June 30th, 2014

Norcal 2014 Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge

Story based on After Action Report (AAR) by Jonathan Berry
The 2014 NorCal TBRC is in the books and what another fabulous match put on by Vu Pham and the crew at the NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC). When you attend this match you truly appreciate the effort, planning, and execution carried out by the nation’s largest practical precision rifle club. The Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge runs smoothly from beginning to end, even though the match offers plenty of challenge and variety. Vu Pham, match director, reports: “This year’s TBRC had four major evolutions, that encompassed 22 various stages of fire. Our competitors ended up firing more than 13,000 rounds over the match weekend.”

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

AUDIO FILE: Vu Pham Talks about the NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

CLICK HERE for 2014 NCPPRC Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge Photo Gallery.

CLICK HERE for Full Match Report with Video Clips.

The match is broken up into three different segments: short range (25-200 yards); steel range (150-550 yards); and long range (800-1000 yards). The short range consisted of shots from 25-200 yards. It involved hostage targets, movers, little bitty dots, and my favorite stage, “The MGM Spinner”. This course of fire pitted competitor vs. competitor in a race to see who could spin the target, for 50 points, with a bonus of 20 points if you spun it first. On the 100-yard mover stage, Rockstar Regina Milkovich impressed the crowd by landing all six (6) shots on her moving target. Nice work, Regina!

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

The steel range runs from 150-550 yards with targets at 220, 330, 440, and 550 yards. Unusual shooting stations, time challenges, and other factors made these stages a real test of skill (and the ability to “adapt and overcome”). There was another head-to-head course of fire where you had to put six shots on a dueling tree with 6” flappers at 440 yards.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

Yes, eye protection is mandatory at the TBRC. That’s a good safety rule.
NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham SacramentoLong-Range Challenge
The TBRC’s long range segment involved targets at 800, 900, and 1,000 yards. Five, 3-shot groups were fired at each yardage with one minute to fire the three shots. You really had to pay attention to the mirage, wind, and your gut instinct. Many times those three indicators lead you to three different conclusions!

Several amazing 3-shot groups were shot from the 1,000-yard line by TBRC competitors. These small groups demonstrate the accuracy of today’s bolt-action tactical rifles. Jeremy Bentham (photo right), who placed second in the match, had a sub-one-inch group from the 1,000-yard line, all in the 9-Ring no less. Nice shootin’ Jeremy!

Amazing $70,000 Prize Table at 2014 NorCal TBRC
The $70K prize table that Vu and team put together for this match was incredible. Each and every sponsor deserves recognition for contributing to the match. It never ceases to amaze me to see so many great prizes on the tables at a match like this. Thank you all for supporting the sport. We, as shooters, appreciate it and try hard to support those who support us.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

Look inviting? Then maybe you should plan to join the NorCal clan at one of their regular matches. Vu Pham notes that unaffiliated new shooters are welcome at NCPPRC event: “You do not have to be a member of NCPPRC or FSC to shoot with us. For those of you that would like to shoot with us, please visit our website at www.ncpprc.com. Info about when, where, and how our matches are run are posted in the various forums for matches and practice sessions.”

The NCPPRC Crew Delivered Some Serious Bar-B-Q for Challenge Competitors.
NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento

About NorCal Practical Precision Rifle Club (NCPPRC)
NCPPRC was founded in 2006 by Vu Pham and Shawn Shaw in response to the growing demands of precision rifle shooters in Northern California. As of 2011, NCPPRC has a membership roster of 100 precision rifle shooters from all walks of life.

Our mission is to provide events where serious practical/tactical precision rifle shooters can test their skills in a safe and controlled environment. We provide competent mentoring for new shooters. NCPPRC offers clinics, monthly practice sessions, and an Internet forum. Our organization offers monthly competitions, monthly practice sessions, and an annual two-day event that attracts civilians, law enforcement, and military shooters from across the nation.

NorCal Tactical Bolt Rifle Challenge 2014 Vu Pham Sacramento
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June 30th, 2014

Finally — A Really Good Use for Segways (As Robotic Targets)

The gyro-stabilized two-wheeled Segway was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation. That may never happen (mall cops excepted), but remote-controlled Segways just might revolutionize the way military and police personnel train for urban engagements.

Marathon Smart Targets

Robotic Segway “Smart Targets” for Live-Fire Training
An Australian company, Marathon Robotics, has created wheeled robot targets — remote-controlled Segways fitted with target silhouettes. The Segway Robots can move and respond like humans, ducking into doorways, or dispersing at the sound of gunfire. This provides challenging, ultra-realistic training for military and police sharp-shooters. This is not just science fiction. Australian Special Forces units already train in a mock urban center populated with Marathon’s rolling robots. And the U.S. Marine Corps has hired Marathon to create a similar robot-equipped, live-fire training venue.

Marathon Smart TargetsMarathon combined computer gaming technology with armored, remote-controlled Segways to create the ultimate 21st century moving target. The lower halves of the Segways are armor-plated, so the expensive electronic innards don’t get damaged by an errant shot. On top is mounted a replica human torso. The torso section can be clothed to distinguish “civilians” from military targets, or to distinguish terrorists from hostages.

Marathon’s sophisticated software can control multiple Segway Robots at the same time. A group of Segways can be programmed to mimic a squad on patrol, or a group of terrorists holding hostages. The control software allows autonomous or “intelligent” behavior by the Segway Robots. For example, the Segways can disperse automatically at the sound of a gunshot, and the Segways can be trained to seek cover in hallways or behind objects. Importantly, the Segway Robots are capable of human-like movement — they can stop quickly, turn 360° and retreat slowly, or accelerate to a human running pace. Marathon’s Segway Robots are equipped with laser range finders so they can avoid running into obstacles, including people on the move. The “Segbots” lean forward slightly as they walk forward, like people do.

To really understand how the Robotic Smart Targets work, watch this amazing video:

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RESOURCES: Marathon Targets Webpage | Smart Targets Product Info (PDF) | Photo Gallery

Marathon Smart Targets

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