I’m sorry this post is so late!
A couple of weeks ago I shot the regular monthly USPSA match at River Bend Gun Club.
It was my first match in some time, and I tried to concentrate a couple ofstrategies.
STRATEGY: ACCURACY OVER SPEED.
In my younger days I shot for a couple of years in a non-affiliated club, where the scoring was score divided by time. I found I could shoot fast enough to win with poor shot placement. Plus, with my eyesight, I was never able to see a sharp front sight, so I never developed good sight discpline, and I developed some poor habits as a result. In USPSA and IDPA, this plan doesn’t work.
Another thing I learned is to use all the resources available to me when preparing for a stage. This was brought to light on the first stage I shot:
Do you see it? I didn’t either. Here it is:
From this direction, it’s hard to see, but there is a paper target behind the barrier that is visible if we move to the left. When I first walked through this stage without reading the course description or looking at the diagram I thought that target was a no-shoot that was in place to keep me from shooting a close target to the right.
But later, walking through after pasting targets for another shooter, I noticed this view:
where it is obvious that this target is an active one that I needed to shoot.
The moral: Look at the stage drawing, read the description, and pay attention.
Wow, there it is.
It’s a good thing I wasn’t the first shooter on this stage or would have had two Mikes and a Failure To Engage.
In any case, the strategy of accuracy over speed, and I did something I had never done in all my days of shooting USPSA - I shot a stage clean. All Alphas, and two steel on two shots. Yes, I shot about 10 seconds slower than the match winner, but I’ll take it.
STRATEGY: STICK WITH MY GAME
Sometimes I let other people’s way of shooting a stage influence how I do it. But I find I shoot better if I stick to my game.
An example came in this stage, which consisted of four paper targets on the left, mirrored with these on the right, and a Texas star in the middle.
Most people in Production shot it this way:
- Two shots on 3 targets on the left, around the barricade, then a mag change (6 shots).
- Through the center window, shoot the paper targets, then the Texas star. That’s 9 shots of they are perfect. Change mags.
- Then repeat the first string on the right targets.
For me, though, I know I have had a bad time with Texas stars, historically, and I don’t want to end up with a mag change from slide lock, shooting through the center window.
So, here’s how I shot it.
- From around the left barricade, shoot the four paper targets. Yes, it means I had to lean out to get the last target, but I can make that shot easily. Change mags.
- Then, go to the right of the barricade and repeat on the four targets there, and change mags.
- Then, through the center window, shoot the Texas star with a full mag plus one.
Again, staying with my strategy paid off. Not only did I shoot the Texas star with a full gun, my accuracy over speed strategy meant I shot the Texas star in 6 shots, which gave me the 8th best score of everybody.
All in all, I thought I shot well for my first match of the year. The one down spot for me was on the classifier. Since classifiers are the means by which USPSA shooters are sorted by class (hence the name), it stands to reason that I need to shoot better on them to move up. What killed me was a miserable performance in weak handed shooting. There were five targets, and we shot three strings of one shot per target. The first string was freestyle, the second was strong hand only, and the last was weak hand only.
On a related note, I found this video on line from Randy Gamble, who shot in my squad. Enjoy.