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RobFMJ
November 23rd, 2010, 02:58 PM
Really good forum idea! I keep needing to write things down after each match, maybe this will finally get me to do it. :D

If yall have any comments, questions, or off-the-wall remarks, I'd be glad to hear em!

I'm a bit new here, so a little bit about me:
I'm an offshore structural engineer and the proudest member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2010. Moved here in September for work after 4 months of job searching after graduating this past May. While I attended school, a classmate got me interested in shooting IDPA. I had always been interested in shooting since my dad taught me when I was 5, but this was the first action pistol sport I had ever been exposed to, and I was hooked! Within a month I had an M&P Proseries (which I can't say enough positive things about) and was attending anywhere from 2-5 matches a month. I also had the good fortune to take some excellent classes taught by J.P. Guidry. Thanks to his help, I was edging in on an SSP Expert classification before I was forced to focus my attentions elsewhere after graduating. After moving here, I looked for IDPA clubs down here, finding to my dismay that it was not a very popular shooting sport. I did a little more research on the area, and stumbled upon the lagator.org website, and decided to crash yall's next Thibodaux match. I ordered a couple extra mags and mag pouches, and cleaned the dust off my M&P, and this is what happened:

7 Nov 2010
CAS

Notes: Finally getting back at it after not having the chance to shoot for a good 4 months, and my first USPSA match ever. The people at this match were absolutely outstanding for being patient with me and answering my questions... cheers guys! :cheers: Was worried that learning a new format on the fly was going to be ugly, but I'm glad it wasn't the case. My final standing was very good for my skill level, and a heckuva way to jump back into shooting :D

What went well: I feel I shot this match fairly accurately... well, at least moreso than usual. :eek3: Speed was also at a good pace, no complaints there. Reloads were ok, I guess, didn't strike me as being either fast or slow.

What didn't: My draw/first shot felt wayyyy slower than usual... I think this is what suffered the most during my shooting hiatus. Getting a good, consistent grip on the gun proved problematic, not to mention sight picture. Need more practice and dry-fire drills.

Outcome: 3rd place Production unclassified

RobFMJ
November 23rd, 2010, 03:35 PM
21 Nov 2010
EAPS

Notes: Ack. Everything that I was dreading about this match went fantastically, and everything I was confident with went horribly. For example, stages #1 Gamblin' and #4 Splits. The moment I saw these online, I thought "ah hell, this is gonna be all kinds of bad." I knew I was going to forget one of those targets on Gamblin', and I had never even shot a Texas Star before. Despite that, I turned in a damn accurate (although not particularly fast) run on the first stage, and cleaned the star in 4 consecutive shots with a good speed and number of points to boot. In complete contrast to that, I somehow managed to screw up the rest of the stages, including the 3rd (very IDPA-ish) stage Bring It. Slow speed, sloppy reloads, misses, and just plain bad shooting made damn sure I wasn't gonna wind up nearly as well as I did last match. The match as a whole was well run, especially with the number of shooters there.

On a side note, I am really quite glad to be rid of some of the asinine rules that came with IDPA. No more penalties for dropping empty mags cause you weren't at slide lock, no more magical formulas to specify how much "cover" is adequate, and no more damn photographer's vests! That said, it'll take a lot of convincing to get me to think that USPSA's scoring system is better. I really miss IDPA's "every point is a half second, add the points to your time, that's your score" system. Between that and the relative simplicity of scoring targets, it was easy to assess your score on the fly, and resulted in some excellent rules of thumb. It even cut down the time it took to score targets. Perhaps I need to give USPSA's system more of a chance before declaring it confusing as all get out, but its still black magic to me :(

What worked: My draws were finally back to where they should be, and I think that's about the only good thing I can say this time :eh:

What didn't: Reloads were slow and sloppy, and my sight picture ranged anywhere from inconsistent to non-existent. Come to think of it, "inconsistent" would be the word of the day. :(

Outcome: 12th Production Unclassified

RobFMJ
December 19th, 2010, 04:39 PM
19 Dec 2010
EAPS

Notes: Soooooo yeah... First time shooting a revolver in an event like this, and that's about the only thing I can say in defense of what is without a shade of a doubt the worst I have ever shot in a match. I went into it with the same mindset I have shooting my M&P and got my ass handed to me. Seems two years of shooting tupperware with a light trigger has spoiled me and allowed me to develop some bad habits. Actually, I don't think thats a severe enough description, terrible habits. Habits that let you fire six rounds at a popper 7 yards away and never hit the thing. If relearning how to pull a trigger isn't enough, it seems I need to relearn how to grip a revolver. That big ol cylinder release makes for some easy reloads (the one thing I didn't particularly screw up), but it also makes a convenient thumb rest when you try to hold the pistol like a 1911 and locks up the cylinder if you put too much pressure on it (cheers to the RO for noticing that).

What worked: Well, not a whole hell of a lot. Guess some of my reloads weren't especially bad, but thats about it.

What didn't: Concisely, trigger pull and grip. Another shooter made the observation that most of my misses were to the right, which fits with my assessment that I had way too much finger into that trigger. As for the grip, there's no real way around it, its gonna take a lot of practice to break my habit of holding it like a semi auto.

Outcome: I really don't want to see the actual numbers, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that as long as no one experienced a catastrophic equipment failure and had to leave early, dead friggin last.

RobFMJ
January 13th, 2011, 04:24 PM
2 Jan 2011
CAS

Notes: Had to redeem myself after that unmitigated disaster of a match at EAPS... well, that and the 625 is making a trip back to S&W, removing my ability to do that to myself again :owned:, so I dusted off the M&P and put it to work. Match as a whole went very well, stages were (with one exception) straightforward and rewarded smart planning, and the people in my squad were both helpful and an absolute riot to talk to. Good and chilly early, but a few hours in the sun made it quite nice out once the match got going. Incidentally, this is the last time I forget sunscreen, I swear. Still shooting like I'm in IDPA, and my scores are suffering for it. I also have yet to hear an coherent explanation of how USPSA's scoring system works.

As to that stage I mentioned (Stage 5: Walled In), targets T1-T4 were visible between the two left barricades between the no-shoots, however, at that point they were just past 180 degrees with respect to the rear berm, and I engaged them without noticing that. While after the fact I did find out that the people who set up the stage realized this and made the rear fault line the reference plane and I was indeed in the clear, its something I should have asked about before doing.

ETA: Was going to delve a little deeper into this, but I doubt yall would very much care hearing someone as new to the area as me do this: :blah:

What worked: This match marked my most consistent sight picture and accurate shot placement in a loooong time. Came very close to shooting all A's on a couple stages. Unfortunately, I'm still in IDPA-la-la-land trading speed for accuracy. Reloads, draw times, and stage planning were all alright.

What didn't: Speed. I need to break my habit of shooting at the ideal IDPA speed/accuracy tradeoff and go faster. I don't particularly agree with this aspect of the scoring, but that's the rules and by god I'm gonna learn em!

Outcome: 8th Production Unclassified (64.9%)

spanky
January 13th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Points Divided by Time = Hit Factor (HF)
Your HF divided by Stage Winners HF = Your Percentage
Your Percentage of the total points for the stage = Your Stage Points

For the record. Don't shoot faster. The significant amount of time that needs to be saved is between the shooting. Transitions, between positions, reloads, etc.

RobFMJ
January 19th, 2011, 08:54 AM
Points Divided by Time = Hit Factor (HF)
Your HF divided by Stage Winners HF = Your Percentage
Your Percentage of the total points for the stage = Your Stage Points

For the record. Don't shoot faster. The significant amount of time that needs to be saved is between the shooting. Transitions, between positions, reloads, etc.

Outstanding, that was just what I was lookin for :cheers:

And yeah, if I ever say I can't work any more on economy of motion, I'm lying my ass off :eek3::D

scooterj
January 19th, 2011, 09:07 AM
Outstanding, that was just what I was lookin for :cheers:

And yeah, if I ever say I can't work any more on economy of motion, I'm lying my ass off :eek3::D

If there is anything you don't understand, scoring, rules, anything, just ask. The person you ask may not know the answer but prolly can point you to the right person.

RobFMJ
January 19th, 2011, 09:08 AM
16 Jan 2011
EAPS

I really need to write these down after I get home from the matches, my mind is fried from staring at AutoCAD nonstop for a couple days. Good match, good weather, good people, can't complain! Stages were well thought out, not the most challenging shoots, but definitely ones where good planning pays off. Since I had to open my mouth and whine about not shooting fast enough last match, it figures that I went too fast this time around, and threw a few misses that I really have no good reason for. Everything else wasn't noteworthy one way or the other (or I just can't remember).

Hopefully I'll have my 625 back from Smith in time for CAS so I can show yall how its not done... again :eek3:

RobFMJ
January 19th, 2011, 09:25 AM
If there is anything you don't understand, scoring, rules, anything, just ask. The person you ask may not know the answer but prolly can point you to the right person.

Much appreciated :D

RobFMJ
February 28th, 2011, 03:25 PM
26 Feb 2011
Pearland Shooting Center

Notes: Managed to make time this past weekend for a trip back to my home away from home range for a little IDPA. Getting to shoot with the guys who got me started doing this kind of thing in the first place is always enjoyable, and shooting well and introducing two new people to the sport was the icing on the cake. Having some of the most fun I've ever had at a match while simultaneously turning in one of the best shooting performances in memory is a feeling that just can't be beat.

Match was well run, getting 90 shooters, a dozen of them new, through six stages in under three hours, a feat made more impressive by the fact that that seems to be the norm at every match I've been to at that club. Stages were typical IDPA stuff, with most coming from the 2010 postal match. Only gripe was the exclusion of any movers. I shot well enough to land me 1st place SSP Sharpshooter, and if I hadn't saddled myself with a fair number of points down on the first stage, I would have had a shot at 1st SSP overall.

What worked: A lot, which surprised me considering I've gone a solid 8 months without photographer's vests, shooting from cover, and reloading with retention. About the worst thing I got in trouble for that I could say I really saw coming was the IDPA-prohibited practice of "airgunning," and the RO let that one slide. Draws from concealment were clean, reloads weren't blazing, but they were consistently quick. After my first stage screwup, I had 15 points down shared between 5 stages... sure ain't gonna complain about that!

What didn't: The stage I messed up was an El Pres, followed by a move to low cover, a reload, and reengagement of the targets. Without thinking, when I dropped to my knee behind the barrels, I dropped to my strong side knee, giving me a terribly unstable stance. By the time I was leaned out and around the right side of the barrels to get shots onto the last target, I was one errant move away from falling flat on my face. Not sure whether it was poor planning or poor execution, but either way it accounted for almost half my points down for the day.

Outcome: 1st SSP SS

PS: I miss IDPA's scoring system

RobFMJ
April 6th, 2011, 09:46 AM
3 Apr 2011
CAS

Finally, a not completely embarrasing showing with the 625! :D

I had the very good fortune to be squadded with Elliot, Annette, Bill, Jonathan and Kerry. What an outstanding group of people to shoot with :cheers:. They helped me a lot in identifying my bad habits and helping me establish a good cadence and a clean, straight trigger pull. My shooting got progressively better as the day went on, something I doubt would have happened without their guidance.

Wind and sand were a bit much, but the match itself was well set up and ran without a hitch. I rather enjoyed the straightforward setup after the thrashing I took at the hands of the plate racks at EAPS last month :eek3:

What worked: Dryfire practice is paying off! With some on-the-line help I was able to slow myself down just enough to get a good stage, clear sight picture, and clean break on each of my shots. By the end of the match I was dropping most steel with one shot and getting consistent A and C hits on paper. Also finally getting a consistent grip on the gun after reloads, something I've been struggling with.

What didn't: I still start to reload with my weak hand when I get flustered after I mess up my plan of action or have trouble dropping a piece of steel. I also still have to consciously keep myself from getting too much finger into the trigger. Bunch of other little things I start doing when I stop thinking. Clear mind = clean hits, here's hoping I can keep that clear mind through the next match :x:

RobFMJ
May 2nd, 2011, 09:52 AM
1 May 2011
CAS

The wheelgun rolls on :draw:

Notes: Despite light primer strikes, and a horrible showing on the classifier and long distance stage, I actually feel pretty decent about the progress I've been making with this gun. Steel that used to have me consciously slowing down and dissecting my trigger pull are coming more naturally (and quickly). Still hitting a bit to the right (too much finger on the trigger, I'm sure of it), but not nearly as bad as past matches. The only point at which it manifested itself as a problem was the 20 yard stage, where the distance magnified my bad habit. The grouping of shots was tight enough for me to be happy with, except that they hit far enough right to hand me a lot of C's and D's.

One mistake I made that I can't really blame on my underdeveloped trigger finger was passing up a target on Around the Corner. Was an array of four in plain sight, I shot three of em and moved on. What I had done didn't occur to me until I was already in another set of fault lines and it was too late to do anything to salvage that. Ah well.

Had some ammo issues this match, although thankfully not until the last stage. Ran out of my handloads after the last CAS match, and due to my lack of planning, I resorted to using some Federal factory .45 ACP. Ran like a champ, but I only had about 110 rounds on hand, which didn't quite get me to the end of the match. After switching to S&B, I experienced about 1/4 to 1/3rd of the rounds refusing to light off. My scores were already in the crapper, so it was more of an annoyance than anything, but its definitely something I need to see to before the next match.

What worked: Good draws, good stage planning (planning contingencies for the portions I felt I was likely to mess up on paid off). Reloads could have been faster, but they were consistent, and I'm starting to succeed at my goal of being equally proficient with both strong and weak hand reloads.

What didn't: Still too much finger on the trigger, time for more dryfire practice.

smith625
June 16th, 2011, 08:17 PM
Good job Rob, hope you get back to La soon.