I have a buddy from Green Ops who shoots at Blue Ridge Arsenal, so I figured I would give it a try.
Analysis after the break.
So, the videos and scores are pretty clear that this wasn’t my best match. I nailed a couple of no-shoots, had a couple Ms, etc. I’d love to blame this on switching to dry-firing with my CO gun for the past couple weeks, but it’s really symptomatic of not enough live fire range practice time. (This is why, despite having bought an AMG Lab Shot Timer, I can’t actually finish the review – zero time indoors shooting it at a practice range.) I’ve shot like… maybe thirty pistol rounds outside of matches in the past month, and those thirty were 50yd freestyle shots at a rifle range on a B8. Frequent dry-fire is good, but I suppose it can be taken too far, like everything else.
I came in 4/7 in Production, and 27/34 overall. That’s my worst overall finish in a while, and as you can see from stage videos, it’s not like Production capacity mattered at all. On the other hand, LOTS of PCC, Open, CO, and Limited shooters in the front of the pack, so it’s not like I got smoked by a bunch of guys shooting Production.
Stage 1: My shooting rhythm was not as bad as it looks – there were a bunch of half A-zone targets at 10yds that I was desperately trying to avoid no-shooting. But I was slow off the draw and the reloads. The botched reload was equipment unfamiliarity – I got some G17 mags with TTI baseplates the day before, and they were a little more different than I realized. (They’re good stuff on the whole, I just need to practice with them more.)
Stage 2: Slow transitions here. This is another thing that’s hard to practice dry-fire only, simply because you can’t practice moving during recoil if there’s no recoil. Also some issues with recoil management.
Stage 3 (two strings): my freestyle shooting wasn’t bad here, but I suffered pretty badly on the weak-hand run, including the trash reload and couple Ms. Another thing to practice.
Gear was my usual G34 setup, but with TTI +0 baseplates on the mags. I like these – they made a noticeable difference in the speed the magazine dropped out – but there’s a learning curve when pulling them from the pouches due to the larger baseplate size. This is probably my last time shooting Production for a while; I have a Gen3 G34 coming in that I’m going to convert to a Carry Optics gun.
This was my first time shooting at Blue Ridge Arsenal. They have a nice facility and a very diverse crowd – this was the first time I’d ever seen multiple female shooters at a USPSA match, and there were a lot of minorities as well. I think BRA might be served better by using both halves of the room so they can have larger stages; while I get that setup time is a thing, all three stages were surprisingly static. One nicer thing was that they did allow multiple runs across squads, so if you wanted to do CO and then PCC, that was an option available to you (albeit at another $25). I don’t know how often I’ll return – it’s out of the way – but it’s always fun to shoot at new places.