Going to my first match - dumb question

JustinTX

Private
Minuteman
Dec 24, 2019
71
48
Got a dumb question here. I am going to my first match, no previous experience with PRS. My question is do you have time before the stage to mess around with the kestrel before you are up to shoot? Should just have all my dope on a card and use that? Just trying it envision how it works. I assume you got time to range targets and watch the wind but honestly have no idea and don’t want to piss off everyone by being all jacked up.
 

OREGUN

Alpine Orangutan
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
  • Apr 29, 2014
    1,381
    2,006
    Out West
    Typically, you’ll have time, while others shoot, to write down your dope for each target and get a wind speed/direction and have a wind call for each target too. If you shoot first on a stage, there is sometimes a little less time but everyone e is doing the same things so, people are understanding.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: nikonNUT

    M4orturnate

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 27, 2021
    503
    670
    Cleveland Ohio
    Good chance youll be first for one stage. Youll still have time but its good practice to ditch your squad after you shoot the stage before and go find targets and watch guys shoot the stage before youre up.
     

    davsco

    Private
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 1, 2014
    1,989
    1,520
    NoVa
    if your first match, let the squad know and they should let you go last at least on the first stage. that'll give time to see what everyone is doing and time to get atmospherics and target distances, dials and holds, setting scope for first target, etc.
     

    OREGUN

    Alpine Orangutan
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Apr 29, 2014
    1,381
    2,006
    Out West
    Good chance youll be first for one stage. Youll still have time but its good practice to ditch your squad after you shoot the stage before and go find targets and watch guys shoot the stage before youre up.
    Be careful with this. At bigger matches it’s not allowed. And even if it is, you need to remain with your squad as there are plenty of things you can be doing to help (spotting, scoring, time-keeping, policing brass, etc.) If the match is set up without a stage RO (most local matches). Finally, it is important to not be a distraction to the squad in front of you by charging in and getting in the way of the next squad (standing in front of the spotters, asking where the targets are, carrying off the stage description, chatting up your bud who is running the scoring device, etc.) while they are doing all the above activities.

    At your first match, your squad may not make you shoot first on any stage and at most matches, the first shooter gets a bit more leeway on time…like I said, everyone is in the same boat when the squad gets to a stage. After a few shooters, the ”on deck” guy should be pretty much ready to go when the shooter ahead finishes.
     

    M4orturnate

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 27, 2021
    503
    670
    Cleveland Ohio
    Be careful with this. At bigger matches it’s not allowed. And even if it is, you need to remain with your squad as there are plenty of things you can be doing to help (spotting, scoring, time-keeping, policing brass, etc.) If the match is set up without a stage RO (most local matches). Finally, it is important to not be a distraction to the squad in front of you by charging in and getting in the way of the next squad (standing in front of the spotters, asking where the targets are, carrying off the stage description, chatting up your bud who is running the scoring device, etc.) while they are doing all the above activities.

    At your first match, your squad may not make you shoot first on any stage and at most matches, the first shooter gets a bit more leeway on time…like I said, everyone is in the same boat when the squad gets to a stage. After a few shooters, the ”on deck” guy should be pretty much ready to go when the shooter ahead finishes.
    Im not saying charge in and fuck shit up lol. I usually stand towards the back and if i cant find the targets myself ill ask someone whos just standing around. I havent been out west yet but its common practice everywhere ive shot. Obviously make sure its not something frowned upon where youre at.
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 20, 2009
    2,362
    480
    38
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    First off the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. I'll be happy to help.

    You will have time. For small squads or if you're up early it may go quick but you have time. Here are some tips that may help.

    Get the other things done before. When you leave a stage go ahead and load your mags, zero your turrets, and get your gear ready.

    When you get to the stage look at your book and get your yardages so you can get your dope. If it's a pretty square range with little wind I'll do it either at the stage I'm at or when I get to the next stage. If there is wind I will wait to make sure my direction of both fire and wind are correct. No matter if it is a single yardage or mulitple I will go ahead and dial my turret to my first yardage. Now I don;t have to worry about that. I will set my parallax and magnification as well. Once you get your data card filled out spend your time learning where the targets are at and start rehearsing it in your mind. If you can watch a few shooters ahead of you run the stage it may help with your memory. Try to get a simple plan as you may go full potato when the stage starts. Something with a lot of moving parts will fall apart quicker than a simple plan. You will go so much farther if you don;t have to worry about the simple things. Those being:
    Not having enough rounds in your mag
    You are shooting at the wrong target
    You are shooting with the wrong dope
    You started a stage with your scope caps on or mag off or something like that
    Your bipod not being in the correct place (legs folded or not mounted or such)

    Things like that are totally avoidable and will cost you more than other things.

    After that I like to work with basic and simple kit. I only carry one bag and bipod and I make it work. I have shot well over 100 matches and don;t need half the stuff most think they do. I also don't have to manage all the extra gear I don't carry. I like an Armageddon Gear Schmedium Sand fill bag for PRS and a normal height range bipod. That along with data will pretty much get it done. I do carry a backup mag thats loaded and on my belt in case something does go wrong but I have never needed it. Get a data card you can reference data on as well.

    I hope this helps, please reach out to me if I can help in ANY way. [email protected]

    I've been there and remember getting ready and wish I had someone to reach out to those days. Super happy to help a new competitor out!

    Best of luck!
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 20, 2009
    2,362
    480
    38
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    And another thing. If you are done with your stage and up to shoot quick on the next one then go ahead and go to the next stage and just sit back and watch the shooters in the squad ahead of you. You should bring some glass to watch and get a leg up on what is going on. Don't hesitate to tell your sqaud it's your first match. I'm sure they will help you not only tackle a stage but also loan you gear if you need it. I would much rather shoot with a new guy as I can help them and it keeps my mind off the match. It won't take you long and you;ll get a good hang of things and before you know it you'll be the guy helping a new shooter! Just keep it simple and stay in it!
     

    JustinTX

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2019
    71
    48
    First off the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. I'll be happy to help.

    You will have time. For small squads or if you're up early it may go quick but you have time. Here are some tips that may help.

    Get the other things done before. When you leave a stage go ahead and load your mags, zero your turrets, and get your gear ready.

    When you get to the stage look at your book and get your yardages so you can get your dope. If it's a pretty square range with little wind I'll do it either at the stage I'm at or when I get to the next stage. If there is wind I will wait to make sure my direction of both fire and wind are correct. No matter if it is a single yardage or mulitple I will go ahead and dial my turret to my first yardage. Now I don;t have to worry about that. I will set my parallax and magnification as well. Once you get your data card filled out spend your time learning where the targets are at and start rehearsing it in your mind. If you can watch a few shooters ahead of you run the stage it may help with your memory. Try to get a simple plan as you may go full potato when the stage starts. Something with a lot of moving parts will fall apart quicker than a simple plan. You will go so much farther if you don;t have to worry about the simple things. Those being:
    Not having enough rounds in your mag
    You are shooting at the wrong target
    You are shooting with the wrong dope
    You started a stage with your scope caps on or mag off or something like that
    Your bipod not being in the correct place (legs folded or not mounted or such)

    Things like that are totally avoidable and will cost you more than other things.

    After that I like to work with basic and simple kit. I only carry one bag and bipod and I make it work. I have shot well over 100 matches and don;t need half the stuff most think they do. I also don't have to manage all the extra gear I don't carry. I like an Armageddon Gear Schmedium Sand fill bag for PRS and a normal height range bipod. That along with data will pretty much get it done. I do carry a backup mag thats loaded and on my belt in case something does go wrong but I have never needed it. Get a data card you can reference data on as well.

    I hope this helps, please reach out to me if I can help in ANY way. [email protected]

    I've been there and remember getting ready and wish I had someone to reach out to those days. Super happy to help a new competitor out!

    Best of luck!
    I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge, thank you!
     

    obx22

    Troubleshooter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 28, 2020
    433
    340
    N.C.
    On a master sheet, run all your numbers for the day. This makes a great reference if you don’t have time to run up to the minute atmospherics on a given stage, plus it helps you chart trends in the effects the weather has on your math. You may find that the numbers don’t vary much, unless you have some more extreme shifts. Fate favors the prepared.
     

    mikeshaw2

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 16, 2022
    456
    374
    NoVA for now
    I'm still a relatively new PRS/MARS shooter so take this as lessons learned

    Before you do anything else, reload mags for the next stage. There are lots of distractions and if you forget, it's a problem. AMHIK

    After you do that, look at the next stage's info. If you haven't gone thru the night before and used your ballistic calculator to write down your info, now's the time to do that. Dial the beginning setting on your scope and write down your dials/holds on either a piece of painter's tape on your wrist or a QB style wrist band.

    That way as you get to the line at the next stage, all you need to do is double check that start dial and you're not holding up the works by figuring that stuff out on the line.

    After your first match you'll end up helping in some fashion to run the stage

    The lesson I'm still learning is to not rush thru a stage and miss more. Speeding up when you're missing is the worst thing you can do. Again AMHIK

    Try not to be 'that guy' and be ready to go when the shooter before you comes off the line. I've usually got my rifle and gear ready to go, waiting on the RO to tell me to 'load and make ready.'

    There are likely more that I'm forgetting

    M
     

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 14, 2012
    8,727
    11,776
    44
    TX
    When you finish that first stage. Just stop. Breathe. You survived. Bolt back. Breathe. Mag out. Breathe. Confirm your score. Hopefully someone in your squad was shagging brass for you. Set you turrets back to zero. Load mags for next stage. Look at stage description for next stage. Make up your dope card for that stage. Hydrate. Take a leak. Take up some squad duty like spotting or running the watch.

    You’re not going to win, so don’t forget to have fun.
     

    308pirate

    Gunny Sergeant
    Banned !
    Minuteman
  • Apr 25, 2017
    21,810
    33,551
    Not really a PRS competitor but cannot overemphasize the importance of getting your gear squared away for the next stage as soon as you finish the current one.

    Nothing sucks worse than bang/click on the draw, when it should have been bang/bang, cause you forgot to refill magazines after being done one stage ago.......ask me how I know
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Speed

    JustinTX

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2019
    71
    48
    Really appreciate all the responses and info, this is helping me prepare for the match. Thank you!
     

    Nortex

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 2, 2010
    978
    148
    Texas
    In my experience if you let the match director know it is your first and typically they will put you into a helpful squad.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 2aBaC̶a̶

    JustinTX

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2019
    71
    48
    In my experience if you let the match director know it is your first and typically they will put you into a helpful squad.
    Yeah I am hoping I end up in a friendly group. Either way, I am sure it will be fun and sure beats doing chores at home for the wife on a Saturday.
     

    mikeshaw2

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 16, 2022
    456
    374
    NoVA for now
    Yeah I am hoping I end up in a friendly group. Either way, I am sure it will be fun and sure beats doing chores at home for the wife on a Saturday.
    I haven't found a not helpful squad yet. Some are better than others, but everyone's been helpful in all the matches I've shot

    M
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 308pirate

    dopeshooter.com

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 1, 2022
    20
    8
    Georgia
    I'm in the same boat man. Collecting gear now and as lost as a dizzy blonde in a debate contest. This a great thread for n00b tips.
     

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 14, 2012
    8,727
    11,776
    44
    TX
    I'm in the same boat man. Collecting gear now and as lost as a dizzy blonde in a debate contest. This a great thread for n00b tips.
    Stop collecting gear. Rifle, scope, scope rings/mount, sufficient ammo for a match, bipod, rear bag, a backpack to carry your stuff (your kid’s Pokémon back pack is good enough). Don’t worry about anything else. Tell them you are new and your squad will fall over each other to loan you gear.
     

    JustinTX

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2019
    71
    48
    Stop collecting gear. Rifle, scope, scope rings/mount, sufficient ammo for a match, bipod, rear bag, a backpack to carry your stuff (your kid’s Pokémon back pack is good enough). Don’t worry about anything else. Tell them you are new and your squad will fall over each other to loan you gear.
    I am following this guidance. I want to do a few matches and figure out what I actually need before spending money on gear.
     

    dopeshooter.com

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 1, 2022
    20
    8
    Georgia
    Stop collecting gear. Rifle, scope, scope rings/mount, sufficient ammo for a match, bipod, rear bag, a backpack to carry your stuff (your kid’s Pokémon back pack is good enough). Don’t worry about anything else. Tell them you are new and your squad will fall over each other to loan you gear.
    Haha, you don’t understand. My plinker is still in the possession of UPS somewhere between Iowa and Georgia. I don’t even have a box of ammo for it yet.
     

    TheGrabiod

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 9, 2022
    1,007
    1,805
    Northeast
    Be careful with this. At bigger matches it’s not allowed. And even if it is, you need to remain with your squad as there are plenty of things you can be doing to help (spotting, scoring, time-keeping, policing brass, etc.) If the match is set up without a stage RO (most local matches). Finally, it is important to not be a distraction to the squad in front of you by charging in and getting in the way of the next squad (standing in front of the spotters, asking where the targets are, carrying off the stage description, chatting up your bud who is running the scoring device, etc.) while they are doing all the above activities.

    At your first match, your squad may not make you shoot first on any stage and at most matches, the first shooter gets a bit more leeway on time…like I said, everyone is in the same boat when the squad gets to a stage. After a few shooters, the ”on deck” guy should be pretty much ready to go when the shooter ahead finishes.
    You must shoot different matches than any I’ve shot.

    Never seen extra time for first guy , moving ahead being allowed at big matches unless maybe if it was a blind match , next squads always seem chatty.

    Only thing I’ve seen that you mentioned being correct is needing help spotting or scoring etc but 8-10 ppl generally have plenty of eyes
     

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 14, 2012
    8,727
    11,776
    44
    TX
    I’ve never been to a match where it was expressly forbidden to bail on your squad to get an advanced look at the next stage. But, I’d say it is kind of a DB move regardless.

    And setting up your scope/binos in front of someone that is actively spotting is also a db move. As is distracting an RO- even if s/he is just another shooter in the squad.

    I’ve never seen it for centerfire matches, but I have seen “hey, don’t worry about the clock for the kids, unless it starts to drag the squad” at the 22lr level.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheGrabiod

    TheGrabiod

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Nov 9, 2022
    1,007
    1,805
    Northeast
    Agree except for the bail to go get ready for the next stage.

    Seems like you need to if you are one of the first shooters to give yourself time to find targets , make a card etc. Not much time once your whole squad is don’t shooting and at the next stage
     
    • Like
    Reactions: RobertB

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 20, 2009
    2,362
    480
    38
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    I see it very common to walk to the next stage if you’re up to shoot early. I see a lot of competitors from the stage behind us at our stage watching. Not saying it’s wrong or right but it can be common practice. Many times a shooter will help call shots until it is their time to shoot and once done they will move along. I think you need to do it with consideration as to know there are enough people there to call shots and help and I usually don’t do it unless I’m first to shoot and the squad is about done. Different matches can be different though. Bottom line, be there if you’re needed.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheGrabiod

    JustSendit

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 21, 2019
    606
    494
    I see it very common to walk to the next stage if you’re up to shoot early. I see a lot of competitors from the stage behind us at our stage watching. Not saying it’s wrong or right but it can be common practice. Many times a shooter will help call shots until it is their time to shoot and once done they will move along. I think you need to do it with consideration as to know there are enough people there to call shots and help and I usually don’t do it unless I’m first to shoot and the squad is about done. Different matches can be different though. Bottom line, be there if you’re needed.
    The guys shooting 1-2-3, that makes sense to move ahead of your squad to get ready for the next stage. What I don’t agree with is the guy, and there’s ALWAYS several, who leaves his squads as soon as he’s done shooting. This guy then bothers everyone in the squad ahead of him asking about the stage and targets. This guy is number 9 in his squad to shoot the stage.. yet there he is.

    Coincidently that guy is also wearing a jersey and doesn’t bother to ever help glass. I don’t know it just works out that way.
     

    RobertB

    Manners Stocks Support Team
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Aug 20, 2009
    2,362
    480
    38
    Oak Grove, Louisiana
    The guys shooting 1-2-3, that makes sense to move ahead of your squad to get ready for the next stage. What I don’t agree with is the guy, and there’s ALWAYS several, who leaves his squads as soon as he’s done shooting. This guy then bothers everyone in the squad ahead of him asking about the stage and targets. This guy is number 9 in his squad to shoot the stage.. yet there he is.

    Coincidently that guy is also wearing a jersey and doesn’t bother to ever help glass. I don’t know it just works out that way.
    Well, you’re not wrong! He’s also the same guy that when you take your last shot on a stage he’s standing there asking you what wind you held.

    That’s when it’s good to tell him what you held but leave out the part you already had .6Rt dialed in 😂
     

    JustSendit

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 21, 2019
    606
    494
    Well, you’re not wrong! He’s also the same guy that when you take your last shot on a stage he’s standing there asking you what wind you held.

    That’s when it’s good to tell him what you held but leave out the part you already had .6Rt dialed in 😂
    “How many clicks up on your bipods are you going?”
    “RO are you calling hits? I saw the target move.”

    A few other quotes from the same guy!
     
    • Haha
    Reactions: RobertB