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Colfax Sportsmen’s Club wound up it’s 2019 United Multi-Gun League (UML) season Sept. 7-8 with a three gun match at the Dunn County/Colfax Shooting Sports Complex.
Fifty-six competitors from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan gathered for the event. According to Ted Miller, match director, they easily burned up 26,000 rounds of ammunition, using a combination of modern sporting rifles, shotguns and pistols.
Individual competition took place on Saturday, Sept. 7. Then competitors who wanted to, put together teams of three to compete against other teams on Sunday, Sept. 8. Sunday also saw competitors going against each other in rifle, pistol and shotgun side matches, and in grudge matches to which they challenged each other.
For the Saturday 5-Stage Match, in Open Division Daniel Beste was first, Eric Sandstrom was second. In the 2×4 Open Division Chris Peterson was first and Chris Forster was second; both are from the Colfax club. Sam Monson was first in Tactical Optics Division and Michael O’Brien took second. In Limited Division Kevin Gornicke claimed first and Justin Morrissey was second. Jack Tomasoski was first in the Free Heavy Division and father Dan Tomasoski was second.
Sunday Shoot-Off winners were Kyle Roble in Open Division Group; Michael O’Brien in Tac Division Group; Justin Morrissey in Limited Division Group. The father and sons team of Dan, Jack and Max Tomasoski won the Team Group.
Category winners were Dan Tomasoski as High Senior; Max Tomasoski, High Junior; Nokomis Nosker, High Lady.
In UML matches, depending what division or group they enter, contestants may use rifle, pistol and shotgun, or pistol caliber carbine (PCC) and shotgun, or other variations. Competitors are divided into squads. Each squad starts at one of the shooting stages designed by the match director.
At each stage a match official reads the match director’s brief for that particular stage, which includes how many targets there are, what types of targets will be faced, the firearms, or firearms, that may be used for specific targets, or must be used for specific targets, as well as information on staging areas and locations where firearm switches are to be made. Competitors then have five minutes to walk the stage and figure out their strategy.
All stages require movement, Some can require a fair amount of running. Targets are mixed. Frequently there will be a bank of stationary clay targets to be shot with either a shotgun or with a PCC, paper targets to be shot with either handgun, rifle or PCC and steel targets which might, depending upon the stage, be shot with pistol, rifle, shotgun or PCC.
At the starting beep competitors go through the course of fire at that stage. Any mistakes, missed targets, or targets not fired at are assigned penalty times. Penalty times accrued during the stage are added to the shooter’s time for running the stage. At the end of the match, each competitor’s stage times are added together. The object is to have the lowest total time. To keep things as even as possible, shooters are divided into divisions based upon age, gender, types and calibers of firearms being used.
At the last match, one stage shooters needed to climb into the bed of a pickup truck to shoot some targets and then back out of it to shoot others. A different stage required competitors to run from one shooting bay to another and to shoot around barricades at targets that were partially hidden. A third required them to move forward and then backward to address targets. At yet another they had to shoot from a four foot high ‘roof.’
Distances to the targets varied from just a few feet to 250 yards. Most shotgun targets required birdshot, but others required slugs. Some targets, known as poppers, fell over when hit with a shotgun charge and by falling flipped a clay bird into the air, which the competitor also was expected to shoot.
Complexity of the stages required hours upon hours of setup by a dedicated corps of volunteers, Miller said. On top of that, approximately 20 trained volunteer range safety officers were present during the two day match, to keep things running smoothly. Plus support people were required to operate the club house, serve meals, keep the shooting bays supplied with water and targets and repair equipment as needed. In addition Boy Scouts from Troop 243, sponsored by the club, helped set targets after each shooter.
Miller estimated that more than 700 volunteer hours were required for the match, from setup through take down.
Due to the different challenges provided at each stage, coupled with the amount of movement required by each competitor, UML matches are a good spectator sport, according to George Richards, president of Colfax Sportsmen’s Club.
As a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, the club has raised and invested tens of thousands of dollars in improving the county owned facility, transforming it from a simple range capable of being used at most by a half a dozen shooters at a time into a complex capable of handling large matches and multiple events. Because it is a publicly owned facility, Richards says he encourages people to come out not only to shoot, but also to watch the various tournaments hosted by the club.
Spectators did attend the UML finale. While most were families of the competitors, others were there because friends had told them about UML competition and they wanted to learn what was involved.
Sponsors of the UML Finale were the title sponsor, Taccom; Gold sponsors Oak Hollow, Northern Precision Arms, Hornady; Silver Sponsors F-Bomb, Dale Anderson, Venomous Firearms, MK Machining, American Defense Manufacturing, MaxT Sportswear, Marc-On, Blue Collar 3-Gun, Liberty Lubricants, Obsidian Arms, Shoot Steel, Coda Evolution, LuthAR, Breakthrough Clean; Bronze Sponsors Phase 5 WSI, AR Customs, Scheels, Hunters HD Gold, Vortex, Plug’r, Cerberus Concealment, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Chase Outdoors, and Ted Miller.
More information on the Colfax Sportsmen’s Club and its programs is available on the club’s web page http://colfaxsportsmensclub.com, or from Richards 715-962-2238, email email@example.com.