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Thread: 2023 Talon Range Run and Gun Biathlon, March 12th

  1. #1

    2023 Talon Range Run and Gun Biathlon, March 12th

    Talon Range Run and Gun

    The Talon Range Run and Gun is a centerfire handgun and rifle biathlon. It’s a test of your body, marksmanship and gear held in field conditions. It’s a test to see if your ‘battle rattle’ equipment works as well in the real world as it does in your LARPing dreams. This is our second time running a match like this, and we learned a lot from last year to make the match run more smoothly. Each course of fire will have a par-time, to prevent back-ups, and timing will be done with standard USPSA-style timers to ensure scoring accuracy. I promise it will be fun!

    The course is a little over 3 miles long, with various obstacles and 5 shooting stations or stages. The terrain is very hilly and challenging (just kidding--it’s Florida) and the obstacles are a little physically demanding. Shooting distances range from up close and personal out to about 200 yards. Much of the shooting is from unusual positions and at unknown distances. Participants must be prepared to handle some physical exertion and be familiar with their firearms’ operation.

    With the exception of emergencies, Range Officers (ROs) are not allowed to help participants in any way. Good attitudes are a must. If you are the type of person who gets upset when minor changes are made to a plan or when you don’t always get your way, this is not the event for you. This event is being hosted by very generous individuals on their private property -- all participants must show strict respect for the owners and their property.

    All firearms, ammo, water and other equipment must be carried from start to finish throughout the course. Obviously, shooters will consume or expend water and ammo along the way, so be sure to bring sufficient quantities of both.

    There will be 2 divisions: Open Division and Plate Carrier Division. The only difference between the two divisions is with Plate Carrier division, competitor must wear a PC with rifle-rated plates for the entire race. Other than that, the equipment allowances are the same—essentially Open.

    The only equipment that is strictly required to participate is a stopwatch (wristwatch), a safe center fire rifle (with a sling), a safe center fire pistol, enough ammo to clear the course (at least twice the minimum round count from the Course of Fire is recommended), and eye/ear protection. Everything else is up to each participant. Bring whatever you want—but you have to carry it. I wouldn’t recommend shorts, and I’d suggest wearing something that gives decent ankle support, but I’m not your Mom.


    Shooters may use their choice of gear to carry their equipment, the only requirement being that pistols must be carried in a secure holster that covers the trigger guard. A retention holster, such as a Safariland ALS-type holster is recommended. Rifles may be carried or slung any way you like (firearms will ALWAYS be empty except while shooting a course of fire).

    Ammo must be standard range-type FMJ, JSP, HP or similar; absolutely no tracers, bi-metal (most steel-cased Russian ammo) or armor piercing bullets that have a penetrator core. M855, SS109, and any similar steel core ammo, any ammo with green or black paint on the tip, or any ammo with bullets that will stick to a magnet are not allowed. We reserve the right to check ammo at the start of the race and at any point during the race. Violators will be kicked off the course. Pistol caliber carbines are not allowed for your rifle.

    Pistols must fire center-fire pistol cartridges of 9mm or larger.

    Round Count: The MINIMUM round count will be 44 rifle and 34 pistol. Most folks running events like these seem to feel comfortable carrying twice the minimum.

    Targets for the match will consist of various-sized steel plates, some of which are on lightweight target stands. We cannot allow any calibers or ammo that will pierce, bend, dent, destroy, disable, knock down or otherwise disrupt the targets. 223, 5.56, 308, 7.62x39 6.5 Grendel and 300 Blackout are all good. If you intend to shoot something else, please contact me first so we can discuss it—we’re trying to avoid breaking targets or knocking them over, which creates delays.

    All participants are expected to comply with basic firearm safety at all times. Failure to follow safety protocols will not be tolerated and will result in Biathlon disqualification. While shooting a course of fire, muzzles must remain pointed in a safe direction at all times, and fingers must be off the trigger unless the firearm is pointed at a target. Firearms shall only be loaded when a shooter is at a stage, after the RO has given the “Make ready” command (if applicable).

    Loaded handguns must remain securely in a holster unless the shooter is intentionally drawing the handgun to engage targets in a course of fire. If a loaded handgun falls out of a holster at any time, it results in a match DQ (see above suggestion about retention holster).

    Some stages will be active, involving moving and shooting. Firearms may remain loaded during on-stage movement (if called for by the course of fire) but strict muzzle discipline must be maintained, and the trigger finger must be indexed outside of the trigger guard. Rifles must be placed on SAFE during movement.

    Procedures/how to sign up:
    When you go to Practiscore.com (see below for link) to sign up, there will be 4 ‘squads,’--these will be the heats. Within each squad/heat there will be 15 openings. Sign up and select which heat you want to run (squad 1 is heat 1, etc). The approximate time of day that the heats will actually run the course of fire are: Heat 1: 0830-1000. Heat 2: 1030-1200. Heat 3: 1230-1400. Heat 4: 1430-1600. If you have stuff going on in the morning and can’t make an AM heat, you can select an afternoon heat. Once you arrive at registration on match-day, you’ll get your random-draw start time for the heat that you have squadded on. If you are sharing equipment with a buddy, make sure the two of you sign up on different heats.

    Shooters will report to the Talon Range at the carport just beyond range 15, at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their heat (please stop by the range office on your way in and let them know you are there for the event). Heat check-in times are Heat 1: 0800. Heat 2: 1000. Heat 3: 1200 and Heat 4: 1400. So, for example, if you have signed up to run in heat 3, you need to be there by 1200 for the heat 3 safety brief. There will be a registration table near the starting line. Here, shooters will check in and be assigned a start time. We will review the rules, procedures, and courses of fire immediately following check-in.

    Runners will be sent out in uniform intervals within each heat—about every 6 minutes or so. Be sure to show up on time and ready to go at your appointed check-in WITH COMPLETELY EMPTY FIREARMS—UNLOADED, NO MAGAZINE INSERTED--or your spot will be given to someone on the standby list.

    Next: RUN! Or walk. Many folks walk some, or all, of the course. To finish is to win—don’t worry if you can’t run the whole thing.

    On the course:
    The path for participants to follow will be well marked with signs and pink surveyor’s tape. Shooters must stay close to the marked path. Do not cut corners. Failure to follow the marked trail may take you into the impact area of a hot range! Much of the run portion will take place on active roads within the range complex, so watch for cars. Yeah, I know pedestrians have the right of way, but let’s not forget the ‘law of gross tonnage.’

    When arriving at a shooting stage, the shooter will be required to show the RO that his or her rifle has an empty mag well and empty chamber. Participants who arrive at a stage with a mag in their rifle or a round in the rifle's chamber will be immediately disqualified and the participant will be ejected. Shooters are NOT required to leave their rifle’s bolt open during the run between stages. After showing a clear rifle, the participant will give his or her name to the RO, who will cross-check the participant into the stage.

    If you arrive at a course of fire and there is already/still a competitor shooting the course of fire: Competitor will first make contact with the RO who is scoring, show them an empty rifle, and competitor will start their stopwatch. When the shooter who was on the stage is finished, and it’s time for the competitor who just showed up to shoot, competitor will stop their stopwatch and show the elapsed time to RO, who will record it on their score card. This ‘wait time’ will be taken off the competitors overall run time at the end. During this wait time, the competitor may not do anything except wait—no adjusting of equipment, topping off mags, etc.—those things may only be done ‘on the clock’ i.e. during your run.

    The shooter will then be read the stage description. ROs will do their best to read the description in the same manner, and at the same speed for all participants, as you are ‘on the clock’ at this point. The RO will ask if the shooter understands the course of fire. If the answer is yes, the shooter will be given a ‘Make Ready’ command if appropriate (some stages start with a loaded weapon, and some start unloaded). The next command will be the standard ‘Are you ready…Standby…Beep,’ at which time competitor may complete the course of fire. There may also be some sort of physical challenge that must be completed prior to the shooting portion. This challenge will be explained and typically, your indication to the range officer that you are ready to start the shooting challenge is when you finish the physical challenge and have stepped into the shooting box—you will then be given the ‘Are you ready…Standby…BEEP’

    All stages will have a marked zone from which the shooter must fire -- either a particular hole in a barricade that must be shot through, or a marked zone on the ground. Nothing is designed to ‘trick’ a competitor. The RO/spotter will call out all hits; if the RO/spotter does not shout "Hit" it is not a hit and the shooter must continue to engage the current target until he or she makes the required number of hits.

    If for any reason the “cease fire” command is given, the shooter must immediately cease fire, holster his handgun, and/or unload his rifle.

    Upon completion of the course of fire, standard ‘Unload and show clear’ commands will be given by the RO. Every shooter must show the RO that his or her rifle has an empty mag well and empty chamber before leaving each stage. The RO will record the shooting time for the stage, and the shooter will verify

    Every shooting stage will have a time limit of 199 seconds (that’s as high as the timer will go). Scoring will be simple—if you finish the course of fire, your time is your score. If you are unable to complete the course of fire in the allotted time, you receive zero for the stage. Overall finish will be the culmination of the 5 shooting stages, as well as ‘Stage 6’ which is the run.

    After the last runner has crossed the finish line, we will calculate the results. Although we will be using Practiscore to score the match, there will be some simple math involved in tabulating the results (God help us), so don’t expect immediate results.

    Malfunction Policy:
    Any "normal" malfunctions that occur during a shooting stage must be cleared by the shooter on the clock. This includes stovepipes, failures to feed, failures to fire, failures to return to battery, failures to extract, etc. If a firearm is rendered inoperable or unsafe and cannot be cleared on the clock (examples include squib rounds, stuck rounds or cases that will not come out via the mortar method, broken firing pin, loose gas block, etc.), the shooter may choose one of the options below. These options are only applicable in "unsafe or inoperable" situations and do not include issues with optics becoming lose or losing zero, broken slings, broken or stuck collapsible stocks, lose handguards, bad magazines, lost ammo, or any other circumstance in which the firearm can be safely discharged.
    1. DNF the stage and fix the issue on the run clock (no wait time) with whatever tools the shooter has on-hand. (The RO is not your gunsmith.) After the issue has been resolved, the shooter may continue to complete the rest of the course.
    2. Finish the rest of the course, and take a DNF on any stages that would call for the use of the malfunctioning firearm.

    There will be obstacles and other challenges on the trail between shooting stages. These must be completed or an egregious penalty will be applied for each obstacle that a participant fails to complete. Although there is no time limit for the run, it will get dark eventually. If you plan on low-crawling the entire match, how about sign up for the AM heat.

    Your Fitness:

    This is no walk in the park. The obstacles will test your balance, coordination and upper/lower-body strength. If you can't do a few pull-ups, scramble up and down rough/rocky hills and push through wooded areas, some of the obstacles will be difficult to overcome (no pull-ups will actually be required--I'm just using it as a fitness example). If you are in even just OK shape (round is a shape), you'll do just fine. Don't pass on the match just because you aren't in top physical condition. Also, the weather may be hot (or cold—it’s Florida after all), and you need to be aware of over-exertion. Be sure to bring an appropriate amount of water. Your health is your responsibility; please manage your limitations accordingly and walk/hydrate as needed. Don’t be afraid to bring your own IFAK—the life you save may be your own.

    How to Sign Up:

    Match date will be Sunday, March 12th. Registration will open on January 27th at 0830.

    Sign up via Practiscore here: https://practiscore.com/talon-run-an...-2023/register

    Match fees: $50 per registration. If you want to shoot it twice, I will allow it—but only after registration has been open for a week to allow everyone the chance to sign up. After you register, you must send me money! This isn’t like a local USPSA match where if someone doesn’t show up that has already registered it’s no big deal. A match like this is fairly dependent upon competitors showing up for the time slot they signed up for. After registering, you will have one week to send me the match fee via PayPal. Either $50 friends and family or add 3% for the ‘protection fee’ or whatever it’s called. My PayPal address is the same as my email address: razzman1@hotmail.com MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME IN THE PAYPAL PAYMENT, SO I CAN CHECK YOU OFF MY LIST. ALSO, MAKE NO MENTION OF ANYTHING FIREARMS/MATCH RELATED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION—wish me a happy birthday or something, but don’t mention firearms in any shape or form. If you don’t send me money, I’ll remove you from the Practiscore squad list. I’ll send a reply to you that I have received your payment.

    If the match fills up, I will start a ‘standby’ list. Those on the standby list can show up on match day, and if anyone who registered doesn’t show up for their heat, a standby competitor may take their place.

    Refund/Cancellation Policy:

    A half refund will be given until two weeks before the race. No refund will be given after that. To cancel, contact me by e-mail at razzman1@hotmail.com.

    How can I shoot the match for free, you ask?

    I’ll need range officers—20 of them. 5 stages times 2 ROs times 2 shifts. You can sign up for the match (say an AM time slot) and RO the afternoon, or vice versa. For your time, you can shoot the match for free. If you are a USPSA/Steel Challenge shooter, and have no desire to shoot the Run and Gun, but still want to help RO, I’ll give you a free match entry to the local Talon Range match of your choice. Please contact me to let me know that you would like to RO. I’d prefer folks who have some experience in ROing USPSA/Steel Challenge matches, but as long as you can write a score down legibly, you’ll do.

    Small things may change prior to the match. Keep an eye on your inbox to make sure nothing changes. I have Sunday March 19th as a back-up date in case we have some sever weather rolling through on the 12th.

    Any questions? Contact me at: razzman1@hotmail.com

    John Rasmussen

  2. #2
    The match is officially full, and a wait-list has been created. If anyone still wants in, shoot me an email and I'll put you on the stand-by list.

  3. #3
    Just curious. How did this go? Did you guys have a pretty good turn out? I had a buddy that ran it and said it was an absolute blast. He wasn't really concerned about placement and said that he was just happy to finish with ammo. He said that I should sign up if you guys do it again next year and considering how much fun he seemed to have, I just might do that. ��

  4. #4
    The match went better than I could have imagined. We ended up with over 80 shooters, and a great time was had by all. Here's a link to some pictures.


    For anyone contemplating this for next year--we had kids, ladies and men of all ages (some in their 70s) shooting this match.

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