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Blue Ridge 3 Gun

May 14, 2011

The latest Blue Ridge 3 Gun Match finished up on May 1, 2011 at the lovely Rockcastle Shooting Center. I was fortunate enough to win the Tac Iron (really Tac Limited Division). I used pretty much the same equipment as Superstition Mtn except I shot a different rifle: a 20 in JP upper with a Pris on a DSA lower with a Magpul UBR stock and a VTAC sling. Everything worked great except I had a couple of shotgun malfunctions. Sorry, no vids.

It is funny that Blue Ridge is only a month after SMM3G. it is really a polar opposite to SSM3G. SMM3G is more of a drag race with a scoring system which really favors speed, glorious speed over everything else. It also has some short stages, weighted at 100 points, which means that anything that goes wrong just hammers the shooter. Blue Ridge is more of a marathon, a marathon which favors accuracy. Andy Horner really sets up the most technical 3 gun match currently out there. Horner scoring requires that the shooter shoot mostly As. But beyond that, Blue Ridge presents the shooter with a host of fairly challenging pistol targets (small plates at anywhere from 15 to 25 yards, larger plates out to about 75 and paper targets out to about 30 or so), LOTS of shotgun no shoot problems (modified or full choke for this match), and rifle shots out to over 500. The only thing lacking is flying clay for shotgun.

Working the Bianchi plates (10, 15, 20, and 25 yards) as opposed to hosing down paper is the way I prepared for the pistol shooting. Slow down and get your hits!

I prepared for the rifle shooting by shooting Virginia count drills at MGM lollipops at 200 and 300 meters from supported offhand, reverse kneeling, and prone. A 300 meter lollipop is a TOUGH target with a 1X Pris but it gets you ready for what Andy has in store with you.

I also shot some of the excellent set of standards presented last year with lots of rifle/pistol transitions and paper targets at 200 and 300 for the rifle. Too bad there were no standards this year.

For shotgun, I just practised loading and I checked my choke patterns on the patterning board. Not much shooting.

This is a match where it is really difficult to shoot clean. Tricky target presentations, tight shotgun no shoot problems, blind stages in a pitch black cave, etc, etc. means that few if anyone will actually shoot a clean match. Daniel even got bit by penalties. You have to accept that you are going to get some and keep fighting through the match. I shot SMM3G clean. At Blue Ridge, I had 2 missed rifle targets, a shotgun no shoot, a slug miss, and a fail to engage pistol target (in the cave) and I won my division!

While most of the major 3 gun matches have their charms, Blue Ridge is currently my favorite one.

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