This stage consisted of 8 threat targets, with all but one aggressively
covered with a non-threat target. The non-threat targets were marked
with with red paint in the shape of an "X" across their chest and the
bodies, but not heads, outlined in the same red paint. In some cases
the -0 portions of the threat target were completely obscured leaving
only the -1 portion of the target to engage. In addition, the targets
were arranged such that shoot-throughs from threat to non-threat
targets were possible. The stage began with the shooter seated and
facing up-range, with the rifle unloaded and a single magazine beside
it in an open-top box. At the signal, the shooter turned, moved to
cover, retrieved the rifle, loaded and chambered it, and began engaging
the targets from behind cover, using either side as they saw fit.
Cover was two 55 Gallon plastic drums placed side-by-side.
The intent of this stage was to reiterate shot placement and
target identification as being critical elements, as well as
reinforcing Rule 4 of "Always be sure of your target and what's beyond
addition, shooters were required to shoot from behind two barrels
representing cover, with the barrels extending no more than 3' high.
This required shooters to make a determination as to the shooting
position they wanted to use, keeping in mind the time it takes to get
into the position of their choosing as well as the ability to shift
position and move around cover to engage the next target.
Most of the shooters that "gamed" this stage wound up shooting
over the top of the cover, most with far too much of their bodies being
exposed. The course description clearly stated that the shooters were
to "slice the pie". Unfortunately many RSOs and scorekeepers did not
pay attention at the walk-through and allowed this incorrect use of
cover, somewhat invalidating the scores for this stage.
I did not follow my own admonition to properly ID all targets
before firing, and put one nice, right-between-the-eyes shot on a
non-threat target. On a stage like this it pays to take that extra
second to look at the body before engaging a head.
Cover will be reinforced and enforced. I think what led to the
over-the-top shooting was my instruction to the RSOs and scorekeepers
not to aggressively penalize shooters for improper use of cover. From
now on, cover violations will be strictly enforced. This is not an
issue of trying to force people to do things my way, but one of
leveling the playing field for all shooters.
This stage consisted of a steel silhouette target with a swinging plate behind the head (similar to the MGM Targets "IPSC
Hostage Target") at 25 yards and a plate rack of 5 6" steel plates at
15 yards. Shooters began the course of fire with three rifle magazines
with three rounds each, and their pistol loaded to capacity. Shooters
engaged the silhouette twice and then then swinging plate, and repeated
this two more times, before moving to engage the plate rack.
The intent of this stage was simply to work on speed reloads an the
transition to pistol. It also reinforced the value of accuracy as
explained below under "Gaming".
The key to this stage was to take your time and get the hits when
and where, and with the gun, needed. If shot "clean" this resulted in
the rifle running completely dry after fully engaging
the silhouette and attached swinging steel plate three times and then
transitioning to pistol and taking your time to get a hit on each steel
My pistol skills have severely degraded in the past year, and I need to work on them.
This was a good stage, and a good skill-builder/tester. I have
been thinking of coming up with some baseline stages that we can run
relatively frequently so that shooters can track their own performance
and gauge their improvements. This will be one of them. It's also
nice to have an all-steel stage that requires no resetting.
These two stages were identical, with Stage 3 requiring a speed reload
and Stage 4 requiring a transition to pistol. The target array for
each was four IDPA-style targets at normal human height an in a
straight line at 10 yards from the shooter. Shooters began with 7
rounds loaded in the rifle, and a spare 7 round magazine. Stage 3
began with neutralizing all targets with a reload as needed. The time
was recorded, and the shooter moved over to Stage 4 and neutralized all
targets with a transition to pistol. Each stage was scored
individually so that shooters could compare their times.
Once again, the intent of this stage was to reinforce the doctrine of
transitioning to pistol at close range. Almost without fail, every
shooter proved to be faster on Stage 4 than on Stage 3.
The key here was to understand the scoring, and shoot at the speed that
allowed you to engage the most targets with the rifle, given that it's
easier to make good hits with the rifle. Two shots per target meant
that the speed reload occurred at Target 4 of Stage 3, and the
transition then occurred between Target 3 and 4 of Stage 4.
See above re: pistol skills. Horribly far right for a target at 10 yards.
This is another one of those skill-builder/tester stages that will resurface relatively often.
Holster and other equipment rules are coming fast. People just refuse to show up with quality equipment and safety becomes an issue. Soft-side holsters, magazines stuffed in waistbands, carry strapsjury-rigged to "tactical" use, etc. are things that I have nophilosophical objection to but that are far too often the causes ofborderline unsafe actions. I have tried to point people in thedirection of low-cost acceptable alternatives, but for whatever reasonthey continue to resist. Requirements of having at least one actualmagazine pouch for the rifle and one for the pistol on your person, andrequirements to have holsters that do not collapse when empty may beforthcoming if people can't police themselves.