Quantcast

Finally Going To Try Some Competition

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Good Ol' Boy, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    Long over due trying to find some competitive shooting league/club to try and today finally settled on a somewhat local USPSA club that has matches once a month.

    Contacted the local "HSIC" and let them know I'll be showing up next month. They'll have someone on hand to help me out being new to the game.

    So, any advice anyone cares to offer?

    A little nervous but excited at the same time...
     
    Nature Boy, bersaguy and Curtism1 like this.
  2. Curtism1

    Curtism1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Kansas
    I've have shot USPSA and love it. Everyone is usually more than helpful and will help guide you thru the match safely. Above the normal safety equimpment you will need an OWB holster and one or two magazine pouches. No other special belts or equipment needed.

    Edit; I started out with just a Blackhawk SERPA holster and a Blackhawk double mag pouch for my Glock 19. The only other thing you have to add is fun!
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    tcj and Hokie_PhD like this.
  3. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    1,798
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    I’m curious about this too. And I’m not far from you.

    The competitions I've found have been Fredericksburg and near Louisa but I don’t feel ready yet so I don’t have the info handy. Unfortunately I’m not sure if there USPSA or other orgs.

    Edit: the Fredericksburg club is https://uspsa.org/find-a-club/state/VA
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    Curtism1 likes this.
  4. Curtism1

    Curtism1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Kansas
    The handgun rules and production rules on this link would be good to review, plus it might help to go and just watch a match or two. https://uspsa.org/rules
     
  5. egd

    egd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    498
    Location:
    Arkansas
    First of all I'd say take your gun and shoot if you have some mags and a holster. You'll wish you had if you just go to watch. People will be more than willing to guide you. Tell them you're new and they'll give you an orientation about safety, etc.
    There are different divisions depending on what gun you shoot and/or what sights, etc. you have on it. If you just have a basic auto gun with iron sights you'll more than likely be in either Production or Limited division. I would choose Limited so that you can load your mags fully and not have to worry much about reloads as you shoot through a stage. Production can have only 10 rounds in a mag and therefore will have more reloads in a stage. Max rounds per stage are 32, but they don't have to have that many.
    It would be really handy to have at least 3 mags and 4 would be better but not necessary. Don't worry about your speed. Don't take all day to perfectly aim every shot, but don't try to go fast like you see others doing. Speed will come later. They probably will anyway, but if not, ask to go last in the squad so you can watch a few shooters first.
     
  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    Any advice we give about doing better will make a lot more sense after 1-2 matches. Shoot the match, report back, and an interesting discussion can be had about how to get better.

    Of course, you won't get to that point if you get DQ'ed early in the match, and that's what I will give some advice about. I've shared most or all of these before, but they come from having RO'ed literally hundreds of new-to-USPSA shooters.
    • You're not going to win the match. You just aren't, any more than you're going to shoot a 63 the first time you play golf or run a 4 minute mile the first time you lace up some track shoes. The good news is that nobody expects you to win, or even be particularly good. What they're all going to wonder is: IS HE SAFE? As long as you're safe, they'll love you, and then they'll help you figure out the game. So focus on that - being SAFE (and making some friends).
    • Your usual "keep the gun in a safe direction" muzzle discipline isn't the same thing as pointing the gun at the backstop - and keeping the gun pointed downrange is what's required. Most new shooters who DQ never point the gun at anyone else, but they do break the 180, and are, therefore, disqualified. Pointing the gun straight up or straight down is putting the gun right on the 180 - so don't do that, even if you've been "trained" about that being the safe way to move with a loaded gun. My suggestion: get out your cordless drill (or, if you live alone, you can do this with your UNLOADED gun). Pick one of the primary walls/sides of your house to be "downrange." Let's say you declare the north wall of your house to be downrange.) Now, carry that drill around the house for a while, always keeping it pointed north, and keeping your finger off the trigger.
      • If you do this, you'll discover that moving in certain directions requires certain arm movements, and that turning one way to head south requires turning back around the other way to go north again (i.e., if you turned to you left, you have to un-turn to your right when you get where you're going).
      • You'll have to trail your arm and the drill behind you to go south... but you'll have to trail it differently to go southeast than southwest.
      • You may notice that getting too close to walls or doorways tends to bunch you up, and exerts a kind of "pressure" to turn the drill sideways.
    • Don't crowd walls or ports. People who get very close to walls that are ahead of them often end up "flipping" the gun sideways when they move. Their brain screams that they are about to bang a loaded gun into a wall, which is a bad idea... so they fold up the gun and break the 180. Instead, give yourself more room to work.
    • In dry-fire, make sure your reloads and slide-racking are with your index finger sticking WELL out to the side. You don't want to be in an argument about whether you were or were not inside the trigger guard on a reload or during movement... stick that thing out straight and off the gun.
    • Drawing happens on the clock. Holstering does not. The shot timer records the time from the beep to the last shot fired. Once you have fired your last shot, there is literally no reason to go fast. Put your mind back in first gear and follow the range commands very deliberately.
    • Speaking of holstering, this is a common spot for newer shooters to get DQ'ed. One common problem is "chasing" the holster with the gun. The shooter starts to holster and begins turning to his right... and his hips turn to the right... and the holster goes with them. Pretty soon, by the time the muzzle has found the holster, the gun is canted backwards and the muzzle is pointing past the 180. Don't do that. Pivot your right hip forward by about 30 degrees... bring the gun and holster together well clear of the 180.
    • Another common DQ scenario is when the shooter drops something. Usually it's a magazine, sometimes a prop. If you drop something and plan to bend down and retrieve it, you should be on red alert that you are about to break the 180. When people bend down with something in one hand and reach with the other hand, the full hand automatically sticks out behind them for balance. Perfectly natural... and totally unsafe if the thing in your hand is a loaded gun. It takes conscious effort to keep your right hand and gun pointing downrange while bending for something you dropped and reaching with your left.
    • Most DQ's happen when something is going "wrong" with someone's plan. They're flustered for some reason (maybe that texas star ate their lunch, maybe they bobbled a reload, maybe they just put 3 consecutive shots into a no-shoot... anything they didn't want to do but did anyway). They feel that everyone is judging them (they're not - if they're watching, they're watching for safety and/or rooting for you). SO: If you are feeling flustered during a course of fire, re-focus on safety.
    Hope that helps. Oh, and speaking of help, that's the only non-safety advice I'd give: be ready to help keep the match running. Throw some work gloves in your bag to help tear down stages at the end. Be ready to paste targets (only after they are scored). This is a volunteer-driven sport. Very, very few matches have anyone getting paid to put on the match... it's really nobody's job to do all the before-during-after stuff that makes matches happen. Your focus during the first few matches should absolutely be yourself and staying safe, but an early demonstration of a willingness to pitch in will make you "one of the guys" much faster.

    Good luck and have fun! This game is very addicting!
     
  7. z7

    z7 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    783
    Be safe, shoot accurately and not fast, pay attention to the direction you point the muzzle when you move, be aware of your trigger finger, keep it out of the trigger guard until you engage a target,

    Bring lots of magazines (4+ or more if you have them)

    It is super fun, if you are like me you will find that you are not the fastest shooter, but you are also not the slowest. Be safe and have a great time,

    Before you know it you will be wanting lots of gear and an STI pistol
     
  8. Doublehelix
    • Contributing Member

    Doublehelix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2016
    Messages:
    622
    I was at a match recently and there was someone on our squad who was a lazy sod and did not hardly do any pasting at all (I want to say "none", but he did do a few targets here and there). Everyone grumbled and complained about him. Don't be that guy!!!
     
    Chuck R., Hokie_PhD and thomas15 like this.
  9. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    ATLDave has covered the main points. Keep in mind that every last individual that is shooting in the match is a gun owner and thus owns guns and will have a gun with them to shoot. I don't say this to criticize you or anyone else but no matter what hardware you bring to the match there will be numerous shooters with tackle costing 5 times what you have so I say this to urge you to keep your firearm in the holster when it's not your time to shoot. In other words no one is going to be impressed with your gear if they complement you on it it's simply them being polite. One of the teaching points in the USPSA range officer class is to teach new range officers not to judge a shooters abilities based on their equipment or clothing (ie: being dressed to impress but not having any experience).

    Make absolutely sure you really understand how your gun operates before you go. You might shoot 150-200 rounds on match day this may be more than you typically shoot at your range sessions. Place your gun in your holster at the safe table where no ammo is allowed. Take twice the amount of ammo with you to the match than what the organizers say the round count is. If you get a jam keep the muzzle pointed down range and finger out of the trigger guard while clearing the jam.

    The biggest thing is the 180 rule and remember it is 180 degrees left and right but also up and down. Take your time! Coming in last place is much better than a DQ on your first stage. Everyone starts at or near the bottom. Some stay at the bottom while through hard work (live fire and dry fire) some will see steady improvement over the long run. I shot a full 8 stage steel challenge match yesterday. On my squad was a guy with a really nice STI limited gun and race belt/holster. Me I shoot revolver, I beat him by 80 seconds. His second SCSA match my second season SCSA. IF he sticks with it and puts in the time his equipment advantage will eventually overcome my equipment disadvantage but for now he has to live with the bitter pill that this short skinny 60 year old dude with trifocals ate his lunch. It's called paying your dues!
     
    Corpral_Agarn likes this.
  10. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If the OP already has a serpa holster then ok but if he is going to procure a holster for this endeavor then give the matter some thought. While not illegal per USPSA rules they have certain disadvantages and really offer no true advantages.

    The actual "best" beginner holster depends on if the OP intends to shoot limited or production. For a beginner with limited number of magazines and mag holders Limited is appealing because you can load up the mags to capacity and will have fewer reloads than production which has a 10 round per magazine limit. Limited can use a race holster which is probably more of an expense than what a newcomer will want to spend but Limited shooters shooting factory ammo or most 9mm guns will shoot minor which is harsher scoring rules for anything other than a Alpha (compared to Major pf). All production shooters are scored minor.

    It is all very confusing to newcomers. The thing is until you shoot your first match or so and see first hand what is going on you will probably have not real clear picture of what division you will be happiest in. I would say in general since you will almost certainly have to buy some things that to begin with look at production. Regardless of what you do two things are certain, 1. you will be spending some $$ and 2. you will be second guessing yourself once you commit, everyone does this and nothing can be about it.

    Making the decision to start competitions and shooting your first match is one thing, not everyone who does this first step becomes infected. If it turns out to be something you want to do and wish to excel it will take over your life and bank account. I just spent an hour reloading ammo to replenish my supply so I have enough to make it through the month. Most but certainly not all competitors handload their ammo. More time and money. This is why I think steel challenge is a great place for beginners. Especially those that have no firearms or limited equipment. You can buy a rimfire 22 for roughly $400.00, 3 or 4 extra magazines ($120.00) eyes and years ($60.00) a range bag and gun case ($60.00) some ammo and start competing. And a year later you will have an open rimfire gun and bunch of gear and spend all of your weekends traveling to matches!
     
  11. Curtism1

    Curtism1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Kansas
    Thomas, You are correct about the SERPA and the way I discussed it sounds like it is something you should get which is not what I was intending to say. I was just stating what I had when I started USPSA vs what you should get.
     
    thomas15 and ATLDave like this.
  12. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    Thanks all for the replies.

    I have no misconception about trying to do anything other than make it through the day without DQ'ing or fouling up some other way. Not looking to win anything.

    While those that say watching first would be worthwhile, and I agree, with the amount of YouTube content out there I think one can get a pretty good idea of what's going on. The added fact that I'll be driving almost an hour and a half for these matches means I'm bringing my gear and planning on participating.

    As for helping out I plan on doing whatever I can.

    Since gear has been brought up the set up will be a Canik TP9SA, 4 factory MecGar mags, Alien Gear Cloak Mod holster and some mag holders I can't remember the brand of I got at a LGS.

    The gentleman I talked with said 150rds would be sufficient so I'm bringing 200. I normally shoot between 2-300rds in a session when I practice so I'm used to the volume, but probably not the pace.


    Again, it's a bit intimidating and I'm nervous and excited at the same time.


    The club is the Greater Richmond Blasters, website here http://www.grbuspsa.com

    Some videos here https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=greater+richmond+blasters
     
  13. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA


    Yea I saw that club but it's further away and honestly I don't like going anywhere near NOVA.

    The club I'm meeting with looks like it's just west of the Short Pump area off 64.

    When I checked the USPSA site the only clubs I found in VA were the one in Fredericksburg, the one I'm checking out, one in Roanoke and one in the Norfolk area.

    You're more than welcome to join, still got another month to prepare. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  14. egd

    egd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    498
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Great. Let us know how it goes. Good shooting.
     
    thomas15 likes this.
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    13,791
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    I'd bring at least 300 rounds if not 500. Better to have it and not need it, etc
     
    Corpral_Agarn and thomas15 like this.
  16. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I wanted to say this but I'm trying to avoid being overbearing. 1KPerDay is making a very good point here.

    I'm not an individual that impresses anyone with my abilities but I'm a B shooter knocking on the door of A and I still take twice as much ammo as required to a match. You will not shoot very many matches before you see an individual who for one reason or another has to cut short his day or barrow ammo from another shooter to complete the match. Not at my first match but at my first steel challenge match I took what I thought was plenty of ammo. When I completed the course I had 2 rounds left over LOL! The first match I shot with my own handloads I had to resort to some factory ammo that I took with me, thankfully!

    In addition, I have had screws fall out of my holster so now I carry extra holster parts, yoke screws fall out of the frame, side plate screws get lost, grip screws go bye bye, fiber optic inserts get broken, rebound springs broken and not at a match but at practice my one and only (knock on wood) squib. So I carry a mini gunsmith parts supply store and enough tools to make most field repairs in my range bag. Bug spray, sun block, wet wipes and a crying towel, extra batteries for my ears and dot sights. I keep a rain coat, leather work gloves, two large garbage bags (to put my stuff in if/when it rains) and water bottles in my car so I have them with me. After your first or second match you will see the practicality of having some kind of wheeled contraption to tote your gear around the range.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    1KPerDay likes this.
  17. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,150
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm not trying to push anyone into anything but if you wait until you feel ready before attending your first match you will never attend your first match.
     
    1KPerDay and ATLDave like this.
  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    A little more on why you should bring a lot more ammo than the published round-count. Let's say you have a 5-stage match, with 3 28-round courses of fire, one 16-round classifier stage, and a big 32-rounder. That's 132 rounds. Now, let's say that you're reloading an average of 2 times per stage, and that half times you drop a mag, rounds pop out. There's no time to be hunting those down. Let's say the range surface eats 10 rounds that way. Also, you have to unload-and-show-clear at the end of each stage. For new shooters, it is generally best to let that round drop. There's another 5 rounds in the dirt. Maybe one of the stages has a distant array of 6 mini-poppers... while that's only 6 rounds in the official round count, it would be common for people to burn twice that many. Maybe there's a texas star, and you've never shot one before... so you empty a full mag at that. Call that another 10. Maybe you call an average of one shot a miss/marginal per stage, so that's at least 5 makeup shots. OK, so we're up to, what, 30 extra rounds so far? Now, let's say that star is on the big 32-rounder... and it malfunctions at the end of the stage. Good news! You get a re-shoot! Bad news! You now have to run another 40+ rounds! And, of course, you may end on a big stage where the optimal reloading plan requires you to draw, fire 4 shots, and drop that mostly-full mag on the ground. Those rounds will go home with you, but they aren't going to get you through the end of the stage. You always want to have all mags full starting the last stage, so you'd better have a buffer of ~40 rounds past what you intend to shoot if everything goes perfectly.

    As you can see, for even a fairly short match, you can quickly end up needing 100+ more rounds than the stated round count. I run a weekly 3-stage indoor match. Our round counts are typically ~70. I am not comfortable showing up with just 100 rounds. I consider 140 the bare minimum to take and not feel anxiety.

    Bottom line: You will have plenty to worry about - you do not need to be worrying about how to ration your ammo. Bring twice the stated round count and you can focus on shooting.
     
    1KPerDay and Corpral_Agarn like this.
  19. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
    On the ammo issue, the gentleman I talked to acted like 150 would be MORE than enough, taking into account what some here have mentioned. So I figure 200 would be plenty safe. Maybe I'll throw an extra 50 in just to be extra safe but I'm not gonna bring 4-500rds.


    An issue maybe someone can chime in on, although I'll probably just need to call the guy back and ask, but I've been reading/watching about eye pro and how some folks seem to be sticklers about wrap around gear. What are ya'lls experiences?

    Up until now all of the ranges I've been to have been perfectly fine with my RX glasses so I'm curious. This could be an issue as my regular glasses are to big to wear anything over and absolutely can't shoot without them. Obviously this gets into getting some kind of shooting approved set with my RX which, for a newcomer could be a turnoff. I mean, I'd at least like to try it a bit before I go spending more money on it.
     
  20. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,585
    I learned to wear contacts specifically so that I could wear wrap-around eye pro. If you shoot steel - and USPSA is heavy on it - there will be splatter. I got splashed on my cheek just last week. I know several guys who just wear regular glasses, but that made me nervous. You’d want to make sure to either face directly at or directly away from steel while it’s being shot - by anyone.
     
    Corpral_Agarn likes this.
  21. johnandersonoutdoors

    johnandersonoutdoors Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    See if you can find out how your current glasses measure up to the various safety standards. If they don't meet them, I would try not to spend much time on a range until you can save up. Gotta be safe. Save up and get some that double as your daily wear sunglasses or something?

    I got a prescrition filled on a sport style safety frame that I bought, spent $350 for lenses and all about 8 years ago, but I have been using them almost everyday since. It can also be done for much less. Last year I decided I wanted to try yellow lenses. I got a $10 safety frame at walmart and with the prescription yellow safety lenses I was out the door for $40 (this was during a sale).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 1:38 AM
  22. johnandersonoutdoors

    johnandersonoutdoors Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    Regarding Fredericksburg

    I know some good guys that live around Lynchburg that shoot Roanoke idpa/uspsa and also down in Christiansburg (for idpa and where I met them), but they started going to Fredericksburg as well last year. They love it. I believe I have heard they have several large field courses per match and it is a great environment.
     
  23. Doublehelix
    • Contributing Member

    Doublehelix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2016
    Messages:
    622
    Same here. Got a nice red spot on my cheek.

    I just started a thread on some new magnified shooting glasses I just bought. If you go this route, remember these facts:

    1) Your reading glass magnification is not the same as your shooting glasses magnification. Go to a store that sells reading glasses and see what magnification you need by testing at the distance your sights are from your eyes. THIS MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
    2) These glasses measure their correction using DIOPTERS not magnification, so use the diopter equation that I posted in the thread.

    Here is the thread:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/miracle-old-fart-shooting-glasses.837505/

    These shooting glasses have changed the way I shoot now. I love them!!!
     
  24. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,674
    Location:
    Southern CA
    If you take more ammo than you need, you bring it home, if you don't take enough...
    1 mag easy, 2 mags not much harder;)
    I only have 10 round mags (Single Stack minor, and in CA) but the first Texas Star I shot had me order two more mags. (next time I shot it I did much better)

    If they said 150 I would take 300 at least for the first match. You will have a better idea of how much you will probably need after the first match.
    Usually most of the shots other than on moving targets are fairly easy shots, you might think need two hits, two rounds.
    It changes a quite bit when you are attempting to do things fast vs taking your time.

    Hard to say not knowing the match layout but but plan on shooting those 200 rounds in say maybe 3-5 minutes. The fast guys will do it in probably 1/2 that. (or less)

    Warning: It can be addictive!

    Just loads of fun IMO,
    And as mentioned already watch your 180.
    I have seen a shooter go just a little to far down range past a target and break it shooting that target, maybe 1' to far down range.

    Be safe and have fun.
    (and don't shoot the no shoots! For some reason I seem to forget that every now and then so I like to remind myself...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018 at 12:40 PM
  25. Doublehelix
    • Contributing Member

    Doublehelix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2016
    Messages:
    622
    Yep. I started in USPSA at the end of last year (gee thanks Dudedog) after shooting Steel matches for a while and a few IDPA thrown in for fun.

    I shot two USPSA matches at the end of the 2017 season, bu already have 4 under my belt for 2018 and have another one coming up this weekend on Father's Day and another one the following weekend.

    It is addictive for sure, but it is addictive for a reason. It is fun, challenging, and the people I have shot with so far have been really awesome and helpful.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice