Zak's RM3GM Report - 2004


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Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:28 PM
This is Zak's first person account of the 2004 Rocky Mountain 3Gun Match.

Background

First, you might want to check out my report from the 2003 RM3GM (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37394). It has details about the NRA Whittington Center and contains a full report of all of last year's stages.

Wednesday Arrival

I arrived at the NRA Whittington Center at about 2pm on Wednesday and checked in. Raton has had much much more precipitation this year than recent years, so the whole environment was transformed by the flora compared to last year. Strong thunderstorms rolled through the Whittington Center every day of the match around 4-6pm, and temperatures were moderate to cool, as opposed to the sweltering heat of last year's match.

The general outline of the match was: 8 stages, three Thursday, three Friday, and two Saturday. There were 16 squads of approximately 8 shooters each. Each squad shot one time slot, and had one time slot's worth of downtime before the next stage. I was on squad 8, starting on stage 8. Some others in my squad included: Curt Monnig (Trijicon), Ron Adams, Darrell Humphrey, John Sternberg, Kelly Neal, and Stewart Lewis.

In addition to the main match, there were two side-matches: the machinegun match run by Alan Samuel of MachinegunTours, and a long-range precision match run by Mike Kolar.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3351_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3351_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3352_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3352_img.jpg)

Thursday

Stage 8: Shotgun.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3359_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3359_img.jpg)

We started off on stage 8 Thursday morning at 7:30AM, after the shooters' briefing. There were five shooting positions from which a 40-50 yard IPSC-target-sized steel plate had to be engaged with slugs. There were four plates to engage first, and then 16 other clay pigeons throughout the course. No slugs could be loaded into the shotgun until the four small plates were engaged. Unless the shooter was careful to load slugs and engage the targets in the right order, a lot of birdshot would have to be racked out to select load slugs.

My strategy was to load a slug into my Benelli's tube with one pigeon left to shoot before the slug target, so that I wouldn't waste any rounds. It's also faster to load one into the tube than to rack a round out and load through the ejection port. My run went according to plan with no misses and no loading screwups. Once I was done, the RO was temporarily confused by my engagement order and tried to give me a procedural on the grounds that my 5th shot was a shotshell at the next set of pigeons instead of either shooting a slug at the slug plate or shooting the shotshell into the berm. I had load a slug into the tube after the 4 small plates, then engaged on pigeon in the next array, and then shot the slug into the large slug plate. In the end, there was no procedural because there was officially no order besides that the slugs could not be loaded until the first four small plates were engaged. My time was 85.48 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/131_3174_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=131_3174_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/131_3179_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=131_3179_img.jpg)

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Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:30 PM
Stage 1: Rifle.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3353_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3353_img.jpg)

Stage 1 was the "long range" rifle stage with the furthest flash target at about 320 yards. The course of fire was four shooting positions, with two or four targets to be engaged per position, for a total of 14 required hits. Three of the four positions were most often shot from prone, while the #2 position was shooting from over a tree limb. Shooters were stopped if they hit the maximum time of 180 seconds. This stage require that the shooter know where to aim at the distant targets for make hits, and that he could handle poor shooting positions. After running down the trail to the last shooting position, most people were sweating and breathing heavy which doesn't make distance shooting any easier. My time was 131.10 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/131_3189_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=131_3189_img.jpg)

Stage 2: Shotgun
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3354_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3354_img.jpg)

Stage 2 was shotgun only. We shot this in the afternoon on Thursday, and rain was threatening. The course of fire was straightforward. Shoot four plates before crossing a fault line, and then engage 20 pigeons, and finish up with two slug targets at 20 or 25 yards. The main things on this stage to remember were to not walk past any targets and to keep loading. Light rain started just in the middle of my run, which had no misses and was reasonably fast. 69.98 clean.

Back in the Coors Event Center, where all the sponsors were set up, I unexpectedly saw MSTN -- I hadn't heard they were going to be a sponsor. I have discussed 6.8SPC stuff with Paul before; I finally met him in person and had dinner with he and his wife.

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:31 PM
Friday
Stage 3: Pistol & Shotgun

The start position was seated uprange on a "toilet" with a roll of TP in your hands. There were 9 pistol targets to be engaged going up the hill until you reached your shotgun. There, you picked up a backpack, grabbed your shotgun, and finished going up the hill engaging 18 shotgun targets along the way. My time was 77.03 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/131_3193_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=131_3193_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3202_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3202_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3203_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3203_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3208_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3208_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:33 PM
Stage 4: Rifle
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3355_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3355_img.jpg)

Stage 4 was the medium-range rifle stage with targets out to 190 yards. There were four flash targets visible from each of the five positions, for a total of 20 targets. Each position could be shot prone with some support (rock or sandbags), and the first position could also be shot from tree limbs. There was a total of 40-60 yards of running between the positions. My time was 121.35 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3233_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3233_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3235_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3235_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3236_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3236_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3240_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3240_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3242_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3242_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3243_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3243_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3246_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3246_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:35 PM
Stage 5: Rifle, Pistol

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3357_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3357_img.jpg)

Stage 5 was the "CQB" stage, with three "buildings" with very small ports. Each of the 23 targets had to be engaged from within the confines of a building. The rifle was used for the first two buildings, and the pistol was used for the last building. The houses were cramped which made using a full 20" AR15 or even a longer FAL a challenge. I used the technique of holding the stock above my arm/shoulder and just pointing it. Many of the targets could only be seen from the very small ports. While engaging the first set of pistol targets, I had a foot outside the door, and the RO yelled "foot fault" or something like that. I pulled my foot in and re-engaged the two targets to "erase" the procedural. 52.70 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3257_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3257_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3259_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3259_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3261_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3261_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3264_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3264_img.jpg)

Friday night Stewart Lewis and I had dinner joined by John Sternberg and one other gentleman whose name slips my memory.

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:36 PM
Saturday

Stage 6: Escape and Evade.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3358_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3358_img.jpg)

This fun stage started with you in a chair across the table from an Iraqi "interrogator". Upon the start signal, you grabbed his revolver and shot him twice at contact distance (with blanks). Then you grabbed a flash-light and his AK47, and entered the dark-house to locate and neutralize two shoot targets (while avoiding three or four no-shoots). You left the AK in the dark-house, ran back out, and grabbed your pistol to fight your way through 18 targets to the heli-pad for your departure. I was a little slow on my pistol targets because I wasn't confident in my hits, but I had almost all 2x A's. I re-engaged one target because I saw no holes, and dropped a mag on my reload. 50.44 clean.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3291_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3291_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3294_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3294_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3308_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3308_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3309_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3309_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3310_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3310_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3317_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3317_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:37 PM
Stage 7: Excess Baggage.

This was a straightforward short-range pistol hoser stage with the exception that you had a weighted briefcase chained to the wrist of your choice throughout the entire run. The 20 or so targets were from contact distance to about 10 yards, with a swinger/no-shoot activated by a popper at the end. 43.10 + 1 FTN for 48.10.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3326_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3326_img.jpg)

Equipment
I shot my Benelli M1S90, my SV 40 "Limited" pistol, and my JP CTR-02 in 223.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3344_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3344_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3346_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3346_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:38 PM
Results & Prizes

The prize tables were very well stacked this year, with over 50 guns on the table.
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3337_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3337_img.jpg)

I had an excellent match, really placing higher than I expected. In the end, I came in 25th of 100-some in Tactical. I scored a CavArms polymer AR15 lower receiver and a Matt Burkett training DVD. Thanks Matt & Shawn!

Taran won Tactical. I think Matt won Open.

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:39 PM
Miscellany

I was surprised to see MSTN there, and they brought some neat gear:
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3321_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3321_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3322_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3322_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3324_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3324_img.jpg)

I highly recommend not backing one's vehicle halfway off a ditch so that the left rear wheel is no longer touching ground. Although it was tilted 30-35 degrees over and had to pull myself back into the driver's seat, I was able to drive out in 4L with minimal damage:

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3340_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3340_img.jpg)

Summary

Last year I wrote that I thought RM3G was "to become THE premier 3Gun event" -- and I believe it has. The stages are well-debugged with no gimmicks, the scenarios are practical and "solve to the problem", the terrain is unmatched. The mix of long & medium range rifle, shotgun, pistol, and combo stages is ideal.

My squad had 9 people, and most squads must have had 11 or less. With that few people, and everyone working hard, even though each squad was allotted 90 minutes to shoot each stage, we finished most in 45 minutes to 1 hour. This ensured the match stayed on schedule and no backups occurred. The downtime built in to the schedule (shoot one, sit one) kept shooters from being rushed, and allowed time to regroup, eat, talk to the vendors, fix broken guns, and hang out.

I'll say it again, RM3G is THE 3Gun match to shoot.

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:41 PM
More Pictures:

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/131_3170_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=131_3170_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3207_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3207_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3210_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3210_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3215_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3215_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3220_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3220_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:42 PM
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3224_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3224_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3228_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3228_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3229_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3229_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3230_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3230_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:43 PM
URL=http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3232_img.jpg]http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3232_img.jpg [ link to larger image ][/URL]
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3248_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3248_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3273_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3273_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3279_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3279_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/132_3283_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=132_3283_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
August 22, 2004, 07:45 PM
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3304_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3304_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3356_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3356_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/small/133_3360_img.jpg [ link to larger image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/?medium=133_3360_img.jpg)


The rest:
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/RM3GM-2004/

Correia
August 23, 2004, 01:53 PM
Thank you for the most excellent report. Looks like a great match.

Do they have a team shoot, or is there any sort of team scoring?

Zak Smith
August 23, 2004, 02:17 PM
There was a side team event with cash payback after the last squad finished the main match. It was three man teams: one shotgun, one rifle, one pistol. The shotgun guy started by engaging 8 plates at about 15 yards. When the last plate fell, the pistol guy shot a bunch of plates, and when his last plate fell, the rifle guy engaged three distant flasher targets. When he made his last hit, the shotgun guy finished off with two slugs plates at 40-60 yards. My team came in 9/20. There was going to be a lot of running ammo around but torrential rain was threatening (and it came) so we needed to speed things up.

atek3
August 24, 2004, 06:02 PM
geez, thats totally awsome. next year I'm going to that.

atek3

Zak Smith
August 24, 2004, 06:17 PM
The stages were awesome, we had some "real" rifle shooting, the ROs were cool, nobody got DQ'd, it was dirty & muddy, had changing weather, the prize table was huge, my car fell in a ditch, I renewed friendships from last year, met people I'd only known "online" or done business with before, there was a food vendor "onsite", we weren't rushed, everyone helped out, there were machineguns and simunition-type gear. It was a great time.

Oh, I didn't mention that I got to shoot a suppressed 308 Accuracy International rifle on the 300 yard demo line (thanks Tate!), and the army guys let me shoot their suppressed 18" M16. DAMN!

-z

Chris Rhines
August 25, 2004, 11:18 PM
I was all ready to go to the RMM3G, until I found out that one of my big clients was moving offices the same weekend. So instead of shooting, I spent the weekend in the comms room with my head buried in the firewall config manual.

Sigh. :(

Next year, for sure. No excuses.

- Chris

TrapperReady
August 25, 2004, 11:25 PM
Zak - Thanks for an outstanding report on the event! I look at stuff like this and rue the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. :(

theCZ
September 1, 2004, 06:15 PM
Truly amazing! Looks like an incredible time.

OF
September 2, 2004, 09:22 AM
Your reports are the next best thing to being there, Zak. Thanks for taking the time.

- Gabe

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