Yesterday I headed down to New Hill, NC and observed a few stages of the Tarheel 3-gun Challenge. This match is the first of its kind in our area, and it appears that it was a huge success.
The Tarheel 3-gun Challenge is a match that tested all aspects of a shooters skills. Tricky pistol shots, long rifle shots (out to 400 yards), and some rather tricky shotgun stages with long slug shots, and lots of falling plates.
Stages were long, with a 180 second par time that made finishing the stages tricky without running out of time. One stage in particular had some long rifle shots first followed by shotgun and pistol shooting. The rifle shots were long, and varying distances, and I watched a couple shooters burn most of their time on the long range stuff, when they should have let them go and moved on to the shotgun and pistol to get some more targets.
Pictured below are some of the longer rifle shots. Notice the little white dots in the field, those are pieces of plywood behind the steel targets, which looked to be about 8-10″ in diameter:
The match was capped at 150 shooters, and it was full before the day of the match. Several well known shooters were in attendance, such as Ashley Spurlin from Top Shot, as well as shooters from Team FN, Team Colt, and several others. Lots of local shooters were also at the match. I had the opportunity to watch local Rob Tate of Team Rangelog shoot a couple stages, and he was definitely holding his own with the pros!
Although I was not shooting, I listened to several stage briefs given by different range officers, and they all appears to be too notch as well. John Zaczek Sr. of the Zombie Shooters Association was ROing one stage, and he appeared to be running a tight shift, keeping the match moving, making sure people not shooting were helping to paste targets and clean up the stage after each shooter. This was the same on all of the stages I observed, shooters were doing their part to keep the match moving, as there is nothing worse than when your fellow shooters do not help paste, and it bogs the entire match down.
The weather was perfect for the early morning start, right about 72*, with just enough clouds in the sky to keep the sun out of your eyes. As the morning progressed, the wind did pick up, and it appeared to cause some trouble with shooters on the longer rifle shots.
One thing I really liked about the match was that the stages were very spread out, allowing shooters to drive from one stage to the next with their gear. An unintended positive of this was that it also kept shooters on their stage to help paste. At other matches where stages are close together, shooters tend to wander to other bays after they have shot instead of staying and helping out.
As you can tell from reading this, one of my pet peeves when shooting competitively is shooters not helping to reset the stage for others. This was not the case yesterday at the Tarheel 3-gun Challenge. Shooters were exceptional about safety, and helping out. The range officers were great at keeping the match moving, as well as keeping it safe.
I’ll make sure to have all my gear ready for next years match, and I’ll get my application in before it is full. This was a great match all the way around, and I’m very happy to have it right here in our backyard! Thanks to all the RO’s and Match Director for putting it on, and allowing me to walk around and take pictures all day, you guys rock!