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?

Tactical Vs. Practical

I thought I’d break down the Louland match from a few weeks ago where I shot my subcompact Shield versus my normal gamer gear to see how much equipment actually affects performance. I’m comparing my scores to another “C” class shooter at the match who was running a Glock 19 with full mags to give some idea of what difference carry gear and drawing from concealment makes in a match.

Stage One
This stage traditionally has a lot of falling steel, mini-poppers and plate racks, meaning accuracy is at a premium. It was also the first stage I shot in the match with a gun I hadn’t practiced with for months, which led to some expected results.

Competitor One
Points: 110 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 32.48
Points: 80 – Points Down: 60 – Time: 79.69

Yeah, screwed the pooch big time on this one, leaving 6 targets un-shot. Moving on…

Stage Two
A more traditional steel stage, with some run and gun elements. The targets were bigger (A-C steel and poppers) and I’d settled down a bit and gotten used to the gun after the first stage. Here’s a photo and a stage diagram.

Stage Description: Shoot the lettered targets from their corresponding area.

Competitor One
Points: 120 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 16,42
Points: 120 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 54.10

Still slow, but getting better. As a way to judge the skill level of the other competitor and myself, I re-shot this stage the next day with my gamer rig, and did it in 20.69 seconds.

Stage 3
You’ve seen this one in the video, so let’s get to it.

Competitor One
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 19.44
Points: 98 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 28.54

Took me a while longer to shoot, but my comfort with the small gun was definitely improving. Also, I was very pleased with my accuracy on this stage, dropping only four Charlies and a Delta on all that paper.

Stage 4
The stage from the last part of the video, the one with the pond. Very fast, with few targets.

Competitor One
Points: 56 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 11.25
Points: 58 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 18.36

Having to reload and work from concealment really hit me on this stage.

Stage 5
All steel, with hostage-target and a bunch of tiny little rabbit auto poppers.

Competitor One
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 19.66
Points: 95 – Points Down: 0 – Time: 28.35

Again, having to reload twice as often and draw both my gun and magazines from reload affecting things there quite a bit.

All in all, I’m glad I shot the match with my carry gear because some of the targets (like the hostage shot) were quite tricky, and knowing that I can make the shot with my carry gear, on-demand and under stress, is a big confidence booster.

Match Report – Louland Pistol Match, 9-24-15

Once a year, I like to shoot my carry gear in competition to see how it performs in a stressful situations, so I brought my Smith&Wesson Shield in 9mm, Crossbreed Minituck and a pair of mag pouches to the Louland pistol match last week.

Shooting a match with a gun that holds 8+1 means you get a LOT of opportunity to practice your reloads, and despite this (and the super-short sight radius of the Shield), I did ok.

Here’s a video of another shooter running a stage with a Glock 19 versus my Shield. There is something to be said for having 15 rounds in a mag, as we shall now see, with special bonus footage of what happens when you set up a match, then have a Florida monsoon roll in the morning of the match.

Sun’s out, Glocks out.

2231111Should be fun.

Louland Gun Range, Southwest Florida’s favorite outdoor shooting range, and Step By Step Gun Training are teaming up for a unique shooting sports event featuring GLOCK USA firearms. The Everglades GLOCK Range Day starts at 9am on Oct. 24, 2015 at Louland Gun Range, 12425 Union Road, Naples, FL and runs until 4pm that day. The event will feature three stages based on GLOCK Shooting Sports Foundation stages and much more. Admission is $5 per person, and the entry fee for each stage is $5.

So to the reader(s) in the 239, come on by, and to those elsewhere in South Florida, come on by as well. Hey, it’s a day on the range for five bucks, what more can you ask for?

FTC Disclaimer: I’m involved in helping set this up, and know everyone involved.

The reason you’re here is because…

Is the purpose of NASCAR to get more people in cars out onto a racetrack, or to get more revenue from their sponsors, the people in the stands and people watching it on TV?

Is the purpose of pro football to get more people in pads out onto the field, or to get more revenue from their sponsors, the people in the stands and people watching it on TV?

Is the purpose of practical shooting to get more people to shoot a match, or to get more revenue from their sponsors and from people not shooting a match?

If not, why not?

Dear Sponsored Shooters

Aside from my pre-existing recognition and affiliation with the brands you wear on your shirt, why should I take interest in your shooting abilities? Are you a compelling person on and off the gun range who advances the brand recognition of your sponsors? Are you the type of person who makes people want to buy the products named on your shirt? Can make me more likely to buy your sponsor’s products?

You can’t?

Then why are you wearing that shirt?

Unorthodox church

Thinking about a couple of sacred cows within the firearms training industry…

  1. “Don’t reduce the trigger pull on your carry gun: Prosecutors will call it a ‘hair trigger’ and use it against you.”
    Maybe. Of course, night sights could also prove that you wanted to shoot somebody from surprise at night, and hollow-point ammo is proof you wanted to kill someone dead right there and then.
    Or maybe all three are evidence you wanted to stop a threat to your life as quickly and as accurately as possible.
    A gun with a good trigger is more accurate and produces fewer unintended hits on innocent bystanders, night sights allow you to hit a threat in less-than-ideal conditions, and hollow points are better at stopping a threat than anything else. Those last two are not an uphill legal battle, and let’s face it; accurate guns are better for everyone involved in a shootout.
    Except the shootee.
  2. “Shooting practical pistol gets you accustomed to just getting two hits on a target and moving on.”
    Ever shot steel? Ever missed a pepper popper at 20 yards? Every match I’ve shot has had at least one steel target somewheres on it, and nothing teaches you to evaluate the effects of your rounds on a target like having the “ping” of a hit a splat of lead on your target confirming you did the job right. Is competitive shooting a game? Yes. So is Call of Duty. which also features all kinds of fun guns like AR’s and modern service pistols. Despite that, I don’t try and and press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and go around searching for health packs and power ups when I have my AR in my hands because I’m smart enough to realize when I’m gaming and when I’m not.
    Maybe, then, I’m smart enough to figure out when I’m on a stage at a match, and when I’m not.

A game-changer for practical shooting?

How much fun would it be to watch a match using these interactive electronic targets instead of paper targets?

If hunting is a day’s walk followed by an autopsy, practical shooting is 30 seconds of sheer terror followed by three minutes of bookkeeping.


Think about how this changes things:

  • If you’re a spectator, you can watch hits in real-time. Rather than wait for someone to call out “Two Alpha!” (or in my case, “Charlie Mike!”), you can see the match play itself in real-time right before your eyes.
  • If you’re a competitor, you can see the target go down and if the app is hooked up to a decent set of speakers, hear the clang of the hit. All the benefits of steel, with all the benefits of paper. Cool.
  • If you’re a trainer, you can set up a course of fire that works with random amounts of hits on a target. “Shoot ’em until they’re no longer a threat” finally becomes a reality with these targets.
  • If you run a match, you can instantly reset a stage, making for faster matches and more options than steel alone.

It’s going to be really interested in seeing how big this product might become.