The Tools

The Tools

So here’s the plan to get me into C Class.


The stuff

Gun: I bought a CZ75 three years ago for home defence, and I had Angus Hobdell work it over so it can also be used for USPSA. He removed the magazine brake so the mags can drop free, added a competition hammer and Novak sights and did a trigger job on it.

And he made a good gun even better. It’s a heck of a shooter now, and it won’t be my gun that’ll keep me from making C Class. The gun cost me $400 at a local gun show, and I’ve got about $200 of modifications into it, so for $600 dollars I have a gun that can compete with the best of them. Not bad.

Holster: A BladeTech dropped-offset Kydex holster. I found out the hard way that lowballing your holster just doesn’t work. I started out with a Fobus paddle holster, and it had the annoying (and dangerous) habit of grabbing the pistol too hard and not letting me pull it out.

This had an adverse effect on my stage times.

The BladeTech is just top-notch, and definitely worth the price. I’ve paired it with a couple of BladeTech double mag pouches and a CR Speed belt. the whole setup cost me less than a $125 bucks, and it’s just great for USPSA Production.

Ammo: Either plain ol’ boring 115 grain Winchester White Box, or my own reloads. I have a Lee Turret press, and my 9mm round of choice is 115 grain Montana Gold FMJ’s with CCI primers and Power Pistol powder. The load is controllable and easy to shoot, but is still about 10% over minimum power factor.

Training: I can shoot fast, but I have problems shooting fact and accurately.

Actually, I have problems shooting accurately almost all the time. I’ve been jerking the trigger since I started shooting, and I’ve only recently got it under control. What I need to do now is integrate a smooth trigger press into quick transitions and a fast draw, so I’ve added ‘s Dot Torture Drill into my practice. Speaking of which…


50 rounds dry-fire, 10 practice draws

Dot Torture Drill
El Presidente x2
Ken Hackathorn’s 30 round Defensive Drill

I want to shoot an El Presidente or a similar USPSA classifier drill each month to get ready for my next attempt to break into C Class, and the Hackathorn defensive drill will help me train myself for any real-world encounters, which is, after all, the reason why I got into this in the first place.

Competition: I want to compete in at least one club match each month, ideally a steel match (either at Rio on Tuesdays or Phoenix Rod and Gun on Thursdays) and the 3 gun match at Rio. While these aren’t USPSA matches, it’s the competition that I need right now. I’ll mix in a USPSA match every once in a while, but I need to get into the rhythm of competition and keep honing my skills. Shooting is a perishable skill, and it’d be better for me to compete in an 80 round run and gun steel match once a month than not compete at all.

Deadline: November 10, 2010. I want to be in C Class for the Rio Desert Classic, which means that I’ll actually need to be ready to go a month before that, as typically, Rio puts on an all-classifier match to accommodate people who want to shoot the classic in a new class or with a new gun.

I think I can do it, but it will be a challenge.

Let’s see how it goes.

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

A long, long time ago, on a pistol range far, far away… 

Like, say, 2 years ago at the Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club

A few years ago, after a pair of brutal home invasions in the Phoenix area, my wife and I decided that we needed to improve the protection of our home and family. We installed a burglar alarm, and I bought a pistol for home defence. 

I decided on a CZ75 after trying all the 9mm pistols at Caswell’s Indoor Range. I tried Glocks, S&W’s, Springfields and my groups were the tightest with the CZ, so I went to a gun show the next week and bought a pre-B CZ75 from a dealer there for $400. 

Then I went to get training. I took the NRA FIrst Steps class at Rio and learned about something called “Practical Pistol”, and it looked like a good way to get myself used to using a handgun in a semi-stressfful environment. 

This intrigued me, as I knew I was good enough to shoot well at a static target on a firing range, but I also knew that wasn’t any guarantee that I’d be able to shoot well when the lives of my loved ones depended on it, and USPSA looked like a good way to learn how to shoot fast and accurately as fast as possible. 

So I gave it a try. And I liked it. A lot. I shot about once every other month, and I got to the point where I became a “D” Class shooter. Better than the lower 2% of shooters out there, but there’s lot of shooters better than me. 

Classification Bracket Percentages

Grand Master – 95 to 100%
Master – 85 to 94.9%
A – 75 to 84.9%
B –  60 to 74.9%
C – 40 to 59.9%
D – 2 to 40%

That’s got to change. And that’s what this blog is about.