Action games can be humbling!

Action games can be humbling!

This is a discussion on Action games can be humbling! within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I shot Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) at Rio Salado (Mesa, AZ) tonight, and man, did I SUCK! Hardly my first time; maybe my 5th. Shooting ...

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Thread: Action games can be humbling!

  1. #1
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    Action games can be humbling!

    I shot Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) at Rio Salado (Mesa, AZ) tonight, and man, did I SUCK!

    Hardly my first time; maybe my 5th. Shooting Single Stack (mostly 1911-pattern guns) with my basic Springer 1911-A1 in .45 ACP.

    Most of us are constrained to shoot on a "square [formal] range," and although we might be able to shoot at different distances, the targets are for the most part static. On top of that, few among us shoot against a timer or other independent arbiter or standard.

    We love our guns and we brag about their ease of carry, the number of rounds they hold, and maybe even how accurate they are. All good stuff, to be sure, but it ALL gets stood on its head when you're shooting against the clock and a host of other shooters. Your basic competitive nature takes over - and watch out!

    At Rio Salado, TNS comprises 4 different stages with a round count typically around 20-25 per stage, so unless you're running a race gun, reloads are necessary. Targets are from 5 to 20 yards out, mostly steel, some falling plates, some pepper poppers, some cardboard on occasion. You'll shoot from 2-4 different positions, and tonight we even had a stage which encouraged (via bonus points) shooting on the move. Sometimes we have to shoot around barrels or barricades, sometimes we shoot past "innocents" or other no-shoot obstacles. The stages change each week. The common thread is that you are scored by time, and penalized by misses. We don't score by major or minor caliber, but .38 Special and 9mm are the minimum calibers allowed.

    Where I'm headed with this is that trying to make plates fall or ring while running against just the inanimate clock, your adrenaline gets pumping and it's easy to make mistakes. I wasn't looking at the front sight the first 2 stages, and my scores proved it. On a couple of stages, I screwed up the reloads. Then an innocuous small accessory failed and prevented the mags from fully seating. Next, some reloads didn't chamber and then the slide was dropping after the last round was fired from a certain mag. The bottom line is that this low-level "competition" offers opportunities to reveal flaws or shortcomings in training, techniques, and equipment. Tonight I got my head handed to me with all sorts of small gun things going wrong plus failures in my own technique.

    We owe it to ourselves as carriers of defensive weapons to keep current with our training, especially since shooting is a perishable skill. I encourage all to find some sort of competition in which to participate, especially with your carry weapons if possible, just to keep yourself fresh - and humble.
    Smitty
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    Man have I wanted to come shoot that Smitty! Glad you had a good time; can you give specifics of cost and times?
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    I have done Tuesday night steel before, it was fun but man I agree I sucked the first few times out there(I haven't done it in a couple months now). It is fun and there are usually a lot of shooters out there but if I can remember correctly it starts at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and goes until like 8 ish? And I think cost was like $12 or something like that? Am I remembering correctly gasmitty?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I shot Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) at Rio Salado (Mesa, AZ) tonight, and man, did I SUCK!
    Been there, done that. It can be a serious blow to the ego when you tank a stage/match.

    On the other hand when you rock a stage and people oooh and aaahh you go home feeling great.

    A tip to those who would like to try competition shooting. "You can't miss fast enough to win." and "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast".


    For those who know what I'm talking about I shoot my pistol about master level but I have C class feet. : (

    I'm trying to solidify A class this year. :)
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    Man have I wanted to come shoot that Smitty! Glad you had a good time; can you give specifics of cost and times?

    Well, to start with, it's on Tuesdays nights...

    Things get underway around 4 pm and they shoot until everyone's done. Typically the herd is pretty thinned out by 8:30-9. I'd say on average there are 120-140 shooters. There are 4 stages, each requiring 20-25 rounds if every shot you fire is a hit. Scoring is by time, with 5 seconds added for each target you miss.

    Entry cost is $12 for non-members, $10 for members, plus the cost of your ammo. I would bring at least 150 rounds and at least 4 mags, unless you're shooting Open or Limited class which allow high-cap mags. You need an IDPA-approved belt holster as well, and mag pouches are highly recommended.

    Before you can shoot the first time, you have to sit through a mandatory 30-minute safety briefing which starts at 6 pm, so your first time there's not a lot of need to arrive before 5:45 unless you just want to watch.

    If you've never been to Rio Salado, take the 60 east to Ellsworth Rd, then go north about 5 miles and look for the entrance on the left. Check the attached photo for where to sign in.

    More details here: http://www.riopractical.com/tue_nite/tue_nite.html
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    Smitty
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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    there are enough of us in the area, we should all plan on attending one of these with a posable coffee (or coke) afterward.
    use it as a chance to get to know some of our nabors.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    "with my basic Springer 1911-A1 in .45 ACP."
    "Tonight I got my head handed to me with all sorts of small gun things going wrong plus failures in my own technique."


    What exact firearm malfs did you have if any?
    Always interested in hearing about 1911 malfs.

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    Oh, boy. Get comfortable.

    The 1990-vintage 1911-A1 had a tight chamber when new, and I had the feed ramp polished and the chamber throated and polished. It fed everything I could feed it, short of empty cases. But it always shot low, so I just held off high until I started doing the occasional action match to sharpen my skills. Finally I called Springfield about maybe a shorter front sight. The CS rep said the gun has a lifetime warranty, just send it in and we'll go over it. I got the gun back about 3 weeks later with a new barrel, bushing, link and new front and rear sights... which shoot right to my POA. Awesome.

    Fast forward to this year, when I started shooting steel matches. I used a new Springfield TRP which is a really solid, high-quality production gun with select parts. My intent was to get a couple thousand rounds through the gun before a Thunder Ranch course (which was postponed due to health reasons). I started shooting steel again last month and just wasn't connecting; finally spent some time at the range comparing old and new Springers with the revelation that the TRP shoots about 4" low. OK, I'll handle that, so let's go back to the basic 1911 and shoot that in the meantime.

    Well, I love the front strap checkering on my TRP and Kimber CDP, but my old 1911-A1 is smooth there. Aha! The Brownell's 1911 catalog shows a "bolt-on" strip of checkering for the front strap for about $10. It mounts by being clamped under the leading edge of the grip panels. Worked like a champ for a few easy rounds at the range. But once I started hammering a couple dozen fast rounds at the steel, my death grip apparently caused this checkered panel to move lower on the grip. On two or three speed reloads, my standard firm rap on the mag base failed to seat the magazine and I was caught doing 2 or 3 tap-racks and jamming in a fresh mag before the gun was re-charged. When that stage ended, I noticed blood on my support hand and finally saw sharp, crinkled metal at the bottom edge of that checkered panel. A quick trip to the safety bay and that sucker was gone - just ripped it out. A secondary effect of the mags not seating completely home was that the slide didn't go fully into battery a few times - because the mag was feeding from below the feed ramp. Once the mags could seat properly, the out-of-battery condition went away.

    My shooting partner then noticed on the next stage that I had a mag or two that wasn't dropping free when I hit the release. So today's "post-mortem" activity was to check every damn magazine I had with me last night (8 of 'em - all Wilsons or Tripps) and I found one which wouldn't drop free. OK, out come the dial calipers - nope, can't find a dimensional difference. Next, lacking machinist's blue I used a red Sharpie marker to color the upper third of the mag to see of there was metal contact being made somewhere, Sure enough, this one mag was dragging on the upper grip screw bushing on one side. The bushing protruded about 0.010" into the mag well, just enough to contact that ONE magazine (and I checked all 20 1911 mags I have). A few passes with a file and some SiC paper took care of that.

    My shooting buddy also noticed (which I did not, in the heat of "battle") that on a few occasions, I shot the gun dry but the slide didn't lock back. This left me thinking I had a loaded gun which was in fact empty, and with the sense of panic that I'm confronting an "enemy" (yeah, just a steel plate) with an unloaded gun. This really got me rattled, but the brain goes on autopilot and a fresh mag is produced and loaded. This one will take some range time to figure out. The slide stop looks fine, all the mag followers look OK, so maybe it's some tired mag springs. I'll load each mag with 2 rounds and see if I can find rogue mags which will be candidates for new springs.

    Meanwhile, my buddy just cranked away with his Glock 35. Blessedly, he's not the type to laugh out loud at my gun problems (plus, I'm the guy who hired him, and he's good enough to keep that in mind!). But his .40 rounds hit the steel and go "ping", whereas my .45 slugs make the steel go BANG. When they hit, that is...

    It was very frustrating, but just like prepping a car for a race or even a long trip it's attention to details that can keep things uneventful. I'm not ready to retire the 1911s by any stretch.
    Smitty
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    Member Array edclacro's Avatar
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    Do they have a beginner course or an old guy course?

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    Quote Originally Posted by edclacro View Post
    Do they have a beginner course or an old guy course?
    Nope. Everyone's a beginner at one time or another... and I probably qualify as an old guy myself (AARP thinks I am). Come on down and take a look - you'll see people of all ages shooting. They publish the scores weekly on the TNS web site, but no one is keeping track except you. Give it a whirl.
    Smitty
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    gasmitty. Great post. I hear ya.

    Now they can "EDM" a perfect cut-out into the front strap & and put in a perfectly fitted checkered insert.
    I guess so many people were "messing up" trying to do their hand checkered front strap that somebody finally figgered out a way to fix it.


    With regard to the slide not always locking back & the next time you feel like doing some gun fiddling - you might want to try a Falcon Arms 16.5# Chrome Silicon Variable rather than the factory standard 16#...lemme go fetch you a link to Falcon Arms.

    Here Goes: ~~~> http://www.falconarms.com/xcart/prod...&cat=26&page=1

    Try that Falcon spring & if your slide is not locking back on an empty mag with that 16.5# variable spring then clip one full coil off the muzzle end of the recoil spring and don't stretch it back to its original length....you can go another half coil but, probably no more than that.

    That gives you slightly less spring coil to compress as the slide is fully rearward but, the spring is .5# stronger than factory standard so it balances out.

    That should work....if not you're only out 8 bucks & you can send me the bill.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tip!
    Smitty
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    I am about to experience what you are talking about. I am planning (weather permitting) on doing my first ever IDPA shoot next weekend. At 52, I don't plan on setting any records, but am looking forward to some "real world" experience. I think it will be fun, and a great learning experience. Unfortunately, it is about a 3 hour drive to get there, so not sure how often I will be doing it.
    If you can't get out of it, you gotta get into it.

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    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    I did some competition shooting for the first time this year, 2 IDPA matches and a LE only IDPA "style" match (much longer stages, up to 36 rounds, plus long guns). I used my duty gun and gear, shot pretty well, had a great time, met some super people, and discovered a slightly loose ambi-safety on my gun that could have gotten me killed under other circumstances. The best part was getting to practice gun handling skills under the pressure of competition and time, really helps you to see what works and what doesn't about your gun, gear, and the way you carry and deploy it. I'm really looking forward to spring, I plan to shoot as many matches as I can get to.

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    Member Array gilliland87's Avatar
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    I love Tuesday night steel. Everyone there is always very friendly and helpful. It can be a little daunting at first seeing the guys with full race guns shooting a stage in 8 seconds that will take you 20-30 or even 40 seconds but I have never heard one negative comment about how long a stage takes anyone even behind the line. Always very helpful to new shooters as well. As gasmitty said it truly does break your square range habits very quickly.

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