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Old 05-22-2011, 12:40 PM
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Default my first "combat match" (IPSC) match in 20 years-what I saw there

To me, competetive "combat" style matches is a training exercise, rather than a trophy hunt. My first matches were in the 70s, and after around 20 years absence, I shot in a match near Tucson yesterday, on Saturday, May 22.

No, I did not wow the crowd. My performance was mediocre, as usual, but again it was good training. Safe handling, listening to instructions, clearing multiple targets and problem solving, were part of the five stages. People running the match, and other shooters were all very nice ladies and gentlemen.

There were the usual tricked-out race guns with optical sights, and many factory stock pistols as well. I saw 45s of course, 40S&W and then there was me, with my little S&W M&P 9MM compact.

Many shooters were running S&W M&P 40 S&W caliber pistols. There were many Glocks in 40 S&W as well. I did not see any revolvers in the match this time. One shooter was running 38 super caliber.

I did not notice any Sigs, gen 3 Smiths, HK or Steyr pistols at the match. One shooter might have been using a Walther P99, but I did not get a close enough look to verify that.

Out of around 40 shooters five or six were women. Most of them were wicked-fast and very skilled. I even chatted with a handful of shooters who I shot with 20 years ago; they are still enjoying the sport.

Targets consisted of cardboard shapes with white ones as "no shoot" targets, stapled next to or over the tan "bad guy" targets.

Each of the five stages involved at least one reload, and around 15 to 25 shots to be fired. Stages included shooting from cover and barriers. There were no prone positions in this match.

There were some knock-down steel targets as part of some of the stages. My defensive 9MM loads successfully knocked those down OK.

My S&W compact performed just dandy. Since I was using a camera bag for spare mags, my reloads were a little slow, but otherwise I was fairly efficient. The Galco holster I used stayed in position and did not shift around (it's my CCW holster). When holstering a "hot" gun I made sure no clothing was likely to snag the trigger on the way back into the holster.

My biggest impression of this match after being away for 20 years was the mix of pistols; S&W, Glock, and then the rest were 1911 platform pistols. Back in the 70s "old days" Glock, and the S&W polymer M&P did not exist. It was mostly 1911 pistols and occasional revolvers.

The attached picture shows the exact pistol and holster I used in the match. Not pictured is the cheesy camera bag that held my spare mags (:})
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Last edited by mgo; 02-27-2012 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:45 PM
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Good on ya. Had I been there you would have seen a 4566 and a bald old guy running it.
Glad you are enjoying the sport!
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:31 PM
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Sounds like fun! You are really making me want to try that out!
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:22 PM
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Nice post mgo.

I'm getting ready to get back into it too. I need all the encouragement I can get.

Dave
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:39 PM
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I went to a USPSA monthly club match Saturday. Three guys were there with revolvers on the squad I was on. There is a fourth guy that likes to shoot revolver, but I was shooting my M&P 9mm. I know the revolvers guys had just as much fun as the rest of us, and it lasted longer for them. And the revolver guys did not lose any brass.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:22 PM
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That is a very cool story. I think it is great that you compete with your carry gun.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:01 PM
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I really like the challenge of shooting stuff like that. I actually didn't know there were competitions like that outside of police training.

I might have to look into this. Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. Where do you go to find out if there are any competitions in your area that you live in? Any websites or anything to find out more info about this type of event?
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R1_Demon View Post
I really like the challenge of shooting stuff like that. I actually didn't know there were competitions like that outside of police training.

I might have to look into this. Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. Where do you go to find out if there are any competitions in your area that you live in? Any websites or anything to find out more info about this type of event?
Local gun shops often know about the matches, or can give you a website or name to get you connected.

A lot of police officers participate in the matches that I have gone to over the years, in addition to their departmental training.

A Google search might scare up something, as well.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:06 PM
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Go to the United States Practical Shooting Association website at Welcome to USPSA.org - Home of the United States Practical Shooting Association. There you can link to the website for matches in your state. Hope that helps. The website address is www.uspsa.org.

Last edited by jdickson397; 05-27-2011 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:21 PM
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Thanks guys! Much appreciated.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:24 PM
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Congrats on getting back into the game after all that time. I just discovered IDPA back in Feb. The only other competition I've ever done was some Highpower Rifle back in the 90's.

I've shot 6 matches so far (two of those classifiers) and two "into to practical pistol" matches where they relax the rules quite a bit and make the stages a bit easier (other than the Texas star at the last one).

I've shot my 66, CZ 75B, SW9VE, 28-2 and pre-10 M&P. My best performances have been with the 66 (a snubby!) and the CZ.

The 28 had rear sight issues the one time I've used it (I discovered later when it fell off while practicing). I just got it re-zeroed with a new sight this evening and can't wait until the next match to give it a run.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:42 PM
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THESE MATCHES ARE GREAT IN THE TUSON AREA THERE IS SOME KIND OF MATCH EVERY WEEKEND JUST A MATTER OF WITCH 38 SUPER I CAN USE THE 686 OR 627
HAVE A GREAT DAY & BETTER TOMORROW
AZ CHUCK
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:12 PM
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mgo,

Glad to see your getting back in the game. I shot and worked the Area 5 Championship in Barry, IL this past weekend. 14 great stages shot on Thursday and ROing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There were 325 plus shooters at the match.. Great time.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:35 PM
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I shoot IDPA and I really enjoy it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:13 PM
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I shoot three-gun exclusively now. I have to make up in accuracy what I lack in speed. Back in the old PPC days, I shot a 6" 686, and a 2.5 inch model 19 in off duty.
Now it's the 1187 and the Colt 6920 from the trunk of my work car, and instead of my issue Sig 226 .40, I use a ported Glock 31. It's good practice for me. I just take the penalties on the silly stages. I just bought a fullsize M&P 9, and i may try that when I get more comfortable with it. I miss the formality of PPC, even if the way we shoot competition now is more exciting.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:51 PM
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Good job on getting back out there!
I shot my first IDPA match three weeks ago and my first USPSA match last weekend with my M&P 9. I did better than I expected in both, but not as good as I'd have liked. The IDPA match seemed a little less intensive - not as many targets per stage, less complicated stages. After the second stage I calmed down and focused on accuracy rather than speed and my shots on target were almost perfect. Speed will come in time.
The USPSA match last weekend was a challenge. One stage with a moving target just about undid me. I was on a squad with some of this area's best shooters, which was a bit intimidating, but they were all encouraging and helpful. As one of them said to me later, "This is one of the few sports where the guys at the top will help you learn the techniques you need to compete against them." I found that to be true at both matches.
But after competing like that, just going to the range doesn't have quite as much appeal - no challenge in just putting holes in a piece of stationary paper!
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:40 PM
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Your story really made me nostalgic. I started competing in IPSC in 1978 and 1979 in Tucson while attending Officer Basic at Fort Huachuca. My partner was a Border Patrol Agent who carried a 4" Model 29 on duty. I followed his lead and used the same type gun with close to full power loads. What I remember most clearly is how much fun it was. Pin guns and extended mags were just coming into vogue along with all manner of speed rigs. When I returned to Huachuca in 83 for my Advanced course I competed in Tucson and Tombstone and I just never had the same amount of fun as I did when first starting out. Thanks for bringing back such vivid memories.
Keith
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:13 AM
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Great story! I miss "practical shooting" for a practical lifestyle.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:34 PM
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I really enjoy the IDPA matches, even though I usually place in the middle of the pack. I normally compete with the the weapon that I am using for concealed carry or home defense. I try to use my normal carry holster.

I find it interesting that my friends shoot with long slide Glocks and full sized 1911 and then when the match is over they put those guns away and the strap on their carry guns - usually a j-frame or a pint sized .380. I really wish IDPA would expand to allow folks to actually compete with these pocket guns (and not just in some side match).

Last edited by Jeb21; 07-10-2011 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeb21 View Post
I really enjoy the IDPA matches, even though I usually place in the middle of the pack. I normally compete with the the weapon that I am using for concealed carry or home defense. I try to use my normal carry holster.

I find it interesting that my friends shoot with long slide Glocks and full sized 1911 and then when the match is over they put those guns away and the strap on their carry guns - usually a j-frame or a pint sized .380. I really with IDPA would expand to allow folks to actually compete with these pocket guns (and not just in some side match).
I agree... the pistol I used in the match was one of my concealed carry pieces, the S&W M&P compact in 9mm. It's a good way to "proof of performance" a carry firearm and see how it does for the user under some simulated stress. The Smith did well.
Next time, it will be the Glock 17, or the Walther P99 QA in 9mm so see how they perform.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:30 PM
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Hey mgo
Was you west of tucson? I plan on shooting that when it cools down a little for now north of town, Steel Challenge this Sun @ PPC
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