AAR-2020 Snipershide Cup After Action Report and a Few match tips

JC Steel

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Oct 12, 2008
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Just finished the 2020 Snipershide cup in Colville WA put on by Frank, Carl Taylor and Clint Sharp.
The SH cup might be the longest running precision rifle match in the country. Frank and I talked about this year being number 17. Pretty incredible. I know what it takes to put a match together and 17 is an incredible number. Well done boys And thank you Frank for always being willing to put it on/put your name on it. the shooters appreciate it!!

Carl Taylor is the main match director and I’ve always enjoyed his matches. If you can make it to the 2021 Hide cup I’d recommend it for sure.

I decided to come out with my partner Jon Pynch and shoot. The match is part of the RTC series and we have one win on the books so wanted to get some more points towards the championship later on in the year.

We camped on site, so arrived and set up our tent/campsite. Was quite nice being on site!

Saturday Morning we started with a shooter meeting led by Frank and crew. They are very welcoming to all shooters. And a special shout out for the kindness they showed to my Daughter Mel. She was out doing some pictures and videos for Jon and I/VP Precision. She was chomping at the bit to get behind the rifle and someday I will be partnering with her to give it our all. Just turned 13 and loves to compete, so it was very nice for her to get out and see some shooting again. Although we practice every week anyhow and she beats me on some stages now and then....The unwavering support for the new shooters and youth in the sport is evident time and time again.

Carl Taylors place in Colville is very nice. Lots of spectacular views.
One of the things I love about Carls matches are the lanes in the trees for targets.
Carl and Crew literally places targets deep within the trees, and you can only see them from the shooting position. It just creates a really cool set of shots. Very unique! I know that is hard work placing those targets, and the shooters/we appreciate it!

I liked this match because every target had to be ranged while on the clock only. This was fun and a new challenge. In Typical NRL/PRS type matches, the yardages are all given to you. SO you have your data already figured out before shooting. Complete opposite for this years SH cup. We could see the targets, at least some of them....Some were hidden and blind(either behind trees until you got into the shooting position, or walked over the hill to see them etc etc.) but all ranging was only while on the clock. And the stage times were more then fair and took this into consideration.



The Snipershide cup is a team match. And there are a few things I have learned over the years about team shooting in a competition setting like this.

1.Try to have a game plan formulated before going on the clock. Get into a routine of sorts.
For example, I would let Jon shoot the pistol targets first, then I would engage my pistol shots. While he was shooting pistol, I would get something ready. Maybe a tripod, bag, piece of equipment to make it easier on my partner after he was done shooting pistol. Or I would try to spend a little time ranging a target that may be obstructed and hard to see so we can compare ranges after he does it.
Then while I was shooting pistol Jon would start ranging targets. Writing down his yardages and Data to share after I was finished Shooting pistol. From there we had already talked about who is shooting first (me) and what the plan of attack was going to be. From adjusting tripods for each other, to helping each other with bags, it all helps to talk about before hand so it’s smooth when it’s game time.

2. Over communicate when possible.
Jon and I would pretty much always repeat our data to each other before each target.
Target 1-1.5 mil correct? Correct 1.5 mils, half a mil left on wind. OK, .5 left on wind send it. By repeating this, we are reminding each other to dial, hold for wind, and then make a good shot so your partner can gather firm information for his/her shots.

3.If possible, try to run like calibers/ballistics
This is a giant advantage in my opinion. What this means is we as a team really only need to get dope for one rifle, and they will match up for both. So instead of one of us looking up our hard copy data, or looking up the numbers on our kestrel, we literally just wrote down the same thing, giving us a good 15-20 second of extra time to focus on hitting shots.

4. Be comfortable with all your partners gear To save time.
Jon and I run a lot of the same gear. RRS tripods, schmedium wax canvas gamechangers etc. So It makes it feel familiar if/when we have to use each others gear. There was a barrel stage at the SH cup, and since we have two bags, While I was shooting, jon was putting his bag on the next barrel, and thus all I have to do is move my gun. Then He takes that bag I just left and moves it to the next position. What is important here, is every time we do this as a team, we are saving time. Let’s say it takes an extra 3-4 seconds to pick your rifle up, grab the bag, and position the bag on the next position, then put your rifle down and get comfortable with it. If we each shoot 3 positions, that is 6 positions total and we are saving roughly 20 seconds. Combine this with two or three other second saving techniques and you just saved 45 seconds to a minute. This is huge time savings, and more importantly allows us to focus on taking very very good shots. Every time! Instead of being rushed, we can slow down and methodically perform well on every stage.

5.Get a rifle mounted timer.
XLR is making rifle mounted timers now. They use the little yellow sport count timers. They are awesome! you can keep an eye on that and gauge how each stage is going time wise. For the SH Cup, I felt like we had plenty of time for every stage. BUT, on faster stages/matches, knowing how much time you have left can pay huge dividends down the road. For example, I know that are three very simple shots the last part of a stage. I KNOW I can hit these every time. What is really important is that I make it to those shots, and never leave them on the table. So strategically we need to figure out how to accomplish this. If this mean spending slightly less time on some more difficult shots to start the stage off, then so be it. Obviously we want to hit ever single shot possible. But be smart about the stage and think it through.

6. Have fun, get out and shoot.
We often get asked about how to get involved. Matches like this are great for shooters of all shooting levels. Get out, give it a try. There are a ton of really solid guys and gals to Help you out. We loan our gear out all the time to newer shooters To try out. Most importantly, you are out here having a great time, learning, and challenging yourself.


Thanks! Shoot straight!
 

MCHOG

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You guys absolutely killed it. (I saw the scores on FB.) Congratulations! Excellent write-up. I can't wait to hear about it on the podcast.
 
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RS14

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awesome right up. you pointed out several things I feel are important for a team match.

I was recently a RO at the Guardian Long Range team match at Arena and one of the teams really stood out due to how awesome the team work was. Like you said. One shooter placing bags in positions ahead of the one currently shooting. plus other things as well. But you could really see a difference in performance based off how well they worked together as a team. And those who monitored their remaining time. those who pushed passed those harder shots because they knew the easier ones were at the end and they were running out of time.

Anyways you put a lot of good advise down in a nice short organized write up. So thank you. I shared this post with several friends. And congrats on yalls win. Hopefully one day ill be able to make a SH match.