We were here at last, the stage from the depths of my mind. Entitled ‘A Leisurely Sprint’ for its long straight section where I expected shooters to be moving at a variety of paces. In a nutshell, this stage was setup as a “Y” with a couple of transitions and angles.
I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback on this stage but it appeared well received (except for one guy that complained ‘you can’t go fast’). Leading up to this stage, every time I bumped into the match director, who was roaming to make sure the match was running smoothly, he teased that I’d better not mess up on my own stage.
Despite having designed the stage, I didn’t give much thought to how I would shoot it until our squad performed a walkthrough. The simple portion of the stage was up towards the start position. There were four targets at varying distances, two on the left and two on the right.
These targets were close enough that I felt comfortable with shooting them on the move. Once engaged, the real meat n’ potatoes of the stage came into play. A series of targets were situated around the “V” portion of the “Y” shaped stage.
My plan was to begin picking off what I could see as soon as I reached the end of the straight section. I would engage a paper target on my left, at relatively close range, then engage two targets at the rear of the stage. I would then turn to my right, engage one last paper target, then step forward.
From this position I would be looking through a one-foot wide gap in the walls. I would begin working from right to left, first engaging a target tight against the wall. I would transition to the rear of the pit and engage two more paper targets before transitioning down to a pair of steel poppers. I would turn to my left to engage one last target situated tight against the wall, before backing out and moving to the right leg of the “Y”.
I would engage two final targets, which were blocked by a penalty target from the gap in the wall, to close out the stage.
After The Buzzer:
On paper, and in my mind, this stage started out with my running and gunning, bouncing back and forth, from left to right, to engage the first four targets. In the real world, there wasn’t enough space between targets for me to feel comfortable with the fast paced start I had in mind. Instead, at the buzzer I drew my gun and began shooting and baby-stepping my way downrange. I engage the pair on the left, first, then engaged the pair on the right.
I broke into a trot, reloaded my gun, and stopped in a position that allowed me to engage the target at the end of the left leg of the “Y”, as well as two targets attached to the backer board at the end of the pit. I engaged those three targets from a fixed position, turned to my right and engaged a target at the end of the right “Y” leg.
Reloading on the move, I kept my hips turned to the right side of the bay and engaged a target on the inside of the “Y”. I rotated left and took aim at a pair of targets on the backer board. I transitioned down and took well placed shots at a pair of pepper poppers (there were penalty targets directly behind them. A miss would result in a -10 point penalty per shot). I turned left and began engaging a target on the left “Y” leg as I backed out of position. I had to stop backing out of the position when the back of my strong hand hit the wall. Fortunately, it happened before I broke my second shot and was able to adjust.
I reloaded one last time as I made my way down the right “Y” leg. From that position I engaged a pair of targets on the backer board and closed out the stage.
Stage 2 at the April 2012 Southern Chester USPSA Match
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I enjoyed shooting this stage a great deal. It had a run and gun element at the start and required a little finesse down towards the end. I hope my fellow shooters enjoyed this stage as much as I did.
Having fun on the stage cancelled out a little of the disappointment of hearing my shots called out. I scored 16 A’s and a stinging 14 C’s resulting in 122 of a possible 150 points. My point percentage was 81%, which is a far cry from the 90%+ that I want to be shooting. I came out of this stage with 9th place in Production Division with a Hit Factor of 4.4155 and a time of 27.63 seconds.
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