GSSF Tip #10-35

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by BCarver, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. BCarver

    BCarver CLM Millennium Member

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    Oct 13, 1999
    Jacksonville, Florida
    This week's topic was hosted by Jerry Worsham:

    Question: How much do you care about sun angles, shadows cast over the targets, target condition, plate rack condition, activity on adjacent bay, who the RO is, etc, etc, etc....

    Answer: I think observing conditions is one of the most overlooked areas of shooting a GSSF match. I am much more interested in having optimum conditions than in shooting through the match quickly. In other words, I’d rather wait and shoot at the pit/setup that I feel offers the best opportunity for shooting a good match than move through another pit/setup with no wait. These are some things that can save you seconds on your score and they cost you nothing but a little attention to detail.

    As soon I get my sheets I walk the entire range and observe how the sun hits the targets, where the shadows are, the physical condition of the layout and certainly how the ROs are running the stage. After I’ve made my observation I then drop off my sheets where I think I’ll end up with the best conditions. Some of the factors I look for are: I look to keep the sun behind me whenever possible, bright targets make it easier to pick out the rings for your aiming. Even more important than that is making sure all the targets are in the sun or in the shade. When shooting from the sun into the shadows you’ll find your shots move, either higher or lower, even with a consistent aiming point. I check to see if the targets are all at the same height, no up and down movement as I run the D-1s. I like pits that don’t have hard walls on both sides like the one at Jax’s Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club, I find the echoes to be distracting. Same if you’re too close to another pit shooting at the same time, it can be distracting plus there’s always the off-chance of your timer picking up another shooters firing. How a plate rack works can make a significant difference in your score, a plate rack in good condition will go down quickly. I have actually made a second shot on the last plate of a run because the plate was falling so slow, it was falling but I reacted so quickly that I had the second shot off before I realized it was falling. Instant .5 second unnecessarily added to my time! Are the plates relatively clean, how long has it been since they were painted? You can always ask for touch up before you run your strings. And possibly the most important, I look for level shooting positions. Good footing is essential to a good stance. Your stance is the foundation of your stance, uneven footing can throw your shooting off enough to “blow a stage”, something you can’t afford in today’s GSSF.

    I also study the cadence of the ROs. Do they rush through the “Shooter ready, Standby, Beep”, do they leave you hanging waiting for the beep? Do they treat the match like an IDPA or USPSA match? I look for smooth, pleasant ROs, I don’t need any distractions while my shooting my match. We’re shooting a GSSF match and those are the rules I want used. 95% of the volunteer ROs are great folks and will do their level best to make your experience a pleasant and fun, the other 5% can really ruin your day.

    I usually shoot the 5 to G first, the M second and the plates last but if conditions are right for the M or plates at a given time I’ll shoot out of sequence to take advantage of the conditions i.e. Conyers 2002, the morning sun made shooting the M first the best opportunity.

    Sometimes you can’t find the ultimate setup, you just have to find the setup that comes closest to your needs. These things all add up and by making careful choices you can make your shooting more fun, efficient and your scores lower.

    Response to topic question posted by Bobby Carver for Jerry Worsham