The Next Step In 3 Gun Competition

trM3GIgoodbye

First, I’m more than a bit bummed out that I will never, ever shoot the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun match.

“It is with a twinge of sadness that I’m informing you … we have made the strategic decision to formally end the world’s first night time and premiere 3-Gun competition, the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational,” said CT’s marketing director Kent Thomas. “I know this will be a disappointment to many of you, but after much discussion, deliberation and thought, we’ve decided to go out on top, leaving each of you and the industry wanting more.”

Be not afraid, though, all hope is not lost, and what will replace the Midnight 3 Gun looks REALLY interesting.

The inaugural “Starlight 3-Gun” will feature three-days of amateur and professional competition at an east-coast location yet to be announced. There will be an open enrollment for experienced 3-gun competitors and interested shooters who are new to 3-gun competition will have the opportunity to qualify the Starlight 3-Gun via participation in other qualifying 3-gun events. 

“Our long-term goal is to popularize the concept of athletic shooting competitions and create local, regional and national events where everyone from a young children shooting beginner courses can compete at the same venue as the pros. The full-blown pro circuit will combine TV, online and live events to fill up arenas and athletic facilities across the country. Our goal is to make shooting competitions entertaining- and to do that, we’re amping up the entertainment value- without sacrificing safety.” 

Okay, now I’m interested. Adding more excitement and entertainment to the experience of WATCHING a match will, by default, add interest to the sport. Kudos to Jim Shepherd for trying to take 3 gun out of the action shooting ghetto, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the first match will look like.

Out Of Season.

Stage Rifle

I’m experiencing something new out here in the Midwest: An “off season” for practical shooting. In Arizona, you can shoot a match pretty much every day of the week (and twice on Sundays), but here in a small town in Missouri, where snow is lightly falling down as I type this, there is definitely a prime season for shooting and a not-prime season. 

And that not-prime season is now, so I’m spending my time dry-firing, working on stopping and starting my movement, and tweaking my equipment load-out for next year. 

It’s a bit different, because it gives me time to think and reflect on my goals and what I’m going to do accomplish them. There wasn’t really that breathing space in Arizona, because we’d go from Western States to Superstition to stupidly hot shooting weather (but still shooting weather) to Area 2 to SHOT…

… rinse, lather, repeat. 

But having a breather is new to me, and I like it. The trick is going to be spending my time working on my skills these next few months and not just wasting them away playing Combat Mission: Normandy. 

SO did not need to know about this.

Ok, I do, but I just decided what my next gun purchase was going to be, and then this pops up in my feed today.

CZ14_Scorpion_EVO3_S1-L-e1416840329704

Enter the CZ Scorpion EVO Pistol. A 9mm carbine that is sold in a pistol configuration and has all of the modern features gun owners are demanding, including a full length top rail for optics and multiple rails on the hand-guards for diverse configuration options. 

However, the best part about the new Scorpion? The price point. With an MSRP of $849 and a street price likely in the $700′s it’s far below the current market price of other competitive options.

So we’re probably looking at a retail price of $850-900 when we add in a SigBrace and adapter, meaning this hits the sweet spot of price/features in the pistol-caliber carbine world, and it’s a CZ to boot. 

Sigh. I wonder how comfortable the couch is to sleep on for decades at a time…

Quote of the Day, 10/07 Edition

rp_Rob_Leatham_image.gif“Anyone who undertakes any kind of serious (competition) training program is going to find themselves as the local hot-shot, unless you live in Arizona.” 

- Steve Anderson

Having gone from the über-competitive realms of Phoenix Rod and Gun and Rio Salado to the more laid-back reaches of central Missouri, I can DEFINITELY sympathize.

The World Shooting Championship! (or at least our version of it)

Muhammed AliI used to be a big, big fan of boxing. I was not a big fan of Mike Tyson, to be honest, but I respected his talent, and I also respected the fact that when he fought, he fought for ALL the titles.

Then Riddick Bowe walked away from the WBC title and we’ve got the current hodge-podge of belts and titles and champions, and I don’t have the time or energy to keep track of who’s the champion of what.

Which brings me to the shooting sports. The World Action Pistol Championship wrapped up last weekend, with Doug Koenig and Jessie Duff winning the Men’s and Women’s overall championships.

World Action Pistol Championship is is NOT the World Shoot, which is NOT the IPDA Worlds, which is NOT the World Shooting Championship, and none of this has anything to do with the ISSF.

Got that? Me neither.

Well-rounded, well-armed

Armed Culture did a great little post on finding good gun advice, and I like this part in particular: 

The four factors of expertise

#1. Breadth of experience.

A guy who has one brand of wine that he drinks is not a wine expert, even if he drinks a lot of wine. Taste only comes with broad exposure. When someone tells you that a product is good, always ask, “Compared to what?”

The typical gun reviewers who lack in this area are military and competition shooters. Many servicemen have extensive experience with the weapons provided to them by the government. But they know little to nothing about the wealth of options available in the civilian world. If your dad got you into sporting clays as a kid, you might be an Olympic class shooter… but that won’t make you an authority on handguns or rifles, or even hunting shotguns.

After reading that, I realized why I was going for “a mind of many things” approach to my journey through firearms culture. I will listen to anything that Rob Leatham or Angus Hobdell have to say about USPSA, but I wouldn’t go to them for rifle advice. In the same manner, I know people who can bust clays with just their mind (and a shotgun), but know diddly about handguns. 

I want to know enough to speak rationally on most gun topics, and I want to be good enough so that when someone says “Hey, do you want to go shoot (insert name of firearms-related activity here)?”, I know I’ll be good enough to enjoy it and have some measure of success at whatever it is. 

As I’ve said before, life is too short to shoot just one gun.

Product Review: Vortex Diamondback Spotting Scope

vortex_2

Advantages: Great optics, ruggedly built, low price
Disadvantages: Some cloudiness in the optics 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I got this scope to replace the ancient Bushnell I inherited from my father in law. 10 years as a commercial photographer taught me what to look for in a a piece of glass, and this scope offers excellent results at a price that won’t break the bank.

vortex_1

The controls are logically placed and have everything you want in a serious spotting scope such as a rotating tripod mount for bench or prone use and a sensitive, easy to use focusing knob. The scope is rugged built and comes with a convenient soft carry case that also doubles as a thermal cover (a nice touch)..

The Vortex Diamondback scope is easy to use in the field or on the bench and transmits colors and details to the eye cleanly with little optical aberrations such as color shifting or fringing, but there is a general cloudiness in the lens. Is there a difference in clarity at higher powers between this scope and something costing five or ten times as much? Yes. Are those other scopes five or ten times clearer and easier to see through? Oh heck no.

If you have to have the very best and are willing to spend for it, go for it and get a $2000+ scope. If you want a spotting scope to do the job day in, day out, this is the scope for you.

The Carbine In Context

su_16_bench_sm

My AR-15’s and the SU-16C aren’t my “go-to” weapon. It’s not even my secondary weapon, (that’s the Mossberg I have in my safe room), the rifle is my third choice: It’s gun that I would use if I need something more than my CCW gun if I’m outside the house. I’ve taken a really good defensive carbine training class, but I need some defensive shotgun training, as (God forbid), that would be my secondary weapon I’d go to not my AR-15.

Oh, and I need a good class in first aid/trauma. That too. 

Lower For Hire

Speaking of that Fealty Arms Lower, I know have an extra one hanging around, or at least I will when my 80% lower FINALLY ships. I’ll use the Fealty lower to build a lower for my long-range gun, and the CavArms lower is now dedicated to my CMMG .22 adapter and my 3 Gun AR is just about where I want it (I do need to swap out the handguard and gas block on it), so I actually don’t actually have a need for another AR-15 right now. 

I know, since when does need have anything to do with guns? 

I’m leaning towards making a 9mm “pistol” out of it via a Sig Arms brace, and a pistol 9mm upper, but what would you suggest?