Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Idea for a shooting competition stage

I was listening to a podcast from a history website on my drive back from camp on Sunday, and the narrator discussed U.S. Army Sergeant Alvin York.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Sergeant York, he was an American doughboy in World War I.  He originally attempted to declare himself unfit for combat duty because of his religious beliefs against war, but was eventually convinced that it was OK to fight for your country and was shipped to France as part of the American Expeditionary Force.

During the Meuse-Argonne battle, then Corporal York was sent forward along with 15 other members of his unit.  The squad of American infantry came under attack by German machine guns while trying to secure some prisoners, killing 6 and wounding 3 Americans.  York reacted superbly.  Using his rifle, he started killing off German machine-gunners who were firing from prepared positions on a ridge.  Eventually, he was rushed by a group of 8 German soldiers.  Using his head and his pistol, he shot the group one at a time from back to front so that the soldiers wouldn't know they were taking fire and stop their rush to shoot him.  Eventually York and the rest of his squad of 13 men took 132 prisoners that day, with a loss of 6 dead and 3 wounded.

York was promoted to Sergeant, and eventually received the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest military award.

As an NCO, I studied Sergeant York's leadership and coolness under fire.  His marksmanship, ability to think and react correctly in a stressful situation, and leadership have made him a legend.

As the narrator was describing the battle, I visualized what Sergeant York was doing.  From the prone unsupported position with a bolt action rifle, he was making head shots at enemy soldiers from distances between 50 and 200 yards.  When he was rushed, probably when his rifle had run dry and needed reloading, he drew his pistol and shot 8 moving targets in such a way that the targets didn't know they were taking accurate fire and stop to shoot him.

Then it occurred to me that this might make a fun and challenging shooting scenario at the range.

Basically, the shooter will be equipped with a World War I era bolt action rifle with open sights, such as a M1903, M1917, Enfield SMLE, Mosin Nagant, or Mauser, and a base-model M1911 .45 caliber pistol with fixed sights.  The shooter is also given 40 rounds of ammunition in 5 round stripper clips for the rifle and 8 rounds of ammunition for the pistol.

Purists will say that York was equipped with a M1917 and a M1911, so a true recreation would have the shooter having only these.  Since M1917 rifles and original 1911's are pretty thin on the ground and are old enough to be collector's pieces, I'll open it up to whatever period rifle the shooter is comfortable with and just use the simplest 1911 that can be found.

The shooter would begin by standing at the firing line, with his weapon loaded and held at the ready.  At the sound of the starting horn, the shooter would drop to the prone unsupported position for the rifle part of the stage. 40 Pop-up targets the size and shape of human heads pop up randomly at 50, 100, 150, and 200 meter distances.  There will be two targets at each distance, for a total of 8 targets.  Each target would pop up 5 times.  This will force the shooter to engage multiple targets at once, and will force the shooter to look at more places for targets.  The targets will pop up for 5 seconds each, with five targets at different ranges popping up at once.  There will be a 5 second pause to reload after every group of five targets. 1 point is scored for each hit on a target

After the rifle targets are finished, there is a 5 to 10 second delay.  At the end of the delay, 8 irregulary spaced man-shaped targets come at the shooter in a staggered formation.  The shooter then draws the 1911.  The shooter must pick out the rearmost target and shoot it with the 1911, then move forward to the next closest target, and so on until all 8 targets are shot in the head or center mass, or a target gets to a predetermined distance from the shooter, probably 2 to 3 feet, bayonet range.  1 point is given for each target that is hit center mass or in the head.

To me it seems pretty challenging, and would be quite a bit of fun to do.

What do you guys think?

Update - I forgot to mention this at first, but thanks to the guys at the GunBlogger Conspiracy for helping me round out this idea!

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.