'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

09 January 2014

Budget 3 Gun - Match Prep

I've got a Multi Gun match on Saturday. It's distinguished from 3 Gun in that we will run only rifle and pistol. No shotgun. I'm still going to prep like it's a 3 Gun anyway. Good practice and I got some new gear to preview.

First you'll need some good range/gear bags. Since I also shoot USPSA and 3GN tends to mimic it's rules I keep my gear and ammo in separate bags. They don't like you handling firearms and ammo together anyplace but on the line, ready to shoot. Here's mine.
Just some plain Jane range bags I picked up for next to nothing many years ago. They don't count against my total because of the "Just Sitting There" rule.

In that same vein I'm running a venerable and long owned Sig P226. One thing I've learned the hard way is that familiarity breeds comfort when it comes to handguns. It may not be a top tier choice but if Hard as Hell taught me anything it was that I shoot this gun very well and that's good enough. No addition to my start up costs.

Here's the lineup, ready to go. Each of the long guns has it's own case. I've also added 3 items that will count against my total but that were totally justified. Totally. I swear.

The first is a compensator. That's a Jerry Miculek. Him being who he is I was confident in the purchase. And it did make a difference. More on that in a minute but I will say it was money well spent. 40 dollars.

The next was a couple of new mags. The stockers are getting a bit long in the tooth and I needed some extra anyway. Sig brand mags are 40 to 50 bucks. Yikes. So I popped for some Pro Mags at 20 bucks apiece. I got 2 with 1 on back order so at the moment I'm in another 40. I like them. They are well built and worked without a hitch. Thumbs up.  I have 2 new mag carriers. The partially hidden one on the right is a Blackhawk that cost me 20 dollars. It's meh but works. The other one, center picture, was a freebie from Lu. It's the stocker that came with her XDm that she "loaned" me. Works slicker than Owl snot. I'm keeping it but don't tell Lu.

Lastly I bought an AP Customs 4x4 shotgun shell carrier. It holds 8 shotgun shells in 2 rows of 4. You just reach down, pull 4 shells out and reload. I've been practicing and it's pretty slick. I like it a lot. 50 bucks.

So, if my math is correct, we've added $150.00 to my budget bringing us to a grand total outlay of $1322.00. It's all important. I need the mags to run the Sig on the long stages. My shotgun reloading was a disaster. Follow up,shots with the rifle was slow. Most of the targets require 2 hits to count and the comp makes that a lot easier. I shot the rifle with the comp on it today and it's night and day different. It's not that the birdcage flash hider equipped rifle was a shoulder buster but the comp makes the thing shoot dead flat with virtually no rise and a much reduced recoil impulse. My second shots are tenths of a second quicker and, frankly, I need all the help I can get. Besides, all the cool guys have one....

I cleaned and oiled all the guns and took them out today for a short session, just to make sure everything is working. I set up my belt and tested the position of all my gear to make sure it's exactly where I want it and easily reached. Oh, the belt. It's a CR Speed with an inner belt, both with Velcro so they stick together. Yep, just sitting there but if you buy one they're just a hair over a hundred dollars. I got mine on a clearance sale at the end of Nationals for half that. Ok, add 50 to my total. $1372.00. I filled the ammo bag and checked the ammunition I'll be using to make as sure as I can I have enough of the right stuff to shoot the match.

I walked through some of the range bays and mentally rehearsed what I'll see and hear. Range commands, how and where to stage my guns, what I want to be focused on. Mental prep is very important for me. It calms my nerve and increases my confidence. If I've done it in my head I can replicate it when crunch time comes. Mostly.

After that I laid out what I want to wear. Comfort is really important but so is warmth this time of year. Since I know it will get warmer as the day wears on and my activity level rises I'll do the layered thing. Moisture wicking next to the skin with successive layers of cottons and thermals I can easily peel off. Lu will put together a food bag tomorrow. Hydration and calories are vital. We have an agreement; when she hands me a food item I eat it or drink it, no questions asked and no refusals allowed. By this time in our lives together she can read my physical state like a primary reader and I've learned to trust her on this stuff. Don't get on Boss Lady's bad side, that's my motto. Oh and good boots or running shoes. I tend toward boots now but when the temps creep back up it'll be shorts and good trail running shoes. Pants are 5-11s but jeans will do nicely. I usually pack along an extra pair of socks in the match is long or the weather is crappy.

Everything is ready and most Ricky Tick. I like to be totally prepped a day ahead of time so I can have a breather, forget about the coming stress and try to remember what I've forgotten. Or something like that. You know what I mean. CRS is exaggerated by stress. Speaking of which, The Principal is also preparing and fretting. I sent him a STOP STRESSING e-mail but I don't think it'll take. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump into the deep end.

So, that's my match prep. It will undoubtedly change over time as I get more experience and different equipment but the basics will stay the same. Guns, gear, ammo, clothing and snivel items. I'll have a wrap up on the match with photos late Saturday (or maybe Monday depending on how bad I sucked). My expense total is creeping up just a bit but at the moment I am very close to where I expect to be by years end. We shall see but unless I lose my mind we're very close to final. I think. Maybe. Possibly. Crap.

Wish us luck 'cause we're going to need it!


Keads said...

Good luck!

Monkeywrangler said...

You'll do fine, six! Your gear looks solid, and you have the new 870 to work with too.

I understand the idea behind the comp, but boy are they noisy to sit beside on the line! They're just loud!

There was a 20ga at Cabelas last night, calling my name...I stayed strong, and resisted its siren song though. It was a Charles Daly Youth 20ga semiauto, in an unattractive Advantage Camo dip. But the price WAS attractive!

FYI the patio project is on hold until next week. Rainy out the last 2 days here, and I don't fancy a trip into a mud pit!

Six said...

Thanks Keads!

Thank you MW! You're right about the noise. That thing is loud! You know you want that shotgun. Go ahead, I won't tell anyone....I hear you on the weather and mud thing. At this point in my life I avoid such things whenever I can!

Old NFO said...

Shoot em good! And prep ahead of time means you'll actually HAVE everything you need... Like mags and ammo (not that I've ever seen anybody NOT bring those, nope...) sigh...

Six said...

There's a story in there NFO....I won't tell anyone. Promise (crosses fingers behind back).

Evyl Robot Michael said...

I have the same comp on my AR. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on it.