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View Full Version : First GSSF Event This Saturday. Tips?



spinmove_
07-28-2016, 10:51 AM
So a couple of friends and I are going to the GSSF event this weekend in Brighton, MI. This will be my first competition ever. Any tips for a newbie before I go and embarrass myself?

Peally
07-28-2016, 10:59 AM
Be safe, learn the pertinent rules (especially safety ones), and have fun. That's all that matters on your first run ;)

Mr_White
07-28-2016, 11:05 AM
I know this is a lot, but I have been asked this question enough times that I saved it last time I wrote it. So here you go. ;)

----

GSSF is a narrow but deep competition. It's a pure shooting contest.

Avail yourself of the rules. Go to gssfonline.com and go to Hot Topics then click on Current GSSF Rules. I'll tell you what I can, but it's really a good idea to actually read the rules too.

Always remember that the true target across the entire match is an 8 circle, whether we are talking the NRA D-1 Tombstone target, the pepper poppers, or the steel plates. You always have to be shooting the 8 circle. You can make up shots on steel. You cannot fire extra shots on cardboard (well, you can, but 10 second penalty per shot.)

Look at the rules to see the scoring zones/penalties on the tombstone target, but basically, 8 circle is no penalty, 10 circle is + 1 second per shot, anywhere else on the target is +3 seconds per shot. Misses are + 10 seconds. Your score can survive a few + 1 shots. It will tank with much more than that (assuming you are trying to haul the mad loot.) Consider that the GSSF scoring system is more than twice as punitive as IDPA for inaccurate shots. You need to actually shoot that 8 circle pretty much throughout the whole match.

You should get an automatic reshoot if your gun malfunctions. So if you have a malfunction, stop shooting, finger straight, don't fix it, and stare like a moron at the RO. You should be allowed a reshoot. If you continue experiencing malfunctions on that stage, they will send you to the Armorer.

There are only three stages.

Five to Glock is the one that is all cardboard tombstone targets. For me, the match is won or lost right here. I start with this stage because it is the most accuracy-intensive, then I shoot more aggressively as I go through the shorter distance stages. Five to Glock is some arrangement or another (it varies) of five tombstone targets, usually from 5 to 25 yards. You shoot each target twice (10 shots.) That's one string. You shoot three strings for each division that you enter. The time for the three strings together, plus any penalties, comprise your score for this stage.

Glock'M is the midrange stage, with some arrangement (again it varies) of four tombstones and three pepper poppers, usually at 7 to 15 yards. You have three strings again, and your total time plus any penalties comprise your score for the stage. On each string, you shoot each tombstone twice and one popper (only one popper!) When you have done all three strings, you will have shot all three poppers. Steel must fall to score, but they are normally set very lightly for modest 9mm loadings. Remember, extra shots on steel = no penalty but the time taken, extra shots on cardboard = +10 seconds per shot. You can have 11 rounds loaded at the beginning of each string. You cannot reload mid-string and continue shooting if you run out of ammo. You must get each string done with those 11 rounds. If you run out and don't have all the steel down, or have missing shots on cardboard, it will be +10 seconds per, so if you start missing the steel you must pull it back together immediately. I personally shoot this stage second because I can start to turn on the juice a little not much though, stiff penalties on the tombstones are still in effect and 15 yard targets demand respect, especially within the scoring system of GSSF.

Glock the Plates is a plate rack at 11 yards, with six, 8 steel plates. On this stage you shoot 4 strings rather than 3 strings like the others. The only penalty is if you leave plates standing (+10 seconds per plate.) You can afford to drop a few shots on this one without ruin, though the best times come from clean runs of course. Again, you can start with 11 rounds loaded on each string and cannot reload mid-string, so you have to get all the plates with those 11 rounds. I shoot this stage last because I can hit the gas without ruinous penalties.

You need at least four magazines so that you can shoot one uninterrupted division entry on Glock the Plates. More mags may allow you to shoot more entries consecutively before you have to take a break to fill magazines. By the book, the RO will allow you to shoot two consecutive entries, though sometimes they will let you do more. Depends on the RO and how busy it is.

One division entry only takes up 81 rounds minimum, but extra shots may be needed on steel and you could have to reshoot something, so bringing 150 rounds per division is wise.

By the way, be sure to actually follow the squadding procedure outlined in the rules. You can go through the match very quickly if you do so. You will stand around interminably if you do not follow it. So, register first (you must join GSSF to participate, same as IDPA.) Then go to ALL THREE stages and sign in, but DO NOT put a check mark or X by your name. Then go to the first stage you are actually going to shoot, and put a check mark or X by your name, which tells the RO that you are there and ready to shoot.

In GSSF, you must have the root intention to shoot the center of every target with every shot. You must see every sight picture and call every shot (not that you can make up most of them anyway.) Dispense with ideas of trying to go faster on closer or easier targets. It's easy to do that and sling +3 second shots on a 5 or 7 yard tombstone target. That is in no way worthwhile. Just see the sights and desire to shoot the center of every target with every shot.

You can use any OEM parts. If you prefer it, the OEM minus connector is legal. There are a few other legal mods, mostly just notch-and-post sights and grip tape. The specifics are in the rules.

Check the criteria in the rules to see whether you are an Amateur or Master level competitor. If you are not M or GM in USPSA, you are probably Amateur, which is much more advantageous for winning prizes, but there are a couple of conditions about being in the top 25% at major matches that might kick you up to Master too. Be sure to take a look at the rules on that.

That's my advice anyway. I hope it helps and I wish you luck.

spinmove_
07-28-2016, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the info, Mr_White. I'll keep that in mind and see if I can go through those rules at some point here soon.

Luke
07-28-2016, 12:26 PM
Listen to these


http://andersonshooting.libsyn.com

Peally
07-28-2016, 12:35 PM
And if you can't stand Van Halen reruns run the opposite direction as fast as possible :D

JHC
07-28-2016, 12:43 PM
In GSSF, you must have the root intention to shoot the center of every target with every shot. You must see every sight picture and call every shot (not that you can make up most of them anyway.) Dispense with ideas of trying to go faster on closer or easier targets. It's easy to do that and sling +3 second shots on a 5 or 7 yard tombstone target. That is in no way worthwhile. Just see the sights and desire to shoot the center of every target with every shot.
.

#1 is shoot to not drop any points! GSSF scoring is so brutal on hits outside the 8" circle that no speed can make it up.

Failure2Stop
07-28-2016, 03:16 PM
I've won 3 guns from performance in GSSF.
I'm not a definitive source, but I play the game pretty well.

I agree wholly with Mr White's write-up, including the stage order.

Here's all I have for amplification:

Sign up online and arrive early. This will let you get your name on the stage lists so you can shoot and scoot.

Enter in at least 2 divisions, preferably ones that use the same gun (I shot a 17 in Civilian, Competition, and Unlimited). You can shoot twice in a row with no problem, 3 in a row if the guy behind you is ok with it. I shot the division I was least likely to win at 1st (Unlimited), then Competition, then the division I could likely win (Civilian). It costs more $, but increases your chances of leaving with a prize; by performance, random drawing, or both.

If you enter multiple divisions, take 4 magazines per division, and have them filled before going to the shooting point.

JHC
07-28-2016, 03:25 PM
I agree wholly with Mr White's write-up, including the stage order.



Interesting that you and White go after the most challenging accuracy stage first. Have you (both) found your precision is better when fresh vs some level of fatigue later that is more important than being more warmed up etc?

Failure2Stop
07-28-2016, 03:30 PM
Interesting that you and White go after the most challenging accuracy stage first. Have you (both) found your precision is better when fresh vs some level of fatigue later that is more important than being more warmed up etc?

I think it's the easiest way to increase speed without having the wheels fall off.
Just a simpler mental approach overall in my opinion.

I shot my first GSSF at USPSA classifier speed and did not do well. My revised approach seemed to work better, resulting in more earnings.

Mr_White
07-28-2016, 03:39 PM
Interesting that you and White go after the most challenging accuracy stage first. Have you (both) found your precision is better when fresh vs some level of fatigue later that is more important than being more warmed up etc?

More of the better gssf shooters in my area shoot in the opposite order from me - plates, M, 5 to Glock. Their logic is that the plates have low disaster factor as long as you don't leave any standing, which is true. So it functions as warm up for them. For me though, I feel like the level of care in sights and trigger is different enough between the plates and the tombstones that I think the plates are terrible preparation for the stages with tombstones. For me anyway.

I tried shooting plates first exactly once. In addition to being out of whack on the tombstones after the plates, it was also a long and hot day and I was tired by the time I got to 5 to Glock and pretty much sucked. Never going to shoot that order again.

That said, I think I'm in the minority in stage order preference. Most of the better gssf shooters I know do start with the plates and end with 5 to Glock, so it is worth considering.

EricM
07-28-2016, 03:42 PM
You're probably aware of this but since you said this is your very first competition, just want to start out by saying that GSSF events (like most competitions) operate on what's referred to as a "cold range", meaning your gun must be unloaded and stored in your range bag until the Range Officer directly tells you to take your gun out and load it when it is your turn to shoot. Do not handle your gun at any other time during the match, except at a designated safety area (generally a table right next to a berm that will be clearly marked). At a safety table you can handle your gun (keep it in a safe direction), but must not handle ammunition or magazines in any way. Other than the safety areas, you are free to handle ammo and load mags anywhere.

This being your first GSSF outdoor match, be sure to get signed up at the registration table for the separate gun drawing for new members. Tell your buddies, or don't lol. ;)

Preliminary scores are usually posted on the Tuesday following the match, final scores (with who won what) will follow a month later. Have fun!

spinmove_
07-28-2016, 03:58 PM
I've won 3 guns from performance in GSSF.
I'm not a definitive source, but I play the game pretty well.

I agree wholly with Mr White's write-up, including the stage order.

Here's all I have for amplification:

Sign up online and arrive early. This will let you get your name on the stage lists so you can shoot and scoot.

Enter in at least 2 divisions, preferably ones that use the same gun (I shot a 17 in Civilian, Competition, and Unlimited). You can shoot twice in a row with no problem, 3 in a row if the guy behind you is ok with it. I shot the division I was least likely to win at 1st (Unlimited), then Competition, then the division I could likely win (Civilian). It costs more $, but increases your chances of leaving with a prize; by performance, random drawing, or both.

If you enter multiple divisions, take 4 magazines per division, and have them filled before going to the shooting point.

Since there are 3 of us total, we were going to do a 3 man team and then compete individually. Do they accept non-Glock mags or is that a no no? If it's a no no, I don't have 4 OEMs that I can rock.

Mr_White
07-28-2016, 04:03 PM
I think it's the easiest way to increase speed without having the wheels fall off.
Just a simpler mental approach overall in my opinion.

I shot my first GSSF at USPSA classifier speed and did not do well. My revised approach seemed to work better, resulting in more earnings.

Totally agree, absolutely right. Too bad nyeti doesn't shoot glocks much. I think gssf would be about ideal for him since it is devoid of defensive trappings and tactics, requires pretty reasonable accuracy, and penalizes the crap out of you for not meeting that accuracy standard.

Peally
07-28-2016, 04:09 PM
I have it on good authority that if you do well enough panties will drop.

spinmove_
07-31-2016, 10:26 PM
So thanks to Michigan weather we had a torrential downpour to deal with first thing Saturday morning. Despite this, I was able to post a 132.01 second overall time in the Amateur Civilian division that I shot in. Looking at the scores and attendance from last year for my division, this would put me at around 36th place out of 95 people. Considering I've been shooting for around 4 years total and this was my first competition ever, I'll take it.

I can post more details later.

spinmove_
08-01-2016, 01:02 PM
Further details as promised. Stages presented are in the order they were shot. Rain was VERY heavy in the beginning and went down to a light sprinkle by the time I had the opportunity to shoot Glock'M.

5 to Glock (variation IV):

Time #1 - 12.06s
Time #2 - 13.90s
Time #3 - 10.44s

Target #1 - A+B: 6
Target #2 - C: 6
Target #3 - A+B: 2, C: 3, D: 1
Target #4 - A+B: 1, C: 2, D: 2, Miss: 1
Target #5 - A+B: 3, C: 2, D: 1

Total Time: 71.4s


Glock'M (variation II):

Time# 1 - 11.37s
Time# 2 - 8.58s
Time# 3 - 8.85s

Steel Target #1 - Hit
Steel Target #2 - Hit
Steel Target #3 - Hit

Target #1 - A+B: 5, C: 1
Target #2 - A+B: 6
Target #3 - A+B: 1, C: 5
Target #4 - A+B: 4, C: 2

Total Time: 36.8s


Glock The Plates:

Time #1 - 5.06s
Time #2 - 4.5s
Time #3 - 6.36s
Time #4 - 7.89s

String #1 - 6 hits
String #2 - 6 hits
String #3 - 6 hits
String #4 - 6 hits

Total time: 23.81s


Procedurals: 0


Total Match Time: 132.01s


Observations: Shooting in a torrential downpour with thunder overhead, wet and fogged glasses, soggy everywhere else, and a wet handling on my G19Gen4 made shooting...interesting. Shooting with both eyes open in a timed setting with multiple targets with iron sights was more challenging than I thought it would be. I had to switch to closing my right eye in order to make effective hits in certain situations. A white strip of paint on the front sight of my Defoor Tactical sights proved to be fairly useful in the wet and heavily overcast 9:30am conditions that I shot them in. I might play with how I paint my front sight, however. My consistency is obviously way off. Need more practice in shooting multiple targets at multiple distances. I need to shoot more against a timer, so I'll need to pick up one of those sooner rather than later.

I'll add more observations as they come to me.

Overall I had a blast doing this event. Totally looking forward to next year and I'm going to start looking into local USPSA.

Failure2Stop
08-01-2016, 01:07 PM
Overall I had a blast doing this event. Totally looking forward to next year and I'm going to start looking into local USPSA.

I think that GSSF is a great intro into competitive shooting for those that are more casual shooters that want to improve.
Can't recommend USPSA enough; it was the single largest factor in my individual drive to get better at pistol.

RJ
12-30-2017, 02:57 PM
Looks like I’ll have the opportunity to shoot two GSSF matches next year; one in Dallas in April and one in Port Townsend Washington.

It looks like a fun thing to get some competition in on.

spinmove_
12-31-2017, 08:36 AM
So thanks to Michigan weather we had a torrential downpour to deal with first thing Saturday morning. Despite this, I was able to post a 132.01 second overall time in the Amateur Civilian division that I shot in. Looking at the scores and attendance from last year for my division, this would put me at around 36th place out of 95 people. Considering I've been shooting for around 4 years total and this was my first competition ever, I'll take it.

I can post more details later.

Lol, so people for some reason keep liking this post from 2016. I ultimately placed 40th in my division that year. I went to GSSF at the same location this past year. Same time, same division. I ended up placing 1st this year.

Still waiting for my prize G19 to come in. :P


Sent from mah smertfone using tapathingy

RJ
04-11-2018, 11:16 AM
Looks like Ill have the opportunity to shoot two GSSF matches next year; one in Dallas in April and one in Port Townsend Washington.

It looks like a fun thing to get some competition in on.

Well, my trip got changed, so I wont be in Dallas.

But!

Apparently there is a new GSSF venue in Port Charlotte, doing monthly matches. This is about 75 miles south of me.

So I might be giving this a try after all.

Sherman A. House DDS
04-11-2018, 12:13 PM
Well, my trip got changed, so I wont be in Dallas.

But!

Apparently there is a new GSSF venue in Port Charlotte, doing monthly matches. This is about 75 miles south of me.

So I might be giving this a try after all.

I grew up on Whidbey...Im a coupeville boy. My Dad takes the Port Townsend ferry to Bangor everyday.


civiliandefender.com

RJ
04-11-2018, 07:52 PM
I grew up on Whidbey...Im a coupeville boy. My Dad takes the Port Townsend ferry to Bangor everyday.


civiliandefender.com

Cool Doc; we toured a good part of WA last summer, spent a bunch of time in Sequim and the upper NW side of Olympia. It's very nice up there.

Actually this GSSF match is in Port Charlotte Florida; south of me where I'm now living in Clearwater...

RJ
10-15-2018, 02:38 PM
Cool Doc; we toured a good part of WA last summer, spent a bunch of time in Sequim and the upper NW side of Olympia. It's very nice up there.

Actually this GSSF match is in Port Charlotte Florida; south of me where I'm now living in Clearwater...

So my schedule finally lined up with a match this Saturday in Port Charlotte. I may drive down solo, or Mrs. Rich may come and we might make it a weekend.

I learned via another thread a SCD is a non approved part, so I just put my OEM endplate back in the G19.

I might take my G26 as well, if I can shoot it. Im assuming my USPSA Production rig is kosher, but Ill check the rules to be sure.

Looking forward to having a different shooting experience.

Mr_White
10-15-2018, 07:04 PM
So my schedule finally lined up with a match this Saturday in Port Charlotte. I may drive down solo, or Mrs. Rich may come and we might make it a weekend.

I learned via another thread a SCD is a non approved part, so I just put my OEM endplate back in the G19.

I might take my G26 as well, if I can shoot it. Im assuming my USPSA Production rig is kosher, but Ill check the rules to be sure.

Looking forward to having a different shooting experience.

You are correct that the Gadget SCD isn't allowed (well, it is, so I was told, but causes a bump to Unlimited division, so just don't have it on your gun.)

If you want to transport your gun around in your Production rig instead of a box/case, I'm sure you can (they'll require unloaded and slide locked back), but it will also be irrelevant because there are no draws, or on the clock reloads, in GSSF.