When I decided I was going to shoot a revolver all year and really put some energy into it, I had a few things I wanted to make sure I did. One of those is shoot some matches with a revolver. I had the opportunity to shoot a local match at Mountain Valley Shooter’s Association, and ran my latest gear set up for the match. An IWB holster and speedloader pouches with flaps are not the most competition friendly gear items, but the match allows me to test the gear while I am having to think about things other than how to draw the handgun or retrieve the reload. It just so happens MVSA was the host of the state IDPA championship last month too, so all of the stages that I shot were the same stages run in the state match and probably a little more technically difficult that normal.
I am not an avid competitive shooter, my schedule just doesn’t allow for it on a regular basis. This was the first match I had participated in that used the new IDPA rules. They seemed to work out okay, and some of the stages we shot were certainly complicated enough to push the limitations on the new cover rules and the use of fault lines. Having to shoot under a new set of rules required that I pay more attention to how I was moving and where I was moving too, which allowed less focus on the actual shooting or running the gun. That is a good thing, because it allowed for a more accurate representation of how well I can shoot and manipulate the gun.
Some of my key take aways from the match.
- If I am going to try and shoot matches more often, I need to match my equipment location when I carry to what is allowed in IDPA. I have been carrying my reloads on the support side of my body at the 10-10:30 position. IDPA only allows support side reloads to be carried behind the hip. Moving my reloads back caused some issues a time or two. If you watch the stage videos closely, you can see some of it.
- I had fairly consistent issues with not pointing the gun directly down when completing the reload. Using a gravity loader, meaning there is nothing there to force the new rounds into the cylinder like on a Comp III, rounds were hanging up in the speedloader. I am going to have to make a very concious effort to adjust my reloads slightly and make sure I am getting correct positioning to reload the gun as fumble free as possible. It is a small change, but small changes can be hard to anchor because practice reps have to be very precise.
- My speed on precision targets needs to be better, and I think can be better, but my confidence level does not support pressing the trigger faster, while still maintaining a high level of accuracy. The long shots, or tight closer shots, were way too slow. Slower than they probably have to be.
- My movement from shooting position to shooting position was really slow. I need to be much more aggressive in my movement. Who knows how much time I waste moving from one position to the next. Of course, I have never been accused of having good agility either 😉
- Stage planning with a 6 round gun is very important, and being able to stay on plan is just as important. This translates to being able to remember what the plan is while shooting, and knowing what my individual limitations are so that I don’t overestimate my ability to address a specific shooting problem.
- Ammunition management is important with a revolver. On Stage 2, I completely miscalculated the required rounds and took two make up shots that I didn’t need to. Fortunately, this was just a weekend match and they didn’t mind that I dug a speed strip out of my pocket and loaded two rounds off it to finish the stage. Still cost be a monster amount of time though.