As I have mentioned before in previous articles, I believe competition is an excellent way to push my training to the next level. While it certainly has limitations as to how “realistic” it can be, I can’t think of a better way to add to your training the anxiety of shooting under time pressure and being accountable for your accuracy. (As an aside, our friends at Gun Nuts Media have an excellent article on competition vs tactical training recently posted to their site.)
For those wanting to try their hand at competition, a great way to ease into it is through the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation. They hold multiple competition events throughout the country each year, and really do a great job keeping things simple for beginners. Last week, I brought a friend who had never shot a match before. He was understandably anxious about competing for the first time, but the staff was awesome. Each range officer was extremely kind, and patiently explained the rules, course of fire, and procedure for each stage. They coached him through the match and always gave him the benefit of the doubt when it came to scoring. In short, he had an awesome experience and now wants to get more involved in organized competition.
The matches are set up to be simple. All courses of fire start at low ready so there are no presentations from the holster. Nor is there any movement or reloading. The matches are set up to introduce shooters to competition and make it an enjoyable experience, yet the courses are still challenging enough keep even experienced shooters interested.
Another service that Glock provides at all GSSF matches is free Armorer service. Bring your Glock pistol to any GSSF match whether you are signed up to compete or not. The armorer will happily replace any worn or out of spec parts and also update any parts that have been released since. Your Glock will leave with the latest factory spec parts. This is done for FREE.
And don’t forget the performance prizes as well as random drawing prizes. 1st place in each division usually wins a Glock pistol, and a number of pistols, cash prizes, knives and E-tools are given away in random drawings. The number of random prizes is dependent on the number of participants in the match.
If you don’t shoot a Glock, many match hosts will loan you a pistol and magazines to use in the match. Just bring the requisite amount of ammunition for the divisions you wish to shoot.
Find a GSSF match in your area and bring a friend. You’ll have a great time and maybe learn something in the process!