Last Sunday I participated in the USPSA match put on by the Lewiston Pistol Club.

On stage 1 my practice with one handed shooting paid off and I had both the best time and the best hits. This gave me a 12 point lead over Master Class shooter Adam.

On stage 2 I saw a way I could use my height to good advantage and shoot the stage in a way the enabled me to avoid stopping at one of the expected shooting positions. This saved me a couple of seconds from what my time would have been and gave me nearly a full second advantage over Adam. He had better hits than I did but he was only up by a little over two points. This left me a little over 10 points in the lead for the match.

On stage 4 (which was shot before stage 3) I shot fairly well, Adam had a few difficulties and didn’t shoot as well as he usually does but better than I did. We had identical hits but he had a better time and he cut my lead to just under 4.2 points.

On stage 3, the classifier, Adam had a malfunction then a miss. His time was poor and with the penalties and the poor hits all I had to do was “not mess up” to win the match. It has been years since I have won a USPSA match. I tried not to think about it but that phrase, “don’t mess up” keep running through my mind.

The stage required shooting five rounds on a target, performing a mandatory reload, then engaging a second target with five rounds. It was very close range. Only six feet away from one target and 10 feet away from the other target. No sights required at this range. Just point the gun and pull the trigger as fast as you can. I’m pretty good at pulling the trigger fast. Going through some of my eyeglasses cam footage I found the slide is sometimes only in the forward/in-battery position for a single frame. In terms of rate of fire I’m pushed the limit of what the gun is capable of achieving (I may actually exceed it at times I need to be wearing my special glasses when I have problems going really fast to diagnose the problem).

My draw was okay, not nearly as good as Adam who was drawing and firing his first shot in the 0.9 range that day, but it didn’t need to be. My splits were fast. All were under 0.15 and some were as fast as 0.12. I had all ‘A’ hits on the first five shots. My reload was slower than I liked but it didn’t matter that much. All I had to do was “not mess up”. I started shooting again on the same target. Again my shots were all ‘A’ hits and very fast. I had fired four shots before I realized I was shooting at the wrong target. I yelled “Dammit!” and put the last round on the correct target. I had messed up—big time. With all the penalties I zeroed the stage. It turns out I only needed 60.2 stage points out of the 100 possible to win the match and I got 0 which gave me a third place finish for the match.

Heavy sigh.

I’m attending another USPSA match tomorrow at the Paul Bunyan Rifle and Sportsman’s Club. I’m going to practice at Wade’s today and I’m going to try shooting with a clear mind rather than “don’t mess up” flooding the neurons.


2 thoughts on “Choke

  1. If I may, a better tactic is to concentrate on the tasks required in a positive fashion… a.k.a. Target one, then Target two. And…keep your eyes off the scoreboard and your mind on your work. Have a short memory, kind of like a goal tender must have, or a quarterback who just threw an interception.

    Keep the score 0 – 0 after every stage.

    My $0.02

  2. Yeah. I know how to do it right. I just didn’t put any effort into doing that and let my mind go where it wanted to.


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