My first time competing in The Findlay Cup was last year 2013. A precision rifle match held in Wenatchee, WA that started in 2001. One to two long days of challenging shooting stages and some challenging steep hikes we loved to complain about. Unfortunately after last year’s match the director decided to call it quits and take a break. He was understandably burned out. I can only imagine how much effort and time it takes to put on these events. I for one was bummed since I had only that one opportunity to compete in it. Well a lucky few of us (21 to be exact) received an invitation from Jim to try a condensed version of the Findlay Cup and in a 3 Gun format. The dreaded shotgun was not one of those three guns. Thank goodness! (In 3 Gun, I don’t like that the shotgun portion is a game of speed loads vs shooting skills. I am sure this comment will get me banned) The new Findlay Cup 2014 included pistol, carbine and long range rifle. This was right up my alley. This was also the most fun I’ve had at any match in a long time.
Only 5 people in a squad and only 4 stages for the day. All stages were within a parking lot distance and I was able to use my 3 gun cart to lug my pack, guns and ammo. Everyone was jealous. The “awesomeness” (is that a word?) of the stages made up for what I thought would be too short of a day. I love the intensity of the big tactical matches. But this event was low stress and informal and well, awesome. A majority of the round count was given to pistol and carbine at about 250 to each of those. For the long range rifle we were given around count of 50-60. Everyone’s favorite and signature stage was the “Gully” which used a majority of the round count.
I knew we were in for a challenge when we were told for this one stage we needed to have on us 100 rounds of both pistol and carbine. The time limit was 8-10 minutes! We started at the top of a hill and then had to jump down a ledge and in to the gully shooting at steel targets as we traveled. Once down in the gully we had to run up and down several hills with stations along the way shooting at steel on the opposite hill side. 8 minutes is a long time of running and shooting. It did not help that during our morning safety briefing Jim mentioned there were rattlesnakes seen down there lately. As far as I know, no one came across any. I am pretty sure that was too much activity for them to stick around and nap. I did though manage to have a wardrobe malfunction that cost me a minute or more from the course. My race belt holding my magazine pouches and pistol kept falling off of me. I realized I had one rifle mag pouch too close to the end of the belt and there was not enough Velcro available to catch. Jim kindly stopped the clock so I could get myself together and batten down the hatches so I could continue. After all, this match was about having fun. We were most impressed with Jim for ROing all 21 shooters. Which meant he had to run along with each shooter all day long. He deserved a large pizza and beer after that day of cardio.
Sorry for the lack of photos. Just having too much fun and forgot to pull out the camera. Thanks again Jim and to all of his helpers and RO’s. Please, please do it again next year. The only problem is that now I let the word out it may be a race to get a spot next year. Hopefully you will forget by then and I will make sure not to share the dates. 🙂