Despite days of wet and cold weather in the week leading up to Sunday, the day was dry and, relatively, warm. I was joined for the trip across the Potomac River by three regular shooting companions.
We started out on a stage that involved both strong and weak hand shooting. It was certainly quite the stage to "warm up" on. Three "tuxedo" targets were set against the berm, two further limited by non-threats. The targets were engaged from progressively advancing shooting positions across the bay, shooting freestyle, strong hand only, then weak hand only at successive targets. A second string reversed the direction. An errant weak hand shot cost me a -5 and was my only miss of the match.
The next stage started us seated on a stool. There were three targets behind a non-threat that we engaged strong hand only while advancing to the first shooting position where we found a lone distant target. Two more groups of targets were visible from a second position of cover. I dropped just one point on the stage.
Next up was a stage I enjoyed very much. It was also the first stage we shot mostly in the sun, which helped to take some of the chill off. Standing behind a row of barrels we shot a paper target and three falling steel targets in the open. Then from cover, there were six more paper targets arranged among barrels and non-threats. The final target from this position was a low, leaning target set very close to the cover wall. Perhaps it was the bright sun, or simply that I was getting warmed up, but the shooting felt very smooth on this stage and the sights aligned quickly. I dropped two points in the final target.
Seven targets set in a line in front of a toolbox on the ground greeted us at the next stage. The first two targets in the array presented only head shots, while the last five were open, offering a fast shoot. Our unloaded gun and all magazines were placed in the closed toolbox and we started standing, facing up range. Since the gear was on the ground, dropping to and shooting from kneeling was the logical choice. After careful aiming on the first two targets, the rest of the group could be shot as quickly as the sights appeared on target. All my shots here were -0.
After the stand and shoot stage (actually kneel and shoot,) the next course of fire offered lots of movement. We started be engaging a single open target while moving backwards to the first point of cover to shoot at two distant targets that were placed partially in front of a non-threat — watch out for shoot-throughs. Next we shot a single target through a window in the wall, before moving to the last fault line to find more targets. I dropped two points here.
The last stage our squad shot again gave us the opportunity for movement while shooting. The first targets were engaged from cover. From this same position, one could also engage two additional targets in the distance, if a non-threat at a menacing position in the middle could be avoided. My observation was the only the taller shooters opted to do so. The rest of us had to weave around the wall the shoot from another spot. On the way to that optional position there was an open target to be engaged along the way. The course of fire ended at another shooting position where two final targets were found. I ended my shooting day with another -0 stage.
As is typical for the matches at Sanner's Lake, the shooting went fast and we were packed and in the car by 11:30. As is also typical, we made a stop to acquire distilled spirits, and to eat a tasty Tex-Mex lunch.
The stages in the match were interesting and fun. Traveling, shooting, and dining with friends made for an enjoyable day. I managed to get home with enough daylight left to do some yard work, and then enjoy a fine Drew Estate Joya Black cigar and hot coffee on my deck in the waning sun.
I was well pleased with my shooting on this day. It's been almost a year of recovery from the medical emergency of January. It feels good to be shooting reasonably well again. In this match I placed 8th of 46 Overall, and 2nd of 14 in the SSP division. All in all it was an exceptionally pleasant way to wind down the weekend and my shooting year.