I love to shoot. I think I’ve mentioned that before in the past. In fact, I’m not partial all that much to what I’m shooting so long that I get to go shoot something. Heck, I was just looking at Nerf guns the other day for me and my 8 year old to use around the property. While I may be open to shooting just about anything, at just about anything, i.e. paper targets, tin cans, little ice Lego men, etc., I’ve been informed by my better half that I may be the exception to rule. She went on to tell me that for her to get excited about shooting there needs to be some action involved. I think I may have found something that will work for both of us!
International Air Shooting Sports
There are many different types of action shooting sports for firearms. Our local range hosts several groups from 3 gun to cowboy action to IDPA, steel challenge and more. While I’d love to be able to be active in those types of events, I don’t really have the time or the disposable income to acquire the necessary firearms and the ammo to really be competitive. Fortunately Rob Potter from Shoot Right, LLC. has founded IASS. IASS (International Air Shooting Sports) has taken many of the action shooting disciplines and modified them to work with airguns and airsoft guns. Using special targets in specific configurations, IASS courses create a completely new competitive arena for airgunners.
Rob and his family were out to see us recently and they brought all their goodies for us to play with. They setup a sample 3 gun course and provided all the guns and ammo for not only us to try, but also anyone from our local airgun club and local areas as well.
How it works – three stages = 3 guns.
The course was setup into three stages; three stages = 3 guns, with the pistol stage leading things off. For this stage any semi-automatic or double action pellet pistol or airsoft pistol was acceptable. Airguns that shoot metal/steel bbs are not permitted because of ricochet. Rob brought out his Eliteforce 1911s and I brought out my Beretta 92FS, Beretta PX4, S&W 586, and Colt 1911 Airsoft pistol.
In front of this stage were 6, 6″ circular “gong” targets that were staged from 18 to 30 feet. Once the timer started you had to hit each target as quickly as possible and then move on to stage two. All the guns fared well, with my personal favorites being my Colt 1911 and my S&W 586.
Stage 2 – Shotgun
The second stage consisted of 6 “popper” targets that rocked when impacted. They stand about 8″ tall and are 3″ wide. We were using a UTG M4/90 combat airsoft shotgun for this phase. It has an adjustable stock and throws 3 bbs with each pull of the trigger. It’s spring activated and each “shell” holds 30 bbs, so you have up to 10 shots to clear the poppers which were about 20 feet away. The clock is still ticking from stage one, so you have to clear these as quickly as possible and then move on to stage 3.
Stage 3 – AR / M4 Fun time!
Stage 3 was maybe my favorite of all the stages. Rob brought his Eliteforce M4 and I had my Elitefoce CQB. Both were battery operated and pretty accurate even in mild wind. Directly in front of the table were 9 targets. The front row of four 4″ steel “gong” targets were set at 28 feet with the back row of five 5″ targets set at 30 feet. Once those were cleared, shooters would turn 45 degrees to the left and clear five 6″x8″ targets that were interlaced in between the original pistol targets and about 40 feet away. Having them interlaced with the pistol targets meant that you had to really acquire the proper target only. Hitting the wrong target would add penalty time to your overall total.
How did we do?
Well, the short story is that I had the best time of the day… but, only by 3 tenths of a second! My buddy Cecil nearly beat me, but he got hung up on the shotgun stage and that cost him some precious time. It was incredibly fun regardless of how long it took each person to run the course. What was more exciting for me than getting the fastest time, was watching my wife and my 8 year old have so much fun. In fact, she “insisted” that I buy our own set of targets for the club here in Havasu. After a short protest I complied. But seriously, IASS is designed for shooters 8 years old and up and with the guns being airguns or airsoft guns, there’s no noise or recoil to speak of. That along with the fact that someone can get setup with guns and ammo for under $300 and the sports is very affordable. There’s a lot to like about IASS shooting and I’m extremely eager to get my targets and start shooting!