Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mixed results

So no 2430 for me this weekend. I shot a 2386. I have mixed feelings about my performance. On the one hand, I'm disappointed that I didn't shoot better. For the most part, my shooting was pretty miserable. I didn't even break 800 for the .22 aggregate. I also had a miss on one of the center-fire slow-fire strings, just outside the 5 ring. (I'm not sure how that happened -- a twitch of the trigger finger at the wrong moment.)

On the other hand, I finished strongly, breaking 90 percent on the .45 aggregate for the first time (with an 811.) So apparently there's hope.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I got my sharpshooter card in the mail yesterday. I shot my second qualifying score about a month and a half ago, so it was just a matter of time.

I have two more outdoor matches scheduled this year. My hope is to shoot well enough in both to make it up to expert this year. It's not entirely infeasible, as I just need to get up to 2430, and I've already broken 2400. I just need to find an extra 10 points per gun. I really should be able to find an extra 10 points in the .22 aggregate. My 2400 included a mediocre 812 on .22. There's no reason (aside from the ones I come up with after the fact) that I shouldn't even be able to squeeze an extra 20 points out here. I've also broken 800 on .45 a few times, so if I can manage to do that again, that would put me over 2430. Of course, that all depend on the loose nut behind the trigger, so we'll see how things go.

Monday, August 30, 2010


One of those thrilling moments for a bullseye shooter is when you shoot your first 100 target. I only started shooting bullseye this year, and I hadn't yet shot a 100, either in practice or in competition, until this past weekend. I was practicing timed fire Saturday afternoon when I shot my first 100 target. I'd shot quite a few 99's and 98's, but no 100's. I was pretty excited. I'm holding on to that target until I shoot my first 100 in competition.

What's even more exciting, though, is that I shot two more 100's Sunday morning while practicing rapid fire. It's nice to see that I'm improving.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I shot another 2700 this past weekend, this time down at Central Jersey. I shot another personal best grand aggregate and managed to break 2400 with a, well, um, 2400. (The results are posted here.)

I decided to shoot in the Sharpshooter class this time. I'm still classified as a Marksman, and I would have won the grand aggregate had I shot in that class. I wanted to go ahead and move up, though. Even though winning is fun, I'm mostly interested in improving, and I wanted to be challenged. (Well, okay, the challenge was purely internal, and I'm not sure that I shot any differently, but I wanted to do it, anyway.)

Now my goal will be to get that extra thirty points so I can move up into Expert. It's certainly feasible, although given that I have two more outdoor matches this year, I probably won't make that move this year. But the fall and winter will give me plenty of time to practice.

Speaking of improvement, I only started shooting bullseye this year. In my first 2700, I managed to break 1600 (with three guns, I should probably point out.) I'm now shooting in the mid-2300's. If this trend continues, I expect to break 3000 sometime early next year.[1]

[1] This was a poor attempt at a joke. They call it a 2700 because that's the maximum possible number of points you can score.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Match results -- almost a clean sweep

The match results (with details in PDF) are out for the 2700 I shot this past weekend. I almost managed a clean sweep in Marksman. I won every match but the center-fire rapid fire match, which I lost by either 1 point and 4 X's or two points.

Something else interesting to note from the match is that both the top Expert and the top Sharpshooter out-shot the top Master in the grand aggregate.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good match/bad match

It was the best of matches, it was the worst of matches.

I shot the 2700 at my club this weekend. It was a good match in that I had personal bests in .22 National Match Course, timed fire, rapid fire, and aggregate; .45 slow fire; and the grand aggregate. OTOH, during the match, I felt like my shooting was absolute crap. Hell, I had a miss on one of the .45 slow fire stages (just outside the 5 ring at 12:00.)

But I think my perception was tainted by expectations. After shooting an 821 .22 aggregate, I thought to myself, "Hey, today might be the day I break 2400." I'd already shot an 800 .45 aggregate, so it wasn't unreasonable to think that. But my performance didn't match my expectations, thus the disappointment.

I haven't gotten the official results yet. It'll be interesting to see how I performed overall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good Bullseye match

I shot the bullseye match today at Central Jersey. It was a hot day, although we were fortunate to have a light breeze from time to time. The match finished pretty early, too. We were done shooting by 2:00 or so. We were pretty lucky -- we had all of one alibi.

After one of my slow-fire strings, John Gemmill, who was running the match (and who's one of the people responsible for reviving bullseye shooting in New Jersey), gave me some unsolicited advice. He'd noticed my pistol trembling a bit, and he advised me to try relaxing my grip on the pistol. I gave that a try on the next few strings, and, although I wasn't immediately successful at shooting better, I managed to shoot a 96 slow-fire stage on the .45 National Match course. To put this into perspective, the High Masters have been shooting 94-95 on average for .45 slow-fire stages for the past few months at Central Jersey. And to give some more perspective, my other .45 slow-fire stages were pretty pitiful, including a 66. It may have been a fluke, but I'm at least on track to improving my slow-fire scores.

The other remarkable event from the match (at least for me) was my slider. For timed- and rapid-fire stages, we use turning targets. If you manage to get a shot off while the target is turning, you'll get a hole that's stretched out a bit. In my case, the hole started about 11:00 in the 9 ring and stretched to the edge of the cardboard. The aforementioned John Gemmill commented on the target and told me that it showed good control, that I hadn't panicked when the targets started turning but had gotten the shot off calmly.

My grand aggregate for the match was 2329, which gives me my second consecutive Sharpshooter score. So, depending on how long it takes the NRA to process things and update my status, I've got a few weeks to be a sandbagger and win some Marksman matches (or get ahead of myself and start shooting poorly.) At least I've met one of my goals for the year, to make it up into Sharpshooter.