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Zak's RM3GM report This is Zak's first person account of the 2003 Rocky Mountain 3Gun Match.

The RM3GM took place at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, NM. The Whittington Center is on land sold to the NRA by some large mining/steel company in the 1970's. The 31,000 acres that makes up the W.C. includes a canyon that was mined for coal starting in 1902, and surrounding area. The mining was "tunnel mining" so the geography was not disturbed. There are many old crumbling buildings and foundations scattered about that originally made up the mining town.

The place is HUGE. Basically, all the land you can see in all directions is part of the W.C. There are probably about 10-20 "formal" ranges (including 1000 yard, high power silhouette, smallbore, sight-in, etc), 20-30 trap/skeet ranges, and then many many small informal "IPSC"-type berms. And *then* the rest of the land is available for shooting use in these types of events, as long as the backstop is safe -- and the geography ensures that. This location allows all sorts of 3D stage design and lots of "field" in the field courses. The advertisements for this match said, "expect courses of fire to be interrupted by bear and elk" and they weren't kidding. We saw a bear ambling around both Friday and Saturday.

Raton, NM is approximate 4:15 from Fort Collins.

I arrived on Thursday around 3pm and checked in. Then I proceeded to examine the stages -- Eric Miller said we should do that since the stage descriptions weren't back from the printer yet. Some stages were also still being worked on. The general outline is: 8 stages, four Friday, four Sunday. I spent the next four hours examining the stages and getting preliminary plans in place.

I retired to the Colt Motel in Raton, which was only about $50/night.

The shooters meeting was 8AM on Friday. There were introductions and thanks to our match sponsors and Robbie Roberts who is the head honcho of the W.C.

I was on Squad 6, starting at stage 6. Squads were 12 people. Some other people who were in my squad: David K (and two other Daves), Benny Hill, George Murphy, Darrel Humphreys, Eric M (the Trijicon rep), and a couple other really fast guys. It was Eric's first 3gun match, though he retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years (he looks about 35) before working for Trijicon. He said he used to just show up and "be available" for people to talk to, but it was more fun to shoot the matches.