Worst match experience?


Navy joe
January 23, 2003, 02:44 AM
What stands out in your mind? I've only been doing this for ten months, probably 30 matches of varying action pistol. Bad weather is to me a given. I've shot two matches in one weekend where the temp hovered around 95+, last Sunday was 30 with a 15mph wind that played with all the targets. Mud, yep, it's usual.

For me it would have to be one small 3 gun match I attended. 2 pistol stages, a USPSA classifier, re-run the other two stages with rifle and then a little shotgun steel course. Not wanting to be normal, plus being far from home so no one would know me and laugh later, I opted out on the easy stuff and left the AR at home two states away. Instead I took the M-44 Nagant :eek:

I had already layed the heel of my strong hand open working on the helicopter, taped it up. Did fine with the pistol then took up the rifle. 28 rd field course with 5 rd stripper clips, no problem. Until I made it jam up! Yes, jam on a bolt action, how embarrassing. The thing had a picky mag spring that let the rounds nosedive. So frustrated by this, I proceeded to reload, suceeding on the first reload in using the stripper clip to strip my thumb in two nearly to the bone. Bleeding on gun. Great. Better yet, I tore the tape open on the previous wound and folded the flap of skin back working the bolt. Bleeding on gun times two, better yet. I finished the stage with two misses since I had dropped a couple of clips and then ran out of ammo. I bowed out of the second rifle stage, taped my hand up and went and shot the cleanest classifier I had ever shot. (later come to find out it didn't get entered, at that time I was unclassed and about a 55% would have been nice) Did the shotgun, went home to recover. I think the gun still has blood on it. :fire:

So, how do you define a bad day at the match?

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January 23, 2003, 05:54 AM
Was at a match near NYC.
Kinda new club.

Guys with no safety glasses, 'hot' guns in shoulder holsters (and everywhere else!), aimed in-every-direction guns, newbies with NO mentoring, and two guys with some experience trying to keep the whole thing 'corralled'.

I left; no one had been hurt yet. :uhoh:
(Won my class.)

January 23, 2003, 08:51 PM
'hot' guns in shoulder holsters (and everywhere else!), aimed in-every-direction guns,I sure hope you reported that club to the USPSA, the Area Director, and the Section Coordinator.

If they are operating like that, they have no business being affiliated with the USPSA. We simply don't need clubs like that.

Navy joe
January 24, 2003, 01:08 AM
:uhoh: WeShoot, I woulda been last in my class, since I woulda left very early. I had no clue that there are clubs like that, thought that's why we had a real rulebook and standard range commands/procedures.

January 24, 2003, 06:03 AM
Ever slow down for a better view at a car wreck?

(I stayed because I thought I might be able to help just a bit.)

Billy Sparks
January 24, 2003, 07:48 AM
Got a bad batch of Blazer ammo for my P229. I got REAL good
at clearance drills. The worst part is this was the same ammo I ended up taking to a DTI class. Talk about a frustrating weekend. :cuss: :banghead: :fire:

January 24, 2003, 11:05 AM
Shot a pistol match after a long night of partying. To make it worse, it was about 95 degrees and we were on ashpalt and the barricades were mobile. Didn't shoot too well that day.

January 24, 2003, 02:19 PM
I was at an IDPA match. I engaged the first group of targets and didn't realize that I'd fired all 9 shots, but my gun didn't lock back. Crossed the open area to the next cover to engage the next group of targets. Sliced the pie to engage, pulled the trigger, nothing happened. Pulled back to cover, did tap-rack, realized it was empty, reloaded and continued on. SO decided to give me a penalty because I left cover with an empty gun, because of a malfunction. It was clearly unintentional and clearly I'd already suffered pointswise because of it. But no, he had to pile it on...:confused:

January 24, 2003, 02:19 PM
I don't mind weather. I've shot in wind, rain, snow, sand, hot, you name it. No problem. In fact the worse the weather gets, the lower everybodies score gets so the better chance I have. :)

The one thing that I absolutely hate is a poorly planned match. You know the kind where there are a few huge bottle neck stages and then a few tiny stages. Designed to make you sit around all day and generally waste your time. I hate match directors that throw some crap together the morning of the match. "Uhh, lets throw some targets over here. Okay thats looks pretty good." I hate matches where there aren't even written course descriptions given to the SOs. And this is with travelling SOs, so every squad shoots the stage a little bit differently. ARRRGGGHHHH!

Luckily 99% of the matches are pretty good. :)

January 25, 2003, 11:24 PM
WESHOOT2, sounds like the best help might have been to be sure you had a good supply of Curlex in your range bag... .:eek:

Well, on the positive side, I have shot four IDPA matches in Utah thus far, (2 in the northern org, 2 in the "happy valley" org) and I must say all have been well-run with emphasis on safety and enjoyable...even if I don't particularly care for the disconnect between what I have been taught "for the street" and IDPA stage requirements in some cases. Fun !

Good opportunity to see what gear works well and what needs work, too.

Note to self- when a stage calls for attacking the target with a knife before engaging with a pistol, just game the sucker...doing it right costs WAY too much time and is FAR too amusing for onlookers...:scrutiny:

Chris Rhines
January 26, 2003, 02:37 PM
I went to an IDPA match a year or two back. Club match, nothing big. Stepped up to the line, *BZZT!!*, draw, *CLICK*. Tap, rack, *CLICK*. (profanity under breath), tap, rack, *CLICK*. RO called a halt, and I quickly determined that my firing pin was broken. More profanity followed. I left shortly afterwards.

I didn't even get one shot off.

I take extra guns to the range, now. I also keep lots of common spare parts around.

- Chris

January 26, 2003, 03:11 PM
A friend of mine and I were shooting a high power match using M14s borrowed from the National Guard whose base the match was being held on. As the three-minute prep period for the 600-yard prone string began, my friend dropped into a prone position, put his arm into the sling, locked it up around his wrist, and POW! The (1.25" leather) sling snapped clean in half. He (rather frantically) had to swap out his rifle with another one, which wasn't sighted in, and shoot the string with that. Doh!

My worst experience was at another high power match. The whole thing was shot at 100 yards with smaller targets to adjust for distance, and so they put both the 200 and 300 yard rapid fire targets up together. I managed to brilliantly put 20 shots on the 300 yarder and none on the 200. My score for the 200 was 0, and for the 300 was the worst ten shots fired. That cost me 90-some points off my final score. Doh!

January 26, 2003, 03:12 PM
idpa not an offical match.they made and changed the rules as the match went on.even told who would win.then emailed me the resuts.to me it's a memory test and not a shooting match.only i knocked the poppers down,1450 124 grain in a 357 SIG.some .45 acp loads they used would not shoot through the thin target frame.

January 26, 2003, 03:18 PM
I decided to take a little road trip one weekend to a town that had an IDPA match at one club on Saturday and a match at another club on Sunday. Saturday night I went to a ML Baseball game. Great trip, or so I thought.
I am never good at planning and always wait until the last minute to pack. I was shooting a 9mm and instead of taking these matches seriously and loading some ammo, I just grabbed a bag of 500 rounds off the shelf. I get to the match on Saturday and look around at the competition. I see a guy standing there that looks just like the world class action pistol shooter that wins all the big matches and is on the covers of all the magazines. I hear someone call his name and realize that it in fact is the guy. I even had a video tape put out by this guy. When my turn to shoot comes, he is the RO . No pressure. I begin the stage and have jam after jam. I can't get off more than a couple rounds without a jam. It turns out that the ammo is loaded with 147 grain bullets that I had loaded for use in a carbine. Their OAL was too long to reliably feed though my pistol. I look like an idiot.
That night I went to Wal Mart and bought factory ammo. The next day I was super fast and super accurate. I couldn't miss. I cleared a series of plates so fast that several people questioned whether I hit them. I easily won the match on Sunday (which is the only match I ever won to date).

January 26, 2003, 10:38 PM
I shot the ground during the slowfire stage of Standard Pistol at Wolf Creek last year during Nationals. I got the strangest look from the cadets from Army & Navy who were on either side of me. They ended up tying for 1st place.

Navy joe
January 27, 2003, 02:33 AM
idpa not an offical match.they made and changed the rules as the match went on.even told who would win.then emailed me the resuts.to me it's a memory test and not a shooting match.only i knocked the poppers down,1450 124 grain in a 357 SIG.some .45 acp loads they used would not shoot through the thin target frame.

Say again, over? :confused:

M1911, if that's the worst that's ever happened you're either really good or don't get out much. ;) Much like the weather, I consider lack of plan after that annoying buzzing sound to be de riguer.

January 28, 2003, 04:34 PM
M1911, if that's the worst that's ever happened you're either really good or don't get out much. :D I'm not really good.

January 29, 2003, 06:54 PM
My first High Power match in bad lighting - getting late in the season, so the sun lit up the landscape beyond the targets really bright but the targets themselves were in shadow.

I was sighting in, and a buddy was spotting my shots for me. This is .223, and not a very good scope.

First shot... "not on the paper."

"What???!!!" I couldn't believe it.

It went on like this for a good 15-20 rounds - making huge radical sight adjustments bigger than any I'd ever made before - I can't believe it.

"OK, 6 o'clock, just outside the black."

Made an adjustment.

"That one isn't on the paper."

By now I am going insane. Sighting-in time is over. I go down to hang a new target for the first string, and I've got a random pattern of holes scattered around in the black, with just a few of my more "radical" sight adjustments out in the white.

I wound up putting my sights back to the starting position and proceeded to shoot one of the tightest little groups I have ever shot off-hand, except for being poorly sighted in and not centered on the X.

It could have been one of my better scores I have shot, but for losing all those points on the first string.

January 29, 2003, 08:11 PM
antsi: The range that I usually shoot on has the sun coming into your eyes and the targets in shadow. Seeing .223 wholes at just 100 yards is not easy in those situations with a crummy scope, particularly when they are in the black.

Still Learning
January 30, 2003, 06:52 PM
IPSC match nearly 20 years ago. The club did have some good shooters but they yelled obscenities and insults at the newbies and non-regulars. The newer shooters were treated to ROs viewing their targets and yelling, "You Suck!"

I was spared that particular sentiment but was ridiculed about other things such as equipment choices and my choice of tee shirt. It was a camo pattern and the "Chosen Ones" all opted for khaki. I suppose they wanted to look like Jeff Cooper. I really like Cooper and wish he were there that day to dress them down.

What a bunch of loosers!

January 31, 2003, 10:07 AM
Running low on my own cast bullet reloads, I purchased "Blazer" ammo for a National Match bullseye match for my .45 Colt Gold Cup. Worst stuff I ever ran across, I would NEVER buy it again. Quantrill

Texas Bob
February 1, 2003, 09:47 PM
Worst of my own making, 3 gun match, I had cinched two ar mags together without making sure they were tight enough. After the switch to the second mag, about the third round, the fist mag had risen up enough to block the ejection port sending my spent shell casing back inside my chamber just as the bolt is closing on a new shell. Result-Super Jam. Worst not of my doing, indoor idpa, HK P-7 breaks drop safety catch spring on the second round. I am allowed to start over with another gun, only to find out I own "one of those" kahr P9's the factory will end up replacing the frame on for splitting and mag catch problems. By now everyone is glad it's not them and a local shooting buddy yells "Hell, see if you can shoot with your kel-tec .32, nothing else is working out for you." The .32 mags had been loaded and laying in my range bag for three weeks. That was the night I found out what "rim-lock" was all about. Three strikes and I'm out, glad I carry a big knife.:banghead:

February 3, 2003, 01:12 PM
..and I was doing so well in my class (L10). I didn't finish the match, I went home in disgust (on myself). ' thought me a good lesson though. Never do handloading in a haste!
It was a last minute call from the match coordinator telling me that there's a slot available (I was in a waitting list), so I cranked out 400rds after I got home from work. It was 2330 (match is the next day). Not realizing my hopper went empty as I was reloading. 'should've just bought factory rounds that day.
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

February 4, 2003, 08:03 PM
Well let's see, is it the time I got a match DQ because my Govt Model went off in the holster before I fired the first stage, or the time a year later when I blew up a Gold Cup when I was having the match of my life? Tough call.

February 5, 2003, 10:53 AM
Well let's see, is it the time I got a match DQ because my Govt Model went off in the holsterYikes! :eek: How did that happen? Hope no one was hurt.

February 5, 2003, 12:20 PM
How did it happen? Unknown. I took it to three different gunsmiths. None could find anything wrong. Bullet impacted the ground about 3 feet in front of me.
The blown up GC was worse. I was shooting *so* well that day. Damage to the gun was fairly minor. New barrel, mag catch, and grips and it was back in business. Unfortunately I dislocated 5 knuckles and had a 4 inch gash in my leg where the mag hit me. The paramedics got my medical needs taken care of, but the DNF on the final stage took me out of the prizes.

February 5, 2003, 04:18 PM
How did it happen? Unknown. I took it to three different gunsmiths. None could find anything wrong. Did it go off in the holster or while holstering? Could you have left the safety off and had finger in trigger guard while reholstering?

February 5, 2003, 04:30 PM
I was using a safariland speed rig, IPSC (pre-uspsa), loaded topped-off holstered looking over the targets getting my carma right, SO says nod when you're ready and Bang! The safety was on, the trigger covered, no protrusions in the holster, the internal parts were all within spec. It defied explination.
Could have been worse. A friend of mine shot himself in the hand a month later. Wadcutters make an awful mess.

February 6, 2003, 08:51 AM
:eek: That's scary.

February 6, 2003, 12:54 PM
I shared this with another board earlier this week.


I've had my G34 for about a month now and put 400 rounds through it at the range (124g Montana Gold HP). Put 100 rounds through it at an USPSA match the first weekend in January (115g Montana Gold RN).

So, I go shoot the AR IDPA Winter Classic this past weekend (2/1/03) with 200 rounds of the 124g Montana Gold that performed flawlessly at the range. Out of 11 stages, I had at least 1 malfunction on all but one of them.

Second round out of the gun (side of the cartridge case) was getting slammed flush into the feed ramp and the tip of the 124g MG was hitting the top of the chamber. Tried pushing the slide forward and tried racking the slide to no avail. I had to drop my mag and clear the chamber each time (8 times in the light and 3 times in the pitch black dark).

After talking with a few people and thinking back to my range time with the same load, I figured this out. Not once during my range time had I loaded to capacity with the 124g MG loads. I think I have narrowed it down to strong magazine springs and the HP bullet. Friction between the top round in the fully loaded magazine slowed the slide velocity down just enough. Subsequently, the HP bullets were not given enough push to make it through the feed ramp and the tips not being round didn't help matters any.

So, not only will I probably start using RN bullets, I will be sure to test them with 1 in the chamber and 10 in the magazine!

On a side note, I did not have think about winning the match after the second mishap because I was completely out of the running by then. Luckily, I was able to still have fun and laugh about the incident(s). Also, I placed 1st on the stage I didn't have any malfunctions on. Go figure.

This definitely goes down as my worst match perforamance of all time. How frustrating. Bad karma all around that day.

Lesson learned: prior to going to a big match, or any match for that matter, duplicate everything you expect to happen in the match, right down the last detail.

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