Mountain Man Match | Top Rated Supplier of Firearm Reloading Equipment, Supplies, and Tools - Colt

Mountain Man Match

Mountain Man Match
We think this event, held back in October, could be inspiring to other shooters, as we enter the new competition season. It shows just how much you can have with a few friends, some targets, and a little ingenuity. Both Sinclair Reloading Tech Ron Dague and Berger Bullets Technical Specialist Bob Blaine share their thoughts about the match, the conditions, and how much fun they had.

Ron Dague's Take On The Match

This match was held on October 5, 2013, and was a fun test of our shooting ability. It also got us out of our comfort zones. We had competitors at the match who drove from as far as 150 miles away. The competition was a good mix of shooters from NRA High Power, benchrest, tactical rifle shooters, and active duty law enforcement.

Attending the match were shooting industry guests from Berger Bullets and Sinclair International. All of the shooters were very glad to see folks from Berger and Sinclair at a local level match and gave a big "Thanks for the support!" to both Berger Bullets and Brownells/Sinclair for all of the prizes donated for the match. The shooters were very impressed and appreciative.

The match was set up in two segments. The first was 5 shots at a 300-yard, half-size silhouette and 5 shots at a 400-yard, half-size silhouette - all in a 5 minute time frame. Most shooters were done in 2.5 to 3 minutes with 10 hits each.

Then we moved over to the opposite side of the range. At 600 yards, we were shooting on a full-size silhouette, and at 1,000 yards, it was back to the half-size silhouette, with 5 shots on each target in only 5 minutes.  When we shot the 600 and 1,000 yard targets, it took about 3.5 to 4 minutes to shoot the 10 shots. It just seems to take a little longer the farther out you go. The 1,000 yard target seemed to be the challenge for the day.

You can just see the 1,000 yard target just to the right of the 600 yard berms.

There were a lot of shooters with 13, 14, and 15, hits at 600 yards. But at the 1,000 yard line, only a few of the shooters had 3 or more hits.

The day started out raining, and we had about a two-hour delay.  Everybody was able to shoot between the rain showers. The match went smoothly, and it came down to the last two shooters to see who would win. Both had 15 hits at 600 yards, and the next-to-last shooter hit all 5 at the 1,000 yard line. The last shooter had 2 hits.  I won the match with a score of 20 hits out of 20 for the only clean sweep shot during the match.

Ron on his way to a “Clean Sweep”! Notice the handy broom under the bench.

Second place went to Eric with 19 hits, and Third place went to Sam D. with 19 hits.  A shoot-off determined Second place, and Third place.

From left to right, Match Director Mark “Mountain Man” McKee, 1st Place;  Ron Dague, 2nd Place; Eric, 3rd Place; Sam D. and Mike Swaidner, General Manager of Hillside Shooting Sports.

The rifle I was shooting is a 6mm-22-250, with a 16x Leupold scope. The bullets were 105 grain Berger VLD's loaded in Lapua brass with VihtaVuori N550 powder. The rifle is a 700 Remington with a 1:8" twist Krieger barrel and a McMillan modified 40X stock, fired off a Sinclair Tactical Bipod.

Bob Blaine Takes The Line

My turn for my 1,000 yard baptism of fire!  To say that I was out of my comfort zone was an understatement! Ron was not out of his "zone" as much as I was. Ron comes from the NRA High Power discipline and is more accustomed to shooting at the longer ranges.  I come from the Benchrest discipline, and the most we generally shoot out to is 300 yards.  I found out in a hurry that those targets get real small at 1,000 yards! 

I have wanted to try shooting at the longer ranges, and Ron offered to coach me so that I would have an idea of what I needed to do.  We went to the range the day before the match so that we could work on the long range basics, and get my come-ups ready.  This was not only the first time shooting at the longer ranges, but the first time that I had ever shot this cartridge beyond point blank range!  When it was all said and done, I found out the day of the match how much different conditions affect shooting performance!

This is the range configuration to 1,000 yards from the firing line.

During practice, the temperature had been warmer and the wind very consistent across the range.  I fired 14 hits, with four out of five hits on the 1,000 yard target.  Little did I know what would be in store for me on the day of the match. The conditions on match day were rain and cold, and finally, warm, and sunny.  After waiting out the rain front, the range was drenched, and the light and wind conditions were a whole lot different.

Shooters and spotters to a very wet firing line!

After a drawing to determine the shooting order, I was the first shooter to the line.  At the two closer ranges, I held my own.  From that point, it went downhill rather quickly.  At 1,000 yards, I could not get a hit on steel.  The spotters were telling me that I had just missed off the side of a shoulder, or just beside the head, but no sound of steel going "clang!"  When everything was done, I had a stranglehold on last place with seven hits.  I sure wish that I could have used my practice score from the day before!

Mark McKee spotting for shooters and monitoring the match.

But I did learn that long range shooting is fun!  So you can bet that I will be back to learn more, and improve my scores.  With any luck, I will get to the point that I might have to challenge Ron for a shoot-off down the road, at another Mountain Man Match!  One thing that I do want to say is to thank Ron, and all of the other folks who helped me.  Being a physically challenged shooter stuck on crutches is bad enough, but all of the help with the coaching, and moving my gear between relays, is appreciated more than any of you can realize.  The only thing that I can do is to thank all of you again for your help so that I can continue to put hot lead down range!

Bob just finishing his first long range match!

My rifle is a Remington 700, switch barrel, short action.  It had a Satern 1:7.7" twist barrel in the action, for the match, and it is chambered for the 6mm Competition Match cartridge.  Bullets were the Berger 6mm, 105 grain Match Hunting VLD bullets, and I had been using H-1000 powder in Winchester .243 brass.  The scope is a Leupold 6.5x20 Vari-X III set at 20x, and the stock is a Bell & Carlson straight comb varmint stock with a full beavertail forend.  I had used a Sinclair Standard Front Rest while shooting from the bench.  Needless to say, I will be going back out to learn the long range shooting a lot more!

Ron and I were glad to be at the match, and we hope that we were able to answer your questions in regard to the Berger Bullets, and Sinclair International, products and usage for all of you.

We would also like to thank Mike Swaidner, and all of the folks at Hillside Shooting Sports, for allowing all of us to use their 1,000 yard rifle range at Roanoke, Indiana.

Ron Dague
Sinclair Reloading Tech

Bob Blaine
Berger Technical Specialist