FAQ Advice to the new competitive shooter:
 
What do I need to do to attend a match?
 
Just come to the match.  As long as you abide by a few common sense safety rules you will be ok.  You won’t win your first match, so your objectives should be safety and fun. 
 
But most importantly, bring the $20 or $25 match fee.  If you are a veteran, a senior, or disabled, you have our admiration but you still need to bring the match fee.  This ain’t socialism.  Just kidding if you are a junior you get a discount so your parents can breathe a little easier for buying you a $3,000 gun and reloading all your ammo for you, hoping you will become the champion they never were and that you bring them along for the glorious ride instead of becoming a basement dwelling social media obsessed loser, which is what will actually happen.
 
What about my equipment?
 
Just bring what you have.  We do not recommend going out and spending a bunch of money on gear until after you receive the practiscore e-mail broadcast to everyone detailing stage by stage, beep by beep, target by target, your humiliating failures.  Once your ego has been trounced, you have reached a stage of clarity that will open your mind to the possibilities of improvement through the purchase of high-speed, low-drag gear. 
 
What division do I shoot?
 
USPSA caters to all comers here, ranging from the most basic to outlandish space guns you will see in open division.  Likely, you should start in production.  This will make the most sense to you just from the name.  No arms race here – a basic gun and equipment will serve you well.  The other extreme is open division that allows shooters to essentially use equipment how they see fit with very few rules – this division is where you can spend the maximum amount of money to prove gear does not buy a win. 
 
Open division, all other things being equal, will produce the highest match scores if divisions were mixed, due in part to the outrageous equipment used.  However, no one has ever looked at combined division results because each division is its own match.  That’s why you may see bow and arrows, throwing knives, or even rifles out on the short-range course if you can believe that! 
 
If you were to shoot open division your first match, you would never come back and you would bury the humiliating experience deep, deep inside where the scars of your parents’ first and most emphatic disapproval of you reside.  But, no worries you are in production baby!
 
OK, I’ll shoot production!  Now what?
 
Shut up, suit up and shoot up!  Wait, there is a tiny problem.  You had your holster just one quarter-inch forward of your Illiac Crest, so you will be involuntarily moved to open division.  Oh, turns out you are just fat.  You are still in production – told you no worries!
 
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!  If you load that 11th round in your production magazine, you are buying a one-way trip to Opentown.  Glad we caught that.  Yes, you can hold 34 rounds in the two magazines that came with the gun, but there is a tiny provision in production that requires you to use four magazines to get the same result, plus one more because when you handle that many magazines you will drop one.
 
HOLY SHIT!  Did you stipple right up to the edge of the frame where your thumb goes?  That’s a no-go – this is production not a gun gaming contest.  It’s like you want to jump off a high bridge right into a boiling vat of Open.  Do you have another gun you haven’t worked over?  If not you can use my CZ Limited Edition Dark Shadow III with aftermarket hammer, gray ghost flat trigger, polished internals, Wolff springs, Dawson experimental sights, and extended firing pin. 
 
Your extra Glock?  Good idea, but that’s a no-go with that Vanek trigger because if I study your gun with an electron microscope I can see that trigger was switched and since that is visible externally, you can’t use it.  Unless, of course, you welcome the prospect of being curb-stomped in Open.  Well, naturally you can use external modified after market parts as long as they don’t benefit you, or if they were available on some other gun, probably.  Think of it like a light in limited – it can be on your gun as long as the light doesn’t function; see?  Now, let’s get shooting!
 
WAIT!  You can’t just put that gun on safe and holster it.  That’s dangerous, unless you are in Limited, Limited 10, Single Stack or Open then it is safe.  You need to point the gun vaguely down range, hold it with one hand and while pulling the trigger ease the hammer down and DON’T LET GO or the gun will go off, smack your weak hand, you will be DQ’ed which we will explain loudly means you are unsafe and need to leave unless you want to paste, and even Open won’t have you. 
 
It’s my fault; I shouldn’t have given you that CZ to use.  I tell you what, let’s just put you in Limited.  What is it?  Well, if Open and Production loved each other very much and had a baby, it wouldn’t be Limited.  Limited would be like if Open and Production cheated on each other all the time and really you have no damn idea who the parents are for Limited, and there is some weird stuff going on that makes you think Limited had too much exposure to Monsanto products in the womb.  Clear?  Sweet!
 
Ok, are you ready?!  Sorry, I can’t start you until you are relaxed.  Yes everyone behind you is staring at you.  Yes, you are sorry you were born and this may be worse than that dream where you are naked in the subway station, and you don’t even take the subway.  Ok, let your arms hang in a natural fashion – don’t look conspicuous!  Standby!

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