Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pendleton - Nov 7, 2006 - Garand EIC Match

I finally got to shoot my first "Excellence In Competition" match. I missed last year's Western Games EIC and the one in Phoenix in the spring got rained out. I did not win any Leg points. That would have been very lucky indeed. What I did was learn many new things.

First, it takes shooting scores equivalent to "NRA Expert" or higher to win Leg points. Second, you can make up to one error and still get stand a chance to win Leg points. You won't be match winner but you can still make the cut. That's valuable information I did not have about EIC's.

I repeated my slow prone and rapid prone scores from yesterday and was positioned to try to score as high as 380. Then I made two errors and dealt with a wind conditions change in this match. All of the problems were related to shooting procedures I do not normally do.

Looking good. The day starts with good solid work in the slow and rapid prone stages. That downward slope is real. Some of the firing points at Wilcox are like foxholes.

Error one was in the rapid sitting stage. I built an excellent position for the M-1 Garand, stood up at the "stand" command, then dropped back down into my AR-15 sitting position. I realized it after sailing four shots well outside the black before my brain caught up and asked me why I had my feet in the wrong position. Eleven points evaporated. After correcting the error, the remaining shots went into the core of the bullseye. So the lessons here are (1) a proper position does work and he position differs depending on the gun, target and firing point. (2) when assuming any position you have to think it through instead of going into auto pilot when the targets appear. This is a very good argument to shoot different types of rifles at practice matches and prevent autp pilot myopia.

Caught in the act doing the half and half. Feet tucked in and arms stuck out beyond the knees. Nothing is connected. Notice the gun angling up at the sky and the unbalanced head position pushing down to get the gun up. Where's them ducks?

Error two was just plain silly. I do this every year at Wilcox with my M-1 when the wind starts to come up in the offhand stage. I start thinking about managing the wind and launch a round off prematurely before my sight picture has settled. It makes for a visible miss and this time was no exception. One shots. 10 points lost. The key is to learn to make the change from calm air to wind shooting better.

The conditions challenge was the wind picking at the end of Relay 4. The last two shots of offhand were in stiffening wind. I got one off well. The last one caught the gust oscillation wrong and I went out on the left side of the bull. The bottom line is I need to shoot at Wilcox more often. There's only one way to get better at wind shooting.

I can do something about these. And if I do I can win EIC's.

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