Poll

How often do you shoot in competition?

Never
I have once or twice
1 to 6 times a year
6 to 12 times a year
Weekly or more

Author Topic: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?  (Read 19589 times)

USSA-1

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2008, 09:04:20 AM »
Let me start off by stating that nothing, and I mean nothing, has improved my weapon handling skills like competition.  Having said that (and before I have to put on the flame suit) understand that there are generally four components to the serious social use of a weapon.
 
(in no particular order)
1- Skills
2- Tactics
3- Equipment/gear/weapons etc.
4- Mindset

I completely agree with those that say that competition is not training.  Real training involves developing/sharpening the whole skill set, but does that mean that working on selected individual portions of those skill sets is not valid?  I think not.  Too many people try to make competition something that it's not.  It IS a game.  Anything that uses a timer will quickly become a game.  At that point it's all about beating the clock, not working the skill set.  This begs the question, "What will competition do for you or where does it fit into the skill set package?"  Clearly, competition develops some of your individual skills.  While it does not work every skill that is needed for social work, it does work several of the critical ones, including one of the most important, speed.  As the saying goes, "Speed kills."  The standard in law enforcement is to react to a stimulus (buzzer/timer) and draw and fire 2 rounds in 3 seconds on a 7 yard threat.  The standard for a Master class IPSC shooter is to react to a stimulus and draw and fire 6 rounds (all "A" Zone, mind you) in less than 2 seconds on a 7 yard target.  Does this skill translate to the real world? Absolutely!  More rounds, more accurately, in less time, who wouldn't want that skill?  The days of shooting a threat 2 times and "assessing" is over.  There are only 2 possible outcomes when facing a deadly threat.  Either the threat's weapon hits the ground and he surrenders or the threat AND the weapon hit the ground.  If I don't see the first reaction, I'm going to keep tapping the trigger until I get the second reaction, regardless of whether it takes 1 round or 10.

Does competition do anything for tactics?  For the most part, no.  Remember it's a game, don't try to make it something that it's not.

Does competition do anything for your equipment?  Yes, it allows you to test your gear, equipment, and to a degree, your weapons in the crucible of competition.  The average competition shooter will shoot several thousands of rounds per year.  My personal average is around 30K per year.  Competition shooters are brutal on equipment and weapons.  I remember shooting my one competition gun during the summer and it got so hot I couldn't touch it anymore.  So I turned on the car's A/C to max and put the pistol in front of the vents to cool it off while I reloaded magazines.  Do you know how many rounds it takes to heat a polymer pistol up so much that it hurts you to touch it?  Lets just say it takes a crapload of ammo.  If my compeition gun can handle that kind of abuse, then my identical carry gun has my full and complete confidence.

What about mindset?  Well, to some degree.  Not necessarily a "combat" mindset, but it does condition you to not give up.  When you have a malfunction or make a mistake, you have to fix it on the fly and keep working to finish the stage.  You don't quit or give up.  It does develope your perserverance and inner fortitude.  It also helps develope weapons skill manipulations under some level of stress.  You'll hear competition shooters say, "Man, that buzzer went off and my mind went blank!"  If a buzzer will do that to you, what's a pistol in your face gonna do?  Any stress in you practice/training is better than no stress.  The more you train in a stressfull environment, the better you'll operate in a stressfull environment, and competition does a pretty good job at creating an uncomfortable environment.

So to end this long sermon and step off my soapbox, competition is not training, but competition shooting does help develope some of the skills set used in serious training.  Don't try to substitute competition for training, but don't dismiss it as useless.  Put competition shooting in the proper skill set contexts and you'll see your overall skill set increase considerably.

USSA-1
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hodman

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2008, 09:34:44 AM »
USSA-1

Well said, I think you said it better than I did!

Competition is an important PART but still a Part.

Jon
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dj454

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2008, 11:10:00 AM »
I have not shot in competition but I want too. Money is the big reason I have not. I hope to be able to shoot in competition someday.

tombogan03884

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2008, 01:24:59 PM »
I have not shot in competition but I want too. Money is the big reason I have not. I hope to be able to shoot in competition someday.

Same here,

Big Frank

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2008, 04:37:31 AM »
I've never shot in a competition. I'm just not very competitve by nature, as long as I'm not hungry.
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tombogan03884

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2008, 04:51:58 AM »
I've never shot in a competition. I'm just not very competitve by nature, as long as I'm not hungry.

My only interest in ANY competition is having a guage to judge my own ability, In games I don't much care about winning and losing so much as doing my best and seeing where that puts me in relation to others, meeting like minded people and picking up tips is an added benifit.

jnevis

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2008, 06:11:21 AM »
I have not shot in competition but I want too. Money is the big reason I have not. I hope to be able to shoot in competition someday.

I thought the same thing. I figured that I had to have a $4000 pistol and a $300 holster rig to copmete but that isn't true anymore.  I use the same Glock I plink with and the holster that cost me $30 plus a $20 mag pouch.  Shooting IDPA (any class) or USPSA Production are specifically designed for the "straight from the box" pistol and inexpensive gear.  USPSA Limited can be shot well with stock guns, you'll just be a  bit outclassed at the higher level matches with the expensive modified guns.  USPSA Single Stack is all about the basic 1911.  The biggest expense is the ammo and match fee (local matches can be 1-300 rounds and $20).   Check out the USPSA website www.uspsa.org they have a pretty good intro video

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SIG229DAK

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2008, 06:43:29 PM »
I shoot CAS/SASS once or twice a month.    I have friends, who can afford the gas ($$$), that shoot every weekend.

 ;D
HaroldB

hyatt76

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2008, 10:02:33 AM »
5 or six times

DesertMarine

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Re: Please answer the question how much do you shoot in competition?
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2008, 05:09:23 PM »
As a former federal officer, firearms instructor and having competed in Police Combat this question is extremely interesting.  Training and competition are both valuable to anyone interested in mastering skills in the various shooting disciplines.  I like USSA1's summary "So to end this long sermon and step off my soapbox, competition is not training, but competition shooting does help develope some of the skills set used in serious training.  Don't try to substitute competition for training, but don't dismiss it as useless.  Put competition shooting in the proper skill set contexts and you'll see your overall skill set increase considerably."

DesertMarine

 

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