The Sir Walter USPSA match went pretty well for me. The stages were long (26 rounds or more, excluding the speed shoot) and technical and overall I executed my plans precisely and aggressively which was a good thing (I still ended up with the Production + Single Stack stage win on 3 despite my hard cover miss due to executing well otherwise and being 3-5 seconds faster than the closest competition).
The bad news was the mikes. Four of them. All four were off to the left, either because of transitioning off a target early or yanking the trigger carelessly. At the time, it was tough to keep anything resembling a good mental game going, but in hindsight it’s pretty clear that I was just focusing too much on technical execution (movement, footwork, positioning) and just took pulling the trigger for granted. That was a mistake and it bit me, repeatedly.
But as each hit came, I told myself there was nothing I could do to fix it and the best way to “salvage” the match was to focus up and calmly execute the rest of the stages, which I managed to do, with the stage win on my last two stages, during the part of the day when it would have been easiest to feel frustrated and defeated.
This stage was so constrained, there really wasn’t any room to make any magic happen through clever strategy or aggressive movement. The name of the game was maximizing points while minimizing errors: fumbles with the windows, fumbles with reloading, or makeup shots. The PVC windows are so light that it’s easy to lose grip on them or have them bounce around on you, so I am happy with that part of the stage going smoothly.
The bad part of this stage isn’t just the hard cover mike on the tuxedo target, but the consistently low and left, tight groups on the two tuxedo targets next to each other. I was just not taking a sliver of care with how I was pulling the trigger and just letting it happen, and it turned out consistently low left. Not good, but at least the cause and solution are relatively straightforward.
Executed this stage exactly according to plan: one for one on the steel while smoothly hitting both positions needed. Hit the second “magic spot” position where I could see all five targets. Moved through the rest of the stage smoothly while getting good points.
The only hiccup was the second reload which went bad. The way my torso was turned downrange while my lower body stayed facing the right side of the range to push out of position meant that the gun was way closer to the mag pouch than I’m used to, so the new mag got to the gun way faster than I expected, leading to me fumbling it. Something to keep in mind for stages shooting near the right 180 and then pushing out of position downrange.
Not my greatest performance. 3 charlies plus a makeup shot on steel was very sloppy. This stage had a lot of nuance on how to come in to the left side and how early to start shooting that made it a lot of fun to shoot. But I just plain didn’t really execute it very well.
CM 08-03 Six
I think I was just off to the left (lazy trigger technique again!) of the small popper, so I heard a ding from the big popper being hit near its base. The silver lining of this stage is how quickly I processed the miss on the mini-popper and snapped right back to it.
A 26-round memory-ish stage that had a couple interesting ways to shoot it without being a crazy hard memorization challenge. Had a solid plan executed aggressively that put me three seconds ahead of the closest competition but two mikes put me out of running for the stage. In both cases, some mixture of lazy trigger pulling and transitioning off the target too early added up to a miss.
A straightforward stage where you go to each position and just shoot the targets you can see from there. Not a lot of strategy so it all came down to execution. At the first position, I failed to set up solidly and grip the gun, so it felt too loose and I took makeup shots because I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t called bad shots but hadn’t called good ones either. And then at the end of the stage, I took the mike on the second to last position. And the pair of scaled metrics at the end of the stage were 2C and CD, low left of course. More just lazy trigger technique.
Another stage with a bunch of positions where you had to go to each one and shoot all the targets available from there, but with a little room to make up some time. The biggest place to save time was not committing too deep to each position that you had to then leave, being efficient with the uprange movement, and of course going one for one on steel. I had actually planned to do a reload if I had a miss on the first steel array, but batting one hundred there gave me a little confidence boost going in to the second steel array, as well as saving me the time doing a reload and giving me a reason to finish out the rest of the magazine one for one.
At the last two positions, I became cognizant of gripping the gun with my left hand and pulling the trigger straight back, which shows up in the speed I went through, especially the last three targets, confident I would stay away from the hard cover.
Had one delta coming in hard in to position which honestly I should have made up, but I was in such a hurry to not get tangled up in that position I didn’t take it.
A stage with a lot of options and a little room to make some magic. Went pretty much as planned, except for coming in to the last target with too much speed and having to “push off” in to the air to avoid falling on my face. I have never done that before in a match or practice, but somehow it all came together and this stage was a strong finish for me.