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2010 Superstition Mystery Mountain 3 Gun

By 30 March 2010 No Comment

15th Annual Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun match

The results of the 2010 Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun match held March 24th – 28th at the Usery Mountain Shooting Range are in. Patrick Kelley is the Heavy Metal Iron sights champion. Craig Underdown Tactical Iron champ, Tim Milkovich Heavy Metal Scope winner, Mike Voigt Open winner, and Taran Butler Tactical Scope champion.

This year saw the return of Dan Furbee as the Match Director. Dan was the Match Director when the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun match was first started. DPMS Panther Arms for the 5th year stepped up as the match sponsor. Dan Furbee and all who worked on the match have dedicate this years match to the memory of Darrell “Shifty” Powers who passed away without fanfare June of 2009. The series “Band of Brothers” featured Shifty in each of the episodes.


Dan brought the “Mystery” back into the match this year. The match gets it’s name from the tradition of hidden prizes around the range. Each morning and afternoon clues are given to the competitors. Whoever solves the clues first wins the prize. The match comprised 11 stages combining rifle, shotgun and handguns in various configurations.

Stage 1 was a shotgun, pistol stage that began with the shooter engaging poppers and clays with their shotgun including a popper mounted on a door that when hit opened the door, allowing the competitor after abandoning the shotgun, to wheel a patient on a gurney through the doorway to a plate rack engaged with the pistol.

The most uncomfortable stage by far was stage 9, titled “Sainte-Mere-Eglise”. The shooter, wearing a parachute harness was hoisted by a winch, suspended in the air along a wall with rifle at port arms unloaded. On signal the shooter loaded the rifle and engaged 17 metric targets. More than one hapless shooter dropped a magazine while loading and found themselves with the need to preserve ammo by engaging multiple targets with only a single shot relying only on their backup magazine. Any target engaged with a single shot not in the A zone was deemed as not being neutralized earning a 5 second penalty. The harness was not flattering to anyone as the pictures will attest.

Comprising only 13% of the total shots in the match the handgun becomes the last-line of defense as well it should. If you have the option of going into a fight with long guns, take the option. Shotgun comprised 39% and rifle 47% of the shots. These percentages changed slightly depending on how you chose to shoot stage 5, “Shaun of the Dead”. Stage 5 gave the shooter the option of using either the rifle or the pistol to engage 18 metric targets. Many shooters opted to stay with their pistol saving the time needed to abandon the pistol and retrieve the rifle, a choice that required careful shots placed on targets that offered only the heads. After all they are the “undead”.

3 Gun Nation

A new competition series called 3 Gun Nation sponsored by FNH USA was on hand to film the match for the VS channel. The competition series awards cash prizes to the winners of the FNH shoot-off at the end of selected matches. The 2010 Superstition Mountain Mystery match was chosen as the first match in the series. The winners of each division earned a spot in the shoot-off held at the end of the match. The cash prize of $5,000 was awarded to the winner, and an FNH rifle to the runner-up.

The shoot off was a single elimination ladder pitting pairs of shooters against each other. Each shooter began by sprinting to three stations, at the first station they retrieved a FNH SCARâ„¢ semi-auto rifle and shot a plate rack at 100 yards, then running to station two they engaged poppers and clays with an FN SLP Mark I shotgun and finally sprinting to the final station retrieving an FNX-9 pistol and a plate rack with cross-over poppers to determine the winner. The winner of the first 3 Gun Nation cash award of $5,000 was Keith Garcia who edged out runner up Mike Voigt.

The series will begin airing on the Versus channel sometime in July.

Photo Gallery Available

James Scott Photography was on-hand to photograph the match. An online gallery is available for viewing and to order prints or digital downloads. Use the code SMM_3GUN to receive a discount good until 4/4/10.

The gallery can be seen here, click on the Events link.

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