Thursday Night Back to Normal(ish)

Thursday’s Match Director brought us a few stages lifted from the IDPA World Match and, just to make it easier for all, he set up all four stages in one space. We didn’t have to stop and reset after two squads did two stages, as is the norm.

Scoring was less than stellar. The biggest problem seems to be that I failed to slow down.

I did have one interesting PE. The stage had two targets visible from P1, two “surprise” targets obscured by visual barriers enroute to P2 and one behind the barrier at P2. Two on each except the last, which gets six. My plan was pretty simple and similar to almost everyone elses, 2 each, advance, 2 on the first surprise, shoot to slidelock on second surprise, reload behind the barrier, 6 on the last.

Where I went wrong must have been in the count. I shot at the 2nd surprise target and initiated my reload, only to notice that my magazine was empty, but that there was a round in the pistol; it wasn’t at slide lock. I am pretty sure I retained my magazine, reloaded and took the last six shots. I got a PE for it and I was not at all surprised, so I had no reason to review the details.

During the day today, I was discussing the match with coworkers and when I described what happened, it occurred to me that if I retained the magazine, it would be a tactical reload and maybe should not have been a PE. I consulted to rules and verified that a magazine can be empty at tactical reload. What makes it a TR is that there is still a round in the pistol and you do have to retain the magazine, not drop it. I emailed the SO that I thought had run me on that stage and we ended up chatting on the phone about it. Turns out he wasn’t who ran me, but he observed that the PE was for initiating the reload before I was behind cover, not the reload itself. I feel better now. 🙂

Overall, I placed 12 out of 16 shooters, but really I was 4 out 5 Markman ESPs.

I definitely need to shoot a lot more and get back in the groove!

Speaking of scoring, news from the banquet at the IDPA World Match is that they are going to change the penalty for points down. Currently, each point down is a half second. The change is expected to be to a full second. There has been much forum discussion about it. The intent seems to be to discourage shooting real fast for a bunch of 1’s and thus encourage accuracy. I’m not convinced that is the best way to do that, but it will make the math of scoring easier 🙂

Rejoining Society

Oh, it was fun shooting again last Thursday!

And there was a cool stage shooting under a “garage door” laying on one side!

Thanks go out to Josh C for letting me nab his PoV video, from which this still came.

Score-wise, considering I was rusty from 155 days between matches, I did ok, middle of the pack stuff. No huge problems.

I did have a little trouble with ammo failing to go into battery. I was shooting 40S&W, 155 gr RNFP over 4.5 gr Titegroup. Historically, I know that these boxes were loaded during the time I was dialing in on some consistency issues, so a couple such issues were not totally a surprise. After I got home, I ran a bunch of these rounds through an additional Bulge Buster and gauge block QA process. There were about 10 rounds out of 250 that I could not refurbish.

Friday was a quarterly classifier. I was somewhat interested in trying for Sharp Shooter in ESP, but decided instead to go for BUG. I had a ‘default’ Novice classification in BUG ( A shooter’s initial BUG classification is the shooter’s highest Classification attained in any division, minus one level) but Marksman is the minimum classification required for a sanctioned match. I like those, so I thought that would be best.

Having had some ammo issues on Thursday, I elected to buy factory ammo for the classifier. From the limited choices I got the heaviest bullet, hoping it would be subsonic and maybe lighter recoil. I’m not sure if I chose correctly, because by the time I was done with 90 rounds, I had a blister on the bottom of my trigger finger due to recoil from the little Kahr CW40.

I made Marksman in BUG. The range for Marksman BUG is 171 to 234 seconds and I shot a 206. My biggest problems were the longer range shots. The classifier is Limited Scoring, so no makeups are allowed anyway, but I couldn’t see well enough to determine whether I made those shots until we scored the targets.

Still, 206 is well above 234, so I’m in.

Last night, I had planned to go practice for a while. In the afternoon, however, I had a fairly extensive eye exam, which included dilation. By 6PM, my eyes were still partly dilated and I had troubles focusing at much distance. It wasn’t too bad driving, but I think the precision of shooting would have required more acuity.

I may as well mention now that the eye exam was to see if I have glaucoma. There isn’t really *a* test for that, but rather a battery of tests that, taken as a whole, determines the answer. While not all tests are completed, my opthamologist says that I am “glaucoma suspect” until they finish looking at everything. With all the various chemicals they assaulted my eyes with for this exam, there were some tests that could not be done on the same day, so I have another appointment in about a month for the rest of the battery of tests. Being nearsighted indicates a risk for glaucoma and at the same time, can give a false positive on some tests, looking like glaucoma when it’s not. Also, I apparently have pretty thick corneas, which serves to protect the iris from one common cause. In the mean time, I take comfort in knowing that if I do have glaucoma, we have detected it very early and it will most likely be completely manageable, though that will be a “rest of my life” type of management, particularly since glaucoma usually doesn’t present any noticeable symptoms until you have already begun loosing eyesight. Treatment is most commonly drops that are like localized blood pressure drugs. In some situations, laser or conventional surgery is indicated.

Here’s my scoresheet 🙂