My second event. I headed up to the Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club for my second IDPA event. As with most second events, I saw huge improvements and learned quite a bit. I'm sure I am still far away from hitting my development slump. Since it was only my second event, I got to shoot novice squad again.
|Practice @ Bradford|
Between the two events, I got to fire about 250 rounds for practice. It was a casual session since my wife and another friend went with me. I worked on some things I learned last time; speeding up the draw a little bit, trying not to confirm my shots and focusing on the next shot to fire, and counting my shots.
I did much better this event. Practicing paid off big time, and just being aware of what I am supposed to do helped a lot.
Once again there was 5 stages. I didn't like a few; one was an Osama Bin Laden stage with only two targets, one of which was Osama Bin Laden. Yes, I'm glad he is dead and the world is a safer place but I think its uncivilized to celebrate the death of an enemy that way. Plus I think its disrespectful to the people who died because of him. But the other four were once again learning experiences for me, each of which I appreciate. Actually, I appreciate the Bin Laden thing too; I learned from that one also.
A word of warning: I may not remember the stages and course of fire correctly.
Another word of warning: they messed up the stage order with the scoring I think, or my group skipped a stage and messed it up. But for whatever reason the score sheet is very hard to follow. I just listed it by the video order, which also happens to be the order I did the stages that day.
The times include any penalties assessed.
The back story to this one was pretty funny. You're some badass who likes to watch Dirty Harry, who by the way, just got done watching Dirty Harry, making you even more badass. You're sipping on a glass of scotch and reading a magazine. A dog and two threats appear before you. You have set the glass from your dominant hand down on the table calmly, do whatever you want with the magazine. That means no water spilled from the red cup. One shot to the dog, Mozambique* drills to the two threats to its left, and engage the furthest one to the right however you want. The whole thing needs to be done seated.
This stage felt like warm up, but it got me confident for my next stage. I got in the rhythm and worked the targets exactly the way I was planning it in my head. My groups were not as good as my last event, but that was because I was shooting as fast as I can while making all the shots I needed, or in the converse, shooting just accurately enough to go as fast as I wanted. But I didn't rush things. 17.83 stage score, which includes 8 points down for missing. 16th out of 25 unclassified shooters, excluding first time novices. Not great, but much better than my last time.
Not sure of the story on this one, but you start facing the target, fire at a fairly close (4-5 yards) target while moving left. I forgot how many shots, but I fired four with no penalties for not following COF. Then you get to the cover. Right side you fire with right hand only, left side with left hand only, at least 3 shots each. Afterwards, you go across the range, about 15 yards to a low cover that you can shoot over, then engage 4 pepper poppers. One thing to note is that the stage forces you to think about whether you should reload before running to the pepper poppers, or reload after.
The moving shots were too close for me to really appreciate what I needed to do different, but my first shot for that string was questionable. I think it went off before I was actually moving. Oops, I got off on that since it was the novice group. I think my one handed shots were alright, but I made a mistake when I got over to the left side. Before I ran the stage, I had contemplated and hesitated on where I should fire the extra shot. It made sense to fire four shots on the right target, since that was my weak hand. Then I could do a slide lock reload and hop on over to the poppers. But in my subconsciousness, despite telling myself not to check hits, when I saw that the right target had three holes in the proper place, I only fired three. When I leaned over to the left, I fired three and started reloading. When I saw and realized my gun wasn't empty, I raised the gun and fired the last shot, and then proceeded to do the slide lock reload. What a clusterf**k. It added quite a bit of time. I should have just stuck to the plan, and if not, just did a tactical reload with retention. Something to definitely work on. I did alright on the pepper poppers, one of the faster guys in the novice group at getting them down. I didn't miss any of the pepper poppers. 31.18, 6 points down. I guess I wasn't so accurate either. Still, 6th out of 25. I did notice that most other competitors were either missing the pepper poppers, messing up the reload, or both. Perhaps it was just a tough stage.
This is the Osama Bin Laden stage. You start behind cover. First shot you take from behind cover. Shoot the first target outside the 3 zone; so only hits to the 4 zone count. Then you run up to another wall, where Osama target is hiding behind. This target wasn't IDPA, but you fire one on the chest, and another on the head. Hits to the turbin or beard didn't count. Osama was scored as limited vickers, which means that you can only shoot the stated shots (2) and anything above is a 5 point procedural penalty, and they don't count the highest scoring hits in the amount of the shots you fired over. So for instance, if you fired three shots on the Osama target, one in the chest, one in the head, and another on the turbin, you get a procedural penalty, and then you get another penalty for missing the head since they don't count that one. Wow! Better be careful.
But no! Doh! My head shot got counted as a beard short. It was touching his face though, I think if I had contested it the safety officer would have given the shot to me. Oh wells. Score 9.52, with 5 points for missing the head (2.5 seconds added). 18/25. Some guys have some crazy time, like just under 4 seconds. In retrospect, I think the way to do it was to shoot first target quickly, then take like three steps and shoot Osama from afar.
This one was more of a drill. Three targets to your left, three to your right arranged in a V. You're in the bottom of the V behind a door sized cover. Shoot from behind cover as always, slicing the pie. Each target gets the Mozambique. Furthest one looks to be about 15-18 yards away.
I am pretty proud of this one. I guess this shows my shooting is improving. On the left side, the closest one got shots that actually sounded like doing a good Mozambique drill; a real double tap and quick one to the head. On the right side, I was able to replicate it to the two closest targets. Woohoo! And check it out; I only missed the 4 zone once.
The safety officer told me though I was almost not using the cover, so I should watch it next time. Good tip. One thing I noticed while watching the video was that when I was driving the gun between the first and second target, I would dip the gun a bit as if there was something there I should be avoiding. Unnecessary movement. Gotta get rid of that habit. 3rd place for this stage out of 25 other unclassified shooters, only 1 point down. If I remember correctly, the single point down is from the furthest target I shot.
Holding a grocery bag in one hand, a baby ragdoll in the other and while walking forward, the buzzer goes off. Drop the bag, draw and while backing up, engage first two targets with three shots (one to your left close, and another to your right), then run to cover which is to your right and rear. Set the baby down gently. Fire over the cover into three targets, with two of them behind cover (black paint.) I think they were supposed to all get three rounds.
|Droppin' the baby, I mean the bag, |
Gettin' the gun
Overall: 9th out of 25 unclassified shooters, and I did better than everyone who never shot IDPA before. Less than a second separates me from the guy who came in 7th place. This feels like racing, and its good to have a bunch of people to race with!
Things I worked on this event:
1. engaging the targets as fast as I can while making all the shots.
2. moving on. driving the gun to the next target.
3. visualizing the course of fire as detailed as I can.
Things to work on
1. keep working on visualizing, taking care to not skip any mandated movements like moving while firing
2. practice moving while firing so it is one of the movements I am used to. I can do this dry firing too
3. I want to work on calling the shots - knowing where my round went just from the sight picture at the moment of release
4. I want to work on tracking my sights better because I think it will help me speed up my firing
5. Getting rid of my excess movements, including wasted movement from driving the gun improperly and too fast.
6. I did pretty well with relaxing; my experience as an amatuer kickoxer helps me very much in staying cool and focusing on the job on the hand. But I don't think anyone can overdo this, so I will continue to try and relax.
Here is the video. The caption of the order is all messed up because I think we did a stage out of turn, or another group did and we had to follow, but either way the video stills goes in the proper order. It is the same order as I have it typed out. Just ignore the captions.
*Mozambique drill: Two to the chest, one to the head. Also sometimes known as the El Presidente drill, though in contemporary usage the Presidente drill is a whole separate drill used to develop and test shooting skills.