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AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 12:03 p.m.

Disclaimer: I know the topic of guns has been covered on this forum some but can obviously be a divisive topic. This thread is purely to document my experience trying the competitive shooting, not for any social/political debating. 

 

 

A few months ago, I went to my first USPSA (Outlaw) match. A coworker of mine had been going to this monthly outlaw match for about a year and I finally decided to see what it was all about. I figured I'd try it out once, and have some fun, but probably wouldn't go every month... Spoiler alert, I kept going. 

 

Since I really enjoyed the experience and kept going, I decided to start a thread to document my experience and progress. I don't really plan to go too crazy with it as costs do add up, but once a month going to this Outlaw match is $25 to enter, and is usually like ~65 or so on round count. I count it as semi-cheap, fun training, but more often would add up dramatically. 

 

The local USPSA Outlaw match is a fairly small group, max of about 20 people, and usually consists of 4 stages. The lady who runs it is nationally ranked and organizes it as a way to train for bigger matches. She primarily shoots PCC class with a Davinci, very nice. 

 

Now, I wanted to try but didn't have a pistol that was really advantageous to competition shooting, so I figured I'd shoot PCC class with a KelTec Sub2000. Spoiler alert, while not necessarily an ideal PCC for competition, I have really enjoyed competing with it. 

 

 

First Match: USPSA Outlaw July 10th, 2023. 

PCC Class, bone stock Sub2000, iron sights. 

10th of 13 total, 5th of 5 PCC entries. 

 

I believe it was the very first stage on this match I got a procedural due to toes touching outside of the shooting area. You can step on the boundary but can't touch the ground outside of the boundary. 

 

Overall for my first time I had a lot of fun, accuracy was decent. I got to learn the basic rules, and get used to the feel of how a match is run. Ended up in 10th out of 13 for that night. I had no competitive expectations going in brand new, so I was happy not to be last. 

 

Second Match: USPSA Outlaw August 14th, 2023. 

PCC Class, bone stock Sub2000, iron sights. 

9th of 15 total, 5th of 7 PCC entries. 


It's obviously been a while since this match happened, but I think my key takeaways were that while I was pleasantly surprised with my performance with iron sights a red dot on PCC would definitely be ideal. I was also fairly happy with my accuracy, but started to realize that in competitive shooting, speed is a bigger factor. (Mostly... Comstock vs. Virginia Count changes scoring. I'll get into that in a different event takeaway.)

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 12:03 p.m.

Third Match: USPSA Outlaw November 20th, 2023. 

PCC Class, Sub2000, 45* Red Dot. 

4th of 14 total, 4th of 4 PCC Entries. 

 

Biggest change for this event was adding a red dot sight. That sped things up a lot and in general made it a lot more comfortable shooting. The Sub2000 folds in half, so I mounted the dot on the side on a 45 degree bracket so it can stay in place and still fold. 

 

Accuracy with the dot was good, and speed started picking up. Last in PCC class, but faster than all the pistols. To me that meant I got a decent baseline for what I am shooting, and learning how to do it even faster was the key. (Note my total time of 62.08 seconds compared to the top guy at 44.22 seconds, that's across 4 stages. Definitely not as big of a gap as the first two events, but still a large gap to make up. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 12:04 p.m.

Fourth Match: USPSA Outlaw December 3rd, 2023. 

PCC Class, Sub2000, 45* Red Dot. (No Change)

6th of 13 total, 4th of 4 PCC Entries. 

 

No change in my setup this match, but more time with the sport, and the current setup helped. 

 

Stage 1: Decent run, nothing to write home about. 4th for the stage. 

 

Stage 2: AWESOME run. I was the fastest for the stage and scored top spot. Felt amazing, like stuff was finally clicking into place. 

 

Stage 3: I done messed up. There was a single steel target in addition to all the cardboard targets, and I went right past it without realizing. 9th for the stage. 

 

Stage 4: I done messed up again. It seems like a patten that the last stage Bea sets up is a quicker stage, and often Virginia Count Scoring. The other stages were Comstock scoring, which I am not an expert to speak on, but Comstock is more lenient, allowing make-up shots, etc. Virginia Count, any make up shots are a big penalty, and misses are a bigger hit on your score as well, at least when it's a low round count stage. I went WAY too fast, and zeroed the stage. Placed last for the stage. 

 

Key takeaway: Don't mess around with Virginia Count stages. There is a time for speed, and a time for accuracy. 

 

Overall a match of mixed feelings. Running stage 2 so well felt great, forgetting the steel on Stage 3 was a dumb mistake, and Stage 4 I really took as a learning experience to strategize your plan for the stage according to the scoring method. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 12:04 p.m.

Fifth Match: Shooter's Alley December 8th, 2023

This one is a bit different. A side quest if you will... 

This event is put on by a different local shop, especially geared towards allowing beginners to try it out. Just a single stage (much smaller range), and you can show up and try as many runs as you want for $5/run. I figured it would be a good test to try out some different stuff, so I tried 4 runs. 

The Stage: Barrel start, unloaded, first mag 10 rounds on the barrel as well. 2 cardboard, targets, 3 body and 2 head shots each, move/reload, 5 more cardboard targets 2 rounds each. 

They did all the scores together, one entry for each run, so with a list of 70 runs that day, I'm not going to post a screenshot, but just say the placement of my run. Scores are online if you are really curious. https://practiscore.com/results/new/227901

 

Run 1: 22lr pistol

Having never tried pistol in competition before I bought out a little 22... and mis-counted when loading mags. I ran out before the end of the stage. 54th out of 70 total runs for the day. 

 

Run 2: 9mm Single Stack

Not the ideal gun as my single stack only has 9 round mags, but I wanted to give it a shot. Overall I was really happy with the run, even with two mag changes instead of 1, I did 20 shots in 21 seconds flat. Solid middle of the pack for first time competing with the pistol, granted I am very comfortable with that one. 37th (I think, there was another Andrew Smith) out of 70. 

 

Run 3: Sub2000 | 28th / 70

Ran runs 3 & 4 with the Sub2000, nothing too notable aside from mag changes I think are my slowest area with the PCC. 

 

Run 4: Sub2000 | 27th / 70

 

Overall it was a neat event, though I do prefer the USPSA Outlaw events I have been going to. It did give me a spot to try new stuff though, and that was a good experience. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 3:36 p.m.

Sixth Match: USPSA Outlaw January 8th, 2024

PCC Class, Sub2000 + Internals, 45* Red Dot. (Upgraded the trigger, mag release, charging handle, and muzzle break.)

Placement: 3rd of 19 total. 2nd of 4 PCC entries. 

 

This match catches the thread up to current, and it was a great match. 

 

First, Christmas provided some goodies for the Sub2000. MCARBO has a whole bunch of upgrades, and I've got the bug now, so I got most of them. Honestly the most notable was the extended mag release. This makes it so much easier to release the magazine without stretching or anything, which makes mag changes smoother. They are still my slow spot I would say, but that just needs practice. Muzzle Break I honestly couldn't say if it helped with recoil or not, 9mm in a 16" PCC is not much to begin with. The trigger upgrade is pretty nice. It replaced some plastic parts with aluminum, and lowered the trigger pull weight. Overall, it made my favorite Gun a bit nicer across the board. Oh, extended charging handle too, that was a lot better for ergonomics. 

 

Stage 1: Solid run, nothing too notable. 4th for the stage. 

 

Stage 2: Messy, tried to go too fast. 2 miss-no-shoots killed my score. 14th for the stage. 

 

Stage 3: Solid run, 2nd place for that stage. This stage went to 3 shots per target, when the first two were 2 shots per target. I was fine, but it definitely tripped up a few people. 

 

Stage 4: Virginia Count again. Three targets, 2 shots each, mandatory mag change, 3 more targets 2 shots each. After my last encounter with Virginia Count went so bad I took the time to strategize a bit, the top 3 targets were a bit smaller, so I chose to go with those first, and make sure the shots hit home, then after the mag change I could fly through the bottom 3 targets since they were a little bigger. It worked, I scored top for the stage!

 

Both this event and the Outlaw event in December I ran the scoring tablet for 2/3 of the time. It's not hard to do, and I'm happy to help. It also keeps me a bit more engaged with how things work and things to watch for. 

 

Bea also told me afterwards that I am good enough I should participate in the MD State Championship Match in September. She said it would be a good experience and a lot of pros show up to the event, so I would learn a lot. It's fairly local to me still, so I think I'll at least try to make it down to observe, and if I can I'll probably enter. That would be a whole new class of competition for sure. Could be fun!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/12/24 3:47 p.m.

Very cool.  I've never strongly considered the idea of competing.  Sounds like you're enjoying it.

preach
preach UltraDork
1/12/24 4:48 p.m.

Very cool. Wish I creeped more for the NYG swap, though you did get at least one sticker that fits.

Wife just picked up a Sig P322 tack driver and took her first class with it. Last thing she had to do was take out the 4 staples holding the 10m target up. She hit 3/4. Sweet for her first time with the gun.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
1/12/24 5:39 p.m.

Very cool that you're competing. As a former sub2k owner, the trigger is absolute dogwater. Easily among the worst of any gun I've owned. Glad you upgraded it already but I'd honestly be looking at a different platform. 

I went down the same path as you and ended up with a Canik. Insane accuracy right out of the box, they (used to be) dirt cheap, but comments among competition shooters tended to be "this is the best pistol I've ever shot outside of a $4500 1911"

 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 9:11 p.m.

In reply to preach :

Hahaha, no worries. I just posted this today, and I haven't talked about it much anywhere else online. 
 

I was eyeing a Sig p320 AXG Carry. Seems pretty nice, but I think I have my sights set on something else. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/12/24 9:19 p.m.
calteg said:

Very cool that you're competing. As a former sub2k owner, the trigger is absolute dogwater. Easily among the worst of any gun I've owned. Glad you upgraded it already but I'd honestly be looking at a different platform. 

I went down the same path as you and ended up with a Canik. Insane accuracy right out of the box, they (used to be) dirt cheap, but comments among competition shooters tended to be "this is the best pistol I've ever shot outside of a $4500 1911"

 

I'm no trigger snob myself, but I am getting more picky. The upgraded sub2000 trigger wasn't quite as amazing as I hoped, but it definitely helped. 

I will say for PCC class the sub2000 really probably is not a thought for most people, but I honestly love it. The only real downside is charging handle location, and no kickback on empty, but even still I'm getting used to it. Having the mags in the grip like a pistol is more conducive to mag changes than AR style mag location, so I do really like that. 
 

 

I am looking for a pistol for competition. The Canik Rival is definitely an amazing option for the price. I'm pretty set on holding out till I can find a Rival-S. 
 

I've looked at a few. Just held a ProdigyDS tonight, nice but not quite "it" for me. I held a StealthArms Platypus the other day and I do really like that, but I can't justify ~$1700. Looked at the Springfield Echelon as well, and the Sig mentioned above. All good options, but I think I'll hold out for the Rival-S

StilettoSS
StilettoSS New Reader
1/13/24 8:12 a.m.
preach said:

Wife just picked up a Sig P322 tack driver and took her first class with it. Last thing she had to do was take out the 4 staples holding the 10m target up. She hit 3/4. Sweet for her first time with the gun.

Mrs Preach here. I'm definitely a total noob when it comes to shooting, but the P322 with the red dot sight is amazing. It makes me feel so much more confident that I will actually hit what I'm aiming for. I have shot other pistols before, but this is by far my favorite so far. Can't wait to get more range time in! yeslaugh

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
1/13/24 10:41 a.m.

Great progress, I might have to look into this!

 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/2/24 9:36 a.m.

Looks like some interesting stages for the upcoming match: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ps-meta/231892/documents/1706650013MD%20Arsenal%20-%20Feb%202024%20stages.pdf

Should definitely be a good test to push the limits of skills. 

 

In other news, the local shop finally found what I was looking for. Competition pistol inbound. Now I'll be torn on which to focus training on. I would like to attend the MD state championship in September, and I am definitely more competent with PCC, so I think I will stick with that as my primary focus, but when funds allow, on the smaller matches I may do dual entry to train on both. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/6/24 9:42 a.m.

7th Match: USPSA Outlaw February 5th, 2024

PCC Class, Sub2000 + Internals, 45* Red Dot. (No change.)

Placement: 5rd of 15 total. 4th of 4 PCC entries. 

 

Stage 1: 9 targets, 2 shots each, good bit of movement. Solid run, but about 1-2 seconds slower than the other PCC people. Good accuracy though, only 1 C. Placed 2nd for the stage. 

 

Stage 2: Similar setup, but 8 targets, 3 shots each. Got my groove here, and ran the fastest time, if only by .32 of a second, accuracy suffered just enough to still only place 2nd. 17 As, 7 Cs. 

 

Stage 3: It's always the 3rd stage that gets me. This one was weird. 6 targets, going left to right 1, 3, 5, 2, 4, 6 rounds each. On paper it looked weird, but in practice it wasn't that bad. What got me is I forgot to top off my primary magazine after stage 2, so I ran out half way through, thought it was a malfunction, cleared it, then did a mag change and then my remaining shots accuracy suffered as well. Definitely something I'll be watching on future matches. Finish a stage, load for the next before doing anything else. Placed 14th that stage. Bleh. 

 

Stage 4: Speed round. 4 targets, 2 shots each, 4 second fixed time. I was a little worried about this one, but it turned out ok. I stayed under the 4 seconds, and got 6 As, 2 Cs. Since it's fixed time, only the shot scoring counts, so that was 36 out of a total 40 points possible. Placed 4th for the stage, but the top 3 all got perfect 40s, so it's kinda like placing 2nd right? 

 

Overall, a very enjoyable match. Lesson learned, top off your mags!

 

Match Scores:

 

Filtered to just PCC:

Obviously I was hoping to place higher, but at the same time with the skill these other 3 have, I also have no shame in losing to them. I enjoy the competitive aspect, and it motivated me, but I am also still looking at this as learning/training so I'm not beating myself up over any scores.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/6/24 1:25 p.m.

8th Match: USPSA Outlaw March 4th, 2024 (

PCC Class, Sub2000 + Internals, Red Dot. (Moved red dot to on top, no longer 45* mounted.)

Placement: 1st/2nd of 23 total. 1st of 4 PCC entries. 

Scores

Scores

 

Mannnnnn, I almost had it. In fact, at the end of the event I was in 1st place for the match. Then I got home and looked at the scores and realized that they didn't log the miss I had on stage 4, which was Virginia count, so I knew it would hurt scoring. I did the right thing and sent a message to get it corrected, which bumped me to 2nd. Still top placement of the PCC class though. 

 

This match was an interesting one. It was the fullest I've seen that this location, and a lot of people were having trouble. Overall I did well, but I could feel that it was messy. I was moving quickly and got a lot of C's, and obviously the miss on the last stage killed my win. The interesting factor for this match was all 4 stages had a mandatory mag change. At this match unless it's mandatory, PCC rarely needs a mag change because we have 30+round mags. It was good practice and didn't slow me up too much. 

Stage 3 was the odd one again, as usual. 12 targets, 2 shots each. Start with 9 (4 center, then either side had 3), then mandatory mag change and use weak hand for the final 3 targets. Weak hand with the PCC was weird. I saw that in advance which is why I moved my red dot to on top and not 45* mounted. I did a little practice the day before to make sure I wouldn't be way off, and overall it didn't affect me too much. At the "Make ready" part I did have a nasty jam though. Seemed to me a magazine issue, so I was able to swap out mags and it was ok, but it did rattle me a little. That was a KCI mag, so I may get another actual Glock mag for reliability, they are definitely built a bit better. 

One thing I took away from this match was the advice that if you are reloading, you should be on the move. It makes sense, we want to conserve as much time as possible. It did throw me off a bit because I had a plan attacking stage 1, then heard that advice and changed my plan without being able to walk through that way, but I managed. That's something I'll have to keep in mind in the future when planning how I want to run a stage. 

Fun times!

Next month, I bring my new pistol and see how slow I am with that.... 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
3/7/24 8:04 a.m.

I was going to recommend a Canik rival but you got there first.  I use a Mete. Fantastic value for the $$$.   I got the Mete befor the Rival came out. 
 

I also some times use my full-size DWX when I am in an irons/stock class but I am seriously considering getting another mete. For some reason I can shoot Canik really well.  
 

My son wanted a CZ P09 for his comp pistol. At a list price of under $500 I was skeptical but he is excellent with it.  Got the slide milled for an optic and it is a fantastic pistol.  
 

You absolutely don't need to spend piles of cash in this sport to have fun and be competitive. 
 

My friend has an Atlas Athena and while it is a fantastic pistol to shoot it is not 4x better than my Meta. My Meta with its optic was a tad over 1k. His atlas was well over 4K. 

jharry3
jharry3 Dork
3/7/24 8:26 a.m.

I good friend of mine bought one of those Conik's for USPSA competition.    After about 2000 rounds it started falling apart.  He had to send it back to the factory several times. He finally sold it and went back to his Glock.

 

 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/7/24 8:57 a.m.
dean1484 said:

You absolutely don't need to spend piles of cash in this sport to have fun and be competitive. 
 

My friend has an Atlas Athena and while it is a fantastic pistol to shoot it is not 4x better than my Meta. My Meta with its optic was a tad over 1k. His atlas was well over 4K. 

Exactly. I mean, I see this with the sub2000 shooting PCC class. Granted this match I've been attending is a small one, the other PCC entries are often pretty experienced shooters with $2500+ Davinci's and I'm keeping up pretty well. I am excited to try pistol a bit, but I think after next month's match I'll be back to PCC for a while because the MD state match in September is something I want to do and see how well I can manage for a newbie with a gun you can get for $250 nowadays with some of the rebates. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/7/24 9:00 a.m.
jharry3 said:

I good friend of mine bought one of those Conik's for USPSA competition.    After about 2000 rounds it started falling apart.  He had to send it back to the factory several times. He finally sold it and went back to his Glock.

Any idea if it was the Rival-S or another one? The Rival-S has had some production issues, but they shut down production to fix them and just started back up. So far the only issues I've had seem to be with one particular magazine. Only about 200 rounds through it so far. Otherwise with the regular Rival or similar models I really haven't heard of issues. They're generally well regarded these days. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
3/10/24 3:59 a.m.

I have many many thousands of rounds through my Mete and have had zero issues.
 

I suspect you friend got a bad one. I know there was an early batch of rivals that were sub par and Canik quietly re tooled and re started production of a revised version of the rival. 
 

From what I know this was only a problem with the rivals. 
 

Early Canik pistols were not so great. Things that pre date the TPS were not known as quality pistols but they have stuck with it and listened to there customers and now make a extremely good product. 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
3/10/24 3:43 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

Yeah, currently I really don't hear anything but praise for Canik. I mean, they're good enough Tarin Tactical just did a collaboration with them too. That one looks pretty sweet too. 

stroker
stroker PowerDork
3/11/24 11:57 a.m.

I miss competitive shooting.  Can't afford it any more.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/2/24 1:51 p.m.

9th Match: Shooter's Alley @ HIll Top Arms, March 30th, 2024

Canik Rival-S, Iron Sights. 

Placement: Best run was 23rd of 94 runs. Revolver run was 71st.

Scores: https://practiscore.com/results/new/238405

Back to Hill Top last Saturday for the "mini competition" as I call it. One stage, run as many times as you want. Good practice. I ran it 5 times with my Rival-S, and one time with a borrowed revolver. There was a special challenge this time, do a run with a revolver, get entered into a drawing for a custom coin. I liked my odds, so I borrowed one and did one run. The revolver run actually went pretty well. It was super slow, 2 reloads with speed loaders which I've really never done, but my accuracy was good, I think only 2 C's for the run, I'll take it. There was only 4 people who did a run with a revolver, and two of them were running the event, so I did win the coin. 50/50 odds are good. :) I have to stop by and pick it up, then I'll post a picture. 

Running with the Rival-S was a mixed bag, I had some runs that were ok, some runs that were messy. My last run was slow, but all A's, so that felt good to at least be accurate. Speed will come with time. Good to have some trigger time with it. 

This event is definitely a lot different from an actual match, but it really is good for introducing new people. My coworker brought his 18yo daughter, and she had fun and can't wait for next time. Another friend of mine came out and made his first ever competitive runs, I think he'll be joining for more, he had a good time. Plus the folks runing the shop and the match are good peeps.

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/2/24 2:00 p.m.

10th Match: USPSA Outlaw Match @ MD Arsenal, April 1st, 2024

Canik Rival-S, Iron Sights. 

Placement: 10th of 20 overall

Scores: https://practiscore.com/results/new/10cf3594-88e1-4188-8e90-cba48a845b66

Brought the Rival-S back out again last night for a match at MD Arsenal. I wanted to get a proper match under my belt with the pistol, and it was a good time. I didn't have any major issues or errors, accuracy was decent, but I am slow with the pistol. Really the main takeaway is I need more time with it to get better and faster. I think once I get a red dot that will help too, but the main thing is trigger time. I would say I am competent with pistol, but not yet proficient. 

 

Next month I am back to the Sub2000 for PCC class. I have officially registered for the MD State USPSA championship in September, and I am bringing the Sub2000. It should be a great experience. Prior to then, I am going to attempt to attend some other matches to get familiar with that site, and outdoor matches in general. I am told that the matches at Thurmont are very technical. I am looking forward to it. Hopefully I can attend enough USPSA matches to be classified before states, but we'll see. I do have a limited wallet. :) 

AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter)
AWSX1686 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/15/24 9:18 a.m.

Since I'm getting more serious with this competitive shooting thing, I decided it was time for some gear... 

This is all Double Alpha Academy brand gear, which was recommended by a fellow competitor. So far I have to say, it seems like really nice quality gear. The black mag holder is a PCC mag holder for my 33round Glock mags. The other 3 are standard mag holders. In my experience so far with the smaller stages indoors, I only have to change mags if it's a stage requirement, so even with bigger stages I don't think I'll have too many aside from mandatory mag changes. So my load out plan is full PCC mag up front, then in the red mag holder, have a regular 17 round Glock mag, with extended baseplate for backup. Since PCC doesn't have any mag limits, I got the "open" extended baseplate which turned my 17 round mag into a 28/29 round. Then for the primary start mag it'll be a PCC mag either in my pocket or on a magnet for unloaded start. 

 

Looks like I'll get to test out the belt rig next weekend. I snagged a spot for a match in York next Sunday. This will be my first outdoor match, and should have 2 classifier stages, so that'll be the start to getting my USPSA PCC Classification. It's kinda crazy, to get a spot in these matches you have to set an alarm for the registration opening. The match was 90% full within 30 minutes. 

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