Oak Park – Father’s Day 2013

Havoc-Five rolled out to The Oak Park Sportsman’s Club on father’s day to run the 3 gun match that they put on.  It was a nice local match that conflicted with Area V, and father’s day and was still pretty well attended (58 shooters).  Weather was warm and sunny, with a bit too much humidity.

5 Stages, and a lot of shooting was done by all.  As always there are a lot of things that I did well, and a lot that still need work.  That said, things are coming along.  Last year was the first season that I really began participating in 3 gun and the learning curve was steep.  This year, I have a better handle on the equipment and many of the necessary techniques.  The focus now is on pushing myself, and trying to build in some practice time.

Let’s break down the stages.

Stage 1:  18 rounds all shotgun.  3 arrays of six steel targets at 10 yards, and three static shooting positions.  Overall I had the highest hopes for this stage, and the most disappointing results.

  • Array 1:  Missed the first target and set the stage for the rest of the stage.  Came back for the first steel and moved to the second box.
  • Array 2:  Flubbed the reloads between the boxes.  I had to move laterally from A to B and the load two method was awkward moving across like that.  I should have reloaded statically and then moved.  Missed a plate in array 2 that I had to pickup also.
  • Array 3:  Plate rack.  Piece of cake, how many times have I done this.  <Not>,  I had to go back and pickup two.  Reload from box B to box C was better but need to work on shotgun reloads they need to be smoother.

All in all, I probably left 10 – 12 seconds on the table.

Stage 2:  Nice stage with a mix of rifle and pistol.  9 rifle targets to be shot through 2 different ports with a single target that could be seen from either port.  Move 20 yards to a pistol array.  4 paper targets in an array on the right, and then step to the port to shoot a Texas star.

The rifle array went well but my body position was not as aggressive as it should have been.  30 yard targets were wobbling way too much and my follow up shots were not as quick as they could have been.  The pistol array went well.  The Texas Star…first time that I have shot one with a pistol.  Not as smooth or as quick as I would have liked and it took a little bit of getting accustomed to.  Need to focus on the front sight more, and less on the results.

There was probably another 10 seconds that I could have picked up here.

Stage 3:  2 shotgun arrays with movement and a reload between them.  Then a “hoser” pistol course that had 15 targets tucked away in various little nooks and crannies.

The shotgun arrays went well, still can be quicker on the reloads and I need to work on those techniques.  The pistol array, took me a couple of seconds to work through the mental  “GO FAST” realization and I took a little too much time looking for a perfect sight picture on 5 yard targets to start.  I had one malfunction from a reload… I need to clean the magazines and maybe replace a couple of them.  All in all I probably should have been able to shave 10 seconds from my score here.

Stage 4:  This is actually the stage we started with and I was pretty happy with it.  Two rifle arrays, one a close in hoser and a second mid-range array of three at varying distances with a barrel stack, and a no shoot to contend with in a narrow alley.  Dump the rifle and pick up a staged shotgun, move to the port and take out the shotgun array.  All the movement was right to left and a little awkward for right handed shooters.  No reloads.

I was positioned well.  The shots went well.  I could have moved more quickly between shooting locations but it was a good stage.  I finished 2nd overall on this one.

Stage 5:  A pure rifle stage (30 rounds) with a lot of movement.  From the starting position, which was angled 45 degrees to the right from straight down range, there were targets close in over to your left in front of the close in wall, and straight ahead in an field of no shoots.  Moving through the course of fire, there was a target hidden on the left near the wall that you had to get before you passed the 180, then back to the targets on the right, then back to the left between barrels, then back to the right and work your way to the left, then finally two through a port that you had to move to.  A challenging mental and physical stage, remembering where the shots had to be made from and moving through the course without overrunning your shooting positions.

Good results on this stage.  Fairly pleased with the way it ran.  In hindsight I think I might have taken a little different approach to the targets but the reality is that moving faster and targeting faster was the key to this one.  I could have boogied through the course marginally faster.  There was maybe 4 seconds that I could have picked up.  Note:  40 round magazines would have been good here.

All in all, it was a fun day at the range with my bride on Father’s Day.  I won’t share her thoughts on the match but, she may choose to do so at some point.  She shot well but, it is still a new sport for her and she is working through the learning curve.

Areas of focus before the next match:

  • Shotgun reloads.  Load 2, Load 4, Strong hand reload.  Just need practice.
  • Body positioning.  I was pleased with my shotgun stance but not my rifle stance.
  • Movement.  I need to work on fast twitch muscles and getting from one place to the next.
  • Mental:  Sometimes you need to do static reloads.  Commit that to memory before you run the stage.  Also take the time to plan the stages a little better, and visualize.  I spent too much time keeping score for the squad and not enough time prepping for the stage.


  • Stage 1 – 20th 
  • Stage 2 – 16th
  • Stage 3 – 13th
  • Stage 4 – 2nd
  • Stage 5 – 10th
  • Overall:  11th
  • Within Division (Tac Optics): 9th  – I’ll take that.  Kind of coincidental that my 9th lifetime 3 gun match, I finish 9th.  In any case, I am pleased with that.