I've mentioned plate matches, right?
Five stages. Each stage has 5 randomly-arrayed steel plates at ranges from about 5 yards to maybe 20 yards. Most would fall in the 7-10 yard range. At the buzzer, you draw your pistol, and shoot each plate. If you miss, you may shoot as many shots as you desire to hit each plate. In the Stop Plate matches that I like, the time is stopped when you shoot the plate with the red metal stem stand. Misses count as 5 seconds off your time.
Each stage is shot 5 times, with the worst string thrown out from each stage.
At five stages times five strings times five plates, that's 125 rounds if you shoot it clean. It's fast, and a good opportunity to shoot a lot.
Lots of guys bring race guns, with comps, super sights, and race holsters that hold their pistols by magnets. Many shooters don't even carry their pistols in their competition holsters, and carry their pistols up to the line in a carrying case, because they don't trust their holsters to hold their pistols securely. (When I'm king, there'll be some changes made. If you don't trust your holster to safely carry your firearm, you shouldn't put your firearm into it. ) Some have enormous pistols in minor calibers.
Then there are some that use it as an opportunity to train with their carry guns. Dad and I usually take 1911 .45 acps. I have taken my 1930's vintage Colt Officer's Model Special 6" to that match a couple of times, and that's a duty-worthy gun. (I've also taken that pistol hunting, and have killed a ouple of javelina with it.)
I told Dad yesterday that I wanted to load some ammo for the next match. What caliber? .38 Special.
I'm going to take my 2" Chief's Special Airweight. Under a pound? Check. Short sight radius? Check. Capacity of just 5? Bobbed hammer spur? Double check. No room to miss and still be competitive.
Let's be honest with ourselves-- I'll NEVER beat those machine-gun like guys with the gamer-guns. NEVER. I can practice and get good, but some of those guys shooting poofter 9mm through 3 lb comped pistols are just scary good. So I'll need a calender to measure my times.
But if we're also honest with ourselves, we'll note that I carry that little Chief's Special M37 more than my 1911. I carry it WAYYY more than my big-framed, heavy-barreled 6" Colt .38. Thus I'm far more likely to actually need to show proficiency in the Real World with it. Harder to shoot? Sure. But that just means that I need to practice more.
Why not shoot 125 rounds, against time?
Today Dad and I set up the Dillon Square Deal B for a light 158g LRN load over a little Unique.
Now I need to get some more speed loaders. I guess I'll order some of those SafariLand Comp1 loaders. :)