The standards this year counted for 120 points with USPSA President Phil Strader coming out on top with 109 points after getting a reshoot. The heat and humidity were taking their toll on the pasters causing them to fall off the targets. Strader’s score proving that working 12 hours a day is no detriment to his shooting ability, Mike Seeklander finished a further two points behind while Nils dropped 25 points on this stage.
The entire match was one of solid consistency for Jonasson, while racking up only one stage win on Stage 13, the others were all top seven finishes or higher except for Stages 5 and 9 where he finished 20th and 17th respectively. I asked Nils about his match preparation this year;
"What helped most this year was knowing I was going to shoot. My main sponsor 10-8 Performance covered all expenses and made sure I had all the equipment I needed. I shot primarily single stack between Western states single stack championships and SS Nationals except for a couple of major 3Gun match's in which I shot my M2i 9mm Limited gun. I also upgraded my shooting rig. Blade-Tech a great new sponsor, set me up with 1911 mag pouches and holster.
This year I didn't have nearly the amount of ammunition I would like, I probably shot less than 1000 rounds in practice. In fact the week before Nationals I was in Texas shooting the Larue Tactical Multigun, and I knew I was out of .40 and wouldn't have time to load any, so 10-8 ordered 1000 rounds of Atlanta Arms & Ammo black box long .40, Danny Wisner had it shipped to my door in time to zero and chrono, it's very accurate ammo." - Nils Jonasson
After finishing his match, Nils would have to wait two full days to find out if his performance was enough to beat Dave Sevigny, Rob Leatham, Max Michel et al.
Also shooting on Friday were Max Michel shooting a 1911 Sig Sauer and Top Shot competitor Blake Miguez. Just before lunch the bags were pulled from the targets and the weather began to warm up but the rain delays had taken their toll as the weary competitors did not complete their match until nearly 5pm, three hours longer than the previous day.
‘Cigar Bar II’, was a 23-round steel stage that required the shooter to engage the targets through pipes that pivoted left and right. The shooter had to rotate the pipes in order to see all the targets from each of the three positions, an act that required the shooter to put their arms inside the pipe so they could move it while shooting.
Sevigny had to reshoot this stage as a plate from the fixed Texas Star failed to fall when hit, his second run at the end of the squad was flawless. So was Leatham’s run, that is until the second port; After engaging the first set of steel from port one, Leatham turned and performed a reload before engaging the targets through the second port, as he left the second port he started his reload, and the gun caught the edge of the pipe sending it cart-wheeling through the air.
Everything seemed to stop.
The gun hit the ground and there was a collective gasp from the onlookers. It was scary to watch but for Rob Leatham it must have been agony, he backed away from the gun and turned away, his match over. The Range Officer cleared the gun and the man who was on his way to reclaiming his title was instead disqualified. As the squad moved over to the final stage, the casual banter that had existed between the shooters was no longer evident. Rob sat off to one side as the squad prepared for their final stage. A few, like Todd Jarrett came over to offer their condolences but it is hard to know what to say in a situation like this. For the record, Rob took the incident like a true sportsman, there was no argument, no yelling or cursing just quiet resignation.
For the match it was now between Dave Sevigny and Nils Jonasson, I asked Dave about his match preparation this year.
"Everything from static short courses to dynamic drills. 75% of targets had some form of hard cover or no shoot obstruction and usually at least one piece of steel in the drills. Range time was six Single Stack practice sessions, one area match, two club matches, approximately 4000 rounds total in .45 ACP.", Dave replied.