The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Competition Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 26, 2008, 01:22 AM   #1
KUHIO
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 250
USPSA Qualifier?

I'm thinking about getting into USPSA or IDPA. I'm leaning towards USPSA after reading some threads here on TFL. I think I would use my M&P 9mm for competition. I've had some difficulty deciphering the USPSA website. So my question is what class/es can I compete in with this weapon? And what is the qualifier? Do I need to 'pass' one to qualify to compete? I'm a proficient shooter, but I'm a total NOOB about this competition stuff. Thanks ahead of time fellas!
KUHIO is offline  
Old November 26, 2008, 01:55 AM   #2
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,079
You COULD compete in any USPSA divison except Single Stack but the Plastic M&P is best suited for Production.

USPSA has a book of classifiers, there will usually be one in every match. When you have enough on record, you will be issued a classification card based on your scores as compared to the best in the country.

There is no overall qualifier to be allowed to shoot USPSA, if you think you can hack it, you can enter. Some some local clubs will require a demonstration of your ability to safely handle a gun before they let you shoot a match, but many do not.
Being a proficient shooter is not all that is required. You must be able to draw the gun, fire the gun, shoot from various positions and locations, move with the gun, reload the gun, and remember where you need to go next.

My Four Priorities:
First and foremost: Be safe. Don't hurt anybody, don't scare anybody, don't get disqualified for a safety rule violation.
Second: Execute the Course of Fire (CoF) Understand what you are supposed to do and do it. USPSA is less strict than IDPA on procedural matters but there is still plenty of opportunity to screw up. Pay attention and don't accumulate penalties.
Third: Hit the target, hit it in the middle. It is often said, you cannot miss fast enough to win.
Fourth: Move along. Do not run before you walk, LITERALLY, but don't dilly-dally around, your time to get through the CoF is half of your score. (Hit Factor = Points on Targets divided by Time)
Jim Watson is online now  
Old November 26, 2008, 08:41 AM   #3
rduckwor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2008
Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama
Posts: 358
Jim explained it very well. I would only add that most clubs welcome new shooters with open arms and will bend over backward to help you safely have a good time. Expect at a minimum a "new shooters briefing" possibly more detailed instruction. Always remember there are a few grouchy old farts everywhere and don't let them scare you. Every one of us had to shoot a "first match" somewhere in the past. Obviously, its great fun or we wouldn't have come back. Bet you can't quit after your first match.

USPSA is a bit more fun than IDPA as USPSA is "free-style". You see the course and you decide how you will shoot it within the limits of the rules, common sense, and safety guidelines.

Bring lots of mags and ammo, some courses can be long with reasonably high round counts.

Have fun, be safe, shoot alpha's!

RMD
__________________
RMD
rduckwor is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 01:36 PM   #4
FieldShunt
Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2008
Location: NE Illinois
Posts: 20
All of the above responses are excellent. What I would add are a couple of things I've seen in officiating and match-directing a fair number of both types of matches.
First of all, if you've not been in modern pistol competition before, you're going to find out that, very likely, your gun-handling habits are not that good.
My experience suggests that USPSA is the most rigorous about the safety habits and application of them, with IDPA close behind. The USPSA Range Officer program goes way deep into safety issues and IDPA, the relative newcomer, followed closely. I don't intend to malign any other discipline with generalities, but I've been to a whole lot of matches and the big lesson you're probably going to get is that you don't have near as good a set of gun-handling habits as you think.
When I went to my very first match, I believed I was a competent gun handler of thirty years safe experience, and well-prepared to handle my old Colt 1911 under match, or any, conditions. Within an hour I was disabused of that notion completely.
Here's why. Public matches, where just about anybody able to make it down the driveway can gun up and go, have some pretty stringent gun handling rules that are enforced quite closely, much more than any other environment. It has to be that way, just because... we don't know anybody, and what they know.
Muzzle direction and finger location are the two big obsessions. As an RO who's run lots of brand-new competitors (who still had lots of shooting experience), I can tell you, very few folks have muzzle and finger discipline sufficiently ingrained. This is often the result of years or decades of just going to range and shooting, usually with friends, and no particular enforcement beyond just a loose sense of common sense.
At an organized match, you'll hear about it instantly if your muzzle strays beyond the "180", that theoretical cone from where you are to the back of the range, 90 degrees around in all directions.
And if you let that trigger finger stray into the trigger guard while you're slamming a magazine home, there's a good chance you'll hear the dreaded range command "Stop!".
But, you will quickly realize that all this will make you a far, far better gun-handler, and it all soaks in quickly.
Another new concept to many new match participants is the "cold range" thing. Basically, you may never, ever handle a gun, with two exceptions: at the designated, official "safe area", and only then without ammunition either present or being handled, or on the actual firing line, at the very specific range command including the magic words "make ready".
I can't tell you the number of times I've had a new competitor step up and yank his gun out once he's in the start box. It's a DQ- a disqualification, and you're out, completely.
DQs are a draconian-seeming thing, especially at first, but, again, you'll see the sense of it in short order.
I put all this out there not to hector, but to prepare folks who haven't done this before. I only wish I'd been so informed in advance- I almost (and should have) got DQed in minute #1 my first match, because I didn't know any of this stuff.
So... watch the muzzle, watch the finger, and in a short time, you'll be having more fun with a gun than you ever did before. It's going to all fit together soon.
And you will be much, much better for it.
FieldShunt is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 02:47 PM   #5
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 5,698
Our Section (association of USPSA clubs in a geographic area) requires a Safety Check card signed by a certified Range Officer, as evidence of a minimum level of competence before a shooter can compete at any club in the Section. When I performed Safety Checks, for a new shooter, it required a couple hours and 100 rounds to complete. It allows the new shooter to be aware of and familiar with all of the requirements of competition before being dumped into a match situation.
All the clubs in our Section run a classifier stage every month, but it would appear that clubs in some areas run only a single, annual classifier match? I shoot 30-40 classifiers a year, while I see some apparently very active competitors from other parts of the country with only a classifier or two on record for the previous twelve months.
RickB is offline  
Old December 4, 2008, 11:00 PM   #6
rduckwor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2008
Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama
Posts: 358
I like the idea of a "Safety Check". I didn't have that advantage when starting out. One club near me actually has a competition course where they give the new competitors a chance to shoot some short courses and teach them how the game is played along with a hefty dose of safety and range etiquette.

Couldn't hurt if we all could offer something similar.


RMD
__________________
RMD
rduckwor is offline  
Old December 5, 2008, 06:57 AM   #7
FieldShunt
Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2008
Location: NE Illinois
Posts: 20
I haven't seen a safety check system anywhere around these parts, at least, not at any of the 15 or so clubs I'm able to visit in a season. But I like it.
As a alternative, the club I belong to has done everything possible to channel new competitors into the regular monthly steel match. Historically, it's been set up using the Steel Challenge model, with five or six shots per string (excepting a Vice Pres) done from a box. We've had a lot of success with this, and use it as a de facto training session. We added a rimfire division to lower the intimidation level, the expense, and broaden the available pool of newbies.
As a training program, it's produced some very good USPSA shooters.
It's not the same as an overt safety check program as RickB describes, but given a sometimes-limited volunteer base, I can imagine lots of places having some difficulty coming up with enough bodies to make it function.
I would like to have such a thing, though, and now, the wheels are turning...

Maybe this ought to be pulled off to a separate "Introducing New Shooters" thread of its own.
FieldShunt is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 12:40 AM   #8
Lucky Strike
Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2007
Posts: 35
Just did my first USPSA event today....my main goal was just to not break any safety rules. The event was one put on as a training "competition"...kind of like what rduckwor described

On my first stage i did break a rule (finger inside trigger guard while moving) but didn't get DQ'd....just given an explanation on what i did wrong. It was honestly the first time i'd ever moved quickly while holding a gun so i'm not surprised i did it even though i told myself i wouldn't before i started. The rest of the stages i did fine as far as safety stuff....just went slow and didn't always hit where i wanted to
Lucky Strike is offline  
Old December 7, 2008, 02:54 AM   #9
Alpine Storm
Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 18
IPSC is a highly addictive hobby/sport and I don't recommend you getting involved. I started about two summers ago and finally made a deal with my wife this summer to just do one match a month. We have allot of fun as we all become safer, and more proficient with our guns.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Brian.jpg (242.8 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4578.jpg (203.4 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4574.jpg (213.1 KB, 36 views)
Alpine Storm is offline  
Old December 9, 2008, 08:09 AM   #10
rduckwor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2008
Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama
Posts: 358
Quote:
IPSC is a highly addictive hobby/sport and I don't recommend you getting involved. I started about two summers ago and finally made a deal with my wife this summer to just do one match a month. We have allot of fun as we all become safer, and more proficient with our guns.
Yeah, a lot of us have that issue as well. You can literally shoot matches somewhere pretty close every weekend in some areas.

It is nice to have something of a life outside of the shooting competitions.

RMD
__________________
RMD
rduckwor is offline  
Old December 10, 2008, 09:36 AM   #11
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,241
match shooting beats all

To newcomers: Just go. Watch. Ask. Learn. Join in.

Whatever gear you have will be (normally) okay; if you let clubs know in advance often gear, including guns, can be lent.
Most clubs WANT newcomers to visit, join, and enjoy it.

Ours does.....

www.gmps.ws
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09611 seconds with 8 queries