Match Prep

Having an Enjoyable Match

At every match, a new (or experienced and suddenly careless) shooter appears at the range under-prepared. This slows the whole thing down, and frustrates the shooter, the volunteers, and the rest of the participants. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Know your Gear! The match is not an opportunity to test your gear! Everything you do at and everything you bring to a match must be familiar. Testing at a match is fundamentally unfair to everyone else. Practice first – you’ll have a better day – even if it means just dry practice in your home. You can’t malfunction enough to win. Most match directors will make you work through the malfunction without a re-shoot – you will get a DNF on the stage if you can’t continue.
    • with respect to Ammo: use a brand you know works; use reloads that you have extensively tested.
    • with respect to Sights: have them zero’d and ready to go before the match (for the AR-15 family, zero at 50 yards).
    • use known-reliable mags in your gun.  Number your mags so you can identify the non-performers if any, and leave those at home on match day.
    • use a known-reliable configuration for your mags – do not tape / clamp them together the day before.
    • bring a well-used holster worn at a location (your hip, thigh, vest) you have practised with.
    • wear your tac-vest at a multi-gun – if you have practised with it.
    • bring only gun(s) you are familiar with.  If you aren’t sure about where the safety is or what setting makes the gun shootable … bring a different gun.
  2. Be prepared for the elements. The best day is when you are dry and warm when your competition is cold, wet, and shivering.
  3. Take care of yourself. Have enough food and water to get through the day. Everything is harder when you’re dehydrated and hungry.
  4. Some other tips:
    • bring at least three mags at handgun matches.
    • have a way ( a sturdy bag ) to bring your spare ammo up front near the line. Walking back and forth from the line to a range building or your car takes time.
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