How to prep for 1st competition?

Discussion in 'GSSF / IDPA / Competition' started by OuttaHand, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Recently got my first Glock, so U've been reading a lot about GSSF competition events.
    I am really interested in trying one.

    How do you prepare for an event like that?
    For those of you who have competed, were you scared to death at your first event?
    How long are you actually AT the event? A few hours? Full day? Full weekend?

    Throw some hints my eay!
  2. malladus

    malladus New Member

    I didn't do more then test fire my Glock I bought the day before my first match to get ready. I had shot competitions of one sort of another before in college so it wasn't totally new, but still had some nerves. Went with a good friend, my inlaws, and some guys from their office so we had a big crowd.

    Big thing is relax and don't take it to seriously. If you never competed before, when the buzzer goes off your brain will check out and you default to you base skills the first few times. With the way scoring works and limited round count and penalties for extra shots and misses you can't miss fast enough to win, especially on the plates.

    Buy some cheap paper plates and set them at ranges from 10 - 25 yards put a round in each one then work on hitting that same point each time. The plates help alot with the GLock the Plates, on the rest it helps you learn to focus on the pasters from the previous shooters since those are the only really visible reference points on the targets. If you can get some NRA D1 cardboard or paper targets (target barn), you can learn your site pictures.

    But, in general:
    (1) know your firearm so you are not distracted or worried about your handling of it
    (2) know your POA versus POI
    (3) watch a few shooters run through each stage before you shoot.
    (4) give yourself a little time between each stage to relax
    (5) have a good time
    (6) talk to people
    (7) Don't try and compete against the other guys. Lots of new shooters will see folks in front of them firing super fast and feel like then can too and will out speed their skill.
    (8) Once you shot a string or stage clear your mind and forget it, focus on what comes next.
    (9) Register in Master stock or unlimited, shoot them first. Odds are you aren't going to win those, so remember that, shoot your game and use it to burn off your nerves.
    (10) When you shoot the plates if you miss move on, shot the next one and come back and pick the missed ones up at the end. I see a lot of new shooters focus on one plate and wind up blowing all their shots on two of three plates and not evening getting on to 4,5, and 6.
    (11) Avoid speeding up on 5 to glock. Folks tend to start speeding up as they move trough the stage and start through C,D, and misses. Also don't double tap, it's tempting but don't. Shoot, sight shoot sight shoot.

    Time wise depends on number of shooters at the match, time you arrive, number of guns you shoot, and how much you stick around. I usually shoot 5 guns, now 6. For all but the carrolton, tx match I make a weekend trip of it. Shoot three guns one day and the remainder on sunday.


  3. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    malladus has some very good points!

    Arrive early in the morning and leave your shooting gear in the trunk. Get to meet the GSSF Crew while you sign and get your score card stickers. They are very nice folks and enjoy talking with new shooters when they can. They will answer any questions you have also.

    Note: Bring at least four mags per gun that you'll shoot. Have them loaded to ten rounds for each stage before shooting. If you only have two mags, that's OK too. Set up with someone that can load mags for you as you shoot, in that case. Paper stages (Glock M and 5 to Glock) require 3 mags(3 strings of fire each). Plate rack 4 mags(4 strings of fire)

    First thing, get your stickers and sign in at ALL the stages you select to shoot BUT DON'T stat shooting right away. Go visit the Armorers table and have them look your gun over and they too will answer any questions you havw about the gun(s) you brought to the party.

    If you remember anything, remember this!
    You can handle ammo anywhere on the range EXCEPT in the designated SAFETY ZONE. You can only handle your weapon when told to do so by a RO or to remove it from the bag or holster at the Armorers Table for inspection. Of course the safety zone is there for you handle your UNLOADED weapon if you need to swap parts or checkput the funtioning.

    GLOCK Matches are cold range matches therefore you should ensure your firearmss are unloaded before arriving at the range.

    OK, gear up!
    Get the gun bag chairs and cooler out of the trunk. Now, go run the practice stage for a buck or two a string. If the club has a practice stage set up this really helps to get the jitters out. Ask the folks there to "Time" you, and just take your time.

    Now, you're ready to walk over to a stage you previously signed in on and PLACE an "X" next to your name. IF there is no one currently squarded there you'll be the next shooter so have everthing ready to go.

    If there is a squad shooting by now, you'll have time to reload and watch to see how the stage is run. The RO will call the next group of shooters (Ones with an X) and ask for your stickers to place on the score sheet. They will hang you sheet on the TREE and that will determine the line up.

    Be sure to ask any questions you have. We alot 3-5 minutes per shooter to shoot a stage. That includes shooting, scoring time and signing the scoresheet. At each stage you'll see a stage description posted also if you have questions, if you have questions, read it.

    Expect to be at the reange all day. If the match runs smoothly, likely you'll be done by lunchtime!
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  4. Thank you both! That is some fantastic info. Exactly what I was looking for!

    This all reminds me of about 26 years ago when I drove my big 4x4 to my first mud race. I was scared to death that I'd be the only one to get completely stuck, or that I'd blow up my engine.
    In the end, I represented fairly well. I didn't get stuck OR blow my engine. I didn't win anything that day, but at least I didn't make a fool of myself. I ended up getting hooked on mud racing, too!

    So now I guess I get some targets and run a few hundred (or thousand!) rounds through my G19 to prep!

    Is this a type of competition that is easy for spetators to watch?

    By the way, I see other initials for other gun competitions besides GSSF. What other competition organizations are out there? And are there competitions similar?
  5. malladus

    malladus New Member

    The matches are usually extremely spectator friendly, just be prepared. Bring extra ammo because a lot of times your observers will want to try it too!

    Other shooting match types:

    IDPA - self defense style matches. Low round counts, limited gun mods, strict rules on equipment, concealed carry type equipment a s scenarios mostly. An offshoot of IPSC/USPSA which they see as being an equipment race and more sport.

    IPSC/USPSA - USPSA is the US version, slight rules variations. Lots of divisions, driven by equipment and power factor. Very competative and at times gamey. Much more run and gun. Higher round count and more complex stages typically.

    Steel Challenge - 5 plates, 5 runs drop the slowest on 5 or more stasges. The drag racing of the shooting world. Matches won or lost on the draw. Basically pushing you and your gun to the limits. They have several classes you can shoot in. Lots of clubs run variations of this. The official steel challenge stages are fixed and the same every time.

    ICORE - no bottom feeders, wheelgun only. Very close to USPSA but 6 shot neutral. Very run and gun, very fun, very limited venues.

    3 gun - several varieties, depending on the parent organization. Need pistol, shotgun, and semi auto rifle. Tactical, run and gun.

    Bulls-eye - several variations. static, low round count, precision a must.

    SASS/CASS - cowboy shooting, very fun with old guns and costumes.

    The list goes on and on. Pick a style of shooting and there is a organization and match someplace. Check your local clubs as well. My club runs 2 steel, 2 3gun, carbine, tactical shotgun, ISPs and USPSA like, bullseye, and falling steel matches every month. Non ate organization affiliates but follow atleast their general rules.

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  6. Tape

    Tape New Member

    just prepare like a range trip
  7. KeenansGarage

    KeenansGarage Hiding in plain sight....

    All the above information is GREAT! I will also add one simple phase for the first timer:

    Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!

    This means, take your time, aim and fire only when ready. When you miss, you cost yourself time and points, but above allL