The next 405 days..

The World Speed Shooting Championships (WSSC) concluded on May 19th 2019.  Being exactly 1 second from a World Title, I knew I needed to build a plan to shoot sub-60 seconds to have a chance at a world title in 2020. Immediately following this match gave birth to the plan below, Road to 60 seconds (or 59.95):

StageStage #DivisionPersonal BestPeak TimeRoad to 60Avg String
5 to GoSC-101Rimfire Rifle Open8.2910.5             8.00            2.00
ShowdownSC-102Rimfire Rifle Open6.327.5             6.25            1.56
Smoke and hopeSC-103Rimfire Rifle Open5.257             6.00            1.50
Outer LimitsSC-104Rimfire Rifle Open10.4411.5             9.65            3.22
AcceleratorSC-105Rimfire Rifle Open7.729             7.80            1.95
PendulumSC-106Rimfire Rifle Open8.469.5             8.00            2.00
Speed OptionSC-107Rimfire Rifle Open8.129.5             8.00            2.00
RoundaboutSC-108Rimfire Rifle Open6.437.5             6.25            1.56
Total Time61.03                 72.059.95

Starting on the left, the first column is the Steel Challenge Stage name, followed by the Stage Number, Division, my personal best times from classification, the peak times for 2019 (at the time), the stage times to shoot sub-60 (in this case 59.95), and finally the average string times needed to shoot sub-60.  Please note times are rounded to the nearest hundredth.

The weekend after the match, I sat down with Chris Barrett and his dad and I said, “we need to talk about something.”  “Steel Target Paint needs to be on the top spots of the podium in 2020 at the next WSSC and here is the roadmap to shoot sub 60.”  We all started to smile and reviewed the road map of how we were going to make this happen.  We first had to assess the times to make sure they were reasonable and we agreed they were.  We thought about moving some times around from bucket to bucket, but agreed the goals and plan were solid.  Then, we went to work.  Every practice session was calibrated by the ability to hit these times.  For me, I knew I had to be stronger on Outer Limits because this was my largest gaps in time and so this is what I did.  I studied every movement, broke out the video camera, and examined every nuance of the stage.  Footwork is only part of the success of the stage, albeit an important one.  The rest, well, I have left some tips on the podcast and on some of my other blog posts for consideration.

Below is a summary of the Road Map to breaking 60 and my stage times from Saturday 6/27/2020 at the Little River Sportsman’s Association in Valdosta Georgia.

I knew I shot the match pretty clean only taking 2-3 makeup shots into my score, but I was not ready for what the ‘pad’ revealed.  I thought it was 60 seconds or maybe a hair under, but a rush of emotion hit me when it displayed 58.42 seconds.  Admittedly, I immediately validated all stages were scored and there were not an errant time.  Needless to say, as of the writing of this post, 58.42 seconds is the new watermark for Steel Challenge.

Words cannot express how grateful I am for the loving support of my family and sponsors who have helped me reach this goal.  It was all that more special because I was shooting with friends and my oldest daughter Vanessa.  My message from this experience is if you build a plan and put in the work, great things can happen.  Additionally, now that I have been here, I know the path and it will be easier to find my way back.

A quick gear review:

Steel Target Paint

ELEY Force

Magnum Research Switchbolt

Powder River Precision Trigger

Tandemkross Fireswitch, takedown knob, and Kross pins

Vortex Razor 6 MOA

Hunters HD Gold Velocity eyewear

SteveFosterShooting Compensator – manufactured by Wiland USA

SteveFosterShooting Bolt stop pin/buffer

Pro Ears

CelCal Cerakote Basepads

Hogue rifle bag

Transported on my Range Tactical Gear Cart

Targeted Innovations Magazine caddy

See you out on the range soon!

Steve

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