Today I shot a 3 gun match at the Tennessee shooting foundation range in Jackson Tennessee, and had a wonderful time. Well I've known a few matches locally in the past several years this is the first match I have ever shot outside of my home range. Overall I had an absolute blast, and they ran a terrific match with challenging and fun stages. Having never been there before, I left an hour earlier than I thought I would need to and I am certainly glad that I did. Getting there was a pain as my phone continued to get me lost and for about 10 minutes I was riding around roads with no paint, no gravel, and no street signs to differentiate one road from another. Eventually though I did make my way there with just enough time to catch the safety briefing and walk through before the match.
The weather was pretty good, if a little chilly; ranging from 40 to 50 degrees throughout the match before ending the match in the low 40s. Wind was a little gusty from time to time, probably topping out about 15 mph.
This match introduced a lot of new gear to me. I recently acquired a Sterger M3K shotgun and a Invictus Practical shell caddy for competition use and would be my first time out with either. I shot in the Limited division, which means that I could only run my red dot, an Aimpoint T1 micro, and no magnification on my A.R. For my pistol I shot my Glock 22 while using my 9 mm conversion barrel from Lonewolf, although I am strongly considering trading it for a 34 dedicated just for competition use, it ran fine today.
Stage one would immediately push my skills past my comfort zone. First we would engage 8 six inch steel plates with the shotgun, followed by a 135 yard shot on steel using a slug. I managed to put a first round hit on all shotgun targets, including the slug, which I was very proud of as it was nearly 3 times further than anything else I've shot with a shotgun. After dumping the shotgun, we had six paper targets, two hits a piece as we moved to the final shooting position. Here we had to dump the pistol, unsling and charge the rifle, and shoot steel targets through a barrel at 150, 235, 400, and 500 yards. I severely rushed the nearest target (6 shots), before slowing down and finishing the stage with 2, 1, and 3 shots respectively. (Pretty proud of the long range hits, as I had never shot past 300 yards before).
Stage two in comparison to stage one was deceptively simple. There were three shooting boxes each separated by approximately 15 yards where all three guns would be staged ready and loaded. From the buzzer I sprinted first to the left to engage six small plates at 50 yards with the rifle, feeling confident off the way that I had just shot the last stage I probably rushed this stage. I struggled mightily on the six small plates. It took me a grand total of 23 rifle shots and 40 seconds of time just on this first station. After finally clearing the rifle section, I moved to the middle to clear the 12 different a poppers with a shotgun without a problem, even though this was the first time I've ever attempted a quad load inside a match. To finish out the stage with two shots a piece on six paper targets with a pistol, having to perform a mandatory reload after the third target. I nearly screwed up again here when I shot the fourth target prior to reloading, but then I remembered and finished the stage without a penalty because I went back to make up the extra shot.
Stage 3 was another high speed, low drag stage. Eight total rifle targets, 4 paper and 4 steel; 10 shotgun poppers; and 12 steel poppers for the pistol; with equal arrays to either side of a prop wall approximately 10 yards in front of the shooting box. I shot this stage pretty well, and although I forgot to have someone record it, I don't recall having any issues malfunctions or penalties.
Stage 4 was probably my worst of the day, especially in the beginning. I was first to shoot on the stage where there was a target array that I had never seen before. This was called a spinner, essentially two steel plates, one overtop the other vertically with a rotating axis in the middle. The goal is to shoot the spinner in the right order and right tempo to successfully flip the entire array to do a full spin. In addition to that we also had to engage five other small steel targets; with all the targets engaged from within a small shed, shooting from various ports and openings in the wall. Figuring that I probably would have problems with the spinner I decided to shoot the five other targets first without issue, then Had the wheels fall totally off on the spinner. I was additionally plagued by the fact that I had apparently not fully reloaded my tube prior to the stage and ran out of shells sooner than I had expected. It took two full reloads in order to finally get the hang of it, but once I did I was able to successfully do it in two shots. The issue I was having is I was shooting out of order when I should've been alternating between top and bottom trying to keep the momentum moving in the correct direction. Once I finally got that done I moved into the pistol area and engaged six still poppers as well as one a actuator and a flashing IDPA target. After completing that section I unslung the rifle and engaged three small IPSC paper targets freehand before kneeling and using an abandoned car as a rest for a 100 yard shot on a steel target and a 300 yard shot with two rounds each without much issue or fanfare.
Stage five was the last of the match, and as I had shot first in the previous stage I would be the last one up for the day. This stage started with 3 steel targets with two hits a piece with a rifle from 100 yards, then follow a zig zag path that revealed 5 more paper rifle targets. Next we grounded the rifle and transitioned to shotgun, which consisted of 12 steel plates further along the same path. After finishing up with the birdshot, we had to shoot the middle of the three steel rifle targets with a slug; however at some point during the stage I lost the slug in my match saver and missed with the two spares I carried, making this the only target I completely missed on the day. The last 11 targets consisted of 6 steel plates on a rack and a Texas Star, which went okay until the very last point of the star, which seemed to take a dozen rounds before finally clearing the stage.
At the final results I came in 12th out of 20, and won the Limited division, although there were only two other shooters in that division and they had never competed before. I also have posted the three videos of my stages if you want to check them out: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...23691281440820
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