Match Review – Hornady Area 3 Championship

Been a busy last couple of days!  Timmy and I left for Grand Island, NE for Area 3 on Friday, July 31st, 2015, and we shot on Saturday and Sunday and drove back on Sunday, and this morning I had to drive to Des Moines, IA to spend the week at a training.  So I am sitting here in my hotel room realizing why my wife and I cancelled cable waiting for the slow ass internet connection to finish uploading the video to YouTube.

The day before we left, Timmy came up to Brookings for a live fire session.  I set him on the path to improvement through fundamentals, and when he was able to actually shoot a stage without gun issues, they seem to be helping.  Tim had a bolt action STI on stage 2, his last for Saturday, when his barrel link broke.  For Sunday, one of the other shooters from the club lent him his backup STI.  For his first stage of day 2 we started on the stage with a crap load of swingers, and the extended magazine release that was on the borrowed gun screwed him to all hell.  Each time he shot his weak hand would push the mag release and the magazine would fall out.  Poor bastard.

While practicing with Tim, I wasn’t liking the bullets out setup on my belt again, so the night before the match I converted them back to bullets forward. I don’t think it caused any issues.

The walk-throughs:

We arrived at about 1pm on Friday, and we started the walkthroughs.  Most seemed pretty straight forward, but a couple had several different ways to get it done and I didn’t see all the variables.  This game is constantly throwing new ideas to me every time I shoot.  We got to watch the Production super-squad shoot a stage or two so that was cool.

The Match: Listed in order I shot them. 10 and 11 and 5 and 6 were speed shoots in the same bay. We alternated in the shooting order which is why I shot them out of order.

Our stage order was Saturday: 9 through 14, and 1 and 2.  Sunday we shot 3 through 8.

Stage 9 – Which Way?
27 – A
1 – B
3 – C
1 – M
23.02 seconds
5.9513 hit factor

This stage had some targets out at about 25 yards that you could take a couple different ways.  On the start signal the targets were obscured by hard cover except for the heads.  To get the hard cover to drop away you had to open door, but to engage the targets after the door you would have to do an extreme lean both right and left.  I opted to just shoot head shots.  1st miss of the day on one of those targets.  Not a bad stage, but after watching my video, I definitely would not have done it the same way.  I now see a better order to shoot the targets, and wish I would have seen it then!  My time wasn’t bad, but the miss on the head screwed me.

Stage 11 – Not So Quick
16 – A
9.75 seconds
8.2051 hit factor

I should have grabbed gun and crouched, shot the top two, reloaded and then top two on right and crouch and finish on the bottom right two. Instead I started on top, when bottom, reloaded while crouched and finished on the top. Basically did it backwards. Had trigger freeze on the first target. Still the reload wasn’t bad and my biggest time loss was the trigger freeze.

Stage 10 – Twisted Steel
13 – A
3 – C
10.14 seconds
7.2978 hit factor

I should have shot both the steel poppers that activated the drop turners first and then shot the rest other two poppers. I would have had plenty of time. Reload was slow as I had issues getting it in the gun. Second array was like the first, shoot the two activators and then the other two poppers. Instead I played it safe and it slowed me almost 3 seconds from the top shooter.

Stage 12 – One at a Time
22 – A
9 – C
1 – D
31.45 seconds
4.3879 hit factor

10 seconds slower than Stoeger. Need to work on my balance! Damn swinging bridges are killing me. Had a light primer strike near the end, and I cleared it quickly but it shouldn’t have happened. I am guessing it was a crimped primer pocket that I just crammed a primer into and it wasn’t fully seated. One shot per target, and a simple stage that I should have been much faster on, but I almost fell when crouching on the bridge.

Stage 13 – Window Shots
24 – A
4 – C
3 – D
29.12 seconds
4.6360 hit factor

3 Deltas! Shot steel poppers through 3″ ports that I could have dropped out of the way if I would have ran to the other side then ran back. I didn’t go one for one on the poppers, just wasn’t that pretty. Watch your sights!!!

Stage 14 – Nothing Hidden
24 – A
6 – C
2 – D
21.79 seconds
6.4250 hit factor

2 Deltas! Pushed for speed only a second and a half behind Stoeger, the Deltas killed my hit factor. Need to watch my sights after hosing steel. Not a bad stage plan, but could have been improved upon.

Stage 1 – How Far?
24 – A
7 – C
1 – M
30.21 seconds
4.3363 hit factor

Two options for the steel poppers were shoot them from the structure at 40 yards or run back after the last array and shoot them through a very low port. I chose to shoot them from way back. I told myself that I would allow 2 make up shots, and if I didn’t knock them down to run forward and use the port. I missed the first and then went 4 for 4. My miss was a target obstructed by a barrel. I apparently hit the barrel. Would have been 2 Alphas if the barrel didn’t count.

Stage 2 – The Other Left
19 – A
11 – C
1 – D
1 – M
29.65 seconds
4.0135 hit factor

Not a bad time, not great hits. I shot the entire left array from the start area, and then moved down the right. The miss was on paper next to all the poppers. Shot the steel quickly and didn’t slow down enough to verify my sights on the paper for the second shot.

Stage 3 – Swingers Anyone?
24 – A
5 – C
2 – D
1 – M
30.59 seconds
4.1517 hit factor

Turned and drew and went 1 for one on the steel. Didn’t move fast enough to the first swinger and had to wait for it to reappear. All the D’s and the one M was on the swingers, I just don’t get enough practice on them as I don’t have one of my own, and the club only has them infrequently. I also shot one of the swingers twice, once before the reload and again after, I don’t know why.

Stage 4 – UP and Down
29 – A
3 – C
26.64 seconds
5.7808 hit factor

Slow as hell! I need to work on my foot speed. Was worried about breaking the 180 so I was much slower than I should have been. Speed on the actual arrays wasn’t bad, or going up the stairs, going down was bad. Time to run stairs, and box jumps.

Stage 6 – Speed Steel
16 – A
15.34 seconds
5.2151 hit factor

Decent stage, couple of make ups on the steel. I should have changed the order I shot them to make them more available and I would not have had to wait for the others to fall.

Stage 5 – Get Out of the Way!
14 – A
1 – C
1 – D

Good gun grab and load. Missed the rope the first time, and had to go back for it. C and D hits were on the first target after putting both hands on the gun. Should have played with the prop more and just pulled it back and shot both targets freestyle instead of strong hand only.

Stage 7 – Line Up
28 – A
2 – C
1 – D
1 – M
26.22 seconds
5.2250 hit factor

Crappy stage plan, would have been faster an alternative plan. D and M hit were on a close target I shot while running. Normally don’t have a problem with shooting on the move, but I didn’t even get a sight picture, I just hosed the target.

Stage 8 – Drop the Ball
27 – A
5 – C
29.35 seconds
5.1107 hit factor

I should have listened to Tim Herron and just ran up and dropped the ball then come back and shot after the array at the ball drop. Instead I shot the first 5 strong hand only, and they were good hits, but I didn’t explode out of position after shooting the last of the array. Moved slowly to the ball drop, and my reload was slow as balls.

Great match, great people. Need to drop about 30 to 40 pounds, and work on my movements. Shooting was okay, but too many mikes. All in all about what I expected from my first Area match. Wanted top 20 and missed it 1.5%. My mikes cost me greatly. Back to work!!

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