Zak's 2004 ITRC Report


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Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 01:48 PM
The D&L Sports (http://www.dlsports.com/) International Tactical Rifleman Championships (ITRC) is a "3 Gun" match unlike conventional 3Gun matches. This match has field courses from 1 to 2.5 miles long which must be finished in times from 45 minutes to two hours by teams of two: a bolt rifle shooter, and a carbine shooter.

Dave Lauck's Small Arms Training Academy (SATA) is located about an hour north of Gillette, WY, basically in the middle of nowhere. Match stages were located there and on two ranches within an hour's distance.

This was the first year I went to the ITRC, having heard tales from previous years from a friend of mine. Glenn Frank (my bolt gun partner) and I trained together 5-6 times in the Pawnee Nat'l Grasslands in preparation.

Upon arrival at the sight-in range on Thursday morning, it was clear that things were running differently. Sight-in went like this: Everyone who wanted to confirm zeros put up targets and started on the 100yard line. Guns had to have their bolts open and on the line. They couldn't be in cases; you couldn't walk them from your car to the line, etc. When everyone had finished shooting at the 100y line, we all "got on the line", turned the guns 180 degrees uprange, and people went downrange. When they were back, we all "got on the line", walked them to the 200y line, and turned around, and repeated the drill. It was bizarre coming from a IPSC/3Gun background.

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There were 13-15 teams per group, 3 groups. There were 3 field stages. Group 1 started on stage 2, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, etc. One stage was shot per day.

Instead of boring you with lot more of background, here are the stages.

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Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 01:49 PM
Stage 3. Arvada Ranch.

This stage was split into two parts. The first was the helicopter stage which was scored separately from the main match; the winning team got the two JP rifles. The two team members boarded the heli, got strapped in, were handed one JP AR15 and one 30 round magazine each. The pilot took two passes over an array of poppers during which you did your best to hit them. Flying in the heli was not disorienting, but hitting the poppers was difficult for me. I think we hit 3 or 4.

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The second part of stage 3 was the field course. Distance 1.75 miles over a dirt road, time limit 90 minutes. 58 carbine hits possible, 44 rifle hit possible. Scoring was +40 per rifle hit, -20 per rifle miss; +10 per carbine hit, -20 per carbine miss. Fail to engage with two shots -40. Each minute finished early before 90 minutes is +1. Two scoring hits possible per target.

The carbine targets on this course went out from about 150 to about 350 yards. Rifle targets were from about 250-300 to around 600 yards. There was a bonus plate for +250 for a hit and -250 for a miss.

The first two positions on this stage were carbine only, and I wailed on them getting all my hits. We did decent on this course with a score of 871, finished with about 10 minutes left.

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Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 01:50 PM
Stage 2. DL SATA.

Stage 2 only maybe 1 mile long, with a time limit of 45 minutes. Minimum recommended round count was 568 carbine and 532 pistol. On this stage there were no FTE penalties and each hit was worth 1 point, with the exception of the drive-by poppers (25 each), the one clay pigeon (25), and the stop plate (25). Four hits were scored per target on this course of fire, which means that all steel and paper could be hit 4 times for a total of 4 points per target.

This course started out on the obstacle course. Failure to successfully negotiate an obstacle was -50 points per person per obstacle. After the obstacle course was finished, both team members jumped in a HMMV (supplied and driven by the NE ARNG) and zoomed to the first shooting position, which was about 5 plates at 100 yards or so. 20 rounds later, you ran 50 yards to the next position where 8 or so plates were available at 250-500 yards. After you made those 32 hits, you moved forward 30 yards and re-engaged. Once that position was done, you jumped back in the HMMV, and got ready for the drive-by. Upon signal from the on-HMMV RO, you loaded your rifle and the HMMV driver slowed to about 5 mph. At this speed, you engaged a total of 10 poppers at 25-40 yards away as many times as you could. Most people could get off 2 or 3 30-round magazines. Each hit here was worth 25 points.

The HMMV drove maybe 100 more yards and dumped you at the first of four platforms from which 22 targets could be engaged for a total of 88 points possible (88 shots). The second position was a shooting tower maybe 30' high to be climbed. The third position was a "sniper's hide" and the fourth was a trap platform. Once done at the trap platform, you could engage one flying trap pigeon with one shot from a supplied shotgun. Then you ran down the hill engaged possible 20 more rifle shots from a shooting box with ports.

At this point the carbine shooter was finished; he ditched his carbine, and the other team member ran into the shoot-house with his pistol. The shoot-house required around 500 rounds. This meant that unless you had 25 loaded mags, the carbine shooter had to follow behind and load the dropped mags.

Knowing that many teams had not finished this stage the first day, we made our strategy: as the carbine guy, I would engage as many targets as I could as fast as I could; we could bypass the tower to save time; if we hit 20 minutes left and I was not yet done, I would stop immediately and Glenn would start the shoot-house. For the first part of the stage, Glenn humped all of our ammo in a pack - my 21 AR15 magazines and the 500 rounds of loose 45ACP I could carry to reload for him. Once the carbine portion was done, we dumped the pack, I took the bag of loose 45 and strapped it around my waist, and sort-of hobbled around the shoothouse behind him and the RO. We entered the shoot-house with 21 minutes left, and Glenn hit the stop plate with about 2:30 to spare.

This stage was very hard on gear. Many pistols malfunctioned or broke, and several AR15s broke. One Glock lost its Trijicon front sight and the rear sight drifted side to side. A couple people with aluminum gas blocks held on with set screws had them expand under the extreme heat and slip forward rendering their rifle single-shot. It was common to see stainless barrels come back from this stage an ugly shade of blue/purple. Knowing that I had another precision stage to shoot the next day, and not wanting to ruin my CTR barrel any more than I had to, I used water from my camelback to cool the gas block and barrel four times during this stage: once after the drive-by and then once after each platform. The ROs were amused, but it seemed to work. I haven't yet tested my barrel to see how bad its accuracy was damaged.

We racked up 1026 points on this stage.

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Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 01:51 PM
Stage 2. Hoblit Ranch.

This course was 2.5 miles cross-country with a time limit of 2 hours. Minimum required round count: 10 pistol, 50 carbine, 87 rifle. This stage had a "boat" position from which the rifle shooter shot from a small boat that the other team member was rowing in a stock pond. Most people bypassed this position for a 160 point FTE penalty because it had the potential to be a time sink, and this stage was tight to finish. There was a road that connected the shooting positions, but it is unlikely a team could jog the road path and still finish the course. We ran cross-country the whole way. The carbine and rifle shots on this course were challenging for us mainly due to strong wind not readily perceptible across the canyons.

Skipping the boat position, we finished with 1706 points and a few minute to spare. Glenn
hit the bonus plate for +250 points.

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Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 01:52 PM
Overall Results.

47 teams started the match and 38 finished. The high score was 5466 and the low was -1073.

Scott and Mark won the match. Colorado 3Gun teams came in 1st, 10th, 11th, and 13th (I think). Glenn and I were #13. For our first time at this match, I was extremely pleased with our results. I'd say 2/3 of the teams out there were military or LE.

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Equipment:

I shot my JP CTR-02, 1:8", 20", with a TA11 ACOG. Sling was a CQBSolutions 3-point sling. For my 15-odd pistol shots, I used my single-stack 1911 in a Milt holster. I used Spec Ops brand AR15 mag holders and a Kifaru pack.

Glenn shot a Rem PSS in 308 with a S&B 4.5-15X mildot/mil-knob scope and a Kimber poly double-stack .45.

Chris Rhines
August 30, 2004, 07:45 PM
Wow.

Is it too early to pre-register for the 2005 match?

- Chris

Zak Smith
August 30, 2004, 09:20 PM
I highly recommend this match, but don't expect it to be normal, and go prepared for just about anything.

-z

Correia
August 31, 2004, 06:17 PM
All I can say is WOW.

That sounds simply amazing.

Soap
August 31, 2004, 07:51 PM
That looks amazing!

Andrew Wyatt
August 31, 2004, 09:02 PM
okay, i've gotta ask.


*** is up with the shotgun?

mattf7184
August 31, 2004, 11:38 PM
Holy....now that is a freaking match!

Zak Smith
September 1, 2004, 12:14 AM
Shotgun?

Andrew Wyatt
September 1, 2004, 12:30 PM
the part where you use a shotgun on stage 2 to shoot a clay.

I mean, the other parts of the match cool neat and all, but i don't get the purpose behind the shotgun part.


Well, that and the 500 round shoot house.


everything else looks cool, though.

Zak Smith
September 1, 2004, 12:35 PM
Targets and individual shots fired throughout the match had varying value.

On the precision stages (2 and 3), every bolt rifle hit was worth 40 points, but every miss was -20; every carbine hit was +10, but every carbine miss was -20. There were two optional "bonus" targets, one each on stage 2 and 3, worth +250 for a single hit, or -250 for a single miss (no penalty if you bypass it).

On stage 1 (hoser), the high-value targets were the drive-by targets from the HMMV, the shotgun shot, and some plates in the shoothouse. Shooting the clay exercised a different skill and could give you another 25 quick points.

This match is supposed to be a "proving ground" for equipment, and stage 1 was set up because the military folks wanted a high-intensity urban-type scenario.

-z

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