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.

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