My excuse today is that it was too cold and my fingers were numb….or as numb as they can get on a windy Miami Winter.
1) Stage One, Do not assume: I was getting the laptop ready for scoring so I did not attended the walk-thru and that came to haunt me on Stage One. I barely heard “El Presidente” and my brain locked down on the traditional exercise designed by Colonel Cooper. It wasn’t. Our Evil Stage Designer decided to add one more reload and shoot and I was dumb enough not to ask for a CoF description or even watch another shooter before I shot it. The beep went off, I turned & draw, shot my targets once, reloaded, shot my targets again and stopped, unloaded & holstered (Yes, stupid to unload and holster.) after 5 seconds people started to laugh and the Safety Officer asked me (with a hint of pity in his voice) if I was sure I was done. Not being my first hoedown with these jerks, I asked how did I f***ed up and I was told to reload and shoot again twice at each target. I did so with much embarrassment and to the outright merriment of all those present. My time was par for making a bag of microwavable popcorn.
2) Stage 2: Seriously, Can you pay attention? Really simple stage that consisted on 2 paper targets and a gong (steel target) to be engaged in a specific sequence in an specific amount of cycles. Gong was on the right, one paper target on the center and the other one on the left. Facing the Gong, at the beep, draw and engage the middle target with a headshot, then hit the gong and then place a shot in the body of the left target and go back to hit the gong. Every one was supposed to get shot 6 times for the IDPA total 18 shots. Now, I am competing today in SSP, one round on the chamber and magazines loaded to the division capacity of 10 rounds. I drew fast and shot fast which obviously rewarded me by hitting the first paper and missing the frigging gong.I slow down and things go smooth then (thanks Mr. Earp!) I get so in the groove that all of the sudden I realize that I loaded my third magazine… wait one goshdarn minute, that means I put 20 rounds already on target and I only needed 18. I stopped and was asked if “I was finally done” (more laughter from the peanut gallery) so as chagrined as I didn’t wanna be, I had to say yes. Time: Glaciers do much faster than I did.
3) Stage 3: It sucks to be me. Stage 3 was supposed to be my last stage to shoot. In between stages, I would go back to the scoring table to take care of things. That leads to sometimes lose track of what’s going on and the stage was torn down before I could shoot it. This is a good lesson for anybody who may want to work at a match: you may not enjoy the chance to shoot it, be ready for disappointment.
4) Stage 4: It sucks to be me (Brian farts are not my exclusive domain): Stage 4…. oh my dear stage 4! Simple and sweet plus good practice: You are at a restaurant enjoying a fine meal when 4 ugly and armed bastards come in guns a-blazing; they have a hostage! String One was to draw and shoot all Bad Guys with 2 shots in the head, strong hand only. String 2 was the same idea, but draw, transition to weak hand and engage the BGs with 3 body shots.
I did not shoot fast, but damn I was accurate! Only one missed head shot (and by a hair) plus 3 points down in total. As I was about to sign the scoresheet, I noticed something was amiss on the paper: the Score Keeper forgot to write down the times!
Several $@&%^$! later I was given the chance to re-shoot. There is a principle in IDPA: In re-Shoots you will shoot like crap. I am happy to inform you that I maintained the long held principle and went from one mike (miss) to three and more points down than the Dow Jones lost after the credit rating downgrade.
So, shooting wise I am not happy, but I did leave the range happy and relaxed. I did my ballistic therapy, enjoyed the time with the folks, enjoyed the weather (sometime after 10:30 when it finally warmed up) and had a royal fun & gun time.
A bad day at the range beats a good day at the office!
PS: I am also happy to inform that the Score Keeper is recovering from the gator bites received after he accidentally fell into the canal running by the range.