Night Patrol Shoot - November 14, 2008

  Team Members Raw Time Penalty Time Final Time
First Team Mike Neff
Mike Gibson
Travis Gibson
Mike Taylor
19 Min 0 Sec 1 Min 25 Sec 20 Min 25 Sec
Second Team Devin Jones
Aaron Goodfellow
Neill Goodfellow
Rocky Mink
16 Min 0 Sec 7 Min 55 Sec 23 Min 55 Sec
Third Team Travis Fisher
Dave Bowen
Eric Brown
Jim Sullivan
20 Min 0 Sec 4 Min 25 Sec 24 Min 25 Sec
Fourth Team Tim Groon
Mike Wirth
Carrieanne K
Brian Kohagen
20 Min 0 Sec 5 Min 0 Sec 25 Min 0 Sec
Fifth Team Buz Chapman
Dave Brizendine
Dan Tuttle
Mike Cuellar
20 Min 13 Sec 5 Min 15 Sec 25 Min 28.Sec
Sixth Team Ralph Grienger
Jim Grossel
Jeff Burch
Bruce Bates
24 Min 29 Sec 3 Min 50 Sec 25 Min 28 Sec
Seventh Team Jon Koopman
Nathan Goodfellow
Jason Budinoff
Dave Sooter
26 Min 0 Sec 10 min 15 Sec 36 Min 15 Sec

 

Commentary:

This patrol shoot was the first time we attempted to do a shoot of this type at night. We had a few issues related to lighting but for the most part it went very well. Bobbsie twin # two, BK, did a great job of recounting the scenario so I will skip that.

What a test ground for your gear and your weapons. Patrol shoots not only test your gear but will test your physical fitness as well. There are not many venues that require steady shooting and moving for upwards of 20 plus minutes with very little down time which usually is during a magazine change.

Jason B did a great job of keeping track of one of his teammates. Jason, I saw that several times. You're a welcome addition to the group and I hope to see you shooting with us more.

My team was the last team to shoot. The middle Conex pit was our undoing. I am still pondering what happened but the more we fired our weapons as we crossed the pit, barricade to barricade, the more the 100 yard targets seemed to disappear. I was the last shooter to cross so I was following my 3 teammates and I simply could not see the targets. It was point and shoot and hope for the best. Other teammates expressed the same experience with the exception of the first shooter. I am not sure what the deal was, if our suppressors caused some kind of exhaust fog to develop, if it had to do with the dropping temp. and humidity or what. Of course if we had had an aircraft landing light available to us to illuminate the battle field as did the winning team..........who knows. One must commend them for adapting and improvising.

The first patrol shoots were held in Vale Oregon at Snake River Sportsman. At that time we called it the "Rappel Shoot" as the match was started at the top of a cliff, you rappelled down with your weapons and ammo load, unhooked and began your run thru the COF. Time started at the top of the cliff. These shoots were run as individuals and then in following years as two man teams. When this concept of a match was born our goal was an attempt, to the extent possible to replicate the challenge one might have in a real world combat offensive action. We also wanted a venue to use and shoot our guns in an event that would challenge ourselves and our gear.

I was speaking with Clint McKee, owner of Fulton Armory just today regarding an M14 he will be doing some work on for me and he asked how many rounds had been fired thru the gun and how I use it. I explained our patrol shoot of recent past and of some of our other shoots and his response was something to the effect, wow you guys do shoot your guns. Yeah we do. That is what they are for.

The challenge with a patrol type shoot always is realism and time. If we were to run the same shoot as this weekend but running one shooter at a time we would have been at it all night. Even running a two man team we would not have finished until well after 2AM. One can lower round count and shorten stages but in my mind the issue is a running shoot that keeps you going for at least 15 minutes. You add the flavor of teammates and especially 3 teammates it really starts to get interesting..

Lessons learned. One, if you can not see the target........you likely can not hit the target. Weapon mounted lights are a must. ACCL Systems, (Air Craft Carrier Landing) light systems in real world are probably not practical, and weapon mounted lights are only really good out to maybe, maybe, 70 yards or less. The realistic night fighting capability is likely well less than 100 yards.

Two, practicing and shooting with the same teammates is critical to success and even then it can turn into a FUBAR for them. I followed one team thru the shoot house and it was an absolute KeyStone Cops affair that was just amazing. Practice and experience does make a difference. Most everyone there had done a patrol shoot in the past, are 3-Gun shooters or avid pistol shooters and it could tell. There were no real safety issues that cropped up and most of the gun handling I observed was very professional. This kind of shoot is not IDPA or USPSA or even 3-Gun. It is really much more complicated because of the type of scenarios and because you're shooting with teammates and it becomes a team affair. The team aspect adds a whole different dimension to this. And then DO IT AT NIGHT.

Support gear; your LBE is an issue. Some stuff works, some does not. Mike Taylor had that experience, losing his mags all over creation because he did not have proper LBE.

Managing a rifle and a handgun and doing transitions is a big deal and many of the shooters had a hell of a time doing that. Practice. Put your LBE on and do transition drills in live fire at the range.

One thing that has been cussed and discussed over the years is the amount of friendly encouragement the peanut gallery or RO's provide the shooter. Here again we are attempting to screw with your brain, to add another element of stress. If you can tune all this extraneous noise out and focus on your shooting you have accomplished something and frankly in a real nasty hoedown you'll probably perform better because of it. R2 and I are brainstorming some different approaches to this and hope to implement some other stress inducers in the spring shoot. Oh, btw, if anyone is interested we might put a class on, relative to the art of friendly encouragement.

One thing I must mention. What a crew that turned out Friday afternoon to help set up. Rocky and I really appreciate that. Ralph and Jim are work horses, Bruce the Bates is a fricking draft horse. Buz, what the hell would I do without a Buz. He, along with some steady workers repaired the range targets and added two more on our far distance LRTR target arrays. Thanks Buz. And finally the Parma range. We are lucky to have it.

Good shooting till next time.

Neill and Rocky