Hard as Hell 3 Gun 2014

Backgound

2014 was my thirteenth year competing in action shooting events. Matches have started becoming routine after going to the same ones year after year. Even with the more challenging events I go to like the Ironman 3 Gun I know exactly what to expect. The stages may change, but the skillset required to complete the matches remains relatively the same. Many of the same people I shoot with at Ironman recommended the Purgatory Flats Hard as Hell Multi-Gun Match (HAH) as a next level challenge.  After watching John McClain’s videos of the 2013 match and seeing how challenging and physical they were I knew I had to attend. HAH is held at the Southern Utah Practical Shooters, Inc Range.  I spoke with the match director, Ken Nelson, about the match for more details. He assured me that the 2013 blizzard was a fluke and the weather in St. George in December is typically in the 50s-60s during the day.  GWACS Armory generously donated some CAV-15 MKII receivers to the prize table to cover my slot for the match.

Rules/Equipment

There are a few differences in regards to equipment rules for the HAH match. As long as a gun is legal in your division, you can use a different gun for every stage, where most matches require you to use the same rifle, pistol, and shotgun throughout the match. Shooters are also not allowed to strip off chest rigs or other ammunition carrying equipment once a stage has started. Once you watch the videos you will see why some people might want to. There are a lot of physical challenges that could be handled more easily with minimal gear. Lastly because of the length of the stages, coaching is expressly allowed because memorizing the stages entirely would prove difficult. I chose to compete in Open division with the following guns: Shotgun: VEPR-12 with Vortex SPARC 2. I had two coupled 12 round mags I would start stages with and reload with MOLOT 8 rounders out of my chest rig. This is the same gun I reviewed in RECOIL a year ago. Pistol: Suarez International Red Dot Glock with Trijicon RM01. The RMR made hitting all the further pistol steel and one handed shooting I had to do a breeze. Rifle: CAV-15 MKII lower with 16″ mid-length upper and Vortex 1-6 Razor HD with JM Reticle. I brought a bipod but there was nowhere to use it. Close Range Rifle: Because we could swap guns out for specific stages I used a post-dealer sample Brethren Arms BAP9 for all the close range rifle work. I had an original Vortex SPARC on this gun. I used all of them as much as I could in the 2 months preceding the HAH match at local matches and teaching my multi-gun competition classes.

The Trip

I drove up to St. George with two other shooters from Phoenix. The drive only took 7 hours and this was a nice change of pace from some of the other events I go to that require two days of driving there and back. The SUPS range is located only about 20 minutes outside of St. George, again increasing the convenience factor of attending the match and making it generally more pleasant. Ranges by necessity are often located in the middle of nowhere so you might have up to an hour drive in the morning and back to the hotel at night, or the choice of camping on the range. With good restaurant and lodging options so close by, it really made attending the match feel more like a real vacation.

Day 1

The match was supposed to have an alternating AM/PM schedule for shooters so we showed up at 10AM on the first day of the match (12-5-2014) so we had time to hit the sight in range and check our zeros. We showed up to our first stage at noon with the rest of our squad consisting of about 13 shooters. One thing that stood out immediately to me about the match was there were no dedicated Range Officers. Most major matches have dedicated ROs assigned to each stage to make sure scoring is consistent and squads move on schedule. I did not see any scoring or consistency issues from squad to squad, but the lack of dedicated ROs to brief the shooters and keep things moving did cause the match to drag. A lot of this is simply trying to figure out what the stage description means and shooters walking through the stages more than they would normally with an RO to explain it to them. Fortunately our squad was filled with people who had RO and match logistics experience so we were able to work things out. We did have to ask the MD how penalties applied in some cases. The MD has already announced that there will be dedicated match staff for next year, which is a good call to keep long stages like these moving along.

Stage 7

IMG_5339 Our squad shot in alphabetical order with the first shooter rotating to the bottom on each stage so no one had to go first twice. This put me third in the stack for our first stage, Stage 7. Stage 7 involved pistol shots to 50 yards, close range shotgun, flying clay, slug targets at 50 yards, and rifle targets at 200-300 yards. Stage 7 went pretty well for me until I got to the rifle portion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHFp2tVEug

Stage 8

IMG_5643Fortunately I was able to borrow a bolt group from squad mate Ryan, and test fire my rifle between stages. On Stage 8, the obstacle course I was up second. I wish I had been lower in the stack because watching others go through it made better techniques for handling the course more apparent. This stage required pistol shots to 50 yards, and rifle shots to 100 yards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXSjjYBrWWQ That was our last stage for day 1. We finished up at about 6:30PM. It became apparent by the end of day 1 that the AM/PM schedule would not work for the volume of shooters and the length of the stages. All shooters would need to be back at 7:30AM to start shooting. Our squad would need to get 4 stages done on day 2 to stay on schedule.

Day 2

Stage 9

Back at the range on day 2 I was first up on stage 9. I elected to use the BAP9 for the rifle portion as it was all 25 yards or less. The shotgun started unloaded in the drag barrel, so I put my coupled 12 round mags in my dump pouch; as you can see in the video they didn’t stay there. There’s really no good way to carry mags that large while doing this stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ostjd0uHxAk

Stage 1

This was the trench warfare stage. Lots of shotgun targets in the trench, then some pistol targets starting at 50 yards, then rifle from 100-600 yards. I was last in the squad on this stage so I stayed behind the berm on the rifle portion waiting to call hits for the shooter when they got up there. While hanging out back there sitting I apparently scooped up a mag well full of dirt in my Glock. I realized this when I went to make ready and sand and pebbles fell out of it. I quickly field stripped it, blew it out, and reassembled it without issues on the stage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8u3QjmyZrA We did not stop for a lunch break. Fortunately because the range was so close to town Tactical Performance Center ordered pizza and had it delivered to the ranges. I’m not normally a fan of Dominos, but it tasted pretty good after running around the range all morning.

Stage 2

On this stage we had to carry an egg in one hand whenever shooting pistol. And we had to ground it whenever shooting long guns. Rifle started slung on our backs and all the rifle targets were close range so I used the BAP9 starting with the stock folded slung on my back with the muzzle in my dump pouch. Having to start with the shotgun unloaded was a pain again because of my huge mags. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPIBi_ZEUWY You may notice I needed more coaching on these stages where we had to sweep through the same bay twice with two different guns. When it is just one gun per bay it’s pretty simple to sweep through and shoot them as you see them. This was more complicated. Resetting these stages also doesn’t allow for much walk-through time.

Stage 3

IMG_7081This was the last stage of day 2. The HAH Rollercoaster is not nearly as scary as it looks, and turned out to actually be pretty fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC5MDxFBA5Q We finished shooting at about 6:300PM again, getting our 4 stages knocked out.

Team Shoot-Off

Saturday Night was the Silencerco Team Scramble.  Tactical Performance Center provided dinner for all competitors while we were waiting to shoot.  FNH-USA provided a SCAR MK16S, P-12 Shotgun, and .45 FNX there were outfitted with Silencerco suppressors and Crimson Trace lasers. This was a fun event with each team coming out and shooting to theme music played by a DJ while the spectators in the bleachers watched on. John Brooks and I entered the event and shot it cold getting the fastest time over other teams that paid for multiple entries and dry fired the heck out of the guns. Shooting different guns all the time like I have been for articles helps adapt to different platforms more easily. The top 4 teams and 4 random teams were selected for the team shoot off Sunday night before the awards ceremony.

Day 3

Stage 4 IMG_7313We started again at 7:30 with 3 stages left to go. Stage 4 had a rock climbing wall we had to traverse. I’ve never done anything like that before, so I practiced a few times before we started shooting. Brooks helped coach me through the right technique to use and got me through it on the stage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZdl-x3BiPo

Stage 6

This one really did not go according to plan for me. It’s a good example of the snowball effect of one part of the plan falling apart and other things going wrong. Fatigue after 3 days on the range was definitely a factor here. Things went decently after I got to the shotgun portion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwEVWo-cNkM

Stage 5

IMG_7792 This was the last stage of the match. At this point everyone on the squad was worn out and ready to get it over with and head home. This felt like it was the most physically demanding, I’m not sure if that is because it was the last stage or if it was that hard. With all the obstacles on this stage I timed out with a few targets left. A lot of people came close to timing out or did on this stage. There was just a lot of things to get done in 300 seconds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCADH0UpBvM We wrapped up shooting the last stage at about 2:30, then it was time for the team shoot offs and awards.

Team Match Shoot-Offs

The team shoot offs pitted the 8 teams from the previous night against each other in a man vs man format. Shooters had to complete their portion of the course in relay format. First shooter doing rifle, running back tagging shooter for shotgun, then shotgun shooter runs back and tags pistol shooter, then pistol shooter runs back and tags team mate to shoot stop plate with pistol. Brooks and I were up in the first relay so we didn’t see anyone else shoot it. Unfortunately we did not understand the stage description and failed to swap out for the pistol stop plate, thus getting knocked out of the shoot offs immediately. 1924326_428052590678182_3451223693674400763_n Brian Nelson and Wyatt Gibson (right) defeat The Kidney Twins (left) to win the Team Shoot Off

Results

Awards were done by 5:00. The Practiscore system used at the match no doubt expedited this. Open division had 20 shooters with Travis Gibson in first, Wyatt Gibson was 2nd with 94.9% of his father’s score, and Sean Smith was third with 93.2%. Limited had 19 shooters and was won by Adam Riser, Donovan Montross was second with 95.3%, and Scott McGregor was third with 94.2%. Tac-Scope had 74 shooters finish the match with Andy Peterson in first, Josh Wakamatsu in second with 98.8%, and Brian Nelson in third with 98.5%. I ended up 10/20 in open with 64.6% of the division winner’s score. Hard as Hell was the first match I’ve shot in a long time that I felt was truly challenging. I completed all the challenges wearing the same full gear and chest rig for every stage. I found myself thinking several times during the match “can I actually do this on the clock?”. Challenges like this are good. It forced me out of my comfort zone. Having an event like Hard as Hell to look forward to for next year helps motivate me to work on physical fitness and difficult shooting in the meantime.

What is Old is New Again

Talking with Kurt Miller and other veteran 3-gunners at the match, they said that HAH is very close to what 3 Gun originally was when it started in the 1980s with the Soldier of Fortune Matches.  Sterling White also said that HAH was closer to what 3 Gun was like 15-20 years ago.  More physical, hard shooting, and less memory games.  Somewhere along the line 3 Gun turned into what it is today, and I don’t think it’s always a good thing.  Ken Nelson told me he runs HAH because he feels it is the kind of event that needs to happen; even though they make less money off of it for the club than other events with shorter stages and faster reset times that allow for more shooters.  Ken also speculated that the Global War on Terror and returning veterans are influencing the type of competitive shooting people would want to do.  Many returning veterans want a venue to practice the skills they learned in the military and used over seas.  Looking back the start of 3-Gun in the 1980s was likely similarly influenced by Vietnam War veterans.  Another consideration is the most commonly cited reason people have for owning guns today is self-defense.  Many want an arena to practice these skills in.  I’ve seen the same phenomenon with the 2-Gun Action Challenge Match in Tucson.  Hopefully more ranges start running similar physically challenging practical events to meet the market demand for them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTxy3B6R-Yo

Thanks to Squad 204

I do want to give a shout out to everyone on squad 204 for making this a fun event, you were all great to shoot and compete with. It’s rare to go to a match where you feel like everyone on the squad is working together to help everyone else do better on the stages. In particular junior shooters Jalise and Justine Williams, really impressed me. At 10 and 11 years old they had a great don’t give up mindset and showed great sportsmanship. They’ve only been shooting for a year and their skills are impressive for their age. Watch them shoot their full size Robinson Armament XCRs, Springfield XDs, and shotguns that are longer than they are tall and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Special thanks to their mother, Jaime, for taking photos of our squad that you see in my article here. Follow their Facebook athlete page here. IMG_5394 IMG_5602 IMG_7153IMG_7633 IMG_6616

Posted in CAV-15, Competitions, Red Dot Glock, VEPR-12 | Leave a comment

Multi-Gun Competition Classes

6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c715373f970b-500wiI have been competing in action shooting sports since 2001.  I will readily admit that I wasn’t even a middle of the pack shooter at local matches until 2005-2006.  I learned a lot about gun handling and marksmanship shooting matches.  I learned through trial and error and watching better shooters.  This took a long time, but I had time, money for ammo, and the desire to persevere.  When I started getting newer shooters into competition shooting it became apparent to me that the diverse skill set I often take for granted involved so many different things that learning them match to match might be too frustrating for novices.

6a0133ec985af6970b01bb07ba35fb970d-500wiSome clubs do offer training for shooters new to action shooting sports; but the ones I have seen were primarily safety and scoring classes and did nothing to effectively prepare a shooter to actually participate.  If someone only gets to shoot at a Texas Star for example on one stage and they don’t do it right they may have to wait until the next week or next month to try to get it right again.  If someone does not know how to effectively use barricades and props for support on rifle stages they may end up missing a lot and get frustrated.  Frustration at matches often goes hand in hand with expending more ammunition making attending the match even more costly.  Most people are also not introspective enough to be aware of what they did wrong or what they could improve upon the next time.  With these things in mind I developed a curriculum to prepare shooters to attend matches by giving them the knowledge and skills they need so they don’t have to learn the hard way on the clock.  I am currently offering two courses through Suarez International; Intro to Multigun Competition and Intermediate Multi-Gun Skills.

6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c715375d970b-500wiIntro to Multi-gun Competition covers match safety rules, match etiquette, scoring methods, and equipment divisions.  I cover how to move safely on a course of fire without breaking safety rules.  We cover shooting around and through common props and using supported positions.  Shooting for speed on paper vs shooting for points.  How to engage targets on the move relative to the course of fire.  We also shoot match specific target systems like Texas Stars and Plate Racks.  I can’t cover everything in one class, however the goal is to give the student the skills to successfully complete local match stages and to be able to self-identify what they can improve upon.

6a0133ec985af6970b01bb07ba36a2970d-500wiIntermediate Multi-Gun Skills is intended to prepare the student for the challenges they will face at a major match.  We shoot out as far as the rifle range will allow.  We work with a variety of props and awkward shooting positions.  We engage slug targets at 50-100 yards.  We shoot at aerial clay targets when available.  Pistol shooting is done on more complex targets and at farther distances.  Being able to attempt these challenges multiple times gives students the confidence to handle those shooting problems when they face them at a major match.

6a0133ec985af6970b01b7c7153dca970b-500wiAt the end of both classes we assemble all the individual skills together into stages to test it all under pressure.  Here’s the video of the final drill from my recent Intermediate Multi-Gun Skills Class.

Students advance at different rates, but everyone I’ve taught has taken something from class and applied it to their next match.  If you’re a tactical/self defense oriented shooter and you’ve considered competing I encourage you to come to these classes so we can take the skill set you have along with the will to prevail and show you how to apply it to action shooting sports.

Discuss on the competition forums here

Russell Phagan
Suarez International Specialist – Competitive Shooting
http://www.SinistralRifleman.com
Posted in Competitions, Training | Leave a comment

RECOIL Web Articles

I’ve been contributing articles to RECOIL web.  Here are a few of the more recent ones.

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See All Open Sight

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Windham Weaponry SRC-308 Part 1

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Windham Weaponry SRC-308 Part 2

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2GACM November 2014

11th/56 this time. This match was 2/3 physical, 1/3 shooting.

Still using the Vortex 1-6 on my rifle, and getting back in the groove of using my red dot Glock.

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2GACM October 2014: Match Mindset and Skills

2 Gun Action Challenge Match October 2014
I have not shot a local match with as much controversy as this one in a while.  The 2 Gun Action Challenge Match in Tucson recently got a batch of MGM Targets steel including some double spinners.  The double spinner is a challenging target requiring decent marksmanship, timing, and patience.  See my video on how to shoot the MGM Double Spinner here.

Most competitors had not shot one of these targets before.  For a new shooter it can be daunting, but it can be done.  I first encountered some of these targets in the mid 2000s at the MGM Targets Ironman 3 Gun.  I and others had to figure out how to shoot them on the clock and we got better at it over the course of the match, and better at it over the course of years encountering them. Some people will write these targets off as carnival props.  I would disagree with that sentiment.  The plates roughly represent the areas of the human head and center vitals and they move.  Until we have target drones that are cost effective to move around the range gravity or mechanical moving targets are as good as it will get for many of us to practice live fire.

Don’t Game it, Do the hard things.
Local matches are organized practices sessions that prepare us for larger major events, or simply allow us to test our skills and gear month to month.  A local match is the time to fail and try to get better the next time.  In the end only 3 of us rotated both the rifle and pistol double spinners.  Most shooters could not do it with rifle and only a fraction could do it with handgun. Many attempted and gave up because their marksmanship was not up to the task, or in some cases fired enough rounds to count it as engaged and moved on.  Let me reiterate, a local match is the time to learn how to do these things and simply opting out when there are no prizes or trophies is selling ones self short.

Skill and Experience vs Gear
The match staff got a lot of feedback during and after the match about how unreasonable or impossible the double spinner was.  Some said they are used to shooting CQB distances only and they weren’t ready for it.  Some said the equipment the 3 of us had is what allowed us to rotate it.  Equipment matters a lot less than skill level.

One shooter did it with a .308 with red dot (after the paint had been shot off and the target obscured into the backdrop).  It is true that .308 rotates it more easily, but .308 is a disadvantage on every other stage at the match due to capacity, more recoil, and muzzle blast.  Without the right skill the .308 alone would not have allowed him to do this.

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Karl Kasarda shoots his FG42 repro in .308. It may move steel harder, but it makes everything else at the match harder.

Another shooter did it with a lightweight 16″ AR15 with low mass carrier, and some argued his minimal sight disruption with this system allowed him to shoot faster and rotate the target because of more rapid hits.  This particular shooter is also a veteran of multiple Ironman matches, so again I believe the skill mattered more.

1st/47 shooters

Rifle: GWACS Armory CAV-15 MKII with Sionics 16″ upper, Suarez International Kompressor and Vortex Razor HD 1-6x JM

Pistol: Suarez International Glock 17 with Warren Tactical Sights and Inforce APL.

My rifle had no real inherent advantages over other rifles used at the match.  I shot with the scope on 2x to simply get a better view with the paint gone.  My normal method of double tapping the plates did not work because the position we were shooting from was not stable enough and the transition time between shots was better spent moving to the other plate than trying to recover quickly enough for a second shot on the same plate as it moved rearward.  Ultimately I rotated it shooting top-bottom-top-bottom until it spun 360.  I have shot these targets a lot, and I have done it before with a red dot only.  The shooting platform made it harder, and I figured it out 0n the clock and made it work.  Problem solving on the clock is one of the more valuable things people can get out of shooting matches.

Will to Win; Don’t Give Up
Developing the will to prevail despite adversity is another important factor.  I heard people complain that the lack of stability made their chosen equipment less effective, such as scopes blacking out as eye relief changed under recoil.  I also heard complaints that the body position required to support made it harder or was a factor in giving up.  If people are experiencing these things in a match environment and they ostensibly own rifles for self defense or SHTF purposes they are most certainly selling themselves short if they don’t adapt and overcome.

Going to similar events all the time can indeed make people complacent about their skills.  One way to shake this up is to go to different events and see what they have to offer.  I give credit to the 2GACM crew for not letting their match stagnate and changing it up.  Too many matches today are based around mean equipment and mean skill level.  A match is more interesting when it tests “can this be done at all” vs “how fast can it be done”.

The other stages were typical 50 yard close range events.  Stage 4 (the last one in the video) also caused people some problems.  I did not shoot it as clean as I would have liked, but it was worse for others.  My friend that used an RMR equipped Glock did better on this one than I did.

This was the first match I’ve used the Vortex 1-6 Razor HD at.  I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to transition to using thanks to the daylight visible center illuminated dot.  I will be doing a review of this optic after I get some more matches in with it.

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2014 TIGER Valley Team Match

Background

TIGER Valley of Waco, TX is a world class shooting facility that regularly holds various competitive events. It is one of the only facilities that hosts open registration tactical team matches. From 2009-2012 TIGER Valley ran annual 4 man tactical team competitions. In 2013 the match was cancelled at the height of the national ammo shortage. For 2014 the match was rebooted as a 2 man team format making it easier for competitors to coordinate with friends to attend. Shotgun was also eliminated from the course of fire making it a rifle/pistol match and thus logistically easier to run, and easier for traveling competitors to attend.

Match Director TJ Pilling started running the team match after noting forum posters complaining that they could not attend events like the national SWAT competition. The team match is open for anyone of any skill level to attend, though without the right skill set and an appropriate level of physical fitness the match can be very challenging to a novice. TJ has applied his experience as a Garland, TX SWAT officer and precision marksman to the stage designs. To make it safe for everyone of any skill level to attend, any time team members move on a stage rifles must be clear and pistols holstered.

Team and Equipment

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My team mate Karl Kasarda and I have attended every previous TIGER Valley match together, as well as other team events including the 2009 American Heroes Challenge Match, and Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club team matches throughout the years. We also regularly shoot similarly challenging stages at the 2 Gun Action Challenge Match Karl runs. Confidence in your team mates abilities in addition to your own makes dealing with the stages much easier. If you are attending an event like this, you need to have a peer level partner. If not be very conscious of what each team members strengths are and try to handle the stages accordingly.

Karl used his Daniel Defense 16″ DMR rifle with 4X Crosshair ACOG, and CZ SP01 Pistol.
I used my CAV-15 MKII with 16″ Sionics Upper with Kompressor and Aimpoint M4 with Samson Magnifier. For pistol I used my Suarez International Glock 17 with Warren Tactical Sights.  We both used bipods on our rifles as there was a large amount of prone shooting. When not in use, I stored my bipod in a pouch on my vest.

Match Day 1

Humidity was high and we experienced some rain while shooting and resetting the first stage. Glasses fogging were a constant problem and made shooting accurately difficult.

Stage 1

After Stage 1 we stopped shooting for a short time while a deluge of rain hit the range. The rain turned the range into thick clay mud, that weighed down our boots and randomly came off in large chunks.

Stage 2

On stage 2 I made my one mistake of the match. I didn’t hit one of the far targets about 25 yards away. The fogging of my glasses combined with the close proximity of two of the targets to each other and the inability to distinguish the sound of my hits from my team mate, made me think I had hit it. The unhit target added +30 seconds to our score, a dramatically higher penalty than we normally have in most action shooting competitions. The high penalties did make us slow down and shoot more cautiously than we normally would for the rest of the match. After stage 2 the sun came out and started cooking off the rain.

Stage 3

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The obstacles were a 30 second penalty per team if they were not crossed. The 4 foot wall, roof, and window were all things we had done before or had equivalent props at our range in Tucson and experience going over them. We decided to skip the 6 foot wall and 8 foot wall because figuring out the technique on the clock would be inefficient, risk failure, and likely take longer than 30 seconds. If it had been 30 seconds per team mate, we would have attempted them. The Huey body at the end is on springs and moves significantly as we climb in it, giving it bounce while trying to take the shot. We both hit the stop plate at the end at the same time.

Stage 4

The vehicle ambush stage was a lot of fun. There was a pyrodex charge that fired when the car drove over a trip wire. My major concern on this stage was getting out of the vehicle without getting hung up on something so I rehearsed it a few times while we were waiting.

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There was a good spot for my rifle on the left side of my seat in my Fusion.

2Towers on stage 4.

6a0133ec985af6970b01b8d0717e55970cKarl inside the smaller building on stage 4

Stage 5

I shot the paper here more than I needed to because I didn’t want to get any more +30 second penalties. Looking at my targets afterwards, I did hit them with all the rounds fired.

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Match Day 2

Movers Stage

This video is not very exciting, but the stage was challenging. The hardest part of this stage was being on target in the prone position for 30 minutes waiting for our targets to randomly emerge. Hits on paper were scored and converted into time to fit in with the total time match results.

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Stage 6

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This stage was all about how fast the teams found the right info. Every steel was painted a different color. The leader had to be shot first, then the hostage had to not be shot.

Stage 7

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Only 2 shots allowed per paper.  Clearing rifles efficiently and reloading quickly was critical on this stage.

Stage 8

Shooting from the 60 foot tower at a downward angle is different than the long range stages we normally shoot in 3-gun.

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Victory!

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Karl and I won the match by a 30% margin. We won many of the stages or were in the top three teams. While we weren’t the absolute fastest on every stage we avoided costly penalties that other teams incurred. Shooting clean mattered a lot more than being 5% faster and risking penalties. We won matching chest rigs with armor generously donated by US Palm. The other Arizona teams that came with us placed 3rd and 4th.

Attendance was reduced this year because of concerns about the weather. TIGER Valley will run matches rain or shine, and learning how things work in real field conditions is a valuable experience. The $150 match fee to use the facility and shoot from unique props and conditions and as a team is a bargain. Martial shooters should come to this match even if they have no interest in their scores or being competitive. Comparing oneself against peers is always a good thing and can help motivate you to stay sharp.

Posted in CAV-15, Competitions | 1 Comment

Rio Salado Sportsmans Club Team Matches August 2014

At the end of August, the Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club multigun division ran 2 team matches.  Team matches are rare events because they present certain logistical challenges for running them.  The main ones being safety with multiple people shooting at once, and the number of targets required.  To address the safety aspect these team matches were relay race style with all shooters engaging targets one at a time or standing in a fixed location to shoot.  Every available steel target the club owns was used for this match.

Team 3 Gun

The Team 3 Gun Match was held on 8-30-2014.  Teams were only allowed to have one open shooters, the other shooters could be from any other division.  It was up to the teams to decide who engaged which targets.

My team consisted of the following:

Myself (Tac Scope):
Rifle: 16″ CAV-15 MKII with Aimpoint M4 and 3.5x Samson Magnifier and TSD Kompressor muzzle device
Shotgun:  Beretta 1301 Comp
Pistol:  Not Used

Karl (open)
Rifle: 16″ Daniel Defense DMR Rifle with 4X ACOG
Shotgun: Saiga-12 with Vortexx Strikefire and 20 round drum.
Pistol: Not Used

Paul (Tac Scope)
Rifle: Ultralight AR15 with 1.5-5X Leupold MKIV
Shotgun: Benelli M1 Entry
Pistol: Glock 34

We placed 3rd/18 Teams.  The major hang up we had was cutting the 2×4 in half at the end.  Karl and Paul rapidly engaged all the long range steel then joined me shooting it.  We estimated that we expended around 300 rounds on it.    Teams shooting .308s still shot upwards of 200 rounds at it.  We had the option of using 12 gauge slugs to do this, but did not because of the target size and distance of 50 yards.  Only one team I am aware of attempted to use slugs.

Team Pistol

The Rio Salado crew reconfigured the range to run a pistol only team match the next day.  This match was significantly faster to shoot than the team 3 Gun.  We were done in only 1.5 hours.  I attribute this to less messing around with staging guns and reconfiguring gear.  Pistol matches are more simple logistically and thus run faster.  Like the team 3 gun we could only have one open shooter on our team for this event.

Myself: Suarez International Glock 17 (LIMITED)
Paul: Glock 34 with Trijicon RMR (OPEN)
Andy: Glock 34

We placed 5th/14 teams at this event.  The 2×4 was our nemesis again, though it was easier to shoot in half with pistols than rifles (larger handgun rounds tearing up the wood more).  Double stack .45s had an advantage on that and the deliberately heavy steel targets on stage 4.

Team matches are a lot of fun for shooters and spectators alike, if there is one you can attend in your area I would recommend it.

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