Match Name: 2018 Spearpoint Shootout
Location: Spearpoint Ranch Barnard, KS
Coordinates: 39.127661°, -98.097267°
Match Director: Steve Wirth
Zero Date: April 20, 2018
Match Dates: April 21-22 2018
League: Precision Rifle Series
Weather Min/Max Temp // Precip // Average Wind // Max Wind // Max Gust Speed
– Zero : [32F / 63F] // [ .08″ ] // [11 mph (ESE)] // [25 mph] // [33 mph]
– Day 1 : [43F / 49F] // [ .4″ ] // [8 mph (ENE)] // [14 mph] // [20 mph]
– Day 2 : [39F / 59F] // [ T ] // [9 mph (N)] // [18 mph] // [26 mph]
Well this match was fairly rainy and muddy, but not as bad as 2017 ! It was interesting to prepare for the match, and hear about guys testing process for ammo. Some even decided to shoot a different caliber so they could avoid having high pressure issues with their “normal” PRS caliber and rifle.
I am running a 6mm Dasher in a Bighorn Arms TL3 Bartlein Barrel chambered by Jonathan Elrod of Modacam Custom Rifles. When I did load development, I had a nice node at 32.1 grains of Hodgdon Varget. However when I screwed on my Silencer Tech suppressor, I got major pressure signs (very hard bolt lift, and brass signs). So, I dropped the load to the next node down at 31.7, and that load performed well in the wet weather !
Being in Colorado, I don’t often get the chance to shoot in such moist weather, so found it interesting that my brass seemed to collect moisture from the air even when I tried to protect it from the direct rain. I only have a couple of sticky bolt lifts, most all the rounds shot pretty normal.
I will say I WISH I had run a sun shade on my Schmidt & Bender 5-20 Ultrashort. I just ran it normal, and had a lot of issues with moisture on the objective lens. I think running the sun shade might have protected the front objective a lot more. I was also pretty nervous to wipe the objective since I didn’t want to smear it. However ultimately it was so messy, I had trouble seeing the targets, much less my misses (which were already hard to see in the wet ground). I borrowed a chamois from Dorgan Trostel (Tactical #1), and that was a amazing improvement. Next time I won’t wait so long to clean the lens.
The rain seemed to have zero negative impact on my Steiner M830R 1535nm range finding binoculars. I didn’t seem to need to wipe them down, they just worked through out the entire day. I did clean them once we were done with Day 1 in the hotel room. And dried everything out as much as possible (sorry Lou for the high heat in the room) !
We arrived for the 2018 Spearpoint Shootout in the afternoon, zeroed, and headed to the hotel to rest up for the next day. I split a room with Lou Smith (Tactical #2), who decided to shoot a .308 for the match. It was pretty uneventful and we were looking forward to resting before the match!
Match Day 1
I was squadded with Claire Davison, Dorgan Trostel and Darryl Gordon. Our squad started the 2018 Spearpoint Shootout on Stage 10 “6X6 Truck” With such a small squad, things moved quickly, and everyone got to be the “wind bitch” by shooting first a LOT. This was also a lot of fun as you got to know your squad mates pretty well, it is the first time I had such a small squad at a national match. We shot most of the stages on Day 1, and likely could have actually completed the match on Day 1 had we shot late. I believe we shot around 13 stages on Day 1, and only 9 stages Day 2.
Stage 10 – 6X6 Truck
The course of fire (COF) was “Shooter starts standing in bed of truck at port arms. At stat command shooter moves to firing position and engages four targets with 3 shots each from near to far”. The target sizes and distances were:
- 10″ @ 604 yards
- 12″ @ 682 yards
- 16″ @ 803 yards
- 20″ x 40″ silhouette @ 1234 yards
There were a total of 12 rounds with a 120 second time limit. Due to the rain, seeing misses was very difficult. I had a hard time with the stage, and timed out on my last shot. I scored a 7/12 on this stage.
Stage 11 – Sitting Tripod & Stage 12 – MOA
Both of these stages were shot from under a shed cover !! They were two troop lines next to each other. The left side was shot from a stage tripod with a Hog Saddle (Stage 11) while the next troop line was shot prone (Stage 12). Stage 11 was 12 rounds over 120 seconds with targets every 100 yards from 300 yards to 1400 yards. The Stage 11 COF was “shooter starts with rifle in tripod, bolt open, magazine in, seated in chair. At start command shooter engages targets from near to far from seated position. Shooter must impact to move on”
I got 7/12 on this stage and felt I did pretty well on the stage. Again, misses were difficult to see however the targets were fairly easy to hit. There was some strange wind in the middle (around 1000 yards) where the wind died down and I missed some shots there.
Stage 12 had 10 rounds shot over 120 seconds, and had targets every 100 yards from 300 to 1200 yards. Targets were only 1 MOA. The COF was “shooter starts at port arms. At start command shooter assumes a prone position and engages targets from near to far. Must impact to move on.” The 1100 yard target was a 12″ diamond. I zeroed this stage as I couldn’t get past the first target and couldn’t see my misses to make a good correction. I tried a number of different holds, but with a small target was unable to make a hit.
Stage 14 – Tire Pull
This was a fun stage. I am glad Dorgan went first since I stole his idea for quickly pulling the rope to save time! I did pretty well on this stage, cleaning it for 9/9 hits. Targets were 3 12″ red diamonds at 432 yards. The COF was “Shooter starts at port arms. At start command shooter assumes a strong side prone position and engages 3 targets until impacted. Shooter then moves to the tire pull and pulls tire from post to post by the rope. Shooter then moves back to firing position and engages 3 targets from the prone support side position. When all 3 targets are impacted shooter moves to the tire pull and pulls tire across and returns to strong side prone position and engages 3 targets until impacted.”
Stage 16 – Planter
Reading the match book, I really had no clue what to expect for this stage. I certainly didn’t expect to see a piece of farm equipment that needed to be shot from…
Our squad got creative and used my Really Right Stuff tripod with BH-55 Ball head for additional support on this stage. It actually fit! The COF was “Shooter starts seated on planter, rifle in lap oriented down range with magazine in and bolt open. At start command shooter engages 3 targets from near to far from rope on planter handles. Must impact to move on. Target engagement sequence is first, second, third, third, second, first, first, second, third.” There were 9 max points shot over 120 seconds at red squares at the following distances:
- 10″ @ 256 yards
- 12″ @ 288 yards
- 16″ @ 334 yards
Shooting with the assistance of the tripod made this pretty dang easy since the targets were fairly large and forgiving. I cleaned this stage as well, gaining 9/9 points.
Stage 19 – Bridge
COF “Shooter starts off bridge at port arms. At start command shooter moves to firing position and assumes a prone position. Shooter then engages 6 coyotes with 2 rounds each”. The firing position was in the center of the bridge, and the targets were at 521 yards. The Coyote targets were painted top half tan, bottom white – which made them difficult to see! Shooters had 120 seconds to fire a max of 12 rounds.
This was a misleadingly fun stage. When I first looked at the stage, I thought it was going to be extremely difficult due to the position and the bounciness of the bridge. While the targets were difficult to see, I still was able to score a 9/12 just dropping shots, which was due to elevation issues I was having all day.
Match Day 2
Stage 2 – Tree
This stage was DIFFICULT. The wind combined with little feedback from misses made this a really tough stage.
The COF was “Shooter starts at port arms. At start command shooter will move to the first firing position marked in red and engage each of 3 targets with 1 round each. Shooter will then move to the white marked position and engage each of the 3 targets with 1 round each. Shooter then will move to a prone position under the tree and engage each of the 3 targets with 1 round each. Only 1 tripod can be used, but can be used in any way.”
I am looking forward to shooting this match again next year, regardless of the foul weather!