On To Nationals: Lessons Learned

by Editor 16. September 2012 17:04
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If this will be your first time to the The Range in Oxford, N.C., then you might want to take note of some lessons learned. DOWN ZERO asked guest blogger Lee Bautista of When The Balloon Goes Up! to share some of his thoughts and observations. Pay close attention...especially to the part about walkthroughs.

Being in Oxford, N.C. for the 2012 IDPA National Championship will bring back some fond memories since the last time we were here for June's Carolina Cup. Going back, what are some lessons learned from shooting a major match, especially at this location?

Do Listen to the Walkthroughs:
On the stage in the shoot house, Ron was repeatedly getting called for cover for a target he was exposed to that he didn't even know was there; costing him thirteen seconds and a match bump. You can read more about his thoughts on his post, "My 1st Experience at a Major Match". Pro Tip: If allowed, take a look at the stage from deeper in the bay and take note of all the targets as you face up range.

Do Chronograph Your Ammo Beforehand:
It is highly likely that there will be an equipment check and chronograph. A member on our squad didn't make floor by 30fps. No, he wasn't cheating; rather an honest mistake on his part, however, rules are rules and this shooter learned a valuable lesson to chrono his ammo for future matches.

Do Be Aware of Personal Walkthroughs:
We are not allowed to sit on the chair or use props to check angles of the CoF during the walkthrough. In addition, we're not allowed to use low cover or go prone on stages that have shooting positions like this. Kneeling over to check angles is also bad. SO's will let you know quickly if they catch you doing this and may even issue a twenty second penalty for the infraction.

Do Recognize Muzzle Safe Points and Adapt:
Just to put it out there, "tight" muzzle safe points are not DQ traps. It's part of the course of fire that we all have to adhere to. What to do? Practice your reloads to ensure that your muzzle is pointed downrange by either orienting your body so that the muzzle is downrange away from the muzzle safe point or torquing your wrist a bit to accomplish the same result. Again, practice this in dry fire so that it will be second nature when you get to the match.

Do Be Aware of the Backstop When Re-Engaging Targets:
There can be issues when a shooter transitions from one position to another position (in this case, prone or kneeling). Re-engaging a previous taller target from the new low cover or prone position can send a round over the berm. Ask, if you’re unsure about what targets can be re-engaged.

Do Have a Great Match:
The folks at The Range are top notch range staff and volunteers who excel greatly at running challenging stage designs with safety in mind. If you haven't had the chance to shoot at The Range, you're in for a treat.

Do Smile for the Camera:
There will be plenty of photographers capturing moments for various media outlets and sponsors. Be yourself and have fun!

About the Author: Lee Bautista has been shooting since April 2009 and is a writer at When The Balloon Goes Up! Blog. The 2012 IDPA Nationals will be his eighteenth major match.

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