Category Archives: Range Events

Blog posts that review events that MOA Targets participated in, frequently including demo targets and nifty firearms.

The importance of having a good spotter

I recently attended Cola Warrior West V. Some of you may have heard of this event, for those who haven’t, it’s a single stage 2gun match with elements of Tough Mudder and Jackass. Whatever you do, don’t go on youtube and start searching around for it, unless you have a lot of patience for silliness and emesis.

I allow none but the best to spot for me. High Woman from Cola Warrior West III helping out here

Anyhow, West V was my 16th Cola War, as I recall. I was staff and sponsor at this even, and did a run in an inflatable trex suit for the lulz during the staff runs. We ended up having time for me to do a serious run, and I did it on Combat Class (body armor, FAK and TQ, 1L water, carry your mags on you). I ended up putting up my best raw time (16:02) of any event, and one of my best placements (6th of 103, 1st of nine in Combat Class).

I credit a lot of that to the expert spotting I received, as shown in the picture. Having a spotter you can work closely with help make sure their adjustment calls are accurate. This service is provided for both new and experienced Cola Warriors on request. Or, hell, if you didn’t specifically ask for it not to happen. Rifle is a Colt 6940 for with a TA31 (my Village Bicycle) with a Harris bipod and a B5 stock, SSA-E trigger.

A rifle rate Red Neck Texas Star at 100 yards, with custom pointy paddles in front of a Joshua Tree. That won’t lead to any confusion, right?

It took me about two minutes to clear the 13 rifle targets ranging from a 4” hostage swinger at 100 yards to a full size IPSC Metric at 520 yards. There was also a texas star, a minimo, an armored bad guy, two cazadors, and a banjo mixed in there. As usual, all targets at Cola Warrior West were provided by MOA. Pistol range included several themed targets and a new prototype system, the Irish Half Rack, built on the concept came up with by North Salt Lake Welding who graciously gave us permission to go for it.

There are some important things you can pick up from this photo.

Bipod is deployed, but still has some additional adjustment available in it. You want your bipod to be tall enough to clear vegetation if need be and provide a comfortable angle. I saw a lot of people deflecting rounds off nearby vegetation and being way off as a result. Pick your bipod based off the environment you expect to be using it in. I often shoot from off camber field positions while hunting coyotes with this rifle. I don’t however expect to ever deal with tall grass. Lots of sage brush and rocks, steep hillsides, and mountains. With body armor, I’m bulkier than usual (the beer gut doesn’t help). Too tall and you’re doing the ground squirrel neck stretch which is uncomfortable and in real life makes you a bigger target. If you have the opportunity before your time to shoot, get up to the range and figure out where the targets are, distances, and where you want to shoot from. If you can glass them, all the better. This event allowed everything short of loading the firearm as long as you weren’t in the way. So I had already prone out with my rifle, adjusted my stock and bipod, and figured out what order I wanted to shoot the targets in.

I’ve got as much of my body in contact with the ground as I can. Normally, I’d have that left arm holding the stock into my right shoulder. However, because of the time of day and layout of the range, I was basically staring into the sun for most of the shooting portion. The TA31 has a fiber optic bar on top for dot illumination. During high light times like this, it’ll wash out the whole reticule. So, the left hand is being used to block the fiber optic while still providing some support to the shooting platform.

I used about 35 round to clear the rifle portion. The manner in which I attached a hydration bladder to my Esstac ASS was janky as hell, but it worked. If you want to do it properly, you need their Daeodan unit, not the Light/ASS. Their Kiwi mag pouch systems work fantastically, I’ve never lost a mag doing stupid human tricks. They’re all I use any more. Future upgrades include dropping some weight, figuring out a better way to do a hydration bladder on my ASS, and getting matching yoga pants.

Desert Brutality 2019 AAR, Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range, St George UT

Dear Internet,

MOA Gear and Targets
MOA Gear and Targets

Thank you for putting up with my shenanigans at the event. I like events where I get to see human suffering, failure, and lessons being learned. I personally finished towards the bottom of the pack, and had a bunch of lessons as well. I’ll be applying them as I go, to better myself for future events, and I hope you will too.

I saw a lot of great footwork, weapons manipulation, and shooting this weekend. I saw a lot of shitty things as well. The good news is no one got shot, and we can all get better at this.

87
NVGeologist and Sinistralrifleman on the math stage

I loved seeing the costumes and gear, cosplay and unique shit. I don’t play gun pokemon, so most of it was over my head, but it’s always interesting.

Event staff was fantastic, and I’m looking forward to working with Forgotten Weapons and SinistralRifleman, as well as the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range (SUPSR) staff again at future events. Meeting a mess of gunnitors and arfcommers that I knew from the internet and now know IRL is awesome, as always.

two goofuses on the range
The heroes we deserve.

As MOA Targets, I sponsored Stage 2 and had targets on the vendor range for the weekend. Stage 2 had three MINIMO targets provided by me, as well as a polish plate rack, texas star, and standard plate rack owned by SUPSR. This stage crushed most people. About 85% of people parred out on it, and many never got to the rifle portion, which was the last plate rack.

I derive my life force from human suffering, and am well on my way to being immortal. I served as Range Officer at this stage Friday for the staff runs, and then watched and often filmed the competitors during the event. For those who watched the live stream, you got to see me yell generally helpful but obnoxious advice like “quit missing” “you’re low” “slow the fuck down”. For those who didn’t, you can find it on the MOA FB page. For those who don’t care, carry on.

I’ll be working on cutting video in the next few weeks. It was very cool how many people came up to me after their runs cracking up and thanking me for my advice. I always enjoy seeing people figure out what they are doing wrong mid flow and picking up and doing well. There was one guy who asked the collective peanut gallery to “SHUT THE FUCK UP” during his run, we did, he still sucked. For the record, the briefing by Karl at the start of the event made it clear that coaching, encouragement, ribbing, and peanut gallery is encouraged at this event, with the note of “shut the fuck up” if the runner asks for it.

On a technical basis, the MINIMOs worked correctly for the event, and the SUPSR guys were impressed enough to ask to buy the demo units after the match. Lucky for them, the three units on the range were my donation as Sponsor, and I cut them a pretty sweet deal on one more so they have four. Look for those targets in future matches.

LOW you're hitting LOW
Turns out the MINIMO is rated for 40MM. Neat!

I learned a lot about my gear, having run the match with a PCC as my rifle. The Colt mags I borrowed caused me some problems from overloading them (they don’t hold as many as the converted Uzi mags I usually use) which hosed my time on Stage 1, with 11 penalties. I also was carrying too much ammo (I competed in Armor +P, where you carry everything all the time) which was fucking heavy, ditto with water. My firearms worked great other than the mag related issues on my first stage. I need to practice shooting in armor and with a helmet more, the positioning is significantly different. I’m also fat and slow, so I’m working on that. Superstition Mystery Mountain 3gun is coming up in six weeks, and Cola Warrior West in seven. Time to put the pedal to the metal.

Don’t try this at home – MOA Steel vs Antitank rifle

A while back, we got a message from a friend asking if we knew anything about WWI tank armor. We didn’t, but with the power of the internet, we figured it out fast. Short version, 1/2″ AR450 is roughly equivalent in spec to what was used by the Brits. The whole project was put on by and documented by our friends at https://www.forgottenweapons.com Full article linked below.

 

Could a Tankgewehr Really Take Out a British MkIV Tank?

“I made this” : A story of steel target design and meme warfare (CLAYSTAR)


Tldr The guy who has a history of getting butthurt about other companies building similar (or identical) steel target designs got called out for ripping off my new design.

Last summer I started prototyping a new version of a steel target system

Basically, I took the standard competition texas star concept and turned it on it’s head. Instead of shooting the first paddle off and then picking off the rest as it spun, you had to shoot clay targets out of the paddles. If you hit a paddle, you’d get penalized, and it would then start swinging, making it harder.

Jade Struck @ Superstition Mystery Mountain 3Gun (SMM3G) 2018

I kept the system a secret until a big 3gun match in Arizona this spring, Superstition Mystery Mountain in Mesa AZ. It went great, everyone loved (hated) it and a fine time was had by all.
One of my major competitors, Travis Gibson of MGM Targets, was at the match.

The system has been used in another major 3gun match since then, and a couple minor ones. I’ve sold a few system and the paddles. Time passed.

Here’s where things get interesting. The Lucas Oil PCC Championship was this weekend. I started getting messages yesterday from people asking if I had a Claystar at the Lucas Match. Nope.

Turns out MGM provided all the steel, including a claystar system compatible with their star, which they called a claystar (which is what I’ve been calling it).

All good, I don’t patent these things, I just want the credit. There’s a long history in the steel targets industry of not patenting things, and competing on your ability to make a solid design at a fair price backed with good customer service, and giving credit to the creator when they come up with something new. Texas Stars are generally attributed Terry Ashton of Texas, utilizing oil field scrap and pipe. Polish plate racks I’m fairly sure are the creation of North Salt Lake Welding. The first dueling tree documentation I have found involved Jeff Cooper and Seligman Shooting Products. The pepper popper is named for instructor John Popper. The claystar is my current contribution to the industry, IDGAF if other companies make it, I’d just like a crack at selling it to people along with the targets that hold it.

So, I posted up on my biz facebook, tagged him and his biz. Shit blew up reaaaaaal good.

A few hours later I got a from someone who indicated he’s with MGM, and that they had no idea that Travis had done this and that he wanted me to know what good people the are, and that they won’t be selling the claystar, and if they do they will credit me. I told him that’s fine, I just want credit. A post on their site or FB thanking me for letting them use my concept in the Lucas match would be nice, I said. I mean, calling ahead of time to ask for permission rather than forgiveness would have been better, but we can’t change the past.

I kinda doubt that is coming.

I’ve gotten some real nasty reviews from his sponsored shooters at this point, but I also picked up a bunch of new nice reviews from people who saw what was going on and finally chimed in on their own targets they bought from me, or shot at events. It’s been interesting to see it unfold.

Ah well, at least we have the memes.

So, at the end of the day, I dunno how this will play out long term, but at least I’ve got a cool story bro to go with the target design now.

 

https://www.moatargets.com/ar500-steel-reactive-targets/moa-targets-ar500-steel-redneck-star-reactive-target

https://www.moatargets.com/moa-targets-ar500-reactive-target-polish-plate-rack

https://www.moatargets.com/moa-targets-clay-donut-paddle

https://www.moatargets.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=380

Cola Warrior East 3 – Innocence Lost

September 2015 brought fair weather, green grass, and vomit to the wild woods outside Appomattox, Virginia for the third year running. Cola Warrior East once again interrupted the quiet rural lifestyle of the remote bit of humid subtropical Piedmont, with so much history, as a band of sugar charged locals and visitors converged to test their mettle.

As in the previous two events of the year, Cola Warrior West (Kingman, AZ) and Cola Warrior 5 (Liberty, MS), the format was five obstacles, an AK-47 to field strip, a package of Peeps to consume, a half mile of dirt to run, pistol and rifle targets to shoot, and 72oz of Freedom to chug.

East had been accused of being “diet” in past events, with the feeling by some that their obstacles weren’t up to snuff. Several East Vets came out to the inaugural West event, and are often found at the Classic event in Liberty MS. The obstacles at East 3 far more resembled Classic than West, and were decidedly *not* diet.

First, a wall that had about one board you could get a toe on, if you took a running launch. Climb up and over, without grabbing the sides. There was a trick to threading a belt through the wall, about six feet up, to give a hand hold. Didn’t help me or a bunch of other people summit the wall, but a fair number made it over.

Click on the photo for a gif of it in use (hosted on Imgur)

Second, a Salmon Ladder. There’s no trick to help here. It’s just torture. Lots of penalties assessed here.

Next, throw the big, ungainly chunk of wood over the cord. The cord was attached with a magnet, you could bump it, but not dislodge it. This was as close to a “gimmi” as East had, and it still racked up a lot of penalties. Incidentally, it’s the only obstacle I didn’t fail.

Apparently, there’s a trick to climbing ropes. I wouldn’t know, we don’t have any trees in Nevada.

Name one thing we’re going to need this stupid fucking rope for?

Nothing if not determined, the Cola Warrior Juniors (Soda Squirts?) run a kid scale version of the event.

Last, drag the disintegrating pallet/sled with about 900 lbs of cinder blocks on it back and forth some arbitrary distance that was farther than the 1/4″ I was able to wiggle it.

These obstacles were obscene. The diet of yesteryear was purged under a nigh unstoppable tsunami of penalties.

The AK was battle worn. The peeps were stale and warm. The run undulated along the forest dirt road.

The range portion of these events, with about eight pistol targets, and about the same rifle targets, is usually an afterthought for most experienced Cola Warriors. Calm down just enough to squeeze off the pistol rounds, you’ve got two full mags after all. After you clear the pistol and your heart rate is down, go prone, and clear the rifle, it shouldn’t even take a full mag.

Not at East 3. Rifle targets were scattered the length of the narrow ascending forest track. Heavy vegetation and constantly shifting light would bring targets in and out of visibility. Difficult, with the 300m target being a 2/3 scale IPSC Metric (equivalent to a full scale IPSC at 450m). Doable, but not easy. I cleared the rifle targets with less than a mag of 5.56 from a Colt 6940 with an ACOG TA31 optic.

The pistol targets, on the other hand, were a nightmare. Set at 25m from the line, the eight pistol targets were staggered above and below a horizontal cross bar.

At 25m, this is a tough target to hit, 8″ diameter paddles just about entirely disappear under a standard pistol front post. Unnoticeable at 25m, and in the poor light, are the two counter weights at either end. Invisible are the bearings at the center, over the single center support. As soon as a paddle is hit, it falls off, unbalancing the whole affair. At 90*, a counterweight falls off, causing the now heavier “up” end to rapidly be the down end, dumping it’s weight. Now the whole thing is spinning on the center like a propeller. Three of the Cola Warriors cleared this target system. Many failed to get more than three paddles off of it, including myself. As much as MOA has been blamed for this monstrosity, we didn’t do it. Sure, we will soon, but we didn’t do it. We do a similar target, the Red Neck Texas Star. Soon, and rifle rated to boot, we’ll be torturing people.

All in all, a fantastic event. Great location, great people, great food, amazing sponsors (listed below, check ’em out, and thank them for their support), and a good time had by all.

Top Woman prize pile

Geissele http://geissele.com/

ALG Defense http://algdefense.com/

SLR Rifleworks https://www.slrrifleworks.com/

ESSTAC http://www.esstac.com/

Arson Machine https://www.arsonmachine.com/

Arisaka Defense http://arisakadefense.com/

Cherrybalmz http://www.cherrybalmz.com/

ADW Custom Knives http://www.adwcustomknives.net/Directory.htm

Dynamik Blades http://www.dynamikblades.com/

NUoSO Concealment http://www.nuosuconcealment.com/

ADM http://www.americandefensemfg.com/

Nightlong Industries http://nightlongind.com/

Quanitico Tactical http://www.quanticotactical.com/

Trijicon https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/index.php

B5 Systems http://www.b5systems.com/

AIM Surplus http://www.aimsurplus.com/

Weapon Outfitters https://www.weaponoutfitters.com/

2A Arms http://www.2a-arms.com/

Bobro https://www.bobroengineering.com/

Gun Goddess https://www.gungoddess.com/

MOA Targets https://www.moatargets.com/

 

Please join us at Cola Warrior West II, Reno NV March 31 – April 2

Cola Warrior 5 – West Was Harder

 

 

Cola Warrior 5 was run the last two weekends of May 2015, at the FEMA Camp outside Liberty, MS. For those who don’t know what Cola Warrior is, the tl;dr is obstacle, AK/peep, run, shoot, chug. Also for those who don’t know what Cola Warrior is, good on you for making it this far in the blog post after watching that emesis introduction. This was the fifth annual event in Liberty. I ran at CWWest a couple months earlier in Kingman AZ, and placed well enough to get invited to CW5.

I sponsored a custom target and a prize, and had some steel to deliver to customers also attending the event. Turns out steel is heavy, and doesn’t pack well in airline luggage. So, four days of solo driving and 2,100 miles later, I arrived in the swamp late Thursday as the event kicked off.

I was welcomed with open arms, it helps to bring steel targets and beer to salve wounded spirits and bodies after the runs.

The kid as cover for his cyborg structure is a nice touch.
You’d hardly believe that this chill looking dude is actually into soul crippling S&M.

It turned out spray plastidip didn't come off quite as well as they hoped.
The locals took a shine to me quickly, and absconded with my sign.

Without further ado, let’s run through the course.

The ninja rolls over this were awesome. The failed runs were even better. #pistoldidit
Obstacle one: clear the unstable vert bar four times in a row. A decent number of people were able to do this. I wasn’t one of them.

No putting your belt over the top.  #summitclub
Obstacle two: hand over hand on the edge of a 20′ conex, there and back (40′), and then over the top. 11 of 77 competitors were able to do this. I was not one of them.

Turns out a broken hand doesn't make this easier. :/
Obstacle three- Next, hand stand along the 20′ conex, a 25lb barbell in each hand. A fair number were able to do this, I was not one of them.

#ringfairies
Obstacle four- Starting with hands in the rings and the right side, work your way to the middle, shimmy up, transition to the bar, hit the far left post, then come back and reverse the process until you can hit the far right post. A fair number got this. I *was* one of them.

#pyramidpals got to see the MOA logo while they succeeded.
Obstacle five – Simply lift the 150 lb tire up, and casually toss it up and over the 6′ or so wall. No biggy. 12 of 77 competitors accomplished this one. I was not one of them.

This was possibly the most amusing of the various ways people failed to accomplish the tire toss. While it made for great photo ops, I worry that putting the MOA logo there may lead to lost sales. Few want to see that logo ever again after having their body and soul crushed by that tire.

Three runners, including the cyborg who started it all, were able to do all the obstacles. Three. That’s insane.

29 of the 77 runners failed every obstacle, and a new hashtag was born.

 

Now the real fun begins. Field strip the AK, while eating a package of peeps. Peeps lead to hate. Hate leads to anger. Anger leads to AK in the trashcan.

Note the MOA targets set up to the left. I'm special, ya'll, and forgot to put them in any good pictures.
CWARs. CWARs everywhere. And the prereq trashcan AK, of course.

A total of six women ran, the highest placed 13th overall. Don't fuck with Colaettes.
Pakitape is most halal.

See what I did there?
Some people take to peeps better than others, and blitz through them.

A leisurely peep fueled 1/2 mile run down the muddy roads winds up the last of major physical torture. Thankfully, the run is mostly flat or down hill. I suspect with extra rain, it would be hell, but we lucked out on weather to some extent. It didn’t rain any more in the four days I was there than we get in a typical year in Nevada.

MOA's future Ms. June
Now we shoot! Rocking the CWock with the ALG 6-Second Mount, TR-1, and extended mag, this overly happy lady blasted through the targets.

All ARs all the time, it seemed.
MOAR! Rifle targets from 50 to 300m, with a custom MOA FEMABOT at the center. The FEMABOT was a full size IPSC M equivalent, and ended up being the reference point for all the rifle targets at the far end of the mud bog / range.

Keep an eye on MOA’s site, Fantasy Monster category, for the FEMABOT to be listed for your own shooting pleasure.

I totally didn't shoot it myself. I may have bribed a kid to do so though...
Homemade mild steel peep, which worked as an awesome advertisement for MOA’s AR500 hardened steel targets. Thankfully, I had brought out a replacement sabertooth peep from Cola Warrior West.

And with that, there was nothing left to do but chug, and puke.

This is how a winner pukes, folks. With a time of 11:07, arfcom’s Kaik managed a come from behind to win. He gets an asterisk for having run twice, a week apart, but he earned it, and showed he had what it took to take home the title.

So much MOA branding in one image. Hurray!
So much privilege!

After that, it was time for more food (which there was tons of, in huge variety, and it was awesome) and to announce placements and prizes. Make sure you scroll down to check out the sponsor list, it’s pretty amazing.

Prizes aren't why we go to Cola Warrior, but they're awful nice to have when you're recuperating. Much of the prize package gets added to the competitors daily use gear.
SWAG! Pretty much everyone took home a pile like this. It even includes a Geissele SSA-E!

FEMABOT knows where you live, and is in league with the NSA. Shoot to neutralize.
MOA got in on the prize giving out madness. Another FEMABOT, this one pistol rated. Given to the competitor who left the most pistol targets unmolested. Get out there and practice, yo.

Overall, this event was much, much tougher overall than Cola Warrior West (my only other experience). The obstacles is what killed it, and ironically, that made it easier overall for me. As I was only able to complete one obstacle, and had to skip one entirely due to a broken hand, I was in way better shape going to the AK and peeps than I was at West. My West time, sans penalties, was 31:48. Here, sans penalties, 22:54 for a 19th place finish. Top time here was an insane 11:07 (RustedAce, the guy who started it, was 8:07, which is nuts). Top time at West was pushing 15 minutes, and the runner who did that has been competitive in every CW event he’s been in. We apparently broke him at West, he was unable to make CW5. West was harder, but CW5 was a different level of challenge entirely.

Note the insane low time for the first runner. Note the penalties on everyone else.
SCIENCE!

Thanks again to everyone for making me welcome. It was a hell of a long drive, but it was worth every mile. I’m going to try to hit CWE3 in September/October in VA. I’ll be sure to make CWSE and CWTX next year. And, don’t forget I’m hosting CWWII in Reno, NV the first weekend of April 2016. Send me your ringers, your runners, your pyramid pals. Kaik can come if he helps West’s Dirty Inky cook, I suppose.

There's now an MOA logo right under the Geissele. Kickass!
The gang’s all here.

 

And finally, thank you to the sponsors who help take the pain away.

Business type Cola Warrior Sponsors
MOA Targets – NVGeologist (hey that’s me!)
ADW Custom Knives – DamascusKnifemaker – custom badass blade
Corporate Sponsors
Geissele / ALG Defense triggers, rails and so much swag
TNVCESSTAC – old is new school gear
AIM Surplus 

2A Arms – Balios Lite receiver set and 12″ MLOK BL rail.

Arson Machine

Arisaka Defense

Forward Control Design

Blue Panda Arms – Cerakote job for most ink visible immediately after their run

Nightlong Industries

American Kami – Ti sporks, maybe a blade

Dynamik Blades – something sharp

SLR Rifleworks

AR15.com

SKD Tactical

Ballistic Advantage

AXTS

ODIN Works

HSGI

Armalite

 

 

Beer, it's not just for breakfast.
Beer yoga is best yoga.

Cola Warrior West 2015 – How the West was Run

Several years ago, the Cola Warrior series of fitness, shooting, and willpower competitions were founded by RustedAce, a cyborg who lives in a swamp and fights in a desert. Cola Warrior a competition in five parts: several difficult obstacles, field strip of an AK pattern rifle while eating five marshmallow Peeps, run half a mile, shoot rifle and pistol targets from field positions, and chug 72 oz of carbonated soda.

No one in their right mind would do this. May 2015 will be the fifth consecutive year of events at RustedAce’s FEMA Compound in the Swamp (now known as CWOG). This fall will be the third CW East (CWE). Late March 2015, P2tharizo hosted the first Cola Warrior west of the Mississippi, outside Kingman, AZ (CWW). As owner/operator/Chief Guy in Charge of Stuff for MOA Targets, I sponsored the steel targets for the CWW event and also ran in the event. I would like to take this moment to reiterate- no one in their right mind would do this.

 

12m pistol target (spaceship) with alien hostage.

300m target, which had to be put in place way out in the desert, up hill (both ways) in the snow, barefoot. Or at least that’s what I was told.

The obstacles at CWW were designed to break each contestant, forcing you to use your body in new and horrible ways each time, after you were already chewed up by the previous one. Every obstacle you fail adds five minutes to your total run time in penalties. First, flip end over end a 200+ pound tire uphill about 25m, then return it to where you started. This obstacle was especially tough for those under 5′ 4″ or so, due to lack of leverage.

View post on imgur.com

Next, drag two 50 lb kettle bells on a cord about 25m through the sand and return them to where they started. This obstacle didn’t penalize many, it was just hard work.

Next, push the godawful huge ATV up the road- about 15m. At about 800 pounds, this obstacle killed anyone who was under about 150 lbs, due to lack of traction and inertia.

All tuckered out from moving heavy objects uphill, both ways, and through the sand, we come to the fourth challenge. The hand-over-hand angle iron bar eliminated many the heavy guys who rocked through the first three challenges like they weren’t even there.

20′ of wobbly overhand angle iron goodness. The flex on this was pretty epic with anyone over 200 lbs, making it difficult for them to keep their grip while making forward progress. Payback for making Battle Midgets move heavy objects.

The final obstacle (of the first section of the course, this keeps going) was a low crawl through sand and rock, with rattle cans above you, and a keg to push. Despite being the physically least demanding, this obstacle accounted for more penalties than any that came before it. Most who were penalized shop in Men’s Big and Tall sections, but exhausted flailing limbs nabbed a few more normals.

Of course a geologist is chasing a beer keg.
Hit a string hard enough to rattle a can, or hit a can directly, five minute penalty. The ultimate winner of the event had nightmares about this crawl the night before.

Excellent. We’ve had a nice bit of exercise, time for a snack. The next challenge is to gobble down five marshmallow peeps while field stripping an AK-47.

Enjoy that sugar, you’re going to need it to fuel your run.

With the AK field stripped (and the dust cover beat back into shape), grab a stuffed animal and start the 1/8″ of a mile downhill run. At the end of that, swap the stuffed animal for another to prove you made it there, and start the 3/8″ of a mile uphill run, ending at the firing line. Oh yes, don’t forget this is ultimately a shooting competition.

Turns out 34 grams of sugar in a food coloring glazed marshmallow format isn’t the best way to start a 1/2 mile run in the desert.

Onto the range. Spread across the landscape were a total of seven pistol targets from 12-40 meters and eight rifle targets from 100-300 meters. Targets were designed to show bad habits. Long skinny horizontal axis targets show anticipating recoil (flinch) as well as breathing control and vertical tall skinny targets show wind drift and poor trigger control. Rifle targets also had odd shapes and color, were scattered all over the place, and were simultaneously loved and hated by all. Shooters were limited to standard capacity mags, two each pistol and rifle.

 

200m “angry dragonfly” target. So much hate. Available from MOA Targets to infuriate your friends and coworkers.

Field positions, run what you brung, two mag max. Everyone used an AR variant rifle, mostly AR-15 in 5.56x45mm.

Vegetation made the 12m targets even more difficult, obscuring the already small (39 square inch) targets.

I was surprised to learn during the award ceremony that I had the fastest pistol time during the event, about 38 seconds, with 11 shots fired to clear 7 targets. I was not, however, surprised that I missed a rifle target. 40 rounds of 7.62x51mm were fired to clear 7 of 8 targets. The long and skinny 100m coyote target proved to everyone that I didn’t have my dope dialed in, and it cost me a five minute penalty for one missed target.

With the easy parts of the event wrapped up, it was time for the willpower challenge. Chug 72oz of carbinated soda, your choice, with a five minute penalty for each can not finished. There was a 2L option with a 5oz chaser, and a hefty 30 minute fail penalty if you couldn’t finish. Go Big or Go Home. Although Diet Mt. Dew was popular, I chose 6 cans of Squirt, getting all of them down with no penalty.

First can, no problem.

Several cans in, considering my choices in life.

#sixpack
All six down (no penalty!), and here they come back up.

Final Result: 9th of 46, with a time (including five minute rifle penalty) of 36:48. For reference, first place was 15:25, 23rd was 52:22, and last was 103:20 for a night vision run with lots of penalties.

All said and done, I regret everything. I can’t wait for the next one. MOA will be hosting CWWII the first weekend of April, 2016, outside Reno, NV.

 

Hope to see you there.

Full Cola Warrior West 2015 sponsor list:

2A Armament
MOA Targets
Precision 3D Targets
Esstac
WWW.AR15.COM
Dynamik Blades
Nightlong Industries LLC
GMTG Tactical
Blue Panda Arms
Geissele Automatics:
NUoSU Concealment
AIM Surplus
SLR Rifleworks
American Kami
Primary Arms
FIREclean
SKD Tactical
Arson Machine
Fortis Manufacturing
Arisaka Defense
Bobro Engineering
B5 Systems
Coast
Gun Goddess
V7 Weapon Systems

MOA has it’s first sponsored shooter

Recently, MOA was approached by a young shooter just getting into the competitive field, specifically long range shooting. MOA has considered sponsoring shooters before, but has declined to do so historically. After shooting along side Bella, age nine, this weekend, we think we’ve found our match.

More correctly, she out shot the MOA founder, so it was decided that she could only help our reputation. Please welcome Bella to the MOA Minions.

Bella lives local to MOA central, north of Reno, Nevada, and has been shooting for several years. She’s currently rocking a pink Cricket rifle, a youth single shot 22LR chambered firearm. She competed at a local rimfire match this past weekend, and did quite well. We were shooting at NRA Hunter Pistol (50%) scale targets at ranges of 40-107m.

The stations included chicken at 40m (standing), pig at 60m (sitting), turkey at 77m (prone), and ram at 107m (shooters choice of position). Bella scored 19 of 40 possible points.

Local rimfire matches are scheduled once a month, typically April – November. Centerfire long range matches happen all year round, as so various pistol and 3-gun matches. Bella has expressed interest into entering new fields of competition as her skills grow, and MOA intends to be there beside her to grow with her.

For those of you who have considered going to a match and have never done so, consider this. I went, and got beat by a 9 year old girl, and we all had fun. There’s worse things in the world than realizing you’ve been outshot by someone who hasn’t grown into short pants yet.

A month of trade shows

In the past four weeks, I’ve attended two gun shows and two agricultural trade shows (whaaa?) as a vendor for my home based steel target business, MOA Targets. I spent a total of eleven days staffing the shows, and about 2500 miles traveled, and three states. As I’m still in my first year of business, this was the most concentrated bit of promotion I’ve done to date, and was largely done to show off my new long range reactive target, the Mozambique. Here’s my analysis.

Crossroads of the West Phoenix January 18-19 – in a metropolitan area of 4.3 million people, this show was the weekend after SHOT, and was considered a small one. It was about the size of what is billed as the Big Reno Show (which I’m used to doing), which brings in folks from all over the west coast. Sales were better than normal for me, despite not being local and not having a very diverse onsite inventory, due to travel. Two local competitors, neither of which have a web presence, were present. Decent amount of cards handed out, but less than average. Many of the same vendors that attend the Reno Crossroads shows were here. This was my first ever show outside my normal stomping grounds of Reno, NV.

Colusa Farm Show (NorCal) February 4-6 – The annual farm show is the big happenings in fertile Colusa, CA. A largely outdoor show, it covers the several acres of the local fairgrounds, and is focused on commercial agriculture, mostly nut orchards and rice. At a population of less than 6,000 (county population ~22k), this show is a whole different scale than the Phoenix one a couple weeks earlier. That being said, considering my booth cost me nothing, it was worth doing just to get my product in front of folks that might never make it to a gun show. Plenty of farmers and ranchers shoot, and a decent amount of cards were handed out, no sales at this show. Interestingly, while there were less people at this show than an average gun show, I estimate I talked to a larger percentage of the farmers than I do gun show folks. Apparently, I was a big enough deal to make the local paper, so I’ve got that going for me.  No other firearms industry vendors were present, that I noticed.

World Ag Expo (SoCal) February 11-13. The annual World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA is similar to the Colusa show, but much larger and more trafficked, with the promoters estimating 1500 vendors and 100k paid attendees at this largely outdoor show. While once again I had no sales, I spent the majority of the show talking to interested folks, and handing out cards with wild abandon. I learned something important about California shooters at this show. With no more 50 BMG sales allowed in the state, long range shooters have taken to 338 lapua strongly, and there is a lot of interest in products that are suitable to use with the round. The NRA and the Elk Foundation also had booths at this show.

Silver Sage Gun Show, Bourbon Square Casino Feb 14-16. The final show of my tour, this was held in the hallway and meeting room of a small casino in Sparks, NV, my home turf. This was the first show at the venue, and with a total attendance of about 500, and less than 50 tables, it was the smallest by far. Poorly advertised, and mostly viewed as a potential failure, this show was actually pretty decent. I had better sales than I have at some larger shows, and while I didn’t hand out many cards, it was to a higher percentage of the attendees than normal.  Most importantly, every attendee was given two tickets for free beer, and many of those tickets ended up with me, so I drank for free all weekend. Only local vendors were present.

My conclusions based on these four very different shows, three of which were outside my normal area of operations, is that it’s worth getting out of your normal area for an occasional show, but it’s tough to measure the return on investment. Looking at the analytics for my website, I didn’t see much of a bump in traffic from any of these shows. Total sales from the two shows that included sales were average for what I would get in Reno, but included significant travel in one case. The Phoenix show nominally paid for itself, assuming I work for free. The farm shows may yet bear fruit, but for the short term only pencil out if I work for free. The local show, which was the smallest, most poorly attended, and vaguely depressing show I’ve ever done, at least left me with free beer and lunch money.

tl;dr – starting a small business is hard, but generally involves more beer than a real job