Shooting the IDPA classifier

Posted: February 20, 2011 in IDPA, Shotguns

The classifier was a humbling experience.  Not only was the match more difficult than I first gave it credit for, but I also could tell I was not shooting to the top of my abilities.  That said, I believe I have been fairly classified and feel that I’ll be appropriately competitive with my new classification.  This just means I have a lot improvement ahead of me to reach the next competitive ‘level’.

Despite my prior research, I managed to forget all of the tips when the buzzer went off, and blew through my first stage with way too many points down.  I recovered a bit in the second and third stage, but not enough to pull up my scores.  I ended up as a ‘Sharp Shooter’ with a raw time of 105.68 seconds, but a whopping 71 points down, and one penalty for a total of 143.68. I’m over 20 seconds from expert class, and that’s not something I can make up even on a good day the way I’ve been shooting lately.

My biggest mistake was probably on my weak hand shots from 7 yards, I was not paying enough attention to the course of fire and was thinking it was two shots on each target, rather than a single shot.  The RSO helped correct me, but I still drew the penalty, lost some time figuring out what I was doing wrong, and blew my next few shots.

Looking back, I have decided that I need to work on my accuracy as the number one way to improve my score. I had nearly as many points down in the first stage (27) as I did in the third stage (30) where I tended to dip my shots low on the target and had two misses. It is fun to work on speed but without accuracy it is just pointless.  I’m going to spend the next month of my shooting practice concentrating on tightening my groupings, shooting at longer distances, and learning to love a double-action draw shot.

Side-Match Shotgun Fun

Despite some concerns over the classifier, I had an absolute blast shooting the shotgun side-match (video at the end of the YouTube above). I recently purchased a Benelli SuperNova Tactical specifically for shooting the side-matches, and it absolutely exceeded my expectations.  Not only was the gun great fun to shoot, but the course of fire was pretty clever.  When shooting steel with birdshot, the closer shots can be more difficult than the further shots because of the way the shots patterns and spreads with distance.  This is a bit contrary to pistol shooting and the reloads add a little more complication to the course.  Everyone else seemed to be enjoying it just as much, and a number of us ran through the course a second time without score just for grins. Shooting events like this remind me why I love shooting.

  1. Michael Martin says:

    I agree with your comments. I too dropped way too many points in the first stage (actually every stage). For me it was a combinatation of going a little too fast and just not being on that day. While I really feel I was shooting sub par for me when we did the classifier I too feel my classification of Marksman in ESP is valid (given I was only a few point away from SS, I feel I could obtain SS if I re-take the classifier). Accuracy at distance was harder for me than I thought so I will be practicing that. Also, since there are a lot of presentations in the first stage I think I am going to be practicing drawing and getting that first shot off faster as well. Strong hand and weak hand only courses of fire were also more of a problem for me than I originally thought so I will be spending some time on that also. I am actually impressed with how many different skillsets the classifier tests. While I did not do as good as I anticipated I had a great day shooting the classifier and even more fun on that shotgun sidematch…thanks again for letting me shoot your SuperNova…it is a sweat shotgun!

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