Stage One was a "scenario" stage, which is something
we've gotten away from of late. The scenario was that you're working
at a retail store talking with a customer when badguys appear in the
store. You engage them all without hitting any of the "customers",
retrieving and charging a rifle from behind the counter when your
handgun runs dry. The "counter" consisted of a bianchi barricade
turned on it's side with the top at approximately 3' above the deck. A
non-threat target was directly in front of the shooter's starting
position, obscuring four pepper poppers with four threat targets (each
aggressively obscured by a non-threat) off to the right. The poppers
were to be engaged first, followed by the cardboard targets. Once the
rifle was retrieved shooters were required to make use of cover behind
the counter. All shooters began the stage with only 8 rounds in the
We don't do a lot of story stages, but some people seem
to like them. The idea of "fighting your way to your rifle" is always
a nice training scenario as well since we're usually doing the
opposite. The reality is that for virtually all non-military shooters
the handgun is the true primary and is the one that's most likely to be
on your body or in your hand when you need it, with the rifle being the
secondary that you access if you have the time/need. Stages like this
one serve to reinforce that.
the obvious round dumping, some people seemed to think it would be
faster to clear out the pistol after engaging the poppers. This did
not appear to pan out. The only true way to game this stage was to hit
the poppers one-for-one, move on and neutralize the first two carboard
targets with 2 rounds per each head, and leave only two targets left to
be neutralized with the rifle, scanning and picking up whatever misses
you may have had on the first two cardboard once you were done.
Personal Lessons Handgun skills still suck. I had a hit on a non-threat due to rushing the pistol shots.
Admin Lessons Obviously
we need to continue to stress that we don't shoot over the top of
barricades. In addition, some people seem to think that non-threat
targets are cover, which is not the case. We need to remember to be
very thorough in the walkthrougs becase many of the people that don't
ask questions evidently only THINK they understand when in fact they
clearly do not. Lowest common denominator.
Stage Two Design
This stage consisted of a plate rack with six 8" steel
plates and an array of four cardboard threat targets all aggressively
obscured by non-threats. Shooters advanced down a wall engaging
targets from cover as they became visible, transitioning to the handgun
when the carbine ran dry. All shooters began the stage with 8 rounds
loaded in the carbine.
We have run a similar stage without the cover before. The intent
here was to work on transitions to handgun, with the added element of
using cover correctly while doing so.
Besides the obvious (and far too often used) cheat of either
refusing or min-using cover, the "game" here was to fire hammers to the
heads of each of the threat targets, transition to handgun for the
plates, and come back to scan the cardboard targets to see if any
needed followup shots to neutralize.
Again, handgun skills. Also, if your handgun skills are going to suck this bad, bring an extra magazine. Always, all the time.
Same as always, we need a way to better
enforce cover. Either out of a pathetic desire to see their name at
the top of a list on the internet, or out of a complete
misunderstanding of what cover means and what it is for, some people
just refuse to make even an honest attempt at using it.
Stage Three Design
This stage consisted of two firing positions made up of two barrels
each. The targets were grouped with one array of four in front of the
first set of the barrels, and another array of four in front of the
second set, with two individual targets in between. Shooters engaged
the first array from the first position, engaged the next two targets
on the move, and engaged the second array from the second position.
There were non-threats interspersed, but not placed aggressively. No
special loadings were required.
This was just a fun stage, set up to get some rapid fire practice,
and since we were moving from right to left it was a
Shoot fast. No targets were further away than 10 yards, and fast
shots and fast movement were the key. If you can't get three rounds in
the -1 or better at this distance then gaming is likely not your
Fast is all well and good, but I still need to make sure I don't go too fast for the curve.
This stage consisted of 10 targets. At three rounds per target,
even the most cautious shooter could finish the stage without a reload.
In the future we should make sure to have at least 11 targets on a
stage like this to make a break point between those that hose and
require a reload and those that are precise and can conserve shots so
as to finish in one magazine. With the proliferation of Pmags the
loading to the full 30 rounds is becoming ever more common among even
the savvy shooters that once would have limited themselves to 28.