Babes With Bullets 3 Gun Challenge (Pt. 1)

A few years ago my wife was interested in learning how to shoot.  Being the smart husband that I am I gave her a minimum set of basics on safety and operation and then sent her off to a Babes with Bullets handgun class.  For her it was an experience that she thoroughly enjoyed, and came back with all kinds of stories as well as some new skills.  Fast forward a year or so and the Babes with Bullets organization decides to offer a 3 Gun “camp” that allowed the primary lady enrollee to bring a friend.  My wife quickly enrolled us, and we were soon off to Iowa to learn from the best in the business, and make some awesome new friends.  We have been returning to the BWB camps regularly because they are so fun (and instructor led training is important).

This year the BWB organization rolled out the 1rst Annual BWB 3 Gun Challenge.  Of course we decided that this was a must attend event, and quickly registered for the event with my wife, oldest daughter, and I all making the long trek from the upper Midwest down to Northern Louisiana.



We arrived at the famous Shootout Lane facilities Friday evening and were able to get a look at the stages that were awaiting us.  It looked like things had dried out from the torrential rains that they had been having in the area over the prior several weeks and that we would be good to go in the morning.  Well the rain gods had other ideas, and Saturday morning greeted us with hard, driving rain and thunder storms that turned the firm ground to standing water, and slippery mud.  None of that stopped us, and after a two hour delayed start we slogged our way through four stages of fun.  Fortunately, the rain pretty much held off for the balance of the day and we were spared a complete soaking while shooting.  We still were plenty wet and muddy by the time we wrapped up though.



As I get a chance to work through the video from the event, I will get some more images posted.  The short version is:

  • This was an excellent event that was executed well, in adverse conditions.
  • Everyone had fun.
  • Sponsor support was excellent.
  • We made some new friends, and reconnected with some old friends.

More to come.  Stay tuned.


Texas Wrap Up

I finally have a couple of minutes to catch up on the results of the Texas 3 Gun Championship.  As it was last year, this was an awesome event.  The crew (Kurt and Brian and everyone) works hard to put on a smooth running and challenging event and they did another awesome job.  The volunteers from the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets do an excellent job supporting each stage and helping things run smoothly.

Finally, it wouldn’t be an event without the sponsors.  Thank you for your support.

In my earlier reports, I indicated that I was struggling with some equipment issues.  I finally had one of my squaddies (thank you Nancy) run some video for me and you can see exactly what I mean.  I thought that I had it worked out but, apparently it was still an issue on Sunday morning.  The funny thing about this failure is that I jumped into the final stage of the match after this one and had the most awesome stage run that I have had in a long time (40th in the division).

Needless to say, it was a disappointing match for me.  I struggled with the equipment, I struggled with my mental game both staying focused, and in pushing myself, and I struggled with some of the physical positions just getting the position to be workable.  All in all, a great learning experience and while my overall finish was quite a bit lower than I would like and expect, (115/158 in my div) I have that last stage as a known capability and reminder of what to strive for.



For comparison purposes, here is the way that stage can be run.


Title Sponsor

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Silver Sponsors

Stage Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Staff Jersey Sponsor

Target Sponsors

Scoring provided by


MidAtlantic Regional Day 2

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.

Stage 3

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

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.


Stage 1

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.


Stage 2

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.

MidAtlantic Regional Day 1

I decided to do something a little different for this regional, and elected to shoot the afternoon/morning sequence.  Squading myself in squad 15, we all showed up at a casual 1115 on Saturday for the shooters meeting.  As we were finishing, the skies began to speak to us and provide us with a gentle cooling rainfall.

That lasted about 20 minutes.  Just enough time to make our way over to Stage 7, grab a raincoat and see that the morning squad before us was just getting started.  The rain quickly turned into a prolonged deluge that came down for the next hour or so and by the time it was our turn to shoot…. the footing was interesting, with standing water in places (where you had to stop to shoot of course) and slippery soft mud in other places.

Stage 7 was an interesting stage that had a mirror image, left and right with a shotgun array at the farthest in area, a steel array a couple of feet behind that and finally two large steel plates at 40 yards.  A good mix of steel, paper, and clays.  Two 100 yard (?) plate racks were to be engaged with the rifle to start the event, followed by a 30 yard sprint to the primary shooting area.  I had high hopes for this stage and could have achieved them…. if I had not strayed from my original plan and taken the long range plates with slugs instead of trying it with pistol.  I wound up hitting 3 of the 4 required shots on that steel but it took much too long for me.  Then another 15y pc of steel gave me some grief before I could finish up.  All in all, I only left the one shot off the steel but I should have stuck with the slug plan and done better.

Stage 8

Stage 8 had the promise to be an awesome stage.  Right up to the point where we tried to walk the path during the walkthrough.  The stage ran to the left of a berm and over the edge of it.  As a result, there was a right to left downward slope that was inches deep slippery mud, that you crossed as you had to take a clay on the left.  You then had three shotgun arrays including a Texas Star before climbing to the first platform of a tower to do some moderate range (<220y) targets.  I was first on this stage for the squad.  Start the stage shoot all the pistol steel against the berm (10) proceed down range to the shotgun table, shoot the paper on the left behind the banner and drop the pistol in the dump bucket things were going awesome I hadn’t fallen and I was only partly wet…. except there were two additional paper targets on the right hidden behind a barricade before you reached the table that I blew past.  Shotgun comes up, and I nail the first clay and then have to gingerly pick my way across the slope and take the rest of that clay array, feed the Mossberg and take the steel array.  Things are going too well again… feed the Mossberg and then take the next steel array before the Texas Star…. I shoot the first steel that was positioned low, intending to move to the one behind it and slightly right, then the rest to the right.  That first steel threw a wave of water over everything sight picture gone, plan gone bad transitions between targets now…. the normal things when you get a surprise like that.  Finish things up, drop the shotgun head for the tower.  Everything is wet, my shoes are muddy, and the tower was slick.  Manage to slide my way up and get the rifle unslung, and managed to get through the long range targets without too much trouble.  The transitions were rough and I was unhappy with a couple of make up shots but, those are all things to work on.

Stage 5

Oh my.  Mandatory slug targets, flying birds and four inch mud.  Just getting to the stage down the road in the mud was fatiguing.  Of all the wet, squishy stages, I wish it had been dry for this one.  Starting position was with the shotgun in the back of the SUV.  Get the shotgun, move to the box engage the 70y slug poppers from the box.  8 clays to the left of the SUV by the box, 8 steel to the right of the SUV on the way to the poppers, steel plates, and aerials.  Then a sprint to a mix of paper and steel, ending on 40 yd pistol steel.  I was ecstatic I actually hit the slug targets.  I have struggled with slugs but connected on these two with only one makeup shot.  The clays and steel I worked through with alacrity.  I missed the second bird on both poppers.  Another area to work on, although these aerials were really low.  Then it was off to more slippery races to get out to the rest of the array.  I wound up struggling with the longer range pistol targets again and that seems to be the story of the match for me.  All in all though I was pleased with my slow performance.


Stage 6

Shoot from a helicopter simulator then jump out and shoot some more, in a bay that allows you to shoot 360 degrees.  What’s not to like?  Thunderstorms.

This stage would have been AWESOME dry.  As it was, I am glad it was the last stage of the day.  The helicopter shots required you to manage your feet in an uncomfortable way shooting a lot of steel and paper scattered in about a 120 degree arc from your seated position.  Fortunately it all went well, although more slowly than it should have (fog on the shooting glasses makes it hard to see) and I didn’t shoot the chopper as some did.  Jump out, shoot the paper targets as planned and move on to the shotgun.  So shotgun… 15 targets (steel) of which 12 are placed against a grey berm, and they are grey in color and it is the end of the day, and we are in a rain squall.  I think I took some extra shots are at an empty target stand…but it was hard to tell.  Moved over to the next array… load four birdshot, load four slugs… boom one steel boom boom boom boom four slug hits on paper (feeling good about slugs now) feed the Mossberg, shoot three more steel and then drop to a deep knee in three inches of muddy standing water to shoot the four steel under the barricade.   Did I mention that it was raining?  Super fun stage, I could have shot it better, I could have shot it differently but all things considered it was a lot of fun.

That wrapped up our day.  Figuring that we started at 1115 and we finished around 1930 it made for a long day of alternating rain, thunder, heat and high humidity.

Stage 4 Polo 3 Gun June

Well since all the cool kids are doing it, I thought that I would go ahead and post my stage 4 run out here on the “interwebs” and be a bit embarrassed by how slowly I ran this very short stage.   As I was running this stage I knew that a couple of things did not go well but, I really thought that I was moving through it.  That is why I love video as a teaching tool… I found that I was slower than molasses in January.

Let’s take a look.

Learning Points:

  1. Learn to count, planning:  I should not have been surprised by that pistol reload.  I should have reloaded coming out from the barrels.
  2. Turn and Draw — most lackadaisical, no reason to be this slow.
  3. Surprise at hitting the longer range pistol steel in one shot.  Be more confident.  Either launch a quick follow on shot or move on more quickly.
  4. Targets between the barrels…. transition and splits… no reason to be that slow except it seems like I was stuck in first gear throughout the stage.
  5. Large poppers –  Ug, no reason not to go one for one and more quickly.  They were close and they were LARGE.
  6. Move to a spot and shoot…. pick the right spot.  I should have been closer to the table and back maybe 18″ to be in a better position to see the targets and drop the pistol in the box.
  7. The plan was to plus up the shotgun as I moved to the clays… doh.
  8. After about the fourth clay I shifted to second gear put never really cranked up the speed the way I should have.
  9. Moving reload to the plate rack…. slow, slow, slow.

I think that there was probably 10s (or more) that I should have been able to cut from this stage.  I was just slow at everything I did.  I was 24th on this stage… I probably could have been somewhere between 10th to 12th, if I hadn’t been so lackadaisical about it.

Still… I was outside, the weather was cooperating, my family was shooting with me and I was shooting…. Still A GREAT DAY!


2015 Schedule

The 2015 schedule is beginning to firm up.  I still need to make some decisions, balance commitments, and not over commit on the budget front but things are looking pretty good right now.  The current plan (subject to change of course) looks like this.

  • 3Gun Nation South West Regionals – March
  • X-Treme Bullets 2015 Texas 3Gun Championship – April (tentative)
  • 3Gun Nation Southern Regionals – May
  • Polo 3Gun – June
  • 3Gun Nation Mid-Atlantic Regionals – June
  • War Sport Team Challenge – July (tentative)
  • 3Gun Nation Eastern Regionals – Aug
  • Brownell’s Pro – Am – Aug (tentative)
  • Area 5 USPSA Event – Aug (tentative)
  • Generation 3Gun – September (tentative)
  • Polo 3Gun – October

I will throw in club level events where they fit but, this schedule by itself is pretty much an “all in” proposition.  I am looking forward to seeing everyone at these events.  I am open to suggestions for alternate matches, or if you are just looking for another friendly face to join your match send me an invite.

Those that have…

There is a common expression in the shooting sports.  “There two groups in this sport, those that have, and those that will”.  Last night I joined the group that “has”.



It had to happen at some point.  It will probably happen again at some point.  Given the just over two years that I have been playing this sport, I was probably past due to wind up with a disqualification.  Embarrassed, very disappointed, and frustrated though.

Thinking back on all the sports I have played in though, I have only had a few game misconducts, maybe one or two red cards, a couple of basketball games where I fouled out… this had to happen at some point, it could have been a whole lot worse.  The best and worst part is it happened at a local match, with a group of guys that know me well and were very empathetic about the situation.

Time to put this one behind me and go shoot 3 gun this weekend.

As to what happened, somehow (and I wish I really knew how because this is what is bothering me most) I brushed the trigger enough during a reloading sequence to discharge the weapon.  It bothers me that I really cannot reconstruct the event to know for certain where all my digits were at the time, at least then I would know where I was careless and what I needed to fix.