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Jesse Tischauser

Optional Pistol Shotgun Targets

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Did someone say RIFLE MATCH???? I think I just got done with one of those!

Daily KN3 dig.....didn't you mean CARBINE MATCH????

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Each course of fire is themed after other major 3G matches -

  • CMMG - YES option targets
  • Rockcastle Pro/Am - YES option targets
  • USPSA Multi-gun - YES option targets
  • 3GN Pro Series - NO option targets
  • Superstition Mystery Mountain - YES very specific options
  • Ozark - YES option targets
  • Tarheel - NO options
  • Rocky Mountain - YES options
  • Blue Ridge - NO options

I would consider that a partial list major 3G matches :closedeyes: Other matches (but not limited to) that have options include:

Ironman

Hard as Hell

NW Challenge

Crimson Trace

Fallen Bretheran

Surefire

I lean towards using 3 guns on every stage while some of my buds prefer single gun stages.

Edited by Sterling White

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So perhaps the ultimate match would be nine stages. One all pistol, one all shotgun and one all rifle. Then three option stages were the competitor can choose what gun to engage what targets, and three stages with no options, shoot the targets with the guns required in the stage description. The question is, would a match with something for everyone make everyone happy?

One of the best 3 gun match was the old Area Six. It was held in AL and put on by Jeff Cambilt. Had three very good stages for each of the guns. Not a big range but the stages were awesome. Roger Cash designed some of the best stage I have ever shot.

Easiest one of the top matches, I ever shot. And I would guess of the top shooters who shot that match would say the same thing.

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There seems to be a trend toward those who don't have to or don't want to load a shotgun preferring optional targets. Curious. I in particular spent a lot of time on that skill and I'd like to get some benefit out of it.

Since I pretty much sucked at traditional weak hand when I started, I went straight to deuces as soon as I could. At several matches early on, when I could still look around and find that I was the only one in the squad dropping deuces, I actually opted for the shotgun on several optional pistol/shotgun steel stages and it paid off for me—I was faster reloading the shotgun to hit small knockdown steel than the guys who were burning two or three pistol shots at each plate, or slowing way down for those precision shots.

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There seems to be a trend toward those who don't have to or don't want to load a shotgun preferring optional targets. Curious. I in particular spent a lot of time on that skill and I'd like to get some benefit out of it.

Since I pretty much sucked at traditional weak hand when I started, I went straight to deuces as soon as I could. At several matches early on, when I could still look around and find that I was the only one in the squad dropping deuces, I actually opted for the shotgun on several optional pistol/shotgun steel stages and it paid off for me—I was faster reloading the shotgun to hit small knockdown steel than the guys who were burning two or three pistol shots at each plate, or slowing way down for those precision shots.

That's the kind of "option" targets that work. Big honking plates on tiny bases at 7 yards are the kind of "option" targets that don't work.

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***I should add that the info above relates to this match's courses of fire having or not having option targets. I don't know if all the matches they're named after also encourage / discourage option targets.***

Blue Ridge has had optional targets the last couple of years, so probably not.

On the Midwest stage, will it be shot with people down range and require knocked over steel to actually fall off the stands to count for score? ;)

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The first year of FNH, they had a stage you could shoot two full size poppers at about 40 yards with either a pistol or slug. I took the opportunity to walk down range and reset those popper several times. Lacking confidence in my slugs and my reloading (at that time), I chose to shoot them with my 9mm 147gr "bunny fart" loads. The poppers both went down with one shot each. I like options, but the targets will usually tell you what you need to do.

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My opinion doesn't count due to lower skill level but personally at least nowadays I'll pick pistol over shotgun every time. The small amount of extra time I take to aim or fire off a couple of reshoots simply doesn't add up to the several seconds I'd have to take to reload a shotgun, assuming that is a risk. Plus, it's just plain fun, I get tons more satisfaction hitting small steel at distance with a pistol. It's the one time I actually get to aim hard and worry about trigger control which sometimes seems like it is a rare thing. There's not much challenge there when choosing a shotgun on optional targets, at typical distances if you take your time anybody can hit them. Can't really say the same thing about 4" steel at 15-25 yards with a pistol, some dudes will sit there and hit nothing but air over and over even when aiming hard and taking forever. I was one of them, which is partially why I enjoy being able to actually hit the things now.

Edited by MetropolisLakeOutfitters

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Being an Open shooter that is faster with a shotgun than a pistol, I like to shoot as much shotgun as possible on option targets.

Doug

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Alrightly then....we have spinners that sometimes require heavier loads and shot. We have shotgun targets that require a fuller or more open choke. We have rifle targets that many claim to need heavy bullets to activate.....how many more options do we need? Soon we will all look like the local ammo store.....I need heavy bullets for my pistol for those "option" targets that are heavy because I don't want to shoot shotgun...and it goes on and on.

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Alrightly then....we have spinners that sometimes require heavier loads and shot. We have shotgun targets that require a fuller or more open choke. We have rifle targets that many claim to need heavy bullets to activate.....how many more options do we need? Soon we will all look like the local ammo store.....I need heavy bullets for my pistol for those "option" targets that are heavy because I don't want to shoot shotgun...and it goes on and on.

Well said.... +1

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I think it's pretty much settled, then. It's impossible for an MD to satisfy the needs/desires of every shooter in a single match.

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I think it's pretty much settled, then. It's impossible for an MD to satisfy the needs/desires of every shooter in a single match.

Yes, but those who understand, and attempt to provide excellent customer service get pretty close.

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I think it's pretty much settled, then. It's impossible for an MD to satisfy the needs/desires of every shooter in a single match.

Yes, but those who understand, and attempt to provide excellent customer service get pretty close.

This ALWAYS makes the difference!

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I think one of the big takeaways from this is this:

No matter how much thought the stage designer puts into a stage, the idea that shooters aren't going to "out smart" him/her is optimistic at best. It's just brute force computing, if you will.

How long does a really good stage designer think about a stage being designed... a couple of hours, then maybe a couple more actually "on the ground" setting things up? And that's probably being pretty generous... there are a bunch of stages at every major match.

Now think about 200 shooters thinking just 10 minutes each about that stage.... that's 33.3 hours of shooters (some them literally the best in the world), thinking about the same "problem". Somebody is going to invent a better mousetrap

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I designed 10 stages for Noveske 2014. Every target array was set up, in some manner and tested on the local shooters. Not an entire stage, just a portion thereof. I spend about 50 hours, at the range, by myself, testing the unique aspects of the stages, and the targets, over the course of the year. I also talk to top shooters about approaches to various target arrays as well as setting up some arrays in the Intro to 3Gun class to see how first time shooters respond. By the time they are submitted to DNROI for review, I have a good 250 hours into looking at, thinking about and shooting portions of the stages. Then during the match, I watch, ask my ROs, how stages are shot and approached. I have a note file on my phone with comments made to me at the match by all levels of shooters about what they like, don't like, etc. There are also a few shooters who take the time to send me their thoughts on the match, I catalog their comments, likes, dislikes and how they performed on the various stages. That all gets sifted and analyzed. My stage outline for 2015 is complete and will be tweaked over the next month. It is a continual process of lessons learned, try, test and tweak. I guess I average about 30 hours per stage, more on some and less on others, all told. When you consider that I don't do bug hunts, memory stages or circus tricks, that is a good deal of time per stage. There were three arrays in the match I did not like and will not use again, but not because there was some trick or huge time saver I did not see. I learn something at every match related to course design and my own shooting. If that ceases, I will have become closed minded.

I purposely put some doubles, and some time savers in stages, and most of the time they are found. As far as I know, no-one shot any plans, or found any loopholes in my stages that I did not know where there. There was actually a stage at the Noveske match where no-one took advantage of the freedom granted in the course description, and one one stage, only one shooter that I know of tried a plan I thought many would try. On the option targets, there were a lot of different plans, but those options, for two equal shooters, were within a few seconds. They really made the top shooters pick the best plans, or lose a few seconds to the others they were battling. At the same time, a few seconds difference for the 50% shooter had almost no effect on their placement.

So, it can be done...it just depends on how well the course designer wants it to be done, and balanced. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

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...and this is why I really want to put the Noveske match on my short list of travel matches next year. :)

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Thanks, but i really was not marketing the match. It was sold out and I don't really want to grow it, just make it better. My approach to stage design has been influenced positively by many other MDs, RMs and competitors, both shooting their stages, copying their successes and making notes of failures.

MDs, RMs who don't go shoot majors as competitors/ROs when they are not in charge are really missing an opportunity to learn and improve the product they provide to their customers.

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Anyone consider having two majors or year, maybe a semiannual thing? Like Rockcastle had 3GN and the ProAm but they were back to back so I had to pick one or the other.

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Anyone consider having two majors or year, maybe a semiannual thing? Like Rockcastle had 3GN and the ProAm but they were back to back so I had to pick one or the other.

Ken, do you mean as shooters or running the matches? I think Rockcastle hosted the matches, but, were run by different people / groups. I may be wrong, it won't be the first time!

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I mean like MarkCO hosting a spring and then a fall event under Noveske. Same thing, just two per year. Either have two separate major matches, or two major events for one prize table in the fall. Don't know what's feasible or reasonable. Seeing FN I know the amount of work that goes into it, just curious if anyone does it. I'm sure it would fill up and meet the staff call.

I don't get off the east coast for my 3 gunning adventures so my priorities were FN, Tarheel, Colt 3 Man, and whatever else I could hit. This year also the 3GN Southeast and Midwest which was nice. Generally I'd like to see more majors somehow so if there aren't new majors popping up then maybe more of the ones that exist...?

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I mean like MarkCO hosting a spring and then a fall event under Noveske. Same thing, just two per year. Either have two separate major matches, or two major events for one prize table in the fall. Don't know what's feasible or reasonable. Seeing FN I know the amount of work that goes into it, just curious if anyone does it. I'm sure it would fill up and meet the staff call.

I don't get off the east coast for my 3 gunning adventures so my priorities were FN, Tarheel, Colt 3 Man, and whatever else I could hit. This year also the 3GN Southeast and Midwest which was nice. Generally I'd like to see more majors somehow so if there aren't new majors popping up then maybe more of the ones that exist...?

Have you worked any of the majors, let alone run one? Working the match is the easy part.

I've shot the last 4 Rocky Mountain 3 Gun, and 3 of the He Man Nationals. (There have only been 3 He Man's) Honestly, I have no idea how the organizers put the matches together, get sponsors, and set the matches up. Plus, the Johnsons run monthly 3 gun matches, also at the Whittington Center.

Asking the match directors to add another major match to what they already are doing, plus all the other things in their life is a lot to ask! Not to mention that some of the ranges / venues run a lot of other programs that must be taken into account when scheduling.

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I would think not , based on the amount of time that goes into the planing and execution of a major match

and then you have to get twice the donations for the prize table.

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Mark, your description of the work involved in putting together a first class major match is the reason Vaught and I only put on local matches. :).

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