I went back for another beating this weekend at the BGSL 3 Gun match, and didn’t come away quite as scarred as last time, when I finished dead last. This time I was 2nd in my squad, 5th in my division out of 15 and 32nd overall out of 56. Still not where I want to be, but way better than last.
The big improvement this time was the shotgun, specifically the loading. I somehow lost track of the caddy I had been using, so resorted to loading out of a dump pouch on my strong side. I had planned to switch from weak hand reloads to strong hand anyway, so I am not sure if the improvement was due to the change in hands or that for some reason I am just better out of a bag than a caddy. Whatever it was, I didn’t find myself ever thinking, “Geez, this is taking forever” when I was reloading my shotgun. My shotgun marksmanship was also better this time around. I faced the Texas star in the very first stage again and was able to knock off all 5 plates in 7 or 8 shots (unfortunately its the one stage I forgot to video so you’ll have to take my word for it). I had one double feed in the speed stage which cost me some time, but I am pretty happy with how quickly I cleared it and moved on. Other than that, the shotgun went from being a boat anchor to something I felt competitive with. Pretty good for just a few dry fire and reloading practice sessions. I may still end up getting a load-2 (not sure my hands are big enough to do a load 4) rig, but if I do I am definitely getting it setup for strong hand reloads.
For rifle, I think I improved slightly, but not much. This was my second match with my Tavor, but the first since I installed the Shooting Sight trigger. Last match I had one slam fire and this time I had two (you can see both in the video below). Not sure if its the trigger or the ammo – I am using wolf primers, which are supposed to be pretty hard. There weren’t any headshot only stages this time (which is what screwed me up last time, specifically miscalculating the mechanical offset) and I did remember the reload on the classification corse of fire, which was a good thing.
Pistol, which I should be good at since its what I practice the most was mostly good, except for stage 1 (3rd stage in the video sequence below). I COULD NOT HIT THOSE DAMN 4 INCH PLATES to save my life. I will have to do a little more live fire practice, I think I still may have a case of pushing shots with recoil.
Another help this time around was my cart. I finally spent a little time in the shop to fully convert the jogging stroller into a 3 gun cart, with a dedicated rack for the guns and a platform for my bag and cooler. I used mostly scrap wood and stuff lying around the shop to prototype and field test it. I have a few tweaks to make, but generally I was happy with the design. It let me keep all my gear better organized and have a good place to keep all my stuff moving from stage to stage as well as to prep at the stage.
Only one more chance to shoot 3 gun this year if I can get a spot in the match. I will probably use this coming weekend’s IDPA match to help improve my pistol a bit for the next 3 gun match. It’s nice to be match director sometimes! 😉
Quick stage breakdown notes (leave a comment if you see anything else I didn’t notice):
- On stage 6 (first in video sequence)
- I scanned past a steel shotgun target and had to go back for it.
- I also brought the shotgun back up for some reason after hitting the last target – not sure if I thought I needed to take another shot or what. Then I bobbled getting the safety on. At that point, I should have just dumped the last round into the berm so I could drop the shotgun into the barrel without worrying about the safety.
- I bobbled the rifle reload a bit – I was trying to hit the bolt hold open button on the Tavor, not remembering that it was already closed since it was a tactical reload.
- On stage 5 (second in video sequence)
- I should have known I was going to be in trouble with pistol after this stage and slowed down on the next one some more. Not too bad, but those first pistol shots are hits I should have made. (I did end up winning this stage in my squad…by .317 seconds ;-).
- On stage 1 (third in video sequence)
- This stage cost me a better finish. I should have known it was not going to be my best when right out of the gate I had a failure to fire. The rest of the rifle component was OK (I think I did have one target with only one on paper – the other hitting a little low in the hard cover…mechanical offset bites me again). At the end, not only did I eat up all kinds of time missing the 4″ steels at the end, I ran through all of my pistol ammo and didn’t have enough left to even engage the very last target, taking a 15 second penalty right there. What really burns is that this was a memorization stage and I remembered to engage (and actually got hits on) all the “hidden” targets.
- On stage 2 (fourth in video sequence)
- Not too much to say about this one. I had the double feed after my second shot, which I think I cleared pretty well that then caused me to have to add one more to take my last shot. I guess I could have been a little bit faster on that last reload and just thrown the shell into the ejection port instead of loading the tube and cranking it into the chamber.
- On stage 3 (last in video sequence)
- Nothing much here either. This is my second slam fire, causing a feed issue that I had to clear out at the second rifle position. I ran through the stage plan exactly how I had it mapped out in my head,with the exception of an ever so brief pause at an opening I knew I didn’t have to stop at, so that’s always a bonus.