We fired three stages from 25 yards. I opted to fire all three stages two-handed, as I have not yet mastered that position. At first, I worried about shooting 10 shots in five minutes, comparing it to service rifle where slow-fire stages have one minute per shot. I needn’t have worried — I fired all 10 shots far too quickly, with Lt. Col. Sleem reminding me to slow down. I errantly carried this thought into the timed and rapid-fire stages, saving a few rounds. It didn’t matter as all this was practice for the actual match, which for me was still just practice.

Before each stage came a short preparation period — time for you to hold the gun, dry-fire and get a natural point of aim. At the conclusion of this three-minute time frame, the cardboard targets turned sideways. When the command was given and the targets again turned broadside, a flurry of shots range out. The line was made safe after each stage as we walked forward to score and paste the targets for the next round.