Competitive Shooting

Down Zero TV: Going for Speed

In our last episode on Down Zero TV, I shot my very first IDPA match as part of the challenge, dropping 7 points over the course of the match.  I won Most Accurate at that match, but my time was dreadfully slow.  So for the second episode, I decided to go for speed – the goal here is to contrast the two matches and see if I can find a balance of speed and accuracy that will let me shoot down zero but still keep me in the running.  After taking the week off from practicing due to the flu, I was rusty and didn’t feel ready for the match.  Normally, I’ll spend at least two days a week practicing at West Coast Armory, but thanks to sickness hadn’t had that practice.  But the sun came out on Saturday, and filled full of powerful decongestants and coffee I headed out to the match.

Match Gear

The match started for me on Stage 3 in the video – string 1 is a single shot to the body of each target, freestyle.  String 2 was a single shot the headbox of each target, strong hand only.  The last headbox was 10 yards away, making it a difficult shot to make strong hand.  I did actually drop a shot on the strong hand stage; I jumped the trigger giving me a miss on one of the head boxes.  Because the stage was limited vickers, I couldn’t take a make up shot and ended the stage down 5 points with a failure to neutralize penalty.

Our next stage was a lot of fun.  As you can see in the video, you had tight shots around cover, the last target surprised me with how far I had to lean out to get it.  I posted a strong time on this stage and was only down 2 points.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any video from stage 5.  I forgot to hit the “go” button on my hat cam which left me with diddly for video footage; however, this was my best stage of the match.  Shot it fast and smooth.

Stage 6 was my favorite stage.  Start with your hands on the “car”, knock the pepper popper over on your way to cover and engage the targets.  I actually could have been a little bit smarter about the way I shot this, since my position for the last three targets wasn’t ideal, and I had to shift my feet to get to the last target.  In a perfect world, it’s easier if you can just lean out a little bit further without shifting your feet in IDPA.

On to Stage 1, one of my favorite stages.  Now, before the IDPA rule-nazis get all fired up, the port was not designated as “low cover”.  In IDPA terms, low cover means you have to have a knee on the ground.  Since the port was just a low port, the tactical crouch or whatever it was that I did is still perfectly legal.  I did draw a penalty for a cover violation on this stage, I had reached the final shooting position and was committed 100% to the shot…just as the SO called “cover”.  Oh well, it’s just three seconds.

Stage 2, our final stage of the day was fun as well.  There is a pepper popper you can’t see in the video which activates the swinger you run towards to engage.  I closed the match on a strong stage.

Because I focused this match on shooting for speed, I did not win Most Accurate.  Instead, I won Stock Service Pistol Division, and only my FTN and procedural penalty kept me from winning high overall at the match.  Taking home a win felt really good, especially after being frustrated with my speed on week one of the Down Zero Challenge.  Next IDPA match, we’re going to look for a balance of speed and accuracy, as I push my limits to become a faster and more accurate shooter.

Stats Most Accurate wins: 1 Club Match wins: 1

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