Leaving the house on Saturday morning I questioned my sanity as the car thermometer started out showing 30°, which I watched tick down to 27° as I drove on. Fortunately, when I arrived at the range, with the sun doing its work, the temperature was up to 37°. The day would at least creep up to the low 40° range.
The crowd was smaller than usual, and we were divided into two squads of around 16. For this match I again shot my Compact SIG P320. In deference to the cold, and simply for practice, I used my winter carry setup of OWB carry holster and a winter jacket, instead of the competition holster and vest.
Our first stage was a fun field course that started with two close targets in the open. Moving through the course of fire we engaged targets at varying distances.
The second stage our squad shot was also a field course. This time the unloaded firearm and all magazines were placed on a table. This was my second best stage with just two points down.
The next bay we entered held two short standards stages. The first had three close head shot-only targets, a target that required a wide swing to the left, followed by swinging back right and engaging a target downrange partially hidden by barrels. All targets required a minimum of one hit. Despite taking two shots at the far target I managed to hit the barrel with both.
The other short course involved just three close targets. One, a head shot with a non-threat over the rest of the target required one shot first, followed by two shots to each of the others. This is one of those stages that can tempt you to go too fast. To my delight, I came up shooting fast and smooth, completing the challenge -0 and finished 10th of the 33 shooters in all divisions.
This next stage created a bit of confusion during the stage briefing. It was, in the end quite simple, but the directions given complicated the matter I thought. From a seated position, there was an array of five targets with non-threats and vision barriers obscuring much of the target area. There were also four targets to the sides, located near and far. Due to the rules of priority, both of the outer two closer targets had to be engaged prior to engaging the rear two. The line of targets in the center could be engaged anytime. Most shooters simply went left to right across the front and middle, finishing with the two back targets on either side.
Our squad ended with a minimally Christmas themed stage, where our magazines started in a wrapped box. Our firearm was holstered and unloaded. Copious fault lines through the course fire gave us plenty of movement to multiple positions of cover. It also gave me the opportunity to completely skip engaging one target and earning both two misses and a procedural error. Sadly, being the last stage I didn't get to wipe that from my memory by shooting another stage.
All in all, it was a fun match and I was happy to have the chance to get to the range, shoot a bit, and visit with friends. I finished way down in the overall standings, but was generally happy with how I shot, barring some mental errors with the game part of the sport. Any day on the range is a good day. Besides, I was on vacation and there were good cigars and drinks ahead.