Yesterday I put together a blog post outlining what I did to Make USPSA Production Division B Class. The post focused mainly on my mental game and how I went about changing it throughout the USPSA Offseason. This post takes the original a bit further and breaks down each classifier stage.
Once you are finished watching match video and reading over my thoughts, head down to the comments section and share any words of wisdom you may have for an aspring A Class Shooter.
Melody Line: CM99-08
Melody Line is a very straightforward classifier stage. The shooter turns, draws their gun, and puts a single round on each target. A mandatory reload is performed and then one more round is put on each target. The number of rounds is limited (Virginia Count) to twelve and the use of hard cover can lead to some problems if a shot misses the mark.
Due to rain prior to the match, I think the thick mud may have slowed down my turn slightly. I don’t think a slightly faster turn would have made much of an impact on my score. I got on the first target quickly (in terms of my skill level) and felt like I set a comfortable pace.
The one thing that stands out most to me is my reload. It isn’t as high as I would like it to be, nor was it as smooth as I would have liked. I’ve been watching video of Sean ‘Scooter’ Roberts, who shoots frequently at Lower Providence, and I would love to model my reload after him. Rather than bring the gun down and in, he goes up and in. This puts the magazine well in better position for getting the eyes back on target. He also does something with his body, almost as if he uses his torse to index the reload.
I have a long way to go and may hours of dry-fire ahead of me if I want to reload as smoothly as Sean but the end result will be well worth it.
Time: 8.66 Seconds
Hit Factor: 5.7737
Classifier Calculator: 71.6476%
Fluffy’s Revenge 1: CM06-04
After coming off of what felt like a solid run on Melody Line, it was time to shoot Fluffy’s Revenge 1. This particular stage shoots as though it were meant for raw speed. Transitions from Paper to Steel flow nicely and the only major issue that I see is the potential to move too fast and clip a penalty target.
I’m most proud of this classifier as it is my best to date. Had I slowed down just a touch, I think I may have been able to shoot the stage clean. Aside from that, there really isn’t anything that stood out to me as being problematic.
Time: 3.55 Seconds
Hit Factor: 10.1408
Classifier Calculator: 79.8485%
Times Two: CM99-10
Times Two was the first classifier stage that I had a mental lapse on. Old habits came roaring back to mind and I had a moment of panic where I felt as though I should speed up to make up for lost time.
In my mind, I had a perfect stage plan. All I had to do was put it all together on the clock. When the buzzer sounded, I would put the necessary rounds on target and move to the next box. On the way, I wanted to complete my reload and have the gun up and on target as I stepped foot in the shooting box. From there I would put six more rounds on target and call it a stage.
As I moved from one box to the other, I botched my reload. Just like Melody Line, it was lower than I would have like. I didn’t get a clean insertion on the magazine and had to sort of double pump it. By the time I completed the reload, I was standing in the box. Suddenly my stage plan hit a speed bump and panic set in.
I broke the first four shots before realizing that I needed to settle down into a more comfortable pace. The end result was a solid C Class Score, which fell below my B Class goal.
Time: 9.58 Seconds
Hit Factor: 4.8017
Classifier Calculator: 53.2044%
Bang and Clang: CM99-62
Bang and Clang was the one classifier of the day which seemed to have varying opinions on how to go about shooting it. As you’ll see in the video, I engaged the far left steel and progressed to the right. Other guys on my squad were making the case for drawing on the largest target, Paper in the middle, then picking up the steel. The idea was that you would be shooting the paper faster than you could the steel, due to its size, thus speeding up your overall time.
I’m not sure what the correct way to shoot the stage really was, but I was happy with my stage plan. I missed the second piece of steel and had to make it up at the end (when engaging steel I try to go from one target to the next and not stall taking multiple shots on a single target). Matt from Super-Tactical took a look at the video and thinks that the miss cost me about 6/10 of a second and could have pushed my classifier percentage up closer to 80%.
Time: 3.62 Seconds
Hit Factor: 7.7348
Classifier Calculator: 66.7368%
Fluffy’s Revenge 2: CM06-05
Fluffy’s Revenge 2, much like Bang and Clang, is made up of steel and paper. I took the same approach when shooting both stages and engaged the far left steel first. Perhaps the guys on my squad were on to something in terms of engaging paper first. I missed my first shot and had to make it up at the end of the string.
Even with the missed shot, I still came out with a B Class score but I can’t help but wonder where I would have landed with the first shot hitting the mark. I’m also seeing a pattern develop at this point with an A and C on paper. I think my second shot is happening too quickly and I’m not getting a clear enough sight picture after the recoil of the first shot is complete.
Time: 4.60 Seconds
Hit Factor: 8.2609
Classifier Calculator: 70.6766%
El Presidnte: CM99-11
El Presidente is a classifier that I’ve struggled with for a long time. I can’t seem to pace myself and always earn myself a terrible score. It has gotten to the point where it defeats me before I even step foot into the shooting box.
The Classifier Match was no different. Before shooting I knew deep down inside that I was going to struggle with it. Even knowing that vital piece of information didn’t slow me down. It was as if something inside me had something to prove. The buzzer sounded and I started shooting faster than my skills permitted.
When I botched the reload, I panicked and shot even faster. It was the only stage where I didn’t walk down range to check my scores (something I always do). I knew it was going to be bad. It was worse than I thought.
Time: 4.60 Seconds
Hit Factor: 2.7322
Classifier Calculator: 26.6267%
Where to go from here
If I continue to shoot like I did for the better part of this match, I expect to see my lower classification scores from last year drop off. This will ultimately raise my score on record and I should find myself somewhere in the middle of the pack for USPSA Production B Class.
One of my goals this season was to reach B Class. Seeing the scores come in, I’m wondering if a new goal of reaching A Class by the end of the season might be too lofty? I have a lot of work ahead of me but I’m looking forward to it.
I’m going to formulate a better dry-fire routine to focus on small aspects of shooting. I think this, paired with decreasing par times, will help me refine the areas where I feel I need the most work.
I have purchased the two most recent Ben Stoeger Books (Practical Pistol: Fundamental Techniques and Competition Skills and Champion Shooting: Guaranteed Results in 15 Minutes A Day: Champion Shooting: Volume 2. I already own a copy of Champion Shooting: A Proven Process for Success at Any Level (Volume 1) and will probably re-read it before getting into the others.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring
Production Division A Class Shooter?