I finally got out to a match last weekend. And did both well and very poorly. The match just happened to be the yearly championship match for Central Iowa Practical Shooters out of Winterset, IA. I shot there as a kid, and hadn't been back for something like 11 years. The club rules are basically USPSA, but they treat the semi-autos all the same. Essentially, all bottom-feeders are in the "open", which kind of sucks because a guy like me with a basic 1911 isn't going to catch the guys with STI 2011s and XDM45s. But, you can "run what you brung". You can buy a handgun, an extra magazine, and a double mag pouch and at least compete.
Saturday was the actual championship, followed by a banquet I did not attend because I was watching Iowa State beat up Iowa on the football field. The match was two stages, which I wish I had photographed, because there were a lot of required trick-shots. The first stage was 34 rounds, and the second stage was 30. Sunday, they were 30 and 30. I shot a clean 46.36 and a clean 48.00 seconds respectively on Saturday. Sunday I was on fire. 33.something with one miss, and 31.something clean. Then I went back with The Golden Gun.
My time was 80sec on the first stage because of a very stubborn pop-up plate (shoot the plate to pop a target up). I shot the plate, and nothing happened. Then I shot the rest of the cylinder into the plate, and nothing happened. I then wrestled with an unfamiliar Bianchi speedloader (I'm buying HKS from now on). I shot all As, save for one D. On the second stage, I got through in 50 seconds, also with all As, save for one C.
I learned a couple of things. First, being fast on a FAST drill isn't the same as being fast over an entire course of fire. Second, I'm not very fast at all. If I keep practicing for a couple of months, I know I could get faster. But what I really came away with was a deep desire to shoot revolvers. The revolver runs were by far the most fun for me. They were also the cheapest. And I'm actually competitively quick with the wheelgun. Mainly because everyone else who shoots sixguns has an oxygen tank and a walker.
I have since bought a full compliment of HKS 10A speedloaders, two HKS "leather" double pouches, and new reloading components to up the power of my .38spl loads. I have switched from a Missouri Bullet Co. 125gr LRN over a max charge of HP-38 to a Missouri Bullet Co. 158gr SWC over stout charge of HS-6. The former netted about 230 ft/lbs and the latter around 350 ft/lbs--or roughly 9mm+p territory. Which sort of highlights the 38spl's weakness, which is weakness.
And on that note, I'm off to enjoy the remainder of my Friday. Keep your stick on the ice.