Saturday, October 08, 2005

Blue Skies in Albany

I shot a match today.

No big deal, I do it every weekend when there's a Club Match. And there was nothing particularly amazing about this match, except for the second match in a row there was NO RAIN!

That may seem like a small thing to you, sitting in your big chair in front of the computer. But it was a very important part of our day, for Those Of Us Who Were There.

I wish I had taken more pictures today, but unfortunately SWMBO was not in attendance (having taken the day off to organize her new home), and I couldn't count on her to do part of the picture-taking chores. I missed her for other reasons, of course, but as it turned out I spent most of my photo-time taking videos . . . which I can't display on this website (nor link to, but that will change momentarily. Or so I am reliably informed by The Webserver Guy, Brian B.)

As a consequence, I can only offer photos of three of the six stages presented today. I'm delighted to be able to do this, because I've just established a credit account with my Image Server, IMAGESHACK, which allows me to gang-load photos. You'll have to bear with me while I abuse this new-bought privilege; it's nice to be able to upload a dozen photos at a time, as I have been doing all evening.

By now, you are aware that the main purpose of this article is to show some pictures of people shooting IPSC. It may not be a Noble Purpose, but I like to shoot and I like to see other people shoot. This venue allows me to relive the events that add such richness to my otherwise mundane life.

The match winner (to nobody's special surprise), Grand Master Rob S., is shown here shooting the "Podium" stage. I believe the actual name of the stage is "HOW FAR?" as is defined in the match results page conveniently provided on the Internet within hours of the end of the match. Just another service of ARPC, and Webmaster Brian B. (who PROMISES that I'll have web hosting for my videos "real soon now".) This was the last stage of the day. There's a podium in for the starting box. You start with the pistol on a shelf in the podium in front of you, and all reload magazines must be taken from the podium. Four IPSC targets. Shoot two rounds per target, reload, repeat, reload, repeat. Twenty four rounds, 120 points, real tough for revolver shooters (of which we had one at the match today.) RO is Norm the Ungrateful.

Here's Trevor O., a school teacher who is an A-Limited and A-L10 shooter in his premiere match as an Unclassified Open shooter. He's using a compensated Glock with a slide-mounted dot-sight in unclassified Open division. He kicked my B-Open butt, as did a number of other competitors today.

In another stage ("Da Ding") you get to shoot through three ports at eight-round arrays consisting of two IPSC targets and three Pepper Popper. Behind the middle Pepper Popper there's a forward-falling US Popper. Very challenging, especially if you don't realize (as Rob S. didn't) that it's not going to fall 'normally'. Here, Caryn S. prepares to beat the snot out of me with a sizzling 13.50 second time. Oh, yeah, I beat her TIME, but I had a couple of misses which pretty much proves ... something. (I think it proves that she's a better shot, and a better competitor, than I am. You think?)

Here's the view through the left port of "Da Ding".

On the third stage (stage 4, "Loud Star", which was the last stage our squad shot today) Caryn is in the starting box and preparing to beat my butt yet one more time. Well, actually this was one of the few stages where I managed to squeak ahead of her, but the final results put her well ahead of me. She's a fine competitor, and I enjoy squadding with her and Rob because they both teach me lessons in competitive shooting which I somehow never manage to learn.

In this stage, you engage four IPSC targets from the starting box, then there are four more downrange (along The Wall, which is the stacked concrete blocks) to engage as you move downrange. When you get to the end of the way, which with a series of vision barriers forms a narrow hall, you find a Texas Star with four plates on the five arms, plus another static plate.

Why is the stage called "Loud Star"? That's because the concrete wall bounces the noise of every shot back at you, only to be turned into a thrumming noise by the visquine barrier four feet away from it. Shooting in this corridor is an exercise in Noise Abatement Gone Wrong, courtesy of Mikey the Mad Stage Designer.

The worst thing about the day was that SWMBO couldn't be there to share the experience. The best thing? NO RAIN!

I almost wish it had rained, so SWMBO wouldn't feel that she had missed a good match.

Good match.

Sorry, SWMBO.

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