3 gun match at Harvard sportsmans Club June 10th

TY43215

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It's a shame that some nitwit with steel or armor piercing ammo did not follow the instructions of the match director and used that stuff on the plates. I saw multiple new holes in plates that would not have been there if shooters followed instructions. Some people went to great lengths not to puncture the steel - one shooter in our squad borrow ammo for the steel since his primary supply was S&B steel core, and another deliberately took misses on all plates to avoid trashing the equipment.


One thing many do not realize is much of the Wolffe Ammo has a steel case the lead core is poured into. I was given some to try out and found it marked my plate so I magnet checked it on the tip. The magnet lifted the rounds.

To be responsible, I magnet check all my ammo. Someone didn't and pocked my resetting AR500 plate.
 
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I don't know, I actually like shooting the Texas stars. Some designs seem better. The one owned by Paul from Independent works great with the shotgun and pistol. It doesn't have the dovetail fit for the plates, its plates have the two holes that fit over two nubs on the star's arms and is then held in place with a sring loaded finger.

Look up the "Orgeon Star" on YouTube.
 
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I shot with Matt and Steve. The Texas Star definitely malfunctioned. I used a FULL choke in a 21" barrel with 7 1/2 shot Wally World Federal loads. I knocked down the 12 poppers and plates, with authority, with the first shot - until I got to the 'Star. After three rounds on the top plate with no effect - I tried knocking off the right plate so the thing would spin and loosen the plates. It sucked.

Matt and Steve both had good runs until they got to the 'Star. Same story -Matt finally double tapped the plates to get them off the 'Star.

We all had good runs and took it on the chin when we got to the 'Star. Believe me - we were hitting the plates SOLIDLY. A friend videoed the stage and told me you could see that the hits were good. You could see a cloud of dust on impact. There's not much shot spread with a full choke at that distance.

I feel bad for the guys at Harvard because I know how much work goes into these matches. We all thought the stage would be thrown out. I wish the 'Star would have worked - I had a good run going.

As far as using 'Stars for pistol - I like them. I do understand the GM's comments about inconsistency, especially If they are not set the same way from shooter to shooter.
 
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I vote for eliminating stars from all USPSA/IPSC events, pistol included. This opinion comes not from me, the marginal competitor, but from me, the guy trying to run fair, fun matches.

Stars are too unpredictable. I saw a GM on television stating as gently as he could that stars are a crapshoot.

The problem is that one "abnormal" plate release affects the presentation of all the remaining plates.

In comparison, if a popper falls slowly, it often has little affect on other targets. However, when a slow popper hampers activation of a swinger, competitors are rightfully upset.

With the star, each plate routinely affects all of the remaining plates and rarely do 2 competitors get an equal presentation. Not only can plates release slowly, they do other weird things like fall into the star itself and whack things around. And I dare you to just try requesting a calibration on a star plate at your regional Area championship.

So, join me in writing to your congressmen to have stars restricted to side-matches and gambling parlors.

I agree. The idea is "Don't get cute". Don't try unpredictable equipment at a match. The match equipment has to work the same for shooter #50 as it did for shooter #1. Stick with the simple stuff that works.
 

Rob Boudrie

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Harvard agreed to use this match as the first test of some EzWinScore changes to support the Palm scoring. We discovered a problem that resulted in all guns being scores at the power factor of the Pistol. Also, the "Enter in aggregate" was not checked at registration so there were no aggregate scores generated. Both issues are being addressed, and there should be a corrected results posting tomorrow.
 
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Regarding the star, it's all well and good when a 20ga with a full choke knocks plates off early in the day. Over time, steel props start digging themselves into the ground, i'm sure that was one of the problems that added to the star issues, it's angle probably changed to a slight forward tilt, at least the front two legs were the ones that appeared more buried in the ground when we finally got there, and this makes sense since the weight of the star is distributed forward.
Examination of the plates that were cleanly hit and did not come off the star after showed them having moved out of their dovetail and the retaining spring acting to hold them in place. This particular star design, in my opinion and experience, is the worst of the two. I've hit those plates square with a pistol, and seen the plate flop back and spring back on, not falling off. Bass River also uses this style star, and I've seen the same kind of problems there. The red and black star seems to work better due to the spring and latch system that holds the plates in place, force them back far enough, the latch unlocks and the plate comes off.

As for a side match, I ran one a few months ago to benefit Ducks Unlimited, we had around 90 runs on the (red and black version) star. Using a cylinder choke, those plates came off without issue at just over 10 yards. It wasn't a choke problem at Harvard, it was a target problem. I suppose one could also say it was an ammo problem, I'm sure High Velocity 4s would have taken them off without issue.
In the future, I hope they just set the star closer so the plates can be knocked off by everyone. People who had to take misses on those plates did not have their accuracy rewarded.

As for the holes punched in the steel, that never should have happened, and it should have been noticed immediately after the holes were punched in them. Holes in the steel aren't things that just arent noticed immediately by whoever is setting them back up after the shooter has shot them down.
Shame on the person or people who used the steel core or armor piercing ammo after being specifically told not to at the shooters meeting, and having magnets provided at the stages to check if you had any question about your ammo.
And Shame on the person or persons who set the steel back up after and didn't call it to the attention of the RO so that the responsible party could be removed from the match before they could ruin more steel.
Harvard always puts on a good match, and puts a lot of work into it, their props shouldn't be destroyed in the process.
Although I can think of a few people who would probably be ok with destroying that star right now.
 
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Another one with problems on the star here. I was the first one to shoot it on the first squad. I always use IC for a choke and never had problems with targets. I ran out of ammo on that stupid star. Oh well. I think Buckshot would be the only thing that would be consistant to take the plates off that one. I agree that the 2 pin design is much more consistant for plate release.
 

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After the match I heard rumors that the "Star" stage was possibly getting thrown out, initially I was against this. I was of the opinion the shooter muist have selected the wrong choke (thus the name of the stage) or was using whimpy ammo.

Now that I have heard what happened to other experienced shooters I have a different opinion.
I don't shoot a lot of shotgun and changed my choke to a "Rem Mod" on the recommendation of a more experienced shotgunner. I was shooting AA 1 1/8 SuperHandicap #8 loads.

I think I only needed two extra shots on the Star - but I did need to take extra shots on the long distance sliders - but nothing compared to others.

I saw Matt shooting double taps on the star and I thought - "That's odd.." but now I think I understand why.

Our squad was the second squad to shoot that stage and it's possible the targets went down easier at the begining of the match - although we had a few guys struggle - I think at least one guy left steel standing.

I think The stage design was great - but as Matt and others noted - the steel was set a bit too far and the stage was more about equipment than shooters ability.

Just my 2cents..
 

Rob Boudrie

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There is another issue here. There is nothing in USPSA rules that allow a club to limit the shot size used on steel. A very common approach for tough steel is to have #4 shot (not buck) for use on such stages. When I got my JP reworked 11-87, what John Paul told me amounted to "don't change the choke, I've zeroed it perfectly for slugs at 50 yards. Use #4 for distant or heavy set steel." I had #4 in my bag but could not use it due to club policy.

Offered in the spirit of continuous improvement rather than a complaint:

If a club is going to step outside the rules with additional restrictions on ammo, it would be a good idea to make sure that all steel may be easily downed with the shot size permitted using the type of guns and chokes that competitors would be using in a match that was in strict adherence to the rules. Competitors should not be compelled by the stages or props to use a different barrel length or choke than they would in a fully rules compliant event.

The club did a great job though and I had a blast.
 

Dan Hurley

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We did check out all the shotgun steel with my brother's tiny little cylinder bore pump and his sissy ammo, but that was the first thing in the morning. The star cleared easily and we thought we were all set. Did things change during the match? I gotta guess yes, especially since that same gun didn't clear a single star plate when it was his turn during the match.

I have seen from time to time where a dead-nuts shotgun blast drives the star plate completely around and then it bounces hard back into the keyhole. That's gotta wreak havoc on the spring.

On the other subject regarding holes in plates at the rifle stages, I'll tell you one thing and see whether anyone has ideas. The very first two holes were picked up immediately and we quarantined the shooter. His ammo (cheapo bulk box, "ultramax" or something like that?) did not cling to the magnet in the slightest. I tried this myself after they notified me and nope, the magnet didn't pull it a bit. Only two plates got drilled by him. The rest that he hit were unmarked. What does this mean? Is some of the cheaper ammo assembled with random heads? Or can some lead/copper heads still get through steel where all others barely leave a mark? I was, and remain, completely stumped.
 
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That's interesting about the holes. Were those plates AR500? I've read where Benny Hill actually recommends UltraMax for 3-gun, as he seems to shoot for them too. I bet you could call Corpus Christi and ask more about Ultramax if you wanted.
 
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I think it's UltraMax loaded with Nosler Ballistic Tips. I only use hollow points, Ballistic Tips, or soft points if there is steel to be shot.
 

TY43215

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Is some of the cheaper ammo assembled with random heads? Or can some lead/copper heads still get through steel where all others barely leave a mark? I was, and remain, completely stumped.

My answer to this is from last years 200/300 stage at the A7 three gun. We checked all ammo used for two days and sometimes had to go through a full box to get the 10 rounds needed for the stage. Some of the surplus ammo lifted with the magnet and some did not right out of the same box.

Could the steel have soft spots? With some of the iron pipe I have bought in the last few months I say steel right now really sucks. The pipe I have run into has spots. I realize this is not the same type of steel but I think it varies batch to batch in all types due to the crap they are melting down to make it.

Again, great match and the hard work is greatly appreciated.
 
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Sorry to hear about the steel plates from the rifle stage. Someone should have said something after the first holes appeared in them. Probably would not have been that hard to figure out who did it! Maybe paying for the steel would stop this from happening.

In regards to the texas star shotgun stage. I don't particularly like the texas star due to the fact that it may move different for everyone. I was in a group that had at least one person clean the star and a couple of others maybe have two make up shots. Looking at the scores, it seems that there were some good times scattered throughout the day on that stage.
It's tougher than people think to shoot birdshot accurately enough to knock over steel. Just ask turkey hunters who miss turkeys standing there at 20 yards! You have to shoot the shotgun like a rifle in those circumstances. Close don't count...

The black curtain on the pistol stage got caught by the wind and stayed in front of me when I shot. Can we throw that one out....Please![rofl]
 
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I just watched the video of my run on the shotgun stage with the 'Star. I was tagging the plates. You could see the dust completely surround the face of the plate after impact. The 'Star definitely malfunctioned. I wish I could post the video.
 
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I just watched the video of my run on the shotgun stage with the 'Star. I was tagging the plates. You could see the dust completely surround the face of the plate after impact. The 'Star definitely malfunctioned. I wish I could post the video.


Scott, if you can send it to me, I will host it. or you can put it on google video
 
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I had intended to shoot this match but couldn't make it. Since the rifle shots were fairly close I was going to use some old Wolf .223 rather than my Sierra 69 gr HPBT (expensive) hand loads. Just checked the Wolf ammo with a magnet and it must be steel core. Boy am I glad I missed this match!
 

Dan Hurley

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More information regarding the holes in rifle steel. First off, yes, it is AR 500, but it is not a full 1/2 inch thick.

The shooter that made the first two holes has checked all of his Ultramax at home (192 rounds) and found that none of them stick to a magnet.

One thing that seems fairly certain is that Federal AE193 / Lake City XM193 does no harm because we've used that stuff extensively with no damage.

Well, we're gonna fix the plates and pound 'em with the rifles at the next long-gun match. And once again, we'll check the ammo with magnets and see what we learn.

In the meanwhile, I welcome all thoughts and ideas, because there is only one thing that I'm truly certain about; we will continue smacking steel with rifles 'cause it's just too much fun. (Man, I love the way those new plates go flying when you pop 'em with a rifle.)
 
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A possible solution is to hold the shooter liable for the damaged equipment and make this policy known well in advance of the match.
 
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This was announced by Greg N at the shooters meeting.

I think such announcements need to be made well in advance of the match, not on the day of the shoot. The shooters need time to secure a supply of safe, non-destructive ammo.
 
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When you guys host a match, is there not a Match Announcement with all the specifics? In all honestly I've never shot at in a USPSA match so I would not really know about what was appropriate or not.

B
 
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It's amazing that shooters will spend $$$$$ on a rifle, shotgun, pistol and all the optics and other things. Then, buy the cheapest crap ammo for a match!

Sometimes there is an excuse for cheap ammo. The course of fire as announced stated that there would be no rifle shots over 65 yds. As long as the ammo would cycle reliably just about anything will work at 65 yds.

I thought I knew better but completely forgot that my cheapo Wolf ammo might be steel core. A very strong suggestion prior to the match that the shooters magnet test their ammo is a cheap way to save some plates.
 
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