MTG or Mini Three Gun, 11-26-05, Scores and Commentary

We had 12 hardy souls who hung around after the IDPA shoot, to participate in the MTG. For those who have wondered what it is like to shoot in the MGM Iron man three-gun match, this match gave you a taste. Just times this by 4 or 5 such scenarios in a day over 2 to 2 ½ days and, well, that gives you a pretty good picture.

I saw a number of things I would comment on. First it is always a challenge to pickup an unfamiliar weapon and begin hitting with it, as we saw with the CAR 45. Most shooters finally picked up the proper site picture FOR THEM and got the job done. Point is, what is zero for me may not be a zero for you. Therefore one has to learn how to spot your hits and be able to make adjustments in your point of aim.

Two shooters, Aaron and myself, have shot in the MGM Iron man. So in a sense we had the advantage of what one needs to do, to shoot decent time. I would say that Matt Burkett or any of the shooters in his class would shoot the same stage in 250 or less seconds. The key seems to be fast and accurate with very little dwell time. Some time ago I coined a phrase related to this, “your dwelling” meaning what the hell are you doing, building a house, hence the word “dwelling.” Related to the shoot this means spending 3 mags and the associated time in trying to get the spinner target to spin. Out of the twelve shooters we had four spin both spinners and a couple more who got one spinner. The rest tried valiantly to spin the spinner targets going thru 2 or 3 mags before giving up, doing this twice. In that process the shooter expends a huge amount of time. One would be better off giving up ten seconds for the miss versus 60 or 90 seconds trying to spin the spinner and then still not getting the job done.

Furthermore, on the spinners you would see shooters miss the timing of the moving target and they end up either shooting over the top of the now falling away from you plate, or under the now falling away from you bottom plate. Keep that in mind, as you will see the spinner again.

Supported weak hand. Wow was this interesting. If you watch an inexperienced shooter pickup a handgun you will see all kinds of incorrect holds. That shooter then has to be instructed in the proper method of holding his firearm. What we saw Saturday, when we went to the Texas Star or whirly gig target shooting weak hand supported, was a bunch of experienced shooters hold their weapons as if they had never fired a weapon before. I am not sure a saw anyone hold their gun properly. As a result most shooters really struggled with this. What I do, which may or may not be right, and I am not going to get into a pissing match over whether this is a skill one needs to know or not, is to hold the weapon the same way I hold it free style also closing my dominant eye so that I can line up my weapon and sights and hold in a comfortable fashion. Pull out your weapon and try this a few times. Just reverse your strong hand, hold. 

Know your weapon. Ty commented on how tired he got shooting the rifle stage and how afterwards he figured out he should have just gone prone and used his integral bipod, which is part of his FnFal rifle. Yep, he would have shot faster with less miss’s for a better time. Know your weapon and the tactics with which you can implement its use. Just an aside, most everyone commented on the difference in the steel knock down targets reaction to being struck by a .308 round versus the .223. Quite dramatically different.

Keep your weapon clean, and make sure your ammo will function in it. I lost valuable seconds, including both birds, fighting a semi auto shotgun that had decided to become a single shot. Those valuable seconds are what might have allowed Goodfellow the Younger to beat his old man. I also saw a number of weapons that were being run awfully dry even for the cold conditions. As the weapon fouls and the bolt gets dryer the chances of malfunctions increases. Start out with a clean properly lubed weapon.

It is amazing to run a COF like this and find your-self running out of oxygen. Yet it seems to happen on a regular basis. One of the basic principles is to breath and shoot. In CMP competition you have two stages of rapid fire one firing two strings of 10 shots in 60 seconds at 200 yards sitting, the other is two strings of 10 shots at 300 yards prone, in 70 seconds. You start standing and when the target appears you go to prone or sitting depending on the yardage being fired, you acquire your target and shoot. You fire two rounds or five, and must do a mag change finishing with a mag of eight or five rounds. You are taught to take a breath, exhale to the neutral lung position, site, and fire, doing this in a cadence that will allow all of this to happen before the time is up and your target disappears. Done properly you will have 5 to 7 seconds left and all your hits in the X or 10 ring. Same drill in this MTG rifle portion. We saw folks holding there breath way to long, arms getting tired, (position) poor positions create misses which then require follow shots which in turn eats of time which increases fatigue. Some folks with scopes did no better than fellows with iron sites as far as time went.

Gear does make a difference. I have been working on and overhauling my gear for this kind of shooting for years and I have still not reached what I consider optimum. I suppose that is part of the fun, working on and using the stuff and trying to figure things out. But having the right gear that allows fast access to mags in an order that makes sense as one goes thru a COF is important, as is an easy way of disposing and retaining those same mags when empty. Some COF’s will allow one to just drop mags and keep on shooting while others may require the shooter to retain his mags on his person. 

Guns, semi-autos trump pumps, when they work. Hi-cap mags trump single stack magazines meaning less mag changes. At the Wiley Coyote Three gun two seasons ago I watched Kelly Beal shoot his 38 Super with 30 round mags. Cripes when I went thru the same stage it seemed like all I was doing, was mag changes. Coupled with good shooting, you end up with much less time. Regardless of what anyone thinks, and I know we all have our favorite handguns, 1911 style weapons trump most others, hands down. A hi-cap 1911 in a 38 Super and or .40 S&W makes a great combination that most of the top shooters use. Regarding my own vest set up I’m preparing to modify it yet again. I am going to have some non-slip material sew into a pad on the right side shoulder harness. At present when I shoulder a long gun, using this vest, I seem to fight getting and holding a proper shoulder / butt stock placement as the weapons butt stock wants to slide around on me resulting in lost time trying to get the proper butt stock / shoulder weld. Missed shots also happen due to poor shooter / weapon position. Gear makes a difference. The right gear buys time and points and ultimately, in the real world, may save your life.

Now please understand. This discussion has NOTHING to do with IDPA or its concepts.

I am not sure when we will do this again, probably early spring. Aaron and I have discussed some kind of Shotgun / rifle event in December in a format that would allow the use of gloves and whose COF would utilize only the capacity of the weapons magazine. Allowing us to keep shooting even in colder winter conditions and yet not freeze our pinkies off. This is only in the discussion phase and if we decide to do something we’ll send out a notice. If you think you would like to do this let us know.

Now the scores:

Who Raw Time Penalties Bonus Time End Score Time Time in Minutes
Aaron Good fellow 393.10 10 5.0 398.10 6.38
Neill Goodfellow 416.00 10 11.5 414.50 6.54
Nathan Goodfellow 540.80 20 18.0 542.80 9.03
Dewey Winstead 548.80 20 6.0 562.80 9.23
Bruce Bates 598.80 50 9.5 639.30 10.39
Dean Beisly 633.10 65 6.0 692.10 11.32
Ted Nichols 727.60 30 10.5 747.10 12.27
Jon Koopman 736.20 35 6.5 764.70 12.45
Dave Hadley 730.00 100 7.0 823.00 13.43
John Kemmerle 840.60 5 9.5 836.10 13.56
Micah West 888.90 55 9.5 938.40 15.38