For day 2, our schedule was 0615 stage brief and walkthroughs. 0630 first shots. Our stage sequence was to be 3, 4, 1 and 2.
Shoot house. How awesome! Except for one little thing…lighting, and target location, and stupid mental mistakes. Still it was a shoot house, which is always awesome. The stage began with an unloaded shotgun. From the shooting box, take a single clay to the right across the width of the shoot house, then back to the left there is an array of clay birds in the left berm, followed by a slug / pistol target and a plate rack with a single skinny sammy placed underneath. then proceed to the left, shoot paper targets before entering the door of the shoot house where you then shoot a 3 plate rack at the other end of the hall. Pick up a back board, and drag it through the shoot house clearing the three rooms. Drop the back board shoot out the window at the five small steel knock downs, and then clear the fourth room.
Up I come to the starting box. Life is good… load 8 birdshot, then grab the stacked slug, birshot and load it. Shoot the paper with the slug then clear the plate rack, feed the Mossberg and clear the rest. First thing I loaded was the stacked birdshot, slug. I should have stopped right there and shot the paper then loaded the rest of the tube but nooooo, I am a smart guy I can count it down and nail the paper….. I think it would have worked except I kind of forgot that the slug was before the birdshot. I cleared the plates, I nailed the sammy, I turned to the right and I nailed the clay…. with the slug…. crap. Feed the gun, shoot the clays, dump it pull the pistol shoot the paper. I should be ok, I was going to reload at the door and there are only the two paper before the plate rack, I’ll be fine….. famous last thoughts I avoid wiping out on the wet concrete coming around the corner shoot the paper, leap over the back board, and look down the hallway….where are the plates…. are those shadows the plates…. crap the light sucks and my frigging front sight is brighter than the targets… struggle with taking them down… reload, grab the backboard and the rest of the stage goes awesome. Clear the rooms strong hand only, nail my reloads, the steel goes down with no make ups. I turn around and the RO goes, nice run. Good news bad news. You nailed the clay with a slug. Good news you nailed the clay with a slug, bad news it doesn’t really count and you blew by that paper target over there…… Huh? The slug, ok I knew that. Paper target, what paper target, I got all the paper… except for the one that was hidden at the doorway. I was so focused on making the doorway and getting over the backboard, getting the plates, making the reload I never even knew there was a target there. I walked that stage 20 times or more and I never burned that target into my brain.
Stage 4 was nice woodsy stage with six targets from about 200y out to about 300y. Then a whole bunch of paper and steel targets with one longer range static steel plate at 40y, and then you had to re-engage some of the rifle steel with pistol at about 40 yards. Fun stage the long range went pretty well, I had a couple of make up shots. The paper was a piece of cake…. that static steel on the hill was a game breaker for me. I launched a lot of rounds at that one and never hit it. Moved on to the rest of the target array and then struggled with the rifle steel. Disappointing.
Shooting from the car again? I hated this at Rockcastle last year. B/C targets at 30y with pistol from the car. Oh boy, this could get really ugly. The rest of the stage was pretty straight forward. Exit the vehicle, shoot some knock down steel over the hood of an SUV, move and shoot paper at about 20y then engage knock down steel without hitting the bumper of the SUV. Transition to shotgun, shoot the clays, shoot the steel, shoot the poppers, shoot the plate rack. Dump the shotty, grab the rifle five paper down range then move to the 2″ deep puddle to shoot 3 paper targets back across the range call it 40y.
I manage to get into the SUV, and place my hands at 10 and 2 and both feet on the pedals as specified and then draw the pistol on the buzzer. Lean over and take aim at the steel… I went 2 for 3 on the steel… Holy….I have to get out and move. I managed to get over my surprise and mow down the rest of the pistol knockdown steel without issue… I take four shots at the hidden paper across the range, and transition to shotgun. Shotgun runs well, loads well it all goes down and I get to the rifle. I rip up the rifle. I am getting good sight picture and good trigger control, I nail the paper and slide down to the puddle of mud for the rest of the rifle.. It goes smoothly and the stage is done. Up until they tell me that I missed the paper that I shot at with the pistol… story of the match… pistol is not kind to me this time.
Self start. Flat bay. Shotgun on the left, Rifle on the left… mandatory prone for 50y targets…get up run down the center alley and paper left and right until you reach the orange fault line. Shoot the pink activator popper then the drop turner that is partially occluded behind a barrel. Four steel knock downs, and the swinger. Straight forward and fun.
Shotgun ran really well, I think I had one make up shot because I pulled off of the last popper too early to transition to the Polish plate rack. The plates went well. Quick sprint to rifle. The plate rack went well. I was a little slow getting down to prone and up from prone but the biggest issue I had was finding the eye box on the optic. Once I made due… the sammys went down one for one. Pistol…. went really well except for the disappearing drop turner. I shot it, I swear I hit it but… no holes. The swinger was moving pretty quick on me… I took two pairs of shots at it to be sure I hit it…. it had four holes. So, all in all it could have gone better. Super fun stage though.