Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fun, Fun, Fun...

Yesterday I was able to get out to the monthly IDPA match. The theme this month was "Back Up Guns", so I brought out Mrs. Azlib's Walther PPK.

It's been forever since I last had that thing out to the range, and I had forgotten just how sweet that little gun is. Being the first guy up on the first stage, I was presented with one feed problem probably due to the stupid Blazer ammo I was trying to use up and a likely too-infrequently cleaned gun. [Grrrr.] But once I worked through that (and began to remember to flick off the safety on my draw), the thing ran like a champ. I've become accustomed to the stronger pulls required on my DAO
pistols and had forgotten how light a touch was necessary on the PPK.

My holster choices for this weapon were either IDPA-illegal, IDPA-stupid, or scary. I've got a nice SOB holster, but that's illegal at a match. The holster I most often carry this in is a cheap, suede IWB affair. It is OK to carry and draw from, but even two-handed re-holstering is almost impossible, so therefore not practical at an IDPA match. And I also have an ankle holster for the thing. I have exactly one pair of pants which are big enough at the ankle to allow me to pull up the fabric high enough to get to the gun. On the few times I've carried it in this ankle holster, I've always been concerned about the holster slipping down my leg, not to mention the extra time needed to get bent over my big gut should I actually have to get to the thing. So I went out and bought a fairly unimpressive OWB rig for the match. It worked, and it would conceal OK, but I really don't like it.

One of the fellas I shot with showed up with this thing. If there is a fanny-pack out there which does not completely shout "GUN! GUN! I'VE GOT A GUN IN THIS FANNY-PACK!!", then this has got to be it. [Note to self: Add this to a Father's Day wish-list.]

I ended up re-shooting Stage 1. It was set up as an encounter with one target where you shoot twice at arms-length range, then retreat diagonally for the remaining shots. Like everybody else, I initially used an isoceles stance for the first two shots and more of the same during the retreat. However, on my reshoot, I decided to shoot the first two shots from retention, then back up with the isoceles. I surprised myself at how well I did--meaning that I got the first two rounds pretty close to where I intended.

Ivan really put some thought into this match and it showed. The IDPA BUG rules are somewhat limiting, but he found a way to push the theme forward. He put up two stages where you shoot one weapon dry, then transition to another, and he provided the "other weapons". On one stage, you shot two targets with the final two rounds from Ivan's XD-45, then transitioned to your BUG in another diagonal retreat as you shot T3. His other stage was to shoot 3 targets with your BUG as you moved towards a downed soldier with a M4. [Ivan's M4 is set up with a Reddot optic instead of the ACOG shown here, but otherwise very similar.] Grab the M4 and let loose with the last five rounds into T4 (full auto--naturally!!)

Regardless of how the scores turn out, it was fun. Fun. Fun. Tons o' Fun!!


Cowboy Blob said...

Looks like fun! Is that allowed at an IDPA match, or are you required to keep a straight face throughout the course of fire? :)

azlibertarian said...

Yeah, there were lots of grins at this month's match. As I said, Ivan put a lot of thought into the match, and it showed. The IPSC guys shoot in the morning before the IDPA gets the ranges, and we will often just modify the props and set-ups that they've used to be a bit more IDPA-like. The end result is more "shooter"-stages, rather than "scenario"-stages, if that makes any sense.

With the theme of this match being BUG, Ivan had set the distances fairly short. He generally has one or two stages with distances (or with moving targets) which challenge my shooting skills. Oh, well. That's what I come out for--my monthly shooting humbling.