Upcoming Training

I’ve satisfied with where my defensive pistol skills are at the moment. Yes, I could always learn more (because I’m not done learning yet), but right now, I want to get better at the “pistol” part of “defensive pistol”, so I signed up for a two-day Bob Vogel class next month.

This is going to be a new experience, because aside from a half-day with some guy you’ve never heard of, I’ve not had any dedicated “gamer” classes: All the pistol training I’ve had is in the context of a self-defense class, so shooting the pistol just to get better at shooting the pistol is something that’s new to me.

Plus I want to make A class this year. That too.

Visual Clues

Why does every stage we’ve ever shot begin with an audible start signal? How hard could it be it integrate some kind of connecter into a CED (or other) timer that would allow for some shooter-initiated action to start the timer? Humans are not bats, we rely on sight, not sound to get around in our environment. Despite this, every stage begins with “Are you ready? Standby… BEEP!”

What if a stage began with the shooter reacting to a visual signal, such as a random popper falling from a tripwire controlled by the RO or something similar? Where in the rulebook does it say that the start signal always has to be audible?


The P07’s Back From Automatic Accuracy

And the trigger is nice. It’s not the dramatic improvement you get from a full overhaul with new hammer, springs, etc, that I have in my competition guns, but it’s an improvement. Before the trigger work, the P07 had a 9 pound double action pull / 5 pound single action pull. Now it has a seven and a half pound first pull, and a three and a half pound second pull.

I can dig it. It’s a better trigger, but it’s still in the range that tI’d consider safe for everyday carry. As for the accuracy? Well, this accompanied the gun on it’s journey back to me.


Not bad for ten yards. Not bad at all…

Match Report: IDPA At SWFLSPA, November 23

They say that club matches are learning experiences, and boy howdy, did I learn a lot this week.

Stage 1: One of my better stages. I had noticed, by watching previous shooters, that there was a lot of “Down Six” and “FTN”‘s happening on the third target in the first array, so I made sure to drop an extra round on it on the way to the next array. This also set me up for a slide-lock reload after that array was done, saving me even more time.
Score: 24.03 Points Down:9

Stage 2: A learning experience. I went the safe route, going for center-mass on the right bear trap and head shots on the left one. In retrospect, I should have put the pedal to the metal and gone for center-mass on the second mover, just to see if I could do it. As it is, I ended up with a hit on the head of no-shoot. Whoops.
Score: 17.04 Points Down: 4

Stage 3:

Yeah, the wheels came FLYING off here. I knew going into the match that shooting on the move is an issue for me: I’ve been shooting more USPSA than IDPA as of late, and in USPSA Production, you tend to plant, shoot, and then reload while you’re moving to a new shooting position. Because I hadn’t practiced or done shooting on the move for awhile, I went down dozens of points on the stage. On top of that, I had a serious brain fart, dropping a not-empty mag on the ground and followed that up with a double-feed malfunction. The only good things I can see from this stage are how I handled the double-feed and my initial stage strategy was pretty good. I guess.
Score: 44.78 Points Down: 44(!)

Stage 4: Redemption. Good movement, good hits on the targets, decent stage planning (I probably should have taken only two shots on the move; taking three meant I had an extra transition at the very end of the stage). I might have had a better time with faster shooting, but I’m satisfied with my accuracy on the stage, and that matters more in IDPA than raw speed.
Score: 26.45 Points Down: 6

For me, IDPA is more about tuning up my carry gear more than winning the match. Everyone else at the match was shooting from “shoot me first” vests, and as usual, I was shooting with my CZ P07 and it’s new trigger (more on that later…), drawing from a Crossbreed Supertuck and concealing with an untucked t-shirt. I could go faster with other gear, but I shoot what I carry in IDPA. The good news is, with one or two few Down One’s, the no-shoot on Stage 2 and the epic meltdown on Stage 3, I’d be with a whisker of “Most Accurate” for the match. I’m seeing my sights almost all the time now, so now it’s time to get even better.

Man To Man To Some Other Man

Thinking more about my comment from last week,

It’s rather rare to have more than two shooters with the same Classification/Division on any given squad, making man-to-man comparisons pretty much impossible.

Maybe that’s another reason why practical shooting sucks to watch in person. Yes, there are Super Squads stuffed to the gills with people at the top of the game, but even within the Super Squad, you’ll have Production shooters and Open Shooters and Limited Shooters and even a few freaks shooting wheel guns, so when that squad runs through a stage, at best you’ll have three runs that can be directly compared to each other, and those runs will probably be interspersed between the other ten or so people on the squad, killing the tension and suspense.

Watching, say, Max vs. Chris Tilley vs. KC compete in Open is exciting. Watching Max shoot Open, then Jerry shoot Revolver and Rob shoot Single Stack and Chris Tilley shoot Open and Nils shoot Limited and Phil shoot Limited and THEN AND ONLY THEN watch KC shoot in Open is whole lot less so.

We’re All On The Same Team. And That’s A Bad Thing.

Thinking more about the shooting sports as a television sport, why is it that in a sport that is all about about intense competition, there are zero rivalries? Football grew in the 70’s when it was the clean-cut Cowboys vs the bad boys of Oakland or Pittsburgh. Basketball grew with Bird vs. Magic (and then Jordan). Baseball grew with the dominance of the Yankees in the 20’s/30’s. In each of these cases, we had someone to root for and we had someone to root against.

Cubs fans, of course, continue to cheer for their team, and cheerfully deny reality.

I digress.

It’s great that everyone in practical shooting pretty much gets along and helps each other out. That sort of thing makes it a fun sport to shoot every weekend, but it makes for lousy TV because there is nothing to get excited about. We like to cheer for the rebels, the rule-breakers. NASCAR blossomed when there was a face/heel competition between good ol’ boy Dale Earnhardt and slick Yankee Jeff Gordon. Who are the rebels in practical shooting? Where are the rivalries? Why isn’t Glock vs. S&W vs. Sig as big a deal as Ferrari vs. McLaren vs. Mercedes?

Top Shot did this brilliantly. Yes, there was constant whinging from shooters about the drama, but you know what? We also secretly and not-so-secretly cheered for our heroes and booed for villains. We complained, but it worked.

Give us conflict. Give us rivalries. Give us somebody/something to cheer for, and we’ll give you the ratings.

Brand Evangelists

This new graphic from the National Shooting Sports Federation dramatically illustrates the changes in America’s gun culture over the past few years. We’re more urban, we took up shooting later in life, and we’re more likely than ever to gender-indentify as a woman and/or as Caitlyn Jenner.


Two telling stats there:

  1. 56% of new target shooters live in urban/suburban areas. Think they’re shooting on an outdoor range? Me neither. Why, then, do none of the practical shooting sports have a dedicated outreach program to indoor ranges? IDPA has the Indoor Nationals and you can shoot GSSF indoors, but you know how much info I received on both those competitions when we opened up Florida’s first luxury shooting range? Zero. Zip. Square root of zilch. I had to go chase down that info for myself.
    Dear IDPA: Create a tri-fold brochure on why indoor ranges want to add IDPA competitions. Emphasize how competitors buy a lot more stuff than plinkers, and train more as well. Then set up a Google Alert for “New Indoor Shooting Range” and send out your brochure whenever it fires off. Total cost: Maybe a grand. Total number of new yearly IDPA members: Probably a grand as well.
  2. The average age is down eleven years, yet the the percentage of people getting started after 18 is up almost 300%. Do millennials and digital natives like guns? You betcha!

Challenge accepted, Mark Passemeneck

The question was asked on Facebook:

If I were to tell you to set up a match for your 100 closest friends, what would it look like?

1. What discipline(s)
2. How many stages
3. How many days
4. Physicality
5. Hoser, precision, mix type of stages
6. Set schedule or carnival style
7. You are not rich, so you do have an entry fee…how much?
8. Match meals or no
9. Other group activities or no
10. Prize table or no.

To answer each question,

  1. What discipline(s)
    IDPA, USPSA, Steel Challenge, 3-Gun, Precision Rifle and Sporting Clays
  2. How many stages?
    A blind tactical pistol stage run under IDPA-esque rules where the shooters don’t get to do a walk thru or even see where the targets are before the buzzer goes off, another “regular” IDPA Stage, Outer Limits, a USPSA stage, two 3 Gun stages, a Precision Rifle Stage and some clays.
  3. How many days?
  4. Physicality
    Moderate. No IronMan-esque stages, but not Bullseye either.
  5. Hoser, precision, mix type of stages
    The blind stage would be accuracy-heavy and the rest a mix of hoser/precision, with cool props a la Mystery Mountain.
  6. Set schedule or carnival style
    Carnival style
  7. You are not rich, so you do have an entry fee…how much?
    Enough to cover expenses and kick in something for the RO’s and the prize table. Let’s say $200, max.
  8. Match meals or no?
    Depending on the venue. Rio Salado has restaurants a half-hour away, but others don’t have that luxury. I kinda like match meals, those, as it helps with socialization.
  9. Other group activities
    Factory demos are always good, and maybe a pay-for-play full auto demo.
  10. Prize Table or no
    Definitely yes, with prizes given out at random and for best scores.

I like the mix of speed, tactical, long-range and shotgun work that a match like would provide. Your ideas?