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2015 Palma Championships Day 2

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Let me start this with a few thanks for folks that helped me get to the 2015 World Long Range Championships.  Thank you to my lovely wife, Valerie, for encouraging me and supporting me as I began training hard for the matches earlier this year!  Thank you Eagle Eye Precision Ammunition for your extreme generosity and for making the best .308 ammunition available!  Thank you Sinclair International for being so generous to me and for allowing me to be generous to your fans from other countries; they really enjoyed the hats!  Thank you Forster Products for making the best reloading gear which helped me to make the best batch of ammunition I’ve ever made!  Thank you Sierra Bullets for making those laser beam bullets for the US Palma Team, they are the best bullets I’ve ever shot and I hope I get to shoot them again in four more years!  Thank you Chesebro Rifles for getting my world championships barrel chambered and installed in short order and for encouraging me to try the McGee offset stock!  That stock turned out to increase my ability to see through the rear sight by an amount that created a noticeable improvement in how I could see the target.  Thank you Decot Sport Glasses for making precisely ground shooting glasses readily available and for making me never think twice about switching from contacts to using their glasses for my subtle -0.50 diopter correction in my right eye!  Thank you all very, very much for everything you did to help make sure I was prepared to represent the USA in the 2015 World Long Range Championships!

8/14 was the last day of the 2015 Palma Trophy match and it was also my 28th birthday :-).  At the beginning of the day we were in 2nd place in the match, about 30 points behind Great Britain.  Every shooter and coach was excited to pick up where we left off and see just how well we could perform together as a team.

As a shooter on the United States’ Palma team there are ample opportunities to get nervous and psyche yourself out.  I remember being nervous the first time I shot on the Palma team in Australia in 2011.  This time around I never got nervous and that was a blessing.  I was very glad to be able to share my calmness with one teammate in particular who has been just a little anxious going into the first string at 800 yards.  After chatting a bit and encouraging them I felt like I had contributed to our team not just by shooting, but also by helping to lift up my fellow teammate.  I really enjoyed that, and I was glad God gave me encouraging words to share with my teammate.

This last day of the team match was my birthday which was really pretty special.  The night before I went out to a wonderful dinner at a local Japanese hibachi steakhouse and on the range everyone was wishing me a happy birthday, it was all very jovial and fun.  At 800 yards the firing points were awful, it was as if there was a shallow ditch on the firing line and we had to setup perpendicular to the ditch with our bodies extending across it.  For whatever reason, this had the effect of really tightening up my position and I was rock solid.  800 yards was a little rough for us as a team, but 900 was a bit better.  For me, it was the same at 900 yards, my position just felt a little tighter than normal and the gun settled right on the center of the target.  That doesn’t always happen, and I bet if I could figure out the magic recipe I could bottle it, sell it, and quit my day job.  Until then, I’ll just be grateful that it happened to be just so during the world long range championships; that’s the perfect time for things to go right!

1000 yards was exciting.  It wasn’t necessarily exciting for me in a good way.  The conditions were very challenging and resulted in moments of rapid fire followed by many minutes of waiting.  During one transition from one such period of rapid fire I extracted the round from the chamber (something I always do when given a “hold” command) and it felt funny.  I didn’t think much of it until I was told to make ready and I was unable to get the round to chamber again.  Upon inspection I found that the projectile has lodged itself into the rifle of the barrel and was extracted from the case spilling gunpowder into my chamber and action.  Wonderful, I thought.  I’ve seen this happen to others before and I’ve never had it happen nor have I ever worried about it happening, because the way I load my ammo this occurrence was physically impossible…or so I thought!  After some minor fussing around and some quick help from nearby teammates we cleared the blockage, cleaned out the action, confirmed the bore and chamber were clear, and reassembled the rifle.  I got back on target and finished the string without any further excitement, thankfully!

As the dust settled we found ourselves having finished in 2nd place.  2nd place in the world may sound disappointing, heck it’s not gold!  The truth is, however, that this is another baby step in the long road of completely revamping the US Rifle Team from the ground up.  In placing 2nd place, we also posted a score higher than we or any other team had ever shot before; we broke the Palma Trophy match record by 8 points!  The team from Great Britain shot amazingly well and pushed the new record even higher.  Let’s think about that for a moment.  Both the US and Great Britain have increased their performance so much that in order to get 2nd place a nation had to shoot better than any team ever had before, and in order to get 1st place a nation had to set a new Palma Trophy match record.

I feel very blessed to have been counted a member of this elite group of shooters and coaches.  I am extremely proud to have contributed to the USA’s silver medal in the 2015 Palma Trophy match!

 

The final scores are here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1wZRP7ns-T6iut7a986y76hBuX5TM-QyUZ1A-yTI7Obo/pubhtml

 

Some thorough write-ups on the match from the perspective of the Great Britain team are here:

http://www.gbrt.org.uk/palma2015/thursday-13th-august-day-1-of-the-palma-match/

And here:

http://www.gbrt.org.uk/palma2015/14th-august-day-2-of-the-palma-match/

Some photos are here:

Here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

2015 Palma Championships Day 1

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8/11 was the last day of the world long range championships.  Going into the last 1000 yard match I was in 14th place apparently!  Well that wasn’t going to last long, the last 1000 yard string kicked my butt.  The wind was extremely challenging and I was not on top of it.  I dropped to 33rd place after shooting a 69-2V.  It was a disappointing finish, but I was working as hard as I could, it was just a very challenging condition.  Finishing 33rd in the world isn’t necessarily bad, the 400+ people here represent the best each nation has to offer with regards to long range shooters and it turns out I can count myself among their top ten percent.

8/12 was a practice day for the Palma teams.  We shot practice at 800, 900, and 1000 yards.  It was a good practice, the team is looking good.  I’m very excited to be part of the team and it’s a real honor to shoot alongside some of the best our country and the world has to offer.

8/13 was the first day of the Palma Team match.  This is a very prestigious match with history going back over 100 years.  We shot very well at 800 yards and we shot pretty well at 900 yards.  At 1000 yards we struggled a little, but we aren’t totally out of it just yet.  While I was on the line at 1000 yards the wind was very twitchy and we had a cease for at least 15 minutes wherein I baked in the sun.  When I got up from shooting my clothes were soaked through with sweat.  I was glad to finally fire my last shot.  This is a marathon match which will continue all day tomorrow.  Tomorrow, my birthday, we will shoot the whole course again.

Some pictures are here:

Here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

2015 World Long Range Championships Day 3

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The 1000 yard match I shot at the end of yesterday was thrown out.  After I shot and left the rain really dumped on folks and there were enough cease fires called (for boats in the impact area) that they decided to just cancel the match.  The net result of this is that today’s 800 yard match was canceled so that we’d shoot 900 yards once and 1000 yards twice today.

One especially fun thing happened today; I converted all of my sighter shots.  What does that mean?  At the beginning of each string of 15 scored shots, we get 2 practice shots (called sighter shots) and if those sighter shots are good we can elect to keep them.  Today, at both 900 yards and 1000 yards, on three different occasions in three different wind conditions, my first shots landed within just a few inches of the center of the bullseye.  This is particularly wonderful and while there won’t be any awards given for this, it is really encouraging as a shooter.  If I was a sniper, having my first round land within just a few inches of my aiming mark would be absolutely necessary.  Since I’m just a target shooter, and I use no scope and no bipod, it’s all the more interesting and exciting that I was able to do this!  God really has given me a fun and exciting talent!

At the morning’s 900 yard match the wind was relatively calm.  I shot carefully and ended up with a 75-10V.  That may be good for about 100th place J.

At 1000 yards, things changed quite a bit.  The first string at 1000 yards was pretty calm, but it was tricky.  I fought hard for it and ended up with a 74-8V.  I lost one point where I missed the wind, but I didn’t feel too terrible about it.

On the second 1000 yard string it was much trickier.  We are allotted 23 minutes to fire all of our shots.  I fired my last shot with about 15 seconds to go.  I was spending most of my time waiting and not shooting.  The wind would change direction and speed very drastically and I felt like I could sort of tell what was happening.  I may have understood it, but it was also part of my strategy to simply avoid shooting when I could see that others were losing lots of points to the wind.  After my first ten shots I hadn’t dropped a point, and then on my 11th shot, I got caught pretty big with a wind change that I missed.  The change was so quick, it changed in the 5-10 seconds between when I checked the wind and when I made my shot.  At any rate I ended that string with a 72-6V and I felt pretty bad about it.  It turns out, that was about 50th place for that match, out of 400 of the best long range shooters in the world, which is saying something.  The wind was tricky, really tricky.

So after day three of the world long range championships I’m actually sitting in about 20th place overall.  There is still one more 900 yard string and another 1000 yard string to go.  With that in mind, just about anything can still happen, so we’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow holds!

Scores for the grand aggregate of the world long range championships are here:

http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=600

Scores can be tracked here:

http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

2015 World Long Range Championships Days 1 – 2

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This post will cover days 6 through 9 of my trip to Camp Perry (8/6 through 8/9).

8/6 was a day off for me!  Yes I got a day off from shooting, isn’t that interesting.  Well I’m glad I got it, I really needed it.  What did I do with my day off?  I worked nearly a full day for my employer in order to save a day of vacation time.

8/7 was the America match and I had the extreme pleasure of shooting in it for the USA.  The America match is a big deal to the USA and it had never been lost on US soil.  Notice “had” was past tense.  We did not perform well as a team and it was a real bummer.  Great Britain showed up and kicked everyone’s butt with a simply amazing score.  Kudos to the GB team and we need to learn from our mistakes, lick our wounds, and get back after it!

8/8 was the first day of the world long range championships.  The US Army’s Golden Knights parachuted in, led by past world long range champion and past US Palma Team member Sheri Gallagher.  That was followed by the flag raising ceremony.  After that enjoyable spectacle we had 800 yard, 900 yard, and 1000 yard practice before a lunch break and the first match of the championship.  The first match was at 800 yards.  I shot a 75-8V out of a possible 75-15V which was good for 114th place, haha!  Tough crowd to be shooting with here.

8/9, today, was the second day of the world long range championships.  We shot 800 yards, 900 yards, and 1000 yards with 15 shots and 2 convertible sighters at each yard line.  At 800 yards the flags were literally hanging on the poles, no movement at all.  When I got down to shoot they had started to move just a little, but it was hardly anything.  I shot most of the string with just 0.5 to 0.75 minutes of wind on the rifle.  I ended with a 75-10V, it looks like that put me on the 4th page of the scores, 144th place!  That is hilarious!  That’s a perfect score with 2/3 of the shots in the center bullseye and I’m in 144th place.  Those results are here: http://www.nrahq.org/compete/natpdf/cp644-15.pdf.  At 900 yards the wind had picked up slightly.  I picked a condition and took my time shooting.  I was very pleased to shoot a 75-9V; that was on the 2nd page of results, good for 56th place!  Seriously this is ridiculous.  At 1000 yards everything had changed.  The wind was up full speed out of the east.  I took my first sigher with 8.5 minutes right and caught a wide 5 on the left.  I ended up using 9 minutes right for most of the string; that means that the bullet was being pushed about 9-10 feet off course because of the wind.  I shot the string very quickly, in just 9 or 10 minutes total and ended up with a 74-8V.  I was pretty bummed about the one 4 I had, but it was an odd one I couldn’t explain, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.  At 1000 yards it doesn’t take much to put your bullet slightly off course.  Losing my first point of the world long range championships was a bummer, but it’s not the end of the world.  I will likely be in about 300th place on that 1000 yard string, but I’m not out of the running for the match altogether just because of one point.  Scores for that first 1000 yard string are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=646.  I was really blessed at 1000 yards.  There was a last minute squading change which made it so I shot first.  I shot quickly then scored and packed up my stuff.  Just as we were loading up the car the sky opened up and just dumped on the range.  We got totally soaked and we were only outside for a few moments.  I was very blessed to not have to shoot in that weather.  I’ve been on that relay before, but today I wasn’t!

Yesterday my lovely wife showed up and tonight my parents will show up.  I’m excited to be able to share this with them and I’m hopeful that we can make some really good memories.

Scores can be tracked here:

http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

Pics from day 6 and 9 of the Camp Perry trip are here:


Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

2015 Fullbore Nationals Days 2-3

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Yesterday and today complete the individual fullbore nationals.  Yesterday morning I shot the tiniest little group at 300 yards, 12 out of 15 shots were within a 2.5” V ring and the remaining 3 shots were just slightly wider.  In order to get a sense of the caliber of shooters present let this sink in: I shot a 75-12V out of a possible 75-15V and I got 14th place.  The results for that match are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=694.  I had a very difficult time at 1000 yards on the second day.  The wind was strong and out of the west, a typical Camp Perry wind.  Clouds were rolling in and the mirage disappeared often, the target would go dark without direct sunlight, and for some reason I was not perceiving the changes in the wind very well.  It was a bummer.

Going into the second day I was in 2nd place in the short range aggregate: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=678.  I lost a point today at 600 yards which dropped me all the way down to 13th.  I don’t like to play what-ifs, but if the shot which was a 4 had instead been a 5 I would have been tied for 3rd place and if it had instead been a V I would have been tied for 1st place.  That is a bummer, but it’s not a total loss.  I shot well in these matches holding very good elevation; the points I lost were to missing the wind.  Since I’m shooting this all as practice for the big team match (The Palma Team Match), then the fact that I’m holding hard and breaking good shots is really what I need to focus on.

At the end of the 1000 yard match today there was the top 10 final.  If you recall, I had the extreme pleasure of shooting in this last year (see post here).  This year Norm Houle was the lone US Palma Team member in the top 10 final.  He shot extremely well and had the highest score in those final 15 shots at 1000 yards.  He moved up and finished in 5th overall.  Results for the final are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=699. Results for the fullbore nationals aggregate are here: http://compete.nra.org/perryscores/default.aspx?mid=670.

Ok, now there were some items I was going to follow up on…  Ok that rifle I posted pictures of, let’s start there (Pictures are at this post).  That rifle was homemade around a Barnard action (the same action I use) using three major tools: a drill press, a belt sander, and a hydraulic press.  The rifle didn’t look like it should shoot very well, but its owner and proud builder shot out the V-ring with it!  A large piece of aluminum was drilled out until it was a perfect interference fit for the Barnard action.  A hydraulic press was then used to press the action into the aluminum block.  The stock is also built around aluminum and the use of the belt sander is apparent.  All of that and the rifle just plain shoots!  Another one I said I’d follow up on was the Great Britain rifle team.  I think we could stand to learn some things from them.  They seem to have a much different team dynamic than we do.  In the morning before we shoot, every member of the GB team gathers together for some morning pre-game rituals (stretching and such, nothing too wild).  Where are all of the US shooters before we shoot?  The US rifle team members are scattered throughout the line, doing their own thing.  This is something small and simple, but it is likely a small piece of the puzzle which helps the GB team to work well together.

Tonight is the US Palma Team dinner and then tomorrow I get a day off from shooting.  It may not seem like anyone would need a day off from their hobby, but trust me, the day off will be nice and much appreciated!

Scores can be tracked here:

http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

Pics from day 2 and 3 of fullbore are here:

 

Pics of GB team being together and the US team being dispersed are here:

Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

2015 Fullbore Nationals Day 1

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First post from Camp Perry!  I’ve been wildly busy each night with fun team events and such so I’ve not been able to get anything written up until this evening.

I first got to Camp Perry on 8/1 and I shot the last match of the long range nationals (the individual Palma) as my first practice match.  It went pretty well, although I didn’t win the relay roulette game and I ended up on a particularly tough relay at 1000 yards.  I don’t think any of the top scores came off my relay, or at least I didn’t create one.

Pics from day one:

On 8/2 we had a team Palma match where we shot with our squad as we will in the big match (the world championships!) in two weeks.  I hate to sound like a downer, but it didn’t really go all that well for the great USA.  Great Britain has been consistently kicking our butts in team matches for a numbers of years; they are good at it (more on this later).  If the team Palma on 8/2 was any indication of how we will fair in the team world championships, it’s not looking all that hot for the USA.  Results are here: http://www.nrahq.org/compete/natpdf/cp523-15.pdf

I’m trying to be very critical of myself during this as I’m trying a lot of new things.  I’ve previously worn contacts with a very minor correction while I shoot, I switched to corrective shooting glasses a few weeks ago (Decot sportglasses if you’re curious http://decot.com/).  I also did something a little more major, I changed the stock on my rifle.  Since 2009 I’ve been using a Masten prone stock donated by MT Guns.  The stock has worked well for me over the years and I’ve never had any real complaints, but I’d never tried anything different either.  I had just such an opportunity recently to try a McGee offset stock which Chesebro Rifles had in stock when they put my new barrel on (http://www.mcgeestocks.com/ http://www.chesebrorifles.com/).  The way this stock fits my face is much more comfortable.  I can get closer to the rear sight without getting bumped by it.  Also, my face can rest on the cheek piece much more comfortably.  This is a lot of change right before the world championships.  Things seem to be going well.  I’ve shot some really small groups so far and feedback from the coach says I’m doing fine.

 

Today, 8/3/15, was the first day of the Fullbore Nationals here at Camp Perry.  There were some logistics issues at the range, but I think the folks working that need us shooters to give them some more grace.  Many of the line officials are volunteers and they put in long, long days on the range simply because they love the sport and want to help out.  It was a bumpy start, but it will all get sorted out and I’m no less thankful for all of their efforts.  In fact, I’ll have to make sure I thank some of them tomorrow on the range.  Today we shot 300 yards, 500 yards, and 900 yards.  We got two convertible practice shots (sighter shots) and 15 shots for score at each yard line.   I’ve previously typed up what this means, so here are links to two posts from last year where I explain some of the fullbore shenanigans:

http://kellysgunsales.com/2014/08/05/2014-nra-fullbore-nationals-day-2-range-report/

http://kellysgunsales.com/2014/08/07/2014-nra-fullbore-nationals-day-4-range-report/

Also, here is a link to a blog by Gary Rasmussen, shooting phenom and my coach on the Palma team:

http://garyer.simplesite.com/

Today went pretty good shooting wise.  At 300 yards I shot a 75-10V out of 75-15V and that was good for 17th place.  I shot a perfect score and 2/3 of my shots went into a tiny little 2.5” bullseye 300 yards away and that was only good enough for 17th place; there are some incredible shooters here.  At 600 yards the wind was a little tricky so I was quite please to keep them all in the center and finish with a 75-9V out of 75-15V.  Many folks lost a point or two here and not doing that is a leg up in this match.  900 yards was interesting as expected.  The first 2 or 3 shooters shot in relatively little wind.  Many high V perfect scores were shot.  I scored for the guy who won it, shooting a 75-13V.  I barely saw him touch his wind knob and he put them all in the center, great shooting really!  It was a different story for the remaining groups.  The wind picked up, then had a big switch from east to west before stabilizing at a higher velocity wind out of the west.  The range went nearly silent during the ~5 minute long switch.  I think I only hear 3 or 4 gun shots in that time.  Everyone knew you’d be throwing away points if you shot at that time.  I shot dead last in a pretty consistent ~10 mph wind out of the west south west.  I didn’t shoot a perfect score, but in the conditions I was pleased with my 73-8V.  It was the best I could do, so it will have to be good enough for now.

I took some pictures of a very interesting rifle I saw and a score that it shot, I’ll have to comment on that later as it’s getting late.  Home made rifle using a drill press, belt sander, and industrial sized hydraulic press.  I’ll leave it at that for now

Scores can be tracked here:

http://compete.nra.org/championship-results/nra-national-outdoor-rifle-pistol-championships-results.aspx

Pics from day today:

2014 Trijicon World Shooting Championships – Day 4 Range Report

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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.

 

2014 Trijicon World Shooting Championships – Day 3 Range Report

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Before I tell you about today’s shooting, be sure you like our facebook page and check out our youtube channel.  I post shorter updates with different content to facebook and I’m posting videos of the match to facebook and youtube.  Facebook pages and youtube channel are linked below:

https://www.facebook.com/KellysGunSales

https://www.facebook.com/TheKellyBachand

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKellz

Today was rough.  Today I likely had my lowest scoring events of the entire competition; it was just a very challenging day.  It wasn’t all bad though. We started the say with a side match shooting and Alexander Arms .338 Lapua semi-auto rifle at targets from 700 to 800 yards away.  There were three targets, one USPSA sized silhouette, and two steel gongs that were about four feet wide by two feet high.  The goal was simple, hit all three targets as quick as possible.  We were told that the fastest time was less than 6 seconds, so we really needed to hurry to beat that.  If you wait until you can hear the sound of the impact on each shot you could only get two shots off in less than 6 seconds, so that means in order to beat that you had to shoot, assume a hit and move on.  Furthermore, this was a side match, so you could play it a little more risky since it only mattered if you got first place or not first place.  I took the more risky approach and fired then moved on.  After hitting my second target I realized I hadn’t hear a “clang” from my first target.  At that point I was out of the competition so I did a long range mag dump on the furthest target :).  The spotters were confused but called hit over and over until I ran it empty.  Since the goal of this entire match (for me) is to have fun, we can say mission accomplished on this stage.

The next stage was NSCA 5 Stand.  I practiced 5 stand some at home before coming out so I was hopeful that I’d be able to get a decent (non-train wreck) score.  There were five machines, four throwing diagonally away and one throwing straight away.  We shot one single, one report pair, and one true pair from each of the five stands, for a total of 25 birds.  I hit 9 out of 25.  Interestingly, I hit most of them at just two stands where I hit a few combos of both birds in the report pair and both birds in the true pair.  I posted a video of one of these pairs to my facebook page, check it out at the link above.  This was a difficult stage for many shooters.

After that disappointment we moved on to Wobbles Trap Doubles.  It is noteworthy that this isn’t even a real event.  When I was getting ready for this I stopped by Seattle Skeet and Trap and shot saw wobbles trap (continental trap) and trap doubles, but there is no such thing as Wobbles Trap Doubles.  At any rate, this imagined event was very hard.  I saw a lot of very good shooters with 5 or less broken birds.  I ended up with 6 out of 30, hardly a respectable score.  I could go into a long explanation of why I think it was so hard for all of us, but it’s easier to say that in general we were unprepared for that event.

The last event for the day was a Tactical Shotgun event.  We shot the FNH P-12 shotgun at falling steel targets about 10-15 yards away.  There were 6 rounds loaded in the pump action shotgun and 6 targets down range.  We had to pick up the gun, take it off of safe and knock over the targets as quick as we could.  We had three runs and our stage score was the total time from all three runs.  I was pleased with how I did, I had two runs that were each under 7 seconds and a third run of about 8 seconds where I had to take one pick up shot as I missed the first steel target.  This was a very fun stage to shoot as I hadn’t shot a pump action like that before.

2014 Trijicon World Shooting Championships – Day 2 Range Report

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This morning we started with another side match, an IDPA based match with steel falling targets. I went first from my squad and had a lot of fun. I enjoy shooting steel targets, I like the “ting” noise they make and how they fall over nicely when you hit them. Since I’m not typically a pistol shooter, my version of fast pistol shooting is very different from others. I shot it about as quick as I could and my total time was about 24 seconds. The fastest shooters shot it all in about 6-7 seconds. We shot an FNS-9 and didn’t get any sighters.

Our second stage of the match today was one of the more exciting ones, the 3 gun stage.  My squad is just behind the squad with a bunch of 3 gun shooters in it, so I had fun watching Taran Butler, Daniel Horner, Jerry Miculek and others shoot the course. It was a pretty straightforward course, ten falling steel pistol targets, 8 clay shotgun targets, and six 3 gun nation rifle targets. We could shoot them in any order we wanted. The pro 3 gunners shot it shotgun first, pistol second, rifle last. When it was finally my turn to shoot I was pretty sure I had a plan made out in my head. I started with the shotgun and went 8 for 8 on the clay targets then burned the last round in the hill so I could just dump the shotgun into the barrel. To my extreme pleasure I went 10 for 10 on the falling steel pistol targets and then grabbed the rifle. I fumbled with the safety a bit but finally got it to fire and shot the two outside targets, one from standing and one from a high kneeling position. Then I kicked my front leg way out to a very low kneeling and shot the final 4 targets from beneath the barricade. Most folks shot those targets from prone, but I felt like it was a little quicker just to sit down into kneeling. I did that in about 36 seconds, the fastest shooters did it in about 20 seconds.

Next we shot an F-class inspired stage at 500 yards. The coolest part about this stage was the electronic targets that were being used for scoring. There are some other top rifle shooters (Carl Bernosky, Brandon Green, Rob Mango) here and I chatted with some as they came off of the line about the firearms, the conditiions, etc. Unfortunately they told stories of rifles that were shooting pretty tall groups somewhat unpredicitably. We shot FN rifles, a .308 with a 20″ barrel and detachable box mag. There was a variable power illuminated optic on top and a bipod and rear rest underneath. Unfortunately, I have to agree with my fellow long range shooters, the setup wasn’t quite right for the F-class target, and furthermore it was setup so that us long range shooters has no advantage at all in that stage.

Last stage of the day was a .22 Rimfire stage inspired by smallbore competition.  We shot targets from 25 yards with the Magnum Research 22 (like a tricked out 10/22) with a Trijicon RMR on top.  We shot standing, kneeling, and sitting.  We got two sighter shots, but we had no spotting scopes or further feedback after those two sighter shots.  I had fun with this match as this reminded me of my first introduction to competitive marksmanship, my high school air rifle team.  I harnessed my inner high school self and shot a 148 out of 150, I think that put my towards the top on that stage.  That was a very fun and accurate 22 rifle!

2014 Trijicon World Shooting Championships – Day 1 Range Report

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The Trijicon World Shooting Championships is a first of it’s kind competition. Some of the best shooters from a wide range of shooting sports were gathered to shoot a multi-dicsipline match with provided guns and ammo. Very limited practice is allowed, as much as four practice or (more often) as little as no practice shots. There are three sections: rifle, pistol, and shotgun. In each section there are four stages for a total of 12 stages. There are also three additional side matches. Another wonderful thing about this match: my lovely wife Valerie was able to join me. She isn’t always able to come to competitions with me, so it’s a really fun time when she does. I really enjoy introducing her to the other shooters, because in all likelihood, I spent the last competition telling them all about her. I do adore my wife lots :).

With that brief introduction, I’ll tell you about how my first day went. We were split up into squads of about 10 shooters each; we shoot the whole competition with that same squad. I started the day off with Side Match 1 which was sponsored by Armalite. Five targets at about 25 yards with Armalite’s new AR-15 they designed for the 3 gun type sports. I did just fine and shot the whole thing in about 10 seconds. The fastest shooters did it in just 5 or 6 seconds.

For our next stage we shot the Bianchi stage, sponsored by FNH USA. For those unfamiliar with Bianchi, there is a target with a 3″ X-ring and about a 6″ ten ring, then an 8″ eight ring and the rest of the target is worth five points. The target is on a track and moves very quickly laterally for about 15 yards. It seemed to move at the speed of someone running. From 20 yards you have about 2 seconds or so to get three shots on target, you can only shoot while the target is visible. Having never shot a moving target before, this was extremely challenging for me. For the first 12 shots at 20 yards I was wokring to get a rythm and figure out how quickly I had to shoot. I actually shot a much smaller group and had a higher score on the second string which was fired from 25 yards. I ended up with a 188-3X out of a possible 240-24X. I was glad I didn’t have any misses. We shot an FNS-9 and we got two sighter shots before shooting for score.  There are some pictures of me with my Bianchi targets below.

The next stage we shot was the USPSA stage, sponsored by FNH USA and Trijicon. There were ten targets at varying distances up to about 20 yards and as close as about three yards. Some targets were only visible from one shooting location and the target most people shot last required a significant amount of leaning. In fact, most folks shot the last target on one foot while they were slowly landing there other. I shot the whole thing in about 28 seconds and I had all of my rounds on target. I do wish I would have got some sighters as all of my shots were low. After shooting the match I learned I had incorrectly understood the way the pistol was zeroed. The elevation zero was actually half way down the front sight on a dot, not at the top of the front sight as I had understood. The fastest pistol shooters shot this stage in about 14 seconds. We shot an FNS-9.

Our fourth and final stage for the day was the Bullseye pistol stage. One handed with a .45 1911 Colt Gold Cup at 25 yards, an abbreviated Camp Perry course of fire. I was really looking forward to this stage. As we arrived at the stage it was being packed up. Apparently there were some problems with the firearms (or the shooters?) and the pistol had frequent malfunctions. The match director decided that it would be best to remove that stage from the competition because of the high frequency of the malfunctions. One of the bullseye shooters on my squad speculated that those unfamiliar with shooting bullseye were likely inducing malfunctions by not holding onto the pistol properly; he indicating that when firing one handed the pistol does require a special grip in order to keep functioning properly.

This was a lot of fun so far. I’m very out of my element with the pistol matches, but it’s very fun to challenge myself with these different disciplines.  Some pictures from the day are below.

 

The scores can be tracked here: https://practiscore.com/results/, search for TWSC.