080722 South Florida Defensive Carbine Match at Markham Park Target Range in west Broward County, Florida
We held another South Florida Defensive Carbine match on 22 July 2007
from ~18:30 to 21:00 at the Markham Park Target Range in western
Broward County Florida. The match consisted of two stages and we had
15 shooters in attendance. No pistol was required for this match, and
rifles used included a Beretta Storm, a suppressed Uzi, and various AK
and AR variants.
Stage one consisted of
shooting from an angled wood platform at targets from 10-50 yards. Two
cardboard IDPA targets were placed to the left at 10 yards, a steel
silhouette target with a swinging 6" circle (similar to the MGM Targets IPSC Hostage Target)was in the middle at 50
yards, and two more IDPA targets were to the right. Shooters were
required to begin by engaging the silhouette with two rounds, then
shooting the swinger, then neutralizing one IDPA target, then
continuing on with the same alternating pattern, ending back on the
steel targets. Shooters were limited to two, 30-round magazines.
Shooters were not required to utilize cover for this stage, but they
were required to shoot from a position on the angled wood platform such
that the weight of their upper body was supported by the platform (i.e.
chest, elbows, or other upper-body part must be in contact with the
Raw times on stage 1 ranged from 42
to 118 seconds and the average number of failures to neutralize (FTNs)
was 1. Ten Shooters shot the whole stage "clean" with no penalties.
two consisted of shooting from prone at targets from 7 to 120+/-
yards. A steel MGM Lolli-Popper target was placed at 120+/- yards and 4
IDPA targets, ranging in distance from 7 to 10 yards from the shooting
position, were also placed in front of the shooter with non-threat
targets partially obscuring portions of the threat targets. Shooters
were required to begin by shooting each 8" popper on the MGM target,
then neutralize the closest IDPA target, then continuing on with the
same alternating pattern, this time ending on the last cardboard
target. Shooters were limited to two, 20-round magazines. Shooters
were not required to utilize cover for this stage.
times on stage 2 ranged from 60 to 152 seconds and the average number
of failures to neutralize (FTNs) was 4, with an average of 1 hits on
the non-threats. Seven Shooters shot the whole stage "clean" with no
Overall the majority of shooters, at least on my squad,
did very well. I think that a few even surprised themselves,
especially those that were using iron sights. The Uzi shooter had
problems, obviously, with the long-range targets on stage 2 and had all
FTNs on those targets. The Storm shooter did surprisingly well given
the distance to the targets. The main difference between the two was
the the Uzi shooter had iron sights and the Storm shooter had an
I shot with my AK equipped with
an Aimpoint H-1 optic. I shot Stage 2 first and had some trouble
finding my hits at first, but once I did I averaged approximately 2
hits for every three shots fired at the steel. Since each stage only
required one reload I did not run any load carriage and just kept the
spare magazine in the front flap pocket of my Woolrich Elite pants.
Personal Lessons 1.
Taking two months off from a platform that is relatively new to me to
begin with requires a re-familiarization. When doing a speed reload on
Stage one I did not follow my usual TTP of bashing the empty magazine
out with the fresh one and then running the bolt from underneath with
the support hand. Instead I did a convoluted dance that cost me time.
If you're going to choose to run an inefficient platform like the AK,
you have to find a way to cut as much time as you can from the
reloads. Keeping familiar with the platform is key to ensuring that
you stick with your gameplan.
2. I need to
slow down on long-range targets and get more dryfire practice with the
AK. Coming from an AR to an AK is already a transition to a longer,
heavier, trigger pull. Rush the shot and that trigger will make you
pay. When I took my time, found my dot, and slowly squeezed the
trigger the hits came with ease on the 120+/- target and on the 50 yard
Gear Lessons 1.
Stick with the chest rig. I hadn't counted on reloading form prone,
and getting that spare magazine out of the pants pocket was not
efficient at all. If I had gone to the chest rig it would have been
faster and more efficient.
2. The mag
release paddle on the AK is not a rest. I induced a malfunction on
Stage 1 when I rested the triggerguard on top of the wood platform. It
worked for a while, but then the paddle got caught, the magazine came
slightly loose, and I got a "click" instead of a "bang". I did not
react the way I would want to either and pulled the mag, looked at it,
and then stuck it back in and kept going. The right thing to do was to
speed load since the symptoms should have told my brain that the gun
Match Lessons 1.
People don't come out in the heat. We generally get pretty reduced
attendance n the summers due both to the heat and the threat of SE
Florida afternoon storms. The 15 people we had at this match kept the
match short and the wait times low, but it would have been nice to have
at least another 5 people.
2. People like
shooting the steel. While I suspect that knowing we were doing
longer-range shooting kept some of the less adept away, the guys that
did show up really enjoyed the added dimension that the steel
provides. From a stage reset point of view it's also nice not to have
to paste it, although some people seem to think we should re-paint the
steel before every shooter. Since that negates the point of the steel,
we won't be doing that.
3. Have spare parts for the Lolli-Popper. The targets and supports
survived the match just fine. Unfortunately, after the match was over
and we were all plinking a bit, a small number of shooters were
blasting away at the target system, and eventually shot through one of
the fiberglass sticks that supports the steel plates. In the future we
will need a way to address/prevent this, and the obvious solution is to
limit shooting at this target system to the controlled environment of
the match itself. Full-atuo fire at 120+ yards is not effective and
really will have to be eliminated if this target system is going to be
viable for us. I am also going to order two replacement sticks from
MGM to keep on hand.