This past weekend I was able to get away for a few hours and shoot my second IDPA match of the year (third match overall…I shot a carbine match and one prior IDPA match). This was a fun, challenging match with nearly every stage having at least one moving target and a fair amount of movement required of the shooters. This was a two-day match with some participants shooting one day or the other, with a few shooting both days (sometimes in two different divisions). Counting those who competing twice as separate “people”, there were 37 competitors overall.
Equipment and Preparation
Learning a few lessons from my last match, I chose to shoot this match in the Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) division. This was a first for me and would mean I would have to load my magazines with no more than 8 rounds each. Once again, I used my OD Third Generation Glock 19 equipped with Ameriglo I Dot Pro sights and Glock 17 smooth-faced trigger. I used my Ares Enhanced Aegis belt with a new holster (review coming soon) and my no-name kydex double magazine pouch. Since this was a lost-brass affair, I chose to shoot Blazer Aluminum 115 grain FMJ ammunition. I shot 129 rounds in the match and had no malfunctions. I should also note that, since taking this class two weekends before, my only practice was one trip to the range plus some dry practice at home.
As with the last match and what I am assuming is the new routine, we began with a scored “warm-up” stage that was one of the two limited stages of the match. This was a simple stage that is quick to run through. From 10 yards, shoot three rounds freestyle (two-handed), two to the chest and one to the head. From 7 yards, the same but strong-hand only. Then from 5 yards, the same but support-hand only. I guess it is good that they have a warm-up now (even though it counts), because it was my worst stage of the day. I was slow and inaccurate, a bad combination. I finished 24th out of 37 overall. It took me a couple of stages to get focused.
Stage Two for me was also tough because, as we rotate through the order in each squad (so no one person always ends up going first or last), I had to go first and had a crappy plan. I chose to run from one side of a barricade to another in order to engage an awkwardly placed target rather than just lean farther out from the side where I had started. I also executed the world’s slowest tactical reload instead of just shooting off my last couple of rounds and then doing a slide-lock reload. I also noticed on this stage that I had a very slow transition from the first to the second target. I was looking through my sights the whole time as I moved the pistol to the left instead of turning my head/eyes to find the next target and then engaging. It cost me time. I finished this stage 21st out of 37.
Stage Three for me was more fun, and I had some luck. Now shooting last, I had plenty of time to work out my plan. This target included a swinging IDPA target, and when I shot the popper that activated the swinger, the target swung down and got stuck on another target. I paused for a second because I thought the Range Officer might have me stop and then reset the stage, but he said, “Shoot it!”, so I did! It was nice to shoot a stationary mover (had it gotten stuck where I could not have seen it, he would have reset the stage and had me shoot it again). This stage required a fair bit of movement, and I moved well. So I finished that stage 5th out of 37 overall.
Stage Four was probably the most challenging stage of the match for most of the competitors. It involved starting from a seated position (in a car), shooting several targets including a mover, then another mover, then some odd-angled movement to hit a popper that activated another mover inside of a “room”, and then some more tight movements to hit at least two more targets. It was a fun stage but required some careful consideration. My biggest error here was throwing one shot a little to the right and hitting a “no-shoot” target that was partially obscuring a “shoot” target, costing me five seconds. I finished this stage 16th out of 37 overall.
The next stage was my favorite, a “bank robbery” where we got to play the role of the unicorn-like armed bank teller. Four targets, two of which were partially obscured, with some no-shoots involved as well. We had to take a knee (or two) and shoot the four targets near to far (“tactical priority”) with 3 rounds each, then shoot from under the counter (what bank has an opening here???) and shoot a fifth target in his steel “leg”, which made the rest of the IDPA target fall, and then we had to hit that target 3 more times as well. I placed 6th out of 37 overall on this stage, losing only one point for a shot outside the down-zero zone on one of the targets.
Stage 6 was the new-ish IDPA abbreviated classifier, otherwise known as the Bill Wilson 5×5. This was the second limited stage of the match and would require just 25 rounds. One IDPA target engaged from 10 yards away. Four strings of fire, all from the draw (though no cover garment is required for the classifier stage. Draw and fire five shots freestyle, draw and fire five shots strong-hand only, draw and fire five shots freestyle, execute a slide-lock reload, and shoot five more freestyle, and finally draw and shoot 4 shots freestyle to the body, and then one shot to the head. I had a fellow competitor write down my times for each string. On the first string I rushed a bit, and though it took me 3.31 seconds, I also had three hits in the down-one zone. At this point I knew I would not reach my goal of under 27.10 seconds, because experience has taught me that I need to shoot that first string clean in under 4 seconds. Those three misses meant I went from 3.31 seconds to 6.31 seconds with the penalties. String two I shot in 4.25 seconds and had another miss or two. String three I shot in a slow (for me) 8.85 seconds (typically I am in the 6.xx range on this one), and again had a miss or two. The final string I shot in 4.17, and while I did not miss the head entirely this time (as I did back in June), my shot landed in the down-one zone outside the 4 inch circle in the head. Down nine points was too much with a time of 20.58, making my total 29.58. Damn. Still no Expert rating for me. I finished this stage 9th overall out of 37 (of note is that I was the highest placed “Sharpshooter” on this stage, and actually placed higher than one of the Master class shooters).
The final stage for me was another fun one that required a bit of movement and the longest shots of the day, out close to 20 yards for a few (most were probably around 15 yards or so). Nothing of significance about my performance jumps out about this stage. I had a few hits outside the down-zero zones and finished this stage 11th out of 37 overall.
I finished the match 8th overall out of the 37 participants, 2nd among those classified as “Sharpshooter”. Only three people competed in this match in CCP, and I was the middle one among us (one was a Master class shooter using a CZ P07. He finished the match 2nd overall).
Although I really liked the stages in this match, I left the match feeling like I had not performed particularly well. My score at the end—at least as compared with my peers—suggested otherwise. It could also be that nearly everyone had a “bad day”. I definitely started out slow and unfocused, but warmed up by the third stage. My biggest disappointment was my performance in the Classifier stage, as I had really hoped to make Expert, particularly after my near-miss performance in my last match. Oh well, more work to do! I should also note that Mike Green, founder of Green Ops (with whom I have trained once and will train again later this year) shot the match on Friday in the new “carry optics” division and placed two spots ahead of me. Nice job, Mike!
It might be more than a month before I can shoot another match, as family obligations and a class/lecture I will be attending on a Saturday will get in the way of upcoming matches nearby.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or on our Facebook page, as we always welcome civil discourse. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.