2012 Independence Day Action Rifle Match

The Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club 3 Gun Division hosted the annual Independence Day Action Rifle Match to benefit the Arizona Citizens Defense League.  All proceeds minus range fees went to support AZCDL.  The match had the largest attendance ever with 79 shooters competing in five divisions.  Registration filled up in eight days, with more people still wanting to get in.  A number of participants were not regular Rio Salado practical match attendees and chose to participate because of the rifle only format.

The match consisted of four stages with three being a combination of close range and long range (300+ yards) shooting, and one that was close range only.  Shooting started just after 7AM and wrapped up at about 1PM.  The weather was overcast with light rain for a short period; this kept the temperatures down in the ’90s making the day on the range less draining than in previous years.  The match ended with sandwiches provided by AZCDL and prizes awarded by random drawing to the competitors.

I chose to shoot my Mk17 SCAR-H for this match in Heavy Metal Limited.  I normally wouldn’t shoot in this division in 3 Gun because I don’t have a .45ACP pistol or a pump action shotgun.  I placed 1st/7 shooters in my division, and 17th/79 Overall.  Planning to shoot stages with a 20 round capacity was the main difference I found compared to shooting in Tactical Limited.  Pulling single A zone shots seemed more worthwhile in some cases to make for only one reload on a stage rather than two.  The extra energy of the 7.62mm NATO cartridge was also great at putting the long range LaRue targets down with authority.


Open (11 Competitors)
1st Kelly Neal
2nd Brian Williamson
3rd Chris Huey

Tac Scope (26 Competitors)
1st Nils Jonasson
2nd Kalani Laker
3rd Josh Manski

Tac Limited (32 Competitors)
1st Mark Stephens
2nd Mike Pannone
3rd Mitch Barlow

Heavy Metal Scope (3 Competitors, so overall results listed too)
1st Gary Mowry 9th overall
2nd Jon Copeland 11th overall
3rd Don Langworthy 23rd overall

Heavy Metal Limited (7 competitors)
1st Russell Phagan
2nd Chris Gotie
3rd Paul Shanks

The Independence Day Action Rifle Match is a great way to celebrate the founding of our country.  Given the level of participation we have seen here in Arizona, it would be a good idea for other states to run similar events to make shooters aware of their local gun rights organizations and generate support for them.

About SinistralRifleman

I've been competing in the action shooting sports since 2002. I believe competition shooting to be an excellent way to build gun handling and marksmanship skills and encourage all gun owners to seek out some form of competition shooting. Anyone can become reasonably good at it if they devote the time and resources to do so. Winning, while nice, need not be your goal; bettering yourself through the pursuit of excellence is something we all can achieve.
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