Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Monday, January 24, 2011

PHX Rod & Gun Club 3-Gun Match

It kind of pains us to miss our home club (Cactus Combat Match League) matches, especially since I've been tasked with designing the stages, but Jon and I need to practice for rifle ranges beyond the mere 100 yard stages to which the CCML is limited -- in order to prepare for the upcoming Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun in March. The Phoenix Rod & Gun Club holds their matches on the same 4th Sunday we normally shoot CCML, but offers similar targets to the Superstition at ranges out to 400+ yards.

This month, (as usual for this time of year) Jon and I resolved to get serious about match practice, and our friends Big Bob and Ron decided to join us at a new venue (for them). Personally, I only did a smattering of plinking down back of Mom's house during Winter Break, so I felt especially rusty (and yucky match nervousness) during today's sojourn to the South Mountain range adjacent to the Phoenix Police Academy.

It was a challenge itself shooting at a range, unlike Ben Avery, where the sunshine is always behind you, to shoot where the winter sun shines straight in your eyes when the targets are oriented to the left. This is not a bad thing, because adverse shooting conditions are the spice of life. The first three shooters had the sun behind the mountain, but I had Mr. Sun straight in my eyes, which gloriously backlit all my gunsmoke and the dust kicked up by #6 shot smacking into the berm. Big Bob shot right behind me. After the shotgun targets, we had three arrays of cardboard we had to dispatch with two to the body and one to the head.

Our next stage had some fiendish long pistol steel targets, some of which activated swinging targets to be engaged by rifle later. After clearing a Texas Star, we transitioned to rifle, then cleared the rifle targets, most of which were head & shoulders targets protected by cover.

The shotgun-only stage featured 23 stationary clays and two distant slug targets. New to PR&G, our friend Ron acquitted himself well with only a +1 extension to this Remington 870. That's a lot of reloading, just what Jon and I needed to prepare for the match in Mesa.

The long-range stage featured five resetting small intermediate targets and five "flash" targets ranging from 200 to 415 yards. Surprisingly, I bested Jon on this stage, but I'm sure Jon crushed me, matchwise.

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  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Jerry The Geek said…

    Shooting with the sun in your eyes is even worse than shooting with 'some of the targets' in shade.

    In the 1998 Area 1 match in Reno, there was a stage featuring a bunch of IPSC targets far down range, partially obscured by some kind of camouflage netting. This was deemed "Soft Cover"; you were suppose to shoot through it.

    On the second day of the match the first squad to shoot that stage found that the morning sun was so slow that the berms cast a deep shadow over many of the targets ... and more were revealed as the squad worked through the shooting order. The berms were very high, and the problem was obviated when it finally got high enough (about 10am) that all the targets could be seen fairly clearly.

    A protest was registered, on the grounds that the shooting problem was not presented equally to all competitors; this was a primary requirement of IPSC rules. The protest was presented to an Arbitration Committee, which found that the complaint was justified; competitors who shot the stage in the early morning hours could NOT avoid being handicapped by the inconsistent lighting conditions.

    There was no way that the handicapped competitors could reshoot the stage .. .it was a 3-day match, 3 squads (about a dozen competitors in each) could not reasonably reshoot that stage at the end of the regular match hours.

    The decision of the Match director was that the stage would be thrown out of the match. Anyone who had done well on the stage mourned it; the rest of us welcomed the decision.

    It's important, when designing a match, to consider variable lighting on each individual stage.

  • At 12:19 PM, Anonymous ExurbanKevin said…

    See you at the match in March! Don't know what stage I'll be on, but I know I'll be working it and shooting it with my new 930 SPX.


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