Today’s match report of sorts is on the Pikes Peak Precision Rifle match held just south of Colorado Springs, Colorado and adjacent to Ft. Carson, at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex. This is a relatively new match and it was a pleasant surprise! There was a quick shooter’s meeting at 0845hrs and we got down to shooting right about 0900hrs. The setup was pretty simple and well thought out. The shooters present were broken up into two groups for simultaneous shooting. Each group was further broken down into two ‘strings’ of shooters. Again, this was all well planned, by breaking up the groups and determining shooting order it helped move things along. How was the shooting? Read on to find out!
Pikes Peak Precision Rifle Match
I had heard a little about the match prior to shooting it for the first time, and most of what I had heard was true. This is a very good match in terms of unconventional shooting. There is some prone shooting, but very little conventional belly shooting. Most of the Pikes Peak Precision Rifle Match shooting is unconventional shooting, and that’s GREAT! The trend the last few years has been moving away from traditional prone shooting. These days in the Outlaw rifle matches and even the Precision Rifle Series sanctioned matches, the trend is moving away from prone. These days you can expect to see a lot of barricades, tripods, and other unconventional positions that force you to trade stability for visibility.
The shooting was done in a four string format. First string from the prone off the bipod. Second string was prone off a pack, no bipod. Third string was off a set of shooting sticks or tripod. The fourth and final string was double the rounds, 10 instead of 5 rounds, and all targets were engaged off a makeshift tank trap built from 4x4s. The tank trap stage was especially challenging, no bipods, no bags, just the shooter and the rifle shooting off an angled surface. It was great!
Course of Fire
One group was working on the 300 yard line, with five targets marked A – E with sizes large to small. Fairly straightforward in the prone, but the smaller ends of the line and a lot of the middle became very challenging when you moved away from the bipod, onto your pack, and then onto the tripod. The tank trap was especially difficult. I’m going to have to build one of those for practice! The second group was over on the left side of the line, working on targets at 200, 335, 392, 500, 670 and a bonus target at 800 yards. You could only engage the bonus target if you cleaned the other five, again, a nice touch that rewards solid shooting!
Shooting off the tables was interesting, I would have thought it would be fairly easy, except it’s not quite big enough (for me) to get a “perfect prone” position built. It’s close but it’s just different enough to get you out of your comfort zone. Same thing with shooting off your pack, or off a tripod, it’s all different enough to keep things interesting. It’s also excellent practice for what you’re likely to see in bigger matches. What you do get, is excellent practice, for $15 which is a steal of a price for the match they have put together!
This is an up and coming match for the Colorado folks. It’s good fun, good folks, and it’s run pretty smoothly. We started at 0900 and I had finished just before noon. However, I did take advantage of the offer for folks that had places to be to jump ahead in the rotation a bit. Unfortunately, I had to work the same day and had about an hour drive back up to the Denver area from down in Colorado Springs before I could even start my drive to work. I did pitch in where I could by spotting and running the shot timer for other shooters. I may even speak with the guy running the show, Ryan, about bringing my barricade down to use as a prop for one of the matches.
I have also observed, that I’ve become pretty rusty in my downtime. I’ve had to deal with some health issues this year and this was the first match I have been able to attend so far. I’ve said it in other articles, but man is it the truth. Shooting is a perishable skill. Particularly the non-standard stuff people don’t practice as much, like tripods and barricades. So as I get back into the swing of things here the next several months I’m going to be adding some non-standard positional shooting to my training regimen.
The Pikes Peak Precision Rifle Match is a solid match. There’s a kink here and there but the guys running it are awesome and everybody’s open to suggestions. They’re running two groups simultaneously now to speed things up and they’ve kept that change because it worked. I like that, everybody likes that. Get a suggestion, try it out, and if it happens to work out…implement it! I love that they run the match with non-standard shooting positions instead of spending the whole time on a mat on your belly. Let’s spend our time wisely, and train for stuff we’re likely to see at the larger matches. There are some solid shooters in the group so I’m sure there’s stuff that we could all learn by attending. I plan to in the future, I suggest the other locals out there do the same!