Sunday, June 14, 2015

Through The Mud To The USPSA Match Beyond

The match scheduled for today at the range I typically go to was still being held rain or shine.

In this case rain. Lots and lots of rain.

It rained prior to 7 am, stopped and then rained some more all during my drive to the match at 8.

It then stopped raining long enough to sign up and head onto the range, whereupon it started raining again with the day warm and humid.

Throughout the match it would drizzle, stop, drizzle some more, and then it came down, and hard, and kept coming down.

Targets were covered in plastic sheets, scoring was done on a clipboard under a plastic sheet cover. I kept score for most of the match, and no matter what anyone did, the score-sheets would still start getting wet.

Even covered, pasters would get wet and fall off the targets requiring them to be re-pasted frequently.

For all of that the match was a good one, lots of challenging and interesting stages. the classifier was CM 13-03 Short Sprint Standards, which was both difficult to do quickly and a real pain to do on muddy wet ground. Quite a few procedurals were handed out during it.

As the match progressed, problems happened.

On the very first stage, which for us was the classifier, a newer shooter DQ'd himself by not just breaking the 180 but by muzzling the scorekeeper. So he was done at that point. First time I've seen that happen.

Then the shot timer got wet and died. Luckily I had brought my Timer along and we shifted to using it inside the plastic bubble wrap bag it had shipped in to keep it dry,

Three of the shooters using 1911s in our group had various failures to feed occur during the match as the wet and the mud did a number on their guns. One shooter had a Glock with extended magazines shooting limited that wouldn't lock the slide back on her empty magazines, but she apparently had experienced this problem pretty consistently before and during the match.

Happily, my M&P 9 chugged along without a single hiccup shooting all 133 rounds fired without an issue, and the latest adjustment I made to the rear sight has finally got it right, as it was dead on. This was very happy-making as I was making some very nice A-zone hits and knocking down steel without having to shift my point of aim.

By the last stage, there was truly a river of mud and we all introduced USPSA to the practice of reloads with retention. This started after the first shooter practically lost his first magazine under the flowing river of mud when he dropped it during the stage. It was a lost brass match as brass actually sank beneath the mud not to be seen again.

I finished soaked to the skin from my head down to my toes, it was quite the match.

Now to empty my range bag, dry out my range bag, strip down and clean and dry all the magazines and the pistol and everything else inside the bag, along with an coffee with a shot of the Irish in it to warm me up. A very wet but enjoyable match.

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