Our friends Adam and Shebrena Vaught own and operate Hell On Steel, which is a company that offers precision rifle training, reloading supplies, top tier barrel blanks and other gear. Earlier this year they also started hosting Precision Rifle Series club matches at the Rockcastle facility in Park City, KY.
Check out their website and tell them we sent ya!
The Rockcastle facility is one I’ve always enjoyed for shooting precision rifle matches. So, when we heard they were hosting a match just before the end of the year, we got a group of friends together and made the trip up to check out what their matches were like. We were NOT disappointed!
We got to the facility before lunch, got our rooms, signed up on the squad lists and then headed to the practice range.
Those of you familiar with the facility know the “Red Barn” part of the property. That’s where everything was setup to chronograph, confirm zero at 100 yards then play on various steel targets out to around 800 yards.
After finishing up at the practice range and figuring it was going to be colder than some of the guys prepared for (who has time to check weather forecasts, right?), we decided to hit a local store for some cold weather gear and maybe a few snacks. Then back to the Rockcastle lodge for a few drinks by the fire with old friends and a few new ones we made. Even the local dog population wanted to come inside and hang out with us.
We started the day with a welcome from the Vaughts, a safety briefing and prayer. We then broke off in our squads and headed to our respective stages. There were 124 shooters who showed up out of the ~140 registered. Keep in mind that is more shooters than many 2 day matches get! That’s pretty amazing. We had 10 stages and not much daylight. With one exception all stages were PAR time of 1 minute 45 seconds.
Stage 1: The Blind.
This was setup like you were in a deer blind. MPA provided a “tactical table” on a tripod everyone used as a stage prop. This shooter also used my Leofoto tripod as a rear support. Gear was NOT limited at this event. If you carried it, you could use it. Targets were various animal shapes (coyote, pig, bobcat and deer) at ranges from 480 to 715 yards. 8 Point stage.
Stage 2: Where they at?
Pretty straight forward stage but wind really hurt a lot of folks here. From a prone position, engage targets near to far with 2 rounds each. Targets were a prairie dog at 330, 50% IPSC at 530, 66% IPSC at 650, 100% IPSC at 730 and 850.
Stage 3: Yotes and Does
Oh man, this was a FUN stage. The shooter started standing in a tree stand with all gear in hand. On start, take a position in the stand and engage targets from near to far with two rounds each.
Targets were coyotes and 650 and 675 then deer at 730 and 850.
Many people struggles getting the rifle high enough. I dragged my entire Eberlestock backpack (a LoDrag) up into the stand and it gave me a solid position. I still dropped two shots but did better than many on this stage.
Stage 5: KYL Rack and SOAR
A KYL (Know Your Limits) Rack is usually five plates that progressively get smaller. Here the KYL rack was at 500 yards and a SOAR target, which is a resetting silhouette, was at 600. Engage the KYL, then the SOAR. Back to KYL for next plate then back to SOAR. Five plates on the KYL and five rounds at the SOAR total. There wasn’t time to dial between 500 and 600 so holding over with reticle was a must.
Stage 6: It’s a trap!
Target was a 66% IPSC at 530 yards. We had to engage it from four different positions on the tank trap. Two rounds per position.
The target was recessed back in shadows in the tree line. It was tough to find at times. Guys running too high on magnification struggled with that. Remember if you can’t find that target, dial back a bit.
Stage 7: Ring of Fire
Shooter started inside the hay ring. On start move to a position inside the ring and engage target with two rounds. Then move to another position inside the ring and re-engage for two rounds. 10 rounds (5 positions) total. This is the one stage that had a 2 minute PAR. Target was 50% IPSC at 500 yards.
Stage 8: Pipe Hitter
Sorry, I didn’t get pictures here or next stage. I was too busy helping run the squad.
Target was a 50% IPSC at 445 yards. On start move to a prone position next to a giant pipe (~4 feet in diameter) and engage target with three rounds. Move to top of pipe and re-engage for three rounds. Then move to other side of pipe, take a prone position and engage again for three more rounds.
Stage 9: Tripod Holdover
Again, no pics of this one but we had to use a provided tripod with a hog saddle as a rifle support. Targets were a 45% IPSC at 480 yards and a 66% IPSC at 650 yards. We would engage the targets alternating one round per, near to far, near to far, etc. for eight rounds total. On this stage the shooter was NOT allowed to adjust anything on the scope once the stage started.
Stage 10: The Vine
By this time daylight was fading pretty fast. We were in full hustle mode trying to get our last stage finished. Target was a 12″ circle at 370 yards. Shooting positions were marked with spray paint on a giant vine hanging from a tree then on logs/fallen trees on the ground. The positions were not very stable for sure.
Ah, yes. That IS the moon coming up in the distance. LOL. Told you daylight here this time of year is limited!
This was a very fun match with a lot of shooters and moving parts. IIRC this was only the third such event hosted by Adam and Shebrena and they put together some challenging and fun stages. The match was very laid back and we were all encouraged to help newer shooters. Even the newest rookies in our squad did well, had fun and learned a lot.
Keep an eye out for future events hosted by our friends at Hell On Steel. You’ll certainly see us in attendance at many of them.