What a fun way to kick off the 2015 competition season and the S&W IDPA Indoor National Championships with stage 14 titled Carry the Fallen and at the match we raised over $2000 for veteran suicide awareness For more information about this great cause visit CarryTheFallen.org So this week’s video is a little different from my traditional match video update I’m going to kind of give you some insight on some of the thins I look for when I am about to tackle a stage and I am starting out with this stage because it had a lot of things that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with shooting At the buzzer you had to plant the flag and engage targets 1 & 2 in tactical sequence 1-2-1 with 2 rounds each while moving to position 2 or you could engage them like I did from cover in any order at position 2 you had to engage T3-6 with 2 rounds each using cover. There were 3 distinct challenges that set this stage that set it apart from others. The 1st one was actually planting the flag. The ceiling was pretty low. The flag pole was very tall. Of course you had the actual flag that could have flapped around and then the added challenge of putting that flagpole into a pretty small sized hole. So what I did is I actually got a pretty high grip on the flag with my strong hand and I made sure I clamped down on all that extra material. The last thing I wanted was the flag flapping around my face and obscuring my vision. With my support hand I grabbed as low as possible and that was so I get get as much control on the flag when I wanted to plant it. I wanted to keep the flag as close to parallel to the ground as I could. It ended up being at about 45 degrees. I had a really aggressive stance at the start because the last thing I wanted to was drag the top of that flag pole across the top of the ceiling and that would not have been a good thing… for sure. The 2nd challenge was with the backpack. Fortunately they used a pretty small pack and it only had about 20lbs of weight in it Now, 20 lbs on me is going to be different than someone like my Team S&W Teammate, Brandon Wright He’s a pretty big, broad shouldered guy. But it is what it is and you just have to deal with it. I was able to get it set up on me so that it had the least amount of affect on my draw and reload. I really cinched down on that chest strap and shoulder straps so that I could get as high as possible on my shoulders. You’ll notice from the picture that Anthony Cruz of The Shooter’s Mindset He helped me secure some of the straps of the backpack because I had it cinched down so tightly there’s a lot of excess strap material that could have gotten hung up on my gun or my magazines so big thank you to him for helping me out with that. The only time I noticed the backpack being a significant issue was when I was engaging my last target on the slide lock reload and you can see that it took quite a bit of time – I’ve slowed things down in slo-mo – to reengage that last target with 1 round and that’s because of that additional weight I had a hard time getting the gun to stop. I had to take that extra moment to make sure I got a down zero on that target. Finally the last challenge with this stage was the lighting The final position, everything was fine. I was in the light, the targets were well lit. No problem. But for the first targets that was low light and when you’re in that variable lighting and it changes from light to dark, you have to deal with that, make sure you take that little bit of extra time in order to make sure you get accurate hits. I want to say huge thank you to the staff. Until next time… Be safe & have FUN!