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Old 04-20-2018, 08:19 AM
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Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Default Preparing for a competition. OCD?

Cops in this country are not, and never really have been, actively involved in shooting competitions, especially pistol shooting.

Earlier tonight I was in the patrol base having coffee with a couple of colleagues from another Highway workgroup, one who is new to Highway Patrol. While talking to subject of my last pistol competition arose and I made the comment I won in my grade.

The new guy turned out to be a pistol shooter too, from another area and shooting another discipline (HMS). He asked me how much time I put into preparing and practicing for my competitions, and how much I shot each month in order to win grade medals. My initial reply was "My wife would say too much"' but he was serious. He added that he was also interested in knowing how I prepared for a competition, so after thinking for a few seconds I gave him this answer.

While I like to shoot a couple of CAS events and a speed event each year, I mostly shoot IPSC. My club is one of only three in the North Island with enough range space to shoot a 12 stage North Island competition, and one of only two able to hold an 18 stage Nationals.

As well as my clubs own two annual 12 stage two day competitions we either hold, or host another club to hold, either the NI's or the Nationals each year. I also shoot in a Level III event 3 1/2 hours drive away, so I end up competing in 4 or 5 Level II or III competitions between September and April annually. My club keeps one, sometimes two, stages set up after each comp with both fixed and movable targets and sight barriers.

I shoot in Classic Division, which means a 1911 A 1. I have three. The main one is a Springfield Armoury .45 ACP. Next up is a Norinco Ranger also in .45 that I bought to shoot CAS Wild Bunch but which also doubles as a spare IPSC gun with the additions of a wrap round mag well grip. Finally there is my Kimber Stainless Target II in 9mm.

Preparation for my next comp stars a day or so after the last when I select the pistol and ammunition to use. My last competition was a Single Stack Classic designed for major PF magazine capacities, so it was my Springfield .45 and ammo was a 200 gn PFP loaded with a PF of 165 -168. MY next comp is the Wild Bunch Nationals so the current gun is the Ranger and ammo is a 230 gn LRN loaded to a 155 - 158 PF.

I shoot 120 - 150 rounds twice a week. I practice both drills and stages. One drill is designed to improve marksmanship, another target transitions and mag changes. A third shooting on the move. After shooting two drills I move onto the set up IPSC stage, move a few targets/vision barriers around and shoot it in the most logical (to me) way. After scoring, working out the hit factor and patching I try to find another way, less obvious to me, to shoot the stage and compare it to the first. This improves stage planning.

Six weeks before the competition I load the ammo I will use. I always double the round count required. The only difference in loading practices for my competition ammo from my practice rounds is that each round is dropped into the chamber of the pistols barrel to make sure it will feed reliably. The ammo is then put into a plastic container in the bottom of my ammo cupboard.

Four weeks before the competition I pull out the previous years stage book in which I have written my scores, time and hit factor. I recall (as best I can) what worked, what didn't and what some of the other shooters did that worked better than my plan.

Two weeks before the event I shoot my last practice with the pistol I will use. The next day I strip it right down and give it a good clean. Reassembling the pistol I put a small drop of grease on the outside of the trigger bow, pins and all other parts that rub agains each other.

After reassembly I cock and dry fire the pistol at least 20 times. I also lock the slide back and release it using both the slide release and pulling back on the slide another 20 times (I once had too little tension on the sear spring which allowed the hammer to follow the slide forward when released from slide lock causing unexpected and unwanted discharges while reloading).

On my next range trip I take another pistol to use, but also take the competition gun and two magazines loaded with competition ammo. I start the session by firing one magazine slow, deliberate single shots and the second two rounds at a time. This checks function of the gun and sight alignment.

My non shooting colleague commented that this seemed a lot of work for a few minutes shooting. The newbie said I spent more time in preparation than he did, usually he simply turning up the day of the competition with his guns and standard ammo to shoot.

As I got back into my patrol car to resume patrol the thought occurred to me that maybe I took things too seriously and did too much preparation. The term OCD occurred to me.

And I had not even mentioned how I assembled and checked everything in the week before the event, or my routine the on the day. That really is a bit OCD!
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:58 PM
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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First thought is, your wife may have a strong case. Ask me how I know this.
Second, you are as well prepared as anyone I have ever shot with and for taking so much time to work and organize to prepare for a match(s) you will have a huge advantage over your competitors. Not to mention the real word advantage if you are forced into LE firearms use.
I commend you.
Jim
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:13 PM
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Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Originally Posted by jimbo728 View Post
First thought is, your wife may have a strong case. Ask me how I know this.
Second, you are as well prepared as anyone I have ever shot with and for taking so much time to work and organize to prepare for a match(s) you will have a huge advantage over your competitors. Not to mention the real word advantage if you are forced into LE firearms use.
I commend you.
Jim
Oh, I know how you know my wife has a strong case!

As for preparation and advantage, up until the end of 2016 I was shooting in the top 5% range of my grade. In January 2017 I shot the first of two required scores to be upgraded. Then my wife went into hospital in Auckland for a major procedure and we were there for most of the year. I ended up only shooting the North Islands and the Nationals for the rest of the year.

While I scraped through for a medal at the Nationals, the NI's were a disaster. I put it down to lack of practice (we only returned home for a month 2 weeks before competition day and 6 weeks later she was back in hospital for another month ).

So far this year my shooting has been up and down. While I placed first in my grade in the last comp (and would have placed second in the grade above) I found I had some mobility problems. This week I discovered the cause of that and after a few treatments I am getting back to normal movement.

It's just a shame I have to wait another 5 months for the NI Champs.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:56 PM
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Best of luck in the upcoming matches.
Win lose or draw the best part for me was getting home with the great feeling that I did get out and shoot, did my best and enjoyed the company of my fellow shooters.
Jim
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:01 PM
Toolguy Toolguy is offline
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Yes, but you can use that 5 months for training! Take care of yourself, get in good physical shape, as much as possible (don't overdo it). We have people here who train hard too. The bottom line is - those that do their homework get the best score on the test (match). I train as much as possible, but most of that is dryfire at home. It's easier to do that with a revolver, but not the same as live fire. I think you are doing it right. Here, there are very few police who can hit anything with a handgun. A few are very good, most are near the bottom of proficiency.

I hope your wife is doing better and recovering.
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:11 PM
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Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Originally Posted by jimbo728 View Post
Best of luck in the upcoming matches.
Win lose or draw the best part for me was getting home with the great feeling that I did get out and shoot, did my best and enjoyed the company of my fellow shooters.
Jim
Part of the attraction to competition shooting for me are my fellow shooters. Those four or five weekends a year we get to meet up and have a lot of fun.

They are a great bunch, especially the Fillipino contingent from Wellington. There are three of them and we first met up when we were all D grade shooters at a Nationals. Between us we "take turns" in the placings, depending on who has the bad day.

I have to admit that when I do eventually move up another grade and into the "Big Boys Squad" (A, M and GM grade shooters) I'll miss their company.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:12 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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I have never gone to that much trouble getting ready for a pistol match, but I was really finicky about my stuff for BPCR. I had a written checklist to follow, I lived in fear of forgetting some vital accessory or preparation.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:55 PM
Model520Fan Model520Fan is offline
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Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD? Preparing for a competition. OCD?  
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Somebody has to win. Might as well try to make it YOU.
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