I started shooting pistols shortly after turning 21 in 2001, and am largely self taught. I was mostly a “tactical” shooter because of my job in law enforcement and was a bit of a wanna be ninja. I am definitely not a ninja, and I don’t really care about a lot of the tacticool stuff anymore. I attended my first firearms class in 2004 after graduating the South Dakota Law Enforcement Academy as my roommate from the academy was the host for the course. During the course I met the match director for the local club in Sioux Falls for USPSA. I finally got down to a match or three and my initial classification in Single Stack was B, with a high average % of 72.10. I shot Single Stack and Production for the next couple of years whenever I could get to a match, but only shot 3 or 4 each summer for those 4 years.
In 2008 I stopped shooting competitively, my wife and I were working on paying off debt and the costs, even for local matches was just too great as we were working the Dave Ramsey plan and went in wholeheartedly. I continued to shoot for work, but my practice both live and dry was very far and few between. I continued to attend user and instructor classes for work.
In October/November 2013 I found that Ron Avery was going to be teaching a class a few hours away. As I am the department’s lead firearms instructor, my agency paid for me to attend the course. During the class, Ron basically told me if I want it I need to work at it and I would need to start competing again.
In May 2014, almost 6 years to the day I stopped shooting competitively I returned to the club with a not fully Production legal GLOCK 17 and shot the special classifier match, averaging 56%. Wow had my skills degraded, I was placing in the middle of the pack. By the end of the season I was placing at the top of the overall results and winning Production division again. My consistency was horrible. I kept trying to burn down every stage I encountered. I attended the Minnesota State Championship for my first level 2 match and placed 14th in Production and was 59.327% of Ben Stoeger. That made me realize that I had a lot of work to do.
I shot a couple more local matches that fall, and when winter hit I took a couple months off to ice fish. My wife and I discussed my future in the sport, and I decided that I would like to plan to shoot 20 thousand rounds during the 2015 season. Luckily I found enough powder and primers, and ordered up the bullets and got to loading. By the time the season started in April I already had a couple thousand rounds down range and was starting to work out the kinks.
At the beginning of May I went to the Wisconsin Sectional, and I had a horrible match, placing 15th in Production. I pushed myself to hard. I called lots of A’s but kept getting misses, in the end I had 8 mikes on a 9 stage match! I later found my locking block was cracked, which may have caused some of the accuracy issues. I replaced the locking block and my groups tightened back up. But it was mostly trying to run like I was practicing not shooting a match.
I shot the special classifier later in May and did much better than the year before. I am still waiting for USPSA to calculate the averages, but I should have made A class.
At the end of May my wife, Carla, surprised me with a CZ75 SP-01 Accu-Shadow, which I had been lusting after for quite awhile. I shot my first match with the Accu in June and I love it. In the two matches I have shot with it since I got it, I have shot two 86% classifiers! While the Accu has helped, I have already put 12 thousand rounds down range so far this year and with the amount of dryfire I have been doing I have definitely been putting in the work.