2020 in Review, and Plans for 2021

Now that my shooting year is over, it’s time to write my annual “year in review” post. Obviously, it has been an utterly nutty year with the pandemic, and it’s made a real impact on my ability to train and attend matches. Still, I got a lot done!

Even with the pandemic, I took 11 classes this year. I enjoyed all of them:

Like in 2019, I had about 80 hours of class time. There were some repeats in there, too, but at least they were advanced classes. I am very happy about getting this much class time in when the pandemic was wreaking havoc on everything this year. A couple classes I was looking forward to didn’t happen, but that’s life. I must admit I’m sad I was not able to keep up my “class a month” average from previous years, but perhaps I’m at the skill level where I can be choosier.

I shot 9 matches of varying sorts in 2020, at least according to Practiscore. It would have been quite a few more if IDPA and USPSA at NRA HQ hadn’t gotten cancelled early in the year. Most of my shooting was oriented towards falling steel and 3gun.

I also listed off a number of goals last year:

Goal #1: hit B-class in USPSA. I only shot one USPSA match this year, so this wasn’t really happening. My solitary, first-stage classifier was a solid C.

Goal #2: shoot more multi-gun, and suck less. I feel like I accomplished this, especially for 2gun. I’ve really been mulling over my feelings about 2gun vs 3gun, and Open/Unlimited vs Tac Optics lately. I just enjoy shooting red dot pistols too much. But I am getting better, and putting in some work at the 100-200yd range would probably be a big winner for me.

Goal #3: increase the blog’s visibility. Total fail. traffic was down 20% year over year. Probably some of this was one of my blog URLs getting blacklisted on Facebook. SHOT Show didn’t really do much for me, albeit it was a crazy fun time.

Goal #4: Buy fewer guns. I’m happy with my performance on this one. I bought a P320 X5 Legion, a TCR22 (see below for why), and a Girsan MC1911S (so I can shoot 45ACP if I start running low on small pistol primers). 

50/50 on the goals, so nothing to brag about. However, I’ve also done a couple things I haven’t mentioned on the blog, but am still really proud of.

Got my IDPA SO cert. Despite my mixed feelings about IDPA, I did go take the class and get my cert. This was so I could SO at the AGC matches, and it let me…

Became a coach for my son’s SASP shooting team: we stood up a Scholastic Action Shooting Program shooting team at AGC, which my 9yro son is on. It’s Steel Challenge for kids. This is the first time I’ve ever instructed anyone, so it has been an amazing learning experience for me.

I’ve already begun planning my 2021 training (post soon!) and there’s a lot of great offerings out there. Again, I’m a little disappointed that the NRA HQ range isn’t available for clinics, but perhaps this will change in mid-year.  JDC appears to be all Saturdays this year, unfortunately.

Now, what are my goals?

Goal #1: spend the time getting better/faster at 100-300 yards unsupported with a carbine. I got burned consistently with this kind shooting – far worse than supported 300-500 yard shots, in fact. It is clearly a skill I need to work on mastering. I have steel, and I have a 200yd range. No reason this can’t happen.

Goal #2: increase the blog’s visibility. This is going to have to mean more equipment reviews, I think. But you’ll still be seeing plenty of AARs, too.

Goal #3: Make the switch to Sig P320s for competition. My P320 X5 Legion has been doing great for me, and I need to fully commit to the platform. Step one will be a P320 X5 Max for my second carry optics pistol, after which I’ll start selling my Glock 34s for additional P320 X5 slides/guns for production/Tac Optics usage.

I’m never going to fully get off the Glock platform – too much invested, including a couple SBRs and a Maxim 9. I can live with that.

Goal #4: Clear dot torture at least once. Sounds stupid, but it’s attainable.

Goal #5: Dry-fire more. I’ve slacked a bit during the pandemic, and while I’m still pretty fast, I know I could be faster. I need to set aside time every day for this, and use the Anderson book. Probably wouldn’t hurt for my son, either. I also want to stop using my SIRT pistol so much, because I think it’s hurting my ability to learn trigger prep on my real guns.

Goal #6: Be able to reload all of my competition and class 223. I have been lucky enough to have been mostly insulated from the ammo panic thus far due to my semi-sizable stockpiles of ammo and primers, but I am really not happy that my Razor Gen3 is zeroed on ammo I can no longer buy without taking out a second mortgage. My goal for 2021 is to do what I did with 9mm in 2020 and reload 100% of my 223 ammunition. To this end, I’ve ordered a Mark7 Evolution reloading press, which should complement my existing Dillon 650. In the long run, I will be doing large primer loading (45, 308) on the 650, and small primer loading (9mm, 223, 300) on the Evolution.

That said, this isn’t a suicide pact; if steel-cased “range-safe” ammo ever gets really cheap again, I’m definitely going to buy a fair bit of it for training purposes. But I’d like to be in a position where I can compete indefinitely without worrying about a particular brand of ammo being available.

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