Stage One was a "head-to-head" or "man-on-man" stage with
each shooter beginning with 3 carbine magazines with two rounds each
and the pistol loaded with 6 rounds. Each shooter was require to
neutralize 3 paper targets before transitioning to handgun to
neutralize two pepper-poppers. Reloads as needed.
Head-to-head stages are always fun, and the added pressure of
having another shooter next to you and hearing them go to their second
reload while you're still on your first target is a true motivator. In
this case the shooter was required to perform two emergency reloads and
one transition to pistol, so we worked a lot of skills in a very few
Not much of
a way to game a head-to-head, which is a large part of the point. One
shooter running an AK did ask for a special dispensation to load his
magazines differently than everyone else because he was at a
disadvantage. Odd that people don't get it.
was running an Extended Bolt Relese (EBRv1) from Phase 5 Tactical for
the first time. It's essentially a knock-off of the Battery Assist Device that I got
from Travis Haley of Magpul Dynamics in 2008. I had concerns about the
EBR weighing more than the BAD, and those concerns may have proven well
founded as on the last emergency reload on my second run through the
stage I had a failure of the bolt to lock back. Otherwise I was a bit
perturbed at the patty-cakes I played looking for my spare magazine.
At one time I was pretty good about always going to the belt first, but
was not doing that here.
really. We run head-to-head stages quite often so we have it down
pretty well. In the future I will make sure that all paper targets are
at 15+ yards so as not to reinforce bad habits of doing an emergency
reload when a transition to handgun probably makes more sense.
Stage Two was a "scenario stage" designed by Roger Z.
Shooters engaged some steel and paper from one side of the barricade,
then transitioned to handgun and engaged some more paper and the same
steel from the other side with the handgun. Shooters began with 10
rounds in the carbine, one spare carbine magazine loaded to capacity,
and their handgun holstered and loaded to capacity.
Unable to comment as this was not a stage I designed. However,
choreographed stages like this require the shooter to really think as
they are going through the stage, a task that would prove difficult for
far too many shooters.
Many shooters did not make proper use of cover, and as such were
able to take their shots from a more stable base than they would have
if they were leaning out as we require. Procedurals were handed out
but not nearly enough of them.
Handgun skills. Work on them. A lot.
I do not like forcing people to clear out the
carbine for a transition. It's bad tactics/habits to get into. If the
carbine is in your hands you shoot it until it stops, and then you
either reload it or transition to a handgun depending on the distance
to target, availability of cover, and whether or not you even have a
handgun at all. We should have added another paper target or two and
just let the shooters run with the carbine until empty.
Stage Three Course Design
Stage Three consisted of three arrays of 3 targets each,
with at least one non-threat partially obscuring one or more targets of
each array. Shooters began the stage with 6 rounds in the carbine and
two additional 6-round carbine magazines as well as the pistol loaded
to capacity and holstered. Reload the carbine until no magazines
remain, then transition to handgun if targets still remain
un-nutralized. Shooters began at one barrel in front of the first
array and proceeded to shoot on the move in a line parallel to the
targets until arriving at a second barrel in front of the second array.
We wanted to emphasise reloads, and reloads on the move, as well
as round count management if the shooter wished to avoid the pistol.
Most shooters would be better off shooting three rounds into each
paper target and transitioning to handgun when required. If the shots
can be made, and made accurately, the best way to game would be to fire
two rounds per target and never have to transition.
I should have slowed down just a bit in order to get the hits that
I wanted. I had two FTNs but finished the stage in 17+/- seconds.
Non-threat placement can really change the
flavor of a stage. This was originally meant as a pretty easy blasting
stage but one of the setup guys put a non-threat behind two of the
targets in the first array resulting in very tight shots and a lot of
shoot-through non-threat penalties.