Last week I competed at the USPSA Single Stack Nationals hosted by PASA Park in Barry, IL. This match is a single division event and that means everyone shoots division approved model 1911’s and appropriate gear. Over 300 competitors, including 38 grandmaster and master class level shooters, took aim on the 14 challenging courses of fire that included a 25 yard fix-timed standards, an all steel stage and plenty of tough shots.
I have competed in this event a number of years both before it became a sanctioned USPSA National Championship and when it was known as the Single Stack Classic. I am a huge fan of the stages at this match. They remind me of when I first started shooting with my dad in upstate New York. Many skills are tested and I so enjoy the challenge. It it also a trip down memory lane to make the pilgrimage back to Barry, IL where I shot my first of many USPSA nationals. Like so many of the competitions at PASA, this one runs like a finely tuned machine. The staff is friendly, proficient and works tirelessly to do their best to make sure shooters have a safe and fair match. A huge thank you to all of them!
My performance at the Area 1 Championships the week prior left me quite inspired to focus a bit more on that front sight. I worked hard the two days I had to train before I left for the Single Stack. When I arrived in Illinois, I felt good, well rested and ready to give it my all. It was a departure from the somewhat panicked feelings I have had between travel issues, hard to train in weather and airline misplaced luggage for this match in past years.
I was also excited to shoot my new gun. The talented Pete Single customized a Smith & Wesson Pro Series 9mm 1911 that shoots like a dream. Not only is it beautiful, it’s one of those guns that makes it feel like it’s easy to hit the A-zone. Training with my new toy leading up to the Single Stack and Area 1 Championships was a joy. In addition to all the metal smith work, customization and precision checkering, the gun has Warren Tactical Sights, a Stan Chen Magwell and VZ Grips. I used the same load I compete in USPSA Production and IDPA ESP/SSP; ASYM 147 gr. 9mm with Vihta Vuori powder and Starline Brass.
When I arrived at my hotel in Quincy, IL I had an awesome surprise waiting for me – a brand new Safariland ELS rig in the prettiest blue ostrich print! I immediately set it up, dry fired with it and then brought it to the range with me to compete the next day. A huge thank you to Bobby McGee of Safariland for having it made. I love it!
Rudy Project Ability eye protection, Salomon trail runners, my AgilityGuard and Gemini jersey rounded out the rest of the gear I have come to rely on when I compete.
I had a great time with a fun squad of shooters. Emanuel Bragg is an amazing competitor and though he suffered from quite a few malfunctions, when his gun ran it sure was impressive to watch. Doni Spencer and Sara Dunivin were also on our squad. Sara ran into issues at chrono but she continued to prove she’s a great competitor. I haven’t shot with Doni in many years and it was wonderful to be able to both compete with her and catch up on old times. I also had the chance to meet shooters I hadn’t had the pleasure of shooting with before. A big thank you to everyone on our squad. We had a good time and worked together very well in both the rain and the heat.
I competed on Friday and was on a plane back to Montana on Saturday afternoon so I missed a lot of the top names shooting on the final day of the match. I received great news in several text messages from friends after I landed that I had placed first in my class and among the women!
Congratulations to all those who placed in their class and special categories and extra special congrats to Nils Jonasson, on his first Single Stack National Championship Title. He is one of only three people in history to claim it!
A huge thank you to Paul Hyland for all his hard work in covering this year’s Single Stack! You can also listen to more about the match in this month’s podcast.
Next up for me is the NRA Bianchi Cup! I will be heading out on another flight soon, but before that, it’s Mother’s Day. I am so blessed to have a mom that has always supported and believed in me. Thank you so much, Mom!!! As a mother myself, it’s such a special holiday and it fills me with joy when I think of how fortunate I am to have my family. Life certainly has its challenges. With each passing day I am more and more thankful that I have have been granted the chance to be a mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and mother figures that make our lives so special!