2015 MGM Ironman Stage 5

We recently sponsored the 2015 MGM Ironman 3-Gun “The Toughest 3-Gun Match On Earth” in Parma, Idaho.  Almost 300 shooters shot 1,200-2,000 rounds of ammo on 10 stages over 3 days…every one of which was timed and scored.  It was an awesome event put on by Travis Gibson from MGM Targets and it was a great group of shooters.  All of the shooters received a copy of Tactical Firearms Training Secrets and a handfull of the top winners received Dry Fire Training Cards in addition to guns and other major prizes.

There were shots ranging from 2 feet to 900 yards with a 15 mph cross wind, pistol plate racks at 40 yards, dirt, running, shooting while driving, dirt, running, clearing trenches, shooting 100-300 yard targets from a 20′ high metal platform, ladders, sliding, skipping with a “Hello Kitty” umbrella, (did I mention dirt and running?) and more.

Guns, gear, ammo, technique, and mental control were repeatedly tested beyond what you can normally find anywhere besides actual combat.  It’s not unusual for people to swap out guns in the middle of a stage…sometimes more than once!

This was my first major 3-gun match after shooting 2 local matches (I’ve shot several 2 gun matches over the years, but this is only my 3rd 3-gun).  I THOUGHT I was ready and would be competitive simply because of being solid with my pistol and carbine and sheer force of will on the shotgun.  I was a wee bit wrong :)  My optics crapped out on me 2 days before leaving, my shotgun reloads regularly took 10 TIMES longer than other shooters, I had 3-10 shotgun malfunctions on every stage, and I had one stage where I had 11 ammo malfunctions on the rifle.  I shot it with my Glock 26 subcompact…probably the only person ever silly enough to run this event with a subcompact, but the size of my gun was a non-issue and the effectiveness of our training was (fortunately) proved out again.

The event was a GREAT opportunity to practice staying cool when lots of stuff was going wrong, testing/confirming gear and testing/confirming skills and I want to encourage you to seek out a local 3-gun match and give it a try…even if it’s with your carry gun, a lever action rifle and a pump home-defense shotgun.  Try it out…and see whether the stuff you’ve got works under the minor stress of competition before you find out that it doesn’t work when you’re in the middle of a real situation.

With that, here’s a quick and pretty darn fun video of me shooting one of the stages…40 yard pistol shots, 40″ pistol shots, trenches, and you’ll even get to see me skipping (on the clock, as part of the stage) while pulling a “pram” with a baby doll and holding a “Hello Kitty” umbrella :)


If you like it, please click the “thumbs-up” button above.
(the thumbs-up button will appear on the top edge of the video once it starts playing if your mouse is on the video)

One thing to note is that this was part of the proving-out process for Dry Fire Fit, and our soon to be released Carbine Dry Fire Cards.

Questions? Comments? What are your thoughts? Share them by commenting below either through Facebook (preferred) or directly on the blog:

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  1. Paul Lackey
    1 year ago

    Wow! I am still out of breathe just watching. Keep up the good fight and videos.


  2. Darryl
    1 year ago

    wow that is not fun gotta try this


  3. Ed
    1 year ago

    I enjoyed it but could not find the thumbs-up button.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks, Ed…when the video’s playing, if you put your mouse over the video, the thumb’s-up button will be on the top of the video, on the right half.


  4. Frank
    1 year ago

    Way too much fun! A magazine fed shotgun would be in order. He did some really nice shooting, especially with a subcompact pistol. That looks like another place you had better have your gear in order, reloads planned, a place for empty mags (not in the dirt!), etc.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks, Frank. I had my reloads planned on a couple of stages, but–quite frankly–planning my reloads isn’t the lowest hanging fruit that I’ve got for improvement right now :)

      I used a dump pouch for one of the stages, but for the rest, they went into that talcum powder like dirt and are getting cleaned now…after the match.


  5. Hank
    1 year ago

    A super video and it looks like a fun day. What was your time and where did you finish? I’m a little to old and to crippled up to run that coarse. Please do more of these.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      I didn’t place all that well…102nd. This was the last of the 10 stages at the end of the 3rd day and I’d FINALLY worked a lot of my kinks out. I had 3 major problems.

      1. Some of my rifle ammo had out of spec caselengths and I had several malfunctions, including 11 on a single stage. I learned that I need to use a chamber gauge on all of my ammo in the future.
      2. My shotgun and my slugs didn’t always play well together. I learned that I needed to run it with a LOT of lube.
      3. This was the first stage where I got all of the double spinners to spin. I got 1-3 60 second penalties on all 9 other stages because of not being able to spin them at longer distances.
      4. My shotgun reloads were S L O W. A lot of the guys reload 8 shells in 4-5 seconds. It took me upwards of 20-30 seconds. That’s just a lack of practice.


  6. Steve
    1 year ago

    Fantastic good run!!!


  7. Greg Smith
    1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing that. I enjoyed the exercise vicariously.


  8. Wally
    1 year ago

    Great shooting!


  9. AtlasGrinned
    1 year ago

    Shocked at the number of weapon malfunctions!
    Reeeally makes me reevaluate the wisdom of simpler, more time-tested weapon systems.
    Overall—in terms of shots downrange and “seconds of pure defenselessness”—maybe a double-barreled scattergun should be in the running!


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      On this stage, the biggest issue wasn’t malfunctions (I know I had one, but don’t think there were more than that) but reloading. The shotgun held 8+1, but the stage required something along the lines of 30+ rounds, so there were 3+ stops for reloads.


  10. GERALD
    1 year ago

    VERY INTERESTHING.


  11. Max
    1 year ago

    Looks like some fun, even with a baby and a pink umbrella! Nice job.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      I’ve got to admit that a youth shooter and I were the ONLY ones in my squad who chose to skip with the doll and the umbrella. The Marines mostly carried the 100#+ plates or the 150# dummy, but one Marine carried the plates, the dummy, AND the doll. I was simply chicken of tweaking my back unnecessarily and the risk/reward for me didn’t make sense.

  12. Ox:

    OUTSTANDING! buddy, Your making my old has been fanny envious`!

    I know you had a blast!
    GGGRRR888

    Semper Fi
    Machete Eddie


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks, Eddie…the Marine Combat Shooting Team on my squad did you proud. A GREAT group of guys.


  13. David Leatherman
    1 year ago

    That is incredible shooting and you have to be in pretty good shape. How did you maintain breath control with all of the running?


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      There are several theories/practices on this. Some of the “best” ones don’t work for me at all. What I do while I’m running is breathe in for a 4 count, hold for a 4 count, and blow hard through pursed lips until I’m out of air and then inhale immediately.

      When it is time to shoot, I make sure that I’m breathing in a way that my eyes are fully oxygenated, but I don’t pay attention to breathing in relation to when I press the trigger at all unless I’m trying to do sub MOA shooting at 100 yards or more and my breathing is moving my aim off target.

      When you’re letting the unconscious mind drive the process and have state control, it’s just not an issue. I wish I could explain why or how in more detail, but I can now do a series of 100 yard full-speed wind sprints (full speed for me is a LOT slower than it used to be) and repeatedly stop at both ends and make precision pistol and 100 yard rifle-torso shots using this technique.


  14. Lowell Morrison
    1 year ago

    I am bushed just watching this. Geesh, No Thumbs up button, but a double thumbs up anyway.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks, Lowell :)


  15. Bob
    1 year ago

    My observations:

    1. That course is harder than anything I was exposed to in the military (to include Ranger School) or the Police Qualification course.

    2. He is a very good shot.

    3. He kind of runs like a girl LOL. That is all.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      The “he” you refer to is “me” and thanks for #1 & #2. 80-90% of my practice is dry fire and the pistol practice is using drills from http://DryFireTrainingCards.com

      On #3, I kind of didn’t want to post the video because of how unimpressed I was with how I looked running on the video :) It’s a combination of the majority of my running being long distance trail running AND the fact that my back went out on me the night I arrived in Parma after an 8 1/2 hour drive in my F350. It wasn’t hurting at the time, but the same thought process that drove me to skip with a pink umbrella to protect my back was also driving my running form (or the lack thereof). Ugh. :)


  16. graynor
    1 year ago

    What a great way to spend the day. Just think if you could get laid after that event you would think you died and went to heaven .
    Guns, cold beer, warm ladies


  17. Bernard n. Smith
    1 year ago

    Great shooting and video.


  18. Jim Snedigar
    1 year ago

    Damn….good shooting !!!


  19. Todd McFarland
    1 year ago

    Sign me up! That is probably the best 3 gun stage I have ever seen on video. Just the kind of challenges I am looking for


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      I don’t think the dates are set for next year yet, but I’ll be there again…possibly running it twice…both limited and tactical optics. http://mgmironman.com/?source=ox


  20. Doug Gerber
    1 year ago

    Too much running for me. I’ll stick with IDPA. Glad you had some fun though.


  21. Jerry
    1 year ago

    Cool, looks like a lot of fun.


  22. Marcos
    1 year ago

    Man that was fun to watch … I gotta come hang out with you for a few days!


  23. Russell Lissuzzo
    1 year ago

    Awesome comp work course. Wish something like that existed. close to me in Chicago area


  24. kdchex
    1 year ago

    No ear protection??


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Ear plugs…you might be able to see the lanyard sticking out of my ears.


  25. Mike
    1 year ago

    Nice skipping!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks…I have a feeling that little choice is going to provide an endless amount of ammo for my friends for years to come :)


  26. Ronald Remsen
    1 year ago

    That was really an awesome display of standing and running and gunning.


  27. Greg K
    1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing and great shooting. Hate to see you with a G17L or G34. That shows maturity to let common sense (by taking care of your back ) over rule your ego. I will be 45 this year and I am finally admitting I am not the invincible Marine I was. A healthy body is the most precious thing we can have. This looks like some really entertaining exercise for any age. FYI grey hairs: do more stretching, yoga even. I tore a calf sprinting this spring because I thought stretching was for girls.


    • Ox
      1 year ago

      Thanks, Greg. I’m on a parallel path with you on stretching. I thought it was just something to do to show off how flexible I was…until I wasn’t. Now it’s a necessary part of my routine.


  28. Ken Baker
    1 year ago

    Nice run! I felt myself getting smoked, just watching with the wagon and parasol.


  29. Jerry Zambardi
    1 year ago

    Living the dream I live in a state that will never allow this to happen, great job, thanks for the video,
    Shoot often — Shoot straight


  30. Jim H from Hayden
    1 year ago

    Ox,
    Fantastic video. Wow, I could only wish I could move like that. Impressive to see you shooting, as always. Hope your back has recovered. I can’t make the match at FRGC on June 20, hope to see you soon. Take care,
    Jim


  31. Dr Hull
    1 year ago

    Awesome!
    Best Practice for Training for War!


  32. RICK BAPPERT
    6 months ago

    AWSOME NO THUMBS UP ON VIDEO EVEN WITH MOUSE ON IT OR I WOULD HAVE CLICKED IT KEEP IT UP RICK


  33. Diana
    6 months ago

    You were able to do all of this with an aching back? Amazing!


  34. Bill
    6 months ago

    Now that looked like fun!!!
    You just made me feel much better…. when I load my shot gun ( KSG) while I am practicing reloading quickly…. I put it over my shoulder like you did… I always felt it was not “Proper” usage… if you do it… I will continue to do it.


  35. Gary Rabetoy
    6 months ago

    Impressive shooting! Congratulations on a very nice performance!! Many thanks for sharing this.


  36. Mark
    6 months ago

    Great video. I especially like the tactical part to switching up weapons. You get the feel for changing your concentration to harbor self- defense on different platforms. Truly soldier like, but you’re retired right! Ha, Ha, Ha!


  37. Patricia Graefe
    6 months ago

    Great Job and great shooting.


  38. Stan LAUGHLIN
    6 months ago

    Great video. Truly impressed with your shots after each long run. Great breath and body control. No rushing about just smooth and steady. Good work.

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