Live from the field (and by “field” I mean “my hotel room”) today I wanted to talk a little bit about the match that I’m in Florida to shoot. It’s the ProAm, and if you do a YouTube search for it you’ll find some pretty amazing video; the match has risen to becoming one of the most popular action shooting matches in the country in the past few years. The match is set up a little differently than most USPSA matches in terms of the divisions though. There are two classes, Pro and Amateur, both of which support Limited and Open division. The “Pro” division is actually fairly small, consisting primarily of people that have finished in the top 10 of any Limited/Production/Open USPSA Nationals. These are the “real” GMs of USPSA, and this year’s Pro Squad is no exception. The Amateur class basically consists of “everyone else” with shooters from D all the way up to GM competing for trophies, prizes, and glory. The Pro squad is shooting for cash – each stage is worth $500, and the overall winner also takes home a cash purse, so for the big dogs there is serious money on the line. The Amateur class however gets to visit the prize table, which is quite frankly pretty impressive.
As far as gear goes, the two divisions mentioned above are very straight-forward. Limited is any gun that’s legal for USPSA Limited/L10/Single Stack/Production/IDPA ESP/SSP/CDP. The catch is that you can only have 10 rounds in the magazine; so all shooters are handicapped to Production/L10 magazine levels. This handicap carries over to Open as well, forcing guys used to running 31 round big sticks to do as many mag changes as Production shooters.
And believe me, there will be magazine changes. One look at the stages shows that getting all the steel within the par times will be difficult for the Pro shooters, and will present a heck of a challenge for us mere mortals as well. For the match, I’m doing everything I can to enhance my steel whacking odds – my Timberwolf has an enlarged magwell so I don’t foul any critical reloads, the black-on-black sights will show up quite nicely against white steel, and the competition trigger will hopefully keep me from mashing too bad.
For the match, I’m squadded up with my buddy from Season 1 of Top Shot Brad Engmann, so we’ll have the opportunity to get some direct comparison video between a GM and me on video. It should be fun, and I can’t wait to hit the range tomorrow!