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
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.
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.
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.