Shot my first 600 yard match at TCGC

Discussion in 'Competitive Shooting' started by SageRatSafaris, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. SageRatSafaris


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    I'm a new member at TCGC and fairly new to competitions. I shot my first 600-yard match on Tuesday, and had a great time. I will be back. I was pretty nervous as the new guy, but everyone was super friendly, super helpful, and glad that I was there.

    I just got back from a shooting trip and had expended all of my usual ammo, 6.5CM 140gr ELDM and 147gr ELDM. Had good dope for 1000, 1200, 1500 and a mile at 4350" ASL. But all I had left was factory Nosler 140gr RDF, shooting at 200" ASL, for which I had no dope. The Nosler RDF MV was significantly slower than the ELDM I had dope for, so I felt under the gun, so to speak, to figure it out before the 6pm match. Traffic was a bear, and I arrived at the 200/300 range around 5pm. I quickly dumped my rifle off on a bench, then drove down to post a lightly-used 8.5X11 shoot-n-see at 300 to confirm zero. I get back to the bench, settle in, take a breath, and look through the scope - no dang target! I had forgotten to raise it. Back into the truck, drive to the pit, raise it, drive back, settle in again. I now have 15 minutes to shoot before the 200/300 range closes for the match, and I have yet to fire a round.

    This rifle had been zeroed at 300 yards with 147gr ELDM at TCGC with a can, but I don't have the can and I'm shooting slower ammo. I aim at center, fire, but I'm not even on paper at 300, oh heck, clock is ticking. I figure I must be low, aim at the top of the small shoot-n-see I stapled up, and there's the hole. Looks to be 2 minutes low. Twist in 2 minutes up, fire again, bingo. One more click up, fire, that's better. Three more, looks good, I'm dead on at 300. I make safe and start to pack it up just as I'm notified by one of the 600-yard match directors that the range is closing. I explain that I'm a new guy wanting to shoot the 600-yard match, he's super friendly and welcoming. My spirits rise as I drive down to grab my target and head up to the 600-yard firing line.

    I walk into the shed, there's about 40 people milling about. They all seem comfortable and seem to know what's going on. I, on the other hand, feel confused and clueless. Everyone seems to have stashed their rifle cases under the prone platform, so I do the same. I turn to the first person and say, "I'm new, tell me what to do". He welcomes me, explains the format, then walks me over to the sign-in sheet, and points me to the match directors. They are super friendly, ask the expected questions about zero, planned adjustments, and general experience. I explain that I've punched everything into AB and Ballistic AE and have pretty solid long range experience, but I'm new to the TCGC match format. Wisely, they send me to the pits while relays 1 and 2 shoot. Format: 22 minutes to fire 2 sighters and 20 for record.

    I worked the pit for the first two relays. Charlie and Tim took turns working with me scoring and taught me how it all works. They also gave me great advice about how to shoot the match. It all made sense by the time it was my turn to return to the firing line and take my turn shooting.

    They don't like brakes at the match - if you have a brake, you have to shoot from the benches at the end. I had a brake, but a friend of mine, also new to the match, was there and had shot an earlier relay. He left his can in my ammo box for me to use. I set up at a bench, uncased my rifle and installed the can, with misgivings about whether it would affect POI. I hadn't loaded any magazines, so when commence firing was called, I started loading mags. Two mags of 10, one mag of 2. Per protocol, the match director came over to watch the new guy fire his first round. I dialed 10.5 minutes up from the 300 yard zero, inserted the 2 round mag, aimed and fired. The target went down, then the radio crackled that #13 was on the backer, but way low. My heart sank. The radio said I should dial up 4 minutes and left 2.

    From past experience, I knew the can shifted POI, but it hadn't crossed my mind in the hustle bustle of the experience. My heart raced, emotions began to rise, I needed to adjust and find calm. I made the adjustment the radio called for, fired again, the target went down and came back up: a six ring, high and right. I did some math, made another adjustment, took a moment to calm down, fired my first shot for record. Another six, now low and left. Math is hard under pressure, I'd make a dumb mistake. I take my time, think it through, make another adjustment, fire: a nine. OK, after that rough start, I'll take it. I proceed to shoot nines, tens and a couple Xs. I was the last to fire a shot in my relay, with seconds to spare. Not stellar, but I was pretty pleased that I'd made the adjustments quickly and at least didn't embarrass myself. New match, new range, new rifle, new zero, new ammo, new can, made it happen anyway.

    Tip: if you're a new guy at the 600-yard match, ask to work the pits in relay 1. Then when in the pits, tell the pit boss you're new and he'll pair you up with an experienced shooter. While scoring in the pit, the experienced shooters I was paired with while scoring relays 1 and 2 (Charlie and Tim) gave me so much great insight on how to score and how to shoot the match. When it was my turn to shoot relay 3, I was ready.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  2. Goosebrown

    Columbia County
    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Glad you has a good time. Best grip
    Up of competitors I’ve ever met. I’d be out there if I hadn’t lost my scales in the move. Can’t shoot if I can’t losd.

    Really glad you made it out and write this up.

    @SKrueger youre next bud....
    Stomper, SKrueger, P7id10T and 2 others like this.
  3. spookshack

    Forest Grove, OR
    Life Member Lifetime Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I have zero interest for any type of long range competitions (I do have an appreciation for the discipline), but damn if you didn't suck me all the way in with that story! Felt like I was right there on the 600 with you! :D
  4. SKrueger

    West Coast
    Moderator Staff Member Diamond Supporter 2017 Volunteer

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    Well I guess I don't have any type of excuses. I have never shot my rifle past 300 so it should be a hoot.
    Stomper likes this.
  5. Stomper

    Shut Your Face!!
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    No, it should still be a rifle. :rolleyes:

    spookshack and SKrueger like this.
  6. SKrueger

    West Coast
    Moderator Staff Member Diamond Supporter 2017 Volunteer

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    Maybe you should go with us! Just make sure you shoot the correct target this time. :p:D
    spookshack likes this.

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