My article Precision Rifle Series: Gas Gun vs Bolt Action – Which is better? created quite a stir, which of course was part of the intention. In the next competition, I had to eat my own words, as I did an all time low ever. The compensator on my JP Rifles unturned itself, and it took a while before I discovered why my hits were going everywhere.
Me and my friend share a JP Rifles PCS-12 in 6.5 Creedmoor, so back to the drawing board with a new compensator. We decided to use factory-loaded Sellier & Bellot 140 FMJ BT ammo for many reasons. They’re (were) fairly cheap, we had lots of them, and we didn’t really get much better accuracy from anything else including our own reloaded ammunition. For reference, please check TFB Review: Sellier & Bellot 6.5 Creedmoor Tactical – 1 USD each.
Precision Rifles @ TFB
The purpose of the competition
As you may have read, Sweden and Finland have decided to acquire new rifles from Sako in 5.56 and 7.62 NATO. Even if these military rifles hardly exist at the moment, part of this competition was to gather experience from the civilian side on how to use these rifles to the maximum. Regardless of which type of rifle you prefer, it’s insanely fun to shoot semi-auto precision rifles.
All the targets were made from Hardox steel, with sizes from 25 cm diameter to 70x70cm square. Besides each target, there was a large sign, indicating the target number or letter clearly.
Safety is paramount
For the Easthammer DMR Challenge 2023, there were some important safety rules. Each stage had shooting and “pointing” angles that could not be breached. Furthermore, you MUST put the safety on if you go from one target array to another, or if you move or manipulate the rifle or the riflescope, etc. You get one warning only, then you’re out of the competition. If your rifle is pointing straight up, it’s ok to move sideways or backwards in the stages. Also, the one and only spotter decides if you hit or not, no one else. His word is final. There were safety zones for storing the rifles while not “in action”, and safety/chamber flags were to be used at all times except during the course of fire.
Some of the rules:
Par time factor: To acquire par time factor points, all targets at the current stage must be hit.
Hit to move: You need to hit the current target in order to move on to the next one.
No gear may be left behind during any stage. All gear used during a stage must be within arms length from the shooter when finishing.
That last thing means that if you drop your magazine or bipod during the stage, and don’t pick them up you don’t have these available on any of the remaining stages. This could be quite a hard blow, depending on what you drop.
Easthammer DMR Challenge 2023 – 6 wonderful stages in the nature
Stage 1 was the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, with four steel targets between 493 to 685 meters, that had to be hit in a special order. You either had to memorize the shooting order, or use a dope card on yourself or the firearm.
This was my first stage and a lot of fun to shoot. I also nailed all 9 hits, which gave me quite some confidence. This is the furthest I’ve ever shot with this JP rifle. (Note I’m not the one shooting in the images).
I quickly decided to disregard the distance, to avoid having a fear of longer distances. For me, it was just a target and a reticle, align them and adjust for wind or other corrections. Of course, I had to take the wind into account the further away the targets were, but luckily there were fairly low winds that day.
- RUBICON RACE
Distance: E – 493 meter, 5 – 534 meters, 4 – 625 meters, X – 685 meters
Par-time factor: 0,04 points/sec
Every second faster then par-time gives additional points
COURSE OF FIRE
The shooter starts in the designated area
At the timer signal the shooter shall hit the targets with one round each from the roof of the Rubicon, in the following order, E, 4, 5, X, 4, 5, E, X.
Hit to move!
Another rule was, if you make a hole in the Rubicon Jeep you pay for it.
“Always be ready” – 5.11 Tactical.
“Facts don’t care about your feelings”
Shooting from a vehicle always adds to the experience.
Below: Stage 2 – “The Idiot Within” – was very similar to Stage 1, with the same targets but in another shooting order. Here you were shooting prone all the time, and it was important to get your body aligned so that you could reach all targets without too much movement. Unfortunately, I had a malfunction and spent most of the time rectifying this under a lot of stress. I managed to get 2 out of 9 hits, so I consider that I gave 7 hits away here to the competition. Spent some time in the safety to clean out the rifle and get it working again. More oil never hurt an AR, but there’s more work to be done to make it reliable.
Below: Stage 3, “On the rocks”. Three steel plates at 475 meters. Shoot each steel once from each stone to get a maximum of 9 points. I failed to get a good shooting position on the last rock, so I lost 2 points.
The shooter starts in the designated area, behind the stones. At the sound of the timer the shooter shall hit the targets with one round each, from each designated shooting area.
Hit to move!
You had to get down really low to get a stable position, but prone was not possible (for me at least).
In my opinion, these kinds of competitions create really realistic and meaningful training. You only have a limited time to get into position and hit your targets. Any issues and time and points fly away.
I also like the concept of having 20 rounds for 8-9 points. Not too many, not too few for most competitors. And there’s no room for spray ‘n praying in the competition. Several competitors did manage with one shot one hit for all targets.
The target sizes were deliberately made so that they should be possible – but not easy – to hit, to increase realism (one would not take an impossible shot and reveal one’s position in combat, to avoid detection).
A pretty short-barreled LWRCI (16″?) using .223 Rem GGG 77 gr ammunition did fairly well on most stages. Using high-powered riflescopes like this Steiner transforms most AR15 to be very accurate.
Stage 4 – “Down the barrel”. These barrels were not very stable at all, so shooting prone was a relief. There were three targets at about 480 meters. Beware that the bipod that you need for the prone position will be in the way on the barrels.
The shooter starts in the designated area, behind the left barrel. At the sound of the timer the shooter shall hit the targets with one round each, from the top of each barrel and from a prone position between the barrels.
Hit to move!
Working the ASE Utra suppressed SIG Sauer 716, rebarreled to 6.5 Creedmoor. Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25 riflescope. Great can spray job.
Below: The JP Rifles PCS-12 in action. The riflescope is a Schmidt & Bender 3-20×50 Ultra Short in Coyote M17 TAN, the same that’s used on the Canadian C20 DMR. The reticle is Tremor3 (FFP), which worked well. We clicked for all distances, so we didn’t have to work the tree apart from the wind. I nailed this one, with all hits and with some extra time left which gave me some more (fractions) of points added.
Stage 5 was called “Shoot and Scoot”. The distance was only 308 to 317 meters, but in the foxhole, something happened. I wasn’t the only one that got stuck here, with only 6 points out of 9. Quite a disappointment, especially considering the relatively short distance. However, the steel was only 20-25 cm in diameter, so quite small targets. This meant that I couldn’t run to the last position, which looked more fun than the foxhole.
The shooter starts in the designated area. At the timer signal the shooter shall hit the targets with 2 rounds each, left to right, from each position. (Stone, Foxhole, Rock)
Hit To Move!
I think stage 6 was most competitors’ favorite. Called “YOU’RE NOT A SNIPER WITHOUT A DIAPER“. I include the full stage brief in case anyone wants to copy it. You had to carry all your gear through the stage, so anyone who brought too much would soon be aware.
Distance: Sector 1: 405m, Sector 2: 345m, Sector 3: To the left, 245m, to the right 291m.
Par-time factor: 0,02 points/sec
Every second faster then par-time gives additional points
COURSE OF FIRE
The shooter starts prone in the designated area on the road. At the timer signal the shooter shall hit the targets with one shot each. The shooter may only engage targets within the field of fire of the current shooting position.
Sector 1: Prone from the road, round targets. (405 meters)
Sector 2: From the cairn in the field. (345 meters)
Sector 3: From the stone at the road. (245-291 meters)
At this stage the shooter has to carry all brought equipment throughout the stage. All equipment needs to be accounted for within an arms length from the shooter when finishing the stage.
Hit To Move
Below: This image is from sector 2.
And sector 3 was from the top of a stone. You have a lot of breathing and pulse here.
Below: Sector 3, four targets 245 to 291 meters.
Below: If you brought a rifle bag you had to carry it at all times on this stage, but you can make it a little less uncomfortable by strapping it so that you don’t hit yourself in the head all the time.
The best shooting ranges are the natural ones. The area at risk is a temporary prohibited area, we all care about the safety of everyone.
All in all, we had a great day, and many people learned a lot including myself. The weather couldn’t have been better in any way. I finished 9th and my buddy was on the podium as 3rd. I could easily have at least another 9 hits, plus par time points, but with a gun that didn’t cycle, it is what it is.
Below: I have the Safran PLRF 25C BLE X3 Laser Range Finder (the one closest to the camera) on loan for review and used it extensively during this competition. This is a high-end (and very expensive) LRD that can range up to 6000 meters, together with angle measurements. I’m quite pleased with its performance, but still learning everything it can do. I’m determined to find out if it can laser out to 6000 meters accurately!
All of the semi-autos on the top 9 were shooting .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor or .264 Winchester. The 10th place used an AR15 in .223 Rem, so there’s certainly potential there as well. Hopefully, there can be a minor division in the future.
If you’re looking to arrange similar competitions, there’s also a new function in Shootnscoreit, to allow for the par time factors. This is a great way to distinguish competitors apart from each other, on stages where most shooters hit everything.
For more information check out: https://www.easthammerlr.se/. There you can find the General and the Technical Rules if you want to copy the rules and organize a similar event.
The organizers of the event should be extremely proud of what they created, and a huge thanks to all helpers, range officers and sponsors.
Credit: Source link