View Full Version : Western States Single Stack Classic 2006
31st January 2006, 17:55
The Western States Single Stack Classic happened Jan 28-29,2006 in Phoenix. What a blast! 2 Days and 10 stages of high intensity fun. This match is dedicated to 1911 guns that fit in the box, have an 8 round magazine maximum and holsters that are practical. Eight Grand Masters were present including Rob Leatham (1st).
Rio Salado Practical Pistol put it on, Steve Horseman was the match director. Great weather, sunny and dry, around 39 degrees in the AM to 62 in the pm. So the weather was perfect. As I understand it, sometime in the last few months an agreement was made and the USPSA stepped in. So I, like many others are hoping the Single Stack Division goes from Provisional to accredited or whatever it will be called when full fledged.
I shot down, I shot up. Movers and bobbers. There was steel and when you hit steel, paper usually popped out from somewhere. I shot from a exercise bicycle, a bed, a helicopter body, a jeep, a boat and an outhouse. Ran up a couple of canyons. Had a suitcase in the weak hand and the strong hand. Clamshell targets, the Texas Star, twisters, portholes, distance and some very close targets with tight no hit zones! Over, under, down and around- the stages were very different and challenging. All one has to do is look at the results and see some shooters got hurt on a bad stage. Accuracy was stressed as the no shoots would do one in. Courses were tough and you had to concentrate. I ended up shooting about 290 rounds. My basically stock Springfield Armory Black stainless (9152L) was flawless no failures or jams of any kind. My Sidearmor holster worked great. McCormick mags-no problems, fed every round, my own reloads to major spec.
My squad was right next to the squad with Angus Hobdel (3rd) sponsored by CZ (yes, he shoots a Dan Wesson 1911). It was great watching this man shoot, it was even better listening to him talk. He was totally approachable and incredibly humorous.
I have to say that Rob Leatham is so fast, but he doesnít look it. He is done shooting when the rest of us are just getting started. He pastes up targets and so does Angus. If there were any prima donnas there, I didnít see them. It was a super match. Very well organized, decent food and 160 shooters. It is too difficult to compress two days of shooting into a short story for a website, but I am writing something for a mag, Iíll let you know if it gets published. Thanks
1st February 2006, 01:29
Well, take all the space you want. And if you have pictures, do us a favor and post them as well. Who limited your space here?? :)
1st February 2006, 10:31
yes pictures~!!! wow sounds really fun! can't wait to start competing myself.
6th February 2006, 00:09
....ok...various pictures from the match. Squad 1
WSSSC IV Squad 1 (http://photobucket.com/albums/y110/vapors/WSSSC06/)
6th February 2006, 00:54
Nice, thanks! Perfect weather for shooting and taking pictures!
6th February 2006, 15:44
I wish I would've known about that event in time to make it out.
BTW, This is my first post and I look forward to learning a lot from you all. I do not currently have a 1911 but I am actively looking and will surely post pics when I get it.
6th February 2006, 16:29
Nice, thanks! Perfect weather for shooting and taking pictures!
Yeah...the weather was REALLY nice (compared to Seattle which is home for me and has seen rain almost ever day for what seems like November). I plan on shooting this match every year (3rd year now for me) just as an excuse to get out of Seattle.
Nyle Leatham was shadowing our squad the entire match shooting pics of just about everything...it would be really nice to see his pics...but I'm afraid thats probably not going to happen.
I've got some video's too (shot from my digital camera)...what TGO did on the exercise cycle stage....just amazed me. Also shot the "shoot-offs". I'll try and figure out a way of posting those....maybe?
6th February 2006, 16:48
I hope this works!!!
TGO Stage 10 (exercise cycle) (http://media.putfile.com/TGO-Stage-10)
TGO Stage 11 (http://media.putfile.com/TGO-Stage-11)
Shoot-Off #1 TGO vs Kelly Neal (http://media.putfile.com/Shoot-off-1--TGO-vs-Kelly)
Shoot-Off #2 Kelly Neal vs TGO (http://media.putfile.com/Shoot-off-2-Kelly-vs-TGO)
7th February 2006, 08:57
The exercise bicycle was my first stage! I shoot at a little club in Northern Arizona and my last major match was in 1992. I got back into shooting because I missed it and a little money from a second job. And then I read about "Single Stack" becoming a "provisional" division. I even joined the USPSA. Man, some of these stages were real eye openers for my shooting. I am currently building my own "Texas Star." The twister targets and bobbers really kicked my tail until Angus gave me a couple of pointers. Also no shoots and a couple of proceedurals-the guys in my squad particularly Dale C was very helpful explaining all the particulars to me. That said, I can say I have decent gun handling skills and didn't embarrass myself too much. I had no malfunctions and all my gear worked right. If you have the opportunity, watch a big match before you shoot it. However, that said, I don't feel I wasted my money. I shot a lot of "A's" , my magazine changes were pretty good, OK thanks to a Lenny McGill Video. I found I need to THINK about my targets and my transitions. I really grew a lot from that match. I have been practicing two days since and my one shooting partner noticed the change. Faster follow up and more accuracy. I ordered a timer/chrono from Enos so that will help some too.
I was able to watch Kelly Neal shoot because he was in a closeby squad-he is very impressive. Rob Leatham tho' I mean man, the dude is precise and soooo smooth. I have know about him for years and always somehow missed him-and I shot at Pima Pistol in the late 80's-there was a lot of local Arizona rivalry back then. I am able to tell that he WORKS for it. There is some natural gift obviously but, he practices and has practiced so much that his movements are no loss of motion. Nothing is excess. Kelly Neal looks fast and Rob is done!
As Angus Hobdel said-It might be possible to become a great shooter in a year or so IF you have the dedication and MONEY. Because it is going to take 5000 rounds a week and a full time practice (and maybe a coach/trainer) to get you there. He told me that his practice might be 300 rounds week hand in a day, follwed by 300 strong the next-out to 50 yards and the following day he repeats and does 600 rounds with both hands. These men and women are true sportsman/martial artists who practice every day.
I read about this event and sent my money in-I had no idea what I was in store for. The IPSC game has changed quite a bit and is very challenging. I am writing from a new shooter or returning shooters point of view. I am happy about my gear. I was very happy as I had no malfunctions and have been shooting a 100 round plus every Sat for the last couple of weeks. I even thought about what jeans I would wear, boots on my feet and type of shirt. I wanted NO problems to think about other than my shooting. Which was tough enough. I beleived in my magazines, gun and ammo before I started. I could see the frustration on shooters who were trying something that didn't work. A match like this is not the place for it. I will definately be bck next year. OK-where did I place-121 out of 160 shooters, 26 out of 46 unclassified shooters, my best stage was stage 11 and my worst, Stage 2 with two no hits and 2 proceedurals. I will be back next year.
7th February 2006, 10:55
...And then I read about "Single Stack" becoming a "provisional" division. I even joined the USPSA. Man, some of these stages were real eye openers for my shooting.
Welcome back to the game George! I can tell you from past WSSSC experience that this match is probably one of the MOST challenging matches you're ever going to see from an 8 round Single Stack point of view. As you well know, almost every stage was groups of 8 with lots of moving targets and plenty of steel. If you fired one extra round almost anywhere, it would force you into doing an unplanned reload...and it would also toss your game plan out the window and force on the spot improvising. This is one of the "issues" that I overheard many shoots comment on during the match...it punished anyone who wasn't completely on-top of their game. I talked with Steve Horsman about it (since he was in our squad) and mentioned that back in 2004, the stages typically had 6 round arrays and were much nicer as it allowed the more experienced shooters to "hang it out" a little bit and push harder without being forced into unexpected reloads...AND it also benefited beginning shooters because if they had a miss...they had the ammo capacity to make it up without causing their game plan to be tossed out the window (most all of the WSSSC stages were very complex and demanded some game plan to do well). There's nothing more frustrating than getting beat up on every stage and after a while it becomes "un-fun". 2005 had the same problem as 2006 (8 round arrays). I'm hoping 2007 goes back to 6 round arrays.
These men and women are true sportsman/martial artists who practice every day.
I beleived in my magazines, gun and ammo before I started. I could see the frustration on shooters who were trying something that didn't work. A match like this is not the place for it. I will definately be bck next year. OK-where did I place-121 out of 160 shooters, 26 out of 46 unclassified shooters, my best stage was stage 11 and my worst, Stage 2 with two no hits and 2 proceedurals. I will be back next year.
The advantage that many of those shooters have over the reset of us is that "shooting" is their daily job...were as the rest of us have to try and figure out how to find time during our work week TO shoot. I try and do dryfire almost every night and live fire once a week and shoot a match nearly once a week...and I'm probably pushing harder than most people (being single helps! :) ) but trying to compete with these shooters who make it their "job" is challenging to say the least.
You raised a good point about having confidence in your equipment, gear and techniques. If one is constantly wondering if their gun is going to work...or if I have the ability to make a particular shot..then their mind isn't focued on doing the actual shooting...and their performance is going to suffer because of it. I overheard one shooter in another squad say "you're going to see lots of single stack guns go up forsale on Monday" I think eluding to the fact that there were alot of untested guns being used during the match...or people who just found it too tough to shoot.
Keep with it...and have fun!
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