2013 AR15 . com Pro-Am Stage 3

Stage 3 was a another speed run, if you could manage the shot gun reloads correctly.  I was disappointed with my execution.  The plan was good, and I blew the reload sequence.  Definitely an area that needs consistency.

Stage 3, “Play Misty…”  Starting with your toes on the mark engage all paper targets with pistol only.  Engage steel poppers with either pistol or shotgun, and steel plates with shotgun only.  A pretty straight forward stage and fun to run.  I would love to be able to set this one up and run variations of it for practice.

Yep, a little fast on the transition, a little faster on the reloads, no goofing around with the hat and I pick up that 5 seconds that puts me in the top 10 for the stage. Even 3 or 4 seconds would have been a huge improvement and I left it on the table for the taking. I see more shotgun work in my future.


2013 AR15 . com Pro Am Stage 2

Stage 2 on the amateur side  “Escape From…”.  Pure speed stage, and fun.  Starting in a seated position with hands on knees.  The loaded shotgun and the loaded pistol or rifle flat on the table.  Engage plates with shot only, ground the shotgun and then engage paper with rifle or pistol.

Fun stage. We lost the shotgun portion of my run, when the camera did not get started quite early enough.

Fun stage, I could have been a little quicker on transitions and shooting while moving. What is hard to see here though is that it was really easy to overrun your shooting spots for the targets. From that left wall corner I could see the two paper on the right, and one through the port. I needed another 12-18 inches to see the next target to the right in the port but you lost sight of the right hand targets. The transition of putting the shotgun in the barrel was SLOW. If I remember correctly I actually got hung up for a half second in placing it in. A few little improvements would translate to a big movement up the ladder on this one.

More Excellent Advice

Over at When The Balloon Goes Up Lee has written a good article on how your body can impact your performance at a match.  It is worth reading, and I think it is something that we can all relate to.  I certainly know that the first two stages that I shot at Rockcastle this year, I was off my normal pace, and normal game.  I did more than just stumble through as a zombie but, the amped up go for it mindset was missing.  Sleep, travel, poor eating and nutrition I think all factored in to that.

Read the article, there is some good stuff in there.

Excellent Advice

Take a legend in the shooting world (SASS, IDPA, IPSC) introduce them to modern three gun and see what they come away with from a lessons learned perspective.  Randi Rogers has done just that.  Being introduced to 3 gun over the last year and walking away with a new perspective on shooting, and some things to keep in mind as we train for events.

Go read her article, it is good advice for beginners and experts alike.

2013 AR15 . com Pro-Am Stage 1

As I post through these stages I am just going to go by the stage number rather than our shooting order.  It should be easier to track that way.  Some of the video is not perfect, in fact there is one stage where the video was just incomplete.

Stick with me, enjoy the video I am still learning how to best accomplish this stuff.  I will put a mashup of 6 of the 7 stages at the conclusion of the series.

Stage 1.

Creatively titled AM-One.  The initial stage brief called for both pistol and shotgun.  The stage changed before the match got underway and it moved to just shotgun.  23 targets, 21 plates and 2 pepper poppers.  Several no-shoots, and nine targets that had to be taken through a low port.

First stage of the match, I kind of forgot that it was a race. Reloads needed to be faster, and the transitions should have been faster. I was still watching the plates fall and not just moving to the next one. I could easily see 20 sec coming off the score. Fastest run for the stage was 43 sec faster than I was. Taking 20 sec of my time would translate into roughly 15 points and a top 30 finish on the stage. In the overall standings, that would have been a 17 position improvement. Must work on reloading, and waking up for that first stage of the day / match.

In this game the hare seems to win, not the tortoise.


2013 AR15 . com Pro-Am – Overview

The AR15.com Pro-Am for this year is over, and I am experiencing a let down.  It is such a great event, and I have such a great time at it that I am sad that it is over.  This year was the second time that I shot the event.  Not only did my performance improve greatly but, my wife chose to shoot the event too.  And there were a lot of friends that we have made over the past couple of years that were there as well.  All of those factors just made the event that much more enjoyable.

What happens when you put 1000 people together with high performance guns, in a shooting venue?  A lot of noise.  Many piles of brass and hulls.  There was much exchange of currency.  A lot of good conversation, a lot of laughter, a handful of tears, and some unique experiences for all to have.

On the amateur side of the event we shot seven stages over two days.  The terrain was varied, and the weather was hot, humid, and a bit unsettled with a thunderstorm or three that rolled through.  The stages were pretty creative without being too difficult.  They seemed a little simpler than last year but, with the increased longer range targets they probably were about the same.

I had a simple goal this year.  Do better than last year and have fun.  My more specific goals were:

  1. Finish in the top half of my division (last year’s goal)
  2. DO NOT hit the par time on any stage
  3. Stretch goal:  Finish in the top 50
  4. Super Stretch:  Break the top 25 on a single stage

Remember those goals, when I conclude this series we will see how I did.

Over the past couple of years, my wife has been fortunate enough to attend a few Babes with Bullets events.  This year the concept of a BWB 3 Gun Challenge was born and she jumped at the opportunity to participate.  As a result of this affiliation, we saw a lot of familiar faces,  made some new friends, and had some of the best mentoring that you can find.  I think it also took some of the butterflies out of Laura’s environment.  Surrounded by a squad that only wants to help you be successful is a wonderful environment to work in.

Even though it was HOT and HUMID and a very long drive to Kentucky and back it was worth it.  A lot of fun, and lot challenges and just a good time.  Rockcastle is a great venue for these events and is only getting better.  We renewed old friendships and made some new friends.

AND we were fortunate enough to shoot a suppressed .45 in a cave, in the dark, with night vision.  How cool is that?!


More to come.  Stay tuned.