With Stage 6 (Lucky 13) in the books, I picked up my range bag, took about twenty steps to the next pistol pit, and set my bag back down in the grass. Because Stage 6 and 7 were so close to one another, I watched a few shooters run the course of fire and had a solid grasp of what needed to be done.
While the Written Stage Briefing was read aloud, I hung back and topped off my magazines (I was the last shooter on Stage 6). When I was finished, I got in line for a brief walkthrough of the stage. I made it through twice before the 5 minute timeframe had elapsed and the first shooter was called to the line.
The rear pistol pit that this stage was placed on is an interesting one. Take away all of the targets and props and you would never guess that courses of fire were setup in this little nook. Because of its small size, we either see short range classifiers or fast but densely packed stages. Fast as a Bunny was the latter.
As the name implies, this stage draws you in. Before you know it, you are yanking on the trigger and all caught up in shooting fast. At times, it sounded as if some of the Open Division guys were going all out full-auto.
Like with Stage 5 (Confusion), shooters were given a choice to either start on the Left (Box A) or on the Right (Box B). Because I feel more comfortable shooting Left to Right, I opted to begin the stage in Box A.
Because of the fast nature of this course of fire, I put myself in what felt like the quickest position. I stood comfortably in the box with my right foot on top of the lower-right side. I would draw my gun, upon hearing the beep, and engage the pair of targets closest to me. I would then transition up and engage a target at medium distance before stepping to my right and engaging a target towards the back of the short pit.
My next planned array consisted of three angled targets situated behind a low wall. I would reload while getting into position, then fire two rounds at each of those low targets. I would perform one final reload before transitioning back to the rear of the pit. I would need to place my shots well as this planned array would require no less than ten rounds.
From left to right, I would engage a steel pepper popper, three IPSC Metric Targets, a steel pepper popper, and finally, one last paper target. If everything went as planned, I would have an empty magazine in the gun and a round in the chamber. If I ran into trouble with the steel, I would find myself at slide lock and performing a standing reload, which would burn up valuable time.
After The Buzzer:
At the buzzer, I drew my gun and began firing. Two shots on the first target felt good, two shots on the next target felt good, and I erupted into full blown controlled chaos as I put two rounds on the third target. I hopped to my right and ‘If you aren’t shooting, you are moving. If you are moving, you are reloading’ thundered through my mind. A split second before I pressed the magazine release button, I realized that I had one more target to shoot in my planned array. It was too late for my left hand, however, it contained a fresh magazine.
I did the only thing that made sense at the time, I got my support hand back on the gun, while holding the spare magazine, and broke two more shots. I hit the magazine release button, inserted the fresh magazine, and got to work on the angled targets behind the low wall.
I reloaded one last time and forced myself to ease off the accelerator. The steel popper went down in one shot, the three paper targets felt good as I broke six shots, the second steel popper went down without issue, and I put two rounds on the last paper target to end the stage.
Stage 7 at the April 2012 Southern Chester USPSA Match
The stage was called safe and the Range Officer called out my time to the Scorekeeper. When I heard 15.66 seconds, I smiled. Many of the previous times I heard called out were much closer to the 20 second mark. At that moment I felt good about my chances of breaking into the top ten on this stage.
I didn’t feel as good about my hits as I did my time. 17 A’s and 5 C’s were fine but hearing 2 D’s stung a bit. I scored 102 out of a possible 120 points with a hit factor of 6.5134. While shooting 86% of the available points isn’t bad, it remind me of school. A ‘B’ is a solid grade but it is no ‘A’ and I was a little disappointed in myself.
In the end, I shot faster than I could see the sights. As a result, I placed 14th on this stage. Looking at the scores that placed higher, it is clear that had I taken a couple of more seconds and turned those D’s into A’s, I might have found myself in the top 10.