A CCZ sniper rifle and Sako TRG
On the morning of the first competition day was a full briefing covering do's and don't and range safety. We then went straight into the comp, which was to be a mix of known and unknown distance targets, shot from sitting, kneeling and prone. There would also be a night shoot and on the final day stalks - shoot - extract exercise.
We were then each allocated a number - that was to be our target number for the rest of the comp.
During the first day, the targets were a real mix - first up hen’s eggs on a stick at 20 meters, the gist was you had 10 secs to walk 10 metres to an improvised window, load, kneel down, find your numbered target (they were mixed up and shoot the egg)
There then followed a variety of other tests, shooting clays at UKD, two shots from kneeling at steel plates at UKD, stress test (attain target, and wait for a whistle to blow - again sounds easy until you have sat for 15 mins in the cold and wet with rain fogging the lenses and bug crawling over you..... etc etc.
That evening was the night shoot, targets were black 4 inch circle at 100 metres and a 6" body shape at 300 metres, the 100 was shot by car headlights and the 300 from parachute flare.
100 metres was 10 sec 5 shots.
300mtrs was 5 flare exposure and 10 shots - you had to be on the ball and as I found out the wind on the range was very unpredictable.
Day 2 saw just about every weather condition, it was warm and sunny, it rained, and it snowed all in 15 mins!
The COF was again an eclectic mix of memory test, UKD and a pistol stage (moving metal plate at 10 metres) it was good to shoot a pistol again, I’d forgotten how much fun it was.....
A competitor being shown a memory test target
Moving plate pistol
The long walk back from a stress test
The final test was three metal gong targets set at UKD, having set up at the 500 metre point, we had to look into a spotting scope which showed the target, locate it ourselves without scopes and range using mildot - NO lasers allowed.
Then there was a ten sec window to fire, if you missed you had 5 sec for reload. Targets were set out at distances between 400 and 680 metres. Not easy but I made 2 out of three first shot.
Day three, final day.
It was cold - minus 4 cold to be precise.
We all assembled on the range for a briefing and were given strict instruction on COF, the general idea was that a competitor stalks unseen to a position they can see their target, (3hr window) and on a given signal there would be 10 secs to make one shot, then extract unseen to a safe area within another hour.
Whilst the competitors were doing their thing, walkers and spotters would be trying to capture the shooters - very realistic.
How did I do?
Well I got withing 200 metres of the target, but due to my position couldn't make the shot from there, I bumped into DS1 whilst out there who had the same problem so we extracted to a point where we could see the target and make a shot unseen - all I can say it would have been a hell of a shot - we made it back unseen but no score.
DS1 and my own AI AW's
Only one out of 33 scored in fact, with 30% getting pinged well before the signal to fire.
Pleasing to know I wasn't caught.
To summarise, this was perhaps the best and most challenging competition I have been a participant in, yes it took hard work and effort to even get there, but it was worth it.
The competition was a test of ones physical stamina, marksmanship, observation skills, kit, weapons handling and ability to think under stress.
There were very many good friends made out there and I hope to return next year......