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Special thanks to the sponsors of our 2004 IDPA MA State Championship
Para-Ordnance iShot
Smith & Wesson Four Seasons Firearms
Brownell's Ruger
Shooter Solutions Competitive Concealment

8th Annual -2004 IDPA Massachusetts Championships
David Bold - A00494
Match Director

Defensive pistol shooting has at its roots, well… defensive pistol shooting. Instead of punching holes on a standard paper target, you shoot a scenario that you might find yourself in on the street. You're at an AMT machine when a bad guy tries to mug you - what do you do? The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) also tests basic shooting skills that you might need in a defensive shooting situation like being able to shoot in the dark using a flashlight. We use cardboard and steel targets. Some targets move and others you shoot at while you're moving. Your score is based on accuracy and time. The winner is the shooter who can do these two things the best.

The Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford located in North Dartmouth, MA hosted its 8th Annual IDPA Massachusetts Championships on June 26 & 27, 2004. Seventyone shooters from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Virgina and Texas enjoyed nice weather, great food and 9 challenging stages firing over 175 rounds.

Each morning started off with breakfast served by club volunteers Don Adams and David Junier while my wife Stephanie ran registration. Shooters received their score sheets, tee-shirts (made by East Coast Screen Printing, Providence, RI), gun cleaning supplies from Brownell's, discount vouchers from Shooter Solutions and the match booklet with the course-of-fire descriptions. Many shooters also won door-prize raffles supplied by Para Ordnance, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, I Shot, Brownell's, Shooter Solutions, Four Seasons Firearms and Competitive Concealment from Texas. The shooter's safety briefing and squading assignments followed registration.

Please remember our sponsors when making your equipment choices. Their support is what makes these types of matches possible.

Stage 1 was a skill stage called Night Time Drills. This was a no-light stage shot in the dark with a flashlight on the indoor range. Three different strings had you shooting weak-hand only holding the flashlight in your strong hand, strong-hand only holding the flashlight in your weak hand, and then free-style at 15 yards with a reload just to make things interesting.

Stage 2, called Warehouse Rescue setup on the indoor range, was a surprise stage where you didn't get a walk-through. You started 'outside' the warehouse in the lighted area where you neutralized 3 targets while avoiding a hostage. Then you entered the dark warehouse to finish the rescue. When you opened the door to the warehouse it activated red and blue strobe lights and 2 swinging targets, one of which was a hostage. There were 5 more bad-guys inside the warehouse that you needed a flashlight to engage. This was the most challenging stage of the match.

The next stage was based off a true local story where several youths decided to launch a racial attack on a Hindu collage student working as a pizza deliver man. They kidnapped, beat, burned and stabbed him. They finally put him in the trunk of his own car. The student got away when he came out swinging with a hammer when they opened the trunk. Stage three started with you getting out of the trunk with a hammer and knocking out bad-guy 1 with the hammer, then retrieve your gun from bad-guy 1 and engage the remaining targets.

The next two stages were tests of skill. You had to shoot weak-hand only, strong-hand only and then shoot from standing, kneeling and prone positions from 5 to 35 yards.

Stage 6 had you working as an armored car driver covering your partner with a shotgun (club provided). The first bad-guy was wearing body armor. You had to shoot 5 steel targets while moving using the shotgun which simulated shooting at the body armor bad-guy, then draw your sidearm and finally neutralize him with a single head-shot. You then had to neutralize the remaining bad-guy targets using the armored car for cover.

Next you found yourself on stage 7 at a mailbox when a drive-by shooting breaks out. While running to cover you push you neighbor to cover (a popper which activated a swinging target). You engaged threat targets from both sides of the car, then entered the breezeway for three more threat targets which included a steel popper and a drop-turner target with a 1 second exposure that was half blocked by a no-shoot!

The last of the skill tests was stage 8 which were strings 1 and 2 from stage 2 of the IDPA classifier. You shot 2 rounds on each of 3 targets shoot while moving forward and then shot again while moving backwards.

Stage 8 had you working at the bank when a robbery/shoot-out takes place. You start shooting your sidearm neutralizing 3 targets while moving to an office where there were 5 more targets, 2 of them were no-shoots that were changed between shooters. After you cleared the room (and unloaded and holstered your firearm), string 2 started with you retrieving the downed guard's gun and engaged the remaining 3 targets. If you were an auto shooter, you picked up a revolver. A revolver shooter picked up an auto.

Shooters were treated to a tasty lunch prepared and served by club members Don Adams, David Junier, Wayne Junier and Frank Sciotto. Great comments were heard about the food and the service. Can't thank those guys enough. We also put up tents to provide shade from the sun and plenty of water stations along the way to keep every hydrated.

I'd like to extend a great deal of gratitude to the Safety Officers for the match. These guys put a lot of effort into running smooth, fair and fun stages. Thanks go to John Figueiredo, Don Durante, Scott Clarke (and sons Justin and Brad), Scott Botelho, Bob McIlroy and Carl Frederick for helping me with stage construction on Friday and for being SO's. SO crew also included Jim Johns, Dave Clough, Mark Angelo, Bob Nadeau, Rudy Eckerman and Fred Viveiros. Also helping during the match were Ward Benner (who also helped on Friday), Bob Duarte, Bryan Baxter and John Kelly. Thanks guys. I heard many compliments about all of you. And once again, thanks to my wife Stephanie who not only lets me do this but also helps out and handled registration.

I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't thank our sponsors again and ask that you do the same: Para Ordnance, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, I-Shot, Brownell's, Shooter Solutions, Competition Concealment, Four Seasons Firearms and East Cost Screen Printing.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend. Look forward to seeing all of you next year.