We had 5 stages yesterday, but I won’t bore you with the details of each stage. 2 were of the “Stand in box A, shoot 6 targets, run like hell to box B, shoot some more” variety. One was a carry over from the state match, just adapted to add a shotgun into the mix. Fun and challenging, but not the kind of thing which makes for exciting reading. Especially when you don’t have pictures to break it up.
This Missouri Jungle run was a shotgun only stage. It consisted of 20 targets scattered throughout the woods on a 100 yard long trail over unfriendly terrain. Great fun, but I would have loved it more in February than in July. This was one of those stages which showed me the drawbacks to my factory shotgun. An extended magazine tube on the 870 would have been helpful, as well as a side saddle on the receiver for additional shells. With a capacity of 4+1, I did a lot of reloading along the way. Sometimes I was able to jam in a couple extra shells as I ran to the next target zone, sometimes not. Thankfully our SO let me borrow a shell carrier which strapped to my forearm and held about 20 shells. That saved me from digging through pockets for shells. I also used 18″ non-rifled slug barrel, so I really appreciated the shorter length of the barrel. It was dead on, and unleashed a fury of lead against the steel and clay targets. My biggest complaint is that I’m still feeling it today. It certainly doesn’t absorb the recoil like my trap gun does. But I do love a 12 gauge though.
The last stage was a distance rifle stage. 6 5″ steel plates on a rack 100 yards away, followed by 3 paper targets at 25 yards, then a steel popper and 3 8″ plates at 100 yards, all shot with the rifle. The stage finished up with 3 paper target at 25 yards shot with a pistol. I was a bit concerned about shooting the 5″ plates from my AR. My EOTech is currently sighted in at 25 yards, so I was a little unsure how it would line up at 100 yards. I was able to hit the targets, but it took a little Kentucky windage and more ammo than I would have liked to get it done. The other problem was the targets didn’t offer much contrast against their background, and without a magnifier, they were a little difficult to see. But target transitions are FAST with the EOTech, and I had no problems with the 8″ plate. Next time I get to the range, I’m going to get that EOTech setup for 100 yards. I’d rather have it dead on at longer distances, and make adjustments for closer targets than the other way around.
When I read Jeff Cooper’s “The Art of the Rifle”, I remember something about if you can’t get closer, get more stable. I tried that 100 yard popper while standing and blew the shot. A quick drop to the knee and “ping”. Ok, lesson learned.
The match was fun. I don’t know if they are my cup of tea, but I could see doing a couple of these a year just to do something fun. And there are certainly good for finding the deficiencies in your equipment.
Ok, now the tie in to the Gama Goat. Someone procured one of these for shuttling folks to the rifle range. The terrain at this club is very hilly once you get off the ranges and roads. Rather than take the roads, they chose a path that was much more appropriate for this vehicle. My 6 year old son thought this was about the coolest thing ever riding in this vehicle with a bunch of guys carrying their rifles. No doubt about it, we were definitely a bunch of grown men “playing army” and we had a good time doing it.