Monday, April 18, 2005

V.B.'s Combat Shooting Genesis . . .

(Thought I'd put in this previously unpublished piece from 19 January 2005 about my competition origins. Hopefully it will inspire some that would like to learn to actively use their weapons competitively AND how to keep them running!!)

19 January 2005

¶ - The genesis of my Competitive Shooting career came about when I realized that my ownership of a firearm was, well, pretty dull without regular usage. I wanted to shoot frequently, but the only outlets I was familiar with were the desert or National Forest lands or indoor shooting ranges. The former are fast disappearing due to rapid population influx and the latter are just plain dull! One requires an environment where it is possible to have "free form" workouts. Here is where it all began for me, the great group of men I have been privileged to associate with, and how you, too, can get involved in this great and extremely rewarding pursuit.

About three years past I took the cash I had earned as an umpire and bought a Colt M1911 (Combat Commander,Stainless) pistol. I took it once to an indoor range and another time out to the range in San Francisquito Canyon. What a dud! Standing there slowly, plink...plink...plink..." The places I had known in earlier years were no more; there had to be something better. Sure, I knew about the U.S. Olympic team and Camp Perry, but was there some kind of "combat pistol" competition (a la the combat course in the picture "Magnum Force")?

My best recollection is that an Internet search provided me with the International Defensive Pistol Association and the United States Practical Shooting Association/ International Practical Shooting Confederation.

The IDPA site, while the premise itself was attractive,and has from what I later learned some large names in the sport, appeared to be somewhat of an "upstart" league. Its disgruntled allusion to the USPSA, well, naturally, occasioned my gravitation to the USPSA. The USPSA looked to be THE major entity in the kind of gunplay I was looking for and were the U.S. governing body of the International Practical Shooting Confederation(the "practical" shooting aspect derives from a more "P.C" manner to present the game to the international community.). This looked like a happening scene.

So, after finding a local club with the "club finder," I fire off an e-mail to the director of the Southwest Pistol League and the next day . . .the next day I get a response! I was impressed. The gent instucts me to go up to Piru and check it out. What luck! As I'm standing around with my best lost-and-a-newbie look, the first guy I happen to run into happens to be a champion USPSA shooter and lets me tag along. I observe for one more match after this, this same guy outfits me with my rig, and it's on!!The rest is history in the making! I've been at it ever since! This has become the passion in my spare time, my avocation, as it were. I now am a member of a pretty good club, with "my own" place to practice and practice the way I like, as it pertains to the game.What a hoot!

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