What is a Postal Match?

Before the internet, if friendly target shooters wanted to compete against one another they could either meet together and exchange targets, or they would participate in a Postal Match. Typically these contests were a standard course of fire that the participants shot, then mailed to the contest organizer for tally. Since the internet can provide us with nearly instant feedback, and we can trade many different targets, it seems to be an ideal format for the "Modern Postal Match".

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 2011 Match - Mozambique

Greetings, everyone. Who can believe that it is already 2011. I hope the holidays were happy and meaningful for all. I also hope that for those of you whom Santa visited, some nice hardware was left under the tree!

To start of the new year, I thought we should move to more "combat accuracy" rather than bullseye accuracy. By this, I mean close is good enough....rather than tight groups. Hopefully for those of us whose eyes are aging some, we can have more fun.

One of the classic combat drills is the so-called Mozambique Drill. Also known as the Failure to Stop Drill, or Failure Drill, the Mozambique Drill is a close-quarter shooting technique in which the shooter fires twice into the torso of a target (known as a double tap to the center of mass), momentarily assesses the hits, then follows them up with a carefully aimed shot to the head of the target. The third shot should be aimed to destroy the brain or, for a more immediate effect, the brain stem, killing the target and preventing the target from retaliating. The drill was added to the modern technique of gunfighting by Jeff Cooper based on the experience of one of his students, Mike Rousseau, while on duty in Mozambique. Rousseau was later killed in action in the Rhodesian War.

Course of Fire for This Month's Match

Please download the target - HERE
The target is a version of the standard IDPA (www.idpa.com) target which has been shrunk to 1/3 size.

Low-Ready Position Front

1) Two Hands

2) 3 Yards (Up Close and Personal)

3) There will be three strings designated A, B, C. Each string will start at the low-ready position and as fast as you can safely shoot, fire two to the center of the chest (the circle), then immediately one to the "head" region. Accuracy is important, but so is speed when it comes to stopping the attack. Work on accuracy first, then speed will follow. (Of course follow all rules of your range)

Low-Ready Position Side

4) After each string, MARK THE SHOTS with that string's letter. In the end, there should be a total of 9 shots with 3 marked A, 3 marked B and 3 marked C. (See example below after 2 strings.) 

Example of Marked Target
after 2 Strings of Fire

 The goal is to have consistent, well placed shots in a short amount of time.

Shots in the center and head are worth 5 points, shots in the middle ring are worth 3 points and shots in the outer ring are worth 1 point. A miss is a -5. Therefore, a perfect Mozambique string is worth 15 points. A perfect score for each target (3 strings) is 45 points. (e.g. If you get one in the middle, miss totally on the second and get the last in the head you score 5-5+5=5 points for that string.)

5) Email a photo or scan of each of your targets (remember you can enter as many different guns in as many classes as you want) to postalmatch@gmail.com. Don't forget to put your name, gun, class and score on each entry. If you use a shot timer (see below - Extra Challenge), put down your string times too.

Winner will be determined by best overall score. Ties will be determined by best overall shot placement.
 The video below should give you an idea of how it should feel and sound.  

Extra Challenge
To add an additional level of measure, for those who are interested and also have the tools...you can add a shot timer to measure the time it takes for you to complete a string. You can then compare your string times. Again, putting bullets on target is priority, but speed is your friend. Shot timers come as stand alone units, but for those who have an iPhone, there are several Apps out there (some are free) that do the same thing. I've provided the links below. In addition there is a video demo of one app for an example.

(Note: I tried all of these with my iPhone 3G. I've read that they may not work well with the iPhone 4 although I have not yet tried them on that platform. Surefire has confirmed that they are working on an upgrade for the iPhone 4)

Surefire Shot Timer (Free)
Shot Timer Pro ($9.99)

Below is a video review of the Surefire shot timer app to give you an idea as to how it functions.
All apps function very similarly.

Since this type of match is new for me/us, let me know what you think. What is good, what could be better etc. I want all participants to enjoy the matches, so I am interested in your feedback and ideas. Email comments, critiques or ideas to: postalmatch@gmail.com

Let's Go Shooting.

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