Las Vegas, NV
Nine days in Las Vegas! I have never spent so much time there. But this year for Shotshow I went a few days early so I could compete in the Vegas Precision Rifle match put on by Sin City Precision. I did not know about this match in time to do it last year so I was happy I was able to shoot it this time. I arrived in Vegas to the Aliante Casino, the match hotel about a half hour outside of town. This was the first time I have shot a PRS sanctioned match. It was completely different than the field matches I shoot normally. Ty & Janae Frehner ran a great event. Held at a private Air Force base facility the match was two days with about 10 stages total. Breakfast and lunch were provided for the shooters and staff both days and water was available at all stages. These details are nice I will admit. No hiking was involved at this match. Everything was shot from shooting bays close to the parking lots. Instead of using obstacles in nature to shoot from as in field style matches there were man made structures to mix things up. Anything from dog houses and 4×4 crosses to roof tops.
Because this was my first PRS match I am unaware if all of them are similar to this. I am guessing so. Certain aspects I enjoyed because it was different from I what I am used to but I also wonder if one would ever shoot these scenarios in real life. Yes I am digging deep here. But I feel that the variety of stage challenges mixed things up for the various skill levels of each shooter. For instance, several stages were shot at 100 yards. In one we had an 8×11 piece of paper target with 12 1″ dots. We had to shoot half the rounds from a cross structure and half from a slanted roof top. Neither of which were very stable considering the size of the target. The Hog saddles and tri-pods came out to support the rear of the rifles. Even with this support that tiny 1″ circle moves around! If you are not familiar with this sport I will let you know that unless the rules specifically state that no support props are allowed than anything goes. You need to learn how to game the game. We used the rear tri-pod on the cross and back packs or pillows as support on the roof top. You do whatever it takes to get a good shot. Another stage had the same paper but with playing card sized images of the match sponsor’s logos. When the timer started they flipped over 5 cards with random logos and you had to memorize them and then go to your rifle, in prone, and find them on the paper down range and put two rounds on each one. All stages have a time limit. There were quite a few props to get the heart rate going and add some creativity.
This was the first time in my life I have smacked a carnival bell ringer. At a rifle match? Of course I had no clue how to get a good swing on the hammer so my hit was pretty lame. At least I did not win the lamest award and have to wear a pink tutu at the awards ceremony!
We started in prone and had to hit 4 steel targets a few hundred yards away. Then jump up and smack the carnival bell. Back to the rifle for four more rounds and then jump up and move a huge tire several feet with a sledge hammer. To be honest I do not like these types of props. That screwed up my neck and shoulder for a few days. And I am not a wimp! It is just not an impact on my body I am used to or want to abuse. We had to shoot through trucks, shoulder roll over mattresses and drag “bodies” around while having to yell creative statements. Or in many cases, obscenities. For some reason Tim Milkovich’s name kept being yelled out. (Had to be there) And of course there were the long range shots on steel that are my favorite. One stage had all targets set from 1100 to 1400 yards. And if you did not time out out you could go for the mile long shot at the end of the range. Almost all of the long range stages were from a stable prone position. Every match has a KYL, Know Your Limits stage and this was no different. You have a sequence of steel targets hanging on a rack from large to tiny. You keep shooting if you’d like to the end but if you miss one you lose all the points you just accumulated in that stage. I never seem to know my limits apparently. I like to keep shooting what can I say. This was the first time using my new rifle build chambered in 6.5CM from H&H Precision and Rainier Arms.
Long story but I did not get to load my own ammo for this match so I used factory which did not work out well. I tested and chrono’d the ammo before and set up the ballistics program but the rounds were too slow and all over the place. Thank you squad mate Caylin for helping me with the ballistic adjustments but I still struggled with my zeros at long distances. Frustrating because I know my skills at long range and wind reading. I am slowly re-acquiring my loading equipment but I don’t have everything yet. I am working with a friend from LakOrr Munitions out of the Sturgis area and some from another local friend to make custom loads for me. I have used LakOrr ammo for a few years for various disciplines and tests and they are great. Several of us on my H&H Team have the exact same rifle builds and were put together at the same time by H&H owner Ken Hagan. The others have tested a great load and I will have them make the exact formula for me. Until I can make and test my own I trust these will work for the next match at least. This is part of my journey ahead for 2016. I can’t write this article without mentioning a few of the top shooters and the companies that contribute so much.
Contingency X Media had a full crew filming the event. Between drones and several crew members there were cameras at every angle. You can check out their work on their Facebook Page or the Page of Sin City Precision. For the second year in a row, Kelbly Rifles has been the Premier Sponsor of the Vegas Precision Rifle Challenge. Thank you also to Mile High Shooting, U.S. Optics, J Allen Enterprises, Magpul Core, Vortex, Bergara, SPR, Burris, XLR Industries, Spartan Rifles, Defiance, Nonami Tactical, Huber Concepts, X Steel Targets, Proof Research, PRS, Owens Armory, Griffin Ind, Applied Ballistics, Norcal, MGM Targets, Light React, Kopfjager Ind., Victor Co., Hawkins Precision, Magneto Speed. Rifles Only, Vang Comp Systems, Timney Triggers, TM On The Mark, Corbon, Short Action Precision, Manners Composite Stocks and LV Steel Targets. I hope I did not leave anyone out! Without support like this these matches can’t be done. Now for the top shooters.
There were almost 100 participants this weekend. For me the most exciting winner of the match was my dear friend Regina Milkovich. Not only did she take the High Lady but she was 9th overall. Overall! It has been her goal with a lot of practice and hard work to get in the top twenty. Well she was so startled to hear her name being called as 9th place at the awards ceremony. She should not have been surprised. You rock my friend!
PRS leader board here she comes!! Congratulations to match winner David Preston and all of the top shooters. To see all of the match results click THIS LINK. I loved my squad mates for this match. Small world but I was on the same plane as Caylin from Magpul who happened to be on my squad. I was finally able to shoot with another lady shooter and friend Jesse Dussart. There was almost a record amount of lady shooters this event. I believe there were about 6 of us. This is great but many more are wanted! That is my mission