Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 2012 CAPS USPSA Match

I was really looking forward to the September USPSA match put on by Coastal Area Practical Shooters. I didn’t shoot last month’s match since I was out of town, so I was excited to get back between the berms. The weather was going to be almost ideal. There were lots of new faces this month and lots of familiar old ones as well.

Set up went well, but it went down to the wire because we didn’t have quite enough help. We had five stages in all, and one of those was a speed shoot. Official round count was 117 for a total of 585 points. We had 32 shooters come out. Production and Limited divisions bore the brunt of the shooters with 13 and 11 respectively.

I usually learn something during a match, and this month was no exception. On stages 3 and 4 the mystical palms were nice enough to choose me to be the first shooter. I’ve never shot first before and wasn’t sure I liked it. On stage 3, one of the RO’s offered to put me further down the list, but I sucked it up and took the lead. After all, somebody has to shoot first.

Here is where I learned a valuable lesson. Before doing a walk-through of a stage with barriers of any kind, walk around the barriers and see if there is anything hidden behind them. I completely missed one target on stage 3 because I didn’t see it in my walk through. When I thought I was done shooting, I thought it was strange that the RO was still back a few feet like I was going to run to the other end of the wall we had to shoot around. I needed to go down to the other end of that wall, because there was a target behind a stack of barrels that I could only see from that end of the wall. Since I never knew it was there, I never saw a need to go to the right end of the wall during my walk-through. That cost me 2 misses and one procedural.

Stage 4 was worse. No hidden targets on this stage, but we did have to engage 6 targets from 2 different ports in a hard cover wall. It should have been a piece of cake. Moving left to right, just shoot them as you see them, 1,2,3, move to the next port and 1,2,3. The targets were set up as a pair with a single about 3 feet to the side of the pair. Well, when I got to that point of the stage, I shot the pair in the first port and jumped over to the next port. There I shot the pair and jumped over to the right to engage the last target on the far right end (not the one behind the wall to the side of the pair I’d just shot). Chalk up 4 more misses and 2 more procedurals.

These mistakes cost me dearly. They meant the difference between 12th place and 8th place in the Production division. I’m a little disappointed in the mistakes, but to be honest, I’m okay with it because I had a good time.

So let this be a lesson to everyone out there. Learn from my mistakes.

Be safe.

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