9th Annual -2005 IDPA Massachusetts Championships
David Bold - A00494
Imagine you're at home watching the television late one night. All of a sudden, several members of a gang mistakenly break into your house. They were looking to payback a recent shooting of one of their members. Instead, they find you. How are you going to get out of this?
That's what over 90 shooters faced when they competed in the 2005 Massachusetts State Championships of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) this past June. They had to retrieve their firearm and flashlight and shoot their way through the dark to safety. It was the skill, marksmanship and coolness under pressure that allowed them to complete this test successfully.
Instead of punching holes on paper targets, IDPA matches have scenarios that you might find yourself in on the street, at work or in your home. There are also tests of basic shooting skills 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 the fastest time. The winner is the shooter that can do both of these things the best.
The Rod & Gun Club of New Bedford located in North Dartmouth, MA hosted its 9th Annual IDPA Massachusetts State Championship on June 24, 25 & 26, 2005. Shooters from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana enjoyed the hot June weather, great food and 9 challenging stages firing over 150 rounds.
Each morning started off with breakfast served by club volunteers Don Adams, David Junier and Wayne Junier while my wife Stephanie ran registration. Shooters received score sheets, tee shirts made by East Coast Screen Printing (Providence, RI), gun cleaning supplies from Brownells, sample bullet packs from Montana Gold and the match booklet with the course-of-fire descriptions. Many shooters also won door-prize raffles supplied by Ruger, Brownell's, Four Seasons Firearms, MLE Shooting Sports, Montana Gold, Lone Wolfe Distributors and Sure Fire flashlights. Top drawing prizes were a discount voucher from Para Ordnance towards the purchase of a new Para and a brand new SW1911 donated by Smith and Wesson. Please remember our sponsors when making your equipment choices. Their support is what makes these types of matches possible.
Squads of shooters made their way through 9 separate stages, each starting with the stage safety briefing and walk-through. The Safety Officers went over the scenario and any safety issues unique to that stage.
Stage 1 was a no-light skill 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.
Stage 2 was the home invasion stage described above. You start sitting in your chair watching TV. The lights are out and your unloaded gun and flashlight are in the nightstand. You grab your flashlight, load your gun and shoot three bad guys on your way out of the house. Upon going through the door there are three more bad-guys with flashlights shinning at you. Some of them are moving. Some of the non-threat targets (good guys) are also moving. You really had to be on your game to identify and distinguish between the good and the bad to get out of this one. This was by far the most challenging stage of the match.
Snack Shack Attack (stage 3) had you waiting in line at the food counter when a fight breaks out. It turns into a gunfight that turns on you as you protect your family. You head for cover while shooting back and then finish them off from cover, reloading when necessary.
The next two stages were tests of skill. You had to shoot weak-hand only, strong-hand only and shoot from standing, kneeling and prone positions from 5 to 35 yards.
Stage 6 had you working the late shift at the local biker bar. Your attempts to break up a fight go bad when they and their friends, turn on you. You grabbed a shotgun (club provided), took cover and shot back. Then you transitioned to your carry gun, using all available cover, worked your way down the hall while shooting and finally out of the bar to safety as targets jumped out from behind a wall.
Next you found yourself at work at an investment firm when some Al-Qaeda sympathizers, whom you denied investment advice to the day before, come to payback the favor. They start shooting at your coworkers. You are armed and have to defend yourself and save your friends. The threat targets were spread around non-threat targets and were switched between shooters so you didn't know what was in each room. You had to edge your way around the doors to each cube using the walls for cover. One of the targets was a disappearing target that was exposed for about one second.
The last of the skill tests was stage 8 with 3 separate strings. You shot 2 rounds on each of 3 targets while moving forward. Then shot again while moving backwards. Then again while moving forward. During all of this, at least 2 shoots on each target had to be headshots. Not the easiest shot in the world when you're moving.
The last stage was based on the Big Dig in Boston. You're at work in one of the tunnel section construction zones. Homeland Security warnings prompted you to pack your carry gun, knowing that a well placed bomb in one of the tunnels would threaten thousands of innocent people. As you walk to your tunnel you stumble across your worst nightmare, terrorists planting such a bomb. They see you and start to shoot. You must fight back to save yourself and the city.
Shooters were treated to a tasty lunch prepared and served by club members Don Adams, David Junier and Wayne Junier. 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 everyone hydrated. Good thing since the temps were hovering near 100 F with no clouds in the sky and enough humidity to make you think you were in the tropics instead of Massachusetts. It was HOT.
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, Carl Frederick, Scott Botelho, Ward Benner, Jim Johns, Dave Clough, Bob Nadeau, Bob Nadeau Jr, Doug Baressi, Brian Baxter, Jay Litchfield, Nicole Miranda, Scott Clarke and Fred Viveiros for helping out with setup, being Safety Officers and just some good ol' help when it was needed. A BIG 'thank you' to Gary Sinclair and John Kelly for their help as well. Thank you all. I had 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, handled registration and finally shot this match for the first time.
I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't thank our sponsors again and ask that you do the same: Smith and Wesson, Para Ordnance, Ruger, Brownell's, Montana Gold, MLE Shooting Sports, Lone Wolfe Distributors, Four Seasons Firearms, Sure Fire and East Cost Screen Printing.
If this sounds like fun, come join us for the 2006 IDPA Massachusetts State Championship on June 23, 24 & 25, 2006. Check our website at www.rodgun-nb.org for entry form and details.
|Sharp Shooter||Steve Gomes|
|Sharp Shooter||Ted Picard|
|Sharp Shooter||John Kiszka|
|High Law Enforcement||Bryce Linskey|
|High Senior||Fred Rios|
|High Super Senior||Don Durante|
|High Lady||Maryann Melisi|
|High Junior||Bob Nadeau, Jr|