Saturday, September 13, 2014

The End of the Hiatus

Regular viewers may have noticed that I haven't report about USPSA (Practical Pistol) matches I have attended lately.  The reason is simple:  I haven't been to many since "I Blew Up My Gun".  Over a year ago.

I did try to shoot a match at the Dundee club a few months back, but as I reported at the time, that came to No Good End.  Ammunition fizzled because it was reloaded with 'old' gunpowder which had apparently drawn moisture.   It was, of course, the best USPSA match I even attended in which I fired less than a single magazine.

Today, after months of encouragement from my good friend (and fellow Linguica Pizza Aficionado) The Homeless Brasser, I took advantage of the Bi-Mart sale on .45ACP ammunition ... "$19.97 per box of 50, as many boxes as we have" ... and took my Beloved Kimber to a match at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club!

The match went rather smoothly, except that we were part of the largest squad at the match.  There were 14 guys in it, and I have no idea why it was so largely subscribed except that there were the core members of "The Usual Suspects".   That coterie included "The Geek", "The Hobo", "Fish", and "Just Plain Bob".   Of the other 10 squad members, I counted not a few who had attended my monthly Introduction to USPSA class, and as usual they beat me.  I didn't have to look at the scores; they're just better than me.

Yes, I have been competing here for 30 years, but it's not because I am good enough to win.   I just like the company, the instant camaraderie even with people you have never met before, and sweltering in in the 90+ degree Indian Summer in Oregon is always a bonus.

Since this is My Blog, I can talk about ME all I want to.  So in case there is anyone out there who cares, I absolutely bombed on the last stage.

 It was called "Spread 'em", because you started out with your hands stretched out along the top of a 8' vision barrier. and your feet splayed also ... I found myself vaguely romantically attracted to the fence post in the middle of the position until the RO (5'2" Fish, who reportedly found it difficult to achieve the starting position).   When the buzzer sounded, I tried to engage the Texas Star through a plastic barrell placed horizontally (lengthwise) 4' off the ground.  Which didn't work to well; it was not my finest moment when shooting the Star so I had run through the entire 10-round magazine and I still had one disk left to shoot.

So I tried to reload with another 10-rounder (because that was my game plan, such as it was) and realized just a moment too late that pounding a 10-round singlestack magazine when the gun is is slide-lock is counter-productive for a very good reason.

The slide slammed forward when I released the slide-lock ... and stopped halfway through.  It took me 17 seconds to jam my gun, and I had just zeroed the stage.  It took me five minutes to clear the jam, and at that point I declared that I was through with the stage.

Am I a quitter? Oh, HELL yes!

Any man who can get through 30 years of consistently losing IPSC matches without realizing that The Shooting Gods are not with him today ... deserves whatever further humiliation he finds down that lonely road.

Later, while consuming Linguica Pizza and over-priced Hefeweizen beer, my friends and squad partners tactfully declined to mention my technical quandary, other than to commiserate with me over the vagaries of 10-round single-stack magazines.

For myself, I was so down on the stage, I actually welcomed the Jam From Hell as a very good excuse to exit a miserable last-stage performance.

And they knew that, of course.


Anonymous said...

R U shooting single stack?

Mark said...

Lust like the old days, limber up your excuses (I'm the Hobo Brasser)

Anonymous said...

Grill the fatted hamburger, the prodigal son has returned.