The last weekend of October, I had the privilege of attending the Rifle Dynamics 2017 Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championships held at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range with one of my brothers in arms from the Marine Corps, Timothy Yan. There are 5 basic categories of competition, I signed up for the Heavy Home-built category shooting my home-built AK47 with good old fashion iron sights. The competition consists of 9 competitive, practical stages and is shot over the course of 2 days. The shooters were all grouped in squads of 10 to 13 shooters, and each squad shot each stage together like a team.
Tim and I were in squad 5, which included Century Arms sponsored shooter Corrine Mosher, and we started the competition Saturday morning shooting Stage 5 – the Safe House. This stage involved breaking down a door with a sledge hammer, clearing the room with a flash grenade, and then engaging a series of both paper targets.
Please follow the link for a first hand view of Tim Yan shooting stage 5:
Next up was Stage 6, where each shooter had to start the stage by climbing through a large pipe while holding a 5 round magazine to a pistol they had never shot before. The goal was to shoot a steel target that would start a chain reaction by releasing a bowling ball that would trigger numerous other moving targets, many of which required very specific timing in order to hit with accuracy.
Please enjoy this video of Century Arms Pro shooter Corrine Mosher shooting Stage 6:
Stage 7 was more fun, starting off by climbing through two pipes carrying one 8mm Mauser round that you had to load into the 8mm Mauser Rifle that was staged outside the 2nd pipe. With this rifle, you were to engage a steel target that when hit properly, would activate a number of other moving targets for our shooting pleasure. While watching my video of this stage, please keep in mind, that this was my first time shooting in a competition like this.
Next up, our squad was off to the gully where we would shoot stages 8 and 9. Stage 8 starts each shooter off with a magazine of 6 rounds for a staged rifle and 3 steel targets that were placed somewhere close to 100 yards away. This rifle, to my delight, had an Aimpoint red dot that was right on the money, making the first three shots very easy. Once all three steels were engaged, the shooter was to swap to their own rifle, and then run the course engaging 7 paper targets and 1 more steel.
Here’s my video of Timothy Yan shooting Stage 8.
Nearly 5 hours into our day, we finally got to Stage 9, which was to be our final stage of the day. Here, each shooter started by holding a staged rifle with bayonet attached at Port Arms; when the RSO gave the signal, the shooter had to stab a helpless victim (which in this case was a lifeless bale of hay), then grab their own rifle and start to engage stationary paper targets – 12 in total, 6 together at the beginning, and 6 more to be engaged on the run. Once all 12 targets had been neutralized, the shooter had to enter a “guard shack” and engage a steel target at about 100 yards.
Here’s the video of my performance at stage 9.
Hungry, tired, and sun burned we finished up shooting for the day, and proceeded back to “camp” where there were plenty of other sights to see. We made a scheduled visit to the JMac Customs tent where we interviewed the owners, Justin and Ashley, and got to shoot some of the really cool weapons that they brought out to the event … one of which was a full auto 12-ga shotgun!!!
At the end of the day I learned a lot about practical shooting, and I learned a lot about my homebuilt AK47. Most of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and am hoping to be invited back again next year!!!