Last Saturday the 25th of August my match-buddy Bill L. convinced me to head out to one of the few regular Multigun matches in Colorado. Bill is a regular at my local range for 3-Gun and pistol matches and he was also on my squad at the Colorado Multi-Gun Championship in April. I rallied a couple other buddies to come out as well and the four of us “newbies” got paired up with three serious competitors and a veteran that was only recently back from the sandbox.
The Weld County Fish and Wildlife Range was way cool for a public run range. They had a 6-ish private bays, a fairly large 100 yard bay and a 200 meter bay mixed in with a bunch of 5-stand shotgun stations. The match is organized by Zak Smith of Colorado Multigun and Competition Dynamics. From what I gather Zak is from the old-school of 3-Gunning, bumping me up into Tactical Optics because I have an Aimpoint on my carbine, obscuring most of the targets on the CQB rifle stage with no-shoots save for the headbox and proclaiming the D-Zone a “miss.” While those rules were out of the norm for me I was very excited to try out something new to me and expand my skill set.
When Bill and I showed up at 8:15 to set up I was surprised to see that we were two of about a dozen guys there helping set the stages. Zak was pleased and confessed that he is happy to waive the $20 match fee so he’s not the only one moving all the steel and props. I was surprised to see a lot of Carhartt, 5.11 gear and Danners instead of the usual running cleats and race rigs. The match had a very cool traditionalist/purist feel to it from the get-go.
We got squadded with Drew, the designer of the Stage 2: Shotgun-Pistol and started there. On the buzzer you engaged a full-size IPSC steel from a 65 yard box and a 50 yard box then advance and engage 12 pepper poppers with bird shot. You would then abandon your shotgun unloaded in the barrel, transition to to pistol and engage a half-dozen or so IPSC targets and two plate racks from two different ports.
I zinged three slugs from the 65 yard box and hit nothing. I took the penalty and moved to the 50 yard box where I nailed it on the first shot. The Mossberg JM Pro 930 shoots slugs very low for me, I was holding where the crotch would be on the target and they were still going high at 65 yards. I need to get some sort of rear sight to compliment the front fiber optic sight and dial that in as slugs are becoming a severe deficiency in my game and usually leaving me no choice but to take the penalty and move on. When I was retrieving my shotgun after my run Drew said “I hope that’s not loaded” and sure enough it was. I knew this. I knew that I had one round left in the chamber and two in the tube but I must have missed the “unloaded” portion of the stage talk and was operating on the USPSA Multigun rules that I am used to. So that was a Match DQ right there on the first stage of the day. I understood and took it without protest but Drew and John B encouraged me to go plead my case with Zak. I drove over to the 4th Stage and explained what happened. Without hesitation Zak said he’d let me continue but with a procedural penalty for the stage. Zak explained that the rule was meant as a safety measure for the new shooters but made an exception as I was following sanctioned Multi-Gun rules. Zak really did not have to make an exception and I wouldn’t have blamed him if he stuck to the match rules but I am grateful that he allowed me to shoot the rest of the stages.
Stage 3 was a fairly simple (in theory) rifle-only stage. We were required to engage four steel targets ranging from 8-10 inches big at 200 meters and from four different shooting positions. Sounds simple enough. Simple until you see that three of the shooting positions are from “The Crushinator”, a wood wall with ports of various shapes and sizes cut into it.We were allowed to choose two of our shooting positions from The Crushinator but one was mandated to be from one of the bottom two side-ports. Even the guys with 20-round magazines on their AR’s could not get low enough to shoot upright from the bottom ports. I have only 30 rounds mags and had to roll my AR over on its side to see through my Aimpoint Comp M2 and actually nailed two steels from that position. I was pretty darn excited about that!
Stage 4 was a pistol-only stage. The only two mandates were that you had to start in the up-range box, engage all three steel knockdown targets before you left that box and fire your last shot in the down-range box. I feel I shot this stage really dang well and could have been faster if I wasn’t wearing a walking boot due to my ankle injury. Knowing that I wouldn’t be as fast as everyone else slowed me down and allowed me to concentrate on the front sight and getting those hits rather than speeding up and point shooting.
Stage 1 was rifle/pistol. On the buzzer you engage six hostage-takers that were obscured so much by no-shoots that only the headbox was available and sometimes not the entire headbox. You then transition to pistol, move behind the barricade and engage two Metric IPSC targets and one knockdown freestyle and then three knockdowns on the left with your right hand and three knockdowns on the right with your left hand.
Because the rifle targets were about 20 yards away you really had to know your rifle’s zero and hold to compensate for the sight height over bore and the short distance to get those hits. I neutralized 5 of 6 targets and got higher on each target as I went along. I could kick myself because I KNOW my zero and my holds but I was backing off way too much to try and stay away from those no-shoots. More practice required.
When I switched to pistol I got a super-high grip knowing that I would have to transition from freestyle to strong hand only. On firing one of my shots, a round was stripped off the mag and went into the chamber but the slide did not go into battery because my thumb was riding the slide. If I had just pounded the back of the slide all would have been well but instead, thinking I had a Failure To Eject, I racked the slide causing a double feed. Knowing what I just did, I stripped the magazine out and let it hit the deck, got a new magazine back in the gun and went on. It felt like that took an eternity to happen but you can see from the video that it was fairly quick but it did negatively affect my time on the stage. A funny side-note when the magazine hit the ground, the cheap off-brand magazine extension broke, causing the spring to launch out all of the remaining rounds and fly across the range. I recovered the important parts and will be looking for some higher quality replacements.
As you can see from the videos above I still have my walking cast due to my acute ankle sprain and it slowed me down quite a bit. Even so I still took 5th place in Tactical and 6th place overall and I am very pleased with that. I had an awesome time with my gun-pals, met some great shooters and that is always a good thing. I will definitely be shooting this match again in the future, I hope to make it out to the September 22nd match as it looks like it will be the last one of the season due to some other Competition Dynamics event conflicts.