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Shooting my first IDPA classifier match on Sunday....

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by ny32182, Feb 11, 2010.

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  1. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Anything I should know? I have been shooting IDPA matches semi-regularly for nearly 5 years now, judging by the date on my original classification card.
     
  2. CatsEye

    CatsEye Member

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    Since you have been shooting quite a while you know most of the drill. Two of the most important for the classifier are: Don't miss the head shots on stage 1. Take your time on stage 3 on the long shots.
     
  3. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    Just shoot it without expectations. It is supposed to be a measure of what your current skills are. Don't TRY to get a particular score. Shoot accurately and let the timer do its thing.
     
  4. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I can appreciate the sentiment about going in with no expectations, but here are the factors that are working against me:

    1) Four years ago the match director put me in the SS class based on my performance at that time. Over the last year or so though, I've got my mindset about IDPA *slightly* more serious (and by that I mean more game oriented) and I've been shooting pretty consistently among the EX class, so I'll be kind of dissappointed if I don't make EX at the classifier.

    2) I missed the December match, and the January match got cancelled due to 15 degree weather (we don't do cold in SC). So, with the exception of 100 rounds of bench slowfire in December for some .40 load development, I haven't fired a handgun in about 3 months. That won't be helping my case. I'll probably take a stage or two to get that muscle memory back in "top form" for me.

    Ah well. Whatever happens happens. I'm still in it to have fun. They recommended bringing more ammo and 8 magazines, so I wondered if there was something notably different about a classifier.
     
  5. husker67

    husker67 Member

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    Thoughts

    I just finished reading Shooter, Jack Coughlin...he mentions this several times... slow is smooth and smooth is fast. This makes sense to me in IDPA competition, I used the mantra "smooth is fast" and throwing in slow, even though it is counter-intuitive, works well. Above all, have fun at your classifier.
     
  6. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I don't remember where I first heard this, but I literally recite it in my head right before the buzzer, every time. :) Unfortunately it doesn't always sink in.
     
  7. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

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    Then you have already won imo. Folks get so wrapped up in performance that they can't enjoy themselves, and it doesn't make sense to me to do something you don't enjoy. Hence why I don't play golf..... :)




    Nothing notable different at all. The extra mags are so you can load em' up for different strings in the stages, that way you can run them consecutively. Speeds up the process.

    Yup.

    Folks kick themselves in the rear when they blow those head shots.

    "....it's......seven....meters....and I....missed......."
     
  8. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Yeah, well... as I'm sure we know (here in the competetive forum), seven meters on a ~6" target at speed is not a trivial shot. I always get a kick out of people shooting "one ragged hole" at 10 or 15 yards or whatever... my thought is always, if you are doing that, it is time to speed up. A service pistol is meant to be shot at speed.

    After moving too far toward both the "speed" and "accuracy" extremes at different parts of my IDPA experience, I started talking with one of the MA national level competitors I'm lucky enough to shoot with every now and then, and now try for a happy medium of ~2 points down per stage. I use that as the hinge point for my throttle. I still think headshots are the most challenging and cost me the most time to make on an individual basis, since, of course, if you miss, you are down a lot more than 1 pt.
     
  9. smoothdraw

    smoothdraw Member

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    At SS level practice to be error free and fast in stage 1. Practice your reloads and presentation. Master your trigger. In due time you'll be EX or even Master.
     
  10. jmtgsx

    jmtgsx Member

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    Stage 3 is a bullseye course, with a little movement thrown in. Take your time and get your hits.
     
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Well, no dice, looks like I get to bum around SS for at least another year.:scrutiny:
     
  12. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    Make it worth your while. Pick up a trophy while you are down there. Match bump is the way to go.
     
  13. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Yeah I was thinking about that. Maybe I will shoot the state match this year and see what happens.

    I scored 121.xx, so, missed the EX threshold of 120 by less than two seconds. Also it was probably in the 40's with snow and mud on the ground and I couldn't feel my hands or feet. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. The guy in front of me shot below his current classification so I don't think it was only me.

    We'll see how it goes this summer.
     
  14. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    I know how you feel. I missed MA in CDP to pick up my 3rd gun by a small amount the last time I shot the classifier. I don't shoot my 1911 enough, because I enjoy SSP/Production so much.
     
  15. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    Just became a 3 gun Master last year! I'll never be a 4 gun Master because I hate wheel guns...<g>

    Advice--They nailed it. Stage III is where people start going south in a hurry. It's a bullseye match masquerading as an IDPA stage. Take your time, get your hits, and you will be ahead of 90% of humanity on that stage.

    The rest of it is just shooting. Don't get caught up in someone else's rythm. Only shoot as fast as you can get hits.

    It's the old addage "Nothing you can do in a match will make you a better shooter"; all that happens in practice before the match. So, stick to your speed capabilities and make the hits happen. On Stage III, AIM. Make the shots, period. If it takes a minute, make the shot.

    Dan
     
  16. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I got all hits; they just weren't good hits on stage III, which I believe is the one that killed me. Groups were centered in the -1 zone, and so I was 10 down on a couple targets. Most of the matches I shoot only have one or two targets at that range in six stages, so I haven't spent time shooting on those much. I don't know what the typical 9mm drop at 20 yards is, but I'm guessing it is not enough to matter... probably just my trigger pull or sight picture should be tweaked.
     
  17. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    What was your score? How did you classify?

    And no, there is no 'drop' at 20 yards. Heck, it's only just started to slow down! <g>

    Get yourself a supply of paper plates. Set a range table up on end, and practice shooting around barricades at 20 yards! Nothing to it, so long as you don't rush, and again, don't become a slave to someone else's rythm. When you get caught up in trying to look fast to people watching you, you wind up looking silly by missing. ;)

    Dan
     
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I scored 121.xx shooting SSP, leaving me in SS by 1.x seconds.

    I have no place to practice right now, but when I do (hopefully fixing that sometime before summer) I will come up with some drills to run. 20 yard shots are rare in our matches, so even if I could practice them I would probably spend more time doing other things. Our best "local" MA shooter (multiple state champ winner) was telling me about a spreadsheet he uses where he catalogs each "motion" involved in each match. For example, and I'm paraphrasing here, he might break it down as follows:

    1) double tap at 5yard, or 7, or 10yd, etc
    2) tac reload
    3) slidelock reload
    4) etc

    Each match he records the number of times that each action is taken, so he gets an average of which actions are performed the most, and combined with video of himself in matches and practice sessions, knows what to practice that will cut the most time for him. I might get him to ship me that spreadsheet and start populating it for myself.

    Just a random musing; nothing that can really be done about the following, but I've always wished they would make the -0 zone on the IDPA target a different color from the rest of the target. I often feel like there is "nothing to aim at" especially at medium range; there is just front sight and brown. No idea if that brown is -0, -1, -3 at speed.
     
  19. David E

    David E Member

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    I teach a class that covers the various ways to shave time off your IDPA classifier score. It's a total of little things that add up. If your first shot was just a shade faster and you fired 1/10th of a second sooner for each string, you'd save 1.4 seconds.

    But, there are areas that make a more noticiable difference.

    Briefly, people have trouble hitting the head in Stage 1 and the target at all, much less the circle, in Stage 3.

    Don't be one of them.

    In Stage 2, String One: take a BIG step with the gunside foot while you draw. You'll be 9 yds instead of 10 right off the bat. Stepping with your gunside foot eliminates the bounce you have if you step with the non-gunside foot.

    Stage 2, String Two: Take tiny steps. As long as you're moving, you're good. There is no specification as to how far you must move.

    Stage 3, String One: Do a reload with retention, tucking the partial in your waistband as you sweep toward your reload mag.

    Stage 3, String Two: This time, do a tac-load. As soon as the fresh mag is seated MOVE to the 15 yd barrel. Pocket the spare along the way. Most people finish pocketing the partial before taking a single step. There is no need, as you are considered "loaded" once the fresh mag is seated.

    Stage 3, String Three: Drop your gunside knee right where that foot was while you draw. If you do it right, it feels like you're holding the gun while dropping the holster off of it. Most people draw then kneel. Combine the steps to save a little time.

    If you did these things with the same hits you had, your time would've been 2 to 6 seconds faster. In other words, you would've made Master.
     
  20. David E

    David E Member

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    There is a reason you can't see the scoring rings on the target: The badguy doesn't have scoring rings, either !

    Know where you need to aim and you'll be good to go. Next match, snag a shot-up (but not too badly) and set it up at your house. Practice drawing on it and know where to hold. Color in the circle if you must, but graduate to not relying on a different color.
     
  21. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Thanks David. I definitely agree and recognize that it is typically lots of little things that add up rather than a couple big things that make or break you. I was recruited by the director to be a scorer on stage one, so I saw plenty of people come through and miss some headshots entirely. Of course a miss there is -5 instead of -1 for a typical body shot miss... that would be the biggest "big" thing I saw people doing wrong. When you consider the addition of 2.5 seconds for each headshot miss... the break even point for that miss would have been, "could you have taken up to 2.5 seconds to make that shot a hit"... even the slowest shooters can say that taking as much time to make those hits as you need is better than a miss.

    My targets all had the right number of holes when I was done; just too many -1s/3s on the longer stage III shots... I think that is what killed me in the classifier specifically. As mentioned this classifier is much different from our typical local matches in terms of the number of long shots, amount of movement, number or reloads done on the clock... I'm sure stages vary, but to me, it did not seem to be very a representative sample of the shots and movements most often seen in the average match.

    I wouldn't actually want to color in the -0 for targets in a practice scenario since they will never be that way in a match.
     
  22. CatsEye

    CatsEye Member

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    It really isn't that representative of a regular match but it does test basic skills in a comparative manner. One funny thing is that I have seen many shooters who do matches well but struggle with the classifier and others who shoot the classifier much better than their normal matches. Sounds to me like you did very well for your first classifier.
     
  23. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

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    Yup.

    The first time I shot it I rushed stage 3 and had alot of down time. End result, marksman.

    The second time I shot it I took my time and had nice groups on stage 3, but the groups were JUST a bit low. End result, sharpshooter.

    I have been deployed for the past year and haven't got back into shooting just yet, but plan on shooting expert at least, as this time I will research and do some of the things that help nip away at the time. And there are ALOT of little things that add up.


    USPSA classifiers are the same way in that some are more heavily dependent on basic skills than others, so if you have a slow draw, slow mag change, you will pretty much blow the stage as there is just no time to be made up.

    During a IDPA or USPSA match, you've got more "wiggle" room to make up time throughout the course of a stage, and the match itself. Until you get to the master / grandmaster level. Than your time runs out depending on the competition. I'm not there, but my goal is to enjoy the ride, and to eek out a stage win here and there, and to beat out the higher level shooters when I can from time to time.

    I enjoy laying the smack down on folks with ye olde singlestack / CDP, especially in USPSA when they are using open / limited guns with a gojillion rounds in the mag. :)
     
  24. David E

    David E Member

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    The only reason to color in the 8" circle for practice is to train yourself where to aim specifically. Once you have this down, there's no further need to color it in.
     
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