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Helicopter Stage at Rio Salado 3-14-09

March 17, 2009

This is the short rifle range stage at the March 14 Rio Salado Rifle Shotgun match.  As I’m getting ready for Larue Heavy-Tactical, I’m shooting my DSA FAL with a Leupold 1.5-5X MR/T and 147 grain ball ammo (no sense lauching a Sierra Match King at a target 10 yards away!).   The stage requires that the shooter activate the two movers by striking a pepper popper with a  dummy rifle and then enter the Hummer and engage 2 static targets and two swingers.  The shooter then runs to the helicopter and engages several targets from the helicopter.  The stage  allowed the shooter to engage all the helicopter targets from either the front of the chopper or from a side window and the front.  I chose to engage all the targets from the front as it saved a ‘setup.’

This would be faster had I not screwed it up.  After entering the chopper, I got target fixated on the first target that I was supposed to shoot and set up and started shooting.  The problem was that I was not far enough forward in the cabin of the chopper to swing laterally to the right.   During the stage, I realized this at about the 2nd target from inside the chopper but I figured no problemo.  I would just execute a fancy Benny Cooley-style buttstock shoulder roll by lifting the stock over my right shoulder, twist the rifle inboard and start shooting over the top of the rifle.    This would have worked with an AR but watch how the recoil of a .308 nearly knocks me on my ass in the chopper.  Lesson learned – things that you can get away with with a .223 may not work with a full powered rifle!

Remember your offset on these close range targets.  I usually hold at or just below the seam between the A/B box (the head) and the body.   Also note that when shooting swingers, your typical rifle cartridge is launching a bullet at 2 or 3 times the velocity of  a handgun so the leads or dwell time is not as much.

The Dave Neth Comp (DNTC) works pretty well!

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