STAGE SETUP REQUIREMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS
An “entry” at a GSSF match consists of the aggregate score from three stages; “Five to GLOCK”, “GLOCK ‘M”, and “GLOCK the Plates”. There are several different versions of “Five to GLOCK” and “GLOCK “M” for variety from match to match. GSSF matches usually erect multiple identical (at a given match) setups of the stages to facilitate getting competitors through the match in a timely fashion. Cost and acquisition of stage materials is normally the responsibility of the host club.
The cardboard target normally used is the 18” x 30” NRA D-1 “Tombstone” cardboard target. These are provided by GSSF.
An insufficiently supported wet, target will “curl” forward towards the shooter. Pasters will not stick to a wet target. Thus, if the targets get too wet, the match itself cannot proceed. Thus, some care must be taken in pre-selecting proper target stand materials and in properly erecting target assemblies so that matches may proceed, rain or shine.
Target sticks 5’ in length are preferable. It is often difficult to find 10’-length stock that can be cut in half to provide two 1”x 2” x 5’ target stand sticks. If a bundle of 12 1”x 2” x 8’ sticks is cut at 5 feet, you get 12 5’ sticks and 12 3’ sticks. The 12 3’ sticks can then be overlapped by a foot, screwed together with 1” drywall screws, thus yielding another six 5’ sticks. If a club has a table saw and table saw operator available, it is most cost effective to make 1”x 2” x 5’ target stand sticks by buying and cutting to size, readily available 2” x 4” x 10’ timbers.
When rainy match conditions are expected the best target arrangements use a target stand that leans forward towards the shooter with utilizing two 5’ target sticks. To this is firmly stapled a “backer” consisting of a D-1 target inside a 30-gallon plastic garbage bag. This backer assembly is then stapled at the top of the 5’sticks at the point on the target where the straight side of the D-1 target ends and the semi-circle portion at the top of the target begins. This generally best supports the target and places the top of the target about 70” above the ground.
The NRA D-1 target itself is then clamped to the front of the plastic-enclosed backer with two medium “binder clamps” at the top and bottom. Such clamped targets may be readily replaced when necessary without having to delay the match.
As rain is often accompanied by some wind some care should be taken to ensure that the target sticks, and target, do not “flop” back and forth loosely in the target stand and thus, expose the target to the rain. Something should be wedged behind the target sticks to firmly “jam” the target stick/target assembly forward, toward the shooter. If available, empty 12-gauge shotgun hulls often work well for this purpose.
Target heights can be varied to ensure that bullets passing through the targets come to rest safely in the impact berms. Targets are placed at different distances ranging from 15’ to 75’ from the shooting position. Target heights, distances between the targets and the shooting position, and distances between targets can be varied to fit a given range facility as long as all individual stage setups are functionally identical.
Range equipment needed for a “Five to GLOCK” setup consists of 5 such target stands for the NRA D-1 targets.
Normal range equipment needed for a “GLOCK ‘M” consists of four of the same target stands and one USPSA “Pepper Popper” or equivalent. Steel targets can vary so long as the steel erected on all individual stages are functionally identical. Steel targets are placed at 33’ to 60’ from the shooting position depending on the “GLOCK ‘M” version used. The minimum 33’ distance is most common.
The “Rimfire” and “Pocket GLOCK” (G42 Only) Divisions must always be shot in “ring and paint” mode due to the lower power of the .380/.22lr rounds. “Ring and Paint” is now the standard GLOCK ‘M setup option. Should a host club have sufficient steel targets available to do so, 3 “knock down” steel targets may be erected in the classic optional “knock down” mode rather than “ring and paint” mode on each individual stage setup.
Range equipment needed for a “GLOCK the Plates” setup consists of a “Bianchi” Plate Rack or the smaller version generally called a “Speed Rack”. The plates themselves are normally round and 8” in diameter. They may vary at a given Host club provided all plate racks used for the match are functionally identical. Again, the Plates used for the “Rimfire” and “Pocket GLOCK” Divisions must always be shot in “ring and paint” mode due to the lower power of the .380/.22lr rounds.
For locations within a one day drive of Atlanta, GA, GSSF can often supply the steel targets necessary to fully equip up to six “GLOCK the Plates” stages. By the third year of its participation in the GSSF program any GSSF host club outside of that area is expected, and host clubs within that area are requested to obtain their own steel targets sufficient to equip their own respective annual GSSF matches.
New host clubs can sometimes arrange for GSSF to finance their acquisition of such equipment. The costs of this are subsequently set against the per-match entry compensation GSSF normally pays to the host club for as many successive years of annual GSSF matches as are necessary to “pay” for the equipment provided “up front” to the new Host Club by GSSF. This is discussed further in the “Host Club Compensation” section below.
New GSSF host clubs often do not have all of the recommended equipment especially the Plate Racks. The alternative in such cases are the “all paper” options of both “GLOCK ‘M” and “GLOCK the Plates”.
The paper option of the “GLOCK ‘M” substitutes one additional cardboard target for the steel target.
The paper option for “GLOCK The Plates” utilizes five additional paper target stands as a substitute for a plate rack. When using the paper option for “GLOCK The Plates” you lose remote reset capability and therefore need two or three complete paper option stage setups to substitute for one actual plate rack with the additional target stands, personnel, and range facilities that they will entail.
NUMBER OF STAGE SETUPS REQUIRED FOR A SUCCESSFUL GSSF MATCH
We have observed that at the GSSF matches that are best received by our individual members those members are generally able to arrive, shoot their match entries, and leave in no more than about three hours. If it takes longer the member often has a negative experience and is not as likely to return to that particular match the next year nor bring new shooters with them.
A GSSF match usually runs from between 9AM to about 4 to 5PM each of the two weekend days that it is held. Generally speaking about 60% to 70% of GSSF entries are shot on Saturday and the remaining 30% to 40% on Sunday.
It is understood that a single stage setup of “Five to GLOCK” or “GLOCK ‘M” can conduct one “entry” about every 5 minutes, or about 12 per hour. Therefore, a GSSF match setup consisting of only one of each of the three stage setups (a 1/1/1 setup) can cycle about 80 entries per day, or 160 entries for the entire two-day match.
Matches that generally draw less than 200 entries from one year to another are often discontinued after being given several chances to increase in size. For a minimum sustainable GSSF match of 250 match entries the host club should plan a minimum of two each of “Five to GLOCK” and “GLOCK ‘M” and one “GLOCK the Plates” (referred to as a 2/2/1 stage setup).
For matches of 250 to 300 entries the host club should plan for a 3/3/1 or 3/3/2 setup. For matches from 300 to 400 entries the host club should plan for a 4/4/2 or better setup.
VOLUNTEER SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
It is ALWAYS better to have more setups than needed. The quicker all the GSSF member participants can be cycled through the match the better they like it and the more likely the match will experience future growth from year to year. It also reduces the workload on the individual Volunteer. Overworked Volunteers are less likely to participate the next time. The “rule of thumb” is that the Host organization needs about three Volunteers to man each stage setup. Add another 25% for relief’s, etc.
For a 2/2/1 setup the Host Club would need about (5 x 3) = 15 Volunteers plus 5 for a total of 20 Volunteers.
A 3/3/2 setup should have (8 x 3) = 24 Volunteers + 6 = 30 Volunteers
Most Volunteers do not need any special training or certification. Most Volunteer duties consist of scoring and administrating the shooting order. For those Volunteers who supervise shooters, individuals who have training and/or experience as a Range Officer at other pistol shooting competitions such as IDPA or USPSA are preferable.
HOST CLUB COMPENSATION
For the first 200 entries or less, the Host Club receives two certificates redeemable for GLOCK Firearms.
For every “round” 100 entries above 200 entries, the Host Club receives an additional certificate.
For entries “above” the last round 100 entries, the typical per-entry fee to the host club is usually set at $4. Or the Host club can pay GSSF the difference for an additional certificate.
For example, let us assume a GSSF match totaling 470 match entries. The Host club would receive 4 GLOCK certificates for entries 1-400. The remaining 70 entries can be handled either of two ways at the discretion of the Host club.
- GSSF pays the host club at $4 per entry (70 x $4 = $280). Or,
- The Host club pays GSSF the difference ((500-470) x $4 = $120) for a fifth GLOCK firearms certificate.
VOLUNTEER RANGE OFFICER COMPENSATION
Each Volunteer gets a GSSF Range Officer hat. Additionally, they receive their choice of several GLOCK products based on the number of days they volunteer. Items include magazines for GLOCK firearms, GLOCK Field knives, one-year GSSF membership, or a no-charge entry for the match itself. All competitors are eligible for match awards as well.