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First USPSA Match Today

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Dudedog, Sep 5, 2016.

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  1. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Had a great time. :D


    Interesting how the cardboard no-shoots can expand due to muzzle blast before the bullet gets there causing you to just catch the edge :banghead: (hit 2 no shoots ouch, oh well that sounded like a good excuse when I first thought of it)

    Thoughts
    :eek: need practice hitting the 8" plates at 20 yards got the first one struggled on the second and the other 3 would not hold still! :barf:
    When 32 hits are required on a stage 5 mags aren't enough in Single Stack:eek:
    Need to have my computer write 100000 times shoot slow move fast, somehow the shoot slow plan ( :what: plan...)seemed to go to poop when the start beeper went off.

    Ended up about 7th from the bottom, but I was safe and had fun, the two important things.

    Afraid I may be hooked.
    :uhoh: $ for more stuff, mags, mag pouches etc :)

    PS
    Thanks to all the guys who helped me out getting started. Don't know if any of them are here.
    Special thanks to Steve who was my RO and was kind enough to give me some tips and brave enough to volunteer to be RO for a new (to USPSA) unknown shooter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Sounds like you did great!
     
  3. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Thanks! Lots of room for improvement:)
     
  4. egd

    egd Member

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    I'm still struggling to get UP to 7th from the bottom. Funny how that BEEP turns off your mind isn't it?
     
  5. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Yes!
    Need to get a shot timer to try after work and see if it has the same effect, aaahhh all thoughts washed away......

    I think I learned a lot and can hopefully put that into practice the next match I shoot.

    The shoot slow program crashed but at least the be safe program kept running and I didn't do anything dumb and get DQed.

    Happy that I ended up with points, before I started I was thinking, hhmmm it's possible to get a 0 here.

    Learned, (along with other things)
    Don't shoot the gun to slide lock, If you know you are going to need another mag, drop the partially loaded one and reload while moving.
    I got this tip on the second stage I shot and it makes sense as long as you don't miss and mess up the plan.
    I have one 10 round mag and the rest are 9s, might not have made a big difference but I can see where one round could save a mag change, it might have helped a tiny bit.
    I was one round short on a paper target at the end of one stage and had to do a mag change, then I just shot it once. After the mag change I should have went ahead and shot it a couple more times to try to make sure I got 2 in the A zone.

    A little frustrating on the 8" plates at distance I know I had to be close.
    I normally practice at 7-10 yards so I know now I need to work on targets farther away.

    I am thinking about taking a notepad and making notes after each stage on what I could have done that would have helped. (of course hitting the target doesn't need to be noted):) Those mikes are costly.

    Loads of fun can't wait until the next one.

    Practice, practice, practice.

    PS
    Don't read this self help book
     

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Awesome! The things that the buzzer did to my brain is what caused my initial fascination with USPSA. Keep shooting a while, and you'll discover that you can only find those magic/terrible buzzers at major matches. ;)

    Very, very, very few people come into the USPSA game and really know how to do well off the bat. Working up from near the bottom is what at least 80% of the people who love the game get to do, so you're in good company.

    Great job staying safe and getting to finish the match. Having to send a new shooter packing because of a DQ isn't fun for anyone, but it's all too common. Nice work keeping your head well enough to stay safe.
     
  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Congrats! Haha, you are now hooked for good!

    Best I can recommend is have someone video record your stages - it's by far the best way to identify all the things you did wrong (like football team watching the replay of the game) to correct your mistakes like wasting time on mag changes (practice each day while watching TV until it becomes second nature) and carry enough mags to do mag changes while you are moving to next group of targets (You can work on counting rounds respect to stage layout later :eek:).

    As to shooting small targets like "no shoot" targets, practice shooting small targets. ;) I used 8.5x11 copy paper cut in half and practiced slow shots until I got ALL of my shots inside the paper then moved on to calling shots and then fast double taps at 7-15 yards. For precision shots, cut paper into quarters and practice shooting at longer range of 15-25 yards. On match day, the USPSA targets will look huge in comparison. :D

    Keep in mind that faster stage time will trump accuracy - it's the way USPSA scoring is done. So practice to shave as much stage time as possible while improving accuracy.

    Main thing is having fun and remember, "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast". Keep enjoying shooting matches and speed will follow.

    Wish I was there to shoot the matches with you!

    Have fun and call me anytime!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    That should be your goal. Have fun, no extra holes, don't get DQed. Everything else is gravy. :cool:

    Note that if you want to start shooting IDPA the rules about dropping loaded mags and stuff are very different. But you can figure that out as you go. You're going to love it. I wish I could get people to understand how much fun it is and how nobody cares if you're "competitive." Everyone is there to be helpful and have fun for the most part.
     
  9. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    +1. Whenever new shooters showed up at our matches, we went out of our way to make the initial matches pleasant as possible with big emphasis on fun and accommodated them with seasoned shooters providing personal coaching.

    We ran practice range days where new shooters got to shoot other match shooters pistols and run practice stages over and over until they mastered different aspects of stages (particularly moving targets).
     
  10. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Yes!

    Instead of dumb I really should have said unsafe.

    I was concentrating on the 180 rule and remembering to engage the safety before moving (SS 1911). There were a couple targets that were about 80+ degrees from downrange and I made a mental note to be really careful on them.
    Things that would seem to be easy to remember but I was concerned about forgetting.
    Safety was by far my #1 concern.
    It would be :eek: to get DQed, but far worse to put someone else at risk because of unsafe actions....

    I don't really care where I end up, (actually was quite pleasantly surprised I wasn't last)I just wanted to have fun (and did!), and of course try to improve in the future.
    Of course hitting everything would be more fun:rolleyes:

    All and all great fun I would urge everyone to try it at least once, I wish I had years ago.
     
  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    You'll probably spend the rest of your USPSA career worrying about "DQ traps" where targets are placed close to the 180 line, or where the stage design tempts you to overrun a target and then keep the gun on it as you pass (also breaking the 180).

    My view is that avoiding the DQ is job 1. Everyone who DQ'ed affirmatively lost the match. You didn't. Keep thinking that way.
     
  12. Bullseye

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    Glad you had a good time. You'll only get better from here. :D
     
  13. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Many seasoned regional USPSA shooters talked to me about the "zen" of match shooting. They said eventually you realize you are not competing with other shooters but simply your best stage times/accuracy of targets.

    They said for me to clear the entire match area in my mind until nothing but white space existed and the start box/targets. Then you simply plot/map the best shooting path/mag change points and execute that map with directional arrows/mag change points superimposed on the stage when timer goes off (you may see some shooters doing a "walk through" the stage and this is what they are doing in their head).

    If you watch the heads/eyes/pistols of national level shooters, they "float" smoothly through the stage even though the body is going wild running to next group of targets and engaging them.

    I suggested video recording to be the single best tool to improve stage score. When I saw my first video, I was horrified at all the costly mistakes I made:

    - Poor body movement (head bobbing up and down/pistol not in alignment with head/eyes, poor foot work, etc.)

    - Seemingly eternity while I focused on small/distant targets before I shot (this is where smooth is fast and practicing with small targets at 15-25 yards pay off).

    - Wasted time changing mags at the wrong time (on next match, I tried to drop my mags before I ran dry with slide lock and changed them while moving between target groups). I always packed enough mags for any given stage and I never had issues with dropping mags with rounds in them for USPSA matches.

    Just making simple corrections from the video to where I "floated" more smoothly target to target on subsequent matches/videos shaved a lot of stage time and score. Objective of the video is so you end up actually shooting like the plot/mapping of the stage you did in your head to be efficient and fast.

    What about accuracy? I found once I focused more on the efficiency of movement and following stage plot/mapping in my head, I became calmer and my accuracy improved (double taps got closer and exactly where I aimed).

    As to shooting more than 2 rounds per target, I only shot 3rd and 4th rounds if I confirmed I missed one of my double taps (but you should be working on shot calling to not miss any shots, right? ;):D).

    This may be a lot to take in just after your first match but I believe starting out in the right direction from the beginning is better than correcting bad match shooting habits later.
     
  14. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    And while networking and talking to other shooters is good, good advise I was given by the shooters who usually scored highest on the ladder is - Talk to shooters who are winning the stages and you will learn their good habits. If you talk to shooters that are not winning stages, you may learn their bad habits. ;)

    When some newbie shooters whined that top open/limited division shooters may be getting faster stage times and higher scores because they may have better equipment ($3000+ race guns, red dots, etc.), two of top regional shooters asked for my factory stock Glock 22s (I used two for match shooting after a RO who taught SWAT/defensive shooting dared me to replace my modified match 1911 and shoot factory Glocks to be more "practical") and my match loads loaded on Pro 1000 and ran the stages with blistering speed and accuracy and our newbie jaws dropped in utter disbelief.

    They smiled and said equipment helps but won't replace trigger time and practice and even complimented on my Glocks and match loads being very consistent (They told me their race guns go into the safe after match and Glocks come out and kept by the night stands).

    They all emphasized having fun shooting matches but importance of deliberate match practice and suggested we set up duplicate stages we had difficulty with and run the stage until we corrected mistakes. I even had stage set up in my back yard/garage that I practiced stage movement and mag changes with.
     
  15. js2013

    js2013 Member

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    Ahhh the first match.... The one you'll never forget
     
  16. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    I figured they were fast because they are good, and good because they practice.
    (experience and natural talent count as well, equipment does but below the first three IMO)
    Silly for anyone to whine about equipment as you proved.
    I need practice, practice and more practice. (and I need to change what I have been practicing)
    Any of the good people could have taken my pistol and equipment and been at the top of Single stack.
    I know my pistol and ammo is up to the task even if I'm not just yet.


    I can hardly wait for the next match and hopefully put what I learned in the first one to good use.

    We shall see.
    (and I will let everybody know one way or the other)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    If you haven't already, incorporate "shot calling" to your range practice drills - https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/10/18/calling-your-shots/

    Instead of shooting at COM repeatedly, I usually place 4 to 6 bingo dauber dots on 8.5x11 copy paper (yeah, call me cheap but they last almost forever) and randomly shoot at different dots by breaking up my double taps - so it's bang-bang on two different dots. This forces you to quickly acquire new target after each trigger pull.

    As to more "zen of shooting", one time on a match practice day, a regional match shooter (the one who usually places at the top) watched me practice shot calling and he said, "Let me help you with that" and told me to shift my focus from the front sight to the target. Then he said to "make holes appear" on the target COM (I went "Whaaaaaat?"). After some adjustment and practice, I was able to make holes "appear" somewhat close to where I was aiming. He smiled and told me to practice until I could make holes (double taps) appear anywhere on the target. :eek: He said that's how some shooters can shoot fast and also be accurate.

    The regional shooter was in fact describing an application of "zen of shooting" where you practice enough and trust yourself enough to not only hope to hit your POA but to make POI holes "appear" where you want them to - http://forums.brianenos.com/index.php?/topic/29694-zen-and-shooting-research-project/
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    "Your brain going to mush" at the buzzer is a very common problem for newbies, and is indicative of a lack of enough mental prep before your run. Bottom line, you need to do your thinking before the buzzer goes off, not after.

    1) Get to the match early and walk the stages then. For a complicated field course, often times 5 minutes won't be enough. Even if it is enough to come up with a good plan, you will still benefit from seeing the stage before your squad walks up to shoot it. I believe that the more time your brain has to marinate that stage plan, the better, even if it is subconscious.

    2) Come up with a plan for the stage. As you improve, this plan will become more detailed, but for now just know that the plan should contain as much detail as possible, such as: Exactly which targets you will shoot from each position; in what order you will shoot them; where you will reload; where your feet will be exactly at each position, etc. When you are done, you should have a shot by shot plan for the entire stage.

    3) Visualize this plan in your head at least ten times. Close your eyes if necessary. Again, the more detail the better, but at a minimum here, you are "seeing" the target array at each position, thinking about the exact order in which you will shoot each array, and thinking about exactly where you are going to be reloading (hopefully always on the move as you noted).

    4) When you are on deck, give the plan one or two more quick visualizations.

    5) The buzzer will set you free. During your run, you should be on autopilot, not thinking about anything really; just observing what you are doing more than anything else. It is almost a 3rd person out of body experience.

    IF your plan contains a risky item such as shooting to within one round of your gun being empty (probably will happen a lot in Singlestack) You can also have a "backup plan" in case something goes wrong. But, it has to be very simple, and something you can also do on autopilot if the undesired situation occurs.

    The best shooters in the world are not doing anything more complicated than the above. You want to avoid "thinking" during your run at all costs.... if you have to think, something has gone horribly wrong.
     
  19. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the tips.
     
  20. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Yup. The trick is to simply relax and see everything - but concentrate on the front sight so intently you can see the molecules in it. :scrutiny: I first started winning matches when I started to dedicate some strategy on where I was going to be standing for every target and every mag change. It makes a difference. It doesn't have to be fancy - it only has to work. Just be safe and have lots of fun. And watch those old guys. They know stuff........
     
  21. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    only pay attention to your class placement right now.

    Yes that should be your first purchase so you can see your improvements during practice/live fire. Dry fire, dry fire, dry fire with it too. Did I mention dry fire?

    Print of some of these targets and use them during drills, from Ben Stoegers site... He also has a few drills you can practice too. I would highly recommend some of his books too.
    http://benstoeger.com/index.php/gal...2-dryfire-scaled-uspsa-ipsc-printable-targets
     
  22. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the link, good stuff.
     
  23. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I have this year shot a few local USPSA matches. Prior to this I only shot IDPA, and then only about 10-15 matches/classifiers in SSP.

    So this year I decided to try USPSA in revolver class. My goals are the same as the OP, have fun and stay out of trouble. I'm using a S&W 929 (8 shot 9mm mooned clipped revolver) and DAA Race Master holster and DAA magnetic moon clip holders (8 on my race belt) so I can start a stage with 1 in the gun and 8 on the belt for 72 rounds total. My 929 is open sights so I can shoot revolver class not open which is where revolvers with optics play. All of this is new to me, especially the revolver aspect.

    With 3 matches under my belt so far and it's fun. I have also managed to avoid coming in last even against stock pistols which have a 10 round per magazine limit.

    My club has a number of members that are accomplished USPSA shooters and one revolver shooter who is nationally ranked and well known. I can get tons of tips and guidance if I want. My club also hosts sectionals and other sanctioned (and expensive) matches. I'm not exactly what you would call infected by USPSA but looking forward I do intend to shoot local matches from time to time.

    All of the USPSA matches I have been in have featured those three most dreaded words in competition: The Texas Star. The last one had the star with only the bottom 3rd of the array showing, steel plates guarded the top 2/3rds.
     
  24. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    No match for Oct. :( But one coming up the first weekend of Nov. Getting ready for match#2. Looking forward to it. Picked up a couple more mags and another mag holder.

    My first match had a Texas Star at about 20 yards, it wasn't very kind to me.....
    (or maybe I should say I didn't manage to be very mean to it:))
     
  25. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Normally they are simple when you get used to em.. However, when they do stuff like that or make you change positions in between shots/plates.. It can get annoying.
     
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