Stage 8: Shotgun.
We started off on stage 8 Thursday morning at 7:30AM, after the shooters' briefing. There were five shooting positions from which a 40-50 yard IPSC-target-sized steel plate had to be engaged with slugs. There were four plates to engage first, and then 16 other clay pigeons throughout the course. No slugs could be loaded into the shotgun until the four small plates were engaged. Unless the shooter was careful to load slugs and engage the targets in the right order, a lot of birdshot would have to be racked out to select load slugs.
My strategy was to load a slug into my Benelli's tube with one pigeon left to shoot before the slug target, so that I wouldn't waste any rounds. It's also faster to load one into the tube than to rack a round out and load through the ejection port. My run went according to plan with no misses and no loading screwups. Once I was done, the RO was temporarily confused by my engagement order and tried to give me a procedural on the grounds that my 5th shot was a shotshell at the next set of pigeons instead of either shooting a slug at the slug plate or shooting the shotshell into the berm. I had load a slug into the tube after the 4 small plates, then engaged on pigeon in the next array, and then shot the slug into the large slug plate. In the end, there was no procedural because there was officially no order besides that the slugs could not be loaded until the first four small plates were engaged. My time was 85.48 clean.
Stage 1: Rifle.
Stage 1 was the "long range" rifle stage with the furthest flash target at about 320 yards. The course of fire was four shooting positions, with two or four targets to be engaged per position, for a total of 14 required hits. Three of the four positions were most often shot from prone, while the #2 position was shooting from over a tree limb. Shooters were stopped if they hit the maximum time of 180 seconds. This stage require that the shooter know where to aim at the distant targets for make hits, and that he could handle poor shooting positions. After running down the trail to the last shooting position, most people were sweating and breathing heavy which doesn't make distance shooting any easier. My time was 131.10 clean.
Stage 2: Shotgun
Stage 2 was shotgun only. We shot this in the afternoon on Thursday, and rain was threatening. The course of fire was straightforward. Shoot four plates before crossing a fault line, and then engage 20 pigeons, and finish up with two slug targets at 20 or 25 yards. The main things on this stage to remember were to not walk past any targets and to keep loading. Light rain started just in the middle of my run, which had no misses and was reasonably fast. 69.98 clean.
Back in the Coors Event Center, where all the sponsors were set up, I unexpectedly saw MSTN -- I hadn't heard they were going to be a sponsor. I have discussed 6.8SPC stuff with Paul before; I finally met him in person and had dinner with he and his wife.