Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Competition

The Range
The American Legion in Chesnee, SC held their first Top Shot competition recently, and I decided to take upon the challenge and enter my first shooting event.  The contest was set up as a bulls-eye competition with 3 separate stages.

During the first stage, shooters lined up at the 10 yard line.  Each contestant had two magazines loaded with 5 rounds each.  We loaded our firearm with the first 5 round mag, held our pistols at the ready, then we had 45 seconds to shoot 10 rounds.  This meant after 5 rounds, we released our mags, reloaded our next, and continued firing.  We shot at 10, 15, and 25 yards, repeating the 10 rounds at each stage.  At the 15 yard stage, we were given 90 seconds to shoot, and at the 25 yard stage were were allotted 3 minutes.  The targets were replaced at each stage using different size targets for the changes in distance.

Mike Sexton skills demo
Setting out the targets
I brought my new PMX 5050 photochromatic safety glasses to the competition.  They were provided to me by Pyramex a safety equipment supplier, and I offered to review them.  I will be writing a separate review, however I must say that I absolutely love these glasses.  The tint is perfect for shooting!  I also have a pair to giveaway after my review is finished!

After the first round of shooting we waited for the results that would determine who advanced to the finals.  Mike Sexton, a CWP instructor, retired US Marine, and IDPA/tactical pistol and rifle instructor spent 30 minutes reviewing firearm fundamentals that covered grip, weapon handling, movement and stance.  His instruction was very valuable, and I have made a few changes to my shooting based on his recommendations and I have improved my shooting considerably since!

Shooting during the first round
After Mike ended his instruction, the results were posted.  I was very pleased to see that I was in 2nd place after the first round, and would be allowed to enter the championship round.  The top five shooters from the first round advanced.  The championship round was conducted just like the first round, at the 10, 15 and 25 yard stages.  I knew I was performing much better during the championship round and at the end of the 15 yard stage a safety officer approached me from behind and said, "It's yours to lose!"  I agreed, I was doing well, but I knew the 25 yard stage was next and that was the distance I was struggling with most. 

Receiving my 2nd place Medal
At the end of the competition the scores were tallied and the winners were announced.  I ended the competition in 2nd place and lost 1st place by 8 points.  I was extremely pleased with how I performed especially for my first ever competition.  I am now considering competing in IDPA, but first I will probably seek further instruction from Mike Sexton to improve my shooting skills.

I am very grateful to the American Legion for hosting an awesome event that was completely professional, and extremely safe.  I hope they continue these events which promote marksmanship and safe gun handling, and I will be sure to enter the next competition, and hopefully place even better!


  1. How's it going Jeremy. I stumbled onto your blog through Facebook as Comp-Tac linked your MTAC review to their page. I too EDC my Glock (36 not a 30) in an MTAC and love it. Anyways, I love what I see on your blog. You are truly a man after my own heart. I've grown up in the outdoors hunting, hiking, shooting, and mountain biking so I'm sure I'll be back here soon enough. Congrats on your first shooting competition as well. What gun did you use to compete with?

  2. Richard, thanks so much for your comment! It's great to meet like minded people on-line, and I am glad you enjoyed the MTAC holster review. I just received the Comp-Tac Paddle holster yesterday that I am going to be using for upcoming defensive pistol training. I'll be posting a review of the holster after the training is completed.

    To compete, I used my Sprinfield XD 9, 4". I am competing again later this month, and am really looking forward to it!

  3. I really would like to get into IDPA shooting myself! I'm currently a medical student to so time and money are somewhat of a precious commodity these days. Someday I'll get into it though. Just by way of suggestion, have you looked into minimalist trigger holsters for a quick on/off alternative to hybrid holsters like the MTAC? Since I can't carry at school, I use a trigger holster for quick on/off and store the gun in my car during the day. I love these holsters because they don't add any thickness to gun. Here's a link to the one I bought but Raven Concealment also make the Vanguard which is similar.

    My wife is dying to get a Springfield XDm 9mm to shoot with me so I'm glad to hear of someone else who has had good results with their SA XD. Best of luck in your upcoming competition and I look forward to your paddle holster review.

    God Bless

  4. Richard, I know exactly what you mean about money being a precious commodity when in school. I ran into the same issues when I was in nursing school. I am going to check out your holster suggestion! It's so frustrating to me that school carry is outlawed in most states, and I run into the same issue at the hospital as well. I don't understand these "No Guns Allowed" signs that only serve to keep law abiding citizens from carrying in those areas. No criminal was ever stopped by one of those signs.

    I love the Springfield XD's so much we have to SA XD's... the XD9 4" model, and the XD9 Sub-Compact for my wife. It fits her hand perfectly. I hope your wife enjoys her Springfield when she gets it!