Shooting IDPA in Oxford, NC

I shot my 2nd match in Oxford on February 3rd. Here’s a summary of the experience:

When we were doing squad introductions, one of the guys said “You’re the GirlGoesBang blogger.” And I was floored. Someone other than family and close friends reads this blog… go figure? But I’m smiling as I write this (thank you!).  Another guy remembered me as the girl who tied up Honey Bunny!


I met the author of this book: Fall of the Republic by Jim Hicks. Jim was in my squad. I heard him talking with another guy on the squad about a survivalist fiction book. Since that is my favorite subject matter at the moment I asked about the book and it turns out he was discussing his book. I’ve added it to my reading list and will drop him a note once I’ve read it.

Now I have to admit something: I’m having trouble telling many of these guys apart. Many are trim, in khaki pants, vest and caps and have military type haircuts. I’m hoping I’ll start recognizing faces but twice I asked one fellow a question thinking he was someone else. It’s very embarrassing and I hope I’ll get better at recognizing the regulars.

I am really struggling with the 1911:
  • I nudge the safety up at times when I don’t wrap my short little thumb over the safety.
  • The magazines sometimes don’t seat right, and
  • at least 3 times the gun wasn’t in battery — because a round jammed — and I have no idea why.

I really, really miss the simplicity of my XD.


After the match, one of the guys in my squad suggested relaods with less recoil. Tunrs out they cost less than what I’ve been buying retail (well, they would if prices stabilized and he could get supplies again). And I can get a further discount for supplying my own brass. It appears all that brass I’ve been saving may do me some good even if I don’t reload myself.

After I was finished and headed home, I called Mom to check in with her. She went to her local range all by herself the day before. That’s a first for her! She’s in her 70’s so I have to say it: You are never too old to learn something new.

Notes on the Stages:
  • New for me, I started seated in a car and shot through the passenger window and driver’s window. There was no glass in the windows. I was advised to watch the steering wheel when moving the gun across the car.
  • I start another stage lying on the couch, in theory watching the super bowl. I shot two targets while laying on the couch and I found it very hard to aim. My body wanted to roll back into the cushions when I rocked forward toward the targets. I took a procedural penalty on this stage as I was supposed to reload before getting off the couch. In the excitement of the stage, I stood to reload. If this had been real I’d have made myself more of a target to the bad guys.
  • My last stage (the 3rd stage in the video below): I was very slow but I shot 6 targets and got no “downs” (all shots were in the targeted zones). That was a nice ending to my day!
Even better, here is video of the stages. The shooter who posted this video to You Tube, Ben, wasn’t in my squad. He’s a much better shooter than I am and he makes this look easy. I’m posting the video so you can get a first hand look at the stages:

The 1911 S&W defective grip saga

RoCo original grips

I bought a S&W 1911 in 9mm last October. I took it to my gunsmith to have the grips replaced. It came with RoCo wood grips in a medium width. I have very small hands so I selected a set of Halpern Ultra Slim Titanium grips. They were basically the same color as the gun so I considered that a bonus. See the gun with the new grips here.

As I’m learning to expect, I ran into a few issues. The bushings should have been attached to the frame of the gun. Two of the 4 were… the other two were attached to the wooden grips.

Halpern Ultra Slim Grips

My gunsmith advised me to send them back to S&W and ask them to remove the bushings from the original grips. If I want to sell the gun at some point, it is likely the next owner will have larger hands and will want to use these grips. I called S&W on November 19, 2012 and was told they would send me a return label and shipping instructions. The problem would be addressed. Why did I call? Because the website was broken. Really.

I received the return label Nov 24th, the day after Thanksgiving. I mailed the grips to S&W on November 29th, 2012. I received a set of replacement grips on February 15th, 2013. It’s a very good thing I wasn’t in a hurry for these, eh? They are missing the bushings and screws I returned with the original grips. So after almost 3 months from when I contacted them concerning this defect, I find I will be contacting them again. I sent email tonight requesting the missing parts. I’ll post an update if they ever show up.

 As for the ultra slim grips, my gunsmith had to cut out a place on the back of one side for the safety to swing up and down. He had to use special slim grip bushings as the new grips are much thinner than the original grips. I lost a screw in the first month. Was at the range, looked down and no screw in one of the holes. My gun smith gave me another (he is good to me) and then advised I invest in something like the “Turbo-Lock” pictured. Each time I clean that gun, threadlocker needs to be applied to the screws to ensure they don’t vibrate out.

S&W is teaching me patience. My gunsmith is teaching me to be self-sufficient. I’m not impressed with S&W and I’m learning to value my gunsmith.