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Know Your Limits – A concept in fun and skill

Know Your Limits

A few weeks ago I had ordered a scope mount from the good folks over at LaRue Tactical. When the order arrived there was a free  DVD of a precision rifle challenge that features some very nice LaRue guns.  One of the stages was called “Know Your Limit” where the shooters  could engage targets for bonus points.  There were three targets, each smaller than the previous. The trick was that  the shot difficulty increased as did the possible points you could get.  The key to be successful  was to quit and take your points before you missed. If you took a shot and missed you lost all of the points accumulated  for the entire stage.

This type of concept seems pretty straight forward for single shot rifles but I contemplated for a few days on how too  best implement this type of a scenario with submachine guns.  What I ended up doing is outlined below. It is by no means perfect but it is a good starting point and a positive proof of concept that this idea works for subguns.

The Course of Fire

The course of fire setup is deceivingly simple. Two pairs of hanging steel plates (approx 18″x24″) and a plate rack. The hanging steel pairs on at the ten and two positions and the plate rack at 12 o’clock.  Three no shoots are a few feet in front of the plate rack with holes cut out of them. The left most no-shoot has the entire A zone cut out of a standard IPSC target and through the hole you can see the left most plate (plate #1) . The middle no-shoot has the top half of the center A zone cut out and through it the third plate from the left is visible.  The right no-shoot has a small triangle that is centered in what would be one quarter of the A zone .  The distance from the shooter to the plate rack is about 10-12 yards and between the no-shoots the other three plates (#2,#4,#6) are visible.

On the buzzer The shooter must  engage all 4 hanging steel and targets # 2, 4, 6 on the plate rack (in any order the shooter chooses) and then the last shot(s) must pass through the hole in the no-shoot that corresponds with the “level” they are on. There are three levels, 1, 2 and 3.  Once the shooter completes a level successfully they can choose to either stop and take their points or they can continue on to the next level.  Each level has a par time that decreases as the levels go up.  If the shooters last shot is past the par time or the shooter hits a no-shoot they are done and loose ALL points earned.  If you fail on level 3 you loose the 20 seconds you had accumulated until that point.  Below are the level breakdowns of points, time and targets.

Level 1 Par time 20 seconds, Final Target = Left target,  Bonus time 10 seconds (total 10 seconds earned)

Level 2 Par time 15 seconds, Final Target = Middle target, Bonus time 10 seconds (total 20 seconds earned)

Level 3 Par time 10 seconds, Final Target = Right target,  Bonus time 15 seconds  (total 35 seconds)

Level 1 was designed so even the most novice of shooters could complete it and get the 10 second bonus. If a shooter were to complete all three levels they could earn 35 seconds in bonus time off their score for the day.  Out of 33 shooters for the day only two made it to level three and passed earning the full 35 second bonus.   Ten made it to level two and stopped to collect their 20 second bonus and five made it past level one and took 10 seconds  to play it safe.  That leaves seventeen shooters who  pushed their luck and  didn’t know their limits and either didn’t beat the par time or shot the no-shoots and failed.

Below is a video of the author shooting this course of fire and as you can tell by the comments from the peanut gallery behind me there was an incredible amount of ego bashing and urging by all parties trying to egg each shooter on past their limits. My limit for that day should have been the first two levels only. I pushed it and I paid the price with a big fat ZERO  for my score instead of the 20 seconds I had earned to that point. Out of the seven stages in this match I have to say that this one was one of the most fun. It was a challenge of both skill and discipline. In the video below there is a bit of a break between level two and level three as I shot steel to see where  I was hitting.  As the coordinator for this match I wasn’t competing for score since I had prior knowledge of the blind stage and I was demonstrating for the squad how to shoot the stage. As you can see it didn’t help me 🙂 Anyway I hope others who view this can see the many possibilities in this concept and I look forward to seeing what others can do with it.