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AAR - 2nd annual FIRM Precision Rifle Match - Dakota, IL

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AAR - 2nd annual FIRM Precision Rifle Match - Dakota, IL
« on: April 09, 2016, 11:07:55 AM »

Jeff M

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AprilDawn and I packed up the truck last Sunday and drove to Dakota, IL for the 2nd annual FIRM Precision Rifle Match, put together by Andy and his team.  It was supposed to get up to 70, but when the match started, it was pretty cold, and VERY windy.  I think the lightest wind I saw all day was 15, and by the time we were on the last stage, it was gusting to near 30!

In any event...  Stages:

1:  Cold bore shot at an Accushot Spade card at 26 yards.  1 shot for getting in the circle.  Just about everybody was able to do this.

2:  Rooftop TYL.  315 yards, 4 plates of progressively smaller size, on a rack.  Shoot them largest to smallest, max of 10 rounds, 120 seconds.  If you miss, you lose your points, but you can start over.  I was fussing with my gear, but eventually got settled in.  Cleaned it in 4 shots with only seconds remaining.  Remember - building a stable position TAKES time, but shooting from a stable position SAVES time.  (Again, thanks Jim!!)

3:  Kill the Dogs.  Fairly typical stairstep barricade stage.  Two coyote targets were out there at 330 and 495.  10 rounds, shoot the close dog then the far dog from 5 different positions of your choice.  I tried to game it, and got all my points on the two positions I gamed, but I should have done those positions FIRST, not last.  I was frustrated from all the other misses by the time I got to my two positions.  Max of 10 points, of which I only got 3.  This barricade was quite stable, and if I had been thinking, I would have used my tripod for rear support.  But I wasn't, and didn't realize it until AFTER the stage was over.  I'm pretty bad at that.  I did it twice at LRSE as well.  Made a mental note to A) slow down (can't miss fast enough to win - thanks Jim!!), and B) pay attention to all the gear that I carry, and make the best use of it!

4:  Do the hustle.  Sorry, Andy - bullshit stage.  LOL  Made me hate them.  Any of you who've ever met me will know why here in just a second.  Start standing, and drop to your rifle.  Fire one shot at a plate at 315 (I think, forgot to write the distances down for this one), then about 200 yards right of that, fire at a larger plate at (again, I think) 792.  Then get up, get two more rounds from about 5 yards behind you, then get back on the gun and repeat. Max of 10 rounds, 120 seconds.  Score/time from this stage was the tiebreaker.  I got off 4 shots, 3 of them connected.

5:  Sit yo ass down.  From a sitting position, fire 3 shots at the 792 (I think) yard plate.  60 seconds.  I went 2/3 here.

6:  Kill these dogs two.  From a shitty, rickety, wooden fence that was built the night before with staples, bubble gum, and duck tape, fire two shots from 4 different positions.  Targets were a prairie dog and a flasher at each distance - shoot the dog first, then the flasher at the near set (195), then at your next position shoot the far dog then the flasher (240), then the next position shoot the near two, and then the far two at your final position.  120 seconds, 8 points max.  I got 1.  That fence SUCKED.  I did use my tripod for rear support here.  Didn't matter, since the fence was so shitty everything wobbled anyway.

7:  MFPT.  Start standing in the bed of a pickup truck, shooting from the roof.  Targets were 220, 385, 485, and 635.  One shot on the first 3, then 2 shots on the 635.  Then, repeat - but weak side.  120 seconds.  Max of 10 points, I went 6/7 here.  Slowed down, got my points.  The wind was up pretty good, so I missed my first attempt at 635, but saw my miss and corrected.  I thought this stage was particularly easy (save for my timing out (need to practice weak side more, I'm accurate, but not fast)), but I watched many other shooters get 1, 2, or only 3 points - even if they got off all 10 shots.  Can't miss fast enough to win!!

8:  You will probably hate us.  Not sure why they named it this, as I found this stage stupid easy.  Plate at 647 yards.  120 seconds.  Big dirt pile.  Fire 2 shots from the left side of the dirt pile (so make your bipod legs uneven, or shoot canted), then two from the center of the dirt pile (even, flat ground), then two from the right (so, canted or uneven the other way).  I took my time, and adjusted my bipod legs as I went.  Cleaned it, with time to spare, with winds that were, effectively, 15-20 on target.  As luck would have it, my 15mph dope and my 20mph dope were both on the plate, so I just bracketed the center and sent them.  Easy.

9:  Hit and Gun.  Start in the drivers seat of a wrecked car, hands at 10 & 2 on the wheel.  120 seconds.  Fire two shots out the driver's window at 227, then get out, run around to the rear of the car, climb in through the open hatch, fire two rounds from the rear driver's side window at 470, then get out, fire two rounds from the roof, and finally, two rounds from the hood, both of those at 650.  I gamed this stage, which saved me some time, but it didn't matter - none of my shots connected.  Sucked.  What's more?  I broke my front Aadmount scope cover.  So how did I game it?  After I got out of the driver's seat, I threw my rifle in the back window, butt first.  Then I could just climb in without having to worry about my rifle.  Then, I left it in there when I got out, , ran around to the passenger side, opened the rear door, pulled it out and threw it on the roof.  I hadn't practiced it enough in my mind though, since I got the rifle out, shut the rear door, then opened the front door, and climbed up - where I ran out of time.  Wasted a lot of time doing that.  I should have just climbed up with the rear door open and shot from there.  Stupid me.  Live and learn, right?  Better to pay my dues at these club matches than at a PRS match.  I want to make certain I do well at those!!  While I was on this stage, too, BTW - my mind was racing to the next shooting location.  I didn't focus on what I was doing.  This cost me - big!

Why did it cost me?  I took second, with 26 points. First was 27 points.  I beat him on the tiebreaker stage, 3 to 1.  So if I had connected with ONE MORE SHOT, on ANY stage, I would have won.  It was the difference between $88 and $175.

Remember - EVERY shot counts.  Even if you think you're doing horrible, you have no way of knowing how bad everyone else is doing, ESPECIALLY the guys not in your squad.  Don't worry if two of the guys in the other squad look like they just came straight from the military shooting range, and are shooting AIs.  Doesn't matter.  You have no way of knowing exactly how they are doing, so don't overthink it.  Just do YOUR thing, focus on YOU, and remember - EVERY.  SHOT.  COUNTS.  If you give up, or lose focus, that's a sure way to lose spots on the leaderboard.  Even if it's the difference between 10th and 20th - at a big PRS match, the difference in prizes left on the table between those two spots is usually HUGE.  Just because you've slipped from "I think I'm in the lead" to "Damn, I blew that, now I'm probably in 10th", shake it off and work to STAY THERE.  When it's over, you'll be happy you did.

In closing, thank you Andy & crew for putting this together.  I had a great time, and it was awesome to see two vehicle stages at what is effectively a club-level match.  Aside from the smaller number of shooters and the mixing of squads on stages, it felt (and ran) VERY similar to a full-on PRS match.  Spotters were good, stages were well thought-out and challenging, and I will DEFINITELY be back again for the 3rd annual.  Keep the wind, but up the temperature, and decrease the dust next time, though, huh?  :D
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 11:16:06 AM by Jeff M »
Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.

Re: AAR - 2nd annual FIRM Precision Rifle Match - Dakota, IL
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 09:38:34 PM »


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This was a great match!