The gang that have been the masterminds behind the 3-Gun Nation tour have created a new club level classifier system, and point series. It looks pretty cool. I hope we can find some clubs in this area that will participate in the program.
Getting geared up for a couple of significant events here.
First we have the Babes with Bullets 3 Gun Camp coming up in early April. Taking advantage of the alumni status that my wife has with BWB we are headed down to Shreveport to spend some time working the 3 Gun techniques with the allstar BWB staff. That in turn will translate to the BWB 3Gun Challenge at RockCastle in August (for my wife). Since I am 47th on the waiting list, we will have to see if I get to shoot it as well.
That said, I “had” to spend some time tweaking my wife’s rifle and scope yesterday. Getting it working, and zeroed in. I think it is pretty much there. I didn’t try that hard to get a “perfect” group, and just shot a quick five string “acceptable” sight picture.
I think she can live with that.
I had another member of the Havoc 5 crew with me to work on her technique. I think she had fun. Poor quality cell phone photos but, meh, we had some fun.
I couldn’t capture the brass in the air in the low light of the range, but you can see it streaking from the ejection port.
It was a good day.
Coming down to the wire for this series. The final two stages of the event.
Stage 7 – Swing On This
Using visual barriers, the stage designers created three distinct arrays to shoot at. The left and right side had a combination of 2 shoot and 1 no shoot targets attached to typical wooden poles that then were connected to a set of electric motors. The effect was to essentially create a windshield wiper effect with the targets, moving at about the speed of a typical windshield wiper. The center array was then just a set of steel pepper poppers.
I don’t have much to critique on this stage. Moving targets, like this, were completely new but I avoided any misses. The steel was steel. I essentially forgot what my plan was coming out of the box. I had intended to clean the steel from the left side ally. I took like one shot at one popper, it dropped and I scooted over to the right ally kicking myself for forgetting the rest of the targets. The right side went ok, and the steel all went down with minimal fuss.
Shooting from angles, steel, moving targets, and short sprints. I need to work on it all but, my run was ok.
Stage 8 – Bada Bing
Stage 8 was a variation on stage 4. We all remember that stage 4 was where the wheels came off so badly. Stage 8 was not so bad.
The setup, was four targets on the left and varying heights, with some no shoots sprinkled in. A similar array on the right. Then move downrange to a port to shoot six steel poppers, then open a door that you have to pull towards you, and an array of four targets with two no shoots sprinkled in.
Let’s see, steel targets, a port to shoot through, a door that opens back towards you. A lot of opportunity for me to have some problems. All in all though, my problem came right up front on my eighth shot. Trigger reset. I shot the first two low targets, the next high target, then got a good first hit on the rightmost high target, squeezed again and the gun didn’t go bang. Quick look and I start into a malfunction sequence and as soon as I release the trigger I feel the reset. Get back on the target, and I pull the shot high right. I saw it impact but I was already moving to the next array. Finish up the stage and the scorer (who is a friend) says, “You had a “mike” on that first array”. When I say, yeah I know and I thought about picking it up but didn’t he told me flat out you were already gone on to the next one.
I need to find that balance between foot speed and recognizing what my brain is telling me. But, that’s why this is still a learning curve and it’s a lot more fun than golf.
Continuing in my self analysis of this years Winter Indoor IPSC Tournament put on by the Pine Tree Pistol Club, we look at stages 5 and 6.
The WIIT is shot in three bays, and four distinct relays that are each composed of 3 squads. In order to fit all the action into two days, two relays shoot all eight stages in one day. I was assigned to squad 7. We shot on Sunday, and started with Stage 5. Due to the layout of the facility, and the need for quick turnover of the stages within the bays you may notice that Stage 5 and Stage 1 are very similar. As were Stage 4 and Stage 8.
Getting down to details.
Stage 5 – Zombie Clearing
I am not really sure why they incorporated Zombie into the name of this stage. There were no zombie targets involved. Starting position on this was facing uprange, loaded and holstered, with your back against the wall. You had to turn, draw and move to your right, engage two paper targets through a port. Move left through a doorway, engage the two paper. Continue past the targets to a charge line and engage four steel. Turn and move 10-15 yards to the right and engage a steel dueling tree. Shift left and open a door, engage two targets. Shift down the hall, open a door engage two targets, negotiate a left right chicane and engage four more targets in a small “room”.
As I said, this was my first stage of the day and it was a rough start. Not terrible, but there were a lot of areas to make improvements on. I shot all “alphas” on the paper so, I am pretty proud of that. Let’s cover the problem areas. Turn and draw, smooth and quick right up to getting my weak hand on the gun. I was too close to the port in the barrier and wound up with a small portion of the barrier between my hands as I wrapped my weak hand fingers around the gun.
The steel pepper poppers, nice run there only one extra shot. The dueling tree, I began at the bottom and worked my way up. I get to the top, and that is the first plate that I manage to hit. Run it back down, and I nailed the remaining five. The rest of the stage was smooth, except for that one spot where I did not let the trigger reset all the way. Stupid error but it happened three times during that match, and once in my match this week. That tree though killed me. I need to work on barriers and steel.
Stage 6 – Make It Count
A short little stage. Starting turned 90 degrees from the target with your hands on the wall, turn and draw. Engage targets as visible. Three steel pepper poppers are visible from the start, all other targets are obscured in two distinct arrays. One target is a mover, swinging out and then back in. You have to shoot the paper through the ports.
This was a decent stage for me. My plan was to engage the poppers, then the mover and the two static targets, then move to the last port and engage the remaining paper. The draw was smooth, my steel shots went well with no extra shots for a change, movement to the first port was good but I reversed my plan and engaged the paper then came back to the mover. Stepping on the trap to activate the mover was not natural. I shot it well but I probably wasted 1s+ on visually finding the trap, stomping it, and getting my position. It still felt awkward. Move right to the next port and engage the remaining paper.
The stage went fairly well. I threw a few too many charlies, in one case I threw two charlies on a target where both were on a horizontal line and positioned one to the left and one to the right of the “A” zone by about 1/4 inch. I think I just didn’t quite get that one settled in.
Things to work on:
- Steel plates
- Step Activators
And as always foot speed. I need to get more explosive in my first couple of steps from the position.
Stages 3 and 4 of last weekends WIIT. Ug, I would really not like to go through stage 4, that’s where the wheels totally came off.
Stage 3 – Barrels of Fun
If you watched the previous video, you will recall that this stage had 5 different target arrays that aligned to 5 different barrels. You, the shooter, had to shoot through the barrels to hit your targets. Four steel, the rest paper set and varying heights and distances. A pretty straight forward stage.
I didn’t shoot it badly. The barrel height created a moderately low squatting position to shoot from. The targets that were situated above the axis of the barrels meant you had to squat lower and vice-versa for the lower targets. While there were barriers to guide you to shoot through each barrel station, you could take some off angle shots and try to make your hits without shifting to the next barrel. I started in the left most barrel, then moved to the center, then center right, and right side. This is where my steel “phobia” began to kick in. Four steel poppers and I think it took three extra shots to drop them. Moving to the right the higher position of the targets made it a bit more difficult to get the hits, and I dropped some hits outside the “A” zone. Some new shooting positions on this stage taught me that I need to shoot from a crouch / squat more, and I need to work on movement from that position. While I think I stayed pretty flat between positions, that movement needs to be quicker, and of course those pesky elevated targets need to become more second nature.
Stage 4 – Bah Zinga
This could have and should have been one of my better stages for the match. Instead the wheels came off. This was a pretty straight forward run and gun stage. One door to open that activated a clamshell target. A plate rack. An array of pepper poppers. I should have rocked through this one.
I’ll set it up. From the starting box, with your firearm loaded and holstered on the signal engage the targets as available. From the box there are two low targets to the left, two high targets to the right behind a small wall. A ten yard sprint forward to clear another blocking wall on the right and shoot two. Without overshooting the 180, swivel left and charge the two targets there. Slide off the targets and charge the steel array to the pepper poppers. Slide right down the charging line and choose open the door or move to the plate rack and come back for the door.
My run was pathetic. The buzzer goes off, and I double clutch the draw. No big deal but it set the stage for the rest of the work. Targets left, four shots down. Step right two steps and take the right array, four shots looking good so far. Move and load, take the two on the right spin and take the two on the left, looking good – reload. Charge line, stop and shoot steel work through the array drop four come back shoot the small one on the left upper again, and again, got it. Work on the LARGE pepper popper not going down, slide lock — screw it moving on to plates. First run through left to right. One out of six down. Reload right to left two more down, wasting time and I am on my last magazine, move to the door two shots…both misses. What a mess.
Have I mentioned how much of this sport is mental and concentration related. Once I started to be just that little bit off on the steel, it effected everything. I can shoot steel. I can shoot it well but it is a weakness and I know it. When it starts to unravel, it unravels. So, another component of my bag of tricks to work on. Tune it all out, and practice steel. Make it a strength.
The stage was FUN. It was pure run and gun with close mostly open targets. A barricade / port to shoot through on the plate rack. Doors to open. Good stuff. My execution…a perfect case study for me on what I can work on to improve.
Mike Seeklander has written a nice article for JP Rifles talking about some of the best ways to utilize your rifle when you need to shoot quickly and accurately. He has some good descriptions about some minor changes in how you mount your rifle, and position your hands and body to improve accuracy in a dynamic environment.
In a situation where life and limb are at stake, speed and accuracy must always be balanced, yet prioritized. This means that while hitting is the first priority, specifically with the first shot, quick followup shots are extremely important to ensure that the threat is neutralized quickly and effectively. To fire quick followup shots, recoil control must be maximized. To improve your recoil control, follow these steps:
The article is a little dated having first been published in July, 2011 but it is a good reminder of the basics.
If you use your rifle for defensive purposes, or just for action competition there are some good points for you to consider. Go to the link and read the whole thing.
The stages. I am going to run this back in the order that they are in the match book. I shot them in a different order but for my purposes I think it will be easier to follow my results as this website evolves over time if I approach it this way.
Stage 1 – Zombie land
A pretty straight forward run fast burn it down stage. Most of the targets were wide open and in close. One small four piece popper array, and one awkward reload point. The paper targets were arrayed such that each was within a set of walls that you had to negotiate. After reaching the end of that run, you had two stacked targets, and then an array of four in a small room.
I felt I had a pretty good run (for me) on this one. I could have made the turn and draw faster, and I hesitated in charging the first set of targets, got to the steel array and had to take two extra shots. Cut back to the main aisle reloading and burned through the close targets. The distance from the last wall on the aisle to cut back to the left to get the hidden cardboard next to the steel was too short to reload in, and would have caused a second reload in order to hit the next array of targets so I elected to run to slide lock, and reload as I was changing targets. Fun stage, run and gun the whole way. The steel slowed me down, as did my slow start coming out of the gate. Still I ran that stage just about the way I wanted. I might have been able to shave three to four seconds off of the stage if things had been perfect.
Stage 2 – CM 03-09 On The Move
This stage was the one classifier in the match. Unlike most of the classfiers that I have been shooting lately, I didn’t blow this one entirely. A pretty simple two string stage. Two completely open targets, and two partially occluded by a no-shoot. You start at one end of the starting box and have to move to the other end to get the last target. For string two, repeat from the other end of the box.
I turned in a solid run for me. I think I forgot that I was supposed to go fast and it helped a bit. I could have moved more quickly through the box though. I need to plan exactly where I want my feet to land in my movements. A quick burst to get to the next spot. Start to move a little earlier, don’t wait to see the results of the shot, etc. One area to work shooting to the left. The string where I started on the right and had to move to the left, I pulled the shots too far to the left and wound up with two “D” zone hits. Better sight picture, better results. Areas to work on.
As I go through these stages, words don’t really describe the stage very well. I am going to help by finding some video to help you understand the stages. I need to start taking some myself to help analyze areas to improve too. In the mean time I will look for some different vids that will help add some color here.
The first one up is Steve Galka’s match video. Pretty cool first person stuff. Evidently, they allowed that squad to shoot the first stage without facing up range.