As I mentioned in the USPSA at Southern Chester – May 2012 Match Recap, the turnout was a little on the light side due to an area match. As a result, some of the regular volunteer crew was out of town and extra help was needed. I talked to my fellow Team Custom Gun Finishes Shooters and made arrangements for all of us to help. Our day started early as we took on the task of setting up the 50 Yard Range.
The stage that I designed for the 50 Yard Range went up fairly quickly but fine-tuning took a considerable amount of time. Not long after I was finished, I performed a walk-through with the Match Director, calibrated the steel poppers, and got my name on the registration list, before the shooter briefing started.
A few minutes later I was squadded and walking to the 15 Yard Range for Stage 5 (Got em’ All?). I no sooner sat my range bag down when I heard my name called as the first shooter.
Being the first shooter of the day normally doesn’t do good things for my performance. I tend to gloss over the finer points of the stage and quickly develop a plan that just gets the job done. In the case of this stage, all I wanted to do was not forget any targets and put down a half-decent time.
When I stepped onto the stage, I saw more than 10 rounds in the first array and spaced out. For whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me that I would have 11 rounds in the gun and could engage all of the targets in view without a reload (5 IPSC Metric + 1 Steel = 11 Rounds).
The right side of the stage was a mirror image of the left. I stepped to the start position thinking that I was stuck performing two standing reloads. I knew this would eat up a lot of time but being what I’ve been considering my warm-up stage, I wasn’t too worried about it. I just wanted to engage all targets and not miss one like I did last month and tank the stage.
After The Buzzer:
After the Range Officer called out Stand By, I readied myself for the buzzer. A shot was fired in the next bay and I heard a piece of steel ringing. The sound of ringing steel triggered the GO! response in my mind. Fortunately, before I took that first step I realized that it wasn’t the shot timer that I heard.
Before I could mentally reset, the timer sounded and I has moving. I got into position and brought my gun up to start shooting. I engaged four paper targets, performed a standing reload, and engage one last paper target and a steel plate to finish the array.
I pulled the gun in and began making my way to the right side of the stage. I engaged two paper target, a steel plate, and fired one shot on another paper target when my gun went dry. I performed a standing, slide-lock, reload and engaged the remaining targets to close out the stage.
Despite feeling like this stage was a complete mess, I pulled out fifth place in Production Division. Had I realized that I could have shot each side without a standing reload (pending I didn’t miss any targets), I think that I could have placed much higher.
My time was 18.23 Seconds and I had a Hit Factor of 5.1563. I scored 94 of a possible 110 points with 14 A’s and 8 C’s and had a point percentage of 85%.
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