About 150 competitors participated in the second annual Area 6 3gun Championship held at the Universal Shooting Academy last weekend. This was my first time shooting in Florida and at this private range. My rifle sponsor Devil Dog Arms was the main sponsor of this match. There were three of us DDA team members competing and several DDA staff managing the product booth and sponsor relations throughout the weekend. Team mates Chris Tilley was in the Open division, Rebecca King in Tac Limited and I shot in the Heavy Metal Optics division. Congrats to Chris for winning Open, Rebecca as high lady in hers and as the only lady in Heavy I took 3rd. You may know Chris’ name from the pistol circuit and even from TopShot Season Two. Let’s just say he has a few titles under his belt. He has decided to play in the 3gun sport recently and came on board with DDA. This was only his 3rd match. And…. he won.
The match was not attended as much as it could have been since the 3gun Nation Regional in TX was held the same weekend. But 150 competitors is a decent showing regardless. The match was well run and I did not notice any backups of squads or any stage hiccups. The range has been used in the past mostly for IDPA and IPSC so the bays are shorter but the stages were challenging and interesting anyway. Along the back side of the range there was one long rifle stage out to 400 yards. I was a little rusty coming in to this match since it was the first major one I have shot since late October. I was able to bring out some new accessories and skills for the first time.
At Shotshow last January I met the AP Customs gang and was able to try out their shotgun caddies which I love. I was also able to put to use my new pistol skills I learned from the Tactical Performance Center pistol boot camp last November. Overall I felt good about my pistol performance in the match. There was one stage that had small steel plates 20 yards away that was still a bit tough for me. But once I relaxed a bit I was able settle my front sight and knock them down. I did struggle with the swinging steel targets however. My 40cal pistol has a big punch to it which gives me a slight disadvantage. That is my excuse anyway. I am getting my 9m set up soon and this will be easier for me when I shoot Tac Ops. Several of the matches I am scheduled for do not have Heavy categories so I will be mixing it up a bit this year. I am pretty excited that DDA is hitting the match sponsorship hard and will be represented quite a bit this year. They have made a big impact quickly out there. Joe Lucania the owner of DDA is making a point to be at all of the matches to support his team members. You don’t see that very often.
The match consisted of eight stages. Rebecca and I shot it all on one day on Friday. The majority of the shooters divided it up in two days over Saturday and Sunday. Rebecca and I were able to relax and watch the other squads shoot. Or better yet we were there to harass, I mean, support. The match was based off of USPSA rules. For me, being in the Heavy division, this meant that I had to shoot minimum 40cal pistol and was limited to 10 rounds in the magazine. That was hard for me to get used to. It is so much nicer to have 20 rounds to blow through a stage with maybe one mag change. Changing mags every 8-9 rounds was weird. A few times I ran dry simply because I forgot. I have more respect for single stack pistol shooters. I used my lovely DDA AR10. The RO’s got a kick of how heavy my rifle and loaded magazines were when I was making ready. I have a lot of upper body strength but I am going to need to beef up my workouts. I love shooting that rifle though. I am giving the most difficult stage award to #4 the Swamp Buggy Shotgun. Shot from a moving platform/boat, we had 29 targets all of them shotgun. I had to add an extra caddy to my belt and it still was not enough. I learned a big lesson here. Get your head on the gun. I was missing the targets. Turns out I rushed and did not even get my cheek on the gun. I was looking up! I know better. Then I fumbled some of my precious rounds down to the ground and could not finish the targets. Many of the targets were hiding behind barrels and you had to move back and forth on the platform to get to them. Mr. Evil designed this stage. Many people struggled with it. It was fun yet humbling. The most painful stage award goes to #8 the Bed Blast. I have seen a few black and blue shoulders and even some eyes from this one. There was a wooden “bed” in front of a narrow port. Two clay targets were at a sharp right angle. If you were not left handed you had to lie prone to get these targets. Shooting shotgun from prone is not exactly practical. It is difficult to get a solid hold of the stock in to the shoulder. So instead it recoils hard in to your upper arm or better yet your face. Ouch. Laura and Rebecca, I am thinking of you!
Congratulations to Todd Jarett the overall match winner. Thank you Shannon Smith our match director and Marc Weir the RM for taking over this event at the last minute. You did a great job with what you had to work with. Of course to the RO’s, we love you! Then to all of the sponsors who provided each stage and goodies for the prize table. Thank you to my sponsors – Devil Dog Arms, ESS, Accu-Grip, Leupold, Tactical Ammunition, for supporting me to this match. Next is Superstition Mountain Mystery 3Gun in Mesa, AZ at the end of April. See you there!