2011 MGM Ironman
The Colt CR Pro rifle is running like a scalded dog.
Thanks to Chad Adams of 3 Gun Nation for the photo.
For folks who like to shoot 3 Gun, few matches instill such a sense of aawe as when you mention the MGM Ironman 3 Gun. Started by Mike Gibson in 1999 because he wanted to shoot more, the MGM Ironman has been know as the most demanding 3 Gun match around ever since.
With round counts approaching 100 rounds per stage and using all 3 guns on every stage, the Ironman puts a competitor and their gear to the test on every course of fire. Not only does the sheer volume of fire challenge the competitors, the courses of fire and targetry used are what very much separates shooters.
For the last two years the Ironman has been a stop on the 3 Gun Nation tour with man on man shootoffs and cash payouts to the winners.
Yeah, I have yet to make it to a shoot off. MGM wasn’t going to my first…The nature of the match is to challenge shooters and work on expanding their comfort zones. Travis Gibson and the crew who shows up to help run the Ironman aren’t afraid to lay out seemingly impossible stages that are regularly two to three times longer than most stages. Our squad started on Stage 8 and so, the challenge began. The range bays at the Parma Rod and Gun Club allow for a lot of movement and shooting in various directions. We started with the pistol, engaging 3 different arrays of targets from this wooden maze contraption, popping up from 3 positions in the maze. Then you transitioned to rifle and engaged targets which were within 7-10 yards, from 3 different positions on 3 see-saws. Then you transitioned to shotgun and engaged a Texas star target, multiple 4″ round steel plates, 9 pepper poppers and a plate rack. Not done yet…Some sadistic match director/stage designer decided it would be fun to set up an MGM spinner target at 70 yards and have to turn it with shotgun slugs. Let me just say this, I had 20 slugs on my belt and didn’t turn the target. I ended up battling it for 60 seconds and still got the 60 second penalty for not turning it. I think that set the tone for the rest of the match.
The rest of the time I shot well, just too slow. The spinner had beaten me up more than I thought. Still, I fought on! I’ve shot the Ironman enough to know a lot can happen in the remaining stages. The rest of the stages were just as challenging, just as tiring, and in many ways, just as humbling. This year the weather in Idaho pretty much cooperated. In fact, I was amazed, but when we shot the long distance stage with the 550, 650 and 720 yard bonus shots, it was dead-calm. I’m sure that was a big reason I was able to hit all 15 long distance bonus shots! A first for me…I used a LaRue OBR, a Zeiss scope and a Horus reticle. The 175 grain .308 was dead on, with some data from Trip McIngvale who had roughly the same setup, thanks Trip.
Overall, the match was great. If you want to really challenge your gear and what you think you know about 3 Gun, the MGM Ironman is the ultra-marathon of 3 Gun! Check out more coverage at www.3gunnation.com .