Archive for March, 2016

This past weekend I had my very first USPSA competition.  USPSA stands for United States Practical Shooting Association and the match was held in Pala California.  To say that I was nervous leading up to the event was an understatement.  I really don’t know why I get myself so worked up.  Overall I had an amazing time AFTER I settled myself down.


I was all set to drive up to Norco for a pre-match training session on Friday, and just as I was about to leave when I developed a migraine.  But I wasn’t going to let a migraine stop my training session; so I popped a sumatriptan migraine pill and just for good measure followed that with one extra strength Excedrin pill and just waited for my vision to come back.  Thankfully after 30 minutes my vision came back but the throbbing and nausea started.  But regardless, grabbed my gear and headed to meet my trainer for a pre-match session.  For all my shooting experience, I was usually never running with a loaded gun.  So when I started training for the USPSA matches running with a loaded gun was so foreign to me.  So much so that I do this idiotic “pony stepping” run when dashing from target to target.  I just simply forget how to run normal and really have to focus to take large running steps.  Funny how something so simple actually takes concentration to perform when you’re also thinking of 20 other things that pertain to your shooting.


So the USPSA match started at 8:00 on Saturday in Pala.  I was shooting in the Production Class which means that I cannot upgrade any components to my gun.  However the gun came stock when you bought it is how I had to shoot.  And I could only shoot with 10 round magazines, which makes it interesting since it requires several speedy magazine changes to clear your course.  I was shooting with my favorite gun “The Boss” which is my Sig Sauer P320 9mm.  LOVE THAT GUN!  There were other classes like Open Class, Limited Class, Carry Optics, and Single Stack Class which allow modifications to the gun and/or magazines.  About 8:30 was the safety meeting and the match leaders asked the 101 people competing if there were any new shooters here.  Only two people raised their hands, me and another gentleman.   GREAT!  I’m surrounded by professionals and highly experienced people.  That just adds to my stress.


Finally around 9:00 the matches begin.  There will a total a six different stages each configured in a different setup.  To give you an idea – below is an example of two of the stages.  On several of the stages, hitting a steel target activated a moving target which you only had a certain amount of time to hit. Very tricky but very fun.  My trainer and I are in Squad 2 and set to start at Stage 2.  Unfortunately because of my last name – I’m third to start…  I see the first two people go through the stage and they are amazing.  I’ve never seen shooting that fast and that accurate before.  I’m going to look like a freakin tard compared to them.  I feel like me being third is just wasting the other shooters’ time so I ask to be last.  This allows me to watch and observe how others are working the course.  I see that almost every shooter in my squad has what’s called speed belts which hold 6-8 magazines.  I’ve got a simple belt which only holds two magazines; therefore I stuffed my other magazines in any pocket that I could find.  Definitely not the best option for sure.

So I hear my name called and I walk up to the course.  I hear my trainer say “relax, you got this.” The match leader calls “Make Ready” which means load your gun and get in position.  Each stage has you hold your hands in a different positions, sometimes you have to have palms to ear muffs, and sometimes its surrender and others is just resting at your side.  Then the match leader says “Are you Ready?” I nod.  “Stand by”.  Then a beep goes off and away I go.  I draw my gun and begin putting two shots into the paper targets and one on each steel targets as fast and as accurate as I can in my stressed and nervous state.  I’m so hyped up and determined to finish fast that I totally miss one paper target and drop one of my magazines as I’m fumbling in my pockets.  It seems like forever but 47 seconds later I’m done and all but one target is hit.  I get a penalty of 60 points OUCH!  But even with my slowness and the point deduction I’m not LAST!  In fact I place 18th on stage 2.


As I completed the stages 3-4 – My nerves are finally calming down and I actually started getting in the top 10 for stages 1 and 6.  My best finish was stage 1 where I finished 7th and had ZERO penalty points!  Overall within my production class, I finished 18th.  My goal was to not be last for my first match and I wasn’t!  YAY!  SO VERY EXCITING!


I definitely need some new equipment if I am going to improve – my first purchase will be the speed belt as this rummaging through various pockets to get magazines wasted so much time.  Overall the USPSA match was amazing.  I’m not sure why I was as nervous as all the competitors were really nice and understanding that I was new to the sport.  They even gave me helpful hints and tricks which really helped me ease into this new venture. Will I continue competing?  HELL YES!  It’s so much more challenging than just plinking targets at the range.

Now I just need to find some good deals on ammo – I’m blowing through my 9mm stash FAST!


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Well I have started a new hobby!  In addition to my frequent attendance at the local shooting range and attending  the San Diego Well Armed Woman Club, I have decide to try competitive shooting.  This is basically where you’re placed in front of several paper and steel targets and you need to put a certain number of bullets on each target as fast as possible.  Sometimes the course is set up so that you’re running from one target to another.  For someone who is used to shooting from a standing position (not moving), running with a loaded gun is quite unnerving.  It’s kinda like running with scissors; yeah you can do it, but it just feels all wrong.


I started my first training session about a month ago and had my second training session last weekend.  While I’m a pretty decent shot from a non-moving stance, it’s another world entirely when you have to combine movement, speed and accuracy at the same time.

20160304_120201 from Farrah Bauer on Vimeo.

I’ll be competing in Production Class A in two weeks and I can already say that I’m nervous.  I know that everyone at some point had to start at the beginning, but I feel like I’m going up against the Super Shooters of California.  Just don’t want to be disqualified for making a stupid mistake.


So I’ll keep you guys posted on how I do.  In the mean-time here’s a funny blooper moment from last weekend’s training session.  This is called disaster management.  Obviously I didn’t get the magazine fully seated while running.  DOH!


20160304_112833 from Farrah Bauer on Vimeo.

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