Today was lots of fun. This is the last day of shooting, and it seems like some of the most fun stages were saved for the end.
Our first event of the day was sponsored by SilencerCo and it was awesome! We shot a suppressed Glock 19 with a Trijicon RMR on top at steel targets before engaging steel targets from 50 to 200 yards with a suppressed Noveske AR-15 with a Trijcon VCOG on top. Wow that was fun. The Glock 19 was great to shoot and the suppressor made it sound like a staple gun. This was our first event of the day and it convinced me that in these action rifle type events I should try to get as stable as possible for the longer range targets. While I am used to making long range shots, I am not used to doing so in such a quick fashion, so I need to get as stable as possible. I did this stage in around 40 seconds, the fastest shooter did it in less than 20 seconds.
The next stage was the NRA Action Rifle stage. We used a Daniel Defense AR-15 with a Trijicon RMR mounted on a 45 degree mount and a Trijicon ACOG on top. We had about 8 paper targets to engage on the run (using the 45 degree RMR) and then four targets out past 200 yards to engage from a tree stump supported position. Seriously, we had to have the rifle in contact with the tree stump or it was a penalty. I went pretty quick through the paper targets and hit the first three steel targets with one shot, saving the largest steel target for last. For some reason it took a few shots to hit, but I finished it up in about 35 seconds or so. I’ll upload a video of my run later and link it here. Shooting on the run with the 45 degree RMR was something I’ve never done before and it was a lot of fun.
Next was possibly my favorite stage of the whole competition, the Cowboy Action stage, sponsored by Taylor and Co. We started at the low ready with a double barrel exposed hammer coach shotgun, had to yell something from a western, then pull back both hammers on the shotgun before knocking over two falling steel targets. We then set the shotgun down and ran over to the lever action rifle we. We had to get a round in the chamber and hit six steel targets down range. Leave the lever open and run to the single action army where we had to shoot five more steel targets. I did the whole thing in just under 20 seconds and I had a lot of fun doing it. The coaching I got from Spencer Hoglund (AKA Lead Dispencer) on Top Shot with the single action army was pretty helpful and seemed to kick in. This stage and the modern 3 gun stage were my favorite of the match to shoot. It’s interesting that the wild west version of 3 gun and the modern version of 3 gun were both so fun to shoot. Who knew?!
My last stage of the match, was the tactical two gun stage. We shot a Smith and Wesson M & P 9mm with a Trijicon RMR on top and an LMT AR-15 with a Trijicon VCOG on top. There were six steel targets to shoot with the pistol and then five steel targets at 500 to 550 yards to shoot with the rifle. My sighter shot with the rifle at 500 or so yards was dead on, so I felt like I was ready to go. I started off strong with the pistol, I think I missed once when I got lost in the combo of tall sights and the RMR red dot. I made it to the rifle quickly and got two or three hits pretty quickly. Then I squeezed the trigger and “click”. I pulled the charging handle back to reveal and empty chamber; a new round wasn’t stripped off of the mag! I slammed the bottom of the mag (although I had already done this at the beginning of the stage) then sent the bolt home before confirming a round was in the chamber. This frazzled me a little and between that and then a few misses on the remaining targets I ended up with a less than ideal time on the final stage of the match. A few shooters later, someone had a similar problem with the rifle, but it repeated, four times on one string. Ultimately the rifle was decided to be at fault, but it was too late for me to get any reprieve. In this match we got one re-fire which could be used on any one of the 12 stages. I chose to use mine on the NSCA 5 stand stage, hoping I could better my score. In retrospect I wish I would have saved it for this final stage as it was the only time in the four day match when I had a legitimate malfunction of some kind that then led to a minor train wreck of another kind. I’ll try to learn from these mistakes for future events.