2012 MGM Ironman – Day 2

Parma, Idaho

The day my shotgun went Kapoopy. Yes that is my new word. Our friend Scott Hawkins was one of the ROs on our first stage today which was Stage 9. Let me pause my story here to let you know about the ROs at this event. These guys worked their tails off. I found all of them super nice, professional and motivating. I had a couple that were awesome in coaching me and inspiring me to keep going. I had moments when I felt like just stopping the clock even though I was not done. Or wanting to move on if I could not knock off the plates on a rack. Nope, they made me continue. They wanted me and everyone of course to have a good time. The ROs are there days before to help set up. They are the first ones on the range in the morning and the last ones in the evening. Sometimes they are there until midnight and have to be back at 6am or earlier. They had to deal with lack of supplies, not enough help on some stages and so-so provided lunches. In fact I was very shocked to hear that they received zero compensation for their work. I heard some complaints directly. They get a free entry to the match and the lunch provided. Most matches would cover hotel and meals as well at least. I am mentioning this on their behalf hoping that MGM will take better care of them in the future. It may get more difficult to find volunteers if they treat them that way. Thank you guys. You rocked. Back to Stage 9.

You had to start shooting from a swaying platform a series of slugs and then birdshot. At least 30 rounds! This was another stage you had to run a ways to the next sections. More polish plate racks with pistol and a fun section at end with all rifle. Another thing I had not practiced was a clay in a no shoot IPSC target. You have to hit the clay that is in middle of target without hitting white target around it. With the scope on my rifle I knew I had to hold high above clay. Most I hit no problem but some at the end were at varying  distances and the holds were all slightly different. I hit a couple of the no shoots as well. My RO, Jeff, who followed me on this stage was one that pushed me hard. I loved it. The next 2 stages I fell apart.

Stage 10 should have been golden. You start with all rifle at about 80 yards to hit steal plates. Tiny little plates. I was the first to try shooting from inside the box rather than on top of the box. I felt a ledge would be easier to rest on for more stability. I think my nerves kicked in because I could not get a good position. I know better to use my left hand under the guard between it and wall for a soft support. Instead I rest it directly on ledge and it bounced around. I should have hit everything. Instead I wasted 2 mags and still did not hit all of my targets. I was mortified and frustrated and really embarrassed. I ended up timing out before I got to the pistol stage. And that was the fun part of driving the golf cart! I think everyone else expected me to do better also since I am “the rifle girl”. I tried to put it behind me. Next comes stage 11 and the FN breakdown.

Here is another stage that had awesome ROs. Tabor, who helped me try to find parts for my FN and again my coaching RO, forgive me for blanking on his name also!  He pushed me through the course and even made me back up to get targets I had walked right by. Safely of course. When the shotgun jammed and we realized it was not going to open up he yelled for a new shotgun. Huh? Then someone comes running at me with their shotgun all loaded up and I finished the stage with it. Turns out it was Richards and he was supposed to shoot right after me. Which meant he had to scramble to reload it for his stage which can be frazzling! Thank you Richard! Like I said, this squad was great and everyone there helped each other out even if not your designated “buddy”. So about my shotgun. It had been running perfectly. Since my gunsmith “shaved the 3 o’clock” side of chamber it has been flawless. This was a parts malfunction. If you see in the photo there is an extra piece with a pin sitting next to it. That piece is held in with the pin. Well the pin sheared off. This caused the bolt to not be able to extract the shell and we had to take it apart down to the nubs to get shell out and figure out what the problem was. Traver, who is an FN team member could not even find parts for it in the FN truck. So now I am worried. In speaking with Marshall at West Coast Armory he said FN is very slow in fixing or replacing warranty parts. He is still waiting on parts for a customer from 1 year ago. He will put the order in today. I hope FN pulls through with getting this taken care of. They have so many customers who use their equipment in competition. We don’t have time to wait that long. I have the FN Mark 1 SLP Competition. Good thing Charles just bought a tricked out Benneli M2 that will arrive next week. I am curious how reliable those are. Every shooter has their opinions on every gun. My experience is to shoot it for yourself and figure it out. Don’t listen to others. I know the FN can keep running well. I have faith. I just need the part!  After Stage 11 we scarfed down lunch in a hurry and went over to Stage 1.

We were asked to finish 5 stages on Saturday so Sunday would end early to allow for the

Camping out at Stage 2

awards ceremony and prize table. We were ahead of schedule. My Squad 5 rocked at re-staging and getting the next shooter ready. When we head to Stage 2 we realized the squad 6 that was there had only gone through a couple of shooters and still had ten to go. We waited 2 hours for them to finish! And they had already been there awhile. They were soooo sloooowww. In fact when they had to finish at Stage 3 for the day we heard they did not leave the range until 10pm. The RO’s were not happy. Our RO’s on Stage 2 loved us. We got through 10 people in an hour. We still did not leave the range until 8pm. Ugh! Hotel, eat, clean guns, bed at midnight. So tired and muscles ached. Call time 6:45 am Sunday. There were still 10 of us.

30CalGal – “Shoot Like A Girl! If You Can……”

About 30calgal

Member of the Unites States Rifle Team. 2011 NRA National Civilian Record Holder of 300 Yards. 2011 B.C. Rifle Champion (First American woman and second woman ever to win this in 127 years) and more. Starting the fast and exciting world of 3 Gun or Multi-Gun Competition.
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