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Nomercy448 10-03-2021 06:09 PM

PRS Match Pack Dump
Iíve had these photos in my phone for a week now, and theyíve been a digging reminder that, despite best laid plans, I failed to remind myself to take any photos during the match which they represent. So often, I hear folks talk about Precision Rifle Series competition as being gear-centric or gear heavy, and in some ways, itís a fair claim. If a person attends a match, theyíll see all manners of different gear deployed by various shooters, however, individually, most shooters donít use much gear. In preparation for the last regular season match of the 2021 Midwest Region season, I did this pack dump to share here what gear I find worthwhile to carry with me. Many new shooters, myself included when I started, carry match packs which are far too large, loaded down with far too much gear.

This first picture captures everything I load into my truck for a one-day Regional PRS match Ė other than breakfast. Pictured here are my rifle, a Magnetospeed V3 chronograph, my match pack, 100 rounds of ammunition (for this particular 80 round match), an Armageddon Gear Pint Sized Game Changer shooting bag, and my spotting tripod with Swarovski SLC 15x56mm binos. Mounted on my tripod, I keep a dump pouch for empty brass, a rock hammock for holding my data book and shooting bag between stages, and my Kestrel. My ammo box and shooting bag are packed inside my match pack, and for long travel matches, Iíll load my rifle into a Pelican case.

Within my match pack are a few things which are touched every stage, and a lot of things which rarely see use, but are important enough to be carried. Not pictured is my Fix-it Sticks kit with adjustable torque stick and bits, which unfortunately was on an out of state trip with my wife when I set up this photo. Within that kit, however, I only carry the bits and torque limiters which fit some component of MY rifles, or common other rifles/mounts/optics.

Also not pictured is my iPhone, which took the photo, which I commonly use for my ballistic calculator, StrelokPro app.

Top Row, L-->R:
  • Leatherman MUT Multitool (Sees more use fixing random range props than rifles)
  • Cheap Compact cleaning kit handle w/ rods, brush, patches, and jag, to swab chamber if needed
  • Allen Key set for optics adjustment
  • R700 bolt disassembly tool
  • Bushnell Elite Tactical scope tool for slipping turrets
  • Batteries for Kestrel, RifleKuhl, and Earmuffs
  • Lens Pen
  • Contact drops/saline solution
  • Earplugs
  • Magnetospeed RifleKuhl to cool barrel between stages if overheating (typically on 6th-7th stage of a day)
Second Row:
  • Football Wrist Coach with blank Stage cards (I donít use this 99% of the time, but carry it in case)
  • Two Kydex data billboards which Velcro to my rifle (one with masking tape, one with paper slips)
  • Magic marker
  • Two AW mags, one with SAP kydex belt pouch, and one MDT 12rnd magazine
Bottom Row:
  • Data book with pen, paper, and match course of fire booklet
  • Sig Kilo 2200 laser rangefinder to confirm target distances listed in matchbook
  • Kestrel 5700 Sportsman wind and weather meter and ballistic calculator
  • Area419 Barricade stop (which I ONLY use when obstacle portholes are too short for use with a bag)
  • Advil
  • Chapstick
  • Electronic earpro (I did start using Bluetooth Walkers Silencer earbuds this season, and like them a lot)
Also not pictured Ė I keep a Dewey coated steel cleaning rod in my truck at all times, and have for years, and at many matches, it has been needed by other shooters to punch out a cartridge which failed to extract. I also keep a small bottle of lube in my truck, only because Iíve had the mess of bottles of lube leak in my match pack, and have had cans of lube spray explode in my truck Ė but at least if I have it nearby, Iím not totally out if something goes wrong.

Sure seems like a lot when I type it out, but in reality, itís all small stuff with high utility, or stuff I use directly on every stage. I do also often hang a Wiebad pump pillow on the side of my pack, to kneel or sit on between stages or during lunch, but it adds bulk I donít always need.

Unfortunately, I did completely fail to take photos the next day during the match Ė for which I really have no excuse, as we were squad 1 out of 5, on an 8 stage match, and we all took our merry timeÖ so I had plenty of time, but was simply distracted with other things. I opened the match with a bad stage, dropping 6 points before I figured out I had 0.2mils extra elevation on my zero which I didnít need, and then shot about 85% for the rest of the day, landing me at 80.8% for the match. Great weather and relatively low, but switching winds and a TON of mirage made the match challenging enough to be fun, but friendly enough to STAY fun. I was on squad with a bunch of great guys I shoot with often, so it made for a great day of shooting. Since I had only shot 2 other qualifying one day matches earlier this season, this filled my 3rd score for Regional standings, jumping me about 10 places in the rankings to secure me in the Regional Finals next weekend.

bronko22000 10-04-2021 06:40 AM

Wow you have a whole bunch of $$ just tied up in gear! Not that its a bad thing. And IMO if you're going to do something you should do it right. And if it takes extra stuff to do it and you can afford it I say more power to you.
All these "tools of the trade" is the reason I just prefer casual shooting. I did the competitive shooting back in the 80s and it was fun. Now it seems things are getting more and more complicated. BTW that is one cool looking rifle.

Nomercy448 10-04-2021 11:38 AM

Thanks, I actually didnít pick the paint scheme on the stock, but Iím glad to have gotten it - I won it in a raffle, but I suppose I wouldnít have played so hard for a lesser looking stock. Weíve ordered a similar paint scheme for my sonís stock for his new 6 Dasher.

Admittedly, Iím blessed in luck, many times over. That stock, the binos, and tripod, were all won on limited entry raffles (gamable odds), and frankly, my Kahles I won in a drawing... my action was heavily discounted by buying at the NRA National Meeting a few years ago, and our state competition club gets barrels at 20% off... but still, thereís a lot of money in the top photo.

Comparatively, thereís about the same money pictured in the second photo as the total spent on ONE national level, 2 day match... relatively far less cost than the top photo.

A guy CAN shoot PRS matches with a Ruger Precision Rifle or Remington 700 Magpul and a Vortex Strike Eagle scope, but in the end, ammo costs eat the lionís share. My first match rifle was a Seekins Havak I bought for $1600 and a Bushnell DMR II optic I got on instructor discount for $900.... but shooting 4-6,000 rounds in a season, with 4 or 5 club level matches and 2-3 two days matches... thereís more than $4500 wrapped up just in ammo and match fees, let alone hotel, fuel, or food. Surprisingly, the rifle ends up the cheap part!

bronko22000 10-04-2021 03:41 PM

Wow...that can get costly! I think I'll just stick to plinking on my own range. I finally found an area where I can get some distance. Its on a power line with a gradual uphill slope. I can get about 800 yards which is plenty for me and my little 6.5CM.
I had my neighbor weld me together 2 RR plates that gives me a 16"x16" heavy steel plate to shoot at. All I have to do is get my dope sheet made up and get at it.
Good luck on your endeavors.

Nomercy448 10-07-2021 09:03 AM

Possibly worth mentioning, having competed in multiple other disciplines over the years, such as 3 gun, cowboy action, benchrest, F class, Highpower/CMP, and some action pistol, I will tell you, what is pictured here is far less gear than many of these other shooting sports.

I may be a bit of a minimalist when it comes to what I carry to PRS matches, but not terribly so. There ARE some folks which use huge packs or gun carts to transport tons of gear, but theyíre rather rare. There are also a few super squads out there which will squad together and divide gear among multiple folks (and shoot the same rifle, cartridge, and optic so all of their data can be shared). But in general, something about the size of a conventional kidsí backpack is all we carry, plus rifle and tripod.

Alternatively, my gun carts I used for Cowboy action shooting and 3 Gun were behemoths of weaponry and gadgets, to the point of implying certain limitations for which vehicle could be taken to a match, and frankly, even with a full size, 4 door pickup, there was really only room for 2, MAYBE 3 shooters and gear carts!

So the volume of gear is relative. For a causal shooter flying bullets over the back 40, this might seem like a lot. But for an action gun competitor, this is really rather little gear, and relatively cheap!

Olde NE Hunter 10-08-2021 06:10 AM

Good luck tomorrow.

Nomercy448 10-10-2021 12:54 PM

Thanks Olde NE Hunter! Busy day.

The match didnít go as desired, but it probably did go as deserved! I was ďconsistently mediocre.Ē

Iíve not been shooting nearly enough this summer, and much of my range time has been spent focusing on LR and ELR with 22LRís with my son - focusing on building HIS skills, opposed to sharpening my own.

So yesterday wasnít bad, but for a Finale match, there wasnít any forgiveness to be found for mediocrity, and I sank to the middle of the pack. I had one bad stage where I totally blew my wind reading and dropped six points on a 1094yrd target (16Ē circle) after hitting 4 for 4 on 600 and 800yrd targets at a different angle - straight up hold on the first two targets shifted to 2mils of hold at the long target, and I simply didnít see the misses to correct. The rest of my stages were largely just -2ís and -3ís; fighting weak positions or slapping my trigger like a pimp on Bourbon Street. On the couple of stages where everything clicked and I didnít actually miss any targets, I timed out with a round in the magazine (-1).

Perhaps most tragically, I also crushed my Monster Cookie from the lunch plate provided when I slid between shooting positions during one stage, after having forgotten I left it in my cargo pant pocket... still tasted fine, but I do have to manage a lot of crushed cookie crumbs today.

I did, however, luck into an early enough walk on the prize table to pick up 50% off on a new Defiance action, so Iíll be able to more affordably get my sonís match rifle up and running!

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