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Realistic Match Goals

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by jwrowland77, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    Pretty simple question: what is a realistic goal for a 1st time to shoot in a match? I'm pretty solid at 100, 200yds, but that's no where near 600yds.

    I'm shooting in my first match on Sep 15th at MSSA, and I'm trying to come up with a realistic goal for first match, first year of match shooting f-class.

    6 point avg? 7 point? Higher? Lower? I like to set goals but kind of difficult since all I've ever shot is Steel Challenge.

    BTW, thanks for all the tips and discussion to date. I've learned and have soaked up a lot. I really appreciate it all.
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    before you set a goal, i would do a few practice sessions first. set up a wind flag in your back yard and a reduced target (print one out off the internet or something). spend 30 min in prone position in the sun and take 30 shots (dry fire) waiting ~30-45 seconds between each shot. spend that 30 seconds looking at the wind and righting your "call" down on a sheet of paper. if the crosshairs were low left when the trigger broke, write it down. then think about your natural point of aim, close the bolt, glance at the wind flag, dial your wind and dry fire again.

    if near the end of the 30 min, you start getting antsy or sloppy or uncomfortable, etc. you'll probably want to adjust your goal down a bit.

    but believe me, it sounds simple but practicing that a lot will HELP tremendously during the match. start making your routine a habit.

    but if i were starting out with no long range experience shooting rest/scope at 600, with a gun i know would shoot, i would probably set a goal of no sixes. and i want a horizontal group. (though with mirage in memphis you might not get that)
  3. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    That's a pretty good idea, thanks. I never even thought about the practice holding a position in practice in the backyard. It'll be the dogs bugging me that'll be the problem. LOL.

    I've thought about the mirage from barrel heat. I had thought about taking an old towel to lay over the rest of the barrel that isn't covered with a sun shade. Is this legal to lay a towel over the exposed barrel to help fight the heat waves coming from it?

    I'll have to report for sure on Sep 16th how I do in that first one, since I've been asking so many questions as of late. LOL
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  4. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Make a goal of -
    learning the match etiquette;
    making a new friend or three;
    and learning how to do the pit and scoring duties.

    Everything else will fall into place in due time.
  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    great points, Ken

    90% of your conversation for the day will be with the guys on your right and left in the pits. let them know you're new and open to advice and that you may need assistance in the pits.
  6. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    Awesome. Will make a note to do that. Great points Ken. I'm the type that I've never really met a stranger.
  7. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Look, no one's going to care about your score.

    What they will care about first is are you safe on the line. Some new shooters aren't. But you don't seem like a guy who has his head up his butt, so I'm not worried about that.

    What makes guys want to invest time and effort in you as a shooter is seeing you invest your time and effort in the parts of the match where you're not shooting. You'll be doing things that aren't shooting - scoring and pit duty - more than you'll be actually shooting. And while not shooting well only affects you, not performing the other two well affects someone else.

    You'll get the hang of it. Just keep what I said in mind, and someone will step up and coach you. Remember that while High Power is an individual sport, you have to serve your fellow competitors for this individual sport to work.

    Its a great community to become a part of.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    My goals at my first F Class match were to get to know the shooters and start a relationship or two, not embarrass myself, and finish in the top 50%.

    We shoot at 300 yards so there was no target pulling.

    It was a huge difference from Benchrest, but maybe that was because it was a small club shoot. In Benchrest I shot with people from all over the country. (Mostly Southeast states, but a few northerners)

    Show a genuine interest, listen to folks trying to help, relax when you shoot, and everything will be fine.
  9. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, I really do appreciate all the tips, advice and wisdom.
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    oh, and introduce yourself as a wind dog
  11. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, I wonder if that'll show up on google? Lol. Sounds like one of those pranks we'd pull on the new guys in the firehouse when I was in the military. LOL
  12. Nwflycaster

    Nwflycaster Well-Known Member

    Your goal for your first match should be just to have fun and learn the ropes. Then your next goals can be to improve upon your past performances and beat your own best scores. Lots of ranges offer clinics early on or before the match season starts, I strongly recommend them for a new shooter, even for an experienced shooter. I would look into one of those and attend.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  13. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    How's the easiest way about keeping time? Do y'all just have a running clock on your phone and when it nears the 1 minute mark you know you have to shoot?

    Just wondering.
  14. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    You'll have a 20 minute block of time to shoot 20 rounds. That's plenty of time. I use a simple stop watch. Others use egg timers.
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Look at the NRA rulebook

    In particular, read section 14 on scoring and especially the parts on target pulling and marking. Know which of the marking systems shown on page 50 will be used. The first one seems to be the current policy. You will make more friends at the range by giving good pit service than you would by shooting Expert.

    F class specifics are in section 22.
  16. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    Awesome, thank you Jim.

    Edit: good read. I'm sure it'll make more sense of the flow of things once I see them in action on Sunday.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  17. twofifty

    twofifty Well-Known Member

    training goals...

    jw, you could also set some training goals.

    For example, one of them could be that at minimum 2x per month you will practice shooting in windy conditions. After awhile you will become more comfortable shooting in the wind than other competitors are, which will be to your advantage in future matches.
  18. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    I try to do this any way most the time, just because I know during deer season, the weather isn't the nicest at times. I like to go during any and all weather conditions just so I can see how my loads and gun will act. Last time I was out with my 7mm, it was windy as all get'up and slight rain.
  19. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    for keeping time, keep a stopwatch or if you wear a watch, set the bezel.

    dont' worry about each individual shot. remember you don't actually control the pace; your target puller does. so when the target comes up, log it in your book and pull the trigger.

    if you get pretty good, you can go much faster by logging the previous shot. i.e. a sequence like this:
    shoot round #8
    (target goes into pits)
    you log score from round #7 in your book
    get back into position
    check NPA, check wind and be waiting on the target to come back up
    as soon as you see the target, make a mental note of the score and knock it down again (round #9)
    target goes down
    you log score from round #8 in your book
    rinse repeat

    if you do this, make sure your scorer is communicating because he might be picking his nose or scoping out some hot chick or something and miss the fact that the target was only up for 4 seconds

    if you do that, you could be done in 7-8 minutes. you don't need a watch.
    personally, i take a more leisurely pace. i usually have 2-3 min left when i'm done so i do have to watch the clock
  20. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    I was reading the NRA rule book about High Power Rifle and have a question about the scoring.

    When you shoot, do they mark the target like with a long pole or something? I couldn't quite figure it out. I'm sure I'll see how it goes tomorrow, but just wanted to be sure in case I was one of the first to shoot. Also, in the match, there's two sighters, so after each sighter, do they tell you where it hit so you can make adjustments from there?

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