21. June 2012 · Comments Off on USPSA · Categories: Competition · Tags:

Wow, this was such an awesome experience in so many ways! I went to a indoor USPSA indoor event. As a first-timer to this style of competition, we got a walkthrough of the rules from one of the regulars. He was very friendly and welcoming on first appearances, and continued to be a great help throughout the night. As a side note, he assured me that there are usually women playing this game too, they just happened to not be there that night.

In this game, the creative organizers set up different scenarios right down to the “starting conditions” as in, the situation you are in when you presumably grab your gun and take down the corrugated enemy. People run through the stages one at a time and try to get in shots that count.

We observed for a while, and in a oddly terrifying initiation ritual, we went through the motions to demonstrate we understand the rules, shooting at a couple targets. I took my turn and we went over to have a look. Some of my bullets made irregular holes…. The bystanders had perplexed looks. “I’ve never seen that before.”

I then took around at the first course. The idea was to shoot a couple mean cardboard cutouts through a window, slide over and shoot through a barrel without hitting the “hostage”, then run to another wall and take out the remainder.

That barrel was alarming.

I completed the course and we went over to check out how I did. We discover an unusual number of misses and some tumbled bullets.

With more puzzled looks, we shuffled outside and a number of people tried to figure it out. First, they tried to clean the barrel. After some effort and a lot of grease, elbow and otherwise, they worked a sliver of caked-on lead out of the barrel. Yeah, that’d make a bullet tumble. Whew, we got it together just in time for the next stage. I charged right into it, and then it started jamming… I thought. Well it just simply stopped firing. Back to the drawing boardsafe table.

Apparently we had a couple gunsmiths. They figured it had something to do with the safety, which makes sense I’d been having trouble with that safety for the last stretch. At some point, the firing pin spring fell on the ground, and there was a spring-hunt with several eyes glued to the floor. The whole thing had gotten gunked up. Finally, cleaned, the smiths put it back together. We borrowed some time between stages to try it out and found it firing only every other bullet. Someone thought we could try different ammunition to see if it was some sort of speed thing to troubleshoot it. Another pause between stages and this time it simply stopped firing.

Oh well. That’s one way to find out your gun needs high-level cleaning.

My gun being out of commission isn’t a great outcome, but I had a great time. This is a nice group to hang out with and I intend to jump back in as soon as I can.

19. June 2012 · Comments Off on Action Shooting · Categories: Competition · Tags:

I didn’t know what “action” meant before. I assumed you moved around. In this case, action means the steel responds when you hit it, as opposed to static steel.

I was a little alarmed when I saw they were setting up 30-40 targets per stage.

I showed up ill-prepared with the only thing I had that could have the capacity to compete these courses, my little .22 pistol with five 10-round magazines. I soon realized these plates aren’t going to move. The folks who were stuck with us were kind enough to humor my incompetent equipment. In the first stage, they listened and watched for my shots . Some of them actually fell over! After that, they put me up first on freshly painted targets so they could see if I hit or not. That was quite generous of them.

Our group had some serious competitors and trainers. It was great hanging out with them. I also got a lot of free tips. Although on the last stage I was on my last magazine, “relax” wasn’t too helpful because I was tired!

I can see how fun this could be. To pull off a series of shots and make the steel sing would be very satisfying, although the flying bits of steel going all over the place wasn’t that fun.

This is a bit expensive for a game. I’ll try again when I’m better armed and I’m not wasting too much money. If I can’t do it in five magazines, I probably shouldn’t.


18. June 2012 · Comments Off on PPC · Categories: Competition · Tags:

Police Pistol Combat seems to be the user-friendly group around here. It’s surprising how friendly people can be when there are real dangers afoot, especially with the clumsiness and cluelessness of newbies.

In this indoor game, there are several stages where one goes through different stances. This is a relay style game where multiple people do it in batches. There was a wide range of people here. Plenty of teens. I’d say it was about 25% female, which is the highest gender ratio I’ve seen so far. These guys really get to know each other as they wait for rounds. They score very efficiently, reusing targets. The range safety officer was especially helpful.

He let me know after the fact that the woman to my right got disqualified for breaking the 180 degree line in my direction. No big deal right?!?!?! Good thing he’s attentive.

Well, I can say I did better than the two people who got disqualified that night. Hah!

08. June 2012 · Comments Off on Volunteering · Categories: Carbine, Competition · Tags:

Two weeks ago we drove 2 hours and spent a night in another city so that the next day we could participate in a carbine event. They are shortened rifles which is one of the features of my PS90. (After someone corrected me about carbines, I went to look it up and now I’m more confused. OK!) They are usually meant for close quarters and mid-range because they are easier to carry and aren’t as accurate as a specialized rifle.

We got to the club, paid for the event, and soon found out that most of it was at pretty long ranges. While there was a carbine class and a separate precision class, most of the events were at the 200-400 yard range for the carbines.We were not equipped for this. We didn’t have scopes or other forms of magnification set up. I was having a lot of trouble, which was of little surprise. It also looked like a lot of people had trouble with one of the events (everyone without a scope kept missing).

I was pretty bummed out about that until I found out that the close quarters expert who was going to help out ended up canceling. So the short range volunteer wasn’t there and the long range volunteer was doing his best. Well yeah, one would have different expectations then. I forgot these guys aren’t exactly doing this for a salary.

Another guy took the cartridge people over, leaving the long-range guy with the precision people, and we had a lot more fun at that point.

Tonight, I am going to my third event, at a third club, using a third kind of gun but two new accessories. I’ll be more gracious this time.