A decade ago, the Evil Princess and I determined that we were shooting about two dozen pistol matches a year around the country.Talk about slowing down. This year I’ve shot exactly two, and she has shot none. Part of that is my schedule but a lot of it is illness in the family. Had to miss the cluster of Glock matches that’s within driving distance for us in first quarter. I hated having to miss the Polite Society match at Tom Givens’ outstanding Rangemaster Tactical Conference for the first time in a decade, and the ILEETA Cup shoot hosted at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association.

I did manage to get to my first Shoot SIG match. I happened to be at home and the tournament was a little over an hour from my place. Came in high “Super Senior.” If I remember correctly, “Senior” is 55 or over and “Super Senior” is 65 and up. I would have thought at 75 that I’d be “Super-Annuated Senior” or something, but had fun, won a gun, and was grateful. I shot it with my stock 9mm SIG P229 Legion.

A couple of weeks ago while teaching at the excellent Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers club at the eponymous city I discovered that they were also holding a PPC match, so while the class was watching one of my training videos I sneaked down to the range and shot the event with my teaching gun that week, an out-of-the-box Springfield Armory Range Officer .45 loaded with Winchester full metal jacket. Managed to make second place overall in the stock service gun category.  Had a sense of getting old when I had to carefully keep the .45 pointed downrange in my right hand when I used my left hand on the barricade to pull myself up to a standing position for the next two magazines as the clock ticked.

Shooting matches can keep you sharp and can give you your daily adrenaline requirement. My next match for the first half of the year – and maybe my last one for the whole year the way the schedule looks – will be The Pin Shoot in Central Lake, Michigan. It’s my all-time favorite shooting tournament. There’s still time to get on board; it’s gonna take place in mid-June, and that website will get you there.


  1. Good for you. Had a thought sometime back of seeing if I could go back and shoot the qualification and tactical courses where I used to work and embarrass a lot of youngsters again. Then I reflected on getting into prone, kneeling and sitting against the clock. And, the 80 yard timed run in full kit on the tac course. And thought better of it.

    Do need to see if the Monday evening IDPA practice match is still going on post COVID at a reasonably close indoor range.

  2. Yep, the more pressure the better. Our mind determines how important each pressured event is also. Until you’ve had an aim at a small bowling pin with 10 other people shooting and horns going off and Hunters watching, that is definitely a step up in the pressure Department then standing at a range in your lane all alone.

  3. I didn’t realize you had won a pistol from the Shoot Sig match. Congrats for beating all of us other geezers. I think I finished just behind you by a few seconds, in the P365 division though. That was a fun day out. If you are ever near Leesburg we shoot bowling pins every 1st and 3rd Thursday at 6:00.

  4. I, too, have shot matches. Diamond “Strike Anywhere”, Ohio Blue Tip, UCO Stormproof, even Coghlan’s. I’ve found a decent quality 22-LR revolver, like my K-frame S&W does an adequate job. I does take some practice to light them and not break the wooden matchstick. But, patience and perseverance will win the day. I’ve not sunk to the depths of shooting “lighters”, Zippo, Ronson, or Bic. No challenge there.

  5. Mas, we are glad that you are keeping your hand in at the range. Illness in the family is a tough time, and necessarily takes a lot of priority. Sometimes recovery from illness depends on leaving no stone unturned. As far as keeping active vs. aging, I am reminded of a certain track athlete who was going strong past 100 years. You may want to keep competing at the range until the recoil from a BB pistol smarts too much, and you have to revert to the water pistol.

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