How to look at Shooting with an eye to growth

Match Categories

((From Ben Berry (Short Course Podcast Episode 4))




You should compete one level above the area you are competitive at. For example winning or 90% at a small club level match, you should be focusing on (c) Large USPSA matches in terms of building skill level.


A-        Everything else (Outlaw matches) BUG matches, EDC matches etc.

B-        Small (club level) USPSA match & Large IDPA match

C-        Large USPSA Level I matches

D-        Level II Match (State, Section level)

E-        Area Matches, US IPSC Nationals

F-         USPSA Nationals

G-        World Shoot

Momento Mori

“Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” Seneca

Memento mori or “remember that you will die” has inspired generations of writing, art, music, jewelry and ritual. The powerful and wise have long searched for ways to remind themselves of their mortality. Roman generals employed aides to remind them of this fact at their moment of greatest triumph. Philosophers have kept skulls on their desks for millennia. In early Buddhist texts, a prominent term is maraṇasati, which translates as ‘remember death.’ Some Sufis have been called the “people of the graves,” because of their practice of frequenting graveyards to ponder on death and one’s mortality. In Renaissance Europe memento mori prayer beads were a popular way to keep death in mind. Famous artists from Rembrandt to Damien Hirst have added to the memento mori genre, centuries apart. Beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in Rome there is a crypt built in 1630 decorated with the remains of 4,000 friars. In the middle there is a plaque that reads: “What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be” in three different languages.

They all were trying to remember: We can go at any moment.

-From the Daily stoic


Some pretty good thoughts and a reminder to get things done now.

LTD USPSA Februrary Match

I shot my first USPSA match of the year and it was a fun match filled with a lot of real rookie mistakes. Dumb things like not reading the written stage brief which gave me a foot fault. Or, leaving a plate standing. Just random things I never really do but seemed to do at this match.


On the plus side, I shot much faster and with more confidence than I have in the past. So in that regard, I know I’m doing better and my dryfire is actually working.


In the future, I need to really be disciplined enough to read the WSB if one is provided. Then, when I’m the in the hole shooter, actually focus on what I need to accomplish.


5×5 Classifier

Saturday I went out and shot the IDPA 5×5 Classifier. On my first run, I shot it in 18.15 with two points down for 20.15 which was still in the master class run.

I shot it a second time and shot it 18.05 clean with a really jacked up reload. So, all things being equal I probably could shoot it a bit faster if I could keep banging on it.

It’s a fun classifier but I’m not exactly thinking it really tests a shooters real ability across a wide spectrum. There is no movement and 19 of the 25 shots are all identical to the body freestyle.

Having said all that, I do like this classifier because it is easy to setup and can even be shot on an indoor range. It was a pretty fun drill to run and I will likely shoot it again but probably push the target out to 15 yards instead of the 10 which is standard.


Classifier time

Root Canal

Today I went in and had my tooth worked on that had started bothering me last Saturday. In reality, it wasn’t the tooth but the gum area above it. I went into Andrea’s dentist and they recommended me going to a specialist who did a CT scan and determined while the tooth was fine, there was a small pocket of abscess which was likely causing me the small amount of pain.

The fun part was when he told me he wanted to cut my gum away and go in from the side rather than destroying the crown that was on there to begin with. (I had a root canal done about ten years ago) Fortunately once I got the numbing shots, it was actually a rather relaxing experience. I’ve been on ibuprofen and Tylenol so the pain hasn’t been a problem. Still, not exactly an experience I would like to repeat.


Forward.. Out.. no wait, forward

I changed back after two years of bullets out mag pouches. I’d been using them in USPSA and forward in IDPA. But messing around with the Burkett Reload the last night I found I was knocking off .1-.2 seconds on the load consistently. I tried it again tonight and had the same consistent results.

This works out well since my 3gun belt is already setup for a bullet forward mag pouch. Once I swap over the holster, I should be permanently in the bullets forward camp.


Carry Optics

I went out and shot an indoor match tonight. I put a Red Dot on my SP01 using a dovetail mount. Since I hadn’t had a chance to zero the gun, I had to do it prior to the match starting.

I shot one stage and noticed it wasn’t hitting where I wanted so I went out and tried to zero the gun again. Turns out the mounting screws had worked themselves loose. I had used loctite but I guess it wasn’t enough. Oh well. Such is life.

I ended up shooting my PCC the rest of the match. Still had a fun night.