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Active duty military, federal law enforcement officers, retired military and civilian long range shooters descended on an area near Colville, Washington — 65 miles north of Spokane International Airport — to participate in the first annual Long Range Operators Challenge (LROC). This event, which took place March 7-9, is a multi-stage affair designed to test sniper skills of competitors while exposing equipment to realistic and challenging conditions. Our friends at Soldier Systems dispatched Roy Lin of Weapon Outfitters to observe the challenge. Scroll down to read his detailed review on Soldier Systems, which includes a rundown of the weapons, participants, conditions and overall experience.

The Long Range Operators Challenge is a team event. Each team consists of one sniper and one spotter. According to the LROC website, target distances range from 1m to 2000m and beyond. Throughout the three-day challenge, teams had to battle adverse weather conditions. When Lin arrived, he found that a massive amount of snow had been dumped onto the area. There was also fast moving low clouds, rain, and wind for participants to contend with.

While there, Lin observed a variety of issued and non-issued equipment being used. Among the issued equipment was an M24 and a refurbished Mk110 SASS. In terms of non-issued, Lin observed an Nemo Arms semi-automatic 300 Win Mag rifle, a Desert Tactical Arms bullpup sniper rifle, a Primary Weapon Systems Mk2 (piston AR-10 variant), a GA Precision GAP-10, and a host of Remington 700s. Due to the fact that civilian long-range shooters could experiment with rifles, gear, ammunition, gunpowder, primers, and reloading techniques, Lin felt that the civilian teams had a natural advantage.

Teams had to carry all of their equipment between stages, which had names like Combat Search and Rescue, Combat Outpost, SWAT Challenge, Defense, Valley, Meadow, Over watch, Spotter Talk, The Ridge and IED Lane. As Lin reports, the distance between each was roughly 400 yards on average. Some competitors wore snow shoes, while others donned hiking boots, Gaiters and jeans. According to Lin, the LROC also had AR-500 steel targets in a number of sizes from small head-sized boxes to USPSA “popper”-sized targets at longer ranges.

To read Roy Lin’s full after-action report on the Long Range Operators Challenge, please visit our friends at www.SoldierSystems.net

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