The 2010 Smith & Wesson USPSA Nationals were once again held in Las Vegas, NV. The split of divisions stayed the same this year, Open/L10 in one match, and Limited/Production/Revolver in the other, though this year the order in which they were shot was reversed. Due to a few different factors, I was only able to compete in the Production match. The stages for this year were, in my opinion, the best I’ve seen at a Production Nationals. Challenging target arrays and the limited number of rounds allowed by the Production rules forced shooters to take some risks to try to stay on top of the competition.
I used my Smith & Wesson M&P9 Pro Series to achieve my best finish ever at a Production Nationals. Overall, I’m very pleased with my performance at the match, completing the match with just 2 penalties and 5 Deltas. Interestingly enough, my plan throughout the entire match was to shoot my own game and shoot as many points on target as I could, funny how well that works. I feel that this was the first time I’ve really been able to do that for an entire USPSA Nationals, and I think it basically boils down to mental/match experience. It can be very tough to see yourself as being able to beat the shooters that were the ones you looked up to during the early stages of your career, but to advance your own performance, you have to forget about who you are shooting against and focus solely on your own performance.
After the first 2 days of the match, I had a slight lead going into stages 1-6, which made up a very large portion of the available match points. Dave overtook me slightly in the first few stages of the day, but I was still shooting well when I had a case-head blowout on stage 4. I was able to clear the case and complete the stage, however I estimate that the event cost me at least 50 match points, which pretty much took me out of contention for the title.
I have to thank the match staff, who worked all day for more than a few days out in the Vegas sun, The match sponsors for always supporting one of the best pistol matches in the world, and of course my own sponsors, without them, my career would not have advanced to this point.
Video of the match can be found on Youtube
I’m sure we all know at least one person we consider a true hero, one who gave themselves to a greater cause without a thought of doing any different, just because they felt they should do so.
I know the one person that I know personally that stands out. I won’t mention names without his permission, but this soldier was wounded while serving as a medic with the 173rd out of Italy and is now confined to a wheelchair. In our conversations, he has already stated that he would go back if possible. It is my honor to be able to work on his guns to help make them a little easier on him to handle. So, on this Veteran’s Day, think about a service member who has touched you and try and do something to make their life easier, as they have already helped to make ours better.