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.