Well, That Didn’t Quite Go As Planned…

I’ve been shooting competitively for the best part of five years. In that time, I’ve yet to be disqualified for a safety violation.

Yup.

First day of the MGM Ironman match, Stage 9, I manage to score a DQ for Unsafe Gun Handling, article 4, subset III. (Dropping a Loaded Firearm). I was bringing the rifle up to engage a close target, somehow knocked my holster with the rifle butt, and before I knew it, my STI was lying on the ground behind me and the RO was yelling at me to “STOP!”

So it goes. I hung out with my squad for the rest of the day, soaked up some sympathy and about fifty “stupid DQ trick” stories, and shot some video of the infamous golf cart stage. Friday morning, I hunted down Travis (the match director and HMFIC) and volunteered to help out the ROs for the rest of the match.

Hey, I was 1800 miles from home, and not flying back until Sunday. It was either help out, or make a pilgrimage up to Rogue Brewing Company and try to organize some kind of beer-smuggling operation.

So anyway, the powers that be sent me over to stage eleven, the Bunker Buster. I helped with the scoring, spotting of the hits, and so on for the rest of the weekend. It was fun.

Fast-forward to the end of the match. I’m hanging around at the awards ceremony. Now, when you get a DQ, you don’t get to go to the prize table. I did have some vague hope that maybe the Ironman folks would hook me up with an RO T-Shirt or some similar souvenir. What I didn’t expect was to be called up by Travis to receive the Stewart Lewis Memorial Sportsmanship Award, which comes with a very nice plaque, and a custom-built AR-15 from Bushmaster Firearms.

Holy cats. I’m sure I was doing the stupid-face right there.

So, wow. I win the best prize of my life, at a match I was DQ’ed from. The irony is just wonderful, no?

Thanks go out to Mike and Travis Gibson of MGM Targets, and all the rest of the folks involved with putting on the Ironman. You guys rule.

More so than other matches, the Ironman seems to engender a huge level of hospitality among the shooters, and nowhere was this more evident than in my squad. I couldn’t possibly ask for better people to shoot with. Jason, Ken, Iain, Randy, Dan, and all the rest of you – thanks. None of you will ever pay for a drink in DC.

Coming soon – videos, and a detailed review of the handful of stages I actually got to shoot.

-CJR