Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A girl won my match

Did you ever go to an action pistol match (of decent size, of course) and it was won by a person of the female persuasion?
I never had, until last October. Even more impactful, it was my own match.
Then, the very next match, it happened again. Twice in a row. Same woman.
Never saw that before.
At the "home" club, I'm fortunate enough to be allowed to put on a handful of IDPA matches every season. I like doing it. I like the design challenge. I like how six-shooter-friendly IDPA matches are (if they're done right, it goes without saying).
Better still, the IDPA program director Marv likes it when I do matches because I don't bug him with lots of whining. He shows his appreciation by not whining back. All he does is run the registration and do the scoring. Happy, happy, everywhere.
The IDPA program there is a pretty successful one. The average attendance is about 45 a month and it always draws a good mix of actual masters and omigod-first-match-ers.
We always get excellent setup help and if I ask to do something the afternoon before, I'm sure to get willing hands pitching in.
The next two matches were November and March due to weather. I caught them both. The November one, I showed my IDPA friends what a USPSA match really looked like by building genuine USPSA stages cut down to 18 rounds and then substituting cover for fault lines and other minor adjustments.
At the start, the serious IDPA guys who were to be the SOs were crabbing (a little) about things like, "Where's cover on this stage? Where's the cover procedural? What order are you supposed to shoot it in?".
Being good shooters, of course, they all got with the program and we all had a nice time. One of the masters actually told me it was one of the most fun matches he'd ever been to. I still can't get him to come to USPSA, though. Lucky for those USPSAers, as he wields that Kimber like a professional paid-to-do-it guy.
When the scores came out, it was a pleasant surprise that my friend SS (for "Single Stack", her usual USPSA division) came out with overall best score, about a half-second ahead of the next two master-level guys also running 5" 1911s. I had to stare at the scoresheet for ten minutes before it sunk in.
It was the very first shooting competition I'd ever been to won by a woman.
But it wasn't the last.
We normally shoot through the winter at "home", at least IDPA does. But last winter, our excellent gravel range floors iced over and wouldn't de-ice, so we didn't run again until March.
I planned the match as sort of the diametric opposite and labeled it a "carry-style" match. Close and fast, what IDPA really should be. All from cover, all close range, all walls and corners. The longest shot of the eight stages was only 21 feet. The average was probably nine or ten. (I don't like to get inside of five feet because the targets don't last the match.) Every round was around a wall corner. Every stage was the IDPA "ideal" round count of 12, wherein every division except BUG is forced to do one reload only on the minimum round count.
We had 34 turn out on a chilly day and I'm glad to say most attendees took the "carry gun" thing to heart and showed up with actual smaller guns.
I, for one, chose to use my long-barrel Detective Special with a real-life IWB holster and a handful of Safariland Comp III speedloaders stoked with hot .38 +Ps.
There were two guys with BUG-division guns that I saw, maybe more. I think only about ten shooters fell outside of my arbitrary "carry division" invention of sub-four-inch barrels and less than two pounds of weight.
And I'll be damned, SS showed up with her Glock 19 and won the stinking match.
That was two, in a row.
Of course, SS immediately let me know I'm an exceptionally good stage designer (no surprise, there).
And I'll allow a moment of unattractive immodesty to point out that Yours Truly finished forth overall with his little Colt, which to me tended to reaffirm SS's assessment of my match directoring.
I'm not doing another IDPA match until October, as far as I know, as the USPSA season eats up my time, but I just might, just barely might have, conned SS into trying my 686 for the ICORE match in May we're doing at the "other" home club. Having only fired twelve rounds from a revolver in her whole life (at a practice match, using my 586), she'll have to rely on innate talent to replace experienced skill to do well. But, sigh, she will.
I sure don't mind her kicking my backside in USPSA Single Stack or even in IDPA, but at my own revolver match, I'd better damn well practice up and not let her get ahead of me on that one.
That would the source of enough humiliation among my peers to last the rest of my lifetime.

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