A LOT goes on behind the scenes of the largest indoor USPSA match in the country. Hammer-Down Practical Shooters took over the weekly USPSA match at SharpShooters in July of 2021, and they never looked back. Every week, 40+ shooters gather starting around 4:30 in the afternoon to setup and run the largest indoor USPSA match in the country.
The Hammer-Down Practical Shooters USPSA Match averages over 40 shooters per week. It didn’t used to be that way. Prior to Hammer-Down taking over, a good match was 25 people, and the match didn’t utilize all three shooting bays. Once the participation grew to 40+ with an almost guaranteed waitlist, we agreed to give Hammer-Down the keys to the kingdom on Monday nights.
Indoor USPSA Match Prep
Prep starts at 4:30PM every Monday. The first rule of the match really has nothing to do with shooting the match itself:
If you don’t help, you don’t shoot.
Said another way, if you’re going to shoot the match, you must help setup, run, or break down the match. First, the volunteers sweep up the brass. If you’ve never stepped right on a fresh brass cartridge casing and had your foot go right out from under you, are you really even living life?
Then the volunteer shooters bring in lots and lots of walls, barrels, etc. from storage behind the range. There’s a connex container full of nothing but competition “stuff”, which includes everything Hammer-Down needs to build and run an entire match.
Six Stage Indoor USPSA Match
Part of what makes the Hammer-Down Practical Shooters USPSA match so great is that there are six stages across three shooting bays. Setting up a six-stage Indoor USPSA Match takes work, and that work is done by the volunteer shooters. Again, if you don’t help, you don’t shoot.
During the setup the first of six stages, the same thing is happening simultaneously on all three shooting bays. The volunteers build the first three stages, one in each bay, before the match. Then, after all three “squads” of shooters have successfully completed the first three stages, everyone pitches in to break down the first three stages and build stages 4, 5, and 6.
New shooters are always welcome to join the match. If you’re a new shooter, you do still have to register at Practiscore. On match day Mondays, new shooters need to arrive no later than 5pm. You’ll have to do the SharpShooters safety waiver (including the safety video) and attend a new shooter orientation. You can complete the SharpShooters safety waiver before you arrive by clicking here.
If you’ve every observed an indoor USPSA match, you know it can be intimidating to a new shooter. But remember: everyone you’re watching was once a new shooter themselves. All the Hammer-Down shooters are welcoming to new shooters, and they’ll always help you learn the ropes.
Also, the “if you shoot, you help” mantra applies to new shooters as well. Helping setup and break down is the best way to get involved in the match and get to know other shooters.
The Flow of Information
The Hammer-Down Organizers share the next week’s new stages every Wednesday. Then registration on Practiscore opens at 5PM on Thursday afternoon. The match sells out quickly, and there’s always a waiting list.
Promptly at 6:30PM on Match day Monday, the Match Director gathers all the shooters in the first shooting bay for stage intros, safety brief, and announcements. Then, the 45 (ish) shooters break into their respective squads to go to stage 1, 2, or 3.
During each stage, after each shooter, everyone has a role:
- Be the Scorer.
- Run the timer.
- Work the pasters.
- Police the brass.
If you’re shooting, you’re helping.
When it’s time to switch stages, Squad 1 moves to bay 2, Squad 2 moves to bay 3, and Squad 3 moves to bay 1. When everyone has completed 3 stages, it’s time to break down these three stages and build the next three stages. The same process happens simultaneously on all three shooting bays to create the 6 stage match.
Break It Down
When the match is done, usually around 9:30PM, it’s clean up time. If you shot, you help. Break down and cleanup takes much less time than setup.
Here’s the stats for a typical Hammer-Down Indoor USPSA Match:
- 3 Bays
- 3 Squads
- 45 shooters
- 6 Stages
- ~150 rounds
- 3.5 hours
The Match Director posts the results on Facebook later that evening, and then begins creating the stages for the next match. New stages are shared on Wednesday. Registration opens Thursday 5pm sharp.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat every Monday night. Join us!