Machine gun competitors from the Ironman match.
By Anthony Dee
It is not very often that the public has the opportunity to shoot in a formal competition on a Police Range. It is even more uncommon for the public to shoot in competition with law enforcement officers. What is almost totally unheard of is that the public would be able to fire their own automatic weapons in competition at a police range. But that is exactly what has happened for the past three years in the annual Iron Man Competition sponsored by the North Las Vegas Police Citizens Academy Alumni. This enthusiastic group of people have put together a very unique pistol and machine gun match that has been enormously successful. The North Las Vegas Police Department heartily endorses this competition and donated the use of their range along with support personnel.
The main match is a practical pistol match that utilized both steel and paper targets. A mandatory reload is incorporated along with a weak hand stage. Targets had to be engaged in a specific order and the steel plates were a must hit target. No point value was credited to the steel but they had to fall. Standard UPSPA-IPSC targets were used. The shooter may enter as many times as he likes for an additional entry fee. The weapons used must use standard sights with no exotic accessories such as compensators or lasers are allowed. A minimum caliber of 9mm is required. All shooting is done with the gun in hand resting on a starting rail approximately three feet high. Targets were pasted and reset by the local Police Explorer group and food and refreshments were served all weekend long. Approximately 130 shooters entered over the course of the weekend. A team event was also included. The different classes were as follows. Law-Enforcement Team Division, Security Team Division, Open Team Division, Individual Open Division, Individual Division Revolver Class, Sub-Machine Gun Division, and a Novice Division for inexperienced, individual shooters.
The Sub-Machine Gun Match had 16 entries and was a multi-stage event utilizing the Departments brand new SWAT house. This new training facility was built by the members of the Citizens Academy Alumni with all labor and materials donated to the Department.
The shooter started with an empty gun in hand. Upon signal the shooter loaded the gun and, shooting on the move, engaged several paper targets that were partially obscured by hostages. There were two mandatory reloads that the shooter had to perform any time during the course. The shooter then moved to another position and engaged several bowling pins and pepper poppers. Another move was to the “Mouse Trap”. This prop was built to test the shooter’s reaction time and trigger control. The shooter had to shoot a bowling pin off a shelf which activated a trap door in front of two targets . The shooter then had to neutralize the two targets before the falling door covered them . Any shots that went through the door were counted as misses plus penalties.
The shooter then moved to the SWAT house. The shooter first engaged paper targets and pepper poppers on the left side of the house. He then moved to the front of the house and engaged two more paper targets through a window before entering. Upon entering the shooter went down several hallways opening doors to several rooms.
The shooter had to immediately assess the situation and make the decision to take out the various bad guys without hitting the various good guys and hostages that were interspersed among the bad guys. When you finished, I can honestly say that you were thoroughly winded.
Several raffle prizes were given to competitors during the weekend that were donated by local merchants and sponsors. The actual shooting Awards were given personally by Chief Joey Tillmon at an official ceremony at Police Headquarters after the scores were tabulated.
The Ironman Competition is a great public relations tool for the North Las Vegas Police Department. It shows a solid commitment to the encouragement of safe and legal firearms competition, even with the inclusion of Class III type firearms. I wish other Police Departments across the country would be so enlightened.
Winners of the two divisions of the Sub-Machine Gun Category were:
Anthony Dee, Rochester Police Department. Shooting a Beretta 38A
Larry Miranda, Shooting an MP5K
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N1 (October 2000)|