There are a lot of 3-gun shooters who seek “natural terrain” matches, and therefore there are a lot of matches that claim to be “natural terrain”. As I have been blessed to travel about the country and take in some of these matches, I often find this term to be a buzz word more so than an actual adjective. When Jeremy Moore set out to build a new terrain match in the truest sense of the term, it sounded like…well…every other outlaw match. After its second annual rendition, I can honestly say that the Vortex Shooter’s Source 3-Gun Championship IS one of a few, one of a very very few, true natural terrain matches. The Triple C facility (where the match is held) has shooting bays in the traditional sense of the term, but MD Jeremy refuses to use them for this match. With a load of steel and props, he ventures out into the rolling hills of the larger ranch property that houses the range and paints a true terrain match onto the canvas that is the rolling North Texas country side.
Every stage at the Vortex Shooter’s Source 3-Gun Championship is built on top of a ridge line, or inside a gulley, or ravine that gives this match a flavor that is uniquely Texan. This year stages were even held in different locations than last year. The targets weren’t just rearranged; many of the stages were in completely fresh locations. A common theme this year was loophole shooting. I wouldn’t say that the targets were hidden in the sense they are at a place like Blueridge, for example, but they were certainly most available from tricky spots or small holes in the vegetation which gave an interesting challenge to some arrays. Oh yeah, and there was that stage where we got to shoot all 3-guns out of a UTV. That was pretty awesome too.
There were several single gun stages at this match. I think this stems from the belief that if there are going to be any single gun stages, there needs to be one for every gun to be truly fair from a competitive stand point…which I guess I can agree with. However, I’m the guy who says, “I signed up for 3-gun. Give me at least two on a stage minimum.” So as a guy who frowns on single gun stages, I would have to say all four of them were VERY well done. They were very entertaining and certainly not time filler distractions in a corner of the range. They were also somewhat the finishing touch on a match that really tests the full spectrum of 3-gun skills.
I fared pretty well at this match again this year and went two for two on Tactical Irons division titles. Knowing full well that there is a lot of long range, I always question the sanity of shooting 1X at this match, but every year it is so much fun that it invigorates me to shoot even more matches in the restricted optics divisions. The shadows definitely have games they like to play here, but that just makes the “HIT!!” calls that much more righteous. If you fancy yourself a “natural terrain” match shooter…the Vortex Shooter’s Source 3-gun Championship MUST be on your schedule for 2018. It is not to be missed. I know I will be there, trying for the three-peat.