Match Review – 2015 Minnesota Section Championship – 15 August 2015

My first major match was the 2014 Minnesota Section Championship and I finished in 14th place. It was a lot of memory stages and I had a crap load of failure to engage procedurals and a crazy amount of misses.  So this year when I signed up I set a goal to have no failure to engage penalties.

Tim, Josh and I arrived on Friday about noon to look over the stages.  We were to start on Stage 4 and shoot the top 5 stages first and after lunch we moved down to the bottom bays.  Stages 3, 4, and 5 were the most memory intensive. I made a plan for each stage, and programmed them into my head… I felt confident.  Even though it was hot and humid, it was still less than the Great Plains Section a month and a half earlier, so I knew to stay hydrated.   I also tweaked the magazine release on my Accu so the mags would always fall free, which was a problem at Area 3 and the last club match.

After the walkthroughs we went to the hotel and Josh racked out as he had been up all night. Tim and I ran some errands, then went and found a place to eat.  We tried John Hardy’s BBQ, and Tim and I ordered the ribs.  They were amazing and huge!  I think it will have to be a new tradition. Next year will be the shredded pork, and the next the brisket.

The next morning we woke up at 0545 hours and were on the range at 0700.  We registered and then either walked through the stages or stood around waiting until 0830 when we could finally shoot.

Stage 4 – Home Defenses
20 – A
4 – C
2 – D
2 – M
1 – Proc for failure to engage
4/4 steel
29.26 seconds
3.5543 hit factor
23/48 in Production division
67/132 Overall

All that standing around waiting really screwed me up. I changed my plan for the stage and as a result I screwed up. I started and had a few makeup shots on the poppers and that caused me to go to slide lock, then I shot the rest of the stage and didn’t engage a target. This gave me 2 misses and an failure to engage procedural. 30 points down to start the day, and my only goal for the match was not met. I was irritated with myself and it was a tough one to shake off. It set the tone for my attitude for the rest of the day. While the rest of the match went pretty good, I felt like I was not shooting well all day.

Stage 5 – Port of Call
23 – A
4 – C
1 – D
4/4 steel
28.67 seconds
5.1622 hit factor
3/48 Production division
22/132 Overall

Started with my right hand on the doorknob and the door closed. On signal I opened the door and moved left to the first port and shot the first five targets. I reloaded while moving through the door crouched down and shot the first two poppers through the lower port, and then transitioned to the second set of poppers through the other low port which opened a port right above and activated a swinger. The first popper from the left set opened the top port which allowed me to shoot the last paper of the array I planned that was somewhat hidden around the corner. I reloaded and shot two stationary paper and the swinger. Moved and reloaded to the right for my final position and five targets two of which were easy to forget as they were concealed behind me and obscured by a wall as you ran by.

I shot A, C on the swinger which was moving fairly fast and only available for about 90 degrees of its swing. I just started tracking it when it was behind the no shoot and as it appeared I made my shots. I think I only had one makeup shot on one of the poppers. I slowed myself down for this stage after the disaster that was stage 4.

Stage 1 – MAPSA Madness
24 – A
2 – C
6/6 steel
24.81 seconds
6.2878 hit factor
3/48 Production division
22/132 Overall

Everything was fairly close just had to move through with a purpose. There were several ways to shoot the paper on the right of the shooting area, and it would have been easy to shoot the same target twice and waste time. I just planned where my reloads would be and shot when my sights were acceptable. When I wasn’t shooting I was moving. There were 6 poppers on the left side that activated a maxtrap. For me it wasn’t worth attempting to shoot the target when it presented as it was a wide transition to the maxtrap, and the head was still available and you had to run up close to it to shoot the final target.

Could have moved a bit faster, still need to work on moving explosively.

Stage 2 – Sideways Shimmy
25 – A
3 – C
8/8 steel
35.23 seconds
3.8036 hit factor
4/48 Production division
31/132 Overall

Right before I shot the stage, I thought of a better way to shoot it, but I didn’t have time to reprogram it and I decided just to make it happen the way I originally planned it. Started from the left and finished on the right and finished the swingers while leaning around the wall. My time took forever as I took my time on the swingers to avoid all the no shoots along the wall below them. I probably could have shot them faster but I didn’t want any misses. After hearing my time I thought I bombed the stage, but apparently others either shot it slow or hit a bunch of no shoots or had misses as I took fourth in Production.

Stage 3 – Load A Round
30 – A
2 – C
31.86 seconds
4.8964 hit factor
2/48 Production division
25/132 Overall

I had to reshoot this due to a range equipment failure. Second time through was 2 seconds slower, but I had really good hits. I need to work on moving from positions and hitting my marks.

Stage 9 – A Calculated Plan
24 – A
4 – C
20.24 seconds
7.5099 hit factor
4/48 Production division
31/132 Overall

First stage after lunch. Getting tired and it was freaking hot. I decided to shoot the far targets farther back than most people, as they shot it from the far forward fault line. Helped my time, but I was slow from position to position.

Stage 10 – Circle Of Doom
15 – A
5 – B
4 – C
25.56 seconds
4.9687 hit factor
9/48 Production division
43/132 Overall

Lots of hard cover targets, so I shot a bit slower to ensure that I made hits and didn’t throw a miss. I had to reload between each port due to the number of targets. The last port I had a light primer strike which added a second or two of time. If I would have dropped 2 seconds I would have taken 3rd on the stage. I need to make sure I seat the primers deep on the Dillon, and I may get a Lee hand primer for my major match ammo. I should also replace the hammer spring on the CZ a bit more often.

Average velocity – 964 fps
Bullet weight – 134.5 grains
130.1 powerfactor

Stage 6 – Drop and Go
23 – A
4 – C
1 – D
22.03 seconds
7.1720 hit factor
5/48 Production division
24/132 Overall

The D hit was while I was running at a target. I need to work on my moving and shooting at high speed. I could have shaved a bit of time off of my time, if I would have shot the activator, the rest of the steel and then the drop out target. The targets are something I hadn’t seen yet, and they would angle out about 45 degrees for a second and then move to the opposite side of the no shoot which was on the other side of a wall. I shot the first one hitting the activator last and waited for what felt like an eternity. The next array with the same setup I shot the activator first and then hit the other poppers and still had plenty of time to shoot the drop out. Got done, and I was not happy about the delta.

Stage 7 – Speed Up
8 – A
6.20 seconds
8.0645 hit factor
5/48 Production division
26/132 Overall

The stage took 10 rounds to shoot and I have 11 in the gun to start. I just wanted to avoid having to reload which would have added a good second or so on the clock. First shot was at a popper and I missed, I made it up and finished the stage at slide lock. Time should have been a second faster if I pushed it, but I just wanted a consistant run.

Stage 8 – Slow Down
6 – A
3 – C
1 – D
6.15 seconds
7.3171 hit factor
11/48 Production division
37/132 Overall

Last stage, similar to Stage 7, just a different start position and instead of 2 poppers and a paper target down range it was 2 paper targets and a single popper. A little slower and the hits were not great and finished the match with a delta on one of the far targets.

Final thoughts

When I finished the match, I wasn’t very happy with myself as I failed my goal of no procedurals. I didn’t feel like I shot a very good match. I stayed on the bottom bays a bit longer helping one of the staff get the stuff strapped down in the back of his truck. When finished I grabbed my gear and walked back to the vehicle and wasn’t really looking forward to checking the scores. I sat down with Tim, Josh, Dirk, Jason, Roger and Ray, and we all just looked tired. Tim pulled up Practiscore and handed the phone to me. I looked at the results for Production and was extremely surprised, 4th place and 2nd A class. Best finish at a level 2 match yet. First time in the top 10 at a major.

It was a good trip, but long. I got home about 0100 hours and said the hell with it and I didn’t go shoot the club match in Sioux Falls today.

Timmy got the video uploaded to YouTube and after watching it, I was more impressed with myself than I thought I was going to be. I do need to become more explosive in and out of positions, but I already knew that. I have a new dry erase board hanging up where it is in my face everyday and I am using it as my dryfire schedule. Also starting today, I am going to start working on dropping some weight.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 19.55.19


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