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2017 GAP Grind

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2017 GAP Grind
« on: October 10, 2017, 08:47:09 AM »


  • Marksman
  • ***
  • 147
  • Karma: 1
  • Garrett
GA Precision GAP Grind by Bushnell
After Action Report 10/6/17 - 10/8/17

The GA Precision GAP Grind is a Pro/AM event aimed at bringing new shooters to the sport of precision rifle competition by pairing an amatuer or new shooter with an established pro shooter.  This allows the amateurs to learn from the pros over the course of the weekend while pros gain Precision Rifle Series points based on their own finish.

The weekend started for my partner and I at 0500 on Friday morning and consisted of an 11 hour drive south to the K&M Precision Rifle Training property just outside of Finger, Tennessee.  Iíll comment on the facility itself at the end.  Once we arrived we both checked the zero on our rifles and finalized our velocities.  My partner had just switched his rifle barrel a week or two before and had not taken out past 100 yards.  I had switched calibers to 6XC at the end of September and my barrel hadnít quite settled in during my practice time earlier in the week.  Fortunately everything settled in nicely over 30 or 40 rounds of sight in and zero verification.  Once back to the hotel for the evening we pre-made all of our D.O.P.E cards for the match which is something Iíve never done before but think Iím going to start doing.  It seemed to free up a lot of time prior to each stage to get my head straight and mind right for the stage.

Saturday started with a safety brief and pep talk from Shannon.  We were assigned to Squad 8 and we started on Stage 8.   As a point of reference Pros shot the stage first followed by their AMs.  Pros generally, either had smaller targets or had to change positions. While the AMs either had larger targets or didnít have to move.

Stage 8-K&M Hustle Drill
We got to start on a 500 yard mover moving at 2.5mph.  From the prone shooters engaged the mover with 5 rounds.  Then shooters moved on to targets M1, M2 and M3.  Shooters had to hit each target before moving on to the next target.  Upon successfully hitting M1, M2 and M3 the shooter then moved back to the mover for another 5 rounds.

Mover: 500yds
M1: 360yd 45% IPSC
M2: 480yd 66%
M3: 513yd 66%

Score: 5/13

Stage 9-Up then Down
Stage 9 was another mover stage.  This time at 300 yards at a speed of 3mph.  Shooters were required to engage the target with 4 rounds from an elevated platform before moving to the ground to shoot 8 more rounds at the mover.  Pros shot 4 from a window position before going prone for the final 4 rounds.  Ams fired the remaining 8 rounds from the prone position.

Score: 9

Stage 10- Police Rack
Shooters had to shoot a plate rack from two positions on a police cars.  Pros from the hood and the roof.  While Ams shoot from the hood and the trunk.  Shooters fire 5 rounds at (5) 10 inch circles from each position.  The target was at 492 yards.

Score: 5

Stage 11- Poachin off the Porch
This stage had competitors shooting of a two story elevated platform at 2 coyotes, 2 hogs and a bobcat sillouhette at different differences.  Both the Pro and the am shot from the prone position. Shooters were required to shoot at targets from closest to furtherst.

Targets were:
Coyote 1-527yds
Coyote 2-580yds
Hog 1-693yds
Hog 2-742yds

Score: 6

Stage 12-Twisted Field Fire
Ams were required to shoot 10 rounds from the top of a barrel positioned next to a trailer.  Pros were required to use the rail of the trailer for support from inside the trailer.  Shooters were to engage 45% IPSC targets at 352, 403, 441, 550 and 520 yards.

Score: 9

Stage 13- Fat or Skinny Dog
Another prone stage only this time the targets were progressively larger prairie dogs as the target distances increased.  This stage was a stage that I was very worried about.  Prairie dogs have always given me fits.  However, this was one of my better stages of day 1.  Targets were at 229, 303, 429, 503 and 529.

Score: 7

Stage 14-Hoodlums From The Truck
This was a stage that I was really looking forward to.  Competitors, upon the ďengageĒ command would board the bed of a truck and engage 9 targets divided between 3 different vehicles positioned at different distances.  Unfortunately this was one of my worst stages of the day.  I shot the same target twice, which was incorrect and the mistake flustered me for the rest of the stage and I just never recovered mentally. Targets were at 386, 445 and 544 yards.

Score: 3

Stage 15-Shoot House Scramble
Competitors had to engage 1target at 446 with 2 rounds each from 5 different windows on the shoot house.  Pros had to use the windows that did not have a platform under them for all five positions.  Ams could use the 4 windows with platforms underneath but had to fire 2 shots from one unsupported window. Modified prone and a game change bag seemed to win the day for this stage. This was a redemption stage for me and I felt great at the end of it.

Score: 9

Stage 16-IPSC Field of Fire
Competitors had to detect and engage IPSC targets out 709 yards.  Pros had to engage both the large and smaller IPSCs while the AMs were allowed to engage the larger of the two IPSCs with two rounds each. Targets were at 519, 563, 609, 669 and 709 yards.  I managed to clean this stage which was a huge confidence booster.

Score: 10

Stage 17-Mulligan Know Your Limits
This was a little bit of twist on the typic know your limits stage.  Shooters were allowed to miss 4 times before losing their points.  I started out with a hit and then subsequently missed 3 shots.  I decided that there wasnít much difference between a 1 or a 0 on a stage and decided to risk it.  I salvaged a 3 out of 5 on the stage. Target rack was at 745 yards and sizes were 11, 10, 9, 8  and 7 inch wide IPSC targets.

Score: 3

Stage 18-Lego Field Fire
Shooters were required to engage the targets with two rounds each from several positions on 3 lego looking concrete blocks.  AMs could fire all of their rounds from one position.  This stage was a fairly easy stage if the competitor had a QD bipod that could be moved back on their rifle to facilitate a modified prone position. Target distances were: 524, 605, 686, 764 and 820 yards.

Score:  8

Stage 19-Square Field of Fire

From the prone position shooter were to detect and engage targets closest to furthest alternating between the large targets and small targets at each distance.  Ams just shot the larger target.  Targets were at:  662, 747, 808, 877, 1000 yards.

Score: 6

Stage 20-Pipe Test Your Limits.
This was your typical Test Your Limits but with the twist of having to shoot off of a large drainage pipe.  I only had 3 rounds left for this 5 round stage.  I scored 3 hits.  Target rack was located at 411 yards and target sizes was 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4 inches.

Score: 3

We finished day 1 after stage 20.  It was a marathon day but itís always good to get through as many stages as possible on Day 1 in hopes of getting on the road early after Day 2.

Stage 1-No Turn Tires
Shooters had 9 rounds to engage 3 targets from 3 different positions.  Shooters would engage each target with 1 round before moving on to a new position and repeating the sequence. Ams engaged the target sequence 3 times from 1 position.  I chose the tall and wide tractor tire so that I could use my bipod for front support.  Essentially creating a modified prone.  My H59 reticle came in handy since this was a ďno dialĒ stage.  However it had a pretty cool little twist.  Once the first round was fired, shooters could not touch their scope at all.  No turrets, no parallax adjustment,  and no magnification adjustments.

Targets were at 523, 628, 861 yards. 

Score: 7

Stage 2-Stretch It Out
From the prone shooter engaged 3 targets with 3 rounds each.
Pro target distances: 1000, 1100, 1200 yards
Am target distances: 800, 900, 1000 yards
This is about as straightforward a stage as could be.  Lay down and start putting rounds on steel from a long ways away.

Score: 8

Stage 3-Circle Chaos
Shooters had to engage two plate racks.  One at 600 yards and one at 450 yards, alternating between the two for 10 rounds.  The targets were 12Ē(600yds) and 6Ē(450yds) targets respectively. 

Score: 4

Stage 4-PRS Skills Stage 2
This was a pretty straightforward PRS skills stages. 8 rounds at 1 target from 4 different positions on the barricade.  The target was at 400 yards.  Pros shot at a 10 inch plate while Ams shot at an 66% IPSC.  I chose to shoot from two of the lower barricade positions and both of the low standing positions.  I donít use free recoil as it is difficult to do with the AX rifle but I still shot pretty good on this stage.

Score: 7 in 69 seconds (score and time are used for tie breakers).

Stage 5-Concrete Triple Decker
Shooters had to engage engage 3 targets positioned at 600 yards.  Target sizes varied from a full sized IPSC down to a 45% IPSC.  Shooters had to shoot at each target in the array from two different positions, moving after firing 3 three shots, one at each target, large to small.

Score: 6

Stage 6-Grind It Out.
This was my favorite stage of the entire match and probably my best. I came off the line after this stage feeling totally confident in my abilities and feeling like i could hit anything.  Unfortunately it was the second to last stage of the match.  These kinds of stages that are more field based and force a lot of movement play to my strengths.  Competitors had to engage 15 targets from 7 different positions on two levels of the shoot house and the rock formation.  Positions included:

Climb the stairs

Roof top (1 round)
Window (1 round)
Window prone (5 rounds @ IPSC plate rack)

Move down stairs and into left structure

Window (1 round)

Move to concrete between structures

Prone (5 rounds @  IPSC plate rack)

Move to right structure

Window (1 round)

Move to rock formation roughly 30 yards away and engage your final target.

Rock (1round)

All single round positional engagements were on an 18 inch plate at 550 yards.  All prone engagements were at an IPSC plate rack at 550 yards consisting of a 66%, 55%, 50%, 45% and 40% IPSC plates.

Pros had 3 minutes.  Ams had 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

Score: 12

Stage 7: Pipe Precipitous

Shooters used 5 positions on 3 concrete culvert pipes to engage a target at 450 yards with 2 rounds fired from each position.  Pros fire at a 66% IPSC and a 12Ē plate while the Ams engage the 66% IPSC with both rounds.  This stage required a competitor to move quickly and efficiently if they wanted to get all of their rounds off.

Score: 9

Wrap Up

We finished up the day and packed away our gear before heading up to the pavilion to get our scores and grab some grub.  I ended up shooting 135 points out of a possible 194 points  which was just south of 70% for the weekend.    Day 2 went a lot better than day 1 as far as my shooting went.  I shot 77% on day 2 versus 65% on day 1.  I ended up in 69th place out of 157 amateurs and our team finished 65th out 163 teams.  My team mate shot great finishing in 78th.  Without his coaching, especially on the wind calls I donít think I would have finished as well as I did. 

There were a ton of sponsors who either made things like lunch and dinner happen but GA Precision, Armageddon Gear, Bartlein and Bushnell Optics were instrumental.  Lunches were provided by Bartlein.  Itís cool to see a Wisconsin company embrace and be embraced so readily by the community.  Armageddon Gear provided an awesome BBQ dinner and a metric ton of their Wind Cheater beer.  Being from Wisconsin we of course had to indulge and render out judgement.  I can say Tom and Co did an excellent job.

There were so many companies that donated to the prize table.  I hate to try to name them all for fear of leaving out a prize donator.  All I can say is the prize table was great and every sponsor and prize table sponsor deserves a huge thank you.  Without them, these matches donít happen.  I ended up picking up an Impact Data Books modular data books to dedicate to my MK13 build.

I canít say enough about the K&M facility, Shannon and his crew.  This was far and away the nicest facility Iíve been to.  Shannon runs a tight ship and it shows.  The ROs were professional and friendly.  The ROs deserve every bit of thanks that the sponsors do.  Without ROs, there would be no precision rifle matches for us to shoot.  K&M has set the bar for me as far as facilities and matches.  The match was set up to perfection.  The course of fire was accessible and challenging for amateurs.  For those that know me, Iím not a fan of prone stages but K&M threw in enough curve balls and made the distances challenging that even the prone stages were fun.  This match definitely tested an amateur's ability to shoot, move and think on their feet.  My training and physical fitness regimens definitely played a part in my scores.  This was the first match that I did not zero a stage, accomplishing a goal I set coming into this match.  I did not shoot the pro course but it seemed like a fun challenge and will definitely take on the challenge if I shoot the GAP Grind again.

It pays to be a winner.