Held in the heart of Kentucky at the Rock Castle, the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championships is one of the most established and legendary of the national outlaw 3-Gun matches. Loved by some and feared by many, BRM3G is one of the most mentally technical and challenging matches one can attend. To picture the true flavor of this match, one should picture less Call of Duty video game and more of a minute-man running through the woods picking off snipe perched in trees. There are no flashy colors, or elaborate props…heck there isn’t even a can of white paint on the property…just a smorgasbord of opaque targets spread throughout the shadows of the hollers of Rock Castle. Known far and wide for its unique and accuracy focused scoring system, a slew of thread the needle shots, and a healthy dose of “did you see that one behind the tree?” BRM3G will push a shooters skills and whit to the limit. The final cherry on top, is that MD Andy Horner has a firm belief that 3-gun should be just a little bit physical too. Hitting all the targets and not timing out are seriously worthy goals at this match. Did I mention slung long guns are a part of every stage too?

To be quite honest, my past couple attempts at BRM3G almost frustrated me to the point of not having fun. Maybe I’ve improved a little, grown a little wiser, or maybe they put a little different twist on things, but it was a blast this year. There were climbing walls, fast ropes, rope bridges and shoot houses in addition to all the other jungle run antics that BRM3G is known for. Blue Ridge is really won and lost in the rifle. There is always a fair amount of long range at odd distances in addition to tricky shots through slats in walls, past hard cover and around no-shoots. One stage even had some Where’s Waldo targets through some of the thickest trees imaginable- the bullets had to squeeze through holes literally inches wide to hit targets that appeared and disappeared in shadows by the minute. There is also usually a shot through a car window that is simply a leap of faith- the Ro’s tell you it’s there, you can kind of see it…but not really. This year it was a flasher at 100 and some yards that was mostly obstructed by the door. Basically you just shot at where the mirror was supposed to be until they called “HIT!” About the only thing one won’t find at BRM3G is the proverbial “hoser” stage. Andy Horner doesn’t just put targets out there for you; some sort of hoop will be jumped through to get to each and every one.

Looking to try something different, and because this isn’t a hoser match, I decided to try my hand at the Open division. Most true open equipment lends itself to raw speed and can be cumbersome to carry especially when slings get involved. Therefore I didn’t think I was at much a disadvantage and perhaps it would be a little more fun than the unusually strict Tac-Optics rules. Basically I shot my usual tac optics gear with a shotgun loaded to 14 rounds at the start (the biggest advantage), a rifle with an offset red-dot and a bipod option (neither of which are as handy as they would seem), and some 29 round “big sticks” for my pistol. I ended up 7Th in open and 27th overall in the match which was one of my better finishes for the season. I definitely got some much needed redemption and shot a much cleaner match this year than my past two attempts.

If you like Easter Egg hunts, jungle runs, and-more often than not- rolling around in the mud, perhaps you should try your hand on the field of battle that is the Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship. It is a true natural terrain match where every shot counts.