Shot my first rifle match this weekend, lots of fun.

Shot my first rifle match this weekend, lots of fun.

This is a discussion on Shot my first rifle match this weekend, lots of fun. within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ive been shooting for around 7-8 years. Most of that is at indoor ranges, usually punching paper within 25 yards, sometimes going to the 100yd ...

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Thread: Shot my first rifle match this weekend, lots of fun.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Shot my first rifle match this weekend, lots of fun.

    Ive been shooting for around 7-8 years. Most of that is at indoor ranges, usually punching paper within 25 yards, sometimes going to the 100yd lanes. That gets kinda boring, but unfortunately I dont know anybody with land that I can shoot on, and in my area there is no public land that can be shot on (legally), so Im kinda stuck. Even at the outdoor ranges, they dont allow you to just show up an draw from a holster, run and gun, and usually dont allow steel targets except for one specific weeknight, and you have to bring your own. That all being said, I dont have much experience shooting on the move or drawing and firing, etc except for 2 courses that Ive taken (shotgun and pistol). My friend is the same, but hes not as experienced with firearms as I am. For instance, I had to zero his rifle because he hasnt researched ballistics, or the different distances to zero and each of their pros and cons. He has never shot a match either, and just wanted to go out and experience it. Glad I had someone to go with. I went with the goal to just not get DQed for being unsafe. If I came in dead last and finished the match and got decent hits, that would be a win in my books for my first time.

    With a real-world run and gun being something that I want to do more of, I saw a range about 45 mins away has a monthly action rifle match. Targets from about 1yd out to 200yds. They include steel, paper, clays, and bowling pins. It was a blast to shoot. It wasnt very physical, with only a couple spots where you had to run, and only a few strange shooting positions that were forced with holes in barricades. There were 5 stages, some longer range, some closer range, and a total of 32 competitors. It was cheap to shoot, only $15 and the match lasted from 9-1:30pm.

    Met lots of cool people, exchanged contacts with a few guys to possibly meet and shoot in the future. It was a safe match, I didnt once see anyone do anything even remotely unsafe, but it didnt have the feel of an overbearing RO shouting commands at everyone. The RO was actually in our group of competitors and you could tell this wasnt his first rodeo. He knew how to get his hits.

    There were a few different classes, the overwhelmingly predominant one was "tactical". It allows for a single optic with magnification and an otherwise standard gun. After looking at the scoring, I saw the different classes that everyone was in. Id say 25 of the 32 people were in tactical. There were probably 3 in "open", 2-3 in "Tac-Heavy", which is tactical except with 308 or larger, and myself and my friend were in limited. As I said, I wanted to build skills with my rifle, which I set up to be lightweight but tough as nails, with high quality parts. My rifle is a BCM, 14.5" ELW barrel, Aimpoint Micro on a Midwest lower 1/3rd mount, Surefire X300, Daniel Defense fixed sights, Silencerco Omega 300 can, and a Blue Force Gear Vickers sling. My friend's rig was a standard DPMS rifle with MFT flip up sights, some knock off free-float rail, and some upgraded furniture. He had some knockoff single point Ebay sling that was super low quality and didnt really work, so I let him use a spare Frank Proctor sling that I brought for this occasion. He originally had a Trijicon RMR that I was going to zero, and when he was pulling it out, he said he bought it for $75, and when I looked at it, I immediately knew it was fake. I didnt say anything, didnt want to break his spirits, but when I tried to zero the dot, it didnt have enough elevation to even be zeroed, so I just told him and advised that we need to make sure he has a good zero on his flip up sights and he needs to just go with those for the match, which he did.

    The gear is what was most shocking to me. For even a little local range's private match, with zero trophies, prizes, or even a formal sanctioning body like IDPA or USPSA, people definitely had some gamer gear. Since the dividing factor between limited and tactical is magnification, myself and my friend were the only two competitors of the day in limited. EVERYONE else had magnification. Mostly LPVOs, way more red dots with magnifiers than I expected in 2020, and even a couple prism scopes. Some people had the offset red dots and whatnot as well. Most all of the people had the big muzzle brakes, not one other competitor that I saw used a sing, and I dont remember seeing anyone else with a flashlight. Id say maybe half had backup sights, and lots of them had the super light gamer triggers. To be honest, I expected more people to be out using the competition to be a chance to practice with their defensive rifles.

    They were definitely wayyyy more prepared at the longer distance small targets than myself and my buddy were, I feel in large part due to the magnification. The toughest stage was 200 yards, 15 pieces of steel. You needed to get 1 hit per piece of steel, some as big as a 12"x12" square, others as small as a 6" plate. They were in the shadows, and not freshly painted. It was hard to even determine where some of the pieces of steel were. Some you only knew where they were because you could see the white painted 2x4 post holding it up, and you could surmise it was on top of it. On this stage, I brought 4 mags with me, and after about 3 mags, my barrel was smoking and I coudnt touch the front of the gun. It was a warmer day, around 85 degrees. You had to make one set of 15 hits from a doorway, and the other set of 15 hits about 10 feet ahead of you from either a wobbly barricade or a 4x4 planted in the ground that stood up about 30" tall. I timed out on this one as I couldnt get all my hits.

    Im definitely planning on going back to shoot the match again, and while I dont plan on changing my rifle's setup for actual defensive use, I am going to change it up for the next match. I have a SWFA SS 3-15x scope that has been sitting in my closet for a while now, that was purchased for a long range build that never happened. Since it seems all the up close stages are basically just bullet hosing, with needing 2-3 quick shots on a full size silhouette at anywhere from 1-10 yards, I feel like you can just sort of point shoot and get the hits. When you are standing still, and the target doesnt move, its easy to just watch your bullet holes as they appear and adjust your aim accordingly. Hard to miss a 20x30" target at 4 feet. I have this pretty nice $700 scope, so to test it out, I ordered a cheap basic AR scope mount on Amazon from some no-name brand. If it will hold zero for one match, I will be happy with it. Might even make it easier to sell the scope later if it comes with a mount, who knows. I know 15x is way overkill for targets at 200 yards, but if I crank it up to 6-8x, I think it would work pretty well, and we will see how much of a hassle it is up close.

    Anyway, all that being said, I came in first in my division (hold your applause, it was out of two competitors) and near the bottom of the scoreboard overall, but had a fun time and Im definitely looking forward to going back next month.
    G26Raven, Bad Bob, JD and 16 others like this.

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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Glad you had fun. I'm too old to feel like competing for anything except that last beer.
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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck808 View Post
    Met lots of cool people, exchanged contacts with a few guys to possibly meet and shoot in the future.
    I hope you won't be shooting anyone in the near future!
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    Love your thread and first post Chuck808.

    Firearms competition is near and dear to my heart so it's gratifying to read your narrative and your views.

    Regular firearms competition has to be the equal of attendance to firearms training courses for the person wanting to advance their skills.
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    Member Array Workaholic's Avatar
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    Glad you had fun. I wouldn't mind getting into that type of stuff, eventually. May go check out a competition one of these days. You make it sound like it's fun and challenging.
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    Which club hosted the match?
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    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Which club hosted the match?
    A range called Hernando Sportsmans Club.

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Great shooting, & I applaud your uses of no magnification . That's the way mine black gun is set up ; )
    H/D
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Congrats on a successful 1st match.....

    Now that the hook's been set, the equipment modification and match practice will begin!
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck808 View Post
    A range called Hernando Sportsmans Club.
    Looks like they take their time uploading their scores, but you can find them on Practiscore once they're posted. Last month's scores are here: https://practiscore.com/results/new/106159?q_division=0
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    Senior Member Array BCC73's Avatar
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    Gave you a LIKE just because you didn't tie in the VIRUS !!!!
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    VIP Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Looks like they take their time uploading their scores, but you can find them on Practiscore once they're posted. Last month's scores are here: https://practiscore.com/results/new/106159?q_division=0
    That was actually this match, Im on there. Not sure why it shows the wrong date, as it took place on 3/14/20. If you check my score, I was 26/32, and had a TON of penalties. One stage, I thought the white papers were the shoots, and the brown papers were noshoots. The white paper silhouette was a full size, and the brown ones were small, and it looked like a hostage shot, so I took my time and made good hits on the white no shoots on accident. I figured that a hit on the brown paper would go through and hit the white one as well right behind it, so the white was probably the shoot, and the brown was the no shoot, so I had 100 seconds in penalties on a single stage. There were also some other stages where I straight up didnt see targets that were kinda hidden, so I didnt even attempt them and received a penalty as well.

    If I shot the match the exact same way but without the penalties, I would have been a total time of 499 seconds, which would have put me at 22nd place, which would have put me in front of 11 shooters with magnification. Next time if I actually run from spot to spot, and dont stop shooting to ask the RO questions on the timer to make sure I wasnt breaking any rules, my time would probably be at least 10% better without any real effort, which another 50 seconds knocked off, with a total score of 450 would have put me right there with 21st place. I feel like with the right equipment I could definitely get into the top half of shooters without much fuss.
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    Hah - 50 no-shoots! Bet you'll never make that mistake again!

    But hey, you got to see what competition is all about and it sounds like the hook has been set. When I started shooting competitively (my club's Tuesday Night Steel pistol matches), I used my carry gun and holster for maybe 4 years and took some pride in the fact that I did OK without dedicated "game" gear. Over time I was drawn in more deeply and now I show up for the steel and USPSA matches with a competition holster rig and a gun tuned to run my reloads at a certain power factor.

    Similarly, I have a 10/22 that I built as a sporter but with some extra love and pieces to make it very accurate. Until recently it carried a 4-12x 40 side-focus scope which is the berries for target work or head shots on squirrels at 75 yards. But I got pushed into Steel Challenge recently so the scope came off and now it wears a Burris reflex sight on a QD mount, but after the regional match coming up in 2 weeks the scope is going back on. You're obviously seeing how we can adapt our well-built guns to serve different objectives while retaining the gun's primary purpose and capabilities.

    Let us know how you fare in your future matches!
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you had a good time! I shoot a lot of different matches, not because I can end up in the upper half of the shooters but because I like doing it, I learn something new everytime I go out, and I like most of the people I shoot with.
    The next thing I want to try is a long distance rimfire match. All kinds of targets out to 200 yds with a .22 LR. Good Luck on your next match! DR
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array darbo's Avatar
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    No shoots? Ha they shouldn't have been in the way!

    Saturday I shot a USPSA match and Sunday a 2-gun (pistol,rifle) match. Shooting matches like these are great for getting that practice in things like drawing from a holster, etc. that you simply can't get at a static range.

    Beside the fact that I have no skill I use the match as my practice. I don't dry fire or practice mag changes at home or anything like that.
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