I admit it. I got bit. As much as I fought it this season, my efforts to avoid the addicting bite of the 3-gun bug were to no avail. I blame 3 Gun Nation. And all the social media coverage of the Multigun Nationals. And Front Sight Magazine.
Despite my best efforts, I got bit. And I’m so glad I did!
So after shooting just 2 local 3-gun matches, I decided to shoot the Area 6 Multigun Championships as one last hurrah before the season ended. My husband and I packed up the car, drove 10 hours from Virginia to Georgia, and had a blast!
Newly-elected Area 6 director Cindy Noyes, Bill Noyes, and Larry Tuner put on a great match. South River Gun Club boasts some beautiful ranges, including a super cool wild west “shoot ‘em up” town.
And the weather was beautiful (after it warmed up and my toes thawed out).
The match was pretty heavy on shotgun (5 of 9 stages featured the shotty), so bear that in mind if you plan to go next year. But I loved the variety too – aside from typical match fare, the match included a Texas star, a plate rack, and MGM self-resetting targets at 200 yards. My favorite stage was the rifle/pistol shoothouse stage, although the shotgun “Jungle Run” through the woods was a lot of fun.
Representation by the ladies was small in numbers, but strong in performance. Team FNH’s Dianna Liedorff took High Lady overall, shooting 71% of the Tactical Division’s winner. Junior shooter Katie Harris wasn’t far behind at 67%, and fellow junior Tierani Hendrix also put on a strong showing. In the Limited division, Cheryl Fordyce finished with 63% of the division winner!
I certainly didn’t win anything, but I learned some pretty valuable lessons along the way, which I think is a win in and of itself.
1. Shooters take care of each other. Two weeks before the match, a friend loaned me his Leupold MR/T optic – the one right off his own rifle. The weekend of the match, a fellow shooter who my husband and I met at this year’s VA/MD Sectionals let us stay at his house so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel. And on the day of the match, a squad mate who we just met gave us all his extra birdshot when ours wouldn’t cycle our shotgun properly. I was taken care of – from start to finish – by my fellow shooters.
2. It’s different…but it’s really all the same. For a lot of shooters out there, the prospect of shooting a multigun match might seem pretty daunting, especially for those of us who aren’t overly awesome at pistol alone. But I’ve learned that basically, shooting is shooting. Have a good grip and stance; acquire target; align sights; pull trigger; reload. Regardless of whether you’re shooting your pistol, your rifle, or your shotgun, the fundamentals of shooting are the same. So even if you’re used to only shooting regular USPSA pistol matches, there’s nothing groundbreaking that you have to learn to be able to shoot 3-gun. All you’ve gotta do is familiarize yourself with some new toys. Which brings me to #3…
3. Know your equipment, and if you don’t know – ask. I’ve become good friends with my S&W M&P Pro over the last 2 seasons, and I’ve taken a couple of carbine courses, so I was definitely comfortable with those weapons. But I learned the hard way at Area 6 that I really didn’t know my shotgun all that well. Our FNH SLP was a relatively new addition to our family, and I hadn’t had a lot of range time with it before this weekend’s match. If I was smart, I would’ve checked out Brian Enos’ forums and I’d have known that people suggest getting a lighter gas piston when shooting 9 ½ birdshot; but I found out the hard way that 9 ½ just didn’t have enough oomph in it to cycle my SLP on a cold morning. Shoot; rip out shell; rack bolt; lather; rinse; repeat. Next time, I’ll ask sooner.
4. A rough day at the range is still a GOOD DAY. So I had shotgun issues. No biggie. It was a beautiful day out. I wasn’t at work. And I was out on the range SHOOTING!!! I call that a good day.
So yeah, the multigun bug got me. Give it a try, and you’ll probably get bit too – and you’ll be glad you did.
Results are in! Though there are some clear favorites in the standings, there are also a significant number of ties. We’re pretty confident that your votes indicate fierce competition as these multi-dimensional shooters shoot for the win. Here are your picks for the winners of this year’s USPSA DPMS Multi-Gun National Championships.
Open Division: USPSA President Michael Voigt is the favorite capturing 21% of the vote in the Open Division. Tied for second in the poll standings are two more well known champion shooters, Jerry Miculek and Taran Butler. There’s yet another tie for third place in the Open race going to Jojo Vidanes and Craig Outzen.
In Special Categories Jerry Miculek was the top pick for the Senior Division. For the ladies, Nanci Lambert is the favorite with 44% of the votes with Vinky Castillo right behind her at 36%.
Tactical Division: Known to be one of the fastest shooters on his feet, the US Army’s Daniel Horner is the clear winner in the polls for Tactical Division at 36%. With less than half as many votes, Daniel’s former teammate from the Army Marksmanship Unit, Robby Johnson is in second place with 16%. There isn’t a clear choice for third place in the survey standings, but the field is definitely talented!
For the Special Categories the race was tight! In Senior Category Tom Slota and Robert Thompson are both tied at 34%. For the women, Dianna Liedorff has a one vote lead over junior Katie Harris.
We’d like to extend our best wishes to the competitors and staff for a safe and fun Multi-Gun Nationals!
Area 6 doesn’t disappoint. Hosted by the South River Gun Club, the competition has always been top notch. Honestly, this match could be a national level championship. There are certainly enough competitors. A whopping 384 shot the match!
The event started out with 12 stages, but Stage 4 – Bridge of Death was thrown out. That still left 11 challenging courses of fire with plenty of props, steel and moving targets. This was a tough match with targets that could be seen from multiple positions and moving targets with critical activators. The fun factor was still high though with a good blend of short and long courses of fire.
There are some matches where you see just a handful of women on the range. Not the case with the Area 6 Championships! At the helm, Cindy Noyes was once again the match director. There were women working at every level from Chief Range Officer Beth Wingfield and 15 lady range officers to 7 women serving roles in Stats and Registration. Thank you ladies for all your hard work!
I had the pleasure to shoot with two other women in my squad, Randi Rogers and junior shooter Tierani Hendrix. I have enjoyed competing with Randi many times, but it was the first time I had a chance to meet Tierani. The NHL Atlanta Thrashers sponsored a stage where competitors had to activate a swinging target with a hockey stick. An ice hockey player, Tierani showed just how handy she is with a hockey stick on Stage Five – “Face Off.” She activated the swinger and grabbed her gun from the table with perfect timing.
I also had a chance to catch up Jessie Abbate and Tori Nonaka as they scoped out the stages before their Saturday shoot times. Fresh off teaching yet another successful Babes With Bullets(TM) Ladies Action Shooting Camp, Kay Miculek and Lisa Munson stopped by for a quick hug and hello. I also had a nice visit with Tammie Bordwell after meeting her at the USPSA Nationals last year. (Click here for a our interview with Tammie on her first nationals.) Katie Harris took the time to introduce herself early Friday morning. Katie is another talented young shooter in Production Division. I just love seeing all the junior females participating in the sport!
I wish I could have stayed to meet and chat with the rest of the women at the match. I encourage you to take a moment, like Katie did, to introduce yourself to another lady shooter. Strike up a conversation with your fellow female competitors about their match. It could lead to a wonderful friendship. Celebrate the success of the talented and very special women who compete in our sport!
There’s been plenty of coverage on the first Area Championship of the year. Check out Women of USPSA on Facebook for links and in depth ladies results! In closing, a huge thank you to Match Director Cindy Noyes, Area 6 Director Charles Bond and the hard working range officers on another fantastic Area 6 Championships.
Check out these photos taken by Marla Hendrix (Tierani’s Mom) and Paul Erhardt with many more posted to DownRange.TV.