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As I mentioned before, the next few articles are going to be focused on the shooting I have been doing this year. I have been really focused on the Precision Rifle Series Gas Gun, specifically Tactical. I ran the series with a mostly stock Knight’s Armament Company Light Precision Rifle (LPR) and since the finale was canceled I can say now that I placed 5th in Gas Gun Tactical my first year. Gas Gun Tactical series was any rifle shooting 5.56 or 7.62 and is designed for people who want to work with their issued rifles.
When the year began I had never thought about shooting PRS. Not even once. My long-range mentor and boss basically said, “here zero this gun, buy some ammo and we are going to shoot these matches.” I did some research and bought some Armageddon Gear bags and literally hoped for the best. I didn’t know what to practice nor how fast or good I needed to be until the first match.
What I did know was what we put into the TC 3-22.9 and that’s what I ran with. The shot process as laid out in that book matches perfectly with shooting this series. There are some finer points that I will get into as they come up that lead to better performance in a competition environment. Also, as stated in that book – time, target size and distance combined with skill level determine how much focus you put on parts of your shot process.
I have argued and more recently some big names have argued that stability is THE most important part of your process. Some argue for trigger control but without proper stability things go bad quick. This series has at least 20% of the targets are 2 MOA in size and the rest average around 3 MOA. With that matches being 200-800 yards away, you can quickly see how stability becomes important. Without proper stability it is nearly impossible to apply a hold onto a 3 MOA target and account for wind. This means that your trigger control will not result in a hit. In fact, you can not abide by the Truths of marksmanship being Properly point the weapon and fire the weapon without disturbing the aim.
It is easy to see that you will not achieve hits without stability. The PRS series is very keen on this fact and the rules allow you to use most anything to achieve the most stable position possible. You can use bipods, bags, and tripods. The trick is that everything is under a time constraint. If you are not in position quick you are losing time and it becomes a balance of time vs stability. The adage of you can’t miss fact enough to catch up is true here as well. In watching the more seasoned shooters, they are well practiced in using the equipment to get stable on some unique stages.
Over the year, we fired from aircraft hulls, bus windows, hay bales, barrels, culverts, cars, tank traps and barricades. We even fired from discarded NASCAR tires and a ladder suspended on chains. Traditional means of supporting the weapon on the bipod or magazine are possible but not competitive on most stages. I put the Armageddon Gear Game Changer to work a lot this year. In fact, I would say that nearly 80% of my shots were taken from the Game Changer vs a bipod. It allowed me to get nearly as stable as a bipod on props that did not allow the space for the bipod.
All this is happening before I even think about taking the shot. I spent a lot of my practice moving into positions and getting stable. For this I used the Mantis X. Using the real time mode, I was able to quickly see how steady my position really was. I worked foot placement and body position in addition to bags under legs and arms. I was able to quantify the use of each bag vs time to place it. Each miss is 30 seconds added onto you time and costs a dollar so spending the extra time and money for the bags is a no brainer.
To close, gaining and maintaining stability is vital for precision shots. Therefore, it is the first step in the shot process. If you fail at this step, you will spend the rest of the stage trying to make up for it. Getting it fast is also a factor and it is also the cheapest and most physically demanding portion of the shot.
Until next time, perfect practice makes perfect.
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