Get on the brakes

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Front Range Gun Club, IDPA

Last year before the Colorado state IDPA match, I had a course with Master-level shooter Matt Sims. He said that IDPA is like Nascar, you have to know when to get on the brakes, and when to get on the gas. It sounds simple and rings of truth, but putting this into practice feels counterintuitive, we have a natural desire to go faster.

Tonight, I figured I’d take a crack at getting on the brakes a little more. I shot the weekly pistol combat league with an emphasis on taking a little more time on my headshots and trying to be more accurate. The result was an improved score, and one of the highest I have had shooting in this format.

I have concluded that the league shoots place a premium on accuracy more than speed. Partially this is a result of the scoring of the target, which is more of an NRA target than an IPSC/IDPA style. Of course, the timing of the course of fire is the same for everyone, but it does take good speed to be able to get off all of the shots including the mandatory reloads.

What I have found lately is that I still end up finishing in many cases with two or three target exposures to spare. So tonight, I tried to slow down and take my time with the headshots in particular. In this case, the difference between a miss and a hit can be either 10(head) or 20(ocular cavity) points. In the past I have shot this faster than I could make good solid hits and I’ve had some misses. Tonight I just managed to get off all of my shots on the head, but they were much better, and my score rose as a result.

I still went a bit faster than necessary on the body shots, but here the difference between an X and a 7 is not as much of a factor. I did have two flyers that were misses to the body, but it was overall okay.

For this week’s “Top Shot” competition, we finally got to shoot guns of all things. Seriously, I was glad to not see another slingshot or bow. This week we fired a Ruger SP101 revolver, an adult air rifle, and a Hi-Point 9mm carbine. I will say that I liked the front sight post of the Hi Point which reminded me a little of an HK sight, and it had negligible recoil, but otherwise it was a huge pile of crap. One of the two magazines would not take a 10th round, and I got a double feed that I think may also have been the result of the magazine (couldn’t be operator error of course). The ejection port is ridiculously small, and the method for locking the bolt back is just stupid. I suggested we name our blue team: “*bleep* Hi-Point”

Now, I know they are American made and a lot of people like them, but I think it’s crap. The good news is this thing is very cheap. Of course, for a gun this ugly, it has to be.

Check out our club’s second “episode” of “Top Shot”

  1. Michael Martin says:

    This is something I have trouble with as well. The issue with the indoor combat league is you have no idea how much time they are going to give you for your ocular shots. This makes “putting on the brakes” a risky proposition as you might not have enough time to get all of your shots off. The next thing to consider is if it is worth slowing down to make sure your hits count and possibly not getting a few off. As you mentioned the ocular shots are worth much more (20 points) so it seems getting fewer shots off and having them all in the ocular will net you more overall points. I too have consciously slowed down on the ocular cavity shots and my score has been higher because of it. That being said, you certainly cannot take your time either as you have a very short window to get all of your shots off. I have found that once you are in the top of the table ocular shots can make or break your score….great topic.

  2. Aaron Hanson says:

    I signed up for the State IDPA (Colorado) in June, and I am debating going to the Matt Sims class. Is it worth the cash? I would only be going to the day 1 class on Thursday.
    What day are you shooting at the next fun gun? I am on the B squad…

    • Jason says:

      It is totally worth it. I’ve signed up for the Match and will be sending my check off later this week to do the class again. I hear there is a 2-day option this time and I plan on doing that. Last year we spent some time working through drills, getting some new training ideas, learning more about IDPA strategy and improving IDPA specific skills (reload with retentions, low cover shooting, shooting on the move). We wrapped up by setting up a small course of fire and running everyone through it.

      I’m assuming my fun-gun is the B team, I got an email saying it’s March 12th. Also, don’t forget there is a defensive pistol shoot tomorrow up at Owl Canyon,

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