Random Shots – latest news

As our shortened competition year is coming towards an end, I wanted to say a very well done to all NROI members and our clubs for putting on a great season of IPSC shooting for UKPSA members despite all covid could throw at us! In a world pretty much shut down to shooting, we’ve seen new venues successfully host their first matches and old clubs returning to provide members with even more opportunities to shoot national and international IPSC matches.

But isn’t all over yet! As I write this Crocketford are about to host a level 2 shotgun match and Carlisle Small Arms Club will help make this a grand tournament with a level 2 PCC/Mini Rifle match. A whole weekend of IPSC shooting! And Carlisle will be back again in October with a level 3 IPSC Action Air match.

A packed match calendar after a long break because of covid-19 has also provided lots of learning points for both range officers and competitors. From shot timer sensitivity and shooting orders, to moving target demonstration and gun fiddlers lots for us to work on and watch for!

Lessons from the line

Don’t allow fiddling – on or off the roof!

A reminder that the handling of firearms outside of a safety area is not permitted at a match. If a competitor wants to show off their latest gun, carry out repairs, check sights etc, then this should be carried out in the safety area or under the direction of a range officer.

The only exception is changing shotgun chokes in the gun rack where this is permitted by the range officer and Range Master.

Demonstrating moving targets

After the stage briefing we always demonstrate the activation of any moving targets. But it is a significant advantage to be able to activate a target, especially where this involves an action like opening a door or pulling a lever. So the activation must always be done by a match official and not a competitor.

We should of course try to ensure that the first competitor to shoot is in a good place to view the moving targets as they are being activated because they will have less chance to see the stage being shot by other people.

Tablet scoring with the IROA shooting order

 You should always use the IROA shooting order with a squad to make sure all people take a turn being the first competitor to shoot a stage. But if you are using Android tablets to score, you must ensure that they are set up correctly for the match otherwise this will not work correctly across the entire competition. NROI member, Vanessa Duffy outlines the action required for Android tablets in a UKPSA Forum post HERE for Stats Officers or Match Directors. Unfortunately this will not work with tablets using the IOS operating system, for these you will need to use a paper squad list to determine who should shoot first.

Stage weighting – spreading the load

At a recent match, the stage weighting of the long courses was questioned, with a suggestion that these two stages made up 50% of the potential score. As you know the required stage ratio for an IPSC match is 3 (short) 2 (medium) and 1 (long). This is to ensure no stage type dominates a match, as each makes up approximately 1/3 of the score. For example at the twelve stage match in question the match the ratio was pretty much spot on with the two long stages worth 33.5%, four medium 36% and short stages 30.5%.

Check your time and timer sensitivity

Getting an accurate time is critical to IPSC shooting where the score as shot is divided by time. Innovation in shot timer design has seen models with the ability to change the sensitivity and this is great as it allows their use with every type of gun we shoot in IPSC. But it can lead to issues if the sensitivity means that the timer picks up echoes, shots from other ranges or of course fails to pick up the last shot fired because it is behind a barricade or set so high only artillery will register! So what can you do about it?

First use the right sensitivity setting for the type of gun and the environment (indoor ranges tend to concentrate the sound with echoes from hard surfaces like concrete walls or range furniture may block the sound wave). And remember the sensitivity may vary depending on the manufacturer and model of the timer so don’t expect all types of timer to be able to use the same sensitivity setting. I recommend you experiment and establish the correct setting for your timer in various scenarios and with the types of firearms you expect to encounter.

Second you should look at the timer as the last shot is fired and note the time so that you know that it is recording an accurate overall time. This fail safe method means you can call out an error and where appropriate order a re-shoot for range equipment failure.

Developing your Institute

NROI members promoted

Congratulations to Colin Beattie and Milan Koria who have both been recently promoted. Following on from the successful completion of his training and working as a supervised RM at several UKPSA matches, Colin has been promoted to a NROI Range Master in Shotgun. The hard work and experience of Milan has also been recognised by IROA, who have recently promoted him to the rank of international Chief Range Officer.

Latest Level 1 IROA/NROI seminar

For anyone interested in training to be a UKPSA match official we are now taking bookings from UKPSA members that have the relevant experience and can meet the entry criteria for the next seminar. The next taught seminar will commence on 23rd October 2021 but students need to be registered by 16th October to complete the pre-learning.

If you know any members who would make a great RO please encourage them to register today!

NROI Chairman

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