It's been two months since I was last able to get to an IDPA match, and five weeks since I even touched the gun. Needless to say I was very much looking forward to Saturday's Cavalier IDPA match. As I made the morning drive and was enjoying the colorful fall foliage, I spied a very bright rainbow in the sky directly in front of me. I knew it was going to be a good day.
As is usual for this event, there were five fun stages of shooting fun in store. The first stage had the shooter starting facing wall with the option of going right or left to begin the course of fire. Targets were found by traversing a winding course through the array of walls.
I was the first shooter on the stage and thought I had my plan well in mind. That plan had a momentary hiccup when I remembered where I wanted to do my reload, but failed to fire the extra shot before dropping the mag. I immediately realized my mistake so picked up and reinserted the empty mag before firing the next shot, thus avoiding the penalty. I considered the recovery a win, though my "mental malfunction" earned some good natured ribbing from my squad mates. The joshing was the start of a fun morning of banter among the fun-loving squad.
Shooters started the next stage seated, with the gun and ammo all staged on a table that was by running around a corner behind the chair. After retrieving the magazines and loading the gun, one proceeded to find targets around three places of cover. It was another fun stage, despite eliciting groans of aching knees.
The next stage was quite unique and one that generated a lot of discussion and questions around the shooting requirements. Simply put, the stage brief called for two hits on each body, and one on each head, and all targets engaged in proper priority. The twist was that the "heads" were not connected to the "bodies." In fact, for some targets, the heads were not even visible from the same point as the respective bodies.
The priority of the targets very much was dependent on how the shooter moved along the firing area. Having a good stage plan, and remembering it, was critical to avoid penalties and not skipping targets. In retrospect, it was not has difficult to understand as it was unusual. The priority of targets did manage to trick a few shooters, but I dare say everyone enjoyed it.
Stage 5 had us again starting in the middle of a wall, with a choice of directions to move. There were nine targets lined up at the back of the bay. Getting to the targets meant navigating an array of walls, moving left to right and front to back, depending on the shooter's plan. There was nearly the number of options to complete the course of fire as there were shooters.
The last stage of the match included those "dreaded" steel poppers. It's interesting to me that, even though the steel target zone is larger than some paper scoring zones, steel seems to get missed more. As one shooter remarked, "The thing about steel is you know when you hit it. The other thing about steel is you know when you don't.
" The entire stage was shot while seated and consisted of three paper targets and three steel. The paper all requiring three hits on each. I did need one make up shot on steel but was otherwise very pleased. The stage was quick and a successful way to close out the match.
I thought this was an exceptionally enjoyable match. Matches are made even more pleasurable when the shooting comes together, and the folks you are shooting with are so much fun. I was also pleased with how I shot on this morning, especially after my hiatus. I had just four points down for the entire match to finish 6th of 36 overall, and 2nd of 19 in the SSP division.
It felt great to be back on the range, and on a morning of pleasant fall weather besides. Maybe I'll even find some time to practice before the next match.