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Things to tell first time GSSF shooters

2490 Views 38 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  unclebob
Make sure that every gun you bring to the range is unloaded. Concealed does not mean concealed in this case.

Do not handle your Glock except when told to by the RO, with the armorer or in the marked safe zone with no ammunition in the area.

Do not bring ammo into the safe zone or load magazines there.

I know that I have posted encouraging people to come out and shoot many times without mentioning these points. I am sure I have forgotten things that people might find helpful, perhaps others would like to expand, clarify or correct this list. I also know that this information is covered much better in the rules, but a lot of people like to get the word from other shooters, not from a book.
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Your First GSSF Match, by Danny Ryan

Equipment: Stock pistol, 150 rounds of ammo per entry. While you can shoot with just 2 magazines, 4 are nicer.

Accessories: bug spray, sun screen, hand towel, water, lightweight folding chair, hand cleaner, gear for any weather, money, baseball cap, pen, ear and eye protection (even for spectators).

Procedure: as soon as you receive your registration labels, go to each stage and sign in on the entry sheet. Then go back to the 5 To Glock stage, check off your name and await your turn, and shoot it first, followed by the Glock M and finishing on the Plates. If there is a practice plate rack, take advantage of it.


Stages:

5 To Glock: there are five cardboard targets, normally at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. You fire two shots per target, 10 shots total. You shoot three strings of fire for a total of 30 rounds.

Glock M: here there are four cardboard targets and one to three metal poppers. You shoot 2 shots per cardboard, leaving up to 3 shots to hit one popper. You shoot three strings of fire.

The Plates: you have 11 rounds to knock down six 8in plates at 11 yards. You do this four times. Steel left standing is 10 points penalty per plate. Don't rush


Scoring:

Your score for each stage is the sum of the times for your strings of fire plus any penalty points. Don't rush because misses are 10 point penalty each. Shots in the 8in circle are zero penalty points. Shots in the 12in circle are 1 penalty point. Shots outside the 12in but still on the cardboard are 3 points penalty. You only have 6 shots at 25 yards, so slow down and get good hits. Engage your targets as they enter your line of sight, either moving right to left or left to right. Do not zig-zag between targets as that takes more precious time.

You will be shooting with Masters, but not against Masters. They are very fast and very accurate. Don't try to shoot as fast as they do.

Tell the Range Officer at each stage that this is your first match. They are always helpful.

Often there are food and merchandise vendors, but bring a snack just in case. Plan to be there four hours. Make friends and have fun. Preliminary results are usually posted by Tuesday night at www.gssfonline.com. The finals, with prize distribution, are posted about 30 days after the prelims, allowing time to resolve any scoring issues. Warning: GSSF Is Addictive!
 

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I've never done whatever it is that you all are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I realized that there are a lot of shooters coming to matches who have never shot on a supervised range. Some shoot on their own property or on little local ranges with no ROs and they may not understand why the safety procedures are so important when 500 strangers are sharing a range. When I heard a shooter say "I bought this yesterday" it really made me stop and question my assumptions.
 
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Don't assume that experienced shooters are safe. I have witnessed law enforcement do an overhand rack of the slide without turning sideways and the muzzle points way past 180. When my wife squads, she always alerts me of new or inexperienced shooters and I try to walk them through the steps slowly without trying to intimidate them. We'll never get a second chance to make a first impression and want them to have a pleasant experience. If their first stage is run by someone who treats them like an idiot, they are not likely to return.
My first match was Dawsonville two years ago. I was fortunate to pick my first stage that was run by the Boones and Smiths. Mrs. Boone walked me through the whole procedure and my experience was fantastic.
So in addition to making it safe for everyone, be nice and helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I shot my first match in 1999 and again three years ago when getting back into it my goal was to not be asked to leave, not endanger anyone and not leave any plates standing.

I succeded at the two important ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I realized just the other day that I have been encouraging people, here on the forum and in person, to "Grab a Glock and come shoot" and telling them all about how much fun it is and how easy it is and not thinking at all about telling them the basics of safely shooting a match on a range with 500 strangers.

I will make an effort from to cover at least the basics every chance from now on.
 

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Before I even went to the first match that I was working (not even shooting), I went to the GSSF Website and read and reread the rules several times.

Unfortunately, many people never even bother to find the information and better inform themselves. They get information from people who may have not have bothered to read the rules and have picked up information by word of mouth.

Many of them are the same people who assume they know everything about firearms and don't need to be reminded ... ( reference WLKJR's comments above ).

This is an area where we cannot be too safe

Safety above all else
...
 

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overhand rack of the slide without turning sideways and the muzzle points way past 180
I think you mean while turning the muzzle sideways? Anyway this seems to be quite common lately people are bringing the gun into their body turning it about 160 -180°, grabbing the top of the slide to be able to rack a round out of the chamber. I've never really liked the movement but If it's not breaking the 180 or sweeping them self or anybody else it seems to be legal even though a bad idea. My guess would be lack of grip strength to rack the slide in another position and or just a bad habit they have picked up
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think you mean while turning the muzzle sideways? Anyway this seems to be quite common lately people are bringing the gun into their body turning it about 160 -180°, grabbing the top of the slide to be able to rack a round out of the chamber. I've never really liked the movement but If it's not breaking the 180 or sweeping them self or anybody else it seems to be legal even though a bad idea. My guess would be lack of grip strength to rack the slide in another position and or just a bad habit they have picked up
I have seen people break the plane, the muzzle pointing toward their left elbow as they try to put controlled pressure on the slide, kind of pulling the frame forward into the slide in their left hand. The tiny Glock slide lock doesn't help, reaching for it with your thumb naturally makes you want to twist the gun in your grip to the left even more.

Gives me the willies when I see it.

I have gotten to where I pick up the ejected round after the slide is down and the gun is bagged. If I lose one, there are more in the bag.

One thing I have a problem with is the dropping of the slide and striker before bagging the gun. I arrive with the gun empty and locked back, I comply with the Glock rules after that and usually take it home that way because it means less handling of the gun, but transporting an empty firearm that is not locked back is like putting ketchup on a steak or sassing your mom.
 

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Breath, have fun. I notice that when I have shot the outdoor and even more so the indoor matches, people tend to get too worked up about other people watching them. I know it's hard to not want to shoot or look good when shooting, but if you are worried about other shooters around you, you will not be able to relax and shoot a good string.
 

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I just got invited by a couple LEO friends last night to join them at the upcoming event in St Augustine, FL. i'm gonna pore over the rules, and try really hard to be safe and not make a tool out of myself. I've never shot competitively, and i'm excited and nervous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just got invited by a couple LEO friends last night to join them at the upcoming event in St Augustine, FL. i'm gonna pore over the rules, and try really hard to be safe and not make a tool out of myself. I've never shot competitively, and i'm excited and nervous.
It really is not difficult, you should have a great time. I have never met a RO who was not helpful and courteous. Some go way beyond the call of duty into almost being a coach for new shooters.
 
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