“The NRL along with the SinCity guys knocked it out of the park with a very unique and creative variety of stages” said Scott DeCapio. Scott took 8th place at the match, resulting in an 8th place finish for the season in the NRL.
Match Location and Conditions
The 2017 National Rifle League Finale was put on by Sin City Precision at the CATM Range (Combat Arms Training and Maintenance) owned by US Air Force and managed by the Nellis Security Forces.
Andy Reinhardt describes the start of Day 1 as:
“Day one started with the singing of our national anthem by Felipe Tomas Meraz as we watched the sun slowly creep over the shimmering valley below us.
After a quick safety brief, shooters, rifles and gear dispersed to shoot our first 10 of 21 courses of fire. Stages were divided between 2 different ranges and starting position was determined by random draw.
Shooters were squaded by season ranking and I was fortunate enough to land on squad 5 with a bunch of great shooters and friends.
With high temps in the low 50s the 10-15+ mph wind did make for a brisk morning.”
Schmidt & Bender sent their head of R&D (Jonas Höller) to the 2017 National Rifle League Finale for both days to take feedback and answer questions from all the competitors. It was great to see such an Awesome company stepping up and listening to feedback from our sport.
Stage 1 JC Steel Presents Slots of Fun
My squad (Fred) started on 5.4 JC Steel Presents Slots of Fun – The picture for this stage is the first picture in this post, the barrels.
- “Upon the start signal shooter will move to prone on right side position and engage the left most bowling pin at 624 with 2 rounds”
- “Shooter will move to middle position and engage the center bowling pin with 2 rounds”
- “Shooter then moves to left position and engages the rightmost bowling pin with 2 rounds. Repeat the sequence once if time remains”
The positions were any position where you were prone and could see the target between the barrels. Yep – we had to shoot through the “Slot” between the barrels. So the right position was shooting between the right 2 barrels and the muzzle had to be behind the dirt line visible in the photo.
This is the very first national level match where I ran my Steiner M830r 1535 range finding binoculars. They performed flawlessly, and the integration with the Kestrel 5700 Elite with AB was a phenomenal time savings. The biggest issue I had was other competitors kept wanting to try them and sending different ranges to my Kestrel 🙂
This was a pretty challenging stage since your target visibility was very limited, and you spent some amount of time trying to acquire the targets. Only one guy on our squad actually shot the barrels. We were the very first squad to shoot this stage, so he was the first one to put a whole in one of the barrels. Thankfully they weren’t filled with water !
Stage – Aaawwkward
Above are some pictures of shooting from inside the “Doghouse” on stage 5.2 Aaawwkward…. from the 2017 National Rifle League Finale which I shot pretty well (scored 7 / 10). The major difficulty was using limited gear (1 bag only) to cover all the different height ports. RH shooters were required to shoot starting bottom left, and move clockwise, LH shooters were opposite. The bottom ports were OK prone, but with 120 second times, you had to move very quickly through the positions.
I have to give a shout out to XTSP (X-Treme Shooting Products). Their 2-stage trigger performed flawlessly at this competition regardless of the blowing dirt and sand and cold temperatures. Most of Team Bison Tactical runs the Mod 22 because it is so reliable.
Stages – Spool’s Quest & Double Spinner Pleasure
Scott DeCapio was very happy with the performance of his equipment at the 2017 National Rifle League Finale, having this to say:
I managed to shoot the match high score on a 60 second unlimited round stage and that speaks to how fast and smooth my TL3 is. The stage was called “Spool’s Quest” and was shot off of a cable spool that was oriented to form a table top.
We had to engage one 6” target at 300yds and one 8” square at 406 yards strong side, near to far, then engage the same targets support side far to near. This sequence was repeated as many times as possible in the 60 seconds allowed.
While this was one of my best stages of the match, I completely botched another staged that also required a similar amount of speed and timing.
This stage was called “Double Spinner Pleasure”. We were allowed 90 seconds and 12 rounds to spin one spinner target at 250yds, and one spinner at 300yds.
The catch was you had to alternate shots between the two different targets hit or miss. It seemed to require 4 solid hits (each hit building speed and momentum on the spinner) to spin each target, and 1/2 a point was given for each hit, and 1 full point for a complete spin of the target.
For me, it only took one rushed and missed shot to disrupt my timing and turn the stage into a disaster.
My Bartlein Barrel chambered in 6 Dasher by Modacam Custom Rifles shooting 115g David Tubb‘s DTAC’s proved to be a very precise combination allowing me to reliably hit everything from the smallest plate on the 300yd KYL rack, to the farthest 1300yd targets.”
Stage – Area 419 Presents the Humvee Hustle
While I didn’t perform as well as I could have, I really enjoyed the challenge of Stage 2.1 Area 419 Presents the Humvee Hustle. This stage required competitors to engage 3 targets (20″ Square 1000 yards, 6″ Square 387 yards and 5″ square at 267 yards”) from 3 positions. Prone, front hood of the Humvee and rear corner of the Humvee within 110 seconds with only 1 bag.
The Bison Tactical “Tactical Udder” worked wonders on this stage as only 1 bag was allowed. The stability on the rear fender of the Humvee and front hood was phenomenal. The main difficulty was finding targets and transitioning across 3 far positions all within such a short time.
Stage – Mid Match Zero
Andy Reinhardt describes the start of day two, and the mandatory rezero:
“After breakfast, safety brief and the always present Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, day 2 started with a Mandatory Mid Match Zero stage. Each squad was given 180 seconds to fire as many “sighter” shots as they wanted at 100 yards. Then each shooter was given 15 seconds apiece to fire 1 round at each of 5, 1” square targets for score. The closer to the center you got, the more points you scored. While this type of stage can often be a time killer for a match, this actually ran rather smoothly considering we ran all 100 shooters through at once. ”
I shot this stage very well, scoring 7.5 / 10 points. The high score for the match was 8.5/10, and 5 shots in 15 seconds was a very tight time.
Stage – Trump Tower
Scotty really liked Day 2 stage 2.8 Trump Tower “I just recently made the switch to a MasterpieceArms Chassis and couldn’t be more impressed.
Their innovation and attention to detail is amazing. I’m a true believer in their vertical grip and I’m convinced my new chassis is the reason my positional shooting was a bit better than usual at this match.
One of my favorite positional stages of the match was called “Trump Tower”. You had 120 seconds to run 10yds, grab a cinder block, run back 10 yds to the firing position and use the block as support for a shot on a 10” plate at 417yds.
Next, you ran an picked up another block, stacked it on top of the first and made 1 shot at 417, and two shots at a 12” circle at 565yds.
Finally, you ran and grabbed a 3rd block, making the stack, and your shooting position, even higher for 1 shot at 417yds, two shots at 565yds, and 3 shots at a 16” plate at 624 yds.
They allowed the shooter only 1 bag and no other equipment for this stage.
I chose to shoot off the 1st block prone, the 2nd block I stood tall on top of the 1st, making for a perfect kneeling position with my elbow on my knee. For the third round, I placed blocks 2 and 3 sideways which put me right back at my perfect kneeling position again.”
Stage – Shots, Shots, Shots !
“The 2017 National Rifle League Finale was very fast paced and I ended up holding over more often than dialing my elevation. The Tremor3 reticle in my Schmidt and Bender PMII 5-25 was the prefect choice. One example of this was a stage called “Shots, shot, shots”.
This stage was shot prone with an empty magazine in the gun. Behind the shooting position was a table where you staged 9 loose rounds.
We were allowed 100 seconds for this stage and started by taking a shot of water out of a shot glass.
Then you grabbed 3 rounds and single fed your rifle while engaging 12” diamonds at 280, 450, and 565yds with one shot each.
Then back to the table for another shot of water and 3 more rounds. This was repeated for a total of 9 shots. You needed to be smooth, and very quick with your target acquisition. No time to dial elevation on this stage.”
Stage – Alright, A Spinner Stage!!…. Wait, WTF?
Andy Reinhardt describes this Day 2 alternative spinner stage, which is not the normal spinner stage you might expect:
“A positional off hand stage was present as well as stage 5.6 labeled, “Alright, A Spinner Stage!!…wait WTF?!” This was a spinner stage in which you could only shoot the top paddle for a half a point per hit and 3 points for a spin. The catch is, once you spin it, you are DONE. So, the trick was to let it settle between shots and then try to spin it with your last 2-3 shots. I spun it in 3 shots! LOL”
This stage got a lot of guys who ended up spinning it too soon, leaving points on the table they might have gotten had they taken more time. Few people timed out on this, but many spun the spinner too soon. 6mm Dasher shooters rarely have this problem, but unfortunately, I also spun the spinner a bit early getting 5.5 points out of a max of 7.5.
Next Year !
This was a very challenging match but a lot of fun. I look forward to going back again hopefully.