by Greg Holz

A big thank you to those folks who helped setup and teardown the Maxon Combat Shoot Monday night.

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to those folks that attended for the first time.  We had quite a good turnout.  I hope you had fun trying something different to test your shooting skills.  Each month we set up something completely different to test your abilities.

Remember, after the evening is over, and everything is torn down, we go out for a bite to eat at the local Steak-N-Shake.  Everyone is more than welcome to join us.
Let’s quickly review the November (COF) courses of fire:
The fundamentals to good shooting are always emphasized each month.

Mirror Image     Evaluated:  movement, grip, rapid-fire, recoil control, flash sight picture, reload, target transitions, smoothness and economy of motion… while using the non-dominant hand, freestyle, to shoot.

This course of fire (COF) consisted of 9 targets with target distances ranging from 18’ – 25’.  Typical shooting distances within most houses.

Talk about awkward!  After completing this course, I certainly have a greater appreciation for my dominant shooting hand!  There were quite a few “Finger” and “Muzzle” and “Sweep” warnings issued as noted in the results.  As one shooter put it, “I have to train my non-dominant hand to be safety conscious, like my dominant hand.”

I observed 3 basic shooting methods to shoot this course – weak hand only with no support, weak hand with wrist support, and the two handed hold.  Some folks used the two handed revolver hold (the support thumb across the back of the shooting hand) which resulted in blood and Band-Aids for a few folks when the slide came back to slice the thumb.

For some reason, my firearm wasn’t feeding the next round after firing a shot.  So, I was performing malfunction drills for virtually every shot fired.  I enjoyed listening to the thoughtful, helpful feedback from other shooters when I was done shooting – wimpy grip?  Wimpy ammo?  Cold ammo? (affects velocity), not enough lube on the rails?, didn’t clean your firearm?, etc.  All suggested causes could be the source for the malfunctions I experienced.  I have been tracking the assorted issues over the months and will see what happens next month and especially shooting our January Low Light shoot with a handheld flashlight.

Despite my intended carry gun’s size, slimness, and caliber, it is reliability that is most important for me.  So far this gun hasn’t given me the confidence to bet my life on it yet.


Slice the Pie     Evaluated:  movement, grip, rapid-fire, recoil control, flash sight picture, reload, target transitions, smoothness and economy of motion.
GOAL:  The trick is finding the right balance of speed vs. accuracy to achieve a good score.

This course was certainly a challening course to shoot.  If one didn’t plan properly or moved too quickly, time was lost making up shots on an overlooked target.  I carefully worked the middle and then worked the outer sides. I know I was slower in terms of time.  I was just wanting to finish up the night with a good, safe run.


Let’s briefly talk about scoring.  Let’s review some definitions to help us better understand the results.

A competitor gets evaluated in three areas – Speed, Accuracy and Power.

POWER for our purposes is:
9mm = minor
.40SW and .45ACP = Major

Minor scores 5-3-3-1 for an A-B-C-D hit respectively.  Major scores 5-4-4-2 for an A-B-C-D hit respectively.  Misses and NO SHOOT hits are -10 points. Procedural Penalties are -10 points also, usually per shot fired.

Now let’s add a couple of new terms to learn:
HITFACTOR = your POINTS scored divided by your TIME.  Think of it as points earned per second.

STAGEPOINTS = For each stage … YOUR HITFACTOR divided by the highest HITFACTOR in your division times maximum points possible for each stage


How We Report Scoring:

Participants will see an accounting of their hits (ABCD), any misses (M), and any penalties (NoShoot or Procedurals) that might have been incurred during the Course of Fire (COF).  They see total points (ACCURACY) and  time (SPEED).  The Hit Factor is POINTS divided by your TIME.

Stage Results:  Whoever has the best Hit Factor (points per second) wins the stage and earns all points (100%) possible for the stage.  Then, everyone’s Hit Factor is graded relative to the best Hit Factor for the stage.

MATCHPOINTS = the sum of all your STAGEPOINTS earned.


One of the things we’ve noticed about the best competitors in our sport is that they earn 85% or more of the points available for a course of fire.  You will notice a column labeled POINTS% which allows you to track your own performance.  The rough rule of thumb is to slow down if you’re getting less than 85% and shoot quicker if you’re above 85%.  Finding the right balance of speed AND acceptable accuracy is what will help you improve.

Next Combat Shoot is January 18 – Low Light Shoot.  This is a very popular shoot, so be sure to get your tickets early.
If you have any questions about scoring or anything else, please drop me an email.