A couple of years ago, USPSA Shooters in Southeast Pennsylvania got some bad news. Both Topton and York IWLA made the decision to discontinue their USPSA Programs in favor of Multi-Gun. We suddenly went from having four clubs to shoot down to two.
The two remaining clubs, Lower Providence and Southern Chester, are both active and put on fantastic matches throughout the season. As a result, shooters have flocked to these clubs and turnout has been great (I’d say both clubs get an average of 65 shooters per month).
Unless shooters in our area were willing to travel to New Jersey or Maryland, we have had to supplement our shooting with Multi-Gun, Steel League, or IDPA to fill out our month.
On the rare occasion that I was free on a 2nd or 4th Weekend, I would head out to an IDPA Match for additional trigger time. While I enjoy the sport for what it is, I much prefer USPSA and have been keeping a close eye on any clubs that show an interest in starting up their own program.
I was absolutely thrilled when I got word that Joe and Sean Roberts were going to start a USPSA Program at Ontelaunee Rod and Gun Club. Joe and Sean’s knack for stage design, paired with the sheer size of the facility, meant that Ontelaunee had the potential to host some amazing matches. Despite my excitement over the new club, I had some immediate concerns.
Last year my wife lost her job and decided to take on a new career path. This has meant going back to school and sacrificing her weekends. Last year I was able to get by with my in-laws watching my daughter a couple of Saturdays each month while I went out to shoot. My shooting schedule wasn’t easy on them and asking for three weekends per month is simply too much
Ammo was another immediate concern. For the last two years I’ve been able to get by with the amazing support of Custom Gun Finishes. This year it doesn’t appear that I have that same support and Ontelaunee’s big matches mean a significant increase in the ammo I’ll need throughout the year.
Buying factory ammo is simply not an option at this point. I’ve been talking about reloading my own ammo for years, I even bought a Lee Progressive Press a while back. Unfortunately, the horror stories surrounding the press have prevented me from getting it setup and putting it to use (actually, limited space has been a hurdle as well but I think I’ll be able to take care of that now).
I’m fortunate to have found a new Sponsor in Stogie Review. So this year instead of the Green Custom Gun Finishes Shirt, I’ll be wearing the Blue and White colors of Stogie Review. Who knows, maybe I’ll even stink up the range with a cigar or two throughout the match.
The combination of ammo and babysitter being in short supply means that I may have to do the unthinkable. It looks like I’ll have to scale back this year. The good news is that Ontelaunee’s Sunday USPSA Schedule means that my Mother In-Law will almost always be available. The bad news is that I now have the difficult decision of cutting either Lower Providence or Southern Chester from the rotation.
I hate to give up either club as they both but on fantastic matches. I’m also a regular volunteer at both clubs (more so at Southern Chester where I routinely design stages). Perhaps I’ll alternate months so that I can remain active at both clubs.
In order to keep up with giving back to the sport, I may need to talk to Joe and Sean and see if they have an interest in adding another stage designer to the mix. Either way, I’ll be making a point to arrive early and help with setup.