Ever have one of those matches where you’re having issues with your rifle or your gear but still manage to have a great time because the stages were just plain fun? Well this was one of those matches. Terry and Randy managed to squeeze 5 stages into this match which is always a bonus but the ominous weather forecast keep the fair weather shooters away so the match moved like a well oiled machine.

I couldn’t decide on which AR to shoot so I brought them both and made a game day decision to shoot my DPMS 3G1 topped with a Trijicon TR24 which has spent most of it’s like in the safe since I just seem to shoot better with my RRA/EOTech. To get warmed up I got to the range early and setup some steel plates and popped in my CMMG .22 conversion kit and put 100 rounds downrange at different distances and ranges trying to get used to the Trijicon’s red triangle post reticle which proved to be more difficult than it should have been. I’m having a heck of a time getting used to a post optic! Swapping my BCG into my upper I noticed the complete lack of lubrication on all of the important places, but also realized that I left my lube in my pistol range bag, so back in it went. It should run fine anyway right?

STAGE ONE – PAPER ‘N STEEL

We squaded up hit the first stage which has ten IPSC targets mixed in with a bunch of no shoots in the way. Then there are 10 steel targets that have to be engaged between two barrels. Everything was nice and close, within 100 or so yards so I decided to just run through it freehand. Lots of quick/close blasting, lots of fun.

┬áSTAGE TWO – KNIVES, CLAYS, STEEL

Straight out of Top Shots, this stage begins with you holding three big arse knives and when the timer goes off you have to try to throw them and stick them into a target, then grab your rifle and from cover engage a clay pigeon then ring a steel plate at around 150 yards, and repeat 4 more times. Sounds easy enough. I lucked out and stuck two of the knives but that’s where my luck ran out. I had a hell of a time trying to figure out where my holdover was for the clay targets relative to the tip of the reticle post. Starting to get annoyed with the Trijicon.

STAGE THREE – 8 RELOAD 8

Pretty simple stage really, upon the timer’s buzzer you have to run to the shooting position which is a berm overlooking eight steel targets of varying sizes and distances. After you’ve hit all of the steel you have to perform a reload and hit them all again. I freaking love these types of stages where you get to ring a ton of steel. But today I’m having some issues and they’re all based on my scope. I’m doing different holdovers and trying to remember my sight picture when I hit them for a given distance. But it’s just not working out. I hit them all but any chance of winning the match is pretty much gone at this point. Pretty sure I’m getting rid of the scope after this match.

STAGE FOUR – THREE BARRELS

Simple stage. There are two steel IPSC targets that flash when the small area in the center is hit. You have to hit them both from behind all three of the barrels. 12 shots right? After all I just watched DC do it with an Aimpoint Micro and a SBR. Well let’s just say I had to reload once. This stage sealed the fate of the Trijicon. Trijigone.

STAGE FIVE – 6 POSITION BARRICADE

Just as the stage name indicates, you have to ring a small plate at about 100ish yards from a barricade with six shooting positions. One shot only per position regardless if you hit it or not. Pretty simple concept but how often do you shoot from your support side? I do practice it occasionally so it didn’t catch me off guard and it was close enough that the reticle from hell wasn’t a problem, but remember the BCG that looked like it needed oil? Ya, it started short stroking which required me to charge it after every other shot. D’OH! And note to self, get an ambi safety on this rifle because when you switch it on and change to your support side it’s a lot harder to switch it off.

Now I know that from the above stage descriptions I probably sound as if I didn’t have a good time, but that certainly isn’t the case. The sun was shining, I was shooting with a bunch of friends and the stages were great. And somehow I managed to take eighth place which was a big surprise considering all of the technical issues. And I actually really like the scope, but the reticle has to go. I guess I’m an old dog trying to learn a new trick with this thing which I’ll fix soon. I guess the search for the next optic is back on!

October Practical Rifle Match
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