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Updates to IMA-SMM3G Rules - Heavy Metal


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The IMA-SMM3G team has made some PROVISIONAL changes to equipment division rules. These changes are being beta-tested during Rio Salado's monthly 3-Gun matches between now and the end of 2015. If deemed successful, they will be featured in SMM3G 2016. This information has been mentioned in another discussion thread, but I thought it would be more informative if I posted the FULL division rules as currently written, and start a thread for each division impacted.

First, the good news: There are no significant changes to Open, Tactical or Limited divisions.

A completely new division called Stealth Division has been created, the details of which I have posted in a separate discussion thread.

In this thread, I want to disclose the changes we are making to the Heavy Metal divisions, and why.

The "why" is no mystery. The original Heavy Metal division has gone through numerous changes over the years in a series of mostly-futile attempts to grow participation. At various times, and in different divisions, we and others have allowed scoped rifles, semi-auto shotguns, .40 pistols, intermediate cartridges, scoring advantages, even bipods, yet HM appears to have defied all such attempts at achieving meaningful growth.

As Kelly Neal so succinctly put it "HM... should be one small division not two tiny ones".

Our approach, then, is to re-integrate the two HM divisions (Heavy Metal Scope and Heavy Metal Limited) back into a single Heavy Metal division. The big boomers will now compete head-to-head, but with differences in magazine start capacity to “level the playing field”. The relevant new rules are as follows:

5.6 Heavy Metal Limited Division
5.6.1 Handgun
5.6.1.1 The handgun holster must safely retain the handgun during vigorous movement. A semiautomatic pistol holster must completely
cover the trigger, and must cover the slide up to ½” below the ejection port. A revolver holster must completely cover the trigger
and the cylinder. The belt upon which the holster is attached must be worn at waist level. Shoulder holsters, cross draw holsters
and “race” holsters are prohibited.
5.6.1.2 Electronic sights, optical sights, extended sights, compensators, muzzle brakes or barrel porting are prohibited.
5.6.1.3 Magazines may be loaded with not more than ten (10) rounds at the start signal.
5.6.1.4 Minimum caliber is .44”.
5.6.1.5 Minimum power factor (bullet weight x velocity/1000) is 165.
5.6.2 Rifle
5.6.2.1 Not more than one (1) electronic or optical sight is permitted. The choice of sighting system (non-magnified vs. magnified) will
determine the number of rounds that may be loaded in all magazines at start (see rule 5.6.2.4). Any number of iron sights may be
used.
5.6.2.2 Supporting devices (bipods, etc.) are prohibited.
5.6.2.3 Compensators and muzzle brakes may not exceed 1 inch in diameter and 3 inches in length (as measured from the barrel muzzle to
the end of the compensator). Sound suppressors are not considered to be compensators or muzzle brakes.
5.6.2.4 In the case of a rifle fitted with a non-magnified optical sight and/or iron sights only, magazines may be loaded with not more than
thirty (30) rounds at the start signal. In the case of a rifle fitted with a magnified optical sight, magazines may be loaded with not
more than twenty (20) rounds at the start signal.
5.6.2.5 Minimum caliber is .30”.
5.6.2.6 Minimum power factor (bullet weight x velocity/1000) is 360.
5.6.3 Shotgun
5.6.3.1 Action type may be semi-automatic or pump-action. The choice of action type will determine the number of rounds that may be
loaded at start (see rule 5.6.3.6)
5.6.3.2 Only a tubular magazine is permitted. Speed loading devices are prohibited.
5.6.3.3 Electronic sights and optical sights are prohibited.
5.6.3.4 Supporting devices (bipods, etc.) are prohibited.
5.6.3.5 Barrel devices designed/intended to reduce recoil or muzzle movement (e.g. compensators, barrel porting) are prohibited.
5.6.3.6 In the case of a semi-automatic shotgun, not more than nine (9) rounds total may be loaded at the start signal, unless otherwise
stipulated in the stage briefing. In the case of a pump-action shotgun, not more than twelve (12) rounds total may be loaded at the
start signal, unless otherwise stipulated in the stage briefing.
5.6.3.7 Minimum bore size is 12 gauge.

Bottom line:

Pistol: No changes

Rifle: Non-magnified optic/iron sighted rifles and magnified optic rifles will shoot against each other, but with non-magnified optic/iron sighted guns enjoying the advantage of starting the stage with up to 30 rounds in each magazine.

Shotgun: Pump and auto shotguns will shoot against each other, but with pump guns enjoying the advantage of starting the stage with up to 12 rounds loaded.

Competitors may now mix gun types within this division (e.g. scoped rifle/20 rounds per mag at start + pump shotgun/12 rounds at start = OK)

Is this the magic formula that will reverse the atrophy of HM? Maybe, maybe not. At least it will ensure meaningful competition, and hopefully revive the fortunes of the ORIGINAL Heavy Metal guns (iron sighted rifle and pump shotgun).

As I have indicated, these changes are provisional, and we welcome feedback and ideas on how we can tweak the rules further. Please post your questions and suggestions here.

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Let me be the first HM shooting cricket.

Start with semi-auto shotgun with 9. At buzzer quad load to 13 while moving to shooting position (something most everybody does these days). Not much leveling of the playing field there.

Same procedure for rifle, ditto for pistol. Not much leveling at all.

My 2 cents, chirp chirp.

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Let me be the first HM shooting cricket.

Start with semi-auto shotgun with 9. At buzzer quad load to 13 while moving to shooting position (something most everybody does these days). Not much leveling of the playing field there.

Would the playing field be more level if we capacity-limited the semi-auto shotguns?

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Good question because it might, a little.

Best way to find out is to find out for yourself. Set up an 18 (not one of those goofy 35) round shotgun stage and run it once with an auto and once with a pump per the current rules or even modified rules. If the time is the same or near the same you are GTG. If not, modify some rule or rules until the runs are close.

It's stil a moot point though. Even if level, the auto is still easier to shoot and gravity will still take it in that direction.

chirpy, chirp, chirp

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Chirp-Chirp,

I can confirm that a competitor using a pump shotgun under the "Provisional" Heavy Metal rules placed 12th out of 71 shooters on Stage 1 of last weekends match. The stage was a 14 round birdshot course of fire (following a 4 round rifle COF). 5 of the competitors finishing ahead of the pump shotgun were running in Open division.

Shooter started with rifle at low ready and at buzzer, engage 4 clay birds (at approximately 2 yards) then abandon rifle and pick up loaded shotgun from staging barrel.

I suggest that this is one data point... not an 18 round shotgun COF, but one data point!

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Chirp-Chirp,

I can confirm that a competitor using a pump shotgun under the "Provisional" Heavy Metal rules placed 12th out of 71 shooters on Stage 1 of last weekends match. The stage was a 14 round birdshot course of fire (following a 4 round rifle COF). 5 of the competitors finishing ahead of the pump shotgun were running in Open division.

Shooter started with rifle at low ready and at buzzer, engage 4 clay birds (at approximately 2 yards) then abandon rifle and pick up loaded shotgun from staging barrel.

I suggest that this is one data point... not an 18 round shotgun COF, but one data point!

FIRST STAGE:

GO CHAMP :devil:

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Chirp-Chirp,

I can confirm that a competitor using a pump shotgun under the "Provisional" Heavy Metal rules placed 12th out of 71 shooters on Stage 1 of last weekends match. The stage was a 14 round birdshot course of fire (following a 4 round rifle COF). 5 of the competitors finishing ahead of the pump shotgun were running in Open division.

Shooter started with rifle at low ready and at buzzer, engage 4 clay birds (at approximately 2 yards) then abandon rifle and pick up loaded shotgun from staging barrel.

I suggest that this is one data point... not an 18 round shotgun COF, but one data point!

FIRST STAGE:

GO CHAMP :devil:

After this nasty Pennsylvania winter, I would absolutely love to have worry about tripping into a cactus during a 3-gun stage! Very cool match!?

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Thank you Stealthy... I did not realize I had been taped running that stage. Obviously (from watching the video) I am not one of the "speed" pump shotgun artists in the sport, which probably only serves to increase the value of this data point.

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How many HM-Limited shooters are going to get the most out of that 30-round magazine allowance? I just did a quick look at Brownells*, and they only show Magpul making box mags bigger than 20 for AR-10s, and those are only 25 rounds. So to get to 30, you have to shell out $275 for a drum.

Will 25 be enough to get the results you're looking for?

*There may be mag makers out there that go to 30 that Brownells doesn't carry. That was just the first place I checked.

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How many HM-Limited shooters are going to get the most out of that 30-round magazine allowance? I just did a quick look at Brownells*, and they only show Magpul making box mags bigger than 20 for AR-10s, and those are only 25 rounds. So to get to 30, you have to shell out $275 for a drum.

Will 25 be enough to get the results you're looking for?

*There may be mag makers out there that go to 30 that Brownells doesn't carry. That was just the first place I checked.

Reliable 30 round DSA/milsurp mags are commonly available for the FN-FAL. Reliable 25 round PMAGs are commonly available for the SR25/LR308, plus the TTI extended basepad gets them to 31 (image below). Lastly, reliable 25 round Check-Mate mags are commonly available for the M1A, and I am told SR25/LR308 extended basepads can also be made to fit (though I confess I have not tried this myself).

taran-tactical-308-pmag-25-lr-sr-647x384

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In a berm type of match. Semi's will out run pump's the majority of the time, even if it saves one quad load I just don't see it. Shotgun targets in a berm match are always tightly bunched and we never see them past a 6 to 8 shot array. A field match like RM3G, I could see Pump's giving Semi's a run for there money as targets have larger transitions for the reason that you could pump while in transition to the next target without losing anything to a semi gun. The only way I could see equaling out pumps and semi's is limit capacity with semi's no more then 6 and Pump's no more then 10, and I'm pretty sure people would be "thrilled" about allowing to carry even less rounds in there shotguns...

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In a berm type of match. Semi's will out run pump's the majority of the time, even if it saves one quad load I just don't see it. Shotgun targets in a berm match are always tightly bunched and we never see them past a 6 to 8 shot array. A field match like RM3G, I could see Pump's giving Semi's a run for there money as targets have larger transitions for the reason that you could pump while in transition to the next target without losing anything to a semi gun. The only way I could see equaling out pumps and semi's is limit capacity with semi's no more then 6 and Pump's no more then 10, and I'm pretty sure people would be "thrilled" about allowing to carry even less rounds in there shotguns...

This is a fair observation. Our feeling is that on short stages (less than 13 rounds) with limited movement, the pumps will gain on the autos by virtue of needing no reload. In the 13-20 range, where both guns will need reloads, it could be a wash depending on the amount of movement between arrays and the target spacing. Above 20 rounds the autos will have an advantage. In the end, the match outcome will likely come down to stage design and the overall balance of the match. It will be interesting to see how our local matches shape up (actually, or biggest problem is getting ANYONE to shoot HM at all... our normal turnout before the rules change was only 1 or 2 in each HM division).

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You would need to run a He-man only match to get any creditable results since you might only get 1 or 2 shooters at a time. Or you could probably run a "lite" version of these division and forgo the caliber restrictions at your local matches. .308 and .45 is expensive, not to mention anything that shoots a .308 reliably is going to cost a pretty penny.

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In a berm type of match. Semi's will out run pump's the majority of the time, even if it saves one quad load I just don't see it. Shotgun targets in a berm match are always tightly bunched and we never see them past a 6 to 8 shot array. A field match like RM3G, I could see Pump's giving Semi's a run for there money as targets have larger transitions for the reason that you could pump while in transition to the next target without losing anything to a semi gun. The only way I could see equaling out pumps and semi's is limit capacity with semi's no more then 6 and Pump's no more then 10, and I'm pretty sure people would be "thrilled" about allowing to carry even less rounds in there shotguns...

This is a fair observation. Our feeling is that on short stages (less than 13 rounds) with limited movement, the pumps will gain on the autos by virtue of needing no reload. In the 13-20 range, where both guns will need reloads, it could be a wash depending on the amount of movement between arrays and the target spacing. Above 20 rounds the autos will have an advantage. In the end, the match outcome will likely come down to stage design and the overall balance of the match. It will be interesting to see how our local matches shape up (actually, or biggest problem is getting ANYONE to shoot HM at all... our normal turnout before the rules change was only 1 or 2 in each HM division).

Huh?? There were almost 20 in each this year...something like 18 and 17...Are you just talking about locals???

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...

Huh?? There were almost 20 in each this year...something like 18 and 17...Are you just talking about locals???

I am talking about all matches run under our rules - SMM3G and locals. Many of our multi-gun stages have more modest shotgun round counts, and could offer an advantage to the pumps.

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...

Huh?? There were almost 20 in each this year...something like 18 and 17...Are you just talking about locals???

I am talking about all matches run under our rules - SMM3G and locals. Many of our multi-gun stages have more modest shotgun round counts, and could offer an advantage to the pumps.

Denise, our local matches only have 1 to 3 HM shooters normally.

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Bring it all on. Just keep putting up a division for me to run my Heavy stuff in. I'll try anything once. My observation is that the top HM iron guys hold their own just fine against the HM Scope guys at most matches... Raw scores against raw scores. I think that for the general crowd, I'd consider kicking up pistol mag cap in the Iron division. Other than that, this is close enough to put to the test. Keep me posted on the results.

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Ever consider allowing hi-cap 45's 140mm mags or a 15rd limit, maybe something like this or vice or versa.

Scope rifle 20rds

Shotgun semi 8+1

Pistol 45 10rds

Iron rifle 30rds

Pump gun 12rds

Pistol 45 140mm or 15rd limit

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Ever consider allowing hi-cap 45's 140mm mags or a 15rd limit, maybe something like this or vice or versa.

Scope rifle 20rds

Shotgun semi 8+1

Pistol 45 10rds

Iron rifle 30rds

Pump gun 12rds

Pistol 45 140mm or 15rd limit

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This would be my thinking too.

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I cannot think heavy metal and not have in my mind a certain amount of practicality.

with this in mind;

-a pump gun with a longer tube is more impractical than a semi with an equal length tube. Not to mention heavier. I no have popeye arms.

-the rifle variables are the snagging points in the melding of the two. Its completely dependent on the match and target scenarios to determine whats a effective equaling factor to be tweaked.

I think its either time to just let irons die, and let the iron shooters shoot it for their own enjoyment; like how some guys will take a Garand and shoot HM.

or, tweak the scoring of targets somehow. give the scoped guys further targets, or halve the penalty values for the irons guys. That last thing right there might really be something.

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Ever consider allowing hi-cap 45's 140mm mags or a 15rd limit, maybe something like this or vice or versa.

Scope rifle 20rds

Shotgun semi 8+1

Pistol 45 10rds

Iron rifle 30rds

Pump gun 12rds

Pistol 45 140mm or 15rd limit

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This would be my thinking too.

Ditto. I think that would work too.

As far as letting irons die... OK, but 1x limited heavy division had more shooters than scope division at SMM3G 2014 and 2015.

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