NRA High Power has the National Matches. Bunker Trap has the Olympics. 3-Gun? They have the MGM Iron Man. It’s considered to be the toughest course of fire ever created by man, and it happens once a year in Idaho where rain is more often an issue than heat.

SinistralRifleman is one of the most hardcore competitors out there, and someone who helped me when I was first getting into competition shooting. He competes in trooper division, which means that he carries all of his guns and equipment on his back from stage to stage and forfeits the use of anything he leaves behind. I’ll let that sink in for a second: he carries ALL of his guns and ammo ON HIS BACK in the hot desert over miles of sand and STILL competes against the guys with the carts and strollers. AND WINS. Usually.

I talked to him just a short while ago, and while he finished 5th out of 26 competitors in Trooper division. Despite being beaten, he didn’t seem sad. “There were a lot more good shooters in Trooper this year. The game has been upped.” SinistralRifleman was one of the original competitors in the Trooper division, which was formed as a reaction to the increased use of strollers and carts to carry equipment.

I asked him about how he thought the competition was compared to previous years. “It was the most efficiently run and organized. I think splitting it in half had a lot to do with that.” Normally competitors in all divisions shoot at the same time, but this year the different divisions shot on different days.

But what about the competition itself? “The round count is less, but they are still challenging, and there was more accuracy with small targets and tight no shoots this year.”

He video tapes all of his stages for our viewing pleasure, and I thought I should let you guys in on some of the fun. Click here for his blog.

Stage 2: Texas Stars, 400 yard steel, and a SLIDE! Weeeeeeee!

Stage 3: ZIP LINE. That is all.

Stage 4: There’s a dark tunnel and he uses a flashlight and laser sights, and then shotgun slugs at contact distance.

Stage 5: Just enough ammo to finish the stage, and not a round more.

Stage 6: Flying clay targets, cars, and lots of steel.

Stage 7: A Texas Star behind a pair of no shoot targets.

Stage 8: Tons of steel from inside a tunnel cutout, and then targets from on top of a see-saw.

Stage 9: Moving a dummy around and then precision shooting. Oh, and driving a golf cart down the stage.

Stage 10: WAY too many targets.

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5 Responses to Ironman 2011 3-Gun Wrap-Up

  1. From his blog: “My total load out between pistol belt, vest, pack, guns, and ammo for the match weighed in at 140 pounds at the start”

    140 lb pack, WOW

  2. Yeah! Rockstar! Man, I so wish my local range would put one of these on. We don’t have the space and well…..darn cowboy action shooters are a bit overly protective if you ask me.

    Looks like a lot of fun. Is there a rimfire division? Rifle, pistol, shotgun (.410 or 20ga)? Given our space limitations, I might be able to sell that idea to the board

  3. That looks like a lot of fun.

    I need to get into 3-gun. I’m in NoVA, so there are places for me to do it here. I just need to get a rifle and do it already.

  4. I have been shooting the Iron Man 6 years. While I don’t have a lot of other big matches to compare too, it is an amazing match. I have competed in scoped Tac, trooper and this year, heavy optics. The Gibson family excels at designing challenging stages every year! The way the match was run this year, you could shoot the match in one division Sun-Tue, and shoot it again in scoped Tac Thur-Sat. If you wanted to double your round count. I would encourage anyone to shoot this match. The courses of fire are long enough to actually learn and correct problems.

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