The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place directives have taken a toll on organized evens of all kinds, not the least of which have been shooting competitions. Competitive shooting takes many different forms, but nearly all types of matches have one thing in common—groups of shooters gather together to shoot, compete and enjoy camaraderie with the “shooting family.”
Competing in 3-Gun During Coronavirus Pandemic
After two months of virtual quarantine, imagine my excitement when I saw a social media post that a match was being planned only 25 miles from my home in rural Tulsa. Not so affectionately named the “F#[email protected] The Rona 300 Shootout,” thoughts of shooting a match were enough to pique my interest, even though I hadn’t shot 3-Gun since I had complete right shoulder replacement nearly three years ago.
The fact that Bryan Corry was directing and designing the match pushed me over the line. Corry is a match designer extraordinaire. He’s well known throughout the 3-Gun community for designing extremely challenging, but fair matches. They really test shooters of all abilities. Learning the nearby match would be designed by Corry, I had no choice but to sign up on Practiscore.
As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one interested. Despite rainy weather the three days leading up to the match and a wet forecast on match day, shooters ranging from beginners to pros showed up in droves. They weren’t just from the immediate area either. The match featured shooters from Texas, Kansas, Missouri and even Wisconsin. In all, 64 shooters participated in the match.
The match had five stages, and all were difficult while also being intriguing. And as usual, my range bag was a lot lighter at the end than before we started!
3-Gun Coronavirus Match Differences
In some ways, the match was the same as any other match. But some aspects made it seem somewhat different than matches in the past.
- Shooters tended to put a little more distance between themselves and others when the occasion allowed it.
- I had never seen hand sanitizer at a match before, but saw two or three people using it in our squad. I even had some in my 3-Gun cart that I used a time or two.
- It seemed to me there was a little more elbow bumping and a little less hugging than in the past. Handshakes were still common, but some chose not to participate.
- The biggest difference, however, is that people seemed to be enjoying themselves more than at any match I had shot in the past. I know I did. Despite everyone being at least a little rusty from staying at home and missing their normal range time, most seemed to realize more than ever that some of the things we love to do are all too often taken for granted.
Honoring Mike Mosher
The “Rona” match, as it came to be called, also held a dear spot in the hearts of many shooters. The organizers held a raffle in honor of a slain law enforcement officer who was close to many participants. Police officer Mike Mosher of Overland Park, Kansas, was a member of the 3-Gun family. His widow, 3-Gun shooter Corinne Mosher, along with daughter Tyler, were on hand to visit with participants and even helped us reset some stages.
During a raffle on Mike’s behalf, many participants stood noticeably farther away from each other in a more scattered crowd than normal. Despite that, sponsors and participants were generous. The raffle raised nearly $4,000 for Special Olympics of Kansas City in Mike Mosher’s name.
In the end, although I didn’t expect much after an extended absence from the sport, I managed a fourth-place finish out of eight shooters in Limited division. More than anything else, though, getting out of the house and back together with my 3-Gun “family” was a tremendous boost to my mental well-being.
It felt good to get back out there during the 3-Gun Coronavirus match. Here’s to a day very soon when all American gun owners will be back on the range safely enjoying what they love and practicing their Second Amendment rights!
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by Tactical Life / May 20, 2020