The Rocky Mountain 3 Gun match ran by Range Masters Denise and JJ Johnson, hosted by the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM; was one of the most skill challenging matches I have ever shot. The match was held on the NRA Whittington Center Range of over 33,000 acres of beautiful land (not to mention all the wildlife and view for miles!) The NRA Whittington Center was founded in 1973, and hosts many competitive, educational and recreational activities in all shooting disciplines.
To start out our weekend we drove up an enormous range. Upon driving into the driveway to your left and right were some of our state flags. The amazing NRA Whittington Center building was next to follow, with a friendly person to wave you through at the check point. Driving down the road you had a view for miles, with antelope and deer playing in the fields. And then there it was the sign that said, “Stage 1 & 2 à”. That was not the last sign showing us where to go. The stages were what seemed to be a mile or so apart, so you drove to every stage. Then there was the trek into the bay where your stage was. Now that could be a simple little walk to the stage, like stage 8. Or this could take you a couple minutes to walk down a wash, up the hill and through some trees, like stage 3. Either way, you were able to enjoy the scenery, while getting a workout at 6700 feet elevation.
The stages varied from simple stages like…..well…. maybe stage, no…. Ok, you catch my drift. Stage one was an all rifle stage that you started out with 6 steel targets (ranging from 250-400ish yards), prone from a “roof top”. From this position you could take the 600 yard bonus target (that few hit). Then you ran off to shoot some paper; jump into a man hole, shoot more paper (mini papers I might add) and then finish prone on rocks at the end of the stage. But that was only one of the 8 incredible stages at this match. One of which was a surprise stage.
Needless to say, for our first time shooting this match we didn’t know what to expect. Team FNH USA is hooked and plans on shooting this match from here on. We had a wonderful time. The staff was awesome, the stages were challenging and the range is absolutely beautiful!
Before finishing this post I wanted to add that Robby Johnson, from the Army Shooting Team, did an amazing presentation for one of our wounded warriors who shot the match. Upon Robby taking his plaque for 1st overall Tactical Irons, he gave his personal decked out Benelli shotgun to warrior James Gill. I do not know the entire story about Mr. Gill, but he is a very pleasant man, and a great shooter (taking 83/217 overall shooters, 64/148 Tactical Scope Shooters)!
A huge thank you to all the sponsors for dedicating their time, donating their products and shooting the match! Congratulations to all the winners of their classes and division. We hope to see you at another match soon!