Monday, July 21, 2014

Cavalier USPSA Match

For the second weekend in a row, I headed off to a new (to me) USPSA match. On Saturday I shot the monthly match put on by the Greater Richmond Blasters, at the Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club in Montpelier, VA. The trip to the range took just over an hour, with most of the drive being on tree-lined country roads. I attended an IDPA match at Cavalier a couple years ago and don't recall the drive being as easy. I'm guessing I had better directions this time.

The first stage we shot consisted of a short winding path past groups of targets, many of which partially covered by white no-shoots. At the end of the path was a Texas Star that was partially obstructed by a wall.

And No-Shoots

Another fun stage started with the shooter's hands on a barrel in the center of the free fire zone, and required moving to both sides of the course at the start to engage targets while leaning around walls. A Y-split in the course tempted the shooter into a corner to engage falling steel. In what was a common theme at the match, even on shorter courses of fire, there were many options on how to engage the targets.

And No-Shoots

The next stage was a long L-shaped course with target arrays strategically placed behind vision barriers. On this course too, the theme of copious no-shoots continued. I succumbed to the allure of the "hoser stage" and ran the course a little too fast. Although I avoided all the penalty targets, I dropped too many shots into C zones.

And No-Shoots

Next up was a fun stage that began with hands on a wall on either side of the course. The stage finished with the shooter taking a knee or squatting to engage the final targets under a wall.

The final bay held both a "speed shoot" and a Classifier. The former consisted of three steel poppers, one of which activated a drop turner and a popup target. Both were disappearing targets, so any misses meant points not earned, but there was no added penalty for the miss. I was first up on this stage, and even though I had seen the action of the targets once during the walkthrough, I was surprised just how much time one had to make the shots once I was behind the gun. I rushed my shots on the first target and found myself waiting for the second target to appear. If I had it to do over, I would have shot the targets in a different order and taken more time for better hits.

The last stage was the Classifier CM 13-02, "Down the Middle." Shooting last this time, I saw lots of folks get hits on the black, so I prepared myself to make carefully aimed shots. And I got decent hits on this one, but a light primer strike on the first shot cost me time for remedial action. Still, this stage saw my best stage finish of the match, placing 4th out of 18. Yet, as in the last match, the high stage finish on the Classifier was still not good enough to help my overall classification. And, that's misfires on the last two Classifiers I've attempted. As of this posting, my gun is in the hands of my friendly neighborhood gunsmith for a long overdue refurbishing.

This was a very fun match. Despite the generous use of no-shoots by the course designers, I walked away from the match with no penalties or misses, and a 9th place finish. I've been hoping to get to the Cavalier USPSA match since they started up last year. I'm glad I finally made it. The match is well-run, fairly close by, and held on a Saturday. A Saturday match is a plus in my book. The (hopefully) temporary suspension of events at Walnut Ridge, a match I enjoyed very much, has left a gap in the calendar. Another Saturday match, even closer to home, is a welcome addition. Next month's match is loaded into my calendar. I look forward to going back to Cavalier soon.

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