Friday, March 9, 2012

Match Etiquette, USPSA and IDPA Clubs Swamped, Training, and Team WIILSHOOT

After thinking a lot about some of what I said in "Hard Calls", it struck me that a lot of folks may not know why the situation got tense and how to alleviate it...

I'll start with competitor etiquette...

This is simple: If you're not shooting, getting ready to shoot, or just coming off the line, you should have a roll of pasters in hand and should be helping to tape the targets after they are scored. This helps move competitors through in an efficient manner.

Additionally, know the safety rules cold, even if the technical rules are a bit beyond you.

Lastly, know generally where you're at in the shooting order. You should be ready to go when they say you're "In the Hole" or "On Deck".

Club Swamping

It used to be that this sport attracted few people. Many of the local clubs used to only get 10-15 peoples at monthly matches. With so much interest in the sport now, attendance keeps growing, but the mindset/process of the clubs hasn't.

With this overwhelming feeling comes a natural "spin control" replete with calls for making events, "Members Only" or making matches a hard first-come first-served on the day-of. The trouble is that both of these options turn away new shooters and potentially sour folks who've traveled a long distance to compete.

I guess my opinion of a solution is a bit different: I just think more online sign-ups should be used. The pros are pretty huge: ability to plan/squad folks ahead of time, ability of turn overflow away before they show up expecting to shoot, and less issues collecting $ and making change. There are many tools to effect this - EventBrite is what we use for McHenry IPSC and it handles pretty much any scenario you could think of...

I'm guessing that the the trick to doing it well at a club-level lies in tiered registration, where members get first crack, before outsiders can join in.

I mean, I'd hate to turn away, say for example, the Oak Park guys who've helped so much at the WIIT...


My primer cup overfloweth! Mainly because I just finished loading 3500 rounds!

I've got 3000 set aside for Tony Alterio and my class with Bill Rogers at the Rogers Shooting School in Ellijay, GA. After hearing Rogers present at last year's Action Target Sponsored LETC, I was really hooked on his ideas. Since I got bumped from that class, I decided that a week down there would be a great "spring tune up"

After the course concludes, Tony and I are headed to Sparta, IL to rendezvous with Jay, Kozy, Mik3, TD Roe, Mike T. and a number of the McIDPA crew. We're returning to Sparta to participate in the Friends of Wounded Warriors Benefit Match!

I'll be shooting ESP (with my SSP gun) along with Mike T and Jay, while Mik3'll be shooting CDP with a modified M&P .45, and the rest of the guys will be all over SSP!

I should be able to update the blog while on the road... Stay tuned!

Some Reloading Insights

After nearly 6 months and several thousands of rounds later, I really feel like I've got a good hang of the 1050... My latest learning lesson was understanding why I was getting seemingly a lot of crushed primers in my first batch of 1,000... I broke down the press, cleaned, lubed and got her up and running again - the next 2,000 were pretty smooth - a gaff here or there, but definitely smoother than before! It seems that the maintenance cycle is probably closer to 4,000 rounds than 10,000...

Out of 3000 bullets, I ended up with 2,973, The first 1,000 probably accounted for more than half of these...
In the end, that is 99.1% conversion rate, so the failure is just under 1%! I'm impressed...

For Rogers' class, I'm running Berry's 165gr plated - a plated or moly bullet is required so no jacket frag comes back at the shooter from shooting ALL steel - and have been really impressed. There is very little deviation in these things. For the load, I backed down my powder by a 10th of a grain, my usual go-to load is a 165gr Precision Delta jacketed bullet over 5.7gr Power Pistol and a CCI primer.