Kitsap County, WA
When I arrived last weekend to shoot this match I realized it has been a year since I have shot a 3 gun match. How did the time go by that fast? This match was perfect to get my feet wet again. It was a local match and lower round count but at the same time a challenging and fun event. It was nice to see many of the shooters again that I otherwise only have contact with through Facebook. The Courage Classic is a charity event for the wounded Marines and Sailors returning from the Persian Gulf, through the Combat Casualty Assistance Campaign of the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. Match director Dan Kim and Range Master Marcus Carter along with all of the
amazing volunteers put on a great match. I really had to blow dust off my 3 guns. I was reminded quickly that I need to practice pistol and loading my shotgun. I also had not confirmed my rifle zeros in a while. We had two days to complete 10 stages. We were handed a bit of everything. Running up hill, an unknown and dark stage, pistol spinners, shooting through a tiny port hole “upside down?” and yes, even made to sit in a porta potty. Not sure why, but I really struggle with spinners if it is required to use a pistol. With a shotgun or rifle I can spin it no problem. I need my own steel spinner at home to practice with. Think my downtown condo neighbors would mind? Most local ranges don’t have space for long distance targets but we were able to get one rifle stage in with targets out
to 200 yards. You were given 60 seconds to shoot them all. You started with whacking a boxing bag 10 times (yes it sounds strange. But then that is 3 Gun. You never know what they throw at you) then ran over to shoot two slug targets and then grab the rifle and hit several close paper targets and then 6 steel 150 – 200 yards out. Boy, for being a rifle gal I kind of sucked on this stage. I hit my first target first try, missed the 2nd, hit the third and went back to the 2nd and then ran out of time as I approached the 200 yard ones. This is where my 3 gun skills lack. Having to be fast and plan out the right positions and strategies and be accurate all at the same time is more difficult than you think. You don’t get a practice run either. One time and it had better be good. But
like anything, success will come with more experience. I already improved on this match by coming in at the middle of the pack. In the past I was near the bottom. One of the more difficult stages for me was the “Guns & Coffee” stage. Besides starting by sitting in a porta potty you had to lie on top of a table and shoot slugs through a port hole. What’s so hard about that? Well this port hole was only about 10″ high from the table top. You almost had to be upside down at an angle to be able to get a secure cheek and shoulder position and sight picture. Or it forced you to shoot week side but then your arm was in the way. Long story short, it was crazy awkward. I had a sore cheek after that stage and one of our other shooters got a bloody nose. But that is stuff to brag about not
be upset about. Another stage I learned something on was the long shotgun stage. You had to run up a long path and hit stationary clays hidden in the trees. Your instinct is to run right up to them and shoot. Well don’t. Getting too close makes the shot more difficult. Note to self, distance is your friend. We shot through golf carts. I had a fan on my FB page make a great comment on this photo. She said “that gives a whole new meaning to ‘playing through’. Clever gal. The most fun stage was the “unknown dark” stage. Kudos to the designers of this.
Showing up at the unknown stage we were made to watch a safety video. The video was more of a spoof to give you a bit of instruction of how to traverse the
stage. You were going in on a suicide mission in a war zone. One does know enough ahead of time that having a flashlight on your rifle would be a good idea. You were also told that you had to move some IEDs to a neutralizing location without setting them off. Not really knowing that concept I took the little bombs literally and saw an on/off switch on the top of it. Turned it off then grabbed it willy nilly to move to the other table and of course the motion set it off. Dead. How am I to know you have to keep it level! The next IED was in a box. I stared right at the clip that was holding it in there but again went to “turn off” the switch on the top and pulled the bomb out of its box. Sploosh. Water all over me. Dead again. Oh well. Going back to the beginning of the stage, we
were told to blow down the first door and engage targets with the shotgun. Easy enough. Then you dump that and pick up your rifle and start walking through the maze. You really are anxious to look up and down and through things looking for things to shoot at. It also was a 360 shoot house which took me some getting used to. I would see a target behind me near a door I came through and look at my RO for permission to shoot it. Nerve racking! You have the 180 rule so ingrained in your head you can’t fathom shooting 360. Most rifle targets were paper with red no hit zones or explosive enemy vest as they were called. While walking, you unknowingly stepped on a platform that set off moving targets that were up on a hill. I saw it at the corner of my eye but never came close to pointing my rifle up in time. You then came to the dark cave and made your way through trying to locate targets. They were pretty sneaky those designers. There was a room full of no-shoots and it was easy to keep going. After the fact I was shown that if I had gone in to that room and kept looking behind the white targets there was a cubby hole with shootable targets. At this point you forget how much time is going by. You are so careful to try and find targets that you don’t realize how slowly you are moving. Outside of the cave you dump the rifle and grab a shield you must hold in front of you and look through the glass as you shoot at various targets with the pistol. Beep! The timer goes off and I am staring at many more un-engaged targets. This was super fun and now having experienced this I will know a little better for next time how to look for targets and hopefully speed up a little. I want to do it again! One interesting thing I was able to do at this match was try out a new accessory on my rifle.
Before I left for Africa in March I was approached by Accu-Grip to try out their AR-15 grip on my JP rifle. Their claim was that you are able to adjust the grip’s length of pull to the trigger. Last year when I used an APO tactical rifle they had this feature and it was so awesome to adjust the grip back for my long fingers. When I grabbed the grip my finger fit perfectly to the trigger without thinking about it. Well the same happened with the Accu-Grip. It was easy to install and they do offer a Youtube video of instruction if you need it. Of course tools come with the kit. The grip that comes with the JP has fingers grooves and is sort of a “sticky” rubber for good gripping. It does not adjust in distance. I never really knew anything different and it has been fine. But I did have to “think” about gripping the rifle with finger placement. In using the Accu-Grip it was instinctual! There was no second thought. I love it. I am keeping it on. In fact Charles was jealous and wanted one and the guys at Accu-Grip felt for him and are sending another one out. Merry early Christmas babe! Mike from the company wanted me to let him know if my reach to the mag release was affected by the adjustment. It was not. But then again I have crazy long fingers. If someone has a normal hand size they will not need the extra length anyway. I love the opportunities I have to test products. But I really love it when the product is actually worthy. If I am not comfortable to review someone’s product because I really don’t care for it I won’t do it. So check the Accu-Grip out!
The Kitsap Rifle and Gun Club has had its share of legal problems recently and constantly threatened to be shut down. This seems to be the wave this country is on. “Shut down the crazy gun people.” Of course their dispute has been politically motivated like they all are. The anti-gun people will tell you it is about safety but it is not. Most gun ranges have been in their locations 50 years before the first residential house was built close by. The Kitsap range has won if you will but at a huge expense. But of course appeals will keep draining them of more money. This is the intention of the anti-gun group. If they go broke fighting then they will have to shut down. I am hoping that the community and county saw that this event was safe and well organized and truly a family event. Families and friends spectated and all had a great time. A neighboring county recently passed a bill that protects gun ranges from being sued. Kitsap County needs this as well. They need your help and they need voices. This pertains to your local range as well. Our voices of support for our industry, sport and clubs need to be louder than the anti-establishment. That is the only way.
Thank you again gang for hosting this match. I know there were hundreds of man hours donated. I pray the range will be available for us to do it again next year. Thank you to all of the match sponsors. These matches don’t work without you. Rainer Arms, KelTec, Aero Precision, Hogue Grip, Glock Triggers, SpyderCo, Higher Capacity, Blade-Tech, Mountain House, Discount Gun Sales and Nighthawk Customs.