I haven’t shot an IDPA match at PDHSC since last October. Partly it’s because I’m just not a late night person and the last match I showot went past 10pm. Partly it’s because I have been shooting outdoor matches at The Range or Caswell Ranch. I heard on the Triangle Tactical podcast that the matches at PDHSC were ending much earlier and I wanted to see a shooting buddy I had not seen in much too long, so I headed over to PDHSC and arrived around 4:30pm to sign in for the match.
They will take charge cards so I paid my $15 on plastic and signed up for a squad with my buddy (who is always early). If you are new to shooting matches, they will assign you to a squad. If you want to shoot with a friend, just tell them and it’s usually not a problem.
Then I went back out to the car and “dressed” for the match. I tucked in my shirt tail, put on my belt with two mag pouches and and holster. I’m shooting the 1911. I added my concealment vest. I double checked to make sure the gun was unloaded and the hammer was down. This is how they prefer you arrive for the match. Use the parking lot just the way you would at an outdoor match. Or prep at home before you drive to the range. Space is at a premium in the building and folks unloading guns, or moving guns from range bags to holsters in tight quarters is frowned upon.
During the match, the only shooters permitted to have “live” guns at all times are the Range Safety Offices (RSOs).
I’d pre-loaded all my magazines at home. That is one less things to have to tackle just before the match. I also brought my small match bag instead of my full range bag.
David Bramble runs the match at PDHCS. He always starts off by reviewing the IDPA Four Rules of Gun Safety. He picks competitors to share the rules and that keeps everyone on their toes. He will review other rules that are unique the PDHSC or emphasize rules that have caused competitors to be DQ’d (disqualified) in the past. It’s all about creating an awareness of safety and I agree that can’t be over done.
We had 8 folks on our squad. The last time I shot it was 12. That may be why the matches are ending at a more reasonable hour. We were out by 8:30pm.
How did I shoot? My accuracy is improving but I’m very slow. I was 3rd to last. Sigh. I was very please with the first 5 stages. I shot the first stage clean. I was down 1 on most other stages except for a hit on a non-threat up until the 6th stage. However, I was grossly inaccurate on the last stage. There was a distance target that was in the shadows… and I had a failure to neutralize. Not a happy end to the match.
But I did go. I did shoot. And I’m continuing to learn.
More importantly, I gave a friend a hug who really needed one.