S&W IDPA Indoor Nationals Wrap-up

swinThe Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals is over.  The champions have been announced and surprise, surprise, surprise they include Bob Vogel, Randi Rogers, Jerry Miculek and Scott Warren.

Who didn’t see that coming?  I mean, Bob has won 6 in a row, Randi 5 and Jerry is Jerry, but there were a number of surprises for me in this match.

Prior to the match I predicted that…

  • Many of the stages would require little to no movement
  • There would be elevation changes based on kneeling
  • There would be a lot of shooting on the move (Specifically left to right)
  • There would be a number of starts/reloads from off body positions
  • There would be a lot of low light shooting
  • There would be few uses of left side cover
  • There would be no big props

In actuality there was no kneeling, only two off body starts w/ no off body reloads, only one stage that required a light and there was a van! (Everything else I was right on)

The major things I didn’t expect were the large number of targets, high numbers of movers, frequent use of electronics and high round count.

Let’s look at a few of the stages that exemplify these features…

Stage 10: African Safari

As you will see in the video the start position is seated with your hands on your knees, at the buzzer you stand up, press a large plastic which engages the movers, draw into the doorway and get to work.

The challenge here for most shooters was two-fold…

1)      When you are shown what the targets do you are inside the bay and can see when the button is pushed.  Some people were caught off when they thought the targets should be dropping and they weren’t.  I thought I would have more time.

2)      There is a long pause between the last falling target and the first presentation of the double drop turner.

Stage 13: Road Rage

The shooter starts by pushing the windshield down which triggers the 1st drop turner and a 6 second pause for the second.

In the video you will see that I rush the 1st target (but I don’t hit much) and I get the first 8 rounds off in under four seconds, have to wait more than 2 seconds for the target to appear, and then finish my reload before the exposure ends.

I should have either sloooowwwweeeed doooowwwwnnnn or emptied the gun and shot the 2nd target after the reload.

This stage did provide the most memorable moment of the match for me though (I love alliteration).

John Crowder, a Texas CHL instructor, Marine (Ret), and likely best known for being married to Julianna Crowder from Womens Safety Academy of Texas, (yeah I said it, he knows it and if doesn’t like I’ll sick his wife on him) had a malfunction on his reload. (The M&P will release the slide when a mag is inserted forcefully, which is fast, but if you happen to hit the grip before the mag is inserted completely… this can happen.

As you saw John gets a double feed, fixes it, and gets back to shooting…  those last 6 shots were sub .2 splits, on 2 targets but what you can see is the 2 sub 2 inch groups he shot on the target!

Stage 5: Hell on Wheels

hell_on_wheelsThis is another vehicle stage, another electrical stage, and another mover stage.  Actually every target on the stage moved.

The shooter starts seated in Van (on a milk crate) and on the buzzer the shooter opens a box, the lid presses a button releasing everything and everyone gets 2.

This was visually impressive because the whole van was cut into pieces that could fit through a standard interior door and reassembled.

All three of these stages show the use of the electronics and heavy use of movers.

The odd delays really benefited the shooters that know their splits at different distances and reload times.  If you don’t or are not confident in your ability they really throw off your timing.

Stage 2: Shotgun Wedding

The final stage that I want to highlight is a wedding scene between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s and apparently you have a beef with both because you are asked to engage the bride, the groom and more than half the guests on both sides of the aisle.

The swinging non-threats are engaged by an optical sensor, you are shooting at 16 threat targets and there are 5 total non-threats. If you don’t shoot it fast enough the swingers will almost stop and good luck hitting the target behind it!

“Bubba Burba (best known for associating with Kitty Richards) shot this stage really well!

All in all, it was a fun match with a high round count, lots of moving stuff, more elaborate stages than I expected and very different from what I have experienced at other major matches.

Huh… I just realized there were only 2 corners that you could have really been called for cover on, and they were on the same stage…  Hmmm, how did I miss that?

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