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2nd USPSA match, any tips?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by allaroundhunter, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    So, I shot my second USPSA match yesterday. I shoot a decent amount of 3-gun, and am now liking USPSA because my main struggle in 3-gun is my pistol so I get a good bit of practice with it (and it is fun!).

    I have linked videos of three stages that I shot (each are <1 minute), and I welcome any tips on technique or anything. Not just competition tips like how to run the stage, but general handgunning advice.

    Stage 2

    Stage 3

    Stage 5

    Thanks in advance!
  2. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    Things I noticed:

    1. your grip is consistent from stage to stage and seems to serve you well.
    2. you almost always reload on-the-go rather than standing still.
    3. your load seems well matched to your HG: recoil is minimal and the HG seems to naturally return to point of aim.
    4. most times you arrive at a shooting position ready to shoot.
    5. I have a hunch that you do a consistent job of first looking to the next target as you swing the HG to the new POA - there is minimal delay in getting off the next pair. And you don't overshoot your pivots either. Your consistent grip also helps you there with the gun being where you are looking; no fumbling, no delay.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  3. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    In stage 2 you could have:

    - engaged the behind cover targets (steel barrels) to your immediate right by shooting them as you walked by, or fast-walked past them. This would have saved you time, and after shooting the 2nd barrel you would have been close enough for your last shots. This would also put you much closer to the far target on your deep right (the one behind brushes) so that you could have shot it more quickly being closer. Yeah, shooting on the move increases the risk of breaking 90, but the speed of a walk-by can be increased gradually as you get used to it.

    Other stuff you did well: you do not stand there admiring your hits. Soon as your shots are off (and they are well paced by the way) you pivot or move on to the next target.

    I'll bet your accuracy is good. But you might want to work on gaining more confidence in it, so that you do not take as many extra shots beyond the 2 that count. Or maybe trade a few As for Cs in order to gain time...you HF will improve as a result.
  4. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    In stage 3, your 2nd shooting location:

    - did you get somewhat lost in the order in which you engaged the target array?

    Wondering if the reload I saw could have been slicker. Maybe the mag hit the magwell edge? Maybe the HG could be held a bit further out and up, is space allows.

    When you reloaded as you rounded the barrier, it looks as if you were close to breaking 90, to your left.
  5. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    In stage 5 you look very smooth, including the shadow image of your reload.
    The strengths I mentioned in my first & second reply paid off in spades.

    What was your HF for stage 5?

    Thanks for posting...I am working on the same issues. ;)
  6. waktasz

    waktasz Well-Known Member

    The first video posted is not a legal USPSA stage. ;)

    Your shooting looked pretty darn good for your 2nd match though.

    As for the rest, especially on the closer targets, try to speed up your transitions so your shots don't sound so much like bangbang...bangbang...bangbang. But more like bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Your splits and transitions on those close arrays should be very similar, but I bet you are giving away a tenth or two between each target.

    The rest is hard to tell from that vantage point and without seeing what your hits were.
  7. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    First off, thanks for all of the help guys! I will try to answer a few questions.

    I did not get lost, I just had doubts about my hits on the first target that I engaged, but moved on. On my third target of that array, I put my second shot into the 'D' zone so I reengaged it after the 4th target. After I reengaged number 3, I took a second to double check the first target. I know looking back that that move cost me at least half a second, so I can chalk that up to a learning mistake.

    For the most part my hits were quite good. I think I was in the top 3 for 'A' zone hits. However, that did cost me some time, and other guys told me just as you did; trade some A's for C's and my score will still go up. I have always been an accuracy oriented person, but I need to find more of a compromise... That need for accurate hits did cost me a little (as you noticed with stage 3 ;))

    My HF there was 4.82 (can I ask what exactly the hit factor means?)
  8. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    That was actually my plan going into the stage, but the RO read the stage description and we had to shoot the steel targets from while we were within 3 yards of the corresponding paper...
  9. waktasz

    waktasz Well-Known Member

    Hit factor is just your points per second. Score divided by time.

    Consciously telling yourself to drop some C's to speed up your times is a losing proposition. Speed up everything else and get your A's.
  10. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    HF also is a good indicator of how 'productive' you are with your time during a given stage.

    Your time begins at the start signal and it ends with your last shot. Your score is the point value of your hits, less your misses, no-shoot penalties, and failures to engage. HF is the relationship/ratio between the two.

    btw, your HF of 4.82 in a multi-target plus movement stage like Stg. 5 is very respectable for a beginner. It means you were scoring 4.82 net points per second. An A is 5 points... so you were almost scoring one A per second including your draw time, reloads, movement, transitions, etc. Your 3-gun experience must be helping your understanding that efficient movement is critical to success.

    Look up the overall printed match results for your Division next time you shoot a USPSA match. It is always interesting to see the HF of those who best us at a given Stage. You may notice that your points are nearly as good as the better shooters (i.e. those with higher HFs) but you took say 30%, 50%, or more time to finish the same Stage....
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  11. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    That stage I got 109 pts, top shooter had 103 but a HF of 6.84. Highest points overall was 113. Looking at that is showing me that taking extra time to make an 'A' hit over a 'C' hit can end up getting me a lower score in the end.

    If I keep liking this sport as much as I am right now.... I might end up having to save up some money for a nicer gun that will get me into the 'major' PF...
  12. waktasz

    waktasz Well-Known Member

    Think about this...it's not any slower to shoot an A than it is a C.

    If you can continue to shoot the good points you are shooting, but speed up your other things; entries and exits into positions, reloads, transitions, etc, your scores will improve a lot. Dropping points on purpose to go faster is a terrible idea in the long run.
  13. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    waktasz, I'm with you on that. I'm not meaning that I will intentionally drop points, or add speed at the cost of accuracy. I'm just saying that I need to not go back to reengage targets when I do shoot a 'C' or something like I did at stage 3.
  14. waktasz

    waktasz Well-Known Member

    OK. I agree with that. Keep up the good work.
  15. dsink

    dsink Well-Known Member

    One thing I noticed in the last video that you are doing and I was guilty of it myself. When you get to the hole to shoot thru, dont stick your gun and arms through it. Stay back away from the hole. It burns more time when you have to pull your pistol back and step back to move on. Also, be careful on your reloads. It looked like you were really turning the pistol in your hand. Just be mindfull of it so you dont break the 180.
    Not bashing you in any way, but I noticed that becouse I had a bad habit of going through the window myself until someone pointed it out to me. Everything else looked good.
  16. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    No offense taken, dsink ;)

    I had it pointed out to me a couple times but I just couldn't remember for the life of me not to do it during the stage :banghead:

    The only time when I actually would have had to was in the 4th array of paper targets on stage 3. The low target did actually require me to extend the gun through the window in order to engage it.... But other than that one, I would have been faster if I avoided pushing through the firing ports.
  17. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    Learn to call your shots. Knowing where your shot goes at the instant the gun fires is one of the most important concepts to master in the game. In the mean time, get your hits and do everything as efficiently as possible. Shoot as you arrive, shoot when you are leaving, etc.

    I know some consider it bush league to recommend other sites, but do yourself a favor and wander on over to brianenos.com. His site is specific to the shooting sports with a huge emphasis on USPSA.
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    You say "new to USPSA", but if you've shot a lot of 3gun you aren't really new to shooting a pistol competitively right?

    First thing to do is get some 3rd person video. 1st person video is near useless because it shows virtually nothing of what you are actually doing.

    But definitely, you could pick up a lot of time in transitions. You can look at the detailed scores for the match on USPSA website and see what your total accuracy breakdown was. You want to keep this above 90%... if it is not, you need to figure out a way to increase your A count. If it is at or above 90%, I'd work on increasing speed, and obviously there is a lot that can be done.
  19. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Well, I have been shooting 3-Gun since October, but have shot 2-3 matches each month. Prior to that, I shot a couple IDPA matches and one USPSA match over the summer. So while I do have some competition experience, it is kinda limited, and I have not been doing it for a long time by any means.
  20. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you are off to a pretty good start then. 3rd person video would be a good next step.

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