Aaron Dearborn’s First GAP Grind
Recently, I attended my first GAP Grind, which was hosted by K&M Precision Rifle Training, in Finger, Tennessee, just south of Jackson and a few miles north of Corinth, Mississippi. Needless to say, it was quite an experience. My teammate, Steve, was attending the GAP Grind as his second Precision Rifle Series match ever. Fortunately, he has a strong shooting background, and was eager to learn anything/everything throughout the course of the weekend. Steve placed 9th in the amateur class, out of 118 competitors. It was a privilege to spend time with him and other passionate shooters.
GA Precision has been sponsoring this competition for the past five years, and this 2016 gathering was the largest Precision Rifle Series event on record, with over 230 participants. Even with the amount of shooters present, Match Directors Shannon Kay and George Gardner managed to rotate all competitors through more than 20 stages in just two days. Besides the very impressive organization, these guys truly care about improving the sport and helping new shooters gain confidence.
This year’s match format was a Professional/Amateur (PRO/AM) Team Match to promote sportsmanship and welcome new shooters to the competition scene. Top competitors, new competitors and everyone in between from around the country were invited to attend. It’s always fun to see the different types of shooters and skill sets.
The competition is a high-tempo match with minimal “down time” between stages. Competitors can expect 20 plus stages throughout the weekend and the course of fire will test and train disciplines from across law enforcement, military and practical marksman spectrums. Competitors can also expect engagements at an assortment of steel, reactive, paper and automated moving targets out to 1,200 yards, with each varying in size and difficulty based on the shooters position, distance and time allotted. To compete, you’ll need to bring 200 rounds to complete the course of fire and must shoot .300 Win. Mag. and below.
I want to thank Bergara North America for their continued support. My BCR28 in 6mm Creedmoor was an absolute laser, with its low recoil and high velocity. The Premier Action ran smoothly all weekend, without a glitch. I was watching other shooters with other types of custom actions having problems with dust and dirt clogging their receivers. The Bergara Premier Action ran smooth as glass and never missed a beat!
My U.S. Optics ER-25 5-25x58mm scope was crystal clear and mechanically perfect. I never had any doubt when dialing for elevation that I would return to zero, and my scope would be dead on. The mechanical repeatability of these scopes is more than worth the price of admission. And finally, the tube construction is extremely robust; I never have to worry about losing my zero when tackling barricades and other shooting obstacles.
Craig Kierstead at PDC Custom is a huge supporter of the series, and the performance of his Gen4C chassis is the best I’ve ever had my hands on. I choose his chassis over all others, because of its lightweight, rigid construction, comfortable ergonomics and a very unique barricade stop. His ingenuity has brought about this great product and I highly recommend you take a few minutes to check it out to see for yourself.
Finally, I want to thank my beautiful wife for supporting me by throwing powder with me into the late hours of the night in preparation for these matches, and for holding down the fort while I go blow off some steam; figuratively and literally.
Follow Aaron at facebook.com/prsaaron.