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Zak Smith

Zak's 2005 I T R C Report

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Zak's 2005 ITRC Report

As background, read the 2004 ITRC Report.

The D&L Sports International Tactical Rifleman Championships (ITRC) is a "3 Gun" match unlike

conventional 3Gun matches. This match has field courses from 1 to 2.5 miles long which must be

finished in times from 45 minutes to two hours by teams of two: a bolt rifle shooter, and a carbine


Dave Lauck's Small Arms Training Academy (SATA) is located about an hour north of Gillette, WY,

basically in the middle of nowhere. Match stages were located there and on two ranches within an

hour's distance.

2005 was the second year Glenn Frank and I shot the ITRC. Last year he shot the bolt rifle and I

the carbine, so this year we switched roles. Our training for this match was both team and

individual practice at long distance, small targets, and regular cardio exercise.

The Colorado front range 3Gun/rifle crowd fielded 5 teams this year, in addition to Burris, who sent

a team from their plant in Greeley.

Unlike last year, many of us skipped the sight-in the morning before the match itself. If a team

wanted to verify rifles' zeros, they could set up a target on the ubiquitous BLM land near Gillette.

Since we all had data printed for Gillette's altitude and typical environmental conditions and good

solid zeros, it would likely have been a waste of ammo.

In 2004, many of the teams were SWAT or military. Due to deployments, there were very few military

teams this year, just a few from Fort Campbell. I thought I heard there were 32 teams, but only 30

showed up on the final scores. This down about 15 from the number of starting teams in 2004, and

down about 5 from the number of finishing teams.

The match was divided into 3 courses. Each team shot one course per day.

Instead of boring you with lot more of background, here are the stages. They were roughly similar

to the stages in 2004, with some changes.

Course 1. DL SATA

The SATA range was the location for the high-intensity pistol/carbine stage. This course starts

with approximately 400 scoring opportunities for the carbine followed by approximately 400 more

pistol scoring opportunities in the shoot-house. Each hit on target was worth 1 point; there were

no "bonus" or "high value" targets unlike 2004. Each target had to be engaged 4 times, except for

pistol steel if knocked down. The team had 25 minutes to engage each of the two halves of the

course of fire, so if they ran out of time on the carbine, it would not affect their ability to

finish the shoot-house. The team could use a secondary carbine for this course in order to not

"burn out" their good match barrel.

The course started with the carbine shooter engaging several 100-400 yard arrays of targets from 5

or 6 positions, running a total of maybe 150 yards. Once those targets were engaged, the team

proceeded into the back of the pick-up truck. The truck drove past an array of full size poppers,

which the carbine shooter engaged. Hits were still worth 1 point. When the truck stopped, the team

ran over to the first of 3 platforms which each had 22 steel targets arrayed at about 100 yards.

The suggested minimum round count for the carbine was 500.

170_7013_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

Due to dawn glare, we had problems locating some of the targets and timed out on the second to last

platform. This lost us about 92 points. We started the stage with about 500 rounds preloaded in

30-round AR15 mags.

170_7029_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

170_7040_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

I then proceeded to the pistol shoot-house and ran it start to finish in 12 minutes, giving us 13

extra bonus points (one per minute early). I ran past two targets and had two other misses. The

recommended round count was 400. I shot 305 rounds.

170_7046_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

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Last year we had a limited number of 45ACP double-stack mags (about 7) and I had to reload them on

the fly. This year we entered the course of fire with 450 rounds preloaded in Glock 19 and 17

magazines. All my partner had to do was pick up the empties which I dropped every 3-4 targets. I

carried a SAW-type pouch with approx 20 15 and 17 round Glock magazines.

170_7051_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

170_7053_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

The shoot-house is a football-field size structure of walls, busses, and other props, with targets -

both paper and steel - strewn throughout. The shooter had to pay careful attention in order to not

walk past targets.

170_7056_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

Like last year, the carbine got extremely hot--

170_7054_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

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Stage 2. Hoblit Ranch.

This course was 1.5 miles cross-country with a time limit of 1 hour. Minimum round count 2 pistol,

62 carbine, 59 rifle. The course had five stations with carbine and pistol targets at each. There

was one pistol target at Stage 1. This was the most physically demanding course of fire, with the

most rugged terrain. Carbine targets tended to be in arrays of 3-5, and rifle targets were

generally grouped into strings of 2-4 with 10-50 yards between targets.

170_7073_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

We had pulled the 0630 time slot, so we shot each course of fire just after dawn. This was

generally an advantage for temperature and wind, but it made locating targets in shadow difficult.

170_7074_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

Many teams including ours had trouble with station 1's rifle targets, but besides that, we shot well

on this course with few misses. We finished the final station with 9 minutes to spare, and hit the

+250/-250 point bonus target on station 4.

The scoring on Stages 2 and 3 was: +40 per rifle hit, +10 per carbine hit, -20 per miss, pistol +10,

pistol misses not counted.

170_7077_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

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Stage 3. Arvada Ranch.

The helicopter was back this year. Each shooter was provided with 3 30-round magazines for a

provided AR-15, and there were more targets opportunities per pass. Making hits, however, was much

more difficult due to increased velocity and distance in the helicopter. The helicopter event

was not scored as part of the "main match."

The second part of Stage 3 was the field course. Minimum round count was 56 carbine and 79 rifle.

Just like Stage 2, the distance was 1.5 miles and the time limit was 1 hour. The path was more or

less down hill and followed a road, making it less physically demanding. But there was no free

lunch. The targets on this stage were smaller and more difficult to locate, and the wind - at least

on day 3 - was tricky.

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170_7093_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

This stage had 7 stations. The rifle shooter had no targets until station 3, but at station 7, he

had 25 rifle targets. Locating and successfully engaging 25 rifle targets on the last station was a

challenge due to sheer number of targets available, and the heat caused by shooting 50+ rounds in a

short period of time caused many rifles' point of impacts to "wander".

171_7140_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

My partner shot this course with maybe only 6 misses. I had a harder time with the distant and

small rifle targets, with tricky wind. Due to the pressure in locating the targets under time, I

felt more harried during this stage and that contributed to some bad "presses." We finished the

last target with about 90 seconds to spare.

171_7159_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

171_7168_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

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Team on Team

The Team on Team shoot during the afternoon of the last day involved the carbine shooter engaging an

array of 5 targets at 200 yards, and then the rifle shooter engaging a 8" plate at 500 yards,

running head to head against another team in single elimination. The catch was all weapons started

unloaded and the team had to load loose rounds into the rifles or their magazines from a bowl!

We were pretty dialed in, and we made it to the semi-finals, coming in 3rd place.

171_7174_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

About $50k in rifles???

171_7172_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

Egg Shoot

The final even was the 500-yard egg shoot, where each competitor got one shot at an "egg" at 500

yards, and the winner would get a rifle at the awards banquet. We had just shot the team on team,

and the wind was tricky, coming from 10-11'o'clock with 8-18 mph.

Overall Results.

30 teams finished the match. The high score was 5847 and the low was -2772. Glenn and I managed

4826 for a 7th place finish (an improvement on 13th last year). Colorado teams placed 3rd, 6th,

7th, 15th, and 16th. Chad Peterson & Kurt Kisch won.

Glenn and I were in the 3-way tie for the helicopter event; three teams had 3 hits each. The prize

was drawn at random and we didn't get it.

The egg shoot was won by Tate Moots.

171_7181_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

171_7182_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]


Rifle: I shot a Accuracy International AWP in 308, 24" bbl, with the AI brake. The scope is a US

Optics SN-3 3.2-17x44mm with the Horus H25 reticle. Ammo was Lapua 155gr.

Carbine: Glenn shot a 24" Bushmaster Varminter with 50gr VMAXs from Black Hills. The scope is a

Leupold 3-9 MRT.

High Intensity Carbine: Glenn shot a Bushmaster Dissipater with a rail system installed and a TA11


Pistols: I shot a Glock 19, and Glenn shot a 17.

The tactic this year was to pack light, bringing only what you'll absolutely need in the 60

minutes. But bringing back-up gear is a good idea.

171_7176_img.jpg [ link to LARGER image ]

Rest of pics here: http://demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/ITRC-2005

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Dave Lauck is an advocate of muzzle down carry, storage, racking, etc. That way an AD isn't launched off into the wild blue to land God knows where.

Great match report Zak!

We were down 1000 from missing both bonus targets, but managed a middle of the pack finish. Next year....

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It was great meeting you and Glenn.

I had a 15 hour drive home and thought a lot about what shooting 2 rounds different could of done for score. Two good long range hits would of moved you and us up a one or two positions.

The top teams were close in score. But the guys who won, did very well w/ a 400 point spreed.

If anyone has ever thought of going to this match-DO! You are shooting against some of the best in the country. It sounds easier then it is.

We ended up 8th.


6br that I built on Rem 700

AR w/JP trigger and an upper that I made in .223

(we shot the same AR across the course)

Springfield XD-9 Tac.

S&W 4006 Tac.


Of the Tom and Rory team

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Looks like a neat time. A buddy of mine mentioned this to me just after he got back from being downrange, but it turns out it takes real money to get out there...

As for the launching an AD out into the wild blue to land who knows where, take a walk through Hatcher's Notebook. It seems the Army investigated the issue of how much damage a bullet fired vertically would cause on impact some time ago.

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Then you have the endless debates about what constitutes muzzle up. I've seen a lot of slung guns sweep people, and a lot of folks walking past racks with a plethora of muzzles pointed at their cranium. Plus a muzzle down AD that is contained on your property isn't going to get you sued like a dent in your neighbor's aluminum siding from an errant round. The lawyers cause the damage, not the bullet. Not sure Hatcher studied that.

It's a philosophical deal, kinda like not resting your shotgun barrel on your foot at the trap range. It is perfectly safe, but a bad habit.

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This is total off the thread, But, Doesn't that muzzle down position in the rack make you VERY nervous about damaging the crown on your bolt gun. One small rock and the will not shoot after that.


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Thanks for the pics and description. Looks like a fun and challenging time.

In post #2, the pic of the heated barrel:

Does the muzzle brake help much?

Any noticeable noise on your end?

Have you shot similiar rifles with and without brake, and was there any major difference?

With the muzzles down in the rack, and if bolts are kept open, it's easier to verify an empty chamber. And, any debris that may find it's way in the barrel will go away from the action.

At the range while doing a quick barrel clean, you can hose the muzzle down barrel and let it soak a bit while doing other things without the solvent making it's way into the action and/or bedding.

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You are referring to the AR15 brake? Sure, it helps a lot. Major difference, yes.

The MSTN QCB comp is louder than an A2 but quieter than a JP BC comp.

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This is total off the thread, But, Doesn't that muzzle down position in the rack make you VERY nervous about damaging the crown on your bolt gun.

Suggest using a muzzle device...

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[Medic hat on]

Why I tell the soldiers in my company to carry muzzle down:

"I have enough tape to put your foot back together. I don't have enough to your's or someone else's brain & skull back together."

Buy a muzzle cap.


P.S. Zak - Equipment question. Any advantage to a magazine fed bolt rifle? Meaning, is it just "better" to go with a Remington 700, or would a Win 70 or Savage do the trick? Not remembering all the details, but if 600 yards is the max. distance, to do this "on the cheap" money might be better spent on a better barrel, glass and ammo. Just a thought.

After that, what would you say would be basic equipment (both carbine and bolt rifle) performance standards and criteria? Accuracy is the obvious one. For what type of equipment, what setups do you think work better or best?

Edited by uscbigdawg

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