On October 22nd, I attended the Lone Star IDPA Championship in Cresson, TX. I was #11 out of 25 ESP Marksman shooters. Not enough for any award, but still a personal best. I was #135 out of 182 shooters overall.
I didn’t have any meltdowns, though I did have one stage that could almost count as a meltdown. Stage 8 started with dropping a steel pepper popper that triggered a swinger with two targets. I was just not getting the rounds onto the swinger targets and once I felt I had, I should have either dumped a few more rounds and reloaded or done a tactical reload before leaving cover. There were four targets in the open on the way to the next cover position and I ran out after the second. I had no ammo to engage the third target and it was specifically not allowed a makeup because it would not have been safe to do so. So, 10 down, FTN, FTE. At the end, I had a single 1 on one swinger and about five 1’s and 3’s on the other and all other targets on the stage were 0’s.
My long game was in pretty good form. The Tuesday before, I spent 250 rounds at the range, almost all of it at 12 yards. It appears to have helped quite a bit.
Scoring-wise, half the stages were 7 down or better and the worst (not even Stage 8 described above) was 21 down. I had three procedural errors, three FTNs and that one FTE for the entire match.
Generally, I don’t like being the first shooter on a stage because I don’t yet have the full confidence of experience and I like seeing how a couple of other people, particularly the Expert and Master class shooters, approach a given stage. Well, with 12 stages and 12 shooters on a squad, everyone will be first shooter once. My turn came up on Stage 4.
Stage 4 was modeled after a skate park, with all targets only visible from on the ramps. The plan came together pretty well, and I was happy to see more experienced shooters adopt essentially the same plan. From the left ramp, two low targets and two distant targets get two rounds each. Move to the center ramp, one low target gets two rounds plus one round dumped, reload, distant targets visible to the right get two rounds each, move to right ramp, one low target gets two rounds. Of course, Josh from the video above ran it in 13.11 seconds and it took me 20.46 🙂
Stage 1 was thrown out; I think someone charged that not all squads were given the same instructions. When the preliminary scores were posted, Stage 1 was still included and I placed at #11 in my class and division. When the final scores were posted, with Stage 1 removed, I still placed at #11, just with a lower score.
Even if there are no awards coming, one should always hang around for the prize drawings. IDPA cannot award prizes for match position beyond trophies, but match organizers can give away door prizes and run raffles. There are usually at least a couple or three pistols on the prize table and often match sponsors will donate heavily. At this event, there was a long table covered with Blade-Tech products and gift certificates. I got none of it. There was a raffle for a very nice Springfield Armory stainless 1911. Winning ticket drawn: 2630. Tickets I held 2632-2634.
It was still a fun match and I was on a really good squad of mostly Cross Timbers members.