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A Shot In The Dark

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 13:18
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This past Saturday night I participated in a match at Knob Creek Range, in West Point Ky. It was what we call an Assault Rifle Match; which is basically a match for black rifles. The interesting thing is that the match is shot in the dark, on the main range.
The match is run by some members of the Kentucky Practical Defense League (KPDL), a private club located at KCR, but KPDL is not associated with the match.
This was the third time the match was put on by KCR, and hopefully there will be a match like this every other month in the future. If attendance is an indicator, then there will be more matches in the dark, as attendance is growing with little advertisement.
Right now the match is shot more as a training experience with the match more for added stress with the benefit of a small purse for the winner. It is a come as you are match; meaning there are no different classes for rifles, equipment, or skills. Everybody competes against everybody else. So if you show up with a Ray-o-vac flashlight duct taped to your SKS (nobody had this rig in this match), then you will compete against the guy with the custom built AR-15 with the Eotech and NVD (there was one of those there). And if your wondering, the guy that won the match had a custom AR15 with a small tactical light held in place with rubber bands.
 
The course of fire: The shooter staged at stage 1 behind a barricade with his rifle loaded, safety on, in the low ready position with any lights turned off. On the buzzer, the shooter turned on his equipment (lights and/or NVD) and engaged 7 IPSC targets at various distances, then ran to stage 2. Stage 2 was another barricade and 7 more targets with 2 IPSC targets at 45yds (longest shot), 2 paper plates at 12yds, and 3 IPSC targets in between, then off to stage 3. Stage 3 you had to shoot through a barricade at 7 IPSC targets at various distances (this turned out to be more difficult than it sounds since part of the barricade blocked low mounted lights). Finally, stage 4 was another barricade you had to shoot through at 7 more IPSC targets. This barricade had 2 openings at different heights (one for really tall people, and one for really short people). The time stopped with your last shot. For every target not neutralized, 10 seconds was added to the time. The person with the fastest time wins. To neutralize a target, you needed 1 shot in the head or A-zone, or 2 hits anywhere on the target.
 
Now I have shot a lot of matches, but this was the most fun I have had in a long time, and it was a lot tougher than it looks. It was an eye opening experience that I thought I was ready for, but I found out different; and more to come on that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 13:22
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Sounds awesome.  Wish they would put stuff like this on around here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 13:48
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Very cool Lynn....look forward to hearing the rest of the story.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 14:26
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Now I have shot enough training courses in the dark that I am comfortable shooting in the dark, but this was different. Murphy was all over me that night, and I thought I was prepared for him.
 
The temperature was 27*F, and the high humidity from the river made it bone chiling cold. I wore my parka and gloves when I shot the match, and this caused problems. I also wore an assault vest so I would have extra mags in case I had a magazine problem, this caused a slight problem. I also didn't check to make sure my scope turrets were set at zero (they weren't), but this didn't cause a problem.
I had basically set myself up for failure by not being prepared with my equipment and it cost me time. I had been at another event that day, and didn't have the time to double check my equipment, and when I started going over things waiting for my turn to shoot, not all of my solutions worked. I tried changing batteries in a weapon light, but didn't have the right batteries. mounted the light on the rail as a backup light, but then realized I couldn't reach the switch easily. Couldn't get the light off the rail without tools, so I was stuck that way, and that light could have been handy on stage 3, and 4, since my regular light was blocked by the barricades.
 
I never shoot with gloves on, but that night it was so cold that I was willing to give it a try. Well since gloves have more fingers on them than I need, it turned into a problem. My extra glove finger got in the way of my light and I couldn't see my targets. I also thought I had a weapon problem with trigger reset, when I really couldn't feel the trigger well enough to know that I hadn't released the trigger to reset. This cost me time.
 
The parka and vest together added enough weight and heat retention that by stage 3 1/2 I was starting to breath heavier than normal. Not a big deal, but it added a little time.
 
This match was a learning experience for me. After all, how often do we shoot in the dark. It's not as easy as you think, especially when you deviate from your normal practices. If everything operates as it should, you still have to deal with the confusion of the dark. Lose site of your targets and you lose site of your place (did I shoot that target already or not), not to mention, did I see all the targets. One shooter actually shot 1 and 1/2 stages from 1 position.
 
I didn't win of course, but I didn't have any penalties either. I didn't panick when things were not happening like they should, but identified the problem and delt with it. While I'm not happy with my results, I did learn what I need to do to improve.
I had a blast, and I can't wait for the next match. If you get an opportunity to shoot a match like this, don't pass it up, you won't regret it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 14:44
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Sounds like a fun time unfortunately the average guy in S.A is not allowed to own a Semi Auto. Wish they wern't so strict here.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/29/2012 at 15:48
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Very cool! Thanks for sharing!  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2012 at 00:10
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Yeah, Hollywood makes this stuff look easy ! In real life it is not so. Practise, practise and more practise, till the muscle memory takes over.
 
And then of course you get the natural,  a guy who has never done it before and shoots a full score !!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2012 at 11:05
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Looks like I'm going have to go over my equipment. I'm already working on the backup weapon light. I'm also rethinking the assault vest. It's great for the regular assault rifle match, since it acts like a sleevless shooting coat, but it got in the way and made shooting from the odd positions difficult. Guess I finally have to check out magazine connectors, and different magazine carriers.
 
I used a IOR 1.5-8x26 scope with the CQB illuminated reticle. I guessed on this and had the power set at 2.5x, to keep a wide field of view and bright image. This worked well, but I think 1.5-2x may have been better, but it'll take more matches to know for sureWink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2012 at 12:39
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Sounds like a blast and a challenge!!! Excellent Excellent Excellent
 
Your club has some of the neatest matches...to bad's its
in Kentucky and not Pennsylvania.  Sad
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 11:29
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If anybody is wondering, my primary weapon light was a CrimsonTrace lazer/light combo. It's a grip that attaches to a Picatinny rail with an integral light and lazer. The light is very bright and good to at least 100yds, and is very compact.
I didn't use the lazer, but it could have come in handy, especially since someone screwed with my scope; just not enough to make a difference. I have never been a big fan of lazers on weapons, until a SWAT officer that carries the bunker on an entry team; told me it was the best way to aim his pistol. So now I'm exploring the use of lazers. This one was sighted in at 100yds.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 11:31
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you looking to change it?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 12:20
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

you looking to change it?

 I'm looking to explore it.
Far to often new ideas and technologies have been rejected by the powers that be, because it didn't fit into their established ideas. The 7th Cav. at the Little Big Horn were victims of a refusal to embrace new technologies. I have seen and even been part of the crowd that poo, pooed advances, because it wasn't the conventional wisdom, only to be proved wrong later.
Now I don't think the lazer sight will replace the front and rear sight, but it may be a viable option in many circumstances. Just need to determine how viable it is.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 12:21
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duh....what do you mean by carry the bunker on an entry team? Clown
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 12:24
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The"old dogs new tricks" thing huh!  I too am hesitant to change from something that has been proven to work well....even if the new thing works much better.  Marketing hype is usually too much BS!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 12:44
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

duh....what do you mean by carry the bunker on an entry team? Clown
It's actually a large shield, but they are called portable bunkers, because of what they will stop, and how much they weigh.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 13:46
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there is a nice used surefire weapons light on the samplelist. don't know if you saw it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 15:23
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Originally posted by BeltFed BeltFed wrote:

Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

duh....what do you mean by carry the bunker on an entry team? Clown
It's actually a large shield, but they are called portable bunkers, because of what they will stop, and how much they weigh.
Gotcha!  I've seen similar shields used in police skirmish or blockaid lines against rioters, right?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 15:37
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May be, the bunkers are large rectangular shields with a small window close to the top.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/05/2012 at 16:40
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Thats the one I'm thinking of.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 11:51
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Well, we had another night match at Knob Creek. We are now known as the Knob Creek Practical Rifle League; although I don't think anybody is collecting dues.
We had three stages this time, or actually three matches; rifle, pistol, and shotgun are all seperate matches. I shot all 3 this time, since I had a shotgun that wasn't smarter than me (at least that's what I thought), with a light on it. We started a little after 10PM local time, because it had tobe dark. I finished about 12:30A.M.. We only had 15-18 shooters, and we broke up into 3 squads with 5-6 shooters in each. If you weren't shooting one of the matches, you were accomadated, so you didn't have to wait.
The rifle stage was pretty simple, with lots of targets; 21 total. There were 3 positions where at least one round had to be fired from, and you could engage any target from any position, but of course not all targets were visable from every position. Scoring was the same as before; 1 round in the A-zone, or 2 rounds anywhere on the target (something I'm starting to have heartburn with, but that's another story), neutralized the target. This was the same scoring used for the pistol too.
The pistol stage was simple too. You started seated in a chair with your loaded pistol and reloads laying on a table in front of you. You had 4 IPSC targets to engage on the start, then you moved to a door, opened the door and engaged 8 pepper poppers from the door. There was a mandatory reload required and could be performed anywhere in the stage, but you had to take your extra reloads from the table, and once you left the table you couldn't go back.
Listening to the instructions for the shotgun stage gave me a headache, but it was actually very simple. Since it was one stage shot on 2 different stage areas, once you passed one point, you couldn't shoot until you got to another point (a great time to top off the shotgun). I can't tell you how many targets there were, as you weren't told, and you weren't allowed on the stage until you shot. All targets were pepper poppers, and no shoot targets had T-shirts on (and not white t-shirts), it was dark too.
It was a fun night, and I had a GREAT time. Shooting in the dark is different and a different challenge, that adds a whole new perspective to a match, that is fun, educational, and challenging.
It was also a safe match (nobody wants to get hurt), and the safety rules were reviewed before the match, and followed.
I hope this catches on, because it's great training, and great fun.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 12:08
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Sounds like it,  wish we had something similar.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 12:29
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HEY Lynn have you had a chance to work anymore with that IOR? I picked one up 2 months ago & it has now replace my Trijicon 3.5-3.5 on my RR ATH 5.56.Maybe you can do a review with this work out your giving it.Personally I think that scope is about as good as it gets to ride on a AR!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 13:14
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While we were waiting for it to get dark, a friend decided to check the battery in his scope. It was dead, so I checked mine. It was dead. Fortunately, Kenny had batteries for our scopes, and tools. It was a bear getting the battery cover off. It was the original battery, so I can't complain about the time it lasted, but I am currious about how long the new one will last.
I ran my llumination on 3 or 4, and my power was on 1.5. Probably should have been at 2.5x, but I forgot to check my magnification before I started. I was too focused on garding my elevation setting.
I'm liking the IOR 1.5-8x. The rifle stage started and ended with targets that were almost contact distance, with targets that could have been about 70yds, and I had no problem with any of them.
The real test of the IOR will come in October at the Assault Rifle Match.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 15:32
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Thanks for that update I'll remember to carry a few batteries.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/19/2012 at 15:44
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Make sure you can get the battery cover off too. I had to use a small pair of channel locks with a rag and a quarter to get the cover off. I think some old woman that put bottle tops on screw top beer bottles put that cap on. 
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