by twodownzero

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This has been a great help and has made me think to pack a few more things into my range bag before my second match (this sat). It’s amazing that this thread has lasted for nearly a year now! I would also like to thank NEMO for all of the advice and help getting a production rig set up. Without him I wouldn't have been able to do it, or would have spent money on the wrong stuff.

Thanks to everyone for helping me learn from your mistakes before I make them also. This forum has truly made my shooting experience much more enjoyable. :D

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I shot a practice match last night where a lot of folks who are new to the sport get to try out USPSA and something struck me after one of the new shooters finished his stage...anybody wanna guess? The very first question he asked was "what was my time?". If you watch the really good shooters, they almost never ask what their time was at the end of a run. They're normally looking at the targets, and maybe afterwards will ask what their time was. Time means zippy if you're not getting your hits.

Something else to think about at the end of a stage. Walk with the RO as he/she scores your targets. Don't worry about picking up your magazines, brass, etc....look at the targets and, hopefully, try to remember what you saw as you shot each one. We'll get your mags and anything else you need (we're pretty good about that) because you're the shooter, and it's about you right then and there. Heck, if it's really cold out and you just shot, someone will probably bring you your jacket if you left it near the start! Over and over you'll see fellow competitors step up to help the shooter who just finished, and that applies at even the biggest matches with people you've never met before. :cheers:

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Thanks G-Man for directing me to this thread. Great information here, really appreciated. My son and I will be shooting our second match next weekend and will put this info to use.

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thanks for the info.....i'm a new shooter to USPSA (3-4 matches) and this thread has given me alot to think about.

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I am new to competition shooting completely. I have been blind in my right eye my hole life so being right handed i am not as good with a long gun as I would like to be. pistol is pretty good (hold with right hand sight with left eye). Problem is don't have a local club anywhere close that i know of. I live in Lebanon MO. I am buying a pistol in the next week or so from a friend who is big in the sport. it is an eaa witness match in .40. he is going to let me borrow an old AR and said I could use his fn shotgun until i can get my own. my concern is not having a club close by. I have 29 acres of my own but don't know how to said up a practice course to get the most of my practice. any suggestion on any of these problems.

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I am new to competition shooting completely. I have been blind in my right eye my hole life so being right handed i am not as good with a long gun as I would like to be. pistol is pretty good (hold with right hand sight with left eye). Problem is don't have a local club anywhere close that i know of. I live in Lebanon MO. I am buying a pistol in the next week or so from a friend who is big in the sport. it is an eaa witness match in .40. he is going to let me borrow an old AR and said I could use his fn shotgun until i can get my own. my concern is not having a club close by. I have 29 acres of my own but don't know how to said up a practice course to get the most of my practice. any suggestion on any of these problems.

In the beginning you want to work on the fundamentals (never really goes away) more than setting up stages or field courses. Steve Anderson's dry fire book is a good start. You can turn those into live fire as well.

Once you're getting reasonable accuracy and have your draws and reloads safe and smooth (fast will happen in time) you'll probably want to work on transitions from one target to the next, then on shooting while moving slowly, and then movement into and out of shooting positions/areas/boxes. It doesn't have to be complicated either. Make a couple of shooting boxes out of wood or PVC pipe to put on the ground, set up two targets near one and then set the other maybe 15yds away with two more targets near it. Work on drawing, shooting both targets and moving to the next box, getting in smooth and ready to shoot the instant your feet are settled. You can read techniques to improve all of those things here. If you have a camcorder, set it up and shoot some video and post it for comments. That will give you plenty of stuff to work on for a while! R,

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Time for a couple of things to point out about ammo for big matches where there will be a chrono stage. At the High Desert Classic last week I watched the guy in front of me at the chrono go Minor (Open 9 Major gun). They fired 7 shots (he said the bullet weight was actually on the heavy side) and he still wound up at 164 and change PF. The last shot was the highest and would have been 168PF. He said "that's what they all chrono at home" when he saw that one. Yep, that's what happens sometimes when you don't give yourself enough margin for error.

Think about this; no two chronographs are the same, and they all have a certain amount of error in them. Say your chrono at home is actually 1% higher than reality and the chrono at the match is 1% lower than reality. Your load is really a 125gr bullet at 1330fps for 166.25PF. You think it's 1343 for 167.9PF. At the match it measures 1316fps for 164.58PF. You wind up going Minor simply because of the error in the system. Add in environmental changes (mostly temperature) and some loads (powder mostly) change more than others. Some powders get faster with hotter temps and some get slower. If you have some cushion to your PF, but the temperature is significantly different from when you chrono'd it may be enough that you don't make PF. In short, there are a whole bunch of variables we can't control and really only one that we can; the amount of cushion we give ourselves.

If you're shooting Minor, it's even more important! If you go sub-Minor, you're not shooting for score any longer :o That means you really should have a larger cushion, but the good thing is that a load in the 135-140PF range won't really feel much, if any, different and you won't sweat the chrono at any match you go to.

I have used (repeatedly) my example from the 2008 Open Nationals. I loaded a large batch of ammo for two major matches and the Nats....all the same lot of primers, powder, bullets etc. It typically ran 172-174PF on any given day. At the two major matches it was right in that range. At Nationals it went 166.1PF :surprise: I came home and ran some of my extra ammo over the chrono and it was in the normal range. Fast forward to the 2009 Nationals, and I loaded a batch of ammo with the same lots of components as I did for the 2008 Nats (yes, I buy in major bulk!)...it went 171PF in Vegas....right about where it should be. I changed lots of powder recently and with no other changes, the load went 171PF at Area-5 and 170PF at the High Desert Classic (with the same chrono operator from Nationals, and I assume the same chronos). That's a bunch of big matches where that load went 170-174PF and one where it went 166.1PF. If I'd set my load for 169-170PF at home, I would likely have Minored at the 2008 Nationals, and that would have hurt, big time.

At Area-5 I was talking with someone on the squad who went Minor at the Single Stack Nationals a few weeks prior. They figured out the math and it cost them 80 points! That was enough to drop 33 places for that shooter...ouch. Short version, give yourself more than enough cushion and spend time worrying about other things. :)

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i have to say this thread is one of the best informed firearm threads for competition i've ever read. Thanks again to all that have posted.

I'm going to go shoot Match #2 tonight (didn't know about this forum or thread until after I shot my first match). I learned a truckload my first night, got lucky and even won the noob class. After reading this thread and the upgrades I did to the G17G4 (was going to go G34 everybody has those) I feel better about going again tonight and having even more fun!!!

Thanks again!

Edited by G17G4

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Great post. You need to re-post this about every 4 months or so so the newbie's can get this information. I know I know.....it can be researched but how's a newbie gonna know that.

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The newest of the newbies checkin in to introduce myself. Haven't been to a match yet but have seen videos and it looks like a blast. Got my sites set on August at the Orlando FL chapter. I'm really impressed with the camaraderie among fellow shooters at this site. Looking forward to growing into the sport and making new friends.

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Very informative, I don't crony my ammo,I should and eventually will asap, how would one give themselves "A cushion window?" What would one do? If the weather is hot. Or cold? If this doesn make sense sorry for the newbie question!

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Very informative, I don't crony my ammo,I should and eventually will asap, how would one give themselves "A cushion window?" What would one do? If the weather is hot. Or cold? If this doesn make sense sorry for the newbie question!

Simply make sure that the average velocity is such that your ammo is normally well over the power factor required. If you're shooting Minor, you want to average something like 135PF (going sub-Minor means no score, so this is important). If you're shooting Major, you want 170PF+. I like something more like 173-175PF, but some folks fret and gnash their teeth about having "too much" even though you can't feel the difference.

The other variable is the ammo itself. Some powders get faster when it gets warmer, some get slower when it gets warmer and vice-versa. Some are pretty neutral and you won't have to worry about it. Find out if your powder is temperature sensitive, either way, and plan for it. If you've got a powder that's reverse temperature sensitive (gets slower as it gets hotter) and you're going to Las Vegas for Nationals, and you're from somewhere much cooler, you need to build in even more margin of error at home....so maybe 140PF at home, knowing it will be lower at the match. Make sense?

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WOW! A lot of GREAT info here! Thank so much for starting this thread from a newbee! :bow:

This is my 1st season and, after a couple of practice nights, I developed a plan to improve in the sport:

first: learn to participate safely (doing pretty good so far w/the help of the guys on my league)

second: learn what penalties I've been assessed and learn how to avoid them (currently working on this one but doing much better)

....when I get these 2 down, I'll then focus more on shooting technique and speed.

Keep the advice coming. Us newbs REALLY appreciate it!

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Just started to get into this (last Month).Have been shooting for years USMC 1988 to 1994 and Police since but nothing was doing it for me. Looking forward to my first Match. I'll be the one asking the questions and watching so I can learn. Great advice. Thankyou.

Andrew

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