The March 2012, AZ Acts match was my first match after a 6 week long break from shooting. Work had kept me busy from February all the way through Mid-March. Whenever I go more than a month without shooting a match I feel rusty when I go back; it requires more mental focus on stage descriptions and match procedures to make sure I am doing everything correctly. Nonetheless I placed 4th/47 over all, and 2nd/16 in Open.
I used an ACOG TA11J at this match because I will be using it at the Tiger Valley Team Match April 28th-29th. That match is mostly 100-400 yard shooting with very little close range shooting. We actually had some decent distance at this match with targets at 150 yards, but I still felt using the ACOG was slower than if I had been using an Aimpoint by a small percentage. ACTS stages force us to reacquire our sights multiple times (see stages 1, 2, and 4) in the video. With a magnified optic every time I have to reacquire the sight picture after setting it down or moving to a new area it takes a fraction of a second longer to get my head in the right position to see through the scope and acquire the target; all these fractions add up for a longer stage time. Past the ranges we shoot at in ACTS, I prefer the ACOG to an Aimpoint; but no one optic can do everything optimally. Its important to try them in all these different conditions to see what compromise is best for your application.
This was also the first match I used my standard Safariland ALS holster. It retained the pistol securely throughout the match, and the mechanism didn’t get jammed up from crawling around in the sand (I’ll continue to pay attention to this over time). Even with minimal use, it is faster than my SLS safariland holsters I’ve been using for 10 years. I intend to do a test in the future comparing exactly how much faster it is.