Great Plains Sectional review

I know that it is late, and there is no video to accompany it as I haven’t had time to review what I have. I recorded first person video with my GoPro, and Tim recorded a couple of stages third person for me and posted them to his YouTube. I will get mine posted eventually, but I do know that the GoPro had a weird incident on stage 8 where it just stopped recording for a few seconds so I don’t get to see anything after opening the door until shooting the next array through a port.

The week before the match I felt good, I felt ready. Then Wednesday hit and Carla texted me and told me that she was leaving work as she had to take her dad to the emergency room. Diagnosis = brain tumor. Emergency surgery on Thursday morning, and they removed a cancerous tumor the size of a tangerine from his left frontal lobe. Oncologist says 6 months to a year. This sucks as I really, really like my father in law. He has always been supportive of me shooting and tells me how proud he is, unlike my actual father that could care less. I really wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the match, but Friday night Carla gave me her blessing.

Thursday night was the Dallas police shooting, one of my former officers and really good friend is an officer in Dallas. I stayed up longer than I should have listening to the scanner and worrying about him. I finally heard from Mike the next morning at about 10am that he was okay. This combined with my father-in-law and the fact that we seem to be perpetually short-staffed at work which makes it hard for anyone to take leave had me stressed out.

I went to the range quickly on Friday morning to confirm zero with the new front sight on Red, and make sure that CCI primers would go bang in the gun as I will be using CCI for practice ammo and Federal for matches.

I get up bright and early on Saturday morning and head to Timmy’s house and meet up with him and Brandon. I was still in a foul mood and really wasn’t thinking about shooting the match, I was thinking of a million other things.

Timmy and Brandon cheered me up a bit on the way to Omaha and I tried to forget about my worries but they were always on the back of my mind.

We got to Omaha and hit up Guns Unlimited and checked the powder and primer situation. I am good on powder but if they would have had Federal Small Pistol Primers I would have cleaned them out.

Straight to the range and start our walk-through. Everything seemed pretty simple and straight forward to me except for stage 7 which was a slight memory stage. I worked it out pretty easily for me,] and burned it in.  I had it down until I actually shot the stage but more on that later.

Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  I love me some Hate Chicken!  So freaking good. A couple of beers before bed while looking over Timmy’s Nighthawk, and off to dream land. I probably looked like a goober but I have to wear a sleep mask to cover my eyes and ear plugs when in a hotel.  Working shift work for so many years, any light or sound just screws me up.

Match day:

Stage 2 – Shaky Knees
25 – A
9 – C
29.69 seconds
5.1196 hit factor
16th place in Production

Slower than molasses in a South Dakota January. My balance sucks, swingy bridges kill me. Ordered a wobble board to work with and practice dry-firing, drawing and reloading on it. Draw wasn’t great, hits were sloppy for the time it took. Make up shots on steel at the end of the stage.  6 seconds off the stage winner. Mags weren’t dropping free every time, my spring adjustment had apparently failed and I was pressing the magazine release in too far and trapping the magazine. It just got worse through out the day.

Stage 3 – Smoke’em
18 – A
10 – C
16.87 seconds
7.1132 hit factor
9th place in Production

Decent time for me, just absolutely too many C’s. Wasn’t seeing my sights properly and again the mags weren’t dropping cleanly. Good time, just bad hits. This should have been an 8 hit factor stage for me, minimum. I screwed the pooch.

Stage 4 – Quickly
17 – A
3 – C
17.15 seconds
5.4810 hit factor
3rd place in Production

A couple of make ups on the second to last piece of steel for me which was a mini popper, and mags not dropping cleanly again slowed my pace down.

Stage 5 – Full Throttle
28 – A
7 – C
1 – D
35.01 seconds
4.6272 hit factor
6th place in Production

Large stage, with several different ways to shoot it. I could have picked up a couple of seconds on the stage with a bit more efficient movement and picking my spots better. Delta on the swinger killed me. I just moved too slow on this stage. Need to hustle my big butt more when not shooting.

Stage 6 – Where do I go?
31 – A
6 – C
1 – D
28.27 seconds
6.1549 hit factor
4th place in Production

Had a stage plan, didn’t do the stage plan. Tim asked me about it after the stage as there was a slight hesitation, but I just reprogrammed it in my head quickly and finished the stage. Ended up working out. Went almost 1 for 1 on the steel, just had to make up a shot on a popper.

Stage 7 – Ports, Ports, Ports
21 – A
7 – C
1 – D
1 – M
30.72 seconds
3.8086 hit factor
20th place in Production

This stage I was confident on, and then we had to go to lunch right before it. Stage plan was great, until I tried shooting the steel plates. Too many make up shots equals slide lock which just screwed everything up. Finished it out, and on the last target I pushed for too much speed and shot a miss. I didn’t call it and I started to unload and show clear before I noticed it. Would have taken more time to finish it then it was worth. I need to focus on 1 for 1 on steel!

Stage 8 – I go which way?
35 – A
4 – C
32.94 seconds
5.6770 hit factor
6th place in Production

Malfunction! Everything was going great until I hit the port with the Texas star. I felt the gun return to battery strangely, it didn’t feel normal, but I knew I didn’t have a squib as I hit what I was aiming at for the previous shot. Round just didn’t chamber fully and I paused for a moment and confirmed that the slide was in battery, or close to it, and reacquired my sights and click instead of bang. Tap and rack and I was back on sights and shooting, but it cost me close to 4 seconds according to the video.

This was also the hottest freaking bay in the world. I sweated so freaking much waiting for the squad before us to get done, and while resetting and pasting. I swear it felt like Satan came up from Hell and butt raped me.

Stage 9 – Mini-Mart
Classifier – CM99-21
11 – A
1 – C
7.47 seconds
7.7644 hit factor
14th place in Production

RO made me put my hands a bit higher for the surrender start. Then a sloppy gun pickup, but what cost me was the reload. Mag didn’t drop free and added at least a second to my time. Ouch.

Stage 1 – Drive_by
27 – A
2 – C
1 – NS
21.61 seconds
6.0620 hit factor
13th place in Production

I was done. Pissed at my gun not dropping mags, and just spent from the heat. Headache, back was sore, and I just wasn’t having any fun anymore. I wanted one last good stage. Shot a no shoot. Made it up so it wasn’t another miss but I didn’t care anymore, I wanted to find some food and air conditioning.

Final Thoughts
They need to have this match in May when it isn’t hotter than the face of the sun. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the match as my life had turned into a shit sandwich a few days before.

I have fixed the guns, so they both drop free by tweaking the magazine catch springs and relieving some of the catch itself. Shouldn’t be a problem again, but I will be checking it 10 billion times before another major match. Red has a new hammer in it and the trigger is almost identical to Blue’s now, just a smidge heavier in double action by .2 of a pound.

I will be trying to silicone carbide my grips to give them more traction, supplies are on their way from Amazon. I haven’t dry fired much this week, I have been trying to get out and walk and bike at night while playing Pokemon Go to distract me from my job. I currently have an application sitting in the house for a Toolmaker position at a place I worked years ago. I have been out of the trade for almost 15 years, but I don’t think it would take me much to get back into the swing of things. I just have to make a decision. I like my current job, but we are constantly short-staffed and we have another one leaving on the 28th of July. We are already 5 people short of the Department of Justice and IACLEA recommendations, and barely can fill the shifts. If they would give us more full time positions I would stay, but it is starting to stress me out and piss me off and it is effecting my personal life. Who knows?

Addendum – added video from match

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