10th Annual Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun After-Action Report

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10th Annual Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun After-Action Report

Postby chainring » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:56 pm

It's coming up again in October, so I thought I'd post this little writeup of last year's event to remind folks about it - I think there are a few slots left!

Pictures courtesy of Stephanie Dietrich!

Every year, for the last 10 years, the Pecos Rifle Club has hosted the Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun, held in the West Texas desert about 150 miles from the Mexican border. It's a 6.5 mile "biathlon" with 6 shooting stages incorporating rifle and pistol targets at various ranges, and organized by the intrepid Mr. Smokey Briggs. This year, my sister, Andrea, and a buddy, Zach, and I attended the event for the first time. We planned for heat, dust, exhaustion, and glory. I came away with heat, dust, exhaustion, dehydration, hearing loss, and a cool Tshirt! The following events happened in real time....

Friday evening, Andrea and I showed up at the Hampton Inn in Pecos, Texas. We chose the Hampton because we figured that, in keeping with the grueling and masochistic theme of the competition, we should "rough it" and stay somewhere really minimal. And Zach had points for a free room, so I didn't have to pay for it. Nevertheless, the beds were abominably soft and the hot breakfast was...too hot..and the kitchen lady wasn't pretty. The whole thing was a real trial. But, it got us numbed to the idea of physical abuse and deprivation, and I think it probably helped our performance Saturday.

That night we all compared and refined our gear, weighed the pros and cons of an extra mag or the lack thereof, and generally second-guessed every decision previously made about our load out.

Zach, a runner, had a TAG Gladiator (marine version, a refined and improved version of my older Gladiator) in Multicam. He had attached a 3-mag shingle to the front for pistol mags (17 round Glock 17 mags,) and carried 4 x 30 round Pmags in the built-in mag pouches of the Gladiator. If I recall correctly, his phone was in the inner pocket of the flip-up bib (a feature that MY old Gladiator lacks, damn his eyes) and his Ipod was clipped to the front. He had a sweet little Talo edition Fail Zero Glock 19 in a custom kydex insert in one of the chest-rig mag pouches, and the normal bungy keeper over the backstrap of the pistol as a retention strap. Also attached to the front of the chest rig was a super-fly custom knife, made by...well...me. I should point out that the knife was extremely attractive and useful. Fetching. I was quite taken with it. So anyway, the Gladiator has a built in Source hydration bladder on the back, to which Zach had affixed a MARS IFAK with a complete Med kit. I have an IFAK, too, but don't have the faintest idea what to do with it other than pop it open and splatter, dust, and wrap anyone that appears to be bleeding. Bit of a waste, really. Need instruction on that. Ok, so Zach had a kitted-out Gladiator. He also had a TAB Gear (riflesonlyDOTcom) Biathlon sling that allowed him to carry his rifle muzzle up on his back, and settled in just to the right of his hydration pouch. By tightening one shoulder strap and loosening the other to lock in that lop-sided configuration, he had ensured that the rifle would maintain it's spot by the pouch with minimal bouncing. By popping one QD buckle on the Biathlon sling, he could swing the rifle around and be in a firing position within a couple of seconds. The rifle was a complete Larue Stealth 16 incher, with nothing on the forend but some index clips for reference points and rail protection, a Magpul CTR stock and Magpul MIAD grip, Geissele SD-E flat trigger, an AAC M4-2000 "Brakeout" compensator/suppressor mount and a Trijicon TA01NSN Acog. The whole setup seemed quite solid, although I wondered how the rifle would behave while he was running. Turns out it behaved quite well.

Andrea, also a runner, had gone the KISS route, with a Sourch hydration pack in ACU. The pack included a minimalist pocket in addition to the bladder, and this was where she would carry her 4 rifle mags. To the bottom edge of the pack, she had a Maxpedition RolyPoly Dump pouch in ACU malice'd on as a "butt bucket" for the buttstock of her rifle. At the top edge of the pack, she had a simple strap to cinch around the forend of her rifle. She upgraded the strap to one with a QD buckle (the sternum strap from Zach's Eagle AIII pack) so that retrieval of the rifle would be a bit faster, as well as re-attachment. Her OD green G19 was carried in her normal running "fanny pack" by 5.11. Her kit, while minimal, was also WAY LIGHTER than ours. Her rifle is a sweet Smith and Wesson VTac (which she pimped with her own Krylon job) with a Tango Down Battle Grip, JP Enterprises trigger, Vltor Emod stock, Arredondo brake, and Trijicon TR21 Accupoint in a Larue SPR-E mount.

Me, I walked this year. Next year, a runner...maybe. My "battle rattle" consisted of a TAG Gladiator (yes, an old, outdated, obsolete, early, and pathetic generation) chest rig in multicam. Joking there, as I really like the thing....I just like the refined version that Zach has a bit better! I've had if for years and made many a late night hog hunt using it, so I knew it was a comfortable way to haul water and mags. I had always used it in conjunction with a VTac/Larue padded sling for my rifle, which worked great for supporting the weight of the rifle in a comfortable manner while leaving it ready to shoot immediately. The Pecos Run and Gun was a bit of a different format, though. Instead of needing to be able to shoot at a moment's notice, I would be moving most of the time and shooting at regular and expected intervals. I didn't want to have to keep my hands on the rifle to stabilize it as I moved, since the inability to swing one's arms not only slows your pace, but hampers your ability to maintain balance in rough, rocky, or loose terrain. I wanted to move at a fast walk, and I knew that Pecos would include all three of those terrains! I decided to use two Gear Sector rig-mounted single point slings, one attached to the D-ring on each shoulder strap of the Gladiator. I set them up with the right sling pulled up to it's shortest adjustment and QD swivel'd into the sling mount behind the receiver, and the left sling adjusted longer and QD swivel'd into the sling mount on the rear of the forend. This resulted in a rifle hung at a steep slant across my chest, with the buttstock at about chin level and in front of my right shoulder. The padded straps of the chest rig bore all the weight of the rifle, which was perfect. However, the position of the sling mounts on the side of the receiver and forend caused the rifle to lean out at the top and pendulum back and forth as I walked. Not good. A bit of digging around and a 215 Gear retention strap had the rifle cinched up tight, but quickly accessable. I had two 30 round Pmags in the mag pouches on the front, as well as a Leatherman Wave. On the front left of the chest rig, I attached an Emdom GPS pouch and an HighSpeedGear grenade pouch. The GPS pouch would keep my phone from getting crushed, and the other held an aged Ipod for artificial enthusiasm while trudging. Attached to the left shoulder strap of the chest rig, just above the mag pouches was an old Maglight flashlight carrying ring. The leather belt strap fit the shoulder strap perfectly, and the plastic ring was just the right size to slide over a Stoney Point Polecat compact telescoping bipod. With the legs of the bipod through the plastic ring AND through the top side-strap between the chest rig and the bladder, the bipod rode at a slight angle on my left side. On the back of my hydration pouch, I attached an IFAK (DSGArms for the contents, and Larue Tactical for the pouch) and two Diamondback Tactical SR25 pouches. One pouch held a half roll of toilet paper, which I didn't need and almost ditched halfway through in order to save weight...no, really. The desert does strange things to people. The other pouch held two more 30 round Pmags, just in case. In an effort to keep some weight off my shoulders, I went with a normal Sidearmor holster and two Bladetech mag pouches on my belt. I went for several hikes with this gear configuration, and even used the Stoney Point bipod to good effect on a coyote shot at about 100 yards. I knew this rig would work well for the Pecos event. Sidearm was a Glock 34 and my rifle was an LWRC short-stroke gas piston 16-inch M6A2 SPR, Mod 0, a recently introduced model that uses a very slim forend and spiral fluting on the barrel to save weight. This fairly significant reduction in weight off the front of the firearm results in a lighter AND better balanced package, making it an excellent rifle to carry for such an event. It is also factory cerakoted in the Patriot Brown color, which makes it much cooler to the touch than a black rifle after some time in the sun. Mine is outfitted with a Vltor EMod stock and Magpul MIAD grip and AFG, Geissele SD-E flat trigger, AAC SPR-M4 brake/suppressor mount, and a Trijicon TR24-3G in a Larue SPR-E mount.


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Saturday morning, 5AM....Zach's phone died, but my wrist watch double alarms rolled us out of bed on time. Loaded our gear in Zach's Bug Out rig (1997 Lexus LX450, basically a Toyota Land Cruiser with every conceivable improvement, including a TRD supercharger and 35 inch tires) and then a quick breakfast in the lobby of the hotel. We headed down the road to the Flying J truck stop and found our convoy. Various men wearing a mix of camo or subdued colors, milling around in the parking lot and eyeing the competition. We rolled out sharply at 6:30AM, following a vintage Land Rover to...well..Africa, as far as we could tell in the dark. There were probably 40 vehicles in the convoy, and we left the lights of town behind immediately. Within a few miles, we were on alternating dirt and pavement roads. It took nearly two hours to arrive in the middle of nowhere, which included a disheveled barn, a stock tank, windmill, and two porta-potties, thank you, Jesus. Pile out and stretch and wonder what the heck..! There were several more classic Land Rovers parked near the barn, along with an old, short 1968 International Harvester Loadstar school bus, factory 4-wheel drive, with all-terrain tires. It seemed to be set up as a go-anywhere camper, and I wanted it! To a dude with 6 kids, small school buses are sexy, especially an "adventure bus."


Within a few minutes, all the vehicles had arrived and Mr. Smokey Briggs got up on a tailgate and welcomed everyone to the event. Smokey is the publisher of the Monahans News and Pecos Enterprise, and he even has a "PRESS" sticker on the back of his camo 1964 Land Rover! Not what usually comes to mind when you think of someone from the "press!" However, this IS Texas, and down here we do it different. He began by stressing safety and common sense, and described the course with confidence-inspiring detail - but with ominously sweeping gestures and vague mileage references, and then allowed the RO's to describe their stages. Shoot until all targets are neutralized or you time out after 4 minutes. Clear enough. Since there were over 70 participants, the old method of on-site run order decisions was scrapped and we were run in alphabetic order - with a twist. Smokey's daughter had chosen a random number, which corresponded with the letter "T" in the alphabet. That was where the run order started. That worked out fairly well for us, since Zach ran within 30 minutes after the first guy on the course, and Andrea and I were running 45 minutes after that. I took off just before 11AM, with Andrea starting 5 minutes later. The knowledge that my sister was hot on my heels would serve as my motivation for the next two hours.

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Stage 1: The first part of the course incorporated about one mile of the road on which we had arrived, which was a two-rut lane that included loose dirt, eroded contours and some "baby's heads" rocks. (Pardon the mountain-biking term, there.) Zach, in his running shorts and chest rig, took off at a brisk trot and disappeared in short order, and when my name was called I took off at a brisk....walk. I passed several guys on the way out who were loitering on their tailgates waiting their turn. I'm pretty sure they never realized I was actually on the clock and racing already! Probably just some dude on his way back from the porta-potty...
I abandoned the road several times and walked in the pasture alongside it, dodging waist-high clumps of brush, looking for a flatter surface on which to tread and sucking on my water. I could hear the contestant in front of me shooting in the distance, but he was gone by the time I got to the first stage. The RO asked if I understood the course of fire and I nodded reluctantly, eyeing the VTac-style barricade with several slots and ports cut into it. There was a suspended plate visible about 100 yards away. One hit on the plate through each of the six ports, with a required mag change somewhere along the way. No problem, right? Yeah..about those slots...some of them were at a 45 degree angle, and others were completely horizontal. I don't shoot sideways. I'm an American, and what is more, I'm Texan. I don't have to do that sort of thing. It's beneath me. It's not natural. But it was war, and you do what you have to do. I was ready, and the timer started. I fumbled for a mag (rules stated that you start with an empty rifle and no mag in your hand - retrieve mag and charge your rifle after the timer starts) and fished it out of my cargo pants pocket where I had stashed it as I walked up to the stage. I figured it would be faster than pulling it out of the chest rig. Not so much. Next year I'm sporting a true belt-mounted mag pouch for that sort of thing. Onward and upward. Rifle charged, stab it at the top port and get a sight picture....reach up quickly and pop open both Butler Creek flip caps on my scope and get a REAL sight picture. Apparently this was not only my first competition, but perhaps even my first time shooting this particular rifle. Either that or I was an idiot. Torch off a round.."MISS"..and another... "HIT!" called the RO. Next port, a slanted one, similar results. Next port, a horizontal one....was that sideways hold-off to the right or the left? Try both, found success with one. About that time, I realized that I had removed my Ipod ear buds...but forgotten to put in my molded ear plugs. Did I mention that I have an AAC suppressor mount on my rifle that is also a muzzle brake? What did you say? Speak up! Well, the insurgents wouldn't wait while I put in my plugs, so I (foolishly) continued shooting. Another horizontal port and finished, whereupon the RO reminded me that I had skipped my mag change, confirming in her mind my status as a total noobie - and possibly even a total loser. I don't like getting my mags dusty (don't hate!) so I put one BACK in my cargo pocket and chicken-choked another out my chest rig. Slam it home and put another round on the plate through the top port. Put that mag in my cargo pocket (to be sorted back into my chest rig on the way to the next stage) showed a clear chamber to the RO, noted my time on the stage (53 seconds) and took off through the brush toward a PVC pipe with orange streamers dangling from it. I was going to have to really step it up if I was going to leave with any self-esteem at all. I had seen Andrea trotting up as I left. Let's see, with runners starting at 5 minute increments and my 53 seconds on the stage...she had made up 4 minutes on me in the first mile. I'm happy for her level of conditioning, really I am.
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Stage 2: The early part of the route to the second stage was across the pasture, following poles with streamers set at regular intervals. Within a few minutes, another two-rut road and shooting in the distance. Trudging and drinking. Down into a gully where a tent awning was pitched, and Stage 2 was arranged. Another shooter was still warring with a distant plate, so a young lady reminded me to start my stop-watch and keep track of my wait time. At each stage, if a shooter was still occupying the stage, we were to keep track of how long we waited so that the time could be subtracted from our overall run time during scoring. Easy enough, and a bit of a break to catch my breath, too. Shuffle mags, stuff ear buds away, mentally run through the stage. This one included a plate that was a bit farther than off-hand shooting would serve, so I pulled out the Stoney Point bipod and lengthened the legs by one section, then stuck it back in it's place. The other shooter shuffled away and it was my turn. Stage empty rifle on the tarp, engage 6 (I think?) steel plates with the pistol and then grab and charge the rifle. After fumbling the re-holster a bit, I settled onto my knees with the bipod and rifle. It took a couple of seconds to find just the right grip with the top of the bipod and the forend of the rifle, but once that was done the plate rang in short order. Not bad, 51 seconds on the stage and I'm climbing back out of the gully while trying to settle my gear back into place. No Andrea in sight...hot damn, I might make it after all! Off and power-walking down the road like a tactical Richard Simmons.
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Stage 3: The trail to Stage 3 was more of the same two rut road, parts of which I avoided again by walking in the pasture alongside the ruts. Again, a shooter was finishing up as I arrived, so I had a moment to inspect the stage. Start my watch again to keep track of the wait, and sort a mag into the cargo pocket again. This time it was a tall vertical barricade, with a waist-high bush and orange tape about 20 feet in front of it and a few feet to the side. Two rounds strong-side on the plate from behind the barricade, transition and two more rounds weak side. Run up to the bush and shoot the same plate again, with a mandatory reload. Did I mention the weak-hand thing? Remember, I'm a Texan, and we don't have to do weak-hand either. Apparently that didn't count here. Ok, a noobie flyer shot off-hand, then I remember to jam my forend against a surprisingly unstable barricade for whatever support it might offer. "Clink, clink." Then my best Chris Costa impression with a transition and another couple of hits on the plate from the left side of the barricade. Gotta love sweet luck. As I took off running to the bush, the RO kindly reminded me about the mandatory mag change. I, of course, didn't need the reminder. Well, maybe a little, but I would have remembered eventually. The bush was too high for the bipod, so another couple of rounds off hand to finish up with a hit. A 30 seconds on the stage and I'm off again, stuffing mags back into place and cinching down my rifle.


Stage 4: The route from Stage 3 to Stage 4 got much rougher in short order. The road dipped down into a large wash occupied by about 30 cows, and then three poles with orange streamers indicated a hard left turn off the beaten path and up into the rocks and shrubs. The hill from which we would be shooting the next stage appeared to be miles away. There were two other competitors visible in front of me, along with a seemingly endless row of poles and streamers stretching into the distance. This was no regular 3-gun competition, in case you were wondering. As I got closer, I saw a wire gate that had been mentioned in the safety brief (close it behind you so the cows don't get out) and a last long hill up to the shooting. One of the other participants got to the stage just in front of me, which was great - I needed to take off a boot and get rid of a rock that had found it's way in and had been poking me in the right heel for most of the way from stage 3. Started my stop watch again, and took off my boot. Hmmm...no rock. Great. A blister on my heel, with 3 miles to go. Now I was really living! Whatever. This stage was gonna be fan-effing-tastic, two plates at 240 yards, and 4 different shooting locations across about 50 yards of eroded, rocky and brushy hillside. The first position looked conducive to bipod use again, so I lengthened the legs and got ready. Charged the rifle and whipped out the bipod, squatted and fired for effect. Stopped and fumbled my ear plugs in, then found the plates fairly quickly with a top left corner hold. Up and mountain-goating down the side of the hill like a wild man. I remember thinking, "Man, if this goes bad, it's really gonna be BAD." The bushes were a bit higher here, and my bipod wasn't high enough. Fumbled with the bipod while I tried to clip the right-side rifle sling back into the receiver sling mount. Finally got it connected and attended to lengthening the bipod legs completely..but the wash in which I was now standing was higher on the right than the left! I turned the bipod sideways so it wouldn't be standing at a 45 degree angle and tried to get a steady hold. Naturally, I had WAY too much movement from side to side, as I had effectively turned my BIpod into a MONOpod by having the feet turned parallel to the rifle. Stop shooting and take the time to shorten a leg so I could use it the way it was intended. The next couple of shots connected, and I'm bounding down the hill again. Cool, the bushes were too high for the bipod now. Off hand, spraying and praying as my reticle did a panic and cardiac-induced infinity sign over the shimmering plates. Managed to get hits, mercifully called by the intrepid Range Officer, who was following me closely. Another run down the hill to another bush marked with orange tape and another offhand shooting position. After what seemed an eternity of brutal silence from the RO, he called two hits and we were finished with stage 4. In all, it took 3 minutes and 23 seconds to neutralize all the targets - dangerously close to the 4-minute limit. I clattered away with my ridiculously long (but not long enough) shooting sticks and a resolve to do more offhand shooting in the future.

See the photo-shop arrow? That's the next stage!
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Stage 5: The walk to Stage 5 was mostly hills, rocks and brush. If the runners were running in this, then they were...well.. stupid. At least that's what I told myself as I trudged along at a dead walk. The "rock" in my right boot heel had been joined by a similar "rock" in my left boot heel. However, Andrea had shown up while I was waiting my turn at the last stage, and I had to keep my pace up or get owned by my sister. As I stumbled up to the tent awning, another shooter was finishing up so I had a few minutes to get ready again. This stage consisted of any shooting position that the shooter wanted and 3 plates at 400 yards. By this time, there was a bit of a cross wind from right to left that was sure to come into play. I didn't have a true, rifle-mounted bipod and the legs of the Stoney Point were too long for prone, so I lengthened them one section and planned on kneeling. My turn came, so I hit my knees and peered through my Trijicon across the 400 yards to the three plates. It wasn't all that hot, but the sight picture was still full of mirage at that distance. Hold up and right a bit, and torched it off. I saw my impact low and left, but the Range Officer helpfully called it for me, as well. I love it when they do that - you don't always see your point of impact and an RO with a steady hand and binoculars can really help a brother out with his Kentucky windage. Some of the cold-hearted bastids just watch you flail all around the target, but a few will call your hits (or misses) and help you walk it in. I could hug them, I really could. Anyway, the hold for me turned out to be the top right corner of the frame from which each plate was suspended, so the hits came in decently quick succession. Lurch to my feet after 51 seconds, thank the ROs and head out just as Andrea comes trotting up, looking something less than tired. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I wish she'd take a damn break. I hollered at her to "Don't forget your crosswind, aim high and right!" and took off. As I passed another fella crunching up the hill toward a distant fence line, we commiserated about the heat, the angle of ascent, and our general lack of conditioning. Ha, I was in better shape than THAT guy was, anyway! Small comfort, but anything to keep the fires stoked. As it happened, Stage 5 was the last time I would be needing my rifle, so I was pleased that I...well..hadn't run out of ammo with all my misses! I'd brought 116 rounds of rifle ammo and had used 47. Not bad, until you consider that, without misses, I should only have needed 26 to clear everything! Whatever, my spirits were undampened, and I even broke into a shambling trot on the down-hills where it wasn't too rough. Nothing but Stage 6 left.
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Stage 6: As I topped another hill and saw the wire gate again, I realized that one of the landmarks that had been pointed out - an electrical transformer or switching station with a chainlink fence that had been visible in the distance from the starting area - wasn't in sight. The finish line was visible, miles away across pasture and brush, but that other place, the one we were supposed to pass along the way back...I couldn't see it. I realized as I neared the gate that I wasn't going to crow-fly across the pasture straight to the finish, even though that appeared to be a LONG way. I was about to turn left, along the fence line and AWAY from the finish. Yeah...maybe the jogging thing had been a bit premature, as I felt cramps tug at both calves. I slowed to a walk again and started sucking down water with abandon, and looked for weed clumps on which to land the front of my boot as I walked in order to help stretch my calf muscles. It didn't work all that well, but within about 1/2 mile the little cramp gremlins had quit twitching at my legs and I was resigned to power walking the rest of the way....like a pussy. Clump, CLUmp, CLUMP, here comes some skinny Navy Seal lookin' dude trotting past, fiddling with his bouncing rifle and exuding win. I wished him luck and grumbled under my breath at my lack of conditioning. Screw him and his fast-twitch muscles. I heard later that he won the match. Thankfully, Zach, who had finished earlier...much earlier, I might add..came trotting up going the wrong direction and looking tanned and rested. He was even talking on his cell-phone. I wasn't sure whether to be encouraged by his company, or discouraged by his composure and apparent domination of the day's challenges. He snapped a few pictures like a battlefield correspondent, documenting the story, but not IN the story. He fell in beside me and ran a few steps until he realized that I...well..I wasn't running. He slowed to a walk and we spent the next 20 minutes comparing notes about the first 5 stages. A brief pause by the electrical station to retrieve a round of ammo from an ammo box on the ground - proof that I had, indeed, eschewed the short cut to the finish and taken the long, but proper route. As I approached the large wash overlooking Stage 6, Zach cautioned me that he had almost wrecked as he jogged down through the rocks. I stumbled to the bottom and coaxed my leaden legs across a ridiculously sandy flat toward the sound of a shotgun. A Remington 870 was provided at Stage 6 (ammo from Smokey's personal stash, I heard) and it was part of the course of fire. It was a bit of a confidence booster, since I shoot an 870 and felt like I might have a small advantage as a result. Start the stop watch and wait while the previous shooter dusts some remaining pepper poppers. The RO explained that the 870 was layed out empty, with 4 shotshells next to it. At the start, load the shotgun, engage 4 targets (your choice) and then finish off the remaining plates with your handgun. The targets consisted of 4 pepper poppers and about 8 small round plates on the ground. I decided to shoot small plates with the shotgun, which would leave some small plates and the four large poppers for the handgun. Andrea had again trotted up, and was watching...for any sign of weakness, probably. Like the Hound of the Baskervilles, that woman. Timer started, and I noticed that the 870 action was open when I pulled the gun case away. Dropped a round through the ejection port and slapped it shut, then Taran Butler'd the last three rounds into the tube. The shotgun kicked up so much dust that I just had to assume that the plates were falling and move on, and after a few embarrassing and time-consuming misses with the pistol I was finished. Whoopie, it's over! I ham it up with Andrea, until I notice Zach gesturing up the hill. Apparently, it's another 100 yards to the REAL end, and I'm still on the clock! I grabbed up my rifle and took off up the hill at a finish-line sprint. I squared off briefly with a large cow as I neared the porta potties, but she recognized desperation when she saw it, and let me pass. Gave my name to the man with the clip board, and it was over. I trudged back to the truck, and dumped my gear. One hour and 52 minutes of run-time had elapsed since I had headed out. Andrea came up shortly, and tossed her kit into the back seat of the Cruiser. We had all survived our first Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun! As it turned out, out of 73 shooters, Zach placed 8th, I placed 13th and Andrea placed 29th. Not bad for our first try, but definitely room for improvement next time!

Zach was pleased with his gear arrangement, plotting only minor changes for next year. Andrea was NOT pleased with her kit, as the rifle bounced too much, and the time it took to dismount the hydration pack, unstrap her rifle, retrieve mags, shoot, and then replace everything before moving out was fairly significant. In fact, it was apparently all that kept her from ever passing me. Sobering thought. She plans major revamping of her kit for next time, and I plan to be in much better shape. My setup worked great for the pace I kept. If I run next year, I will need to do something different with the rifle. The weight of it attached to the chest rig caused the entire mass to bounce up and down in a manner that would be untenable for a sustained run.

The Range Officers at each stage were professional, friendly, and helpful. The schedule was precise and orderly, and the whole event appeared to run without a hitch. Well-organized and with clearly marked routes, not a single shooter got lost along the way. Smokey was in touch with each stage constantly by way of hand held radios, and was out in the Land Rover checking on progress routinely. The experience was a unique one, as we seldom face such challenges for our marksmanship OR our physical fitness - much less combined into the same event. I have found that shooting competitively enables me to pack more learning and valuable experience into one day or weekend than I ever get just plinking on a range, and this event was no different in that respect. I have more confidence in my equipment AND in my ability to muddle through various challenges to some semblance of success. It also gave me a deeper appreciation and respect for our warriors who endure similar hardships on a daily basis - only with targets that shoot back, and no relief or Chicken Fajita plate at the end of the day! May God bless them and theirs for the work they do on our behalf. As for my first Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun, I enjoyed the challenge and comradery, and next year I'm going to win....or at least beat Zach and Andrea!

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Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
--Frank Outlaw
chainring
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Re: 10th Annual Pecos Run and Gun in the Sun After-Action Re

Postby van halen » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:36 pm

That young lady has the ponytail of the century! Nice!
I'll just sit here quietly and play with my new rail panels...........
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van halen
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