Last week was the last USPSA sanctioned match at Rio before the Area 2 Championship, aka The Desert Classic. With GM’s like Matt Burkett, Rob Leatham, Angus Hobdell, Nils Johannson and Vic Pickett as regular competitors, Rio is pretty much the epicenter of USPSA west of the Mississippi, so people came out in droves. Capitalist Pig and I had to spend upwards of an hour and a half on some stages, waiting for our turn to shoot.
Not a good thing. But on the plus side, the weather couldn’t have been nicer, and the stages were a HECK of a lot of fun.
Stage 1: CM99-48 Tight Squeeze
Upon start signal, from Box A, engage T1-T3 with only two rounds per target, then make a mandatory reload and from Box A re-engage T1-T3 with only two rounds per target.
I did… ok. I’m tremendously rusty right now, not having shot or practiced regularly in quite a while, but despite that, turned in a 10.25 time with 7 Alpha, 4 Charlies and 1 Mike on the far target, good enough for something in the 45% range, according to ClassifierCalc.com.
I can dig it.
Stage 2 and Stage 3
These were pretty simple “fundamentals” stages with no movement.
Stage 2: 16 rounds, 4 paper targets, Virginia count. Gun is placed loaded on table, all reloads must be done from magazines on the table. Shooter stands in Box A, heels on rear side of box. At start signal, engage T1-T4 with 2 rounds each, perform a mandatory reload and re-engage T1-T4 with two rounds each
Stage 3: 16 rounds, 4 paper targets, Virginia count. Gun is loaded in holster, all reloads must be done from magazines on the belt. Shooter stands in Box A, heels on rear side of box. At start signal, engage T1-T4 with 2 rounds each, perform a mandatory reload and re-engage T1-T4 with two rounds each.
Even though both these stages where simplicity itself, good shooters get messed up with procedurals by missing the mandatory reload part. I did ok (again), missing two shots on the further targets on Stage 3 (and I wasn’t alone in this).
40 rounds, 18 paper, 4 steel, Comstock Count. Start position: Gun holstered, hands at sides. At signal, engage target as they appear.
Just plain fun. Seriously, look up “Typical USPSA stage” in the dictionary, and you’ll see something like this. Lots of running, lots of shots, lots of targets visible only thru ports, a clamshell, a couple of swingers and a few “sweet spots” where a bunch of targets were visible at once if you planned your movement well. And I did pretty good: My plan was solid, (just 4 reloads in a 40 round stage, not an easy thing to do in Production), and things went well: I actually managed to shoot the sucker clean (for a change…).
46.20 seconds, 23 Alpha, 6 Bravos, 9 Charlies and 2 Deltas
36 Rounds, 15 paper, 6 steel. Comstock Count. Start position: Gun holstered, hands at sides. At signal, engage target as they appear.
Another fun stage with lots of running and gunning and a hidden surprise. At the end of the stage, you’re faced with something like this:
Steel 1 activates the T1 clamshell and the T2 swinger (which needs to engaged from another shooting position). Hiding behind the full-sized popper S2, though, is a pepper popper that can only be engaged S2 has dropped.
I ran a number of shooters on this stage while I was waiting for my turn to shoot, and a couple of them ran up to the port, pinged S1, engaged the paper and T1 then S2 and the mini-popper to the right and then ran off to the other port, leaving the mini-popper behind S2 standing and un-engaged.
Fortunately for me, I learned from their mistake and when it was my turn to shoot, I ran up to the port, shot S2 then S1, shot the paper, then cleaned up all the steel and ran off to the last port.
And I did pretty good on this one, too. I was able to shoot on the move and get my hits (thank you IDPA!) and scored 45.31 seconds, 28 Alphas, 4 Charlies, 4 Deltas and no Mikes, despite having to do a standing reload when my plan for shooting the first part of the stage went all to pieces.
In all, despite the loooooong wait on a couple of stages that kept us on the range for four and a half hours, it was a great match, and a nice reminder of how much fun USPSA can be.