At our local Bullseye competition this morning I was able to put together my first ever 800+ score (actually 801). Three of the last four outings with this iron-sighted gun (my S&W 17-5 with 6" barrel, pictured below) had resulted in scores in the 790s, including a 799, and several times I thought I had 800 "in the bag" only to falter and fall short in the Rapid Fire match. This was the 26th time I have used this gun in a match since I bought it in January 2011 and it has become my favorite due to its light, smooth trigger (I replaced the main and rebound springs).
Today's event was not without some drama. I was in a strong position for 800+ after the slow fire stage with an aggregate score of 257 (85, 84 and 88), my best ever by several points. After a mediocre National Match Timed Fire score of 90 (during which I made a sight adjustment), I was doing well after the first string in National Match rapid fire. The second string also went well, but when I looked in my scope following the string I saw that the shooter next to me had accidentally cross-fired the string and I had 15 shots on my target! I thought I would have a chance to refire those two strings, but was informed that according to the rules I had to take the score of the ten lowest shots on my target. Fortunately, the shooter making the mistake was doing alright himself and it only cost me 7 or 8 points. Five 10s were replaced with 7s, 8s and 9s and I had a score of only 85 for NM Rapid Fire, not exactly a great way to get to 800. Arrrgghhh...
I was still a bit shell-shocked for the first half of the Timed Fire match and could only manage a 90. At that point, I needed to average almost 93 in the remaining three segments (one Timed and two Rapid) in order to make it to 800. I was able to pull it together and scored 93, 92 and 94. Finishing strong is a bit uncharacteristic for me so maybe the first Rapid Fire setback was just what I needed to focus and get over the 800 barrier.
In the followup centerfire match, I scored a 770 with my 5" 625-3, also with iron sights, my highest so far with that gun, so it was a very satisfying morning of shooting. I highly recommend Bullseye shooting, I've been doing it for 26 months now and it's exciting to see steady overall improvement with a variety of guns.