First USPSA match!


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Dryft
February 12, 2013, 04:28 PM
Hey y'all,

So, I've gone and bit the proverbial bullet and signed up for my first USPSA match. It's in two weeks and will be an indoor event. (We are in Maine!)

I've read the rules a dozen times, have the gear necessary to get started, and am really anxious not to seriously screw up.

What do you folks have for advice/recommendations/pre-game rituals?

Thanks - I am both excited and nervous.

D>

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cbmax
February 12, 2013, 04:50 PM
D,

I am by no means an expert, but for your first match simply concentrate on following all of the safety rules and rules for course of fire. Biggest safety rule to follow is not to have your finger inside the trigger guard while moving. The RO will look to see that your finger is resting alongside the frame. You can only have for finger on the trigger when actively engaging a target. Also be mindful of the 180 degree rule especially when reloading. At an indoor match they may even restrict your muzzle direction to the front wall only. This should help you from being DQ'd your first time out. Besides that, just shoot at your own pace, get your hits and have fun. The old expression is "you cant miss fast enough"!

CB

twofifty
February 12, 2013, 07:07 PM
Try and find out in advance if the air circ system is able to quickly clear out the large volumes of gas generated by the shooters.

If the range says yes and then on match day you see shooters wearing masks...you'll be glad you brought your own along for the ride.

Double hearing pro (muffs + ear plugs) is helpful, esp. around the very loud compensated Open Div. guns.

Jon_Snow
February 13, 2013, 12:24 PM
well, a truly skilled shooter often can miss repeatedly and still win.

Only if you can and do make up your shots. If the stage is a Virginia count, you're hosed. Even if it is Comstock, the time spend making 10 make-ups plus an extra reload or two is going to destroy their hit factor. Maybe they'll still beat a newbie but they won't beat anyone in their class.

Honestly, forget about your performance at your first match. Your goal should be to finish without being DQ'd. Nothing else matters if you fail that. Get used to the rules and flow first, then you can worry about where you finish.

Hoser
February 13, 2013, 06:40 PM
Dont break the 180.

By far the biggest DQ given out.

scotty
February 14, 2013, 01:15 AM
As the others said, follow the safety rules. Most clubs have a new shooter orientation before the match where the rules are discussed. If you get there early and help set up, you can become more familiar with the stages and get advice on strategy.

Take your time and get good hits. Don't worry about speed yet.

Welcome to the sport.

twofifty
February 14, 2013, 01:28 AM
Helping with stage set-up and tear-down is usually appreciated - and it will speed up your learning.
If you own a cordless screwgun, bring it along.

Dryft
February 14, 2013, 10:36 AM
Thanks for all the advice folks!

I was planning on showing up nice and early, so I will make sure to throw the hammer drill and bits in the truck along with everything else. A box of doughnuts probably couldn't hurt either!

Safety is obviously going to be the paramount concern in my mind, and I will be paying more attention to that than anything else. Basically, just like anything else, I know there's a learning curve, and I'm looking forward to doing so.

Thanks for all the advice!

Trent
February 14, 2013, 02:16 PM
I can't wait for the season to start back up around here. First match in my neck of the woods is 24 days from now, "weather permitting."

I told the RO two nights ago 'I'll shoot in subzero, high wind, rain, sleet, and snow, so what's your definition of "weather permitting?" :)

Hk Dan
February 14, 2013, 08:27 PM
Oh yes you can shoot badly and win in USPSA.

You shoot a perfect El Prez--60 points in lets say 8 seconds.Your hit factor is 7.5.

I get up and just hose it--40 points in 4.8 seconds. My hit factor is 8.33--I win despite a DRAMATICALLY lower point score.

Hoser
February 14, 2013, 10:44 PM
Thats why USPSA is a balance between speed and accuracy.

Ankeny
February 14, 2013, 10:54 PM
Oh yes you can shoot badly and win in USPSA. As Jon mentioned, a person generally can't shoot badly and win in their class. In the example of the El Pres., the highest hit factor still wins. Like Hoser said, "USPSA is a balance between speed and accuracy."

bill3424
February 18, 2013, 10:27 PM
Good luck. I just focus, breathe, and visualize. Ignore your surroundings and find your inner chi. :)

Jon_Snow
February 19, 2013, 02:35 PM
Oh yes you can shoot badly and win in USPSA.
You shoot a perfect El Prez--60 points in lets say 8 seconds.Your hit factor is 7.5.
I get up and just hose it--40 points in 4.8 seconds. My hit factor is 8.33--I win despite a DRAMATICALLY lower point score.

40 points in 4.8 seconds isn't hosing. If you're shooting major that's 8 C's and 4 D's. Is it as good as 12 A's? Of course not, but it's still 12 hits in 60% of the time. Take into account that you have a draw and a reload in there and 12 hits in 4.8 seconds is great shooting, not hosing. I'd bet a lot more people can shoot 60 points in 8 seconds than 40 in 4.8.

USPSA rewards fast hits. Better hits are better, faster times are better. But once you start dropping misses, your scores plummet, as they should. If accuracy is all that matters to you, find a different sport.

ETA: http://www.uspsa.org/uspsa-display-match-results-detail.php?indx=6441 check the results of the 2012 nationals yourself. First place is going to people shooting ~2000/2140 points. I don't think you could say that they're 'hosing'.

Dryft
February 20, 2013, 08:50 AM
Thanks for alo the great information and advice y'all!

I won't pretend and say I'm ready, but I am confident that I understand the rules. I'm going to listen, be safe, take my shots, and be safe. Speed, body alignment, shot placement, and all that will come with time.

I'm going to do it with a gun that puts me in the Limited 10 division - how screwed does that make me? :)

Thanks again, and keep the advice coming!

SoCalNoMore
February 20, 2013, 11:54 AM
Thanks for alo the great information and advice y'all!

I won't pretend and say I'm ready, but I am confident that I understand the rules. I'm going to listen, be safe, take my shots, and be safe. Speed, body alignment, shot placement, and all that will come with time.

I'm going to do it with a gun that puts me in the Limited 10 division - how screwed does that make me? :)

Thanks again, and keep the advice coming!
Good luck and be sure to post a follow up. I am shooting my first steel match in 3 weeks. My focus will be on begin safe and smooth, absorbing the experience and simply hitting the targets. I wont be at all concerned with my time my first time out.

I have done other competitive things in my life and have learned the first time for me is just getting a feel for what I am doing. After that, its game on!

3GunEric
February 27, 2013, 06:11 PM
I just started last year.

1. Focus on safety procedures.
2. Don't let others intimidate you w/ equipment or their skill level.
3. ID others who "know" what they are doing and follow their lead.
4. Don't rush.
5. Be open and listen to advice from others.
6. Let others know you are new - they will want to help you.
7. Improve/upgrade you equipment slowly over time.
8. Look for slow and steady improvement in your performance.

Have Fun!

Ankeny
February 27, 2013, 08:30 PM
Wow, that's some good advice right there^^^.

dsink
February 28, 2013, 08:44 AM
All have given gread advice. I have had a couple new shooters go with me to the match to shoot. The one thing I always tell them is. Take your time. Walk, dont try and run. Everyone had a first time one time.

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