'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

31 July 2013

First Competiton (Updated with pics)

My first competition match ever.

The range is fantastic. I'm used to much more spartan facilities so I was impressed and happy with the range and targets. Shooting was from covered bays, a plus in many areas but a necessity here I think. It's freaking hot, even at 7PM. The Range Officers were professional and very helpful.In fact all the guys went out of their way to make me welcome. My thanks to all but Ken and Glenn especially.

There were 4 stages. The Glock decided not to run so I didn't get to use my cool Michael's rig. Instead I went with plan B. A Sig 226 .40 and my nylon duty gear. Yep, thumb break level three holster and snap fastened flap mag holders. Nobody pointed and laughed which gives you a good idea how patient they were with me. I loaded up the Sig with 10 rounds in the mags (per the rules). Somebody told me the class I was shooting in but frankly it pretty much went by me in a haze of concentrating on not shooting myself or anyone else.

The stages were well planned and challenging. I sucked badly right off the start on stage 1 a combo of falling and static plates. I missed but I missed slow so there's that. I could start a new class "Aim Slow, Miss Slow. Stage 2 was no better though I felt marginally more competent. It was also a nice combination that didn't leave me scratching my head trying to figure out which target to shoot and how many times. A little coaching and it was on to stage 3 where I didn't completely suck, just mostly. It was just the large static plates that even I couldn't quite miss. By stage 4 I felt more confident and actually shot it like something a little less than a complete goober. It was also the longest stage with poppers thrown in just to change things up. My favorite stage of the match.

No procedurals (though they might have just been kind) and no safety violations. No DQ, hallelujah. I didn't even sweep anyone. Targets were both falling plates and static, both large and really, really tiny.

At the end of the shoot we were invited to practice a little. I got to shoot one of the guys' slightly more tricked out guns. I got to see a lot of guns and gear so got some good ideas on equipment I need.

And I didn't even come in last. I was 9th out of 10. Maybe not the best result possible but for my very first match I'll take it. Of course the guy I beat was approximately twice my age (and I'm 54) but screw it. I wasn't last.

I was very pleased with my first attempt at competitive shooting. I got a lot of good info I'll need if I'm going to continue and got to meet some really great shooters. I also got to knock some of my rust off and see where I need to improve. Pretty much everywhere but nothing locks that in like shooting in front of better shooters. Humbling. I have a newbie competitor session on Friday evening and they've asked me to take a briefing on Thursday morning and come out to help officiate a match on Saturday. I suppose the best compliment I can give them is that I'm going back both to shoot and to play range monkey.

So that's it. What I really ended up taking from this whole effort is that it's sometimes a very good thing to step past your comfort zone and try something brand new. I'm glad I did and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Competition makes you shoot under stress and that makes you concentrate on your fundamentals and figure out where you're weak. All good things. Don't be afraid or intimidated. Just put on your gear, buckle up your chin strap nice and tight and take the plunge.You'll be glad you did.

Now to practice. Next time I'm going to beat two guys!

A couple of pics from the shoot.

This is one of the buildings on the range. We actually shot from inside through bays in the side. Much appreciated in July in Southern Utah. You can see the targets and berm on the left.

A view of the target area. This was a steel shoot and they consisted of falling plate racks, static plates of various sizes and pepper poppers.

The inside of the building and one of the Range Officers and all around good guy, Glenn.


Anonymous said...

So trite to say it but "told you so." congrats, Alemaster

Rev. Paul said...

Sounds like a really good time. Congrats!

Six said...

Right you were Alemaster. I need to listen more and worry less!

It really was Rev. Thank you!

Paladin said...

That sounds like fun!

Six said...

It really was Paladin. I was expecting gamer geeks but it was just a bunch of guys shooting and having a good time. I'm going back!

Old NFO said...

Glad it worked out for ya! What happened to the Glock?

Six said...

Gummed up extractor. I think it's a design error. Something about having to be cleaned regularly or some such nonsense. I mean, where's the fun in that??

Brighid said...

Great to see you had a good time.
One word: Froglube

Ex Bootneck said...

Six mate, Just gone greener than the green of my green beret; with envy...

I have not put a single round down a range since leaving the Royal Marines. (Shot plenty of clay's, which you will agree is not the same).

Over here the bad guy's have the guns, and the good guys have to settle for ingenuity should they suffer a break in. Of which, they may enter, but they will not be leaving vertical.

It makes me madder than 'mad carew' to think that we here in the UK do not have the right to keep and bear arms, especially when you think how many times Great Britain has been invaded, and equally fought back.

Talking of green... and Mad Carew...

The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God:

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

He was known as "Mad Carew" by the subs at Khatmandu,
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell;
But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks,
And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along, with a passion of the strong,
The fact that she loved him was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty-one and arrangements had begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew;
They met next day as he dismissed a squad;
And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do
But the green eye of the little Yellow God.

On the night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance,
And they chaffed him as they puffed at their cigars:
But for once he failed to smile, and he sat alone awhile,
Then went out into the night beneath the stars.

He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn,
And a gash across his temple dripping red;
He was patched up right away, and he slept through all the day,
And the Colonel's daughter watched beside his bed.

He woke at last and asked if they could send his tunic through;
She brought it, and he thanked her with a nod;
He bade her search the pocket saying "That's from Mad Carew,"
And she found the little green eye of the god.

She upbraided poor Carew in the way that women do,
Though both her eyes were strangely hot and wet;
But she wouldn't take the stone and Mad Carew was left alone
With the jewel that he'd chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night,
She thought of him and hurried to his room;
As she crossed the barrack square she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro' the gloom.

His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through;
The place was wet and slipp'ry where she trod;
An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Carew,
'Twas the "Vengeance of the Little Yellow God."

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

J. Milton-Hayes.


Yours Aye

Six said...

It's on my list Brighid. i saw some great reviews and I'll buy a bottle soonest and do a review here as well. Thanks!

You come visiting and I'll take you down to the range for a little shootin' fun Ex Bootneck. Ammo and charred meat on me my friend.

I love that Poem!!!!

Evyl Robot Michael said...

You know, by my estimation, you've had that rig for about a year and a half years now. It's unfortunate that the gun didn't behave for you.