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Old 10-18-2008, 8:49 PM
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rksimple rksimple is offline
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Default Xtreme Sniper Match...Xtreme Disappointment

I'm normally not the kind of guy that complains about things like this in public, but this sort of ineptitude can't go unmentioned. I don't even know where to start. But to say that this was, by far, the worst match I've ever attended, seen, heard about or read about, would be an understatement. You can read about what the match was proposed to be here. Here's an excerpt:

So, you think you are hot as a long range shooter?

Come and prove your mettle at our first ever long range shooting competition under real field conditions.

You can boast about hits on the range all you like -- that is just bluster. This competition is the real deal.

You won't be sitting at a bench or shooting at known distances or on a flat firing line.

There was nothing "sniper" about this match.
There was nothing "Xtreme" about this match.
This was hardly even a competition.
We paid 100 dollars to sit in a fixed position all day long and have people move 3 (yes, THREE) steel targets from location to location.

Let me digress. When we arrived at the shooting location, we were greeted by a group of hunters out for opening weekend of quail season. As this was BLM land, motorcycle riders and hunters were everywhere. Many times, cease fire was called on account of quads, trucks, etc in our field of fire.

After the hunters promptly left the area, we were instructed to take one piece of identifiable gear to mark a position on a hillside where we would shoot for the enitre day. We could not move from this location once we started the match (you know, 'cause snipers don't move...I guess it makes it more Xtreme). We could not use angle cosine indicators, TIS slings, or laser rangefinders because they were "just fads and real operators realize they're just gimmicks and they stick with what has worked for years," or something to that effect.

We were overlooking a valley with a road going through the bottom. Bruce held out his arms and said we needed to pick a position in which we could see "from here to here", motioning with his arms. Then he gives a brief description saying "from the road here to the road out there." Pretty exact if you ask me. So, being that my partner cancelled and I had to shoot alone, I picked out a spot that looked good to me. The targets would be placed along the road all the way down the valley. So the spot I picked offered me kneeling/sitting shots at the close stuff and a more stable prone postion for the long stuff. So after we all pick out our spots, he THEN tells us that all day we'll be shooting from the prone position.

I told him it would've been nice to know that prior to picking our spots. He said he'd "note that down for next time." From the very first stage there were competitors not able to see the targets. They were told tough luck. Must suck being a parapalegic sniper with no ability of locomotion.

So we all get into position and the 3 targets are set up from 200 to 300 yards. They are a 9"x12", an 18"x14"(or so), and an 18"x24" steel plate. We are instructed that this would be shot prone, with bipod and rear bag. Now I'm not the best shot in the world, but these seem like some awefully big targets for shooting supported prone. But I wasn't going to argue with easy points. The COF was to get 2 minutes to range the targets and then wait for your turn to fire. From there, it was 1 round for spot on the closest target (~200 yards), and then 3 rounds for score on each of the 3 targets.

After everyone completed the COF, Bruce and Co. jumped in the Jeep, went down the road and moved the targets. This time the targets were from 300 to roughly 425 or so. We had another couple minutes to range them and then shoot them exactly like the last stage. This time however, we had to use our packs as front supports. Super Xtreme, no?

So off they go again in the Jeep to move targets. This time, from what I can remember, one target is placed at around 300, one around 500 and one around 825. One of the targets is placed in a recess off the road where its not visible to 5 of us. By this time we had had just about enough of the BS and moved ourselves up the hill for a better position. We were initially told that this would be fired from an unsupported prone position. A few rounds into it, noticing no hits, he said we could use a "natural" a rock, the ground, etc. We all do OK from our new position, but since we moved to be able to see the targets, we all got a zero on that stage.

Noticing the trend of more distance, less support, we figured the next COF would be off-hand, no sling to 1k, but they ended up bringing the targets back to 300-450 or so. This time it was unsupported prone. As an aside, I think I went just under 3 hours without pulling the trigger between stage 3 and stage 4. It sucked to say the least. Anyway COF was 4 rounds to each target in 2 minutes 30 seconds. It was almost more Xtreme than I could handle, but I managed.

Well thats about all I can remember. I've blocked the rest from my memory. I don't post this to rag on Bruce or Shooters-Edge, but to inform people on what they're getting into with his competitions. If you think this COF is extreme Xtreme, and its worth 100 bucks to sit out in the sun, have some guys move targets around for you, and have nothing provided for you, well, be my guest. If you've shot in good matches like Vu's, Mark's and Bill's, I think you will be left very disappointed.

My hats off to the RO's. They put in a long day's work.
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