Sunday, April 5, 2009

The PPC shoot this weekend.........

Ok, that cherry is now popped. I've shot my first club PPC match. (Practical Pistol competition).

From what I've read, PPC started many moons ago as 'the next step' for police arms training. Moving from the 'stand in a line at 25 yards and shoot at the bullseye' to something more like 'move your chubby butt around into different positions at different ranges' type training. It's not active pistol shooting like IPSC, with real movement and near life situations and challenges. PPC is highly stylized in it's maturity, although that doesn't detract completely from it's interesting qualities.

The course of fire at my club seems to be set in stone. All shooting is done with either six rounds in the revolver cylinder, or six rounds in the magazine. Every load out is
six rounds, period. The target is the standard full size human silhouette. Two stages are fired, and then the target is scored and replaced. Then, two more stages are fired, and scoring is done again. Given that all scoring is done with a bullseye and concentric rings centered on the silhouette, there really is no reason a regular bullseye target could not be used. I guess it's just the style of the thing.

The set begins with twelve rounds fired in 25 seconds from 7 yards. Fire six, reload, fire six. Easy peasy. The competitors then move back to the 25 yard line where a 'barricade' has been placed. This thing is a six inch wide board about six feet tall, mounted on a square steel pipe that fits into an embedded pipe in the ground. Ok, it's a 'barricade' for twiggy...... stylized, remember?

At the 25 yard line, the competitor fires six from a kneeling position, reloads, and
then fires six rounds left handed from the left side of the barricade. He then reloads and fires a last six rounds from the right side of the barricade. The range gone cold, everyone goes forward and scores their neighbors target, and replaces it with a fresh one. For the guys who are good.... they have replacement target centers. After all... the goal is to shoot tiny little groups on the great big target.

Scoring done, the competitors yank their barricade from the mount and carry it back to the fifty yard line.... plugging it back into the ground. The fifty yard stage is 24 rounds. Six kneeling, six prone, six left hand on the barricade, and six right hand on the barricade. Shooters have almost three minutes to fire all 24 rounds.

The last stage is at the 25 yard line again, and the competitors lug the barricade back to the 25 yard line on their way forward (for the next match string). At the 25 yard line, the shooters fire a simple six rounds in twelve seconds, offhand.

After that, scoring is done again, and rejoicing/weeping/excusing/discussing happens.

The match is pretty tame, very conservative, and some of the guys brings a zen like
concentration to the game. Almost all the shooters use long barrel revolvers in .38 special. Almost all shoot powder puff wad cutter loads, sounding more like cat farts than gunfire. A few of the pistols were specially built for the sport, with one inch wide barrels and sights resembling train switching yards. Firing .38 special puff loads, these pistols were as stable as an aircraft carrier in drydock.

I found I was handicapped in two ways. First and foremost, my own lack of ability (g). Secondly, the only pistol I have that's even remotely suitable is a Colt Combat Commander in .45acp. It's a carry pistol, and it's shorter barrel and shorter sight radius make it a tough pistol to shoot at fifty yards with. Bowling pins at seven yards.... bring 'em on! Tiny bulls at fifty yards? Uh oh.

That said, and while I would not mind having a sweet K38 or 686 to shoot such matches with, I'm not rushing out to buy a new gun for this. I'll shoot it again, and enjoy the match, but I'll use my carry .45 and regard it as training, scoring only against myself.

One thing.... the muzzle blast from my .45 was noticed, and mentioned. Seems it was about as welcome as a burp in church. I may choose to load some light lead target loads just out of courtesy..... easy enough to do.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's why I went from Bullseye through PPC and IPSC and SASS. Eventually it always boils down to special match, high dollar guns and pipsqueak loads that no one in their right mind would carry on the street for real. How come nobody can get a real "off the shelf", honest "carry gun" match going and not have it end up bastardized into something else?

Old NFO said...

IDPA! You shoot what you carry with REAL loads that must make minimum :-) I shot one of those matches with my Python, shooting .357 and I basically got told NOT to come back, as I was disrupting the match!!! Friggin idjits...