This is a swat-team based shooting competition, originally with 4-man teams and later simplified to 2-man teams. It was discontinued in 2014 due to lack of participants, but a few people pushed for it to be restarted and pushed to try to get enough shooters involved. In particular, I have to give a shout out to InRange TV for letting me know about this event and setting up a page for solo shooters to find a teammate.
Stage 1: Sniper Tower
Both shooters start at the side of the tower, run around it and climb a ladder that appeared to be made of fire hose:
Then run up the stairs to shooting positions on the landings. Shooter 1 goes to position one (4th landing up from the bottom) and shoots the steel target marked with a #1. Five hits, unload and show clear, continue up. While Shooter 1 is firing, Shooter #2 runs past him to shooting position 2 on the next landing up. As soon as one shooter is done firing he starts running to the next shooting position, and the other starts shooting. They leap-frog past each other until they reach the top, where both shooters need to be in position before either can shoot. Five hits on each target, then reverse the process leap-frogging back down. Maximum time is 9 minutes.
My teammate was recovering from an injury, so I went up the ladder first and stayed to help him over the guardrail, then ran for the first shooting position. We made it up and down reasonably efficiently, and I happened to be the last shooter.
“That’s five hits. Unload. Show clear. Haul ass!” Ran like hell down the stairs, and found we had made it in a little under 8 minutes.
Stage 2: Armor and Infantry
Both shooters start on the second floor of a smaller tower. Between both of them they must neutralize three tank commanders, then each must neutralize five foot soldiers (2 hits on each target).
Then both shooters go down a ladder and engage closer steel targets with a pistol, shooting numbered targets from numbered shooting ports.
When both shooters have completed this, you run to a helicopter…
Where one shooter engages a target with an M249 machine gun. If the target is not hit with the 5 rounds in the machine gun, the other shooter engages the target with his rifle, one hit required from one weapon or the other.
Then run back to the end point, marked by a hula hoop on the ground next to the tower.
We both cleared our rifle and pistol targets reasonably well, and my partner got the bonus of making a hit with the M249.
Stage 3: Obstacle Course.
Meant to simulate bounding fire and movement, this stage has one shooter engage a steel target while the other clears an obstacle. Then the second shooter shoots, the first clears two obstacles to put him in the next shooting position, again leap-frogging through the course.
The final position was a wobbly helicopter that each shooter needed to make two hits from.
Then both shooters have to run back to the start point. Time hack is five minutes.
I got flustered worrying about time and missed a lot more than I should have, and we timed out before we could get to the helicopter. I want a rematch with this stage.
Stage 4: Run and Gun
Start by making one rifle hit each on two steel targets from the wooden support, then run two bays down to reach the pistol targets. Both shooters can engage targets, but many teams elected to save time by having one shoot and the other sling his rifle so he could run faster.
Between the two of you, put two hits on each blue target and don’t hit any of the white targets. It is up to you to keep track of what you have and have not hit, 60 second penalty for each required hit that you don’t make.
Then run to the next bay and crawl under a series of 8 sticks, penalties if you knock any of them down, then engage paper targets with the rifle and run back to the start point.
I don’t remember what the time hack was for this stage, but it was tight. We just barely made it.
This was the end of Day One. Rest up, tend to gear, back at it in the morning.
Stage 5: Shooting Obstacles
This stage started out with four obstacles that you had to shoot through or from on top of, each shooter must shoot from two. You had to knock down four steel targets in windows from each position.
When both are complete, run to the next bay and engage paper targets through various ports in a series of barricades.
Run to the next bay, into a fenced-off area with a lot of no-shoot targets and a lot of targets with clay pigeons attached to them. Break all the clays with the pistol, then run back to the start point. Time hack was I think 5 minutes, and we made it in around 4:30.
Stage 6: Back to Back
Shooters move together down a bay. At each shooting position they turn back to back and engage paper targets, only A zone hits count. At the end were five pistol targets on each side, and only five rounds could be used. Get as many hits as possible and run back to the start point.
Stage 7: Quick and Alert
21 teams completed this stage all at the same time, lined up by team number in prone position. In a pit 200 yards away, the match staff would randomly pick a target with a team number on it, put it up where we could see it and walk with it for 6 seconds before pulling it back down. We were permitted five shots while it was up. So you have 6 seconds to spot target, identify if it is your target or not, and try to get 5 shots on a moving target. Two targets can be in play at once, and they may or may not appear at the same time. Those of us with magnified optics helped the rest by calling out numbers when the targets came up.
Also worth noting that you and your teammate will be firing at the same time, and if you happen to be on the right, the brass and hot gasses from your buddy’s rifle can really shake your aim. We were told that targets might appear more than once, or they might not. Each one was presented four times, but we didn’t know that until it was over.
We were watching targets for half an hour or so before we were told that it was done and to clear our rifles.
This was both a lot of fun and an intense learning experience. Can’t wait to do it again.
While I had a great time and learned a lot, I did not do nearly as well as I hoped. Recording a few notes to improve here.
First and foremost, you need to have your mind right. You will start missing targets that you are more than capable of hitting if you allow yourself to mentally start fussing over the amount of time left, or something about your gear that isn’t quite right today, etc.
The above is easier if you make sure all of your gear is what you intended it to be. When I arrived I realized that the ammo I had was different from what I had sighted in with, and I had no idea what or how much the difference in zero could be. It likely was not much, but I let it get in my head and didn’t shoot nearly as well as I know I can on the first day. I was able to bring the correct ammo the second day and shot much better, likely more due to being confident in my gear than due to any difference in zero.
Practice more in shifting gears. Running hard, climbing walls and shooting well are not nearly as hard as trying to randomly juggle doing all of them, and shifting from going hard and fast to being slow and steady is a skill that I have not mastered yet.
When you are there for learning and experience, plan what you want to get from a stage and then follow the plan. I really wanted to get to the helicopter at the end of the obstacle course, so I should have taken some penalties to save time to get there.
I need to stretch more and spend more time in prone. Having a muscle cramp up and start twitching does not aide accuracy.
Take time to hang out and chat with those around you. You will find a lot of good advice and just some all-around awesome people.
Post Script: I found the results after posting this. My team, Team 9, placed 35 out of 42 teams present. With the caliber of competitors that showed up, I am okay with that.
I did not hear stage names when we were there, but I thought I should include official names here.
Sniper Tower= Old Red
Armor and Infantry= Hot Extraction
Obstacle Course=Ball Buster
Run and Gun=Tunnel
Shooting Obstacles= South
Back to Back= 130
Quick and Alert= Movers.