An Analysis Of My First USPSA PCC Match
I decided to shoot the USPSA match held at the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association on Saturday, October 22. I just joined USPSA in July, and have only shot one other USPSA match, in the Carry Optics (CO) division. 3 Gun Nation matches are my shooting sports of choice, but as it turned out, there weren’t any 3 Gun matches nearby that weekend. So the USPSA match looked like a nice option.
To be honest, I thought the first USPSA match I shot was a bit on the boring side. Many 3 Gunners like myself use USPSA pistol matches as practice for 3 Gun. But based on my first match experience, I had to wonder if just having a good practice session on my home range wouldn’t be a better use of time and ammo. But at least it was time on the clock, and gave me some bit stage planning practice too.
For my 2nd USPSA match, I decided I’d give the new Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) division a try, in hopes I’d have more fun. For those unaware, both USPSA and 3 Gun Nation have started up PCC divisions this past year in their respective organizations. SIG Sauer sent me an MPX Carbine for test an evaluation earlier this year, and I shot it in a 3GN match as part of my testing – my first experience shooting PCC. I really liked the MPX and went ahead and purchased the model SIG sent me after I wrote my article. I decided I’d use the upcoming USPSA match as an opportunity to try shooting in the provisional USPSA PCC division. Now that the match is over, I want to analyze my performance.
The match was unusually light in attendance with only 21 shooters. I think this happened because another club within an hours drive held their year-end “biggest match of the year” the day after the CCFSA match, which drew 65 shooters. Several area shooters must have chosen to shoot the other match. Still, several top area shooters (particularly in the 3 Gun world) did shoot in the same match I attended, including Mark Colasante – Mark currently is ranked #38 in the 3GN Club Series Practical Division, and, #2 in the 3GN Club Series Optics PCC division. Husband and Wife team of Phillip and Lisa Iverson also attend the match – both are top 5 competitors in multiple 3GN Club Series divisions. It was also great to see USPSA and 3GN competitor Jessica Hook who currently sits as the #5 shooter in the 3GN Club Series Lady division.
No one was more shocked than me to see my name in the 4th place slot (more on that later). Not surprisingly, Mark Colasante took first place in the match shooting in the PCC division, coming off his 5th place finish just two weeks ago at the 3GN Nationals in the Optics PCC division. My buddy Phillip Iverson beat me by no small margin for the 3rd place, shooting in Open.
The main purpose of this article is to analyze both what went well and what didn’t at the match. Fortunately, the results of the match were published on Practiscore, which makes analyzing the data much easier. NOTE TO USPSA: Please update your <ahem> antiquated website and data reporting. 🙂
WHAT WENT WELL
A top 5 finish in a USPSA match means a lot had to have gone well, which was the case for me. To begin with, the SIG MPX performed flawlessly. I can’t say enough great things about this rifle. Taran Tactical Innovations is doing a turnkey MPX with a Hiperfire trigger, VLTOR stock and TTI +10 basepads, based on the gun Taran’s been using to dominate 3GN PCC division. My MPX is pretty close – I use the Hiperfire 24E trigger, and Springer magazine extensions to take magazine capacity to 40 rounds. I managed 134 “A” zone points which was the 2nd highest in the match, with no misses, so my accuracy was good. We shot 5 classifier stages, and my performance on these stages was all solidly in the “B” shooter range (one in the “A” range), which is a level that most USPSA beginners don’t attain, so that felt good. In fact, I came in on USPSA’s Top 20 List in the B class PCC Division at #16 in the US:
Sure, PCC is the “cheater” division, and if you’re a reasonably good rifle shooter, you’ll likely have a leg (or two…) up on many pistol shooters. But in classifier stages with mandatory reloads, a good pistol shooter does have a speed advantage. You just have to keep it all in perspective.
WHAT COULD HAVE GONE BETTER
In short, time killed me. I finished 27.16 seconds behind the 2nd place holder and 41.85 seconds behind 1st place holder.
Most of my lost time came from the first three stages – 32, 23,39. I placed 6th, 6th, and 10th on these stages. My total time for these three stages was 94 seconds. Comparing the same stages to the 2nd and 1st place holders:
2nd Place – 23, 17, and 28 with a total time of 68 seconds. I gave up 26 seconds to the 2nd place holder.
1st Place – 18, 15, 24, with a total time of 57 seconds. I gave up 37 seconds to the first place holder.
So again, it’s pretty clear to see that my performance on the first three stages is what really prevented me from placing better. The 3rd stage in particular, I didn’t execute my stage plan well, and I know that cost me at around 5-8 seconds in trying to make a shot from an awkward position to avoid doubling back to shoot the target from where I originally planned.
The match was very enlightening for me in that it shined a spotlight on my current biggest weakness – movement. More specifically I think the problem is my speed moving from point to point. Shooting 3 Gun matches has more facets to it by virtue of shooting 2 additional firearms than in a USPSA match, and as such it can sometimes be more difficult to pinpoint problems. Prior to this USPSA match, I knew that I needed to move faster, but things like shotgun reloads and gun transitions can muddy the waters a bit when you’re trying to pinpoint problems. Shooting just one gun clarified the problem immensely. So I think some movement and agility drills are in my future.
Shooting PCC in USPSA was great fun. I can see shooting some matches next year in Carry Optics (CO) for continued pistol practice, but I may shoot primarily in the PCC division if I can find enough matches which allow it. Practicing both pistol and PCC will ultimately be good for my 3 Gun game.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.