Carrying the 70 pound kettle bell on Stage 2
Phoenix Rod and Gun’s January Tactical Carbine defense match was a test of physical fitness and accurate shooting under stress. The stages put more emphasis on accuracy than typically seen at action shooting competitions with increasing amounts of time added based on the scoring zones hit. Stage 3 featured a V-TAC Triple Threat drill, with a 100 second penalty if any shots were outside the scored zones.
I placed 1st/8 In Heavy Division (hard armor plates required) and 1st/31 over all. Having the fastest time running and carrying the 70 pound kettle bell on stage 2 and shooting stage 3 clean is what allowed me to win the match.
Some general observations from the match were as follows.
1) Physical challenges defeat people mentally before they even attempt them. There was a lot of talk before the kettle bell stage about how hard it was. I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant, but I knew it was something I could do, and that I could be uncomfortable for 2 minutes while going as fast as I could and still shoot well. I think many people went slower than they could have gone because they just didn’t like what they were doing or decided it was too hard before they started. A moderate exercise routine and knowing what you are capable of for how long go along way on these type of stages.
2) Knowing where your rifle and pistol hit at different ranges is critical for accurate shooting. People need to shoot at various ranges to become comfortable with their equipment at those distances. A lot of dropped points and the 100 second penalties were caused by this.
3) When accuracy is more important slow down and make the hits count. With a 100 second penalty on the line, there is no other option but to treat every shot as a critical hostage rescue shot, get a clean sight picture every time. Only go as fast as you are sure you can make the hit when the consequences are so severe.