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Thread: First GSSF Event This Saturday. Tips?

  1. #1
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    First GSSF Event This Saturday. Tips?

    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?

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    Member Peally's Avatar
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    Be safe, learn the pertinent rules (especially safety ones), and have fun. That's all that matters on your first run
    Semper Gumby, Always Flexible

  3. #3
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    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.
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  4. #4
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    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.

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    Member Luke's Avatar
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    i used to wannabe

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    Member Peally's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_White View Post

    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.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Failure2Stop's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Failure2Stop; 07-28-2016 at 03:17 PM.
    As accurate as needed, as fast as possible, as many times as it takes.
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  9. #9
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Failure2Stop View Post
    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?
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Failure2Stop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHC View Post
    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.
    As accurate as needed, as fast as possible, as many times as it takes.
    -F2S Consulting LLC-

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