Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun 2016 Photo Blog

    Earlier this month I was invited to attend (and participated) in a national 3-Gun competition, Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun, in the new Stealth Division. Up to then I had only done my local club matches. Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun is in it’s 20th year of competition, and certainly lives up to it’s name.

    3-Gun is certainly not a spectator “sport”, but hopefully I can help you live vicariously and enjoy this match through some of the photos I was able to capture of the event.  And I promise this will be the last post about SMM3G.

    Again, thank you to KE Arms for the invite and opportunity to run their firearms during the match.

    IMGP1849

    All of these had to be cleared during the Side Match.

    IMGP1843

    The special Team Match was scored by the time it took to clear all of the steel and cut this board down.

    IMGP1857

    Side Match had prizes such as free entry and guaranteed slots to next year’s SMM3G

    IMGP0754

    Awkward positions didn’t stop anyone.

    IMGP0886

    It was possible to find love on the course.

    IMGP0764

    Peek through the window for the 1 second target presentation

    IMGP0805

    Had to climb a tower to access the gongs.

    IMGP0925

    If you hit a tripwire, you lost your support hand…

    IMGP0879

    …I didn’t hit the tripwire… 🙂

    IMGP1065

    Hands up, Don’t….ND…. (too soon?)

    IMGP1196

    Okay, so I dig the optic on the shotgun.

    IMGP1860

    There was some waiting time between stages.

    IMGP1386

    While this helicopter had seen better days, it still made for a good shooting platform.

    IMGP1439

    Wait. You mean I have to shoot “ALL” of the targets? Wha?!?

    IMGP1995

    The vendor area at the competition was like a mini gun show. And KE Arms apparently also sells cokes.

    IMGP1833

    Danielle Vermeulen contemplating the next stage.

    IMGP2001

    Just like any match, everyone has to help reset the stage.

    IMGP2008

    Baby strollers. Not just for babies. Unless you consider your $4000 rifle a baby…

    IMGP2122

    My gear was much less customized.

    IMGP2127

    Jeff B. hailing all the way from Saskatchewan to compete.

    IMGP2141

    Team Kel-Tec definitely won the beard competition.

    IMGP2221

    There really weren’t that many places to spectate from, but some could be found.

    IMGP2229

    Is that Kalani Laker? Running a Cobalt Kinetics?

    IMGP2242

    John McClaine rocking the best pants at the match. It seriously took 4 takes of the picture to get the whole barrel in the frame.

    IMGP2230

    Sponsorship Jerseys. Not just for Nascar.

    IMGP2131

    Some of the cases have seen some miles.

    IMGP2118

    All manner of shooters could be found at the match.

    IMGP2117

    The most patriotic rifle at the match.

    IMGP2094

    Agreed. Speed and accuracy are key. But don’t go so fast that you ND. That is too fast.

    IMGP2144

    Say what you want. The Kel-Tec RDB looked pretty good.

    IMGP2029

    It really started getting warm, in the Phoenix April weather.

    IMGP1744

    I’m pretty sure that cactus was a “no shoot” target.

    IMGP1645

    Do not disrespect the almighty timer…

    IMGP1467

    I looked good shooting this stage…

    IMGP1557

    …Danielle Vermeulen looked better…

    IMGP2207

    …Bearded Kel-tec guy looked the best.  Yes, I had beard envy.

    IMGP1271

    Iain Harrison running the shotgun like a champ.

    IMGP1110

    I think it would have been more fun to have the dummy fighting back.

    IMGP1062

    Speed shotgun. Someone actually cleared this stage in 3.7 seconds (there are two more plates off camera)

    IMGP1024

    Russel Phagan completing this horrid stage with the KE Arms prototype Aimpoint Glock.

    IMGP0929

    My favorite stage. Because I got to lay down. Hey, it was hot out…

    IMGP1208

    What you can’t see is that Glen was balancing on a board. Over a pool of lava. Or maybe it was just a tarp to simulate water. But lava sounds cooler.

    IMGP1234

    Silently standing there. Waiting to be shot…

    IMGP1157

    I had a hard time with this stage. Because I was chasing the dot on the optic.

    IMGP1649

    Little did I know I would capture both Iain Harrison….

    IMGP1770

    …Danielle Vermeulen, and…

    IMGP1792

    …Jeremy Ward all in the position.

    IMGP1723

    Glen Stilson was moving too slow so I caught him one position earlier.

    IMGP2004

    Something was terribly funny here.

    IMGP2225

    Yep. I still think the Cobalt Kinetics was the best looking rifle out there.

    IMGP0948

    I can’t tell you how many people didn’t get to engage these because they got stuck hopping platform to platform.

    IMGP0976

    The Mid-Evil 360 Vertical Foregrip was great here.

    IMGP2147

    This poor rifle looked so lonely parked all by itself on the side of the stage.

    IMGP1396

    See all of those orange marks around the window? Yeah. People missed with the Milkor. That had a red dot. And was tuned to lob perfectly through that window. In all fairness, it did have a mile long trigger pull…

    IMGP1366

    Not only did Glen run fast enough on this that the RO had a hard time keeping up, BUT he realized he missed a couple of steels, and backpeddled like a mad man and still cleared the stage faster than most. Oh yeah, and everyone else used a pistol by this point.

    IMGP2034

    I think a few rounds were shot. Brass call is going to suck…

    Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he teaches wilderness medicine and writes for a number of publications, including The Prepared, a site devoted to self-preparedness. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT thefirearmblog.com


    Advertisement