A lot can and will be said about 2020. However, 2020 was a successful year on the range for me. Competitively, I was fortunate to attend a half dozen team matches, several run-n-gun events, a few PRS competitions and a couple other fun matches. I was able to complete some training courses that had been on my list, including getting USCCA certifications for home defense/CCW/pistol fundamentals. In addition to this, Greg and I had several private and a public class with our training company SG Concepts. We started this after getting requests for training, and based on the feedback and requests we are looking to do more in 2021. Finally, being at home more let me tinker with projects (such as the 2011s) and focus my efforts.
My journey to greater understanding, skills, and competency continues to lead me not into the mainstream but to the variety. Maybe I get a little bored with shooting just one venue but having the luxury to intermingle between several types of shooting allows me to continuously prepare, examine and cross-train. I shoot competitively for the challenge and enjoyment, and so far, I like staying engaged in a few types of events. For example, this approach won’t lead me to be a top-10 PRS contender, as that requires a focused drive and effort on that pursuit. However, staying engaged with a handful of these matches helps polish the precision rifle and positional skills and keep up with the latest TTPs that can carry over into the field for other competitions, hunting and training opportunities.
A successful year like I’ve had isn’t possible alone. First and foremost, I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful wife that supports me in these endeavors. She keeps things running smoothly regardless of where in the world I am, is my biggest fan and the best kick in the arse when I need it.
To the other half of our “Unhealthy Bromance” and many other informal team names, many thanks to Greg for continuing to shoot with me even after I run off with the music and overdose on pre-workout at matches. While we live several thousand miles apart, we seem to keep the show rolling on many fronts and continue to do this stuff for the challenge and enjoyment.
To the many friends, acquaintances, people I’ve never met, match directors, landowners, volunteers, range officers and others that revolve around in the shooting world, thank you for being you. Ultimately there are many great people involved in the shooting sports and that’s a major draw for me. Many of the best people I know come from this community and I’m proud to be a small part of it. The camaraderie, generosity and fun that most people bring with them make these shooting events a great time…and that’s before we even get to shoot guns!
Additionally, there are a few companies that I have a relationship with that extends beyond being a customer. First is the premiere optics company Nightforce. What makes a company great is not just the products, but the people behind it…in my case my coworkers. Many of my pursuits use rifles with some kind of optics, and between what I know from behind the scenes, what we see and hear from customers and how much I’ve put a hurting on some scopes myself, a Nightforce will always be on my rifles. There is an underlying passion at the company to continue to make and support the best products we can, and so far it seems to be working.
Next is the excellent barrel and rifle company Proof Research. I use Proof barrels in my rifles and a full-build Conviction rifle for hunting and when a match calls for a lightweight rifle. Whether straight steel or carbon-wrapped, Proof barrels are made in an impeccable and innovative facility in northwest Montana. They have been very supportive in many pursuits and I am grateful for their support.
Hornady has been a long-time innovator, supporter of the shooting sports and an upstanding company with great people. When the opportunity came to shoot in a formal capacity for Hornady it was an easy answer. From pistols to precision rifles, Hornady bullets are going downrange and continue to deliver the performance needed.
While everything I shoot isn’t suppressed, I try to be a polite shooter whenever possible! SilencerCo suppressors have been a staple on my rifles for quite a while now, particularly the Omega models. Simply they take a licking and keep ticking while doing their part to preserve the hearing I’ve got left. They’ve done a lot to help make suppressors, silencers, cans, etc more accessible to the masses…and they’re not done yet!
There are many others that have helped me out this year and before, and to you I am grateful. Your generosity including time, expertise, technical help, and sometimes a favor in a pinch are a continued inspiration to try to do the same myself.
So What About 2021?
I know many are looking for 2021 to be better than this outgoing year, but we are facing big political changes, ammunition/component shortages and an ongoing pandemic affecting everyday life. I believe many are going to continue to press on and make the best of life…which is all we can do… but it’s important to have some idea of what we want to do.
From a competitive shooting standpoint, I was happy with my mix of events this year and will most likely see a similar “taste the rainbow” approach…if there’s a precision rifle, carbine and/or pistol involved, especially if finding targets, figuring out a stage on the fly or other challenges are involved I’m in. Greg and I are already signed up for a few team events and are looking at more, so don’t be surprised to see us at one because they’re a lot of fun.
In the vein of challenging with a rifle, the new NRL Hunter series has the makings of being a lot of fun with practical rifles. Beyond just shooting a very specific CoF, having to find, range and then figure out how to engage targets on the clock as a solo shooter is not so easy. It may take some time to sell out these matches, but in time I think this revisit to precision rifle origins and bringing the sport full circle with modern gear and seemingly forgotten skillsets will become popular as shooters want to become increasingly capable.
The Run-n-Gun community continues to grow, to the point events are selling out in mere minutes these days. I hope to continue participating in these and I enjoy seeing more people blend the physical and shooting pieces on an overall path of improvement. I’m hoping my schedule and events allow me to make it to OK/TX to a whole ‘nother world of RnG.
On training I’m working on ironing out some details for solo classes in the South East, as well as offering a few additional classes with Greg via SG Concepts. If you have a place, topic or idea you think would work, please drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
This past October we hosted what we are now calling our Team Dynamics class. With Team Matches growing in popularity, there is a lot more to shooting these competitions than just having a rifle and a few bags. Our goal with this class is to build the skills and teamwork between shooters to become better problem solvers and more efficient at finding, ranging and engaging targets.
And finally, on this last day of 2020 I wish everyone a happy, successful, healthy and better New Year! I hope to see you on the range in 2021.
2020 Top Finishes
January – Mammoth Sniper Challenge – 1st Place Tough Man and High Overall with Greg Hamilton
February – Bushnell Elite Tactical Sniper Challenge- 1st Place LRRP and High Overall with Greg Hamilton
June – Panteo DMR Match – 1st Place
June – The Gun Run @ Clinton House Run-n-Gun 5K – 1st Place
June – Competition Dynamics Team Challenge – 1st Place with Greg Hamilton
August – 17 South Sweat-N-Bullets Run-n-Gun 5K – 1st Place
August – Coleman’s Creek Sniper Challenge – 6th Place with Greg Hamilton
September – Legion 9/11 Memorial Run-n-Gun 10K – 1st Place Lightfighter
October – Sniper’s Unknown Challenge – 1st Place with Greg Hamilton
November – Zombie Run For Your Life Run-n-Gun 10K – 1st Place Jack and Jill with Haley Beann
November – Guardian Long Range Team Match – 1st Place with Greg Hamilton
December – 3rd Group Sniper Competition – 1st Place with Greg Hamilton