Today I skipped the match at Sioux Falls Practical Shooters and made a trip down to Omaha to shoot the Eastern Nebraska Practical Shooters Multi-Classifier Match. When I started shooting the weather sucked and continued to suck most of the day. I can usually handle shooting in the rain, cold, or wind…. But not all 3 at once. The biggest thing I learned today is I REALLY HATE VIRGINIA COUNT.
Stage 1: Tick Tock (13-05)
I started this stage with a light drizzle coming down and the wind just cutting through you. Like I said before being cold is fine, and being wet is fine but not both at the same time. By the time I got down to my time to shoot my hands were getting numb and they were just damp enough that I struggled to warm them up while I was on deck. The table start was pretty good. I got the gun picked up and loaded nicely. I then screwed the pooch on the reload. I tried to rotate the gun to hit the release and the gun didn’t move. My fingers didn’t want to function very well and I couldn’t seem to feel the release. Once the mag dropped the remainder of the stage went good. Shot 13-A’s and 3-C’s in 12.69 seconds. Which come out to about a 53% C- class run.
Stage 2: More Disaster Factor (13-08)
When I got to this stage I was even wetter since the drizzle switched to full on rain. Again I was really low in the shooting order so I spent a lot of time standing around and pasting targets not getting much of a chance to warm up my fingers. When it was finally my turn I got bit by the Virginia Count bug. I had a feeling that I may have missing the upper middle target on my second shot because I caught myself moving to target 3 a little too soon but I wasn’t allowed to make up the shot. Again my reload went to shit with frozen fingers not wanting to properly hit the release. I bobbled the mag a bit as well as I pulled it out of the pouch cause my hands and the mags were a little wet. I got the reload done and I just blazed the last 3 targets as fast as possible since I was pissed and figured I had tanked the stage already causing 2-Ds. From the looks of it this classifier will be thrown out since its so low.
Stage 3: Golden Bullets Standards(06-06)
After the shit show on the first 2 stages I was really pissed at myself and needed to refocus. I was closer to the front of the shooting order and I needed to go to the bathroom so I was able to move around and spend some time getting blood circulating when it came time to shoot my hands felt nice and warm. My reloads were good on this stage. On the strong hand only portion I got bit by the “Virginia Bug” again. I felt myself push a shot as I pulled the trigger on the far right target… sure as shit I hit the hard cover for a miss on the stage. On the weak had portion I caught myself push before I broke the shot saving me another miss but costing me some time. I was happier with this run than the previous 2 stages.
Stage 4: Quickly II (99-13)
On this stage I was the 4th shooter so I spent a lot of time trying to keep warm. It helped that the bay we were in had no wind and the rain had stopped. This was a fast stage with 2 strings of fire. The Bug got me again when I was driving hard on the second string before the reload and thought I had either a miss or a D cause I over shot my transition a bit cause for some reason I was trying to shoot it like the M-Class El-Prez I can occasionally pull off. Even with the miss this turned out to be my best stage of the day pulling off a B-Class run.
Stage 5 & 6: Steely Speed V (99-08) Steely Speed VII (99-10)
Both of these stages were all steel and set up in the same bay. They had us shoot the one and then move over to the second one right away. On Steely Speed V I pulled off the run in 4.72 seconds. I got moving a little fast and had 2 make up shots on the 4th popper. I saw the miss and took out the 5th popper then quickly tried to dump back and go 4 – 6 as fast as possible and my movement was faster than my trigger finger. Run was just short of a B-Class run. On Steely VII I didn’t get out and on target around the barricade as fast as I wanted and I had a few too many makeup shots. Still pulled off a decent run on the stage.
After the match I was not happy with my performance. I felt like I totally tanked it and I got to DWELL on that feeling while waiting for scores to post. When I saw the scores I wasn’t as upset with myself. I took 10th of 24 in production and 22nd of 74 shooters in the overall. Still not happy with the performance but I’m a little more content with it. I know this may have sounded like a series of excuses as to why I did poorly but its more of a reminder to myself that I need to be more prepared and this is my fault. With my week I slacked on dry-fire and I could have always been better prepared for the weather… poncho, towel, hand warmers. But I’m still fairly young in the game and have a lot to learn. this will be one of those moments