Last Thursday’s match was a fun one for several reasons.
A bit of friendly banter on the forum about the virtues of venerable handguns vs modern handguns brought a lot of 1911s to the match; at least 12 of 27 shooters were shooting 1911s, including me.
We managed to cram in six stages, though we were 30 minutes late leaving the range. The stages generally had less movement, which sadly wasn’t enough to keep me from getting one trigger call (More on that later) but I generally shot well because it was the kind of shooting I have done before IDPA, mostly stationary.
This match was a continuation of a series of “hose’m” matches, designed for lots of rapid shooting. The longest raw time for all 6 stages was 97 seconds and the average was 55 seconds. My ammo was a bit scrambled in mismatched boxes, so I’m not sure exactly how many rounds I shot, but it was just about 100, probably only a few less.
Because we ran late at the range, the score sheets were not all processed on site. Consequently, I did not know my total score until today when the official scores were posted to the forum.
My own raw time was 68.33 seconds, total time 91.33. Rather than being miles below most shooters, the bottom 25% or so shooters’ raw times were almost all within 5 seconds of one another, with me bringup my kinda usual second to last spot. But this time, 2nd to last is not as many seconds from the mean as in previous matches 🙂
I only had four procedurals, two on one stage and two on another. On stage 2, I was out of cover on the first cover and had the dreaded trigger call moving from one cover to the other. This one kinda surprised me because I misunderstood the call, thinking someone had called “cover!”. It was only when we were scoring that I understood that it was a trigger. I didn’t do that anymore, but then none of the other stages had a transition between target engagements. Friday night, I ran about 45 minutes of airsoft drills, a little bit doing cover, but mostly working on that trigger finger.
My other two were kinda funny. Stage 4 had one target on either side of a non-threat and had us starting seated with the pistol and magazine on a table. The COF was to put three in the body of two targets in tactical sequence then one (I think) in the head zone of each. I put two in the first target which got me a procedural for breaking tactical sequence. I completed the body shots, then for some brain scrambled reason, two in one head, one in the head of the non-threat, then two in the other head. I found myself chuckling out loud over that one. I turned a non-threat into a never-threat. Score-wise, that one hurt. My raw time was 7.01 but 3 down, one procedural and one no shoot put the stage time up to 16.51.
I had one plain miss on the first stage, though by now, I can’t tell you which target it was. Otherwise, I shot generally better than probably any match I’ve shot in to this point.
I did have one issue with the pistol. I forget which stage, either 1 or 3, there was an odd lockup of the slide at LAMR (load and make ready). I was using a cheapy magazine to put the first round into the chamber so that I could shorten the LAMR juggle sequence. Somehow either the magazine or I (maybe both) pushed the slide lock lever very slightly out of the frame. This made it catch about 1/4″ from going into battery. It was easy enough to clear. I left the crappy magazine in the range bag and I had zero issues with it the rest of the match.
I also got some really good grip coaching. Someone noticed that my pistol was bouncing a lot more than he would have expected with my hams. He coached me in what my subsequent internet research reveals to be the “thumbs forward grip”. The strong hand is in the normal natural position, but the weak hand is tilted down more than I’m used to, basically making a pointer of the top of the arm extended out to the end of a straightened thumb. I don’t think I did well trying to remember to do it for the rest of the match, but I drilled on it Friday night. The tricky bit is drilling it enough for it to be automatic then not forgetting it when I have to do it under the timer next week 🙂
Finally, one of my best feel good moments was when I was complemented on a nice even cadence on my final stage, which was two shots each into six targets from a kneeling position behind partial cover. It is probably not a coincidence that was also my only zero down stage.