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Did You “Win” or did they “Lose”?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by J-Bar, May 13, 2018.

  1. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I placed first in my category in a small cowboy action match yesterday. As in so many other matches, My score was the result of making fewer mistakes than my competition; I did not beat my competition so much as they beat themselves with misses, penalty time, etc. I don’t really mind when someone shoots better than me in a match, but I hate to beat myself with mental errors or equipment problems. I wish I had the physical gifts to dominate my competition, but it is gratifying that I can sometimes beat more talented shooters by minimizing mistakes.

    Do I have company, or is my experience unique?
     
  2. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    For me, its like this:
    I am happy with a win if I shot as well as i should have.
    I am also happy with a lower ranking if i shot as good as i could have.

    If i pick up a win and i was making mistakes and shooting sloppy, i dont really count it as a 'win'.


    So if you feel like you shot well and came away with a win then good on yah(!)
     
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  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Most speed/accuracy combination games (like USPSA and, I assume, SASS) are really built, to a significant degree, around competitors balancing those two requirements. In most cases, there really are few, if any, truly difficult shots in the match. Almost everyone who shoots those games with any regularity could make 98-100% of the shots on a 1-for-1 basis - if time were not a factor. On the other hand, if you shoot slowly, others will pass you by and you'll win nothing.

    Think about racing cars. Any driver can get around the track safely without crashing - if they don't care about a lap time or beating another driver. But they won't win any races driving like that. All the drivers are trying to find that knife's edge where they can keep everything under control, yet get around fast enough to win. If the other competitors misjudge and try to go slightly faster than the course allows and crash, while you were taking a slightly more conservative line through the turns (without getting passed by the even slower drivers), you did a better job judging the track/race than they did. That's just as much of a win as if they misjudged on the slow side and you were able to "hang it out there" a little bit and pass them.

    So, if what you mean by "other shooter's mistakes" is them outrunning their sights, that's all in the game... just as if they made a mistake by shooting too slowly and carefully. You judged and executed correctly, they didn't. Doesn't mean you're a better shooter than them tomorrow or in the aggregate, but you did a better job that day.

    Now, if their "mistakes" were equipment failures - yeah, I always feel a bit sheepish when a shooter I know is more skilled than me has some ammo or gun trouble and I "beat" them based on that. That's different.
     
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  4. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    In Steel Challenge there is stage called Smoke and Hope. Looks easy and a lot of shooters have their best scores on that particular stage. Four of the 5 plates are big (18"x22") and close to the shooter, 2 of them are 21' and 2 are 27' from the shooter. Only the stop plate is "difficult" it is a 12" round plate at 42'

    Most shooters hose the 4 rectangle plates and an amazing number of shooters have 1 or more misses because they are in too much of a hurry. It is said that this stage will not win a match for you but it can lose it for you. To be competitive (four) sub 3 second strings are required, starting from the surrender position to hitting the stop plate. 1 miss and your done, miss and don't make up the shot before hitting the stop plate and your really cooked. Hose the 4 rectangle plates and fumble the stop plate, easy to do if your not focused, and all that is left is the crying. Need to clear a jam? Go home as there is no recovery.

    A really good shooter can botch this one easy stage and lose the match to a less talented shooter. It all comes down to practice and discipline, speed and accuracy.


    The champion is the individual that shows up and gets the best score. Odds of being that individual are greatly enhanced when you prepare and practice. Everyone that wins loses a whole bunch first.
     
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  5. z7

    z7 Member

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    I shot 3 gun on Saturday, 9th out of about 45 shooters and the top 5 were sponsored, and had really good days, the time difference between me and #1 was about 60 seconds over 5 stages

    I had 1 good stage out of 5 because I had a bad stage with one gun or the other, my frustration is that it was a different gun each stage. Usually I had one gun that went well, one ok and one where I was just kicking myself for after the stage,

    So I am happy with my position, but frustrated with my lack of focus throughout each stage, definitely room for improvement
     
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  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Depends, are you a glass half full or half empty guy?
     
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  7. Doublehelix
    • Contributing Member

    Doublehelix Contributing Member

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    I have also been the guy that has lost due to mistakes and/or a miss or two (or more!). In a local match last year, I was down about 25 spots from the top, but I actually had more "A's" that the top score did, but I also had 6 mikes!!! He was also faster than I was as well but the Mikes killed my score. They totally killed me!

    But... I have to accept that the score was how I shot that day. That was the best that I could do on that day.

    There are no excuses, only things that I needed to work on to minimize the misses and speed things up a bit.

    So if you win because of other's mistakes, realize that you did indeed shoot better overall. The mistakes are a part of how they shot that day. That was their score, and that was your score.

    Feel good about your win!!! Congratulations!
     
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  8. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I go home from a match happy if I got to spend some time hanging out with the guys and I turned in a “good for me” score.
     
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  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Winning is winning. If you were able to deliver on a day someone else could not, then you win. In fair competition, we all have the same opportunity to win, so I am happy to run someone’s nose in their own stupid comments if they bring out some, “you only won because Bill messed up on that stage...” Yeah, I won because Bill didn’t win. He lost, and I didn’t. I hit faster or more targets or tighter groups... That’s winning.” Maybe it’ll never happen again, but there’s no sense in trying to minimize your own victory just because you had a good day and a few competitors had bad.
     
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  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I like to analyze my performance at matches to see what I should concentrate on when trying to improve. I'm got a lot of room for improvement

    At a Tier 4 IDPA match last year, I discovered that other competitors in my Division, to say nothing about my Classification, were more accurate and were shooting faster than I was on different stages (there were 14), but I ended up winning my Division by 22 seconds. Granted there weren't that many competitors in my Division, only 9 out of 265 shooters. So I'm not sure if I won or just survived...but I did get to take home the plaque.
     
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  11. mcb

    mcb Member

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    More often than not recently I come in first and last in my Division being the only Revolver shooter at the local USPSA or IDPA match. But I am rarely not in the top 1/3 of the competitors in the aggregate scores. Last USPSA match I took 10th of 47 shooters as the only Revolver shooter and my classifier stage score brought me to less than half a percent from A class so I had a good match.

    In the grand scheme I usually don't think about it as winning or loosing and as other have said its more about shooting better than you did before. But if you can find the right group of people a little friendly competition can really put a little extra in to your efforts. Before I moved I had a small group of Revolver shooters that I shot with that were very competitive and we constantly were taunting/ribbing each other. Pushing each other hard to see who would come out on top or crash and burn. Thankfully it was always friendly and at least for me it made me a better shooter. We would often squad together so we collectively analyze the stages, break them down, always trying to find a better solution than the other guy, and no matter who found the best plan it was always the execution where the real bragging rights where. Winning felt good and loosing was a great motivator to do better next time.
     
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I shot a revolver as my match gun for the first time last night in the little 3-stage indoor USPSA match... it's not easy! Constant reloading (and the kind of reloading that takes more work/attention than just slamming a mag into a magwell-equipped limited gun), a trigger pull that requires real management on every shot, and you're frackin' toast if you miss a shot... makeups suck with wheelguns! I was much further down the overall standings than I am used to being, and I have a lot of respect for anyone cracking the 50% overall mark running a wheelie.

    I may have to try out an Icore match, because I don't have the level of self-hatred necessary to put myself through shooting revolver in USPSA on the regular.
     
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  13. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Shooting a Revolver in USPSA will teach to to break down a stage like no other Division. Thinking about everything in groups of 6 or 8 with the goal to execute a plan that has as few reloads as possible and avoids standing reloads whenever possible will make you a better shooter in general. Shooting revolver is almost like treating all stages as Virginia count. Don't give up on Revolver even if you only do it occasionally at club matches it will make you a better stage planner and help your other division performances.

    I am transition the other way, my new to me Limited gun (Remington R1 Limited 40S&W) showed up yesterday. That is going to be a huge change going from a double action revolver to a 2011 single stage trigger. The manual safety is going to give me fits as this is the first handgun I have owned with a manual safety except my Ruger Mark II.

    I would love to try ICORE but I have never found a club close enough in either state I have lived to try.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I don't know about that first part. There's not as much creativity as in the stage planning where you are trying to find the one place in a field course to reload. You're just trying to find places where you can take your 6 or 8 shots and reload on the move. I don't think there's more or less stage planning - it's just different.

    The last part is 100% true. I called a M/no-shoot on the last shot in an array last night, with another location/more shooting to go. I chose to run away, rather than take a standing reload. IDK if that was optimal from a HF calculation perspective, but I knew I was screwed either way! Very much like Virginia count - no do-overs!

    The manual safety should pose ZERO problem for you so long as you use a proper grip - i.e., put your right thumb on top of the safety during the draw, and never take it away. Think of it as a thumb-rest for your right hand. Burn that in via dry-fire and then spend zero mental effort on it during matches. Once you ingrain that move, you will never, ever, ever "forget" to take the safety off.

    I suppose River Bend Gun Club (about an hour north of Atlanta) is probably too far to travel from your location for a monthly icore match? (Google says it's a 3.5 hour drive from Huntsville... that's a hike...)
     
  15. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I guess it depend a lot on stage layout. If the stages are straight forward with nice simple arrays then I agree that its not much harder than higher capacity guns. Its when you get into those big memory stages it gets a bit more complicated. Last weekend they did a stage that was best 1-shot per paper with 30 targets on the stage and a lot of walls and ports. Available arrays ranged from 2 to 7 shots from each port/opening with a lot of movement between. That took a lot of planning so as to not have any standing reloads and to also not have an extra reload. Also there is simply planning in contingency to your plan. With 20rds it easy to allow a few extra shots for a difficult mover but with revolver planning in an extra round or two in the gun for a really difficult target is harder to do and sometime impossible.

    Yeah that is a bit of a haul for a match. There was an ICORE group up in middle Tennessee but as best as I can tell they are not active.
     
  16. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    It's surely true that you will more often have to "skip" targets that are visible from a location in order to "save" them for a later location where you have rounds to spare. That comes up with everything but PCC, but it comes up more often with more limited capacity. That's all true. I had to do that on 2 of the 3 stages last night. I'm not sure that's really an interesting aspect of breaking down a stage, but you're right, there's more of that.

    Stage planning with the higher capacity divisions doesn't have that particular constraint/consideration quite as much... but that just makes the other aspects of it more critical, since none of your direct competition has that constraint, either. Order of engagment, footwork, taking something on the entrance/exit... all that stuff becomes the pivot point, rather than shooting at a sufficiently deliberate pace to require no make-up shots and finding ways to avoid standing reloads. The revolver mandates a lot of stage planning, whereas a lot of other options are available with the higher capacity divisions.

    Not more or less planning, just different. At least if you're trying to be competitive. If you just want to get through the course of fire in some reasonable amount of time, then you can get away with less forethought with the higher cap divisions. Or you could just stay home! ;)

    Like I said, much respect for you and the other guys who can manage decent overall scores in view of the constraints. That's no joke!
     
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  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Thanks! I am looking forward to the Limited division where I can find that sweet spot (the designer didn't notice) on a big stage where I can stand and blast a full 20 round magazine without moving. After years of Revolver that has a certain appeals to me right now.
     
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  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    There's a lot of production heat in the Atlanta area, with lots of production shooters as MD's/stage designers - they've usually got their eye on perfectly legal ways to keep the hi-cap guys from blazing away too easily. At the matches in my area, it's pretty rare for the MD's to leave a "game breaking" spot like that. They actually seem very adept at somehow making me reload twice, despite 2 mags carrying 38-41 rounds. Usually this comes up on a ~30 round COF where there are two good reload spots (during long moves) - both near the beginning and end of the stage. Stage plan might end up being: shoot 6, reload (while running 30 feet), shoot 18, reload (while running 40 feet), shoot 6, because those middle 18 are all shots taken within a couple of steps (or maybe cluttered with prop manipulation or the like). I feel like that happens to me a lot. Those are low-stress reloads, though, and probably don't impact my time in any measurable way.

    Anyway, I expect you'll have fun shooting something where the shooting is more of the game, rather than the speedy/reliable reloads.
     
  19. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Hey guys. There are other shooting sports besides IDPA, IPSIC, USPSA, Steel Challenge, three gun, etc. the OP referenced lever action silhouette which, although timed, does not have a "speed component". The silhouette game relies on the shooters basic shooting skills of trigger control, sight alignment, reading the wind, etc.
    I'm not ragging on you speed guys, I shoot USPSA and Steel Challenge but also enjoy pure marksmanship sports such as lever action silhouette and pistol bullseye.
    As far as the guy who places badly due to equipment failure, much of the equipment problems can be traced to poor maintenance or poor loading techniques, both of which the shooter has control over.
    Bottom line, I am shooting against myself. If I beat my average, I have had a good day regardless of where I fall on the final list. (Sure feels good to be close to the top though)
     
  20. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The OP said “cowboy action” which I took to be SASS, which I understand to be a speed game.

    As for equipment failure, that is on the competitor. But winning because your competitor didn’t get the primer height set right on his press isn’t very satisfying to me.
     
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  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Are you reading the same OP that we are?
     
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  22. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    True, my match was a cowboy action event, but the question can be valid for any competition format. Thanks for looking out for me, but I am enjoying all the responses.

    A couple of years ago I won an event when the fellow who was beating me like a drum was disqualified on the next-to-last stage for a safety infraction. (Dropped loaded revolver). At the time I felt like I had not earned the first place award. My perspective now is that I won it fairly; I followed the rules during the whole match, he didn’t.

    I will enjoy my wins when they happen, and congratulate the other guy when they don’t.
     
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  23. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Pardon me. I had just read another post concerning lever action silhouette and my brain didn't shift gears. Excuse my rant over timed events.
     
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