View Full Version : TacPro sniper match report, PICS

Zak Smith
July 7, 2005, 01:04 AM
The 2005 TacPro Sniper Tournament took place on Sat-Sun Jun 25-26 at the TacPro training center between Mingus and Stephenville TX. Many people know of TacPro as the best Accuracy International dealer in the country.

Four Colorado 3Gun/rifle shooters including myself attended this match. After the 12 hour drive from Denver, we arrived at TacPro around 5PM and proceeded to sight-in on the 1000 yard range. We were all using "Denver" (ie, 5000' elevation) zeros with data for TacPro's elevation printed from the computer (e.g. Sierra or equivalent). The data proved close, so we retired to our Hotel in Stephenville only to find it "dry" and the nearest liquor store across the County Line about 20 minutes away. That solved, we got down to proper match preparation...

The shooter's meeting at 9AM Saturday morning revealed that 60 shooters had registered. One proved to be a no-show, leaving 59 shooters. There would be two squads with 31 scheduled courses of fire. We were to carry all of our gear around the match, only retrieving water and ammo from out cars in the morning or at lunch. Having sorted-out gear was a benefit, and packing light was also a benefit. Cold water was provided on every range. This proved to be important as the temps were consistently at 98-100F all day every day. Minimum round count was listed as 200 rifle and 50 pistol. The pistol had to be worn the entire match.

The match was a mixture of the following elements: precision, KYL, cold bore, and I.D. exercises at 100 and 200 yards; positional shooting at 200 yards; known distance 800, 900, and 1000 yards; running stress; field courses; a 500 yard group; 300 yard clays; a surveillance exercise; a ranging exercise (no lasers allowed); the tower field course; a 50BMG course at 300-500 yards; two night shoot events at 100 and 200 yards; and a pistol "gully" field course. It exercised a mix of skills, though had less field course shooting than we prefer.

Here's a rundown of the stages as I can remember them.


Cold Bore 1: 100 yards, must take out "hostage taker" on 9x11" sheet of paper, leaving hostage intact. This was one of the easier CB stages I've shot, since the kill zone was pretty big.

Cold Bore 2 (day 2): 200 yards, same hostage target @ 200 yards. This was a little more difficult, but still doable.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6502_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6502_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6502_img.jpg)

Barricade: Shooting small dots at 200 yards, 3 shots from each of prone, sitting, kneeling, standing, and weak side prone from a barricade. This was tough since the target dots were pretty small and the mirage was terrible.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6526_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6526_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6526_img.jpg)

See Dots: Shoot small dots under time at 100 yards.

Tack Driver: Centerpunch 5 small dots at 100 yards. The mirage made these two events difficult.

KYL: paper Know Your Limitations at 100 yards. The largest was probably 1.5-2" diameter, the second maybe 0.75-1" diameter. The rest were "really small".

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6504_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6504_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6504_img.jpg)

Run Down: Run 50 yards and then engage small dots on paper at about 100 yards.

Known Distance: 10" square flash targets at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. This stage was a killer, and most people didn't hit any of them. The mirage was tough. Spotting misses was pretty much impossible. Wind was very tricky.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6506_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6506_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6506_img.jpg)

Zak Smith
July 7, 2005, 01:05 AM
Flies: Shooting 10 "flies" at 100 yards under time pressure.

Pond: Field Course-- in something like 2 minutes, you must range and shoot 5 LaRue targets. This was a fun field course. You shot from in the terrain, and you shot targets arranged in the terrain. Getting good range information was important.

Birds: Shooting 6 large and 2 small (I think) clay birds on a backer at 300 yards. This was fun because you could see them break when hit.

Group: Shoot a group at 500 yards.

Faces: Remember your face and shoot it at 100 yards in time. Each face was a full 9x11" sheet of paper which made ID-ing your target easy, but you still had to shoot the "kill zone".

Surveillance: non-shooting stage. Observe a swath of woods for 15 minutes. Find all the shooting related items; write down their description, location, and distance. This was difficult due to unstable positions and mirage.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6532_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6532_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6532_img.jpg)

Tower: On a approx 50' tower, range and engage a LaRue target (about 600 yards), engage a mover at about 160 yards, shoot straight down at some dots, and engage dots at about 80 yards. This was a real fun stage. The tower, though large, sways just a little bit which adds difficulty. Getting all the shots off in the time was a challenge too.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6540_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6540_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6540_img.jpg)

Prairie Dogs: Range and shoot 5 mini poppers under time pressure. This was a fun field course for the same reasons as the other one.

Night Shoot 1 & 2: At 200 yards, shoot your 4 filled water balloons. At 100 yards, shoot a bunch of dots, which were illuminated for 6 seconds for each of 2 shots.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6557_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6557_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6557_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6559_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6559_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6559_img.jpg)

Hot Way Out: A scenario based on your "#2" getting killed and you, the sniper, having to bug out. When the RO yells, "GO", you grab the Colt 9mm SMG, engage two steel silhouettes at about 15 yards. When it's empty, you sling your rifle and run up the path killing all the poppers along it with your pistol. Finish up shooting two LaRues with your rifle over the hood of a truck. This was a real fun field stage.

Stop The Truck: Start shooting an AI-50BMG rifle with a JET suppressor on a large steel plate at 500 yards (the "truck"), two rounds. Then engage five LaRue targets at semi-unknown distances (you can guess easily) with your rifle.

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/166_6610_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6610_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6610_img.jpg)
http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/166_6626_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6626_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6626_img.jpg)

Scope: Range two known-size targets in the field using any optics but no laser range finders.

Zak Smith
July 7, 2005, 01:06 AM

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/165_6545_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6545_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=165_6545_img.jpg)

I shot my 24" AI-AWP (308) with a USO 3.2-17x44mm SN3 with Horus H25 reticle. It had a solid 100 yard "Denver" zero, and I used data from a ballistics program for TacPro's environmental conditions (3000-4000' density altitude). Pistol was my Dan Wesson Patriot 1911, for no reason other than I shot all my SV Limited 40 ammo at MGM two weeks ago, but still had a bunch of 45 loaded. I carried a TT 3-day pack for my raingear, ammo, mags, LRF, binocs, databook, pen, paper, etc.

Everything worked well. 308 is a good choice for this match since the vast majority was in 100-500 yards. The metric-click SN3 with the Horus is a great choice, as long as the usage model is kept pretty simple. I was able to dial, or use the reticle, or a combination as the stage dictated. On the field courses which required ranging and engaging multiple targets, the Horus saved time because I set it back to 0 and used hold-over based on the LRF readings.

On the "Stop the Truck" (50BMG starting) stage, I used the EREK knob to dial the intermediate target distance zero, then held under the right amount for the close target, and then used the incremental holdover in the reticle for the far set of targets.

I had been worried about the thick lines of the H25 obscuring targets. This was only an issue on the smallest targets, and I can dial up to +1 or +4 mils on the EREK, and then use the corresponding "hold under" point in the reticle, where the lines happen to be finer. The adjustable illumination the H25 reticle was perfect on the night stages. The H25 is good for ranging.

Detachable 10 round magazines were vital to succeeding at this match.


The match was a good mix of field, precision, and "pathological"/limit stages. I would have preferred more field courses vs. square-range exercises.

Texas is extremely hot and full of biting insects.


Top 10-
1 Mike Bialka
2 Jacob Bynum
3 Terry Cross
4 Eddie Abraham
5 Adam Popplewell
6 Grank Galli
7 Zak Smith
8 Bach Melick
9 Jim Clark
10 George Gardner

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/small/166_6643_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6643_img.jpg) [ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/TACPRO-2005/?medium=166_6643_img.jpg)

Rest of pictures here:

Hunter Customs
July 12, 2005, 07:43 AM
Congradulations on placing in the top 10. It sounds as if the match is a hell of a match. Also thats some great pictures of the events. I noticed you are from Colorado, maybe you can answer a question for me.
At one time in Colorado there used to be a long range rifle event where the shooter had to shoot at sticks of dynamite, I don't remember the location of the match. Have you ever heard of this type of match in Colorado? If so and the match is still taking place would you post some info on it.
Bob Hunter

4V50 Gary
July 12, 2005, 07:51 AM
Zak - thank you for your report. Good shooting!

Zak Smith
July 12, 2005, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the encouragement, guys.


The shoot you're thinking of is the Gateway Dynamite Shoot: http://www.acsol.net/~firedept/dynamite.html

The "Hell of a match" match is the ITRC in August... :D

http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/ITRC-2004/small/133_3381_img.jpg (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/ITRC-2004/?medium=133_3381_img.jpg)[ link to LARGER image ] (http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/DigiCam/ITRC-2004/?medium=133_3381_img.jpg)


Hunter Customs
July 12, 2005, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the info that's the match I was thinking of. Good luck in any future shooting events you enter and if possible keep the pictures coming they are great.
Bob Hunter