Jan 11

Wintertime Shooting Blues……..

BLUSo you’ve just about had a full year of shooting. You go from shooting 2-3 matches a month to maybe 1 a month. You go from crisp spring/summertime weather, to bitter cold grueling winter weather.  Oh those winter time shooting blues.

So now what? Do you sit there and daydream about past matches and what you should’ve done different?  Absolutely not! Put down the oatmeal, get off your hiney and grab your rifle!

Wintertime always gives me the blues because I like being outdoors. However, I do not like to be shivering, cold or my feet replaced as ice.AGR12  Wintertime is great time for indoor dry firing.  I know you’ve heard this from me before, but dry firing is a great way to practice. Since I shoot in tactical precision rifle matches, I like to make barricades in my house and practice utilizing my rifle in odd, uncomfortable positions. Oh I use the back of my couch, grab a few chairs from the kitchen or use the end table (with a heavy quilt placed on top of course).  I live in the country on open land, so I pick something at distance out my front windows and practice getting on a barricade, placing my crosshairs on the target and pulling the trigger. I use the Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 with the G2 reticle. Dry firing at distance gets you in the practice of using the parallax and the power of your scope. I also play like I’m in a match and I will practice using holdovers with my reticle as well. I watch my heart rate and breathing and practice slowing that down while my eyes are on the crosshairs. Steady makes perfect! Some of the matches have you shooting from barricade down to prone back to barricade. This is a great time to practice that.

DSC_7010Other things I like to practice indoors is dry firing off hand. I practice going between standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. This also give you great practice using your sling. I use the Armageddon Gear precision rifle sling. And of course on days where it may be a little warmer outside, I take my gear out and practice there.

Another great thing to do is read. I utilize The Ultimate Sniper manual, written by Major John L. Plaster, USAR Ret. Lots of great tips in there that you can correlate over into competition shooting, like reading mirage, wind, etc.

Want to get practice on milling targets?  Then try out Shooter Ready. You can learn the basics like range estimation, holding for wind, etc. Its a great program that I use regularly.  It is a realistic training simulation which graphically displays how wind, altitude, and temperature affect bullets of different calibers in flight. You are not only learning something on this program, but it is a lot of fun!

This year, 2016, I will be shooting for GA Precision, on their shooting team known as Team GAP. shooting_team_logo_fuck-up I will be switching calibers (I’m going with the 6CM) and will be shooting with a Manners stock. I see a lot of practice ahead of me, both in the house and out! I of course will only be using the best cleaner and lube on the market for this bad boy, my Hoppes 9.  I will be using my Bushnell Elite 4.5-30 with G2 reticle and will also be running with all my Armageddon Gear (precision rifle sling, data arm board, fat bags and rear bag). And did I mention daydream? Yes, I will drift away to sleep at night counting the hits with every “ting”.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2016/01/11/winter-shooting-blues/

Jul 28

The Big Dog Steel Crucible Team Match

bigdog12 blondes + 2 competitive attitudes + 2 Precision Rifles + 2 Bushnell Elite scopes + 2 days in the Florida heat mid July = A Perfect 10 combination.

The Big Dog Steel “Crucible” Team match was held in the dead heat of summer in Baker Florida at the renowned CORE Shooting Solutions. The team match is similar to the individual match, except you have to rely on your teammate for shooting related procedures, even supported positions. You both work together on each stage to accomplish shooting your targets.

bigdog3I have shot team matches before with my Husband Jim Gilliland. This time around, I thought it would be neat to have an all girl precision rifle team since I had never seen one here in the Southeast. I knew Steph had a pretty solid 3 gun background and she just started getting into the precision rifle matches last year. With her experience, I knew we would make a good team plus we are both shooters for Team Bushnell. Not only does Steph shoot for Bushnell, she is also a member of Team GAP. I shot this match with Jake, my custom built Ashbury Precision Ordnance 6.5 CM and my Bushnell Elite XRS scope. I always have with me my Armageddon Gear Precision Rifle Sling with XWing rear bag and my Wiebad Pump Pillow for those barricade stages. I shoot factory load Hornady 140gr AMAX. Another staple I always keep in my range bag, is my Hoppes 9 field kit.

The first day of the match started at 7:30 am. We had an absolute wonderful squad of men. The first stage started with a 300 cold bore on a 6” shoot and see target with scoring rings. On the command, the team loaded and engaged the 6″ target with 3 shots each which totaled 6 shots on the target. Steph and I both landed shots on the 6” target with a combined total score of 4.7 (highest score was a 5.8). After the cold bore shot, everyone broke up into their squads at their designated stages. Our next stage was a tough one. There was a hidden target that only one team member could see. Using the reference targets, the team member that could see the scoring target had to walk the other team member (which was in prone position) onto that target, which they couldn’t see. Did I mention this was a tough stage? We scored a few points on this one but didn’t let that get us down.bigdog6

Our next stage was the “Mix up Mover”. The team started in prone and alternated shooting the 300 yard Larue targets and 500 yard mover. It was up to the team how they wished to accomplish alternating between the 300 yrd and 500 yrd targets. However, each target (500 yrd mover and 300 yrd Larue Targets) must be successfully hit before the other can be engaged. You had 20 rifle rounds total for the team and 2 minutes to complete. Target value was 1 pt for each hit. Out of 20 points, we successfully hit 16. What a team! Each stage had a time stressor and made you and your teammate work together. We did well on our next few stages, especially on Stage 5 which was titled 800 yrd Leap Frog. You had to maintain cover behind an orange barricade, switching between weak and strong side. You each had one shot on each target regardless of hit or miss. Shooters alternated shooting in the white box for strong side and blue box for weak side. We came up with the perfect plan. Steph shot first on the strong side, then picked up her rifle and shot first on the weak side. When she was transitioning to the weak side, I layed prone on the strong side with my rifle and shot the target she just shot. Our plan was simple. We would leave my rifle on the strong side with the DOPE card laying beside it for quick elevation change. Steph left her rifle on the weak side with the DOPE card beside it for the quick elevation change. Since we both shot the same with the same scope, Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5 – 30 with a G2 reticle, this made the stage seem flawless. Plus, instead of worrying with picking up our rifles and transitioning, this plan worked extremely well. You had 8 targets total ranging from 250 yrds out to 800 yrds. You had 2.5 min to complete course of fire with a max total points of 16. We scored 15.
Now don’t get me wrong, we had a few stages that we had some problems with, but overall we shot well on the first day. As you can imagine, the heat and humidity in Florida in mid July was not an easy relaxing day. By the end of the day, I was ready for a cool shower, dinner and a comfy bed!

CRUCIBLE2

Photo courtesy of Michael Cage

Day Two started early. We started with a stage called Close Encounters. You had to run through a small green tunnel with your rifle in hand. On the other side you shot at 3 cardboard IPSC targets, with a shot each inside the A zone perforations. After that it seemed like a 3 gun course where you had to shoot pistol at different designated steel targets. You had two shots each on the pistol target, then your partner shot 2 as well on their target. Then you had to maneuver together through each “window” and barricade. You had 1 minute to complete this course of fire. A REALLY fun stage on Day 2 was the Racer stage. You and your teammate had to “race” against another team. Well low and behold, we raced against my Husband and his teammate. Each team had a member in prone on their rifle with the other team member in a ready stance to run 100yrds then shoot a plate rack. This stage was also timed to use as a tie breaker at the end of the match. Since Steph had the background of 3 gun and she was a much better pistol shooter than I, I got behind the rifle. Each rifle shooter had 5 targets to hit ranging from 350 yrds out to 800 yrds. We were color coded blue which meant I shoot all the blue targets and Steph had to shoot the blue plate rack. On the command GO, Me and Jims teammate, Brent Keith started with rifles. We both hit the first 3 targets around the same time. Then I quickly hit my 4th and 5th target. Upon seeing the hit I started yelling Run Run Run! Steph took off running. Soon after, Jim took off running. Our whole squad was cheering both on. I was screaming Run Girl Run!!! Jim got within arms reach of Steph, and after she took a quick look around, something jolted in her and she took off extra hard. That was probably our most favorite and fun stage.

The whole match was just a blast and I would highly recommend shooting this team match, even in the dead heat of July!! I want to Thank Steph Payne for being an awesome teammate. Out of 36 teams, she and I placed 20th. Thank You to Ryan Brandt of Big Dog Steel and Bryan & Misty Morgan of CORE Shooting Solutions. You guys are just the best! Thank you to all the RO’s who took the time out of their busy schedule to withstand the heat and help make this a successful match. To the sponsors who donated to the prize table, Thank you. Thanks to my sponsors, Ashbury Precision Ordnance, Bushnell Tactical, Hoppes 9, Armageddon Gear and Wiebad. You guys rock and without you, well it would be hard to be out here!!

Photo courtesy of Michael Cage

Photo courtesy of Michael Cage

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2015/07/28/the-crucible-team-match/

Jul 14

Heatstroke Open 2015

heatstrokeThe name in itself would make anyone tremble. Take that plus 2500 acres of land in a desolate area of Oklahoma in the middle of July and you have yourself one hell of a match (no pun intended there).

B.J. Bailey and Matt Clem, Match Directors, had a great format and made sure it all ran smoothly. From the experienced ROs all the way down to how each stage was ran, makes this match alone one of the best of the year. As part of the Precision Rifle Series, this match brought the top elite guys and this gal from all over the U.S to compete. With my Ashbury Precision Ordnance custom built 6.5 Creedmoor slung around me with my Armageddon Gear sling along with my Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 scope, I was ready to take on Oklahoma.

The first morning started with the raising of the United States flag which was brought in on helicopter with men in uniform. Once on the ground, the flag was raised by the beautiful voice of a young lady as she sung our National Anthem. It was such a great way to start the competition.

I was on Alpha squad which included my husband Jim, Kevin E., Andrew R., John G., and Andy H. Our first stage of the day was the helicopter stage. You had two rounds to hit a target at 220 yrds kneeling, then run to the helicopter where you were strapped in. They gave you an AR with 20 rounds in which once airborne, you had 5 different white powdered bags to shoot at. Two competitors went up at the same time. My helo partner was Andy H. and we both gave it hell!

After our squad was finished, we all loaded up our gear and walked to the next stage. My squad was not only a great group of shooters, they were so much fun to hang around. This helps make a match so much fun. We all helped each other and had some great laughs. hs3

The format for each stage was meticulous. Most stages were 3 minute time stressors which is ample time in these type matches. The ROs were all wonderful and were all experienced shooters. I can’t say enough about all the ROs. Have I ever mentioned before that the ROs are volunteers for these matches? They aren’t paid, not looking for anything but to help run a match. I cannot thank them enough for hanging out in the hot hot sun to make sure all the shooters had a fair run on each stage. If you ever attend a match, make sure you thank the ROs, because without them there isn’t a match.

The first day we had cloud cover and a great breeze. By breeze, I mean 15-20 mph winds. It felt great on the skin but made you work for every point. One fun stage was the Tree Stand. You handed your gear to the RO, once you were given the Engage command you step up on the tree stand and lower the shooter rail, then the RO handheatstroke6ed your rifle to you and you had 5 targets to engage at five different distances. It was a lot of fun. Other stages included a speed drill with a TYL right after and several different barricade stages. One great stage I had was the Beanland Custom Rifle Tower troop. On the Engage command, you dropped to prone and engaged targets from near to far, 2 pts for 1st round hits 1 pt for second round. 1st target was 854 yrds. I put on my elevation and held for 15 mph wind. Impact! First round hit, Impact second round hit. 2nd target was 883 yrds, after dialing elevation I again held for 15 mph wind, Impact ! 1st round hit. I quickly racked my bolt held same and missed right off right edge … crap! The wind picked up. Dialed my elevation for the 3rd target at 936 yrds, I figured I would hold for about 18 mph, just as I pulled the trigger the ROs yelled ceased fire. A target on another stage went down which stopped all the stages. Oh man, have you ever been to Vegas and played the card tables….you have great luck with one dealer then when the dealer changes all your luck flies out the window? Well that was me on this stage. I started back on the third target but dear lord, didnt hit a darn thing the rest of the stage. There were some stages I cleaned and some only a few points. It was a tough course but oh so much fun. There were a few times I had to break out my Hoppes 9 travel kit. Jakes bolt got so gritty that I had to remove it, clean it then lube it out in the field. I love this kit! We shot 17 stages the first day. By the end of day One I was exhausted. A good dinner, shower then bed was calling my name.

The 2nd day of the match started early again at 6am. Once the sun came up, it started beating down on us hard. Our squad started up at the top of the tower. You had 4 coyote targets which ranged from 240 yrds to 690 yrds. I hit all but one. One fun stage was the EoTech Pickup Pig Hunt. With 3 minutes on the clock, You started with your gear in the front seat of the truck and door shut. On the Engage command, you grabbed your rifle and gear. Your first firing position was on the hood of the truck. heatstroke17Since I wasn’t tall enough to shoot at the side of the truck with my rifle on top, I jumped on top of the hood in prone position and shot the first pig target with 2 shots at 550 yrds, then progressed to the 2nd pig at 777 yrds with 2 shots. 2nd firing position was on the roof with the same shot format. The 3rd firing position was on the bed rail. It was a really fun stage. My Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 scope is one tough scope. It never failed me and made most stages easier. The glass is so clear you can see the trace of your bullet. I love this scope and all its capabilities.

One interesting stage was the NightForce Loophole. The target was at 700 yrds but the catch was you had to shoot through a .5″ slit cut into a board in front of you. So with this in mind, the hubby showed me a neat trick of how to shoot this stage (think lots of math, which I love). With a quick calculation and a small prayer to God, I figured 12 yrds back from the board was where I needed to start. I used a backpack and a Wiebad bag to give my rifle more elevation. Once I spotted the target, I held for wind and sent my first shot. Just off to the right side of target which meant I needed to hold for more wind. 2nd shot impact, 3rd shot impact, 4th shot impact, 5th shot I hit the board. When my rifle would recoil it would settle more on the bag it was on. My 6th shot hit the board as well. 3 out 6 shots wasnt too bad, I’ll take it. I shoot the Hornady 140gr AMAX ammunition. The factory load has always been consistent and I trust the Hornady brand. It’s proven itself time and time again to me. Our last stage of the day was the McMillan One Minute Troop. You had 4 targets at 611 yrd, 801yrd, 1000 yrd and 1200 yrds. By this time the wind was really kicking, we were all hot, tired, sunburned and just worn down. I only connected with one hit and that was on the 1200 yrd target….go figure. I ended on a high note at least! After the match, everyone in attendance headed over to the Camargo community center where afternoon lunch was served by Smoke & Bark. They served us lunch each day and let me tell you, it was some of the best ribs, pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad I had ever ate!

heatstroke14I really want to thank B.J. Bailey and Matt Clem for a challenging course of fire and overall great match. Thanks to the Alpha squad for making the past two days a blast. Big thanks to the ROs for all their hardwork and time. Congratulations to Jim See for taking 1st place. It was an honor to talk to you during the match and watch you on some of the stages with your grandaddy long legs bipod! Congrats to Rick Reeves for taking 2nd and all the top shooters in this match. Thanks to all the sponsors who placed prizes on the table and help make this match awesome! Thank you to DeadEye Outdoor Media for taking some phenomenal photo’s & video! Thank you to my sponsors, Ashbury Precision Ordnance, Bushnell, Armageddon Gear, Hoppes 9 and Wiebad for making all this possible for me.

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2015/07/14/heatstroke-open-2015/

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