Stillwater Tactical Challenge 2016

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Just under a year ago I competed in my first gun competition, the 2015 Stillwater Tactical Challenge. I’d like to tell you I trained for it, but I didn’t. All I thought I was doing was going to visit my two best friends in Billings, Montana before Bart Bauer and I headed southwest to chase Idaho black bears. But, I made the mistake of sitting in the bleachers to watch them compete, and as luck would have it, one of the teams had a shooter fall out minutes before they were set to start and I was yanked from the stands.

I used borrowed gear, guns, and ammo and made a new friend, Eric Stevens. I got wet, muddy and the hills whipped my butt. There’s nothing like whacking steel at 1000 yards in a constant downpour though. I was hooked.

Eric and I are doing the 2016 Stillwater Tactical Challenge this year as a team and I’ll come better prepared.

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Here are the four stages directly from the competition website:

Tactical Short Course.  The Tactical Short Course is designed for a team of two shooters to quickly advance along a course with multiple pistol and carbine targets. One Team member will start the course as the designated pistol operator (with carbine slung), and the second team member as the designated Carbine Operator with pistol holstered. At a midway point in the course the roles will be reversed through to completion. Approximately 150 rounds of pistol are required per team member and 100 rounds of Carbine. This will not preclude team members from carrying more. The course has a time limit of 30 minutes. (*25%)

On this course I’ll be running CZ’s 85 B 9mm combat pistol

cz-usa-cz-85-b1-500x333and their equally swift 805 BREN Carbine.

Why CZ? Well, they make great guns first and foremost. I’ve used their hunting rifles for years and their CZ 85 platform fits my hand like the gunsmith designed it in my grip. While I spent a majority of my  U.S. Navy career learning and training with the M4 carbine, I am excited to meet and work with the CZ 805 Bren S1 Carbine rifle.  The rifle is slimmer, lighter and more cz-usa-805-bren-carbineintuitive than I thought. I’ve always been drawn to the simplicity of the CZ firearms. And lastly, as silly as it may sound, I wanted to run CZ guns because I myself am Slavic and feel the pride a little. Hopefully, I’ll make the CZ crowd happy or at least not ashamed to know I’m shooting their gear. Last year Eric and I finished in the middle of the pack, which isn’t half bad for a motley crew like us.

Dynamic Tactical Long Course. The Dynamic Tactical Long Range Course is a two man team event approximately one mile long with a 200 foot change in elevation consisting of 5 different firing stations. Each station consists of a series of Steel Targets that have to be identified and fired upon at ranges from 150 yards to 800+ yards within a 65 minute time limit. This course requires one team member to carry a Bolt Rifle (Round count to be announced) while the other carries a Gas Operated Rifle (Round count to be announced.)  The targets for the Bolt rifle and the Gas Rifle are different and designated by color. Each target can be engaged twice for score and only twice. Misses count as zero, while hits count as 10 points each. Maximum possible score for each target is 20.  (*35%)

Here I’ll be the bolt-action portion of the two-man team. I’ll be using my C&H Precision M40A1 replica chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Static Tactical Long Course. The Static Tactical Long Range Course is a two man team event where the team works together from a fixed position to identify , range and fire at 15 numbered targets presented at ranges from 300 to 1,200 yards within a 35 minute time limit. Each team member will be given a card with the targets in random order. The Team will start by identifying and ranging Team member #1’s first target. Team Member #1 will take two shots at his/her first target. Hits count as 10 points, misses count as zero points. After firing the two shots, the team will then identify and range team member #2’s first target. Team member #2 will then fire two shots at the designated target. The team will then identify and range Team Member #1’s second target and so on until all 15 targets have been engaged by each team member or 35 minutes of time has expired. Each team member will need 30 rounds of ammo. Rifles may be either Bolt or Gas Operated. (*30%)

Again, here I’ll be the bolt-action portion of the two-man team. I’ll be using my C&H Precision M40A1 replica chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

Team-On-Team Course: One member using a gas operated rifle and the other a Bolt Rifle as in the Dynamic Course. This will be a single elimination Tournament with points scored for placement. These additional points will be applied towards the overall championship score. (*10%)

Again, here I’ll be the bolt-action portion of the two-man team. I’ll be using my C&H Precision M40A1 replica chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.

I can tell you right now, we probably aren’t going to win the whole thing. In most sports, I’m more of the Rudy type than anything else. But you know, having heart will win you friends for life and that’s better than any trophy. Look for more updates as Eric and I continue to train for this competition in May.


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