Shooting USA – Fort Benning 3-Gun
It’s the only pistol, rifle, and shotgun challenge held on an active duty Army Base. If a running and gunning stage challenge is simulated combat, it doesn’t get any more real than when the Army Marksmanship Unit sets up the challenges and adds in full-auto fire and Abrams Tanks! Plus, the enhanced Garand, the M-14 is now one of History’s Guns. And Blackhawk! Pro, Todd Jarrett shows you real world rifle training, while shooting around his rental car.
Fort Benning 3-Gun Competition
Competitors have always favored the run-and-gun, combat-oriented, multi-gun match held at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. It’s the only match of its kind held on an active duty Army base, but the match went on hiatus for a few years. More recently, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit partnered with the Fort Benning Morale, Welfare and Recreation organization, and that paved the way for the return of the Fort Benning Three-Gun match.
“Being able to bring all of the stuff that the Army has available out here and let the civilians see what’s being used by the soldiers, I mean that brings a whole new dynamic to these matches,” says Match Director SFC Daniel Horner.
Horner and the AMU’s Action Shooting Team created ten unique and challenging courses of fire, utilizing hardware from the Army’s vast inventory. On one stage, competitors wear an Army issue gas mask. On another, competitors shoot 20 belt-fed rounds from an M249-SAW or Squad Automatic Weapon. Plus, there are added physical challenges, like crawling under a net of barbed wire.
“Fun obstacle course stuff you know,” says competitor Taran Butler. “Puts you to the test with this wild-action craziness. I love it. It's fun.”
History’s Guns: M14
It’s known as the ultimate or enhanced Garand. The firepower advantage of the M1 prevailed during World War Two, but combat service arms were advancing to select fire. So, work began on a replacement that turned out to be the U.S. Service Rifle M14, adopted in 1957.
“The bottom line is the M14 as a battle rifle was a darn good gun,” says Firearms Historian Garry James. “As a matter of fact, it was our last real battle rifle, because it actually fired a reasonable cartridge. It’s a good hunting round, sold commercially as the .308 Winchester.”
USPSA Kentucky Sectional
The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) has been around since the 70's, thanks to Jeff Cooper, who created the sport from combat training. It has always been a fun, run-and-gun sport, but more recently, membership decreased even though gun sales increased. So Shooting USA Color Analyst and avid USPSA shooter, Tony Pignato created a new match format for the USPSA Kentucky Sectional at the Bluegrass Sportsman’s Lodge in an effort to grow the sport by embracing technology.
“A lot of people in the sport don’t get the level of video coverage that pros do, and the cool thing about this is that everybody at this match will be videotaped,” says Pignato. “I mean nothing is cooler than seeing yourself come into a doorway and shooting a target. That action stuff.”
Tony and his team wired cameras to two premier stages, hired an editing team, and managed to show everyone’s stage runs on a television in the common area at the range. Furthermore, those videos now live online, with the goal that those videos will go viral and lure more people into the sport.
“Everybody likes to look back and look at themselves, and kind of get a feel for what they did right, what they did wrong…” says Sig Sauer Team Captain Max Michel. “But it’s a cool opportunity to go into the waiting area and watch yourself shoot… It’s pretty neat to be able to do that. It’s like no other place I’ve seen.”
Smith & Wesson’s New M&P 15-22 Sport
The Smith & Wesson M&P 15 -22 has been leading the market in AR platform rimfire rifles since its introduction. Now, there’s a new M&P 15-22 Sport that is noticeably different in the design of the polymer hand guard. It’s slimmer than the original, and it’s now molded with standard M-Lock slots, instead of full rails on all sides.
The M&P 15-22 Sport comes with one 25-round magazine that feeds rimfire rounds smoothly. Plus, there’s a six-position adjustable stock that will set up a youngster with the right length of pull. The M&P 15-22 Sport now costs less than the original with a new suggested retail of $449.
Pro Tip: Todd Jarrett – Rifle Positions
Whether you are military, law enforcement or a sport shooter, training with your rifle shouldn’t only consist of punching paper on the range. If you’re anything like Todd Jarrett, it means grabbing your rifle and your rental car to practice different shooting positions.
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