River Bend USPSA January Match – A Learning Experience
Practice makes perfect
More importantly for this match, not practicing make sucky. Since the last match in October I haven’t been able to practice much. One reason, strangely, is that I now work out of a home office. While that should mean I would have time to go shoot, it doesn’t, because I am actually farther from a range now.
My results were less than what I had hoped, even being the first match of the year. But there were some bring spots. On the first stage I shit, Stage 5, I scored 17th of the 41 Production shooters, and had the most Alphas on my squad, with no Deltas or Mikes. But from there it went downhill.
Shooting in the winter is different
The weather was quite different than I have been used to. At the beginning of the match at 10 AM it was 30 degrees F and windy, and it had only risin to 42 by the end of the match.
As long as I have been competing, I have to admit this was the first match I had shot in below freezing weather. While it’s probably obvious to Yankees like Walt White, for we Southerners, it takes some getting used to.
However, I have worked outside in cold weather, so dressing for the weather wasn’t much of a problem. I have to admit that I did miss a couple of things that I will correct in the future. Part of that comes from the fact that my shooting checklist was geared toward shooting in hot weather, so it leaves off some things that are pretty obvious in hindsight, like wind resistant gloves, hand warmers, and a scarf or balaclava.
Dressing in layers worked very well. I chose to dress for the weather and keep it all on during the stage, while a lot of competitors chose to wear a heavy coat that they removed for shooting. I’m not sure I would want to try to endure the shock of sudden cold while shooting, so for now I would keep that strategy.
So, what action items do I take away from this?
That sounds simplistic and obvious. Dry fire, reloads, and draw practice are all things that I can do in my office in between other work. In addition I have got to make time to go shoot.
Change the shooting checklist.
I’m going to do some more research on cold weather shooting, and have a new checklist by the end of the week.
Get in shape.
Here I am, shooting Stage 1:
I know this is the time of the year when everyone makes resolutions, but I have historically avoided this. However watching this video of my shooting, I am struck by how heavy I am, and how slow I move. I guess it’s normal that from my point of view I don’t feel like I move all that slow, but it’s time to make that different.
Onward and upward.