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USPSA scoring

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by ny32182, Jul 26, 2011.

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  1. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    As an IDPA shooter, I've tried a couple local USPSA matches in the last 3 months or so, including this past weekend.

    I've had fun so far. It is obvious there are some significantly different aspects to the strategy and stage design.

    One thing that dumbfounded me until today was the scoring. I looked up a thread on Enos, and now I understand the math they are doing once all the numbers are on the score sheet. I still don't get the difference between minor and major (I believe minor scores less points per hit?)

    One thing that came as a surprise in the scores were penalties; I somehow managed to get 10 points of penalties on several stages, but was only informed of one of them at the time, for shooting .05 sec over the time limit on a standards stage. The others, I have no idea where they came from.

    Even understanding the math, it is hard to get a feel for whether the scoring model favors speed over accuracy. It could be experience, but I feel the IDPA scoring model is very easy to understand, and see that it favors accuracy. Could you turn that -1 into a -0 with less than an extra half second? Probably. IDPA is a bullseye match.

    I've been told that speed wins in USPSA, but if this is true, it is harder to see when your raw number is essentially a "hit factor". For people who shoot both, would you agree that speed is more highly favored over accuracy in the scoring model for USPSA, vs. IDPA?

    Conflicting information to the "speed wins" theory is that all the winners at the local level here, looking back through the last year of results, are invariably major shooters. In the top 10-15% of the total results, there is hardly a minor anywhere in sight. Is this a product of who is showing up to local matches here, or does this trend carry on a national level? If it does, it would seem that the hits/points are pretty important too, and to win a division where major is allowed, you need a major gun.

    Thoughts from those who shoot both?
     
  2. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

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    I shoot both.

    I think that both put emphasis on accuracy and speed. IDPA penalties are a little stiffer for anything other than a zero. But when you get higher up the USPSA food chain to M or GM, guys will shoot a stage at the speed of heat and maybe drop 2-3 charlies. Very rarely a delta or a miss.

    Either game, you cant give away points and expect to win.

    As far as major/minor goes, Limited minor might help out once in a blue moon where having 23-24 rounds in your gun might save a flat footed reload and win the stage. In USPSA, Limited minor is not a good idea. In Production (SSP) everyone is minor regardless of caliber and bullet diameter. I have won a few matches shooting limited minor, but not often. When I decide to start shooting 40 again, I bet my average goes up 10-15%.

    Hit factor is nothing but how many points per second. The person with the highest hit factor wins the stage. Simple as that.
     
  3. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Thanks Hoser. I shot limited minor with my SSP gear, and just topped off the mags (don't have good magazine gear for 5-6 10rd mags on the belt for Production). Sounds like you'd want a dedicated .40 major gun if you plan to compete in Limited long term.

    How does major/minor, and hits on target translate into points on the sheet?

    Also, any guesses as to what I could have done to generate the penalties? Next time I will ask the SO to inform me of any penalties.
     
  4. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 Member

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    Misses and hits on no-shoots are scored as -10 penalties.

    If there should be 4 holes and you have three that's a "hit score-10"; say 3 A's and miss==>(5*3)-10. If there shouldn't be any holes and there are, it's -10 per hole. Take care they don't ding you for a shot that goes through hard cover and into a no-shot; hard cover protects no-shoots too.

    Foot faults should be noted somewhere on the sheet and would also generate a penalty but designers are always encouraged to avoid such situations.

    What wins in USPSA is smooth, then accuracy and speed. You can win a match with a minor factor gun-all A's and touch of adrenaline (got mine when the former club president/secretary/know-it-all tried to tongue-lash me during a pre-match walk-through. Her husband was overheard at the end of the match "don't piss him off again unless you want to go home early!")
     
  5. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    I worked out the major/minor difference with some hypothetical classifier results, as well as my own (shooting revolver). In short, the difference between major & minor is about a grade. IOW, if you classified as a "B" shooter, shooting minor, you'd likely classify as an "A" shooter had you shot major, all else being equal. If you're an exceptionally good shooter who manages to garner upwards of 98% of the points available (while still shooting quickly), major/minor probably won't have as much an effect on your classification. Competition at that level is tough, though, so it'd still likely affect your match placing.

    I think the speed vs accuracy has a lot to do with capacity. As a revolver shooter, every shot counts, so shooting too fast can really hurt, due to extra time (from extra reloads) and/or lost points (misses and penalties).

    In contrast, some divisions, e.g. Limited & Open, aren't nearly as capacity-limited, so they can use the extra capacity (and crisp SA trigger) to really run that gun and take extra shots if needed.
     
  6. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    So I saw on the score sheet that the first thing done was to total up all the A's, all the B's, C's, and D's. I assume that those columns are somehow directly related to the number of points scored on the stage?
     
  7. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    Right. Scoring Minor an A is worth 5, a B or C is worth 3, and a D is worth 1. In Major it's 5-4-2.

    On your standards stage, they should not have given you a penalty unless you were .3 or more over.

    USPSA DEFINATELY favors speed. If I shoot 10 alphas in 5 seconds, my hit factor is 10.0. If I shoot 6 Alphas, 3 Charlies, and a Delta (major) in 3 seconds my hit factor is 14.33--40% "better". I have a great number of issues with USPSA, but I'm a defensive handgunner first. Tell me one story about a guy charging into a situation with 15 armed terrorists armed with a handgun that has a happy ending, yet that's how the stages go in USPSA. (Our hero doesn't get to watch 15 people shoot it first, put a stop watch on various parts of the course, nor can he ask for a re-shoot if he gets killed)

    LOL
    Dan
     
  8. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    And, that (mostly) completes the picture, thanks Dan.

    My shot in the standards stage was at 7.35, .35 past the buzzer, or .05 over the limit... sorry about the confusion there.

    I did have a couple mikes :rolleyes: which is fortunately pretty rare for me these days but if I understand jfdavis' post above, not only do you get zero positive points for a mike, but you get 10 points subtracted as well (for a net effect of -15 vs an A zone hit?). That could be the source of the mystery penalties. I guess this is sort of the equivalent to the FTN penalty in IDPA? Also it looks like it puts a greater percentage penalty on the minor shooter than the major shooter.

    In your example, I might like to tweak some numbers. 3 vs. 5 seconds is huge... so you have a 66% difference in time there, but a 40% difference in score.

    For round numbers, say you shot a stage in 10 seconds and got 10 A's, that is HF = 5 for both major and minor.

    Now say you shoot it in 9 seconds but drop 4 Cs; that is a HF = 5.11 for major or 4.66 for minor, correct?

    10 seconds with 4 C's, HF = 4.6 for major, 4.2 for minor.

    9 seconds with 10 A's, HF = 5.55 for major or minor.

    So when we reduce only the time by 10%, score goes up by 11% for all A's (not practical for most I assume); but when we drop only accuracy a little, score drops by roughly 8% for major, 16% for minor. That looks like it might be the big difference between major and minor.
     
  9. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    Yes, that's pretty much the point :). Minor should be easier to shoot fast, so you get less points for "bad" hits.

    USPSA definitely does favor speed, as has been said, BUT, the penalty for a miss is worse than in IDPA.
     
  10. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    I have been doing USPSA statistics for 12 years so I have a pretty good foundation in what the numbers need to look like to win. It's simple, go for all A's as fast as possible. As Hoser pointed out, at the upper levels of competition it takes speed and accuracy. FWIW, minor scoring sucks.
     
  11. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    USPSA is a "SPORT" and has very little to do with self-protection. It does have a lot to do with fun, adrenaline rush and making new friends.

    You will get to know you and your pistol(s') shooting capabilities. You'll learn trigger and sight use. You won't learn "how" to protect

    yourself in a bad situation.

    Minor-125PF: soft loads, easier to shoot faster in some classes, less damage done to target
    Major-165PF: faster/bigger loads, more damage to target

    Sort of like, it's easier to shoot a 22lr than a 30.06
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  12. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    OMG, this is the competition forum. Save it for strategy and tactics.
     
  13. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I don't agree. Every self defense technique works on developing muscle memory through iteration, and shooting USPSA type matches is no different. The draw, presentation, sight picture, trigger control, recoil control, magazine changes, shooting while moving. and transitioning between targets under stress are perishable skills that you might need in order to protect yourself or your family. I think USPSA type matches have a lot to do with self-protection for anyone who plans on using a handgun.
     
  14. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Please heed Ankeny's sage advice, lest this end poorly for some.
     
  15. David E

    David E Member

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    USPSA tests your skills, not your tactics.

    And I thought .30 was ok, .31 was not.....
     
  16. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    So it is your long term experience that minor is not as competitive as major in Limited/Open?
     
  17. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    No one has ever won at the highest level shooting minor.

    There is a GM on Brian's Forum (Cha-Lee) that is making the attempt this year with an M&P 40 Pro though, shooting minor. I don't know how it will turn out but his project is interesting and his goals are set high.
     
  18. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    That's pretty much true. Realistically, very few people shoot ALL A's, and for any hit other than an A Minor means fewer points. Most people would prefer softer recoil from minor PF loads, but realistically the extra recoil from major PF is rarely enough of a hindrance to offset the point advantage.

    All this is essentially why I like Production division. Since everybody is shooting minor, you don't need to worry about it PF (except making minor). Allowed modifications are also minimal, so realistically there's also only so much money someone can dump into a gun before there's nothing left to do. Guns are cheaper, and the ammo is cheaper.

    I may look at getting dedicated guns to compete in Limited or Open later on, but for now I simply can't afford to be competitive in those divisions.
     
  19. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Could anyone recommend a good magazine rig for Production with G17 mags?
     
  20. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    For production you can't get too fancy. Everything must be at belt level and must sit behind the hip. With that in mind, IMHO any mag pouches that hold your mags securely will work fine. I prefer belt-loop setups over paddle-style myself. Fobus works fine in that regard. Get 2 dual-pouches and you're good for one in the gun and 4 on the belt, which seems to be the most common setup.

    A lot of people also carry a "Barney" mag. That's a mag that you keep in your pocket that you just keep 1 round in. After the load and make ready command, you load the chamber from the Barney, then remove it and insert a full mag of 10. It's basically a way to get one more shot off before requiring a reload. Only really makes a difference if it can save you a reload or allow you to reload at a more opportune time though.
     
  21. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    I'd go with individual pouches, not doubles. The CR Speed pouches with their double belt is very popular. If you want to use a regular belt (like for IDPA), I use the Ready Tactical pouches because they are narrow don't take up much room on the belt.

    For barneying up, I just load 11 in my first mag. Less to fiddle with.
     
  22. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    I tried IDPA twice, was treated like a "RedHeaded Stepchild! I really didn't like the sport or the people. I have been shooting Cowboy action for 11 years and it's much better. Better people and fun. I like the "DING" of the metal targets.
     
  23. lmccrock

    lmccrock Member

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    In USPSA, it is legal to walk to the line in Production or Limited 10 with 11 rounds in one mag and LAMR with that mag. No problem as long as you do not load a mag with more than 10 after the beep.

    If you are shooting all Alphas, speed up. More Charlies than Alphas, slow down. Easy. ;) The occasional miss happens. If it happens much, slow down more or check your zeroes because Mikes are way worse than C or even D.
     
  24. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I shot again Saturday (still limited minor with my SSP rig topped off) and although I was shooting well, it is amazing the difference that a basic review of the scoring and rules can make. I would say that (obviously) a lot of the technical skills cross over between IDPA and USPSA. I'd say USPSA emphasizes shooting on the move considerably more than IDPA. That said I don't think it is possible to overstate how important it is to know the rules and scoring of the sport you are shooting if you want to do well. The research I have done since last month has instantly paid off. And I am sure there are plenty of subtleties about USPSA I am still yet to discover.

    Long term I will need to either get a new gun, or shoot in Production, though I am for some reason tempted to keep doing what I am doing now for a little while. Not sure why.
     
  25. Hk Dan

    Hk Dan Member

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    And don't get to be a slave to it. USPSA will get you killed in a fight. There was a lot of talk about "muscle memory" earlier (which is silly--muscles don't have brains so they can't remember anything). What IS true is that you fall back on what you have practiced. If all action depends on the beep, you'd better bring a shot timer with ya for when you get mugged. The things that people do to win a match will get you killed in combat--don't get sucked in that far. Keep it real.
     
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