Quick in and out, sort of the theme of this month’s Practical Rifle match. I think people were still reeling from the epically long 3Gun match last month that had people shooting well past 5:00 so some real emphasis was applied to how to wrap up quick this month. While there were only 3 stages this month it did seem to move very quickly and was about as much fun and challenge as you could pack into 3 short stages.
Unfortunately I have’t touched an AR in months and it was feeling pretty foreign in my hands. I brought along my trusty DPMS 3G1/Meopta ZD which has served me very well recently but knowing the stage design in hindsight I probably would have brought my little 14.5 BCM/EOTech since the stages were mostly close up and personal.
STAGE ONE – SEVEN AND SEVEN
There were two shooting positions for this stage, both a barrel with tire lying flat with another tire sitting vertically on top of it that you were required to shoot through. You had to start on the left array of seven steel targets and engage them all through the less than stable/super awkward tire bouncy-house shooting position, then switch to the right equally unstable shooting position and engage the seven steel targets on the right. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well in theory it was, but it all depended on how good of a position you could get into to make it possible to hit the plates, which were probably out close to 200 yards and/or pretty small. For the first array I threw my ruck in the tire for a shooting platform and that worked pretty well, but the right array, gave me fits. Finally I had to adjust and find a better way to brace up and the rest of the plates feel with ease. But the timer was unforgiving and dropped me into 22nd place for the stage. Yikes.
STAGE TWO – ROLLING
I’ve seen some crazy stages, but never have I shot off of a rolling garden cart while sliding down a hill. There were about a dozen USPSA targets spread out to the left and right with no shoots in front of them so you couldn’t just pick a position and take them all out. You had to swing back and forth as you rolled past them and not break the 180, and you couldn’t shoot two targets from the same spot. After you rolled to the bottom of the hill you had to move to the next postion and hit a stop plate about 150 yards away. Not sure of the practicality of this one, but it sure was fun. Everyone that walked back up the hill had a huge grin on their face, so mission accomplished.
STAGE THREE – EL PRESIDENTE
This was a pretty typical El Pres stage, starting with you facing up range, rifle sitting on a table. Once the timer sounds you swing around and grab your rifle, hit each target twice, reload, and hit them all with two more rounds. The targets were probably less than 30 yards away and I should have just hit time all freehand, but since I hadn’t shot in a while I wasn’t feeling confident with my offhand shooting/speed skills so I dropped and shot off of the table which probably cost me a second or two, but still managed to get 5th for the stage and miraculously somehow placed 5th overall for the match.