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173rdABN

Mammoth Sniper Challenge (PIC HEAVY!)

Went to the Mammoth Sniper Challenge in Blakely, GA at Legion OTG Jan 7-11. 

 

Before I start going on this, keep in mind:

-when I get to the rucking (running…) part I weighted my pack in at 75lbs before I left and had a 20lb gun. We had to ruck to every stage and campsite. Didn't go anywhere without walking there.

-Each stage is 8 minutes long. You have that amount of time to both shoot your targets and get all the required events in the stage complete. Be it lifting the longs in the truck. pulling them up three flights of stairs, changing from the Tahoe to the car. Time was VERY limited.

 

We get their wens night and its FREEZING. Literally 18 degrees and we didn't get a cabin. So, we scramble calling around trying to find a place to stay before the match starts friday so we don't die in the cold. Thankfully we found this amazing little farm 6 miles away with brand new cabins. White Oak Pastures. Let me tell ya, it was great. 150 year family history there and they did a great job with everything. All natural, range fed, all that stuff, it was there. We had to go into one of the pastures to our cabin tucked back in the woods and make sure the gate was locked because baby cows and chickens were roaming freely. It was what you'd think a farm was from the 1800's, legit. Anyways, so we registered Wednesday night for the range estimation, target detection and stalking on thursday morning. Went back to our cabin, unpacked a little, then went for some good local grub and drinks in the podunk town of Blakely, GA. Got back to the cabin and worked on our ghillies and gear a little for thursdays events, drank some more (best way to hydrate right?) and went to bed. 

 

Thursday: Stalking; we did great. Simply put. There was 20ish competitors and out of those we both passed. Only team to pass at that. 4 total passed including us. The closer you where to the guys looking for you in a spotting scope the better you did. I tied for 3rd and my buddy was 2nd. We were within I'd say 30-40 yards of each other. Now, the 1st place guy…….. in ACU's of all things, which SUCK. and I mean SUCKKKKKKK. So, he makes a ghille out of those right?… well, the area we did this in was starting in the woods, make it to tall grass thats about 100 yards long, and the graders are in cut grass past that 100ish yards, not even. This dude in ACU's crawled all the way to the edge of the grass probably not even 100 yards away and took his two shots and didnt get found. I mean, good luck on exfil buddy haha, but man that was impressive. Range estimation was great and simple. Target Detection was ran kinda crappy and wrong from how its suppose to be run, but whatever. It was a good day and we passed the stalk so thats all I cared about at that point. 

 

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Friday: let the freezing cold fun begin! We stepped off at 7:30 in 28 degree weather. And I'll tell ya, I shoulda went down to a t-shirt and ditched the hoodie. 3.6 mile ruck run, timed, running over 11 burms for some of the bays as you go. They ranged from 10-20 feet tall. The last two I darn near crawled up. I still don't regret my choice to hydrate off Coors light though  ;). We get to the first stage and here comes the problems. Not hitting a thing. And I mean we can't even see trace. Wasn't a good start. Actually lets get into the problems first.

 

1) I zeroed my gun after the events thursday and it was dead nuts on. So…… it might have fallen over leaning up against the wall that night, but there is no way it should have lost zero… well, it did.

 

2) Mikes PMII scope wouldn't allow my buddy to zero the gun. The internal slip ring wasn't set to allow him to go the .5mils down he needed to zero. And we didn't have the time to take the top turret apart and slip the internal disc. So, he played the "lets just factor that into the math as we go" game.

 

700 yards on the second stage, and man I wasn't hitting a thing still. Aaron kept making corrections and finally we just starting holding more and more and moreeeeee then some more to the right. initial wind call was 1.5 minutes right. NOPE. gun wasn't having that. ontop of that dial, I held two full MILS. yeah, big change huh? so we walked it on, got a couple hits and then after that stage we slipped my rings on the best possible guess we could have made to get it to what we figured zero was at that point. The last stage of the day was a buddy assist stage. Only allowed to touch hands and feet to the ground. NOTHING else. So people got creative. You'll see pics below, and some in further comments. Nothings in order with the pics so just take that for what it's worth. We did great at that stage. We both shot 3 of 4 targets pretty fast and were happy we made up for some points that were lost earlier in the day from figuring our guns out and making corrections to them.

 

Sleep… what sleep? 28 degrees at night, wind, and all I brought was one poncho and it was suppose to rain. No liner for my sleeping bag so the cold wind at night went right under my hammock and kept me awake and violently shivering and shaking all night. 3 hours of sleep later, we started the next day. 

 

Saturday: First stage was the barb wire stage. Crawl on up, shoot the primary targets, crawl on down and shoot the secondary off the wood pile. Sounds simple right? Wrong. So cold my trigger finger wasn't happy about touching a freezing metal trigger. Didn't help much. But no excuses, so we pushed on. Didn't do so good on that stage. Trace was still hard to see at that point so making corrections was iffy at best. 3 people ripped their $600 down jackets on that barbed wire. They all had the exact same jacket, and let me tell ya, all were just as happy as the next it got tore up nice and good…. Moving along to the 2nd stage of the day, we had a nice ruck run to warm us up so that really helped. This stage we had to move a big steel sled with our rucks on it to a stake near the porch, shoot off a porch of the house for primary, move the sled to the 2.5 ton truck, climb in the truck with our gear above the stake in the truck so it was nice and up there to climb into it. Thankfully they had a rope you could lower yourself down the bed in. Then the secondary shooter takes his shots and boom, times called. The third stage was the high angle the video is off of. So thats pretty self explanatory. Primary shoots off the berm, both take all gear and run up 3 flights of stairs, hoist 2x 40lb logs up from the ground, primary has to hit one target before secondary can shoot (good to know what your target is and not look like an a$$ like myself) and then secondary shoots all the targets. Quick note on that stage. My buddy forgot to set his watch timer so we lost track of time. I didn't get a chance to engage my last target because he said move to soon, but whatever we hit all but that one target and did great. Remember, 8 minutes total per stage and we finished that in 5:30. Plenty of time…. Shoulda hit that last target. haha. Little ruck run back to a new camp site and we were done for the day. Bed at 6:30? yes please. My buddy remembered he had a spare poncho he never used the 1st night either so I lined my hammock with that to keep the cold wind out and what a difference! slept about 6 hours that night and felt amazing in the morning. 

 

Sunday fun day: two stages left, so lets do this! First stage, lift 3 massive longs into a 2.5 ton truck. Get your gear in there and shoot your targets. Primary then secondary like usual. We finished with 20 seconds left but didn't hit many targets. Hard stage for sure. Try hitting a ruler on a moving/falling apart truck bench at 400 something yards. The last stage we did amazing at. Move from 3 different barricades engaging your targets, then run back to the staging point and grab the secondaries grounded gun, run up and shoot the targets. Bonus stage: 12.5" suppressed rifle, H59 reticle, hold 2.8 mils and hit a 4" target at 418 yards. Aaron got a first round hit and I missed  :angry:, but thats ok, he got us 5 bonus points for that and we already did good on the stage so heck yeah. He was the only one to do that too so we were happy! 

 

We seemed to always do good on the last stage every day. Darn near crushing it no problem…. if we could have only done that the entire match!

 

Then we staged for the 5.2 mile ruck to the finish line. That was fun. Should have kept my phone in my ruck and not my pocket… Had to cross two streams, one being waist deep. Had to carry my cell the rest of that ruck. Only 3 something miles left but thats annoying to carry stuff when you're already carrying all that weight. Free hands are nice to say the least. 

 

Oh, did I mention if you don't pass the rucks you get dropped from the division and don't get to win anything fancy like we did? Yeah, motivation to pass, because the prizes rocked.

 

http://youtu.be/S9bDiTyDVoY

 

It was myself as the primary shooter and best friend growing up as the secondary shooter/spotter (couldn't have a better sniper buddy, trust me :D ). Rocking my Accuracy International AE MK3 and Aaron rocking my old Accuracy International AW that is now Mike's (Lawenforcementsales). Also, sporting Mikes company shirt because, well, Mikes a freakin awesome dude and let Aaron borrow his AW for this match. Can't thank him enough! This picture was also taken after the last 5.2 mile ruck run of the match at the finish line. We dropped out packs, took the pic, then proceeded to drink beer, smoke a cigar and take a shot of bourbon to celebrate an awesome match.

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This stage was designed so you have to throw three massive logs into the back of the truck, then climb in with all your gear before you can start. Shoot all your targets, get your secondary shooter to shoot theirs, and here is the kicker... If you don't get the three logs out of the truck before your time is up you loose your best shot per log that is still in the truck. So, you really needed to watch the clock on this one.

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My little camp site paradise while the sun was still out and I could eat my tasty maple sausage MRE.

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Little chicken pasta MRE anyone?

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Saturday nights camp site when we arrived before we set our hammocks up. Found some good trees so we were next to each other.

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High angle tower, waiting for our turn. Turned out to be t-shirt weather at high 30's that day. So hot from rucking, there was nothing more relaxing than being in a t-shirt and dry finally.

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Do you even Law Enforcement Sales bro? IF NOT YOU SHOULD!

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Staging for the ruck after the stage. We shot off this porch past the road into our targets. 

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After the porch we climbed into this truck. Remember, above the stake on the side then lowering ourselves to the bottom. If your body was outside the bed your hits didn't count. So watch those feet! (definitely steeper than it looks, trust me. haha

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Barb wire stage. 

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First nights camp site. If you're curious about the cooler, we were allowed a certain size cooler that was brought to us each night after we got to the camp site. 10x14x9. We put most our food in there. Some teams put gatorade or whatever in there but it had to be food and drink only. 

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Another team figuring out what to do for the buddy assist stage.

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This dude…. he's a flippin machine. "I'm getting shin splints from going so slow, so I'm just going to run for a bit"…. ok, enjoy I'll be back here striding it out. haha. 

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I was suckin, so I took a selfy. We finished 2nd on almost every ruck and 3rd on 2. For a lazy contractor that avoids going to work like the plague I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to still ruck run with that much weight for those distances from stage to stage. 

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There is more in the comments below.

Edited by 173rdABN
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Is his name in the video title?

I hear it is a grueling event!
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Congrats, that looks like one heck of a course!

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Is his name in the video title?

I hear it is a grueling event!

 

No…… Because I just edited it. Ha.

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"Rocking my Accuracy International AE MK3 and "Aaron" rocking my old Accuracy International AW that is now Mike's (Lawenforcementsales)"

 

 

 

 

Ha, you knew that AW had my name all over it the second you spotted her. ;o) .. They look good together and I'm glad she had time to spend with her 'lil' nephew but you better bring it back.  You ARE bringing it back right? ;o)  I'm keeping your barrel wrench hostage.. as much as you shoot you'll have that AE barrel shot out in a couple more days and will be needing it something bad ;o)

 

Just kidding bro, no rush on my end. 

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what AW……… There is no AW here……. You had one to start with??…….. :)

 

I'm headed over wens man. no worries. I'll be cleaning it tomorrow (not the barrel though) and bringing 1,700 9mm 147's I finished today for you. 

 

Dude, I regret ever letting that gun go. Man, it was awesome out there! Wish I still had it! Looks great sitting in my safe right now. I mean… what?….. theres no gun there…...

 

And I actually do need a new barrel. This ones getting on my nerves. It was all sorts of FUBAR the first 4 stages of the match. 1+2 minute hold on wind at 727 and we couldn't see the rounds trace or impact. So, we played with it in the 4 minutes I had to shoot. Ended up being 2 full mil's left on top of what I dialed. And there we were thinking I was just a crappy shooter the first day of the match. Thankfully we figured out it wasn't me. Ha. But, that really screwed us on points and brought us down on the finally rankings. Kicker is, we zeroed the day before the match officially started. So I know it was dead nuts on.

Edited by 173rdABN
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No…… Because I just edited it. Ha.


Good thing, I didn't post his name for you then.....lol.

I have that brass with me on Wednesday if you are going to be there.

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Love the pictures. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

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love the pics - looks like a ton of fun.  Thanks for your service, and the next time you see your buddy who's still at it, tell him I said thanks to him as well.

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Very cool. That big hairy guy wouldn't be Hill Redwine, would it? I shoot with him at the GA FAL Match most years. That boy can shoot a FAL, and I'd assume he knows his way around a long range rifle too?

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Very cool. That big hairy guy wouldn't be Hill Redwine, would it? I shoot with him at the GA FAL Match most years. That boy can shoot a FAL, and I'd assume he knows his way around a long range rifle too?

 

The dude that looks like he belongs on duck dynasty? long hair past his shoulders? bigger fellow in a gray down jacket?

 

Yuppppppppp. Thats Hill! was my RO.

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The rest of these pictures are from the photographer that was there for the match just to take pics. 

 

Top of the high angle tower.

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Nice fun run to the top just to hoist 40lb logs up it then shoot.

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Targets ontop of the high angle tower. 400ish to 900ish if I remember right.

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Secondary shooter was in the car after the tahoe were the primary shooter shot from. This was the best place the spotter could be in the car because the secondary shooter wasn't allowed to have his body outside the car.

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Tahoe full of brass  :up:

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Aaron spotting for me (thank god he didn't shoot or else I'd have passed out and died from that muzzle brake)

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Shooting my targets before we moved to the car.

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Lifting the logs into the 2.5 ton truck. 3 logs total.

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Buddy assist stage.

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Barb wire stage.

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Buddy assist stage.

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Camp site on Saturday night.

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Our very last stage. The barricade stage.

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Shooting from the truck once the logs were in.

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Edited by 173rdABN

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Prize table for the Tough man division ( I was in tough man extreme)

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Now, this is something that really gets to me in a very good, deep way. These guys were in the same squad as me and I got to know them over the course of the match. Amazing gentlemen. The one shaking the kids hand is Travis, the VP of Lanxang Tactical. A new company that is going to be at SHOT this year and will be shipping their guns out to distributors Jan for 556 and Feb for 762. These guys sponsored two Rangers from 3rd batt for this match who were also in our squad with their 7.62 rifles, the VL34. So, these guns were designed by Travis and are phenomenal. I mean just all around great guns, period. $2,800 price tag when they come out, but worth every penny. They are designed to out perform the OBR and thats who they want to compete with and beat. And I think they will. Anyways…..

 

So the kid is Wyatt. Hes been going to matches since he was 12 and doesn't always do that great. He's running a 6.5 Grendel if I remember right and it's hard for him to keep up with the other, better guns and calibers out there. So his dad says he can go to one match a year and he'll pull him out of school and take him, and this is the match he chooses. He's been doing it since he was 12 and is 15 now. Despite not doing very good he always comes back, is positive as can be and never complains.

 

Travis noticed that, and awarded him a VL34 so he can compete next year. I was already impressed with these two gents from Lanxang Tactical, but after they did that it spoke volumes to me. Not only are they extremely nice and all around good dudes, they have hearts of gold. They made that kids year, and I'm sure he'll never forget it his entire life. He was looking kinda down durning the awards ceremony, occasionally smiling for others as their name was called. But mannnnnn his face was priceless when they awarded him that gun. I got it on camera and it was perfect because he was standing right up front and had no idea it was coming. 

 

http://youtu.be/eWOIlK6fnUo

 

[url=http://s95.photobucket.com/user/eat7thirdythree/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-01/0E5382E9-0E6D-40BC-816C-F58E772CC2FB_zpsos997gyy.jpg.html]0E5382E9-0E6D-40BC-816C-F58E772CC2FB_zps[/URL]

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Again, BIG shout out to Lanxang tactical for doing that.

 

Here is a link to their stuff. No I'm not affiliated, I just really like their character and quality products.

http://www.lanxangtactical.com

Edited by 173rdABN
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So....., I'm thinking that sitting in the pits pulling targets with me at the next F Class match won't really seem like that big of a challenge to you.

 

Well Done Airborne - - - WELL Done!  :up: 

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That's also a very pretty prize table.  

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I just called Lanxang Tactical and told them Thanks for the great thing they did!!!!

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Red Lantern.  Wow.  That's an every-day big bowl of Wheaties right there.  Good on them.  I sent them a "thanks for doing that" on their web-form.

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Great match and AAR fellas.  I'm the guy who took your picture before the stalk.

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Awesome, man! Thanks for sharing! :up: 

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Great match and AAR fellas.  I'm the guy who took your picture before the stalk.


Small world you live here in Nashville!

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