I cannot believe how much fun I had! It was my first time at one of these and I will offer my advice as a total noob that had no idea what I was doing.
The only advice I got going in was, "Check out some Youtubes!" and "Bring a good holster and a lot of magazines. Go slow."
We showed up an hour early. That way we could watch the guys in the group before us run the stages and figure out how the show was run. They had four stages set up.
We got to do a lot. There was movement, shooting, reloading, different distances, hostages, moving targets. holster drawing, windows at various heights. There were different classes to compete within. Some people had the race guns and were very serious about their score and speed.
I didn't even care about my score.
My favorite stage had 16 targets I had to double tap. A minimum of 32 rounds. It had 4 windows at various heights, a long hallway and you had to carry a 5 gallon plastic bucket with you for the whole thing! The class I was in (unmodified firearm) only allowed max of 10 rounds in each mag. I had to reload 3 times. Some shooters had 7 round mags! The stage took me 59 seconds. I LOVED IT!
Near the end I got disqualified for gun specific rule I was not aware of. Guns with exposed hammers must have the safety on with HAMMER DOWN, first shot has to be double action straight from the holster. The range crew was really cool about it too. Took time to explain it without making me feel stupid or like an asshole. They new I was a first timer and were helping me out all along with tips.
I stood there thinking I have a good "what a dumbass" blog post!
I found the rule book online today. Knowing all this, here are the lessons I learned:
- At the start tell the range staff it's your first time. They will help you.
- Read to rule book. (before you go!)
- I know, it's 75 pages, read it and don't be a dumbass.
- Take a good holster.
- Take a lot of mags. Saves time reloading them.
- Take mag holders. (I will have at least 4 next time)
- Take water. It's thirsty fun.
- Wear comfy clothes that allow easy draw without snags.
- Wear comfy shoes.
- Help reset the targets. Many hands make it go faster.
- Go slow. Be safe.
- Go with friends. It more fun than bowling!
- Listen. Be safe.
- Get there early so you can see how the stages are run.
- The 4 Rules still apply!
- Read the rule book.
--I'm going back next month!