WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

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Paladin
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#16

Post by Paladin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:24 pm

AAR:

This was my first Waco Tactical Fitness event. The weather turned out beautifully, doing my run/walk in the 60 degree afternoon sun.

The GOOD:

My hats off to all the folks that volunteered their time and effort to make this event happen. I'm certain it took a ton of work by some well qualified folks to pull this event off. I'm told that some of the money is going to build an Appleseed KD range in Temple. Feel great that my money is going to a good cause!

Thanks to the town of Crawford and the property owner for supporting this event! Being a city dweller, I don't normally walk around with my battle rattle outside of a military installation. It was a fun adventure getting to explore the course for the first time and rappelling into the creek bed and scrambling across the rocks down there had to be my favorite part. You can't experience God's creation sitting home watching TV. You gotta get out and experience the world and I loved the experience in Crawford.

I love to shoot pistol and rifle and combining those with an obstacle course race is a winning combination. I heard many shooters say that the what the heck Biathlon is their favorite shooting competition event of the year. Those tickets go fast and it was a great turnout at the event.

This event has a focus on fitness. Fitness is something America and Texas desperately needs more of. My hats off to the event organizers for encouraging everyone to improve their fitness. I know I exercised more in the months preceding the event and it helped me focus my exercise routines more on functional fitness. The biathlon was a glorious endeavor to test myself physically as well as testing my gear through all the challenges.

The event attracted a diverse and extremely polite group of fit people. From SF, to the Texas Aggie Marksmanship team, the TXSG to 3-gun and other competitive shooters, to Appleseed instructors and more there were young, middle-aged, and more seasoned competitors. The overall winner Saturday was sporting grey hair, proving it's never too late to succeed at this event.

Any day shooting on an unknown distance(UKD) rifle range is a great day. I thought that was worth the price of admission alone.

As far as stages go, how can you not love the Timothy Murphy stage? It's like reliving history and having fun as a kid climbing a tree at the same time. "Flip it good!" I though was a well designed stage that started out with a tire flip to get your blood going, then 2 handed pistol, and right and left hand only while holding a 30lb dumbbell in your other hand. Good stuff.

I liked obstacles like the balance beam/monkey bars. I've done balance beams and monkey bars before, but its a special challenge while carrying your equipment/firearms. Gloves were a good to have for this and other obstacles.

As far as gear goes, I was surprised more people didn't have Lancer Mags. They are amazing.

This was a competition for free-float rifle barrels. You genuinely need one to be competitive.

The Bad:

I loved "The Walk of Shame". This was considered an Obstacle, but honestly I thought it should have been scored as a stage. Carrying 2 heavy bags to three possible positions, and taking challenging pistol shots really looked like a perfect stage to me. The first position was a small head size target at something like 50 yards. In the interest of time I skipped that and went directly to the second position and got a 1 shot hit on the ~25 yard head sized target. My buddy wasn't so lucky, ran out of ammo, and had to walk the heavy bags all the way to and from the third position. Good stuff that didn't seem to matter much to anyone's score in the grand scheme of a 5+ mile course.

I lost an empty magazine along the way. Probably got forced out of the pouch during one of the many obstacles. Strong mag pouch closures are important.

I've done plenty of rope climbs, but not one where the rope freely spins and knocks me up against a CONEX while I'm carrying $3,000 worth of gear. I recover from scrapes and bruises, but I didn't really want this event to cost me $1,000+ for damaged optics. I could have made it up the rope, but decided just to drop down and go "under" the tire obstacle.

Bonus stage: Without having the benefit of even viewing the designated bolt action rifle or sling we were given 6 shots to hit 3 very small targets. There was nothing to rest the rifle on, and I couldn't figure out the sling under time pressure. Not having time to familiarize myself with the rifle I just hoped the rifle was off safety when I squeezed the trigger for the first time. The rifle had gotten a lot of use that day and had a double feed. I cleared it and got off all my shots hitting 2 of the 3 targets from a very unsteady prone position. This stage reminded me why I never in my life spent any of my hard earned money on a bolt gun. I like pistols, semi-auto rifles, select-fire rifles, subguns, machineguns, etc., but bolt guns just seem so WW1 to me. One of my great-great uncles was a machine-gunner in WW1 and was better equipped back in the day. Russia went with semi-auto sniper rifles long ago and the Barrett M82 is one of several American semi-auto distance rifles. I know bolt guns still have a niche, but just not as fun to me. Might have been better if I had more time to get comfortable with the setup.

The wall was more than 8 feet tall. And sloped towards you. Not a normal wall. Just say'in!

The Ugly:

While I'm glad I did the event, I believe that there are some changes that would enhance it.

Challenges are important. The Appleseed Rifleman challenge is a wonderful challenge. You have to perfect your skills to master your rifle and demonstrate great proficiency with it in the American Tradition.

But not all challenges are relevant. In the military some leaders may "harass" the troops to build fighting spirit or just throw out arbitrary challenges as part of creating military discipline... but in the rest of the world its important for challenges to be relevant to some end. Being the best in the world in underwater basket weaving is nice, but not relevant to anything.

I thought that there needed to more relevance to the stages. For example, you MUST train as you fight... because you fight as you train. Many great instructors like to point out that you fall to the level of your training. At the what the heck event shooters were often forced into sticking their muzzles forward of the barricade (scenarios included Tower, Re-trenched, and to some extent Mozambique Mania). This is a HUGE NO NO. That gives away your exact position and training to shoot that way is training for suicide. I was quietly appalled.

More historical stages like the actions of Sgt York or some other real world scenarios would be both fun and relevant.

I haven't seen all the specifics on Saturday's scoring yet, but with a stage time limit of 3 minutes, including obstacles, there were too many targets and shooting positions for most people on several stages. When 60+% of well-qualified shooters run out of time on a stage, I see it as more of a stage issue than a shooter issue. For others, they see DNF'ing as an opportunity for personal improvement. More power to them, but personally I'd rather see a scoresheet where everyone ranks rather than a page full of generic DNF's.

With stages like Carmageddon, some distant targets looked exactly like their hanging straps. You could waste a lot of ammo on those straps if you didn't know better.

On an unknown distance rifle range, targets MUST be life size for range estimating purposes/realism. There were so many odd size targets that some stages had a fake and unnecessarily confusing feel to them.

It's okay to shoot off your AR-15 magazine. Seriously AR-15's shoot best that way and that's what the military teaches with M4's and M16's. But the Tower was designed to keep you from doing that and shooting on top of the car was not allowed on Carmageddon.

I've done a lot of zip lining. It's usually fun. But the zip line was accelerated this event with an abrupt stop at 40mph and honestly did not look safe. I'd hate to see what the heck get sued over something inevitably going wrong with it.

Summary,

I think there should be more of these pistol/rifle/obstacle course events. There's a demand and they are well worth doing. The group that competed is a fantastic group of Texans who were great to hang out with. Wish we had a country full of 'em. :txflag:
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#17

Post by equin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:45 pm

Great AAR!
Ed

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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#18

Post by Paladin » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:12 am

Scores are in: Image

DNF rates Saturday were Very HIGH! Especially considering we had great weather, as well as the experience and skill level of the competitors (I was one of the few doing this event for the first time). Most of these folks compete regularly and had been doing the event for a while. When 67% percent of 102 participants DNF a single stage that tells you something about the level of difficulty in just completing a stage. The Carmaggedon stage was fun to shoot, I just wish made it all the way to the final shooting position, because I felt a little shorted not getting to try it out.

Paul Howe recommends when going into an unknown situation to give it an 80% effort level. That way you have some physical reserves when an unexpected situation arises. That was what I did, as this was my first go at the course and I didn't really know how far apart all the stages/obstacles were or exactly how much would be demanded. The front part of the course was fairly well marked, but the back half was not as well marked... I wondered around a bit at the athletic field until some helpful people pointed me in the right direction. I actually had quite a bit of rest time at several stages and was not breathing hard during several stages... or at the finish. That is perhaps an issue as I was expecting to be pushed a little harder every time before shooting.

My run time was average with no penalties. I could definitely speed that up on a second try. Was impressed that a few finished in under 50 minutes. Not easy to do that! :tiphat:

Reviewing the scoresheet, methods used to calculate ranks were Byzantine. I have never seen anything like it. The methods and goals are unclear to me. Such odd methods as moving DNF shooters to rank 200 (out of 102 shooters) and bifurcating the shooters into groups before taking averages does not at first glance appear to be statistically valid when DNF'ing appears so arbitrary.

My "finish" rate was 50%, which I guess is decent considering I was using MILSPEC type gear and not competitive
3-gun type equipment that was everywhere out there. I made do with just a plain old Berretta 92FS and non-free floated 20" AR-15 with an ACOG.
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#19

Post by Havens » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:22 am

I have a couple friends who are interested in competing this October. We all live in the Dallas area. Does anyone know the best range in DFW for training?
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#20

Post by equin » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:31 pm

If I remember correctly, I think their longest distance target was 600 yards at their 2018 10K event. So if you can find a range that offers that kind of distance, that would help. FWIW, my range only goes out to 200 yards. I was still able to make their 600 yard shot, even though I had never shot that far before, but their target face was pretty big. I have no idea if I hit the target anywhere near the center, though.
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#21

Post by Paladin » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:37 am

As far as practice ranges in DFW area go: I'm a member at TDSA which has rifle ranges out to 400 yards.
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#22

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:20 am

Paladin wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:37 am
As far as practice ranges in DFW area go: I'm a member at TDSA which has rifle ranges out to 400 yards.
I've let my ETTS membership expire because I wasn’t using it enough to justify the $650/year, but they have several tactical bays that run about 60-75 yards deep and maybe 30 yards wide, a sighting-in range with target stands at 100 and 200 yards, an unknown distance range which I recall being about 500-600 yards deep, and a long distance range which was extended from 1200 to 1300 yards about a year ago or so. The last time I shot on that range, it was a 1200 yard range, with targets beginning at 300 yards, and going out to 1000 in 100 yard increments, and then the 200 yard jump to 1200. I personally was able to get qualified at 800 before I ran out of time (and money :mrgreen: ).

It’s a great facility. It USED to be open to members only and their guests ($20/guest), but the last time I was there they had opened up to non members for day use, for a $20 entry fee. HOWEVER, the 1300 yard range remains available only to members and their guests ... unless they’ve changed things again.

All of that said, I’ve been to both TacPro and ETTS, and ETTS is closer in for DFW shooters, and is IMHO the nicer of the two facilities. The thing that I found disconcerting about the 1000 range at TacPro is that, instead of targets being at increasingly further increments from the firing line, it has ONE target berm with multiple firing lines—meaning that if your shooting at 500 yards like I was, you have to periodically get up and move back to the 1000 yard line so that you don’t have to jump in a foxhole while the 1000 shooters shoot over the top of you when it’s their turn.

Multiple target berms is a much better idea! :lol:
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Re: WACO TACTICAL FITNESS BIATHLON OCT 12

#23

Post by equin » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:40 pm

Paladin wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:37 am
As far as practice ranges in DFW area go: I'm a member at TDSA which has rifle ranges out to 400 yards.
That’s good to know about TDSA. I was a member several years ago, but at the time their rifle range went out to 200 yards max. I’d probably still be a member there, but I was able to get sponored for membership at another club range for a less expensive annual fee.
Ed

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