Candle stage scores

Here are the scores from the concealed carry match with the candles on Sunday:

Name                Points              Time                      Hit Factor
Joe H.                  29                    4.18                         6.9378
Bob N.                 26                    4.73                         5.4968
Roger W.             28                    6.91                        4.0521
Barron B.             26                    6.44                        4.0373
Don W.                14                     4.02                        3.4826
Richard I.            15                     5.35                        2.8037
Jodi H.                   5                     9.19                        0.5441
Erik P.                    0                     7.57                        0.0000
Adam M.                0                     4.06                        0.0000

Many of you already know this but I’ll explain again for those that are new to USPSA matches. The Hit Factor is the number of points scored, minus the penalties (such as misses), divided by the time it took to score those points. Each perfect hit (A-Zone) is worth five points. Less accurate shooting yields few points. This means there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy when trying to maximize your Hit Factor.

As you can see from the scores above I didn’t have the fastest time but because I scored near the maximum number of points (there were six shots so 30 points were the maximum) while still having a decent time I won that stage with the best Hit Factor.

Fellow video conspirator Barron (he has further comments on the scores) had a time near the bottom of the group yet with good hits came in above the middle.

The most important thing to note is that everyone got at least some solid hits on the bad guy and the maximum time used was 9.19 seconds. The Tucson shooter was shooting for about 16 seconds. Had any one of the people above been in a good position to engage him the shooting could have been stopped much sooner.

17 thoughts on “Candle stage scores

  1. I was really hoping one of you would’ve turned around, yelled, “STOP! I lit a candle to stop violence!” then hurled the candle at the bad guy before shooting. That would’ve been a hoot.

  2. “The most important thing to note is that everyone got at least some solid hits on the bad guy and the maximum time used was 9.19 seconds. The Tucson shooter was shooting for about 16 seconds. Had any one of the people above been in a good position to engage him the shooting could have been stopped much sooner.”

    And how many people hit the innocent people around the bad guy?

    The rest of this paragraph is just a fairy tale. There is no magical way to turn around and know who the bad guy is instantly to shoot him — and what if two or three other people pull out guns? Are you going to shoot them too? A lot of police departments train for this type of thing (and most of them are wearing uniforms) and they still manage to hit each other with bullets on a regular basis.

    This looks like a fun exercise but in no way does it approximate an active shooting situation.

  3. Oh, and try attaching that burning candle to a glass jar full of gasoline and then throwing it at the bad guy. I’ll bet that would get his attention.

  4. True–but can you think of a better, safe, reasonably inexpensive way to practice (i.e. animatromic robots are probably not viable as yet)? Also, compare this type of shooting (which can get much more active than this video) to traditional cop training (a single stationary target at about 5 yards; draw & fire on command; repeat).

    So you admit that effective weapons can occasionally become necessary?

  5. @ubu52, I don’t have the numbers for how many innocents were hit. But the bottom line is that fewer and less direct hits were on innocents than on the bad guy. This means the bad guy would have been stopped before he got his direct hits on more innocents even if some innocents would have been wounded by the good guys.

    And regarding police versus private citizen shootings:

    A nationwide study by Kates, the constitutional lawyer and criminologist, found that only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The “error rate” for the police, however, was 11 percent, over five times as high.

    We practice as realistically as we can do it with a limited budget while being safe. We train far more than most police officers.

    Very few police officers attend one of our matches more than once and they almost always come in at the bottom. One of our semi-regular shooters is a local reserve police officer. Check out Jason Ewing’s standing in our matches.

  6. Interesting distribution of scores… But the whole “dividing it by time” thing definitely does paint a more-realistic viewpoint of balancing the two aspects of shooting.

    There is no magical way to turn around and know who the bad guy is instantly to shoot him.

    Who is shooting at a sitting federal Representative or indiscriminately into the crowd? No “magic” involved – just simple “common sense”.

  7. The worst was two shots into the same no shoot ubu. Would you rather people just stand and do nothing while the shooter continues to kill indiscriminately unabated? I wish we could have invited a bunch of LEOs to shoot the stage for comparison.

    The argument about strikes to no shoots is smoke and mirrors anyway. Police don’t have a 100% hit rate. No one does in a live shoot. Life comes with risk. In order to stop someone who is killing people indiscriminately the person reacting is going to have some risk. All the innocents around the spree shooter are in very high risk of loosing their life.

    There’s a couple things that make that stage much harder than real life and some that make it easier. No one’s shooting back at you. Nothing is moving. With nothing moving the white targets are not placing distance between them and the shooter. In other words the accuracy required in that is the worst case.

  8. Barron,

    Many “spree” shooters are stopped by people who tackle them — which is exactly what happened in Tucson. Despite Arizona having some of the loosest gun laws in the USA, it wasn’t someone with a gun who stopped Loughner.

  9. Joe,

    Unfortunately, as you know, police in LA have frequently confused things like cell phones, hose nozzles and other items for weapons.

    The police in the LAPD have to qualify every other month. I’m sure they practice a lot more than most people think they do.

  10. Ubu,
    When was he tackled? During the reload. Maybe you should actually go study the whole incident report. People ducked for cover and ran until he had to reload 15 seconds in. Did you forget that little fact?

    When was the last time you heard about a civilian shooting someone with a phone? Ok, just because they qualify though doesn’t mean they get practice, and it doesn’t mean they’re actually any good. The LAPD qual is:
    “As far as the Qual course its 30 rounds starting at the 7 yard line and moving to the 25 yard line and shooting from the baracade position, left and right handed. You just need to hit the black paper, its not that hard……” And from what I’ve found they use a 1/2 life size target.

    If I can, I’ll find the details for the whole qual course and at some point I’ll run it stone cold and post it.


  11. Barron,

    “When was the last time you heard about a civilian shooting someone with a phone?” Yesterday, actually. Here: (Please note, NRA and CCW. Obviously one of the good guys. ;-))

    Looks like the details of the LAPD courses can be found here:

    Since you’re experienced, why don’t you try the Bonus round too? I’d be curious how hard it is…

  12. I want to see how that trial finishes. As the two men shot had both provoked a fight, the weapon used was not the shooters, there’s more going on here than what we see. It has been proven in court that when committing a violent act reasonable suspicion of a weapon is all that is required. Placing your hand in your pocket and making it look like you have a gun implies the threat of force and you can react justifiably.

    As someone in that fight was obviously armed, it would be a safe, and reasonable assumption the other assailant would be as well. What you’re doing is playing the 20/20 hindsight game. If someone points a pellet gun that looks real and gets shot it’s justified. If someone implies they have a gun through actions it’s justified. Here we have a civilian in the middle of a fight that reacted in what he believed to be self defense. Even if it was a cop I wouldn’t be faulting him.

  13. @ubu52, Thanks for the link to the qualification standards. I was looking for them myself and not having very good luck. It may be a few months (other people already have stages scheduled) but I will try to get the standards into stage format we can shoot at our club.

  14. AntiCitizen,

    You think he should go free? The second guy wasn’t even involved in the incident and was probably trying to get his cell phone out when he was shot.

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