14 Mar 99

This from a friend in the Philippines with regard to a recent IDPA Orientation Match there:

“The orientation shoot just ended today, and we had thirty-six shooters, mostly IPSC and some PPC guys. We relaxed the rules on equipment, so that everyone could get an idea of what IDPA and defensive handgunning is all about. As such, we allowed people to use their space guns and hybrids, etc, at least this one time.

My observations:

>The first string was fired free style while the second was done strong-hand only. A great number of shooters did vastly better on the second string than on the first. I believe the reason was the additional effort and concentration brought about by a task believed to be difficult. You tend to be more careful, focused, and smooth when you know you’re handicapped from the very beginning.

>Consistency is all-important. Some people turned in an excellent first-string performance, and then promptly botched the second. Others flaked the first but then excelled in the second. The man who won did not have the best times for string one or two, but he was very consistent. He is a captain in the armed forces and was a very cool customer. He kept his head under pressure and kept his mind on business.

>Spray and pray doesn’t work. Two guys tried to solve the problem by sending massive volumes of lead carelessly downrange. Some rounds connected; most didn’t. Hits were spotty and mostly accidental. Unintentional hits (on things the shooter didn’t want to hit) were many and embarrassing. One of these camo-clad, tactical geniuses even studied in a famous shooting school in the US. He did not give justice to his resume. On the other hand, a guy who is so infirm that he could barely move and take cover behind a barrel placed in the top ten. He was deliberate and precise in his shooting. Just because you look (and act) like Ronnie Ranger doesn’t mean you’ll turn in a command performance.

>Race guns and competitive-shooting techniques don’t have any advantage over legitimate, carry guns in authentic, defensive shooting. None of the guys shooting space guns placed well. They tended to be flighty, unfocused, and reckless. And, many of these guys were competition shooters of note with numerous trophies under their belts. Conclusion: “serious competitors” are mostly losers.

>Clothing on the targets makes for a lot of confusion in the minds of the uninitiated. Target identification and consistent sight pictures were a real challenge for a lot of folks used to the ordinary target boards. Clothing forces a shooter into focusing on the front sight, since one cannot see any holes (or patterns of holes) on the target.

>Everyone there learned that many habits gleaned from competition shooting are, in fact, very hazardous, as exemplified by the number of cover violations handed out.

>I trust we’ve done a service to many “ordinary” people who are far less interested in gleaming trophies than they are in going home in good health at the end of each day.”