As noted in the report from my last match, “life” events this year just haven’t had me shooting as many matches as I had hoped. I did not expect to have time to compete in a match this weekend due to more stuff going on. However, it was announced on Monday afternoon that my school would be closed on Friday for a funeral of a co-worker I did not know well. I chose to use that time to compete in the Friday portion of a two-day match (usually I only get to participate in the Saturday portion of two-day matches). One of the good things about participating on a Friday was the smaller “crowd”; only 14 shooters were there on Friday, which helped us speed through the match quite quickly.
Nothing new here. I brought my OD Gen 3 Glock 19 and would shoot in the Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) division. The pistol is set up as per this article and is equipped with Ameriglo I Dot Pro sights. I used factory 10 and 15 round magazines, though shooting in CCP required that they be loaded with no more than 8 rounds each. I used a Bravo Concealment outside the waistband holster, my no-name two magazine kydex magazine carrier, Wilderness Instructor belt, and used Blazer Aluminum 115 grain ammunition.
This match was a bit unusual, and the match director described it as a bit of a nostalgia match. We would only be shooting four stages rather than the more typical six or seven. However, the first stage would be the 72 round Classifier. Because this classifier takes a while to get through, the number of stages in the match was reduced. We would also be shooting the abbreviated classifier (the Bill Wilson 5×5) and then two “regular” IDPA stages. There were 39 participants over the two days. Including myself, only four shot in the CCP division.
The 72 Round Classifier
I am pretty sure this classifier had its debut in 2017 and was meant to be a little bit easier to run than the older 90 round classifier (full description of the classifier can be found in this PDF). It is shot in three sub-stages on three targets set up 6 feet apart and at heights, when viewed left to right, of 6 feet, 4 feet, and 5 feet. The first of these sub-stages is fired from 7 yards and consists of three strings. With the handgun loaded with six rounds, the shooter will draw and fire two rounds at the chest of each target, reload, then shoot two rounds at the head of each target. The second string consists of a strong-hand only draw and then two shots to the chest of each target. Finally, from a support-hand only low-ready position, the shooter will shoot two shots to the chest of each target. I finished this sub-stage 9th overall, 1st in CCP. My overall time was quite good, but I dropped too many shots outside the down-zero zone (particularly with my support-hand only shots).
The second sub-stage again consists of three strings of fire. From ten yards, the shooter performs the El Presidente drill. Facing uprange and with the handgun loaded with only 6 rounds, the shooter will turn, draw, and fire two rounds at the chest of each target, reload, and then shoot two rounds at the chest of each target again. The second stage requires some movement, drawing at ten yards and firing while advancing, two shots to the chest of each target. The last of these strings is the opposite: draw and shoot two shots to the chest of each target while backing up. I finished this sub-stage 6th overall, 1st in CCP.
The last of these sub-stages is fired from much further away, from 20 and 15 yards. From behind a Bianchi barricade 20 yards from the targets and with the handgun again loaded with only six rounds, shoot from behind the barricade two shots at each target, reload, advance to either of two sets of barrels at 15 yards, and again shoot two shots at each target. The second string from this position is to again start with six rounds in the handgun, shoot two shots at each target from a position behind one set of barrels, reload, move across to the second set of barrels, and again shoot two shots at each of the targets. I finished this stage 6th overall, 1st in CCP.
Next, I shot a “generic IDPA” stage, which involved a number of a targets (including two vicious dogs!), several no-shoot targets and barrels that obscured some of the view, and two pieces of steel to knock down. We shot all the shots from a seated position, so it required some in-seat gymnastics to be able to get all of the targets in view enough to be able to hit them. This was a fun stage and I finished 11th overall, 1st in CCP.
The third stage I shot was the 5×5 Classifier, otherwise known as the Bill Wilson 5×5. It requires a total of 25 rounds fired, all at one target 10 yards away. String one is draw and fire 5 rounds free-style. String two is draw and fire five rounds strong-hand only. String three requires the shooter to draw and shoot five rounds free-style, perform a slide-lock reload, then shoot another five rounds free-style. Finally, the last string requires drawing and firing four shots to the chest and one to the head, free-style. I finished this stage 3rd overall, 1st in CCP.
This stage had the most interesting backstory. We had been mistaken by drug dealers for a rival drug dealer, had been captured, and were digging our own grave. On the beep, we had to use the shovel to knock down a steel target, retrieve our pistol from the top of a barrel and engage three nearby, partially obscured targets with two shots each, drop to a knee behind some barrels and engage several more targets from that position. An extra wrench thrown into the machinery was that our reloads were located in a briefcase to the right of the barrels, which required right-handed people like me to come up with some interesting ways to reach for the reload and still be safe (for the first time I witnessed a fellow competitor get disqualified, and it was during this stage when his left arm crossed in front of his slide-locked Glock). I just decked my Glock to make my reach a bit easier. I finished this stage 12th overall, 2nd in CCP.
I finished this match 4th overall and 1st in CCP. The 4th overall position is my highest ever. Two shooters ended up getting disqualified, and so I am not sure if I should count them among the 39 overall participants, or if I finished 4th out of 37. I will let the readers decide.
My overall time or score in the 72 round classifier was 105.77, which had me miss “Expert” by 2.77 seconds. Ugh. Although I am classified as an Expert, it is based on my performance in various 5×5 Classifiers, not the longer ones. It is no coincidence that there seem to be a lot more “Experts” in IDPA (including me!) since the switch to the optional 5×5 Classifier, which is, in my opinion, much less indicative of overall IDPA performance than the longer classifiers. My time in the 5×5 Classifier in this match was 26.25, so I still made “Expert” in that. What disappointed me the most about my performance on that stage was dropping 6 shots outside the down-zero zone. That’s unusual for me. Usually I drop 3-4 rounds.
Something else notable about this match was that the winner of the match, who was in my squad, shot in the Carry Optics division. He had a Holosun red dot mounted to the slide of a Glock 17 or 19. He won the match with relative ease, beating second place by 19 seconds and me by about 32 seconds. He especially excelled at the long shots required in the 72 round classifier; he only dropped 4 rounds outside the down-zero zones in those final two strings, by far the lowest of anyone in the match. He won all three sub-stages of the 72 round classifier outright, and would have finished first in the 5×5 classifier but finished second to someone shooting a Pistol Caliber Carbine. Having said that, this guy obviously had some good overall skills, as two other people shot in the Carry Optics division and finished 20th and 21st overall, so it is not JUST the equipment. Food for thought.
Although I did not feel like I set the world on fire when I left the match, apparently I did pretty well, at least compared with my fellow competitors. So, I am pleased. I need to work a bit on my support-hand only shooting and on a few other things, and may continue to evaluate a move back to carrying with a red dot optic.
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