Shot a pistol match over the weekend. Had been spending a good amount of time working on some things recently, so I was looking forward to seeing that effort pay off. Well, it did and didn't
1) Made a rookie mistake, which I've actually done before, by shooting a match (or training shoot) with new gear. I had all new factory mags for this match. Well, I did use two of them in a range session a couple of days before and didn't have any malfunctions. However, on the first stage, a malfunction messed up what was otherwise a pretty good and clean run. Hits were mostly good, but the time to clear the malfunction is what cost me on that stage. The malfunction also messed up the plan for the stage. After watching the video, I noticed that my reloads and sequence seemed thrown off after the malfunction. It happens and I should be better at recovering from stuff like that. Noticed that "first fumble" also messed up a number of other shooters, especially on the first stage of the day. Again, something that I should be better at working through. At least looking back at the malfunction clearance, I caught it quickly and cleared it quickly. Just that time cost me. . . I also noticed old habits crept back in after that "first fumble". Something I'll have to work on (among many other things).
2) Target transitions was something I had been working on also recently. Both dry practice and in a couple of sessions at the range and in the action bays. It was something that a couple of stages presented opportunities to see my progress. First one wasn't great as I think I was focused on the low percentage first shot, fumbled the mandatory reload and threw things off on everything that followed. Since I fumbled, I think I rushed the transition between target 2 and target 3 and I think I threw the second shot on target 2 in the rush to get to target 3. Looking back at the video, my transition seemed good. I think I was just in a rush to make up the time that I didn't "finish" well on target 2. That was actually something I saw happen with number of experienced shooters. They were in a rush to transition and threw the second shot of the target before transitioning to the next target. Anyways, nothing new and just a matter of mind focusing on task 8-9-10 and not taking care of 1-2-3 first.
3) This was my second match after surgery I had in late 2018. There are some lingering effects and is/was something that prevented me from shooting matches in pretty much all of 2019. While I still have to be mindful of that, I didn't really notice that it hindered me in the match this past weekend. I'm back to enjoying shooting the matches again. Of course not as mobile or fleet-of-foot as I was 2-3+ years ago, but finding a way to "use what I've got" in an activity that I enjoy is an awesome feeling. I'm becoming the older guy that shoots well, but slow(er) on the running, more like fast walk, in between shooting positions. At least in my mind.
4) Throttle control was awesome at times and really bad at others. I shot the steel plate rack decently and got the lower percentage smaller steel targets/activator 1/1 (normally a nemesis of mine), so I was happy with the control there. Where I suffered was in stages 3 and 4 I made a point to shoot the paper faster. I thought I had throttled back on the lower percentage targets to get the proper hits, but that didn't happen for more than a few times. Looking back at the video, I did throttle things back on some of the lower percentage targets, but apparently not enough. I also could have pushed the pace on some of the higher percentage targets. At the end of one stage, I saw at least one 'mike' and I said out loud "went to fast". That got a laugh from a couple guys in my squad who heard it and they were like "no such thing!"
What I meant was I went too fast on targets that I should've throttled back a little and the hits, or lack thereof was apparent. I also notice this when I have a couple of good stages and get too cocky on the following stages. Push the throttle a little too much and hits go down. I don't mind the hits going down, but not when they turn into 'mikes'.
5) There were a number of new shooters in the match. The new shooter in my group was pretty good and good guy to talk to. He was safe and was having a lot of fun. That said, there were a few shooters I saw in other squads that needed correction more than a few times and a few DQs
I saw a couple that had some pretty bad habits (mostly trigger finger).
6) There were a number of malfunctioning guns. One had a bad extractor that was "tuned" by the owner. They were not able to correct the issue and that ended that guy's day. When I was taking a water break, a guy from the squad came over to drink water the same time and he was like "see, that's why some things should only be done by gunsmiths". I generally don't tinker with my guns much, but in general I agree.
A fun day on the range with a bunch of like minded and cool guys. Of course friendly competition and good nature ribbing keeps things fun. The weather was spotty, but overall was pretty nice all day. Looking forward to more matches. Gotta keep an eye out for ammo sales again.
And I didn't finish last. . .