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Special thanks to the sponsers of our 2002 IDPA MA State Championship
Ruger Firearms SureFire Combat
Light Systems
Smith & Wesson Four Seasons Firearms

2002 IDPA MA State Championship

This year's Massachusetts IDPA State Championship, hosted by the Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford on October 26 and 27, 2002, had forty-nine shooters over two days. It was a nine-stage match that included two stages on the indoor range shot with a flashlight.

Saturday's shooters will have a day to remember as we braved the worst weather I've ever had the pleasure to be on the range in. The courses of fire were challenging enough, through in the cold, rain and wind and you end up with a real test of your shooting ability. And let me add, the guys in my squad were great. We resolved ourselves to the fact that we were going to get wet, so we just went out there and did it. These guys did it well AND had fun doing it. That was a day I will ALWAYS remember. I would shoot with you guys anytime, anywhere. Fred, Terrance, Eric, Ted, John, Darryl, Carl & Jim: thanks for making it fun for me too!

We tried to minimize the exposure to the weather. We had tents setup for the shooters to stay under while waiting for their turn. We covered all the targets with clear plastic which slowed down the scoring and taping, but otherwise help us get through the day.

There was plenty of hot coffee and doughnuts in the clubhouse too.

Suffice it to say, the shooters on Sunday could NOT complain about the weather. Sunday was clear-skied, warm (for end of October) and all-and-all, just a real nice day.

Stages one and two were shot on the indoor range with flashlights. Stage one was a standard test of skill. Stage two was a surprise stage were shooters only got to see the shooting positions. They had to identify the threat targets while not shooting the non-threats' (there were two) and a swinging target that bobbed out from behind cover. This proved to be a very challenging stage.

A special thanks to SureFire Combat Light Systems for their generous donation of three 'C2 Centurion' lights that shooters where able to use. We raffled these off after the match. You can see the shooters who have had practice shooting with a light, and those who don't. For some, this was the first time. This is a skill that everyone should try at least once. You never know when you'll need it.

It's also good to know that SureFire Combat Lights are good for more than just shooting. They are great for entertaining ten month-old babies. One squad on Saturday morning up in the clubhouse, while waiting their turn for the indoor range, enjoyed shining the light on floor and watching my daughter crawl around chasing the spot. Would love to have gotten a picture of that!

Stages three and four were shot outdoors. Stage three had you shooting through a picket fence finishing off with some steel plates. Stage four was a basic test of shooting while moving and then shooting from cover.

Stages five and six were shot outdoors. Stage five simulated you being a bar tender and shooting at several targets including a swinger and two steel plates. Stage six was fun. We copied it from the 2002 IDPA Smith & Wesson Winter Championships - The Boston T Party stage.

Stages seven, eight and nine where also shot outdoors. Stage seven was another basic skills test. Stage eight was a PAR-Time office clearing stage. This was to test your ability to shoot tactically correct, not racing through a stage. If you did it right, you shot it clean. There were a few people who did, but others need more practice. Stage nine was also copied from the 2002 IDPA Smith & Wesson Winter Championships - Sky Marshal Rescue.

We had some items to raffle off from SureFire, Smith & Wesson, and FourSeasons Firearms (in Woburn, MA). All shooters received a SureFire window decal and a gift for registering ranging from hats & tee-shirts to cleaning kits to coffee mugs to key chains, courtesy of Smith & Wesson, Ruger and The Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford.

Overall, everyone seemed to have a safe and fun match. We received many positive comments, and some comments for things we could better next time. The biggest thing I learned from this year's match is to pay the weatherman!

Many thanks go out to the committee and volunteers, without whom this match wouldn't be possible; to the shooters; and to our match sponsors: SureFire Combat Light Systems, Smith & Wesson Firearms, Ruger Firearms, and Four Seasons Firearms. Also many thanks to my wife, who not only let me do this and put up with me during the whole process, but helped out on Friday setting up the stages, shooter registration on Saturday and Sunday, and entering in all the scores.

Hope to see everyone out there next year.