09 July 2016
This update on the Witbank league shoot took a while … I think the disqualification hit me harder than expected. I’m over it now.
The “Oh no, man” thought was followed shortly by a “Stop” from Bianca. Her call is not necessary; I knew the shoot was over before the safety officer intervened. I wasn’t picking up any medals today … only brass.
Hours before we made our way from Johannesburg to Emalahleni for the Witbank League. The reception, as I experienced before, was very friendly. I’m always too early for these far shoots (make a note for Africa Champs) and we waited around 90 minutes for the shoot to start. The idea to take some coffee was not a bad one.
At the safety briefing we were warned about low berms and lifting the muzzle; an infringement that would lead to a disqualification.
To be honest, I was not shooting as well as I was expecting. The problem was in the “expecting”, no doubt about that. From the start, the Glock 21 had one light strike per magazine and more. I think I picked up six rounds with slightly-indented primers on the two strings of my second stage.
After a quick change from the Wolff spring to the original, the problems (with getting the gun to shoot) disappeared.
This league is only eight stages and, at around the sixth stage, I was warming up and starting to have a good run. And starting to think about making up time. The shooters are told again (during the stage briefing) not to lift their muzzles over the relatively low berm.
What struck me, however, was the instruction to complete a tactical reload behind cover if it was initiated in the open. I’m probably looking for an excuse for what happened next, but so be it. But I think I’m still worried about that when the timer goes:
I start shooting, moving backwards and engaging targets while doing so. I get behind cover (two 44-gallon drums stacked on top of each other), and engage two more targets on the left. As I turn to engage the targets on the right, I touch the drums and lift the pistol to go over … I don’t complete the move, but sigh as I know I have broken the safety rule.
“Stop, unload and show clear. Sorry.”
This is my first disqualification in more than three years of shooting and it hurts. Interestingly, everyone is very apologetic, even the SO. The fact is that the error was mine, not theirs. Hopefully it will take me a while to get sent home again.
PS. I find nothing in the rule book about finishing a reload behind cover.
Africa Champs, here I come!