Multigun: Cowboy Style.

Once a month, a local dude ranch, The M Lazy C holds a multigun match.  It’s a fun place.  The range is usually used for local Cowboy Action matches, and has been built up to be reminiscent of the old west.  The stages are generally pretty short range, so opportunities to work on target transitions and speed shooting abound.  Lots of steel targets make for quick stage set up and a high level of satisfaction.

Frontier-style shooting range.

Frontier-style shooting range.

All of the stages require the use of all three weapons; pistol, rifle, and shotgun and many of the stages have a unique flavor, often at least one of them will require engaging targets, and then moving to another range to continue the stage.

Ok, enough setup.  Here’s my run through Stage 1:

Since the stages are generally fairly short-range, with the long shots being maybe 70ish yards, this is a fantastic match to work on speed shooting as well as rifle skills with non-magnified optics.  The rifle I’m using is a fairly standard Rock River entry carbine with an AimPoint T1 on top.  In the video, it’s hard to see, but one of the steel targets was a flipper that tosses a clay pigeon into the air when it falls.

A competitor gets his game face on for the first stage.  Note SBR.

A competitor gets his game face on for the first stage. Note SBR.

matt_stage2

Another Competitor with an SBR on the second stage.

Due to the short-range nature of this match, more than one competitor broke out their SBR’s.  These rifles handle very well with some of the close quarters of the matches, and the short-range nature of the target setup doesn’t adversly affect these shooters’ ability to hit the targets quickly and accurately.  Note that all NFA rules apply, and that to own these firearms requires jumping through additional legal hoops.

Stage 2 involved a sitting start, drawing a pistol and engaging targets before hot-holstering, moving across the range setup and engaging further steel targets with rifle and shotgun.

One note regarding the practice of “hot holstering” or putting a loaded, just fired handgun back into your holster while on the clock; you must be absolutely meticulous about indexing your trigger finger along the side of the weapon, re-engaging the mechanical safety (if applicable) and putting the weapon back into your holster without covering the RO or yourself with the muzzle of a loaded weapon.  When you’re shooting under time constraints, it can be extremely easy to screw up the order in which you commit an action, so if re-holstering under such circumstances isn’t something you’ve done regularly be sure to exercise extreme caution and step through the process with deliberation.  At worst, it will cost you a couple of extra seconds, which is far, far better than a trip to the emergency room.

Ok, on this stage, I made several mistakes.  The first of which was starting with a pistol that only had four rounds in it.  This forced me to execute an unnecessary reload, which cost time on the clock.  I also have a bad habit of leaning or stepping through doors and ports, which probably added another couple of seconds.  I also missed once with the shotgun, which meant stuffing an extra shell in the gun during the reload.  Despite that, the stage was still a lot of fun.

Stage 3 was a quick blaster of a stage that was pretty easy to clear.  Pistol and shotgun only.

The only tricky portion on this stage was engaging a moving buffalo-shaped steel target with the shotgun.  Fun stuff, but not as fun as what came next.

For the longest time, I’ve harbored a secret fantasy of shooting a match styled after a George Romero zombie movie.  Lots of targets, and only “head shots” counting.  Admittedly, that might be a little bit grim, but chalk it up to a love of B-grade horror flicks, too many late-night conversations revolving around horror movie protagonists who constantly make poor decisions, and a somewhat twisted sense of humor.

EEEK! Ghouls!

EEEK! Ghouls!

Evidently the match director is a mind reader, and the second half of Stage 4 had a bunch of Zeds.  Being a nice guy, he even added some pretty excellent target embellishments.

The overall setup was quite good.  Engage pistol steel, holster, move to the shotgun, engage shotgun targets, ground shotgun and then move to the final portion of the stage with the Zed targets where there was a mandatory rifle reload thrown in.  You can see a bit of indecisiveness on my part when shooting that portion of the stage and that cost me in the end.  The lesson?  Have a plan, visualize it before shooting the stage, and once the buzzer goes off stick to the frickin’ plan.

Well, that’s pretty much it for this match review.  I’ll have another one for a local bolt gun match up soon!

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