Monday, January 23, 2012

Let The Games Begin

Let The Games Begin

Before we begin today's regular programming of assorted insanity and mayhem, please allow me to take a moment to welcome our new follower, Auntie J. Auntie J appears to have found her way here from DaddyBear's Den (thanks again for the link DB).  According to her comment on a recent post, Auntie J appears to be in the throws of the foster parent/adoption process. So, I'm sure she won't mind a few extra prayers from the congregation. Auntie J, thanks for stopping by and joining our happy band of misfits and sinners. There's always room for one more. 

Anywho, I am inspired to write this afternoon to relate my experiences of yesterday evening. As mentioned in previous posts, I have had a burning desire to engage in some form of competitive shooting for some time now. I've watched from the sidelines as others have too much fun for too long. No more. So, last night, I took the plunge and shot my first IDPA match. 

Where to begin?

First, the people. I can not say enough about how nice the people involved in organizing the match were. The match was put on by the Dallas Action Pistol Shooters, and a nicer bunch of folks does not exist in my opinion. They were very welcoming and helpful to the handful of new shooters there last night including myself. I showed up by myself, not knowing a soul, spotted a guy in a "shoot me first" vest at the door to the range and got brief but accurate instructions on where to go and who to see to get registered. 

I found the person I was to supposed to see about registering and was immediately greeted with a warm handshake and a "Hi, my name is___." as soon as I announced first time, new shooter, several other people leaned in to introduce themselves. They were all very patient with me ignorance. 

Nice lady helping with registration: "What division are you going to shoot?"
Me: "I don't know. I have a SIG 1911."
Experienced Shooter Eavesdropping: "What caliber?"
Me: ".45."
ESE#1 to another ESE: "Hey Artie, he's shooting man bullets too." (I later found out that ESE#1 and Artie had a good natured rivalry going. ESE#1 was also shooting a .45 1911 while Artie was running a 9mm Glock.)
Nice lady: "You'll be in CDP."
Me: "Uh...."
Nice lady: "Don't worry about it. The safe area is through that door, new shooter safety briefing starts in about 10 minutes. They'll help you get geared up and pointed in the right direction."

And, so, it began. 

ESE#1, in addition to being one of the match safety officers, turned out to be a great resource since we were shooting the same equipment and division. He helped me get a mag pouch and belt picked out and set up since I arrived sans both. He also let me borrow an extra magazine from him since I came to the match one short of the minimum. 

During the new shooter briefing, it became apparent that what I thought was going to happen wasn't going to happen. I was under the impression that I would have to shoot the classifier round before shooting a match. During the briefing, I learned that, no, in fact, we were all going to shoot the full match. I raised my hand to ask about the round count, and I was rewarded with "Excellent question. It depends." I allowed as how I just wanted to make sure that I had brought enough ammo. He confirmed that what I had on hand was sufficient. 

Then it was time to hit the range. We were shooting at an indoor range that had three separate bays set up for four stages. The group of about 40 or 50 shooters was divided into two squads. I was assigned to the squad with ESE#1, Artie, and the majority of the new shooters including two father/daughter teams which I thought was cool. 

I was pretty far down in the rotation which I appreciated as it gave me ample opportunity to study procedures, etc. Finally, my name was called. ESE#1 was the safety officer on my shoot. He asked me to describe what I was going to do. Apparently, what I said made sense to him as he let me give it a try. 

The first stage involved three sets of targets separated by barrels stacked as barricades. Staring position was hands on a barrel with two targets about 3 yards forward of the barrel. At the buzzer, I was to draw and fire a "Mozambique" (two shots center mass and one shot to the "head") at both targets. From there, I had to back up slightly and move to the stacked barrels on my left to engage three targets with two shots each from cover by "slicing the pie." 

Since I only started with 9 rounds in the gun, this is where I was forced to reload. I lost a bit of time here due to inexperience in rapid reloading, but I managed to get the fresh mag from the carrier and insert it into the magwell without dropping it or trying to put in backwards. 

After clearing this part of the stage, it was another shuffle/lurch to another barrel barricade to the left for the final two targets for two shots each. One of these targets had a "hostage" no shoot target attached to the front reducing the available scoring target area. 

I managed to get through the stage with no major malfunctions, runs, drips or errors. The stage required a minimum of 16 rounds for successful completion, and that is the number of shots I fired. I hit all my targets and did not shoot the no shoot. 

At this point, I do not remember what my time was or how many points down I got, if any. I'll have to do another post when the scores are released on the club website. When another newbie asked me how I did, I responded "I got a time. That's all I know." 

And that's pretty much how the whole match went. Total minimum round count for all four stages was 56. Number of rounds I fired: 56. I committed no errors or procedurals. I didn't shoot myself or anyone else. Daddy Hawk's WARHAMMER! functioned flawlessly. I know I came in 32nd overall out of at least 40 shooters. I have no clue about my rank within the CDP division, but I can pretty much guarantee that ESE#1 took top honors there. 

Perhaps the best compliment I had all night was at the end of stage four when Artie said, "Man, you are accurate as Hell." I'll take that with a smile for my first attempt. 


  1. awesome! it sounds like you had a really good time with a really helpful bunch of people - and that is nice! you'll be an ESE and helping new people in no time, buddy!

    your friend,

    1. Kimberly, I hope so. I need to get my IDPA membership so I can get classified. Based on what I know now, I think I can turn in a good time and at least qualify as Marksman if not Sharpshooter.

  2. Is that not one of the most fun things you'll ever do with your gun or what? I love our defensive pistol matches! They're IDPA-type matches, but without some of the rule limitations of the IDPA.

    You made me think of a couple of tips I learned for mag changes etc., that I'll post on my blog. Maybe you'll find them helpful. Or not. But I hope so.

    1. GunDiva, I am definitely hooked, and I am trying to get Number One Follower to join in the fun too. I will take any tips I can get at this point. I know WARHAMMER! is likely to be sporting an extended magwell before too much longer. I know I need to spend less time on center mass shot placement and focus on getting the rounds downrange especially on the close in targets. I am also going to have to replace the SERPA style retention holster that came with the gun. That or simply disable the retention button.


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