A few miles off I-84, nestled up against the Oregon border, lies the tiny farming town of Parma, Idaho. Every June, shooters from all over the world converge on Parma, drawn by the chance to participate in perhaps the most challenging, most grueling, and most fun shooting competition in the world – the MGM Ironman 3-Gun.
Mike Gibson, owner of the famous MGM Targets, envisioned the MGM Ironman as the ultimate test of shooting skill, endurance, and adaptability. In the past, shooting the Ironman has involved expending as many as a thousand rounds of rifle, pistol, and shotgun ammo over three days. Ironman shooters can expect to face rifle targets as far out as 900 yards, heavy steel, movers, aerial clay targets, shooting from moving vehicles, pickup machineguns, CQB-style shoot houses, sniper towers, and of course, the famous zip line stage. Even beyond all that, the shooters have to deal with the seriously harsh environment of Parma itself – high winds, blowing dust, sudden thunderstorms, and other fun stuff. Make no mistake, the MGM Ironman is a ball-buster of a match.
One of the best things about shooting the Ironman is the enormous camaraderie that forms between shooters. All three years I’ve been to Parma, I have squadded with the same group of people. I really can’t say enough about how cool these guys (and gals) are. Thanks to everyone.
This year marks the third Ironman I’ve attended – you can check out the happenings from 2009 here. This year, I managed to finish the match without being disqualified, which was a plus. I finished in 22nd place in Tactical division, out of around 120 shooters. This was better than I expected, considering my two major gun malfunctions and general off-gameness. One bright spot was my long-range rifle game. I was able to make up a lot of time on two of the three long-range stages, which bodes well for the upcoming season.
I didn’t shoot any photos or video this time around, but I’m hoping that there will be some media incoming from the squad. I’ll be posting more stuff over the next few days. I’m still cleaning up and unpacking my guns and such, so I’ll also be posting some thoughts on gear and match tactics as well.
* – “(T)his (I)s (P)arma.” What, you haven’t seen Blood Diamond?