I’ve been excited about doing a run and gun for a while. I started looking into them in 2022, but I wasn’t sure how to get involved. There are not that many events, there are a small number of slots, and they sell out extremely quick. I have a strong background in a running, although I am just getting back into it. The practicality of what run and guns provide in terms of being able to shoot effectively made it an attractive package to me.
Through the internet I was able to link up with a few like minded individuals who were also training for similar events. I spent a lot of time trying to ask good questions, and I was able to get a good idea of what I was getting into.
Preparing for the event
The format is pretty simple, and is generally the same across event providers. A ranch or some other private property is rented out, and a course is planned out. Usually the course is around 6 miles, and consists of somehwere between 5-9 shooting stages. Each shooting stage centers around a feature of the land, and can consist of one or more shooting positions. The stage can be using a single weapon, such as your pistol, or it can require making transitions between rifle, and pistol. There are even events that require the use of a shotgun as well. For example, the Rio Bravo Run ‘N Gun starts with a shotgun on stage 1.
The training I did for the RWR Series Event was pretty simple. I only generally knew what I was getting into. It’s hard to shoot like you will at the event without a large piece of private property, or access to a private shooting range. Primarily I spent time running with my loaded gear for short distances, transitioning between my weapons, and shooting at targets. Gaining familiarity with my gear, a new rifle, and a pistol I rarely shoot was my main goal.
Gear I used
I spent quite a bit of time researching, and I wanted something flexible I could use for other activities, that gave me a customizable amount of extra space. I chose the following for my loadout:
What I learned
I love the idea of not knowing the layout of a stage, how much of each type of ammo I will need, or even what to expect. Not being able to resupply means if you are not careful with what you are doing, you will DNF (Did Not Finish) a stage. In fact, there was a guy essentially who ran out of pistol ammo on stage 1, so he was pretty much guaranteed a DNF on every stage involving pistol.
On this first event, I learned that it’s surprisingly difficult to hit targets that aren’t straight down a hallway from you like at the flat range. Gauging distance with targets of unknown sizes requires a lot of experience. Trigger control is incredibly important. I noticed as I was getting close to the end of a stage, I was getting stressed, and would start missing with the pistol. I had to stop, and reset my breath a few times but just had trouble with the pistol in general. It’s an area I had a ton of confidence in, but have had to re-evaluate my current skills. Past experience doesn’t necessarily mean anything when you haven’t been shooting regularly for more than 5 years.
I ran out of water on the last stage, but because I was the last runner out, we had a bunch of situations where we were just sitting around waiting. The last stage or two I was starting to get cold, and hungry.
- Bring more water
- Bring substantial snacks (jerky, trail mix, etc)
- Higher capacity pistol magazines means carrying less magazines
- Practice dry-firing
- Purchase red-dot for pistol
- Wear lighter shoes (hiking / trail running shoes)
- IN EAR protection vs over ear
- Clear eye pro
I’ve signed up to be a Range Officer for The Ranch Night Match, which means I will be helping to guide runners, and monitor the event for safety. I will also be able to run it the day before. So expect a write up on that in July 2023.
As far as training, and improvements, I picked up a red dot. I feel like this was a major advantage the other guys had on me. Iron sights are fine, but I want as many advantages as I can get. I expecte the next one I will not be DNFing as many stages.
A short list of things I’ll be practicing for my next event. The next event is a night shoot, and I believe it’s CQB style, so I will have to get used to using a weapon light as well. Ha ha ha. It’s always something :)
- Practice target acquisition
- Practice dry-firing
- Practice shooting in various positions (standing, kneeling, prone, etc)
- Practice reloading
- Practice clearing malfunctions
- Practice weapon transitions
- Practice using lights
|Shoot Time Rank
|Run Time Rank
Photo by oedefense