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Discussion Starter #61
2014 Battle in the Bluegrass Match


I wrote earlier how I went down this match to compete, and how that differed than from the past where I went to a few major matches just to shoot. The attitude, the mindset, and the elevated expectations were new to me. My initial thoughts were that I did not perform at the level I expected myself to perform at, and that I expect myself to compete at. Why I did not perform is going to be the subject of another blog, because I think I made some mistakes that I can learn a lot from, and work at not repeating in the future. With ten stages, there is plenty of stage breakdown and video for one blog.

The weather was mid 80's by lunch time, low 50's to start the day. The staff put together an amazing match, that I think everyone I spoke with enjoyed thoroughly.

MATCH SCORES

The biggest thing that jumped out at me for the entire match, was an overall lack of accuracy on my part. I had 150 Alpha's, 2 Bravo, 74 Charlie, 23 Delta and 7 Mike. Combine the Delta and Mike, I've got 30 shots that were just not good, and frankly my Alpha to Charlie ratio was very low. I left a ton of points on the table. I'll present the video's in the order in which I shot the match, not the match order.

Stage 3 Run Around: No Video

I had some jitters, and my run here was 71st of 119 Production shooters. I just wanted to get thru it with no misses, and I had 2 delta's, My hits were not great 16 A, 12 C, 2 D, but it felt good to get past my first stage of the day.

Stage 4: "Y" You Mad, Bro?


I was 46th of 119 Production shooters, I had 23 Alpha, 5 Charlie, and 2 Delta. Since I shot a variation of this the weekend before I was comfortable, and the only disappointing part was the 2 Delta. I can clean up the load and rack, and I could have picked up the target coming across sooner, but, on the whole, I felt good about this stage.

Stage 5: Eights and Plates


I was 55th of 119 Production shooters on this stage, with a disappointing 11 Alpha, 2 Bravo, 7 Charlie, 4 Delta, and 8 Steel. I'm not sure if I was not seeing my sights, but the delta's were on the open targets, I slowed down and had decent hits on the partial targets at my 2nd shooting position. I almost took a miss on a partial, but the bullet hole broke just enough of the brown, majority was in the black. Lesson here was to take a little extra time, and make sure you get the head shot.

Stage 6: Speed Demon



This is where things started to unravel. First thing to notice, is I switched hats. I put on the white Automatic Accuracy hat, so I'll blame that! Actually, I had a very good run, but we came to score the first array, and found it had not been pasted. There were 15 Alpha's and 1 Charlie, had it been an Alpha, run would have counted, but with the 1 Charlie, I had to re-shoot it. I had one shooter go before I had to re-shoot it, and from the get go, I was not right. I looked at the target, and did not look at the gun as I picked it up. I missed my grip, resulting in me not having my sights, and at a 3 yard target, that was bad news. Second array after I sprinted over, I broke a shot early, knew I did it, and kept going. I had 23 Alpha, 8 Charlie, and 1 Mike, I was 83rd of 119 Shooters. I let that single Mike bother me for awhile, and it dragged me down, lack of mental toughness hurt.

Stage 7: Crash Factor


I was 84th of 119 Production shooters, 8 Alpha, 5 Charlie, 2 Delta, 1 Mike, and 6 Steel. In my mind, I was thinking about the earlier stage, that if I just shot faster, I could make up the miss. Reality is you don't make up a miss, you leave a miss with the previous stage, and shoot this stage on it's own merits. My miss was on the 3rd position, closest target to me. Unreal, but a lack of focus cost me.

Stage 8: Cluster


First stage after the midday break, and I was 58th of 119 Production shooters. I had 22 Alpha, 7 Charlie, 2 Delta and 1 Mike. This was a stage I felt confident coming into, I had walked it, had my plan, and knew what I wanted to do. The Mike was on the first position as I turned to the left, long shot, and I was transitioning to the next target. The truth is that even with the miss, the run was not horrible, but 3rd stage in a row with a miss and some Delta, and it was really in my head. We had a long wait before the next stage, and I thought too much about what happened, as opposed to what I needed to do.

Stage 9: X



Worst stage of the day, 9 Alpha, 6 Charlie, 7 Delta, 2 Mike and 8 Steel. Starting loaded but no round in the chamber meant 10 rounds to start, not 11, and with 5 targets to take, that meant shooting until slide lock. It also meant I had to shoot accurately and be confident of my hits. I was okay on the first array, but looking back across the x, thru a port to targets, I was not. I dove into the steel and with misses actually shot until slide lock again. My plan was to take the targets to the left, but I turned right, knew I did it wrong, rushed without any sight picture thru the targets to the right, and back to the left. My last port was more about "Oh hell, I just really screwed up", and I had horrible hits. This was the nadir of my match. I walked off after shooting angry at myself, and tried and failed to shake it off.

Stage 10: Knock Knock


88th of 119 Production Shooters 12 Alpha, 10 Charlie, 3 Delta, 1 Mike and 6 Steel. I was tired, mad, and more or less felt like I was sleep walking thru this stage. I did an awful lot I wish I could have re-done on this stage.


Stage 1: Theorum Pythagoras



It was a long walk from Stage 10 back to the beginning. During the walk I finally cut loose from my earlier issues, and left them behind me. I made a conscious choice to shoot the last two stages as if only they mattered, nothing else had happened. What happened? My best stage of the day, 42nd of 119 Production Shooters. 12 Alpha 6 Charlie, and 9 Steel. I actually did not need to make the last reload, and could have shaved a little extra time from my run. It would have meant shooting to slide lock, and I wanted to be safe, rather than have to re-load in the port, but when I focus, I should be confident that I can get hits. I did.

Stage 2: Can You See Me Now?


14 Alpha, 8 Charlie, 1 Delta, 1 Mike, 2 Steel and 71st of 119 Production Shooters. My plan was baller, and my failure to execute here was the 3rd position on the long shot after the awkward angle steel, and then after the run, I had a the delta on the turn back to my left. Excellent plan, and I wish I would not have had the Delta or the Mike, but I can live with it.


Full Match Video:



Review:

I could sit here and be negative, but that's counter productive. There were certainly elements that went my way, and I think the biggest thing I need to address is my tendency to let mistakes get under my skin and then carry them to the next stage. I've shot watching Les and Kozy for a year, and I don't often see them do that. I know something bothers them, but it's done and over before the next stage. I heard Ben Stoeger say he had two misses, but it did not bother him, he did not try to make anything up, he just went out and rocked each and every stage he shot. If excellent shooters manifest that trait, why do I insist on carrying that load with me? I know better.

I dry fired on Monday morning for 30 minutes, and I'll live fire again. There are plenty of things that I'll take from the match, it'll help me work on my deficiencies, and the mental aspect will be something that I'm just going to have to HTFU, and do. If need to learn and move on from mistakes. In a match I can't fix 'em, I can just keep shooting my best.

I had a great time, excellent squad, and I'm confident that my next Major match will result in a better finish. I am however a better competitor for this experience.

BitB Match Summary

Battle in the Bluegrass Review

Lessons of Bluegrass
 

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Discussion Starter #62



Yep, mission accomplished, D to B in 5 months, I know it's nothing special for a lot of shooters, but having never touched a gun in my life until 18 months ago, and just getting comfortable trying to shoot, much less run around and shoot, this felt pretty sweet.


Plan B: The Review
 

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Discussion Starter #63 (Edited)
MISS 4/16/14


After a disappointing weekend, and a hard practice Monday, I did not waste an ounce of time jumping back onto a match. I was a little worn out, but after finding Monday that I was pushing the gun and as a result shooting low, I was anxious to get out, do things right, and get myself moving back in the right direction, especially since I just got my B card on Tuesday.

MATCH SCORES

Stage 1: Whiz Bang (West 1)



The stage got tossed out because the 2nd squad had issues where a a piece of steel would fall and inadvertently cause a clam shell to activate. Our squad had no issue with that, but it made sense. This was my first stage, and honestly my worst stage of the night. I took a mike on the clam shell. This was a 90 point stage potential, and I had 79 points, 10 penalty points for the miss, so I was accurate enough otherwise. I ran it in 17.68 seconds, and my hit factor put me in 8th place for Production, out of 16 Production Shooters for the night. There was a late re-load after the first array, and a few other things, but more than anything, I wanted hits tonight.


Stage 2: Looks Familiar (East 1)



Statistically this was my best stage of the night. 160 possible points and I shot 152 of them in 20.32 seconds. This was good enough for 2nd place in Production, but 6 seconds behind Les. I want to see some video of him running this. I know my cadence slowed down the further along the stage I went, so I need to make sure I can keep a quicker cadence, but I was thrilled to run this with 28 Alpha hits and only 4 Charlie. My time can be quicker to be sure, but the hits made me feel good. Again, work on moving reloads, and hey, for once I shot on the move...kind of...but still better than static positional shooting.


Stage 3: On The Periphery (East 2)



One word, slow. This was another 160 possible point stage, and I shot 146 points, so 25 Alpha and 7 Charlie. Points are good, but after the first array I really slowed down, and then moving into the final position I missed a reload, which is not good. The only good part is that I did not let it phase me, I got the mag inserted, and I finished with good hits. Don't let something derail you, keep rolling! Success! Still a lot of things I can do better, and keeping the cadence up is one of 'em.


Stage 4: CM 99-62 Bang and Clang

No Video.....

It's a shame, because I think this was my best stage. I was 4th in Production, and 5th overall, I ran the 4 steel, and single paper in 3.23 seconds (4th fastest time of anyone) my only point deduction was one Alpha, and one Charlie, and the Charlie was close. Running the hit factor into Classifier Calc, it's right about 75%, so one day after earning my B card, I may have just run my first A classifier. How 'bout them apples?



Summary

There was a little redemption here for me. Combined overall I finished 10th of 28 shooters, and that will actually go up a little when official results are submitted and the first stage (my worst) get's eliminated. I was 7th in Production, about 85.8% of the points that Les had (he won Production) and he had a bad stage, so I know in reality the number lies for the night.

It felt good to get accurate, and roll for a bit, I can get back on my cadence and push my time again going forward, as I'm obviously seeing my sights again. I need to keep grinding my draw, and moving reloads, but starting to shoot on the move is a good thing. I need to feel comfortable and practice. Here I did it, but I did not do it "right". I got away with it.

All in all, good match!
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Had Matt Mink up for a class a couple of weeks ago, and got to run with him. It was right after Single Stack Nationals, and he'd been shooting single stack all year long, so 2nd day, maybe 150 rounds into his Production gun, and he finished 3rd at our club match. By afternoon, when he was closer to his game the result would have been much different, but it does go to show, fairly competitive club....






 

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Discussion Starter #65
Hmmm, I missed a few.....


2014 Buckeye Blast (Ohio Sectional)



Wildly inconsistent. I had a couple of Top 10 Production runs, and then a stage with 7 mikes.....I never had it together.


OPSC 6-8-14


8th of 41 Production Shooters, but I left some time and points on the table. With less than a week until Area 5, it's progress, but I have some work to do this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Now that the move is done, and I'm settling in, I did re-start the blog, but I'm not sure the relevance anymore of posting it here, especially since I've been shooting the CZ for nearly a year in USPSA.

Texas Match Video


I am however debating picking up a 5" PPQ M2, and using it in 3-Gun in 2015. My CZ has a small and thin safety, and I put in a heavy duty spring since I don't use the safety in USPSA Production. That makes it less than conducive for 3-Gun. For now it's just a "dabble" in 3-Gun kind of thing, and the PPQ is cheaper than buying or re-springing an extra CZ, or going to a 9mm 2011 design. I'm not looking to win matches, just want to spend a year or so seeing what it is all about, and seeing if I can or desire to get competitive.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
2015 Florida Open


Gotta say, the best major match that I have ever attended. Well run, some serious challenges on stages. I was not ready for the speed on some of the swingers, or the fact that they were partial targets, the distance on a few, it was a great match, really humbling. With the lack of trigger time I've had for the last 90 days I knew it would be rough. Had a great time, learned a lot, and definitely got me back on the bus to get ready and compete well this year.


Stage 7:



Stage 3:



Squadmate Production GM Stage 8:



Squadmate Limited GM Stage 11:



Match Summary

Full Video Stage Review 1

Full Video Review 2
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Luke, looking good mate!!!
Thanks!

My bar was set low for the match, so my performance does not surprise me, but it did help motivate me to get going again for the season, and hit my practice routine harder. Need to buff out the rough edges ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Switching to Limited for the 2015 season.......

It wasn't getting down on the sport, it was just that post move I wanted to change things up a little bit, keep the game fresh and fun, so I thought I'd switch away from Production into Limited. Different game, a lot faster, a lot to adapt, 2nd match, less than 30 days with the gun, and damn I need a lot of work, but the change so far feels pretty solid.

https://youtu.be/DHhXtL68J0Q


https://youtu.be/NRNkj5ePCDc


It's funny, in Production I absolutely owned steel, and if I had struggles, it was on cardboard....this match had great hits all match long, but struggled on steel. I guess I need to get back to "aim small, miss small". I really need to get the gun running as fast as I did in Production, splits and transitions are up....

I think those are pretty correctable things, especially sub 30 days into the gun. I'd like to believe that by the end of May I'll start to have things in order. Dry fire, live fire practice....gotta go.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Let's see...some Limited Video:

https://youtu.be/OneJIHOIT9U


(A lot of things to fix, but it was an "A" class run and I'll take that.)


The wife took my CZ, and put down a really solid Production run:

https://youtu.be/uWZyzFmEi5A


This one was another "A" class run, which is surprising me since I don't think I should be classed there, gotta back off and bring the rest of my skills to that level if I want to be competitive:

https://youtu.be/0CZqtYw_e9g



Took awhile to get the cadence going on this one:
https://youtu.be/WeTSmiAZxOo
 

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Discussion Starter #73 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #74
My 9 year old daughter shot her first USPSA match in the super secret .22 division (okay...it was unscored...but she shot all the stages).


https://youtu.be/WJ_hrd2W0Eg


She was totally safe, had amazing trigger safety, taking her finger out of the trigger after every shot. She had hits, and on the 2nd stage (which was a steel stage) started to learn why she cant rush the trigger pull, and how going slower kept the sights from moving, and improved her accuracy.

With all the negative publicity gun owners get, it was awesome to see a 9 year old exhibit responsibility and safe operation while having a ton of fun. She's a huge fan now, and wants to practice (including dry fire) so she can get a 9mm next year and get an actual competitor number and shoot for score. She's a great kid, and a far better and more responsible than I deserve!

She also shot a few stages at a 3-Gun match earlier in the week, and she cleaned a 4" plate rack at 100 yards with a rifle, and dinged steel at 100 yards and fell in love with the AR, and she managed to clean a 5 plate rack with 6 shots with a shotgun at 12 yards.

Pretty damn proud of her
 
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