ACOG Bloom

Something I learned while down in Texas.

If you find that the reticle in your ACOG blooms too much when shooting in direct sunlight, try using shooting glasses with polarized lenses. I was kind of amazed at how much it cut down on reticle bloom in my scope, as well as the bloom on the fiber optic front site of my pistol.

That said, if you don’t have polarized lenses in your shooting glasses and want to reduce the bloom caused by the fiber optic strip in the ACOG, you might pick up a Scope Fly. I’ve been using one of these for a couple of years now, and find it tremendously useful.

Video From The Texas Multigun Nationals

I’ve finally gotten around to rendering and uploading the video from the Texas Multigun Nationals.

Enjoy!

Incidentally, this marks the 100th shooting competition video that I’ve uploaded, and the first one that’s high-definition.

Music taken from Free Music Archive.

The USPSA Rule Book and Smart Phones

You know, it just occurred to me that my hard copy of the USPSA rule book is looking kind of ratty from being toted around in the bottom of my range bag.

It also occurred to me that the official rule book can be downloaded as a PDF, and that most smart phones nowadays have PDF readers on them.

Generally when I’m at a match, I’ll toss my phone in a pocket of my range bag. The thought that I’ll now have an indexed and searchable version of the official USPSA rules seems like a pretty handy thing.

Texas Multigun Championship

As some of you already know, I attended the Texas Multigun Championship last week. I’ll be working up a full on match review, as well as getting some Hi-Def video up on YouTube from the match.

First off, this match was incredible. Despite being the most heavily attended 3 Gun match I’ve ever shot, everything ran smoothly, the stages were fun (more on that in a bit), and Sheldon Carruth, the Match Director, did a phenomenal job of running everything. The prize table was also just outstanding, one of the best I’ve seen. LaRue Tactical, the major match sponsor really made their presence known, and the LaRue folks are just as cool in person as they are online or over the phone. The free brisket was a nice touch.

As for myself, well, what started off as something that I figured would be an easy match to own turned into one of the hardest matches I’ve ever shot, in part because the stages looked a lot easier than they actually were, and in part because it’s tremendously difficult to get a proper sight picture when you have your head planted firmly up your ass.

Also, there were equipment issues. I can say that for the first time ever, my AR had a malfunction that wasn’t ammunition related, and this resulted in my having to walk off a stage incomplete.

Still and all, despite massive failures on my part, I managed to come in 87th out of 289 shooters in Tactical Scope.

Why ‘Top Shot’ Is Important

Among the various gun forums, there have been a lot of discussions about Top Shot, with a lot of people yammering on about how they dislike the show because there’s too much drama, or the contestants suck (undoubtedly compared to the complaintant’s marksmanship skills via keyboard), or that it’s a reality show, or game show, or that the contestants are all jerks, or whatever.

I don’t consider Top Shot to be some of the greatest television ever made (right now, that would be Arrested Development, Firefly, or Deadwood), but it is, week after week, an engaging and entertaining skill-based reality show that caters to my interest in competitive shooting, and has some pretty boss slow-motion footage, too.

Myself and others have spent time defending Top Shot not because it’s brilliant story telling, but because it’s the first shooting-oriented tv show that actually has appeal to people other than shooters and gun owners.

So why this essay now?

Here’s why:
The AV Club Review of Top Shot

On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with The AV Club, it’s a spinoff website from The Onion that reviews and discusses pop culture, including film, music, and television shows. Demographically, the site skews heavily towards artsy urbanite twenty-something hipsters.

Still, and all, despite this, in reading the AV Club review of Top Shot, as well as the ensuing comments, there’s a fairly positive overall tone to the whole thing, along the lines of “hey, it’s neat to see a game show based on marksmanship competitions.”

This is the most important thing about Top Shot. It’s packaging and presenting shooting competitions in a way that is palatable to people who’ve never even shot a gun, and they’re coming away from the show with a positive impression of guns, competition, and the people on the show.

Consider it one small sign that this show is helping to break down the preconceived notions that all gun owners are a bunch of psychotic, backwards primitives. Hopefully at least a few viewers will have their political views changed by a show that isn’t political in the least.

Edited to add: Parts of this blog entry were inspired by a similar one written by Caleb Giddings of Gunnuts Media, which can be found on the Cheaper than Dirt website. I thought it was pretty cool to see validation of the points he made in wider media outside of shooting culture circles.

New Addition to the Blogroll: Forgotten Weapons

I’ve added a new link to the blog roll, one that isn’t strictly 3 Gun related, but if you’ve got an interest in the history of firearms development, especially the rarely-explored, cobweb-covered corners of gun design, you should check out.

That website is called Forgotten Weapons. If you want to get a history lesson in small arms, check it out.

Superstition Mystery Mountain 2011

So the shooting’s done, the scores have been tallied, and I managed to take 82nd place in the Tactical Scope division out of 188 competitors. This is better than I placed last year, but only by a handful of positions. The thing that really sucks about this is that I managed to incur four penalties on the first stage, and only a grand total of six penalties for the entire match. Those first stage penalties amounted to a whopping 50 seconds worth of pain. At it’s heart, 3 Gun is a sport about efficiency; finding the quickest and most effective way to complete a course of fire. Those who do the best are those who can navigate each and every course of fire with a minimum of fuss, while hitting all of their targets and not incurring penalties for hitting no-shoot targets. As you might imagine, 50 seconds worth of penalties is not conducive to a clean run. Nor is taking an inordinate amount of time to complete a a stage.

You can see video of all of my stage runs courtesy of DocMedic here:

The two worst meltdowns were on stages two and five, where I evidently decided that missing what should have been a fairly reasonable rifle shot, was a good idea, and ended up with a time of 105 seconds. (Stage, blown.)

On the upside of things, my movement has gotten better, along with my general abilities to hit targets (suck it, flying clays!) and my pistol game is much improved, though still in need of work.

Highlights of the match definitely include the following (in no particular order): getting to meet Maggie Reese from Top Shot, meeting [url=http://exurbanleague.com/]Exurban Kevin[/url] who was ROing on one of the shotgun stages, getting to shoot a round of sporting clays after the match was over, and grabbing dinner at The Blue Adobe Grille.

Overall, the match was a lot of fun, even if my performance was well below what I believe I’m actually capable of.

Superstition Mountain 3 Gun 2011

So after a long drive from Colorado we’ve arrived at the 2011 SMM3G match, registered, walked the stages, and dropped in for a visit with Dillon Precision.

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No. They won’t let you test-fire a mini gun, even if you ask nicely.

Overall impression is that this match is going to be a good one, with maybe a bit more of a speed componenet to the stages and less super tricky technical stuff than in the last couple of years.

That isn’t to say that there won’t be tricky stuff here. One stage requires you to be strung up in a harness, and another includes something I’ve never seen before: airborne no-shoot clays.

Tomorrow is going to be fun.

One of my favorite things about this match is a fairly minor detail, and that’s the match t-shirt.

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All big 3 Gun matches give you the option to buy a t-shirt to commemorate the event, and SMM3G consistently has the best that I’ve ever seen. Using memorable cartoon characters that have obviously been drawn by someone with artistic talent definitely makes the cost worthwhile.

Ok, enough for now. Time to grab some sleep.