2015 Great Plains Sectional review

Holy hell was it hot!  Ambient temperature was about 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 107 degrees heat index at the hottest.  The range is down in a valley in a former gravel pit so there was no wind.  Unfortunately, I carry about 40 to 50 pounds of extra weight so that wasn’t making me any cooler.

We arrived on Saturday around 12:30 pm and did our stage walkthroughs for a few hours.  I was stupid and didn’t carry any water so by the time we were done I was pretty dehydrated.  I spent the rest of the night rehydrating, and finally started to pee clear again by the end of the night.

On the day of the match we arrived at about 7am and got our stage stickers.  We went to Stage 6 were greeted by our “squad father”, this was a great concept that I haven’t had at a major match yet.  Normally someone on the squad has to do the duty instead they had one of the match staff handling it, so he gathered all of our stickers and took care of all our squading and scoring.

Stage 6:
30 – A
5 – C
1 – D
1 – NS
35.53 seconds
4.3907 hit factor
18th place

Started with gun loaded sitting on the dash of the truck, seated in driver’s seat with hands knees.  The end of the stage had a swinging bridge which I found out I am not that great at as I am not an athletic person and have some balance issues.

On the start I opened the door and grabbed the gun and shot 4 targets, exited the cab and reloaded and crossed over to the other side of the range shot the first target through the port and then next three around the wall.  I reloaded while moving and shot the next few on the move and called a no shoot and made it up.  My plan then went to hell and the wheels came off.  The original plan called for me to engage all but the last two targets from off the bridge, but instead I ended up shooting 3 targets and reloaded while moving to the opposite side of the bridge, which I didn’t need to as I had enough ammo.  It wasn’t pretty and I almost fell, but I finished it up.  The delta and the no shoot killed my hit factor, well the slow time didn’t help either!

Stage 7:
26 – A
4 – C
2 – M
35.41 seconds
3.4454 hit factor
12th place

Sort of a memory stage, my plan was okay but not fluid at all and I didn’t move quickly from port to port.  Start position was behind shooting area, loaded and holstered, hands at side.  I drew stepped into the box and shot the middle popper which activated the swingers.  Did my plan exactly but I shot an extra at a swinger and ran out of ammo as I planned to shoot 10 per before reloading.  So I got a click and no bang after reloading and had to rack the slide.  I had one or two make up shots on steel.

Stage 8:
39 – A
1 – C
32.09 Seconds
6.1701 hit factor
6th place

Started on the top of a raised platform with stairs going down, gun loaded and holstered, hands on railing with palms on marks.  Luckily my buddy Tim reminded me right before it started that the walls went to infinity so my plan had to change quickly as I could see a target from the top of the platform.  That would have caused me a procedural and 2 mikes, so thank you Timmy!

I drew and smoked the first forward falling popper to allow it time to fall so I could hit the ones behind and transitioned to the paper and engaged them and cleared the remainder of the poppers.  I reloaded and moved down the stairs, and cleared that array clean, but hesitated on the last steel to make sure it fell before reloading and moving.  Next array was 4 paper with no shoots, and first shot moving in was a C, the rest A’s but was slower than it should have been.  Next array was a star with the top plate being a no shoot, had one make up on the third plate and then shot the 2 paper.  Reloaded and hit the last array through the port.  Decent stage, but could have moved my fat ass faster.

Stage 9:  CM 03-02 Six Chickens
8 – A
4 – C
1 – NS
9.08 seconds
4.6256 hit factor
7th place

Second fastest time out of Production, decent hits, but after the reload my first shot strong hand only was a no shoot on the perforation.  So I got the hit, but took 10 procedural.  77% for an A class run.  If I would not have hit the no shoot it would have been a 95% run.

Stage 1:
25 – A
4 – C
20.70 seconds
6.6184 hit factor
6th place

Start position was in the back left of the stage with your gun about 10 – 15 feet forward on a table loaded, and all magazines had to be on the table.   This stage went fairly well.  I ran forward and put 2 mags in pouches, but I should have just put one in the pouch and left the other on the table.  That way I could have shot the first array and then done a reload from the table.  This would have saved a couple seconds from me fumbling around trying to stuff mags in the pouches.

I shot everything smooth and fairly quickly, but everything was close and easy.

Stage 2:
23 – A
2 – B
7 – C
41.87 seconds
3.3914 hit factor
19th place

Memory stage, and I bombed it.  Slow, slow, slow, and then I forgot a popper and had to go back to it later.  I need to work on developing a way of remembering everything.  I did remember every target, but only after seeing the bottom part of the popper still standing. It was very slow looking for everything.  Stoeger says to keep it simple in his book, so I am going to have to work on it.

Stage 3:
26 – A
5 – C
1 – M
30.30 seconds
4.4554 hit factor
8th place

Standing with loaded and holstered gun, closed door in front, hands on X’s on the door.  On signal I opened the door and activated the windmill targets, I shot the two targets to the left of the door first and then shot the windmill.  I placed my sights in one spot and waited for the target to start to enter my sights and pressed the trigger and then waited for the next and repeated.  Worked well and I shot A, C on each.  Shot everything else well until the clamshells at the end.  I shot the popper and the clamshells finally opened up, and I blasted both, unfortunately I apparently drove the gun too hard and the second shot on the second target was a mike as I blew past the target.

Stage 4:
22 – A
6 – C
3 – D
1 – M
19.97 seconds
6.0591 hit factor
20th place

Should have been an easy stage, plan was good, but maybe could have been a bit better.  I allowed the wheels to come off as the other decent Production shooter in my squad had a malfunction, which slowed him down.  I saw the time of day field on his sheet as 14:09, so I thought he shot it that fast not the 25 seconds he really did, so I pushed too hard to keep up and my accuracy went to hell.  The miss went through a wall first and I don’t know where the D’s were, so obviously I was not using my sights.  Just a horrible stage performance for me.  Need to remember don’t worry what others do and shoot my match.

Stage 5:
29 – A
2 – C
1 – D
31.12 seconds
4.8843 hit factor
3rd place

I don’t know how I got third on this stage, but I did.  I just shot smooth and accurate.  My D came from the swinger at the end, but I just shot from 4 stopped positions and the ones in the middle I shot on the move and the stage just flowed except for a little bobble at the beginning.

Need to work on stage planning, visualization before the stage start.  I also need to learn how to move my feet faster and balance myself better.  Getting in better shape and training movement is key and this winter I will be working on this big time.

Other than the heat, this was a great match. All the staff was outstanding, THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING AWESOME!

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