Three Gun Competition
I’m sharing this experience because it was new, exciting, had practical application, and is something you need to try. You will be wowed and humbled; but you will have a blast. I’ll post some photos as soon as I get them; maybe even some great video.
This morning at 0630, or about that time…mind you it’s January 1st, the phone goes off. “Hey, you ready?” Crap, I think; Aaron was gonna take me to that gun competition. I throw on my clothes and grab a string cheese as his headlights pull up outside my house. He and another dude are up front so I climb into the backs seat piled full of weapon bags because the trunk was already full. I forgot I had agreed to not only check out this competition, but enter and compete in it. When we get to the site people are setting up the range for the day’s activities….it’s a balmy 4 degrees Fahrenheit and my toes a going numb. Soon enough a big fire is going for those not up on the firing line and coffee or hot cocoa is provided for all.
The place of the competition was the Parma Rod and Gun Club out here nearish to Boise. This was the nicest gun club I think I’ve ever shot at. That have all the standard ranges, plus vehicles to shoot from, roof platforms to shoot from, windows and doorways to shoot from, walking lanes to shoot in, a climbing tower with a zip line to shoot from for special competitions, and more. Here’s the link for the range http://www.parmarng.org/. Check them out of you are in the area.
I had never fired in a competition, let alone this type; so I enter as a beginner. Which was fine because I didn’t win anything anyway. My experience is primarily with bolt action rifles and slow relaxed shooting; or the reflexive ranges that the army uses. I look around and see all these amazing beards and think to myself one day when I’m done with this army crap… Before the safety brief, or whatever civilians call that stuff, we all remove our hoods and bennies and recite the Pledge of Allegiance and I think to myself; I like this crowd: safe, pro fire arms, patriotic, and down to earth…hell, some of them might even have bibles at home to cling to.
Now this is the order of the shoot for this particular competition. The range is covered with an assortment of steel targets and assorted distances; some targets drop and have to be reset manually with a pull rope and lever, others for the AR-15 platform stand in place or swivel when hit. I wasn’t positive on the ranges as I hadn’t shot here before and neglected to ask. The near targets are shot with a mixture of pistol, 9mm or 40 Cal, and 12 gauge shotgun; at least that was the only gauge of shotgun I saw today. Between the shotgun and pistol near targets, the AR-15 is used to hit mid and far targets. Beginners were allowed to rest their weapons on the bench, intermediate shooters could only do it for the farthest targets, and expert shooters were not permitted a rest at any time and had to fire unsupported.
You and the guy your up against start back from the firing line and have to sprint up to the firing position where you weapons are, once the range safety, whatever they’re called on the civilian side; says go. I started with the pistol, of which I was pretty proud of my shooting today, then engaged targets with my AR-15, and lastly finished up with my 12 gauge. I do have to admit I use the term “my” quite loosely, as none of the weapons I fired today were actually mine. Now I’m not a terrible shot, but believe me when I tell you that just in the beginner category I never fire a round from the shotgun, I only made it far enough to pick it up once. Part of that was just the luck of the draw when it came to my competition. Did I fail to mention that speed is fundamental to the competition? Best two out of three continued, and a first loss put you in the losers bracket to try and work your way up.
Aaron told me that he’s brought others out before thinking they were hot shots with a fire arm; and after seeing the other shooters either deciding not to enter the competition or entering, getting angry with the outcome, and never coming back. I on the other hand don’t care if I lose, as long as I have a good time. And today the shooting was good, and watching national pros go through targets faster than I could pull a trigger was awesome.
The weapons ranged widely. I saw national competition level AR-15s with matched quality sites, and standard M-4 type weapons with iron sites. The order of the match and the movements to engage targets will also vary depending on who is sponsoring the competition, or what the shooters are in the mood for. I think we may have been limited because of the weather and ice as to movement. I did a little snooping around on YouTube and found a plethora of videos from both competitions and instruction.
Check out this three gun Team Benelli video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXL40_G_Fxk.