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« on: March 22, 2016, 10:41:43 PM »

Jeff M

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AprilDawn and I hopped in the truck and drove down to Park City, KY for the Defiance Long Range Shooting Experience, put together by Ryan Castle and Scott Satterlee from CORE Shooting Solutions.

We arrived very late Thursday night/Friday morning, and were extremely tired from the drive.  Aside from the fact that we had to change rooms due to our first room having red wasps in it, the accommodations were adequate.  If you've never been to the Rock Castle Shooting Center, it really is something to behold.  Nestled into the Kentucky countryside on 2000 acres, it has a golf course, 3 gun course, shotgun (sporting clays and trap), 3D archery, long range rifle course, pistol course, urban assault area, pretty much everything you could imagine.  The clubhouse and hotel are rather...  Dated, but wasps aside, they were clean, warm, and the AC worked quite well.  Water pressure was good, if the hot water tanks were on the small side.  Do bring your own soap and shampoo, though.  If you drink, be warned that the county is dry, so you have to drive one exit north on the interstate to find somewhere to buy alcohol.  They do sell alcohol at the facility (they are the only place in the county allowed to do so), but there are lots of odd laws and they are totally dry on Sundays.  Also, do note that there are no refrigerators in the rooms, so plan accordingly.

Friday was registration and sight in, and it was as expected:  Registration was smooth and painless, we were given a chamber flag, and a Defiance range bag!  I've gotten lots of stuff at matches before, but a range bag?  Cool!

Hopped in the truck and drove the 4 minutes to the sight in range.  Paper at 100, and steel to 600.  Not as long as I'd hoped, but certainly adequate.  Helped ewheuser get his RPR all dialed in, and we hopped in the truck and headed back to the lodge.  Lunch was found in nearby Cave City, and was great.  We also picked up some beer and other odds-n-ends.

Saturday was dry and cool, with temps in the upper 40s.  With how much walking and moving we did, it wasn't really noticed, and I found myself rather warm several times throughout the day.

I was VERY rusty before this match.  Since last November, I'd sent a total of about 150 rounds, most of that being load development, so I didn't have much to work with.  I had a new JAE chassis, a new barrel, a new load, a new everything.  There was a misunderstanding on my part about pre-match training (I thought it would be the day before, it was the WEEKEND before), and I had planned to use that training to knock off the rust from my game.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen, so Saturday I shot very poorly.  To add to that, we did 13 of the 20 stages on Saturday, trying to beat out the rain, so we shot from 0730 to 1900.  No lunch was provided, which I thought was quite odd, and actually made AprilDawn sick.  I wasn't very happy about that - she's quite small, and needs to eat regularly or she gets nauseous.  Missing lunch caused us a great deal of headache that evening.  Additionally, one group of ROs on the second portion of the course of fire had no radios.  No radios!  I'm not sure how that works..  How do you call a cold range?  Seems like a safety issue to me.  The first group of ROs all had radios.  It was particularly problematic with this group since no one could tell us if we were finished shooting when the light got dim.  This caused us to sit around for 20 minutes for no good reason before we finally left on our own, as it was nearly too dark to find the trucks.  Not too pleased about that one.

Aside from some grumpy kitchen staff (This isn't McDonald's!) at breakfast Saturday morning (and those issues noted above), this match was a SMASHING success.  The stages were laid out with what was CLEARLY great care - targets were well-placed, sized accordingly to be challenging, and it was quite obvious that a lot of thought was put into the assembly of the barricades.  They were all quite sturdy, and one of them even had the front boards nailed on considerably shorter than the rear boards, so you couldn't use them to support your rifle.  It was immediately obvious to everyone that the guys that designed this certainly have a lot of experience, and put it together to be a true test of both shooter and gear.

Combine the stage layout with switching winds (literally, it would be from your 10:00 on one shot, and from your 2:00 for the next shot - at the same target!), and it was definitely a test.

I did much worse than I thought I would.  I honestly figured I would be somewhere between 50-75% on the score sheet.  No such luck.  I was like 102 or 103 out of 122, I think it was.  Of a possible 182 points, I got 69.  The winner got 153.  I don't recall what last place got, but it was like in the teens or something.  There was someone that got 2 points, but I'm betting that was due to a DQ or WD or malfunction.

So, what did I learn from this experience, my first match for PRS points?  I learned not to rest over the winter.  I did pretty well last season, but shooting skills diminish quickly when not kept sharp.  That is quite obvious to me.

I learned that at all costs, find a way, somehow, to get dope on your rifle.  Don't show up with a new barrel and a new load and expect to true up at 600 and be good.  Sure, my elevation was good inside 700ish yards, but due to being slower, all my wind calls from last year were off.  And beyond 700, I was low.  I got into a brief discussion with Scott Satterlee about that, and I hope to continue that discussion with him at some point in the future.  When I trued up with a target at 894, it made me high at closer targets.  Since I have 4 or 5 matches coming up in April, including one PRS match, I need to get that sorted out soon.

Sunday I shot much better than I did Saturday, including getting 9/10 on one stage.  I would have cleaned it, but I timed out.  NO reason for that, it was a prone stage!!  But Jim See warned me, and apparently I didn't heed it - your internal clock is another skill that will diminish.  I didn't realize exactly how quickly 2 minutes goes.  I need to incorporate a timer into my practice so that I can get used to that again.  Last season I did quite well with clocks, this season, apparently not so much.

I've clearly got some stuff to work on.  I'll be doing just that, and I'm hoping for a decent finish in Nebraska.  We'll see, but no promises.

I do have a bunch of pics, including the match book.  I have to get them hosted, and I'll put them up tomorrow maybe.  I'm still exhausted from the weekend and the driving, and it was right back to work again this morning, so..  I need to get some sleep.

Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.

« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 05:42:20 AM »


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 I fully understand the winter rust. I laid low while the temps were down myself. Just went on a range trip for OCW testing the other day. My results were not nice and clear like usual. I know I yanked a couple shots and quite possibly ruined the purpose of the trip. I know I need to struggle thru winter shooting to avoid this in the future. Perhaps some battery operated gloves  ??? 

 Sorry things didn't go well at the match. If nothing else you now have some good stories and a nice new range bag.

« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 08:10:44 AM »


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The match was great. The winds were very tricky, and we did get wet, but it was a great time with good people. Definitely some good lessons learned... The biggest one... Set my zero stop on my scope... Lol