View Full Version : Off to Europe to shoot some matches

05-01-2016, 06:47 AM
So, Monday the trip starts with a flight to Samara, Russia for the Storm the Citadel match in Togliatti, followed up by participating in the Victory day celebration on May 9th. That should be fun.
Then it's over the Infinity match in Phillipsburg and for every 14 weeks after that another match in another country, including a single trip home to shootin Halifax, before heading back over again to finish the trip off (there is a pun there actually). I will try my best to post some pics and maybe videos if I can get some decent upload speeds. I will also report on matches as best as I can. Countries on the list, Russia, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Czech, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, Lithuania, Undecided, Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Undecided, home. Should be fun, I hope.

05-01-2016, 06:48 AM
Wow. Extremely jealous. How does the logistics of bringing a gun into these countries work out?

05-01-2016, 07:39 AM
That's awesome man. I hope one day to be good enough to do stuff like that! Looking forward to pics and videos!

05-02-2016, 01:09 AM
I have a binder full of paperwork for Russia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia etc etc etc etc. some countries are easy, others, not so much.
I certainly wouldn't say talent is the reason I'm going lol, I'm a decent shooter and have some sponsors (who I am extremely thankful for), but honestly it's because I happen to be lucky enough to do it now. If you have the time and money get out and experience some matches outside your home, the further away the better in my opinion as you get to see and experience so many amazing things. Don't worry about how good you are, that doesn't matter. Hit a major match anywhere you'd like to go and have fun.

Sal Picante
05-02-2016, 06:36 PM
I. Hate. You.


Sal Picante
05-02-2016, 06:36 PM
Oh, and shoot straight

05-02-2016, 08:20 PM
Oh, and shoot straight


If you can "curve the bullets"!


Sal Picante
05-02-2016, 10:09 PM

If you can "curve the bullets"!


He's not that good... Maria Guschina, on the other hand... ;)

Actually, on second thought, things stand up straight for her...

05-03-2016, 01:44 AM
Took me a minute to get that lol, and yes

05-04-2016, 05:23 AM
So, that was fun. Got to the airport and checked email to find out that someone had flown in from Samara with the correct papers for me and that I had to wait for him to claim my bags. But the airport staff had other ideas. My pelican cases clearly matched my carry on and they insisted I take them. Luckily the customs guys were great to deal with and after a bit I was in Moscow officially. Sadly I managed to fuck up the check in process and send my ammo down with my bags, when it should have gone with the guns, out of the bags. So they had to get my bags back and remove the ammo. We then went into a secure area to hand off the guns and ammo. See pics below for the awesome clearing station in that room. And finally hit the gate.

05-04-2016, 05:49 AM
Now in Tolgiatti (which is in Samara)
Staying at the range in a beautiful little hotel. Room is quite nice, proper sized bed (not like most of Europe and their single beds). There is a phenomenonal restaurant on the range as well about 100m from my room. Had great bbq last night. There is a full spa and swimming pool in the hotel main building as well.
We are doing to wrong in Canada...
Directly outside my room is a trap/skeet range over a 70m deep pit. Thankfully they aren't shooting during this match, I slept 12hrs last night.
Here is a pic of the shoot house stage being built as well as a panoramic of the 14 bays, there are 8 more bays over by my hotel as well.


05-04-2016, 05:55 AM
Sounds amazing!

I can't see the picture though :( not sure if it's just me or not. But keep them coming! I love seeing other places!

05-04-2016, 08:23 AM
pic fixed

05-05-2016, 06:37 AM
They did not cover drinking Cognac at the range while the RO's do their prematch in my ipsc training course. This is hard work

05-05-2016, 01:08 PM
Had to post this, went into the indoor range and saw this on the wall. Todd's influence was globe reaching.

05-05-2016, 03:39 PM
More pictures!

05-05-2016, 04:14 PM
Here is an overhead shot they have posted on their bulletin board


Went out atv'ing in the forest around the range, just like back home there are idiots that dump garbage. These guys are trying to get that land from the city and if they do they will do even more of a cleanup. They've already done a ton of work, but people still drums crap. Mostly tires, which the range can and do use.

Cool banner from a match

05-08-2016, 07:57 AM
slowly uploading video to my computer to edit, then will post youtube links. All i can say is, Wow, what a match. I finished with 23 rounds left of my 500, match was 430, so a few, ahem, makeup shots. One brain fade on the last stage, somehow the mag I started with had only 11 rounds in it instead of 16. no idea how that happened, and one good wipeout on the first day. Stupid shoes I was wearing are two sized too big to fit my big ass feet for width (Speedcross "tactical") and on one stage the sand was a bit soft and I had my toe dig in, most likely really it was my fault and not lifting my foot enough, end result, a bit of flailing and then falling on my face, driving the gun, muzzle first, into the sand, got up, shook the gun out and finished the stage. Did a quick tear down and lubed it and wiped it out, finished the day, then spent an hour detail strippiing it and cleaning it. yes, an hour, that's more than I spend cleaning all my guns in a year. frick.
Had some decent runs, some not so decent, but had a blast regardless. great squad of guys, will definitely be back next year.
Can't say enough about how awesome it is to have a hotel, restaurant/bar and spa on site. It is so nice to just walk off the range and shower and then hit the restaurant and hang out with all the other shooters. the Russian hospitality is second to none.
Oh, and the Russian women, goddamn, goddamn

05-08-2016, 08:07 AM
Oh, and the Russian women, goddamn, goddamn

Ummmm….pics please. ;)

Is the banner in the last picture a match promo? Love the Trooper based Riggs design!

05-09-2016, 09:00 AM
gotta be careful with the women pics lol, never know who's wife or girlfriend it might be lol

The Iron Maiden style poster was for a match a couple years ago, but it ended up not being used as the head honchos at the time didn't like the design. So Andrey kept it for himself at the range.
editing videos now
wish we could post more pics in a single post as I could post all the stages in one go.

Sal Picante
05-09-2016, 10:19 AM
Saw the results on Facebook.

Nice job.

In your opinion, what is MariaG's biggest strength and how does she train? I've heard rumors that she has coaches/professional cadre of people helping her... Is this true at all?

05-09-2016, 10:58 AM
I didn't get to see her shoot at this match unfortunately, but I would say her biggest strength is her natural ability. When I first shot with her in 2010 she was already an excellent shooter and hadn't yet done a ton of training. Since then of course she has trained extensively with Eric and others, honing her skills remarkably. She is incredibly fluid when shooting, and doesn't get distracted easily, even when things go wrong. As far as I've seen she is also great at figuring stages out, she makes good plans and executes them well.
She does train a lot, multi thousand round days (yes days) and 10,000+ round weeks for example .But at matches, the most I've ever seen is her dad or the CZ team. Never see any coaches or anything like that. What she does when training on her own, I can't say (but I will ask her next week), I would expect she has some physical training/coaching though. One thing I've learned about Russia and it's shooters, they are as a whole, much much more serious about training to excel. They recognize that this is a sport and that if you are in peak physical condition it can only help your shooting. It does drive them slightly mad when I beat them on stages though, big fat, lame, old dude with fangs beating these friggin olympic athlete looking types lol. Thankfully they are also straight up amazing people and the camaraderie on and off the range makes for a very pleasant shooting experience.

Cheap Shot
05-09-2016, 11:07 AM
What an amazing opportunity and thanks for sharing with us! I'll be following this thread, what an adventure.

05-09-2016, 11:16 AM
thanks man, I have to apologize for not getting video or pics up at a better rate. Seems that the photo upload sites don't link properly to here and we restrict the number of pics in a post as well, so it's a bit of a challenge getting stuff from my phone to here. As well it seems that my wee little laptop doesn't like processing video very quickly, or maybe the GoPro software just blows? I dunno.

Sal Picante
05-09-2016, 01:57 PM
I didn't get to see her shoot at this match unfortunately, but I would say her biggest strength is her natural ability. When I first shot with her in 2010 she was already an excellent shooter and hadn't yet done a ton of training. Since then of course she has trained extensively with Eric and others, honing her skills remarkably. She is incredibly fluid when shooting, and doesn't get distracted easily, even when things go wrong. As far as I've seen she is also great at figuring stages out, she makes good plans and executes them well.

That must be nice... Having to figure this shit show out on my own is like a bad smack habit... Sigh...

She does train a lot, multi thousand round days (yes days) and 10,000+ round weeks for example .

Well... Gotta reload a bit more, I guess...

But at matches, the most I've ever seen is her dad or the CZ team. Never see any coaches or anything like that. What she does when training on her own, I can't say (but I will ask her next week), I would expect she has some physical training/coaching though. One thing I've learned about Russia and it's shooters, they are as a whole, much much more serious about training to excel. They recognize that this is a sport and that if you are in peak physical condition it can only help your shooting.

^ This. I've started really being super deliberate in practice. I hope this pans out...

It does drive them slightly mad when I beat them on stages though, big fat, lame, old dude with fangs beating these friggin olympic athlete looking types lol. Thankfully they are also straight up amazing people and the camaraderie on and off the range makes for a very pleasant shooting experience.


05-10-2016, 05:11 AM
She does train a lot, multi thousand round days (yes days) and 10,000+ round weeks for example.

Did she ever train at USA with Frank Garcia? I spent a day with him some years ago, and he told about a Russian gal who came over for a week, he was very impressed with her. Maybe Frank was just trying to motivate me to man up when he told me that she shot every day until she bled, then bandaged it up and shot a little more...

05-10-2016, 12:37 PM
I believe that was her or Svetlana. I've heard the same story attributed to both.
Maria just replied that we can do an interview about all this stuff, hopefully this weekend. She is on her way to Prague to train with her new Shadow 2 before Infinity this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing her run that gun this weekend. Just need to find a way to, Umm, liberate it or maybe Robin's for the rest of my trip.

Sal Picante
05-10-2016, 02:23 PM
I believe that was her or Svetlana. I've heard the same story attributed to both.
Maria just replied that we can do an interview about all this stuff, hopefully this weekend. She is on her way to Prague to train with her new Shadow 2 before Infinity this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing her run that gun this weekend. Just need to find a way to, Umm, liberate it or maybe Robin's for the rest of my trip.

Dude! Group hangout?!?!

I'm super curious and I hope you know I'm not a dick like some other USPSA people...

05-11-2016, 08:02 AM
lol, of course man! but you'd need to be in Germany shooting the match!

Sal Picante
05-11-2016, 02:23 PM
lol, of course man! but you'd need to be in Germany shooting the match!

Not if we use Skype or Google, or, you know, technology!


05-11-2016, 05:46 PM
hahaha, I'll have to think about that! If I was cool like Ben I'd have regular skype sessions or something. But I'm just a hack !

05-12-2016, 03:55 PM
In Germany now, Heidleburg, for the Infinity match in Philippsburg. Stopped by the range today and checked out the stages, a couple are going to suck, there is a prone position on one, which me being old and fat, sucks, another looks like we have to zig zag back and forth about 15 yds each time while also moving forward about 30, so, lots of running. Or as I call it, falling forward. Sadly however, photographs and video are strictly verboten, due to constant struggles to keep their sport alive in Germany, we are not allowed to show you what happens at a match here. It really sucks as the range is just amazing, small piece of property with like 20 ranges on it. When it doesn't have a big IPSC match you can have multiple 300m ranges, they have these giant walls that can be moved (hydraulically maybe?) that segment the range into smaller pistol ranges. Friggin cool, and I can't show you. Sorry.

05-12-2016, 04:03 PM
That's weird about the pictures.

Couple question, feel free to not answer them and I hope some aren't too personal..

1. How do you get your gun all these places? Do you ever just have to borrow one?

2. Any way to see the match results?

3. Is this you just wanting to go do awesome things awesome places or are you on a team or something?

5. Moar pictures!

6. What do you do about ammo?

7. How would a normal person go about traveling the world shooting gats?

05-12-2016, 04:32 PM
1. How do you get your gun all these places? Do you ever just have to borrow one?
Previously I've borrowed or rented guns at matches, but I don't like doing that as I've had some pretty rough guns. I would bring most of own parts, grips, sear cage and hammer, safeties and springs, but that produced mixed results. This trip I've brought two guns, my match gun and my backup, which is actually broken and going to the factory in Czech to be rebarreled. It is tough to get permits for some countries, and I actually don't have them all yet, but hope I have them before I actually get there. If you see a post asking for bail money you'll know why lol
2. Any way to see the match results?
For my match in Russia, www.makeready.ru has the results, but they were missing 5 of my stages due to a screwup we did with the scoresheets (used sheets for a shooter who's place I took on the squad) As other results come in I will post links. Not sure why I didn't do that before??? Thanks for asking that. I will also post a pic of the results from Togliatti that I got at the end of the night
3. Is this you just wanting to go do awesome things awesome places or are you on a team or something?
I am a CZ sponsored shooter, which gets me my guns and some gear, as well as being sponsored by a number of companies back home, and also now in the USA (Pro Shot Products). That helps me with not spending money on gear and supplies, which I can then dedicate to travel instead. I also get cash from a couple of sponsors in Canada as well as gear that I can resell. Thanks to them I can now do this and not have to foot the whole bill myself. Back home I also teach which helps with some of the funds.
5. Moar pictures!
I am trying!!!! The internet is crap here in Germany but I will upload some more photos from Russia. The video looks like it might have to wait until I get home in August. I tried to upload one stage last night and youtube estimated 2hrs for it to upload
6. What do you do about ammo?
I took 500 rounds to Russia from home and now will be buying off a friend who loaded me 3000 rounds in Slovenia. I will also be buying factory here and there. In Russia I tested the Tula and Barnhaul and found the Tula was the best, 1 click no bang that went off on the second hit, vs one every 5 or 6 rounds with the Barnhaul. Ammo is a PITA but there isn't much I can do about that. One of the reasons I finally put an adjustable rear sight on my Shadow, I usually shoot 147gr bullets at home but over here it's usually 124gr or 115gr, which at distance is significantly different in elevation
7. How would a normal person go about traveling the world shooting gats?
Pick a country you'd like to visit, look them up on ISPC.org on the match calendar and start reading the various websites for signup, some are easy to get into, others sell out quick (like Extreme Euro in Czech). then send emails and see what kind of reply you get. While I've done it a bunch, I'm still learning. Some countries are easy to get into with guns others, not so much.

05-12-2016, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the detailed response man. Definitely jealous!

05-15-2016, 05:42 PM
well today was a failure, woken at 5am by my old jaw injury and missed the day of shooting. Made it down for the ceremony to find out another Canadian shooter had been DQ' and the 3rd one almost didn't make power factor. What a day.
Spent some time talking to Maria, but not enough time to get to the questions I have for her for here. She loved how her gun shot, as did Robin Sebo who took 2nd at the match. Eduardo took first and Miroslav 3rd. Maria was further down, first lady with 92.52% of Ed. It was an incredibly technical match, I had 3 misses on day 1, including a plate I shot at once and then left (swinging plate, very small at about 18yds or more), only a handful of people hit on the first shot and a few more hung around shooting at it a bunch of times. Another miss was on a small swinging target at about 10yds, I called it hit, but was obviously wrong and the last miss was from a low port on a 30yd target, last target of the stage and I was off balance. thought it was a hit as I wobbled so I didn't make it up. But hearing that guys that are world champs had 6 mikes on day one made me feel good lol, of course they shot waaaaay faster. I had some good times though and I enjoy seeing the shocked faces from ROs when I am putting in times and scores right up there with the young fit guys. Just wish it was more consistent.
All in all a friggin great time, now off to Slovenia and Slovakia for two matches this weekend. whoooottttt




05-17-2016, 06:41 PM
A nice little break shooting 600 rounds in practice in Slovenia. Video below is the last mag of 19 plus one in the chamber. I don't get to do this back home very often (never with my gear always LEO gear back home).
I have to say the more I see of Europe the more I like it over here, most especially, umm, the women. My god.


05-20-2016, 05:01 PM
Sitting in the hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia after shooting a prematch for a Level II here. Small 8 stage match (didn't snap photos of Stage 8's briefing or stage). Range is built in a gravel pit down near the coast (didn't get to see that either ). If they can convince the owner of the pit to allow them to expand back to their old area they could easily have 15-20 really good bays. Match was a nice little match, some tight shots, and some longish ones, but mostly up close stuff, which meant you had to not overspeed it. As the internet is still balls, video is going to likely have to wait.

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Odin Bravo One
05-22-2016, 11:38 AM
Didnt think my trip to Europe was going to involve any shooting matches. Guess I was wrong.

Distya Amiya was good for a few competetive runs. Turns out, my squad pretty much ran the table on the other crew.

05-22-2016, 12:18 PM

That looks awesome, and almost makes me want to come out and shoot some IPSC! Have a good rest of your trip!

05-22-2016, 01:00 PM
That does look fun! We're are the match results we were promised! :)

How do they get all those new tires? I would have thought they'd be old tires.

05-22-2016, 06:10 PM
Shot 13 stages in Slovekia today, another range in an old gravel pit, great spot, with really high backstop (like 100 ft or more). Stage pics later, as they take awhile to upload. Didn't shoot as well as I'd hoped only managed 82% of Ljubisja, a few too many C's and two misses (lazy lazy misses too) and one Penalty target (on a swinger, totally miscalled that). Had some top 3 stage finishes though, and not just on burner stages but ones with movement required. If I was only 100lbs lighter.....(and 20 years younger, and and and).
wish I'd gotten a pic from the highway driving into Slovakia for a car dealership, "Welcome to SlovaKIA Motors" lol

Here are the results from Slovenia and Slovakia

05-22-2016, 06:11 PM
oh, and SLG, you really should go and do it, I know you know someone that can get you in lol

Sean, be cool to see you at a match over here dude.

05-23-2016, 01:00 PM
another batch of stage briefings and pics of the stages. Super match, very cool props and layout.

Miroslav Zapletal goofing around. Friggin awesome shooter and a great guy

05-23-2016, 02:23 PM
Awesome pictures man, looks like a blast!

Is there ever an issue with people speaking different languages? Do they give the make ready/show clear in your language or theirs?

05-23-2016, 07:51 PM
99% of the people speak English, at least enough to deliver good range commands, usually. scores are another thing. but it is getting better every year.
For your viewing pleasure, some videos. decent internet speed in Bratislava so I tested some out



05-23-2016, 07:55 PM
Awesome shooting man! Keep the videos coming!!!!

05-29-2016, 09:57 AM
holy crap, I am done, totally done. shot 5.5 hrs on Saturday, 20 stages, in the afternoon. from 3-2015 (ok 5.25hrs) then raced to hotel SS&S then out for dinner, back to hotel for midnight. Up at 7am, at range for 830 shot from 9-1415 then raced to airport to drop buddy off, and back to hotel. I am freaking burned out, physically (fat and old) and mentally. Totally forgot to rack the slide on a stage where started mag in, empty chamber. Then fired some extra rounds and had to rack the slide after each mag change (not realizing I needed to until I got the "click no bang" thing). arrrrrrgggggg
The ammo, Magtech, blows chunks, 145PF (for real) and I'd get sudden fliers, veering off target for no reason (tested and reproduced before the match started today). Nice that I only had one actual click no bang on a live round, and it went off on the second trigger press. had a 1.40 first shot on that stage, so I'll live with it.
Stages were awesome yet again in Estonia (try to get pics up at some point), with two stages with low Cooper tunnels, I hate them and love them as they they make want to get in better shape whenever I see them. they are friggin tough sometimes. some neat elevated stages too. Tons of fun, great squad, and I shot 800+ rounds during the match with one Reshoot.
time for a drink and then off to Czech in the morning.

Oh, did I mention Poland yet? and being taken off the plane in cuffs and detained for 5hrs on the way here? yeah that happened too

05-29-2016, 10:12 AM
Sounds so fun man. Keep it coming!

Need a little more details about your plane escortation.

05-29-2016, 10:53 AM
I flew from Vienna to Estonia though Poland (Warsaw), at least that was the plan. Paid in Vienna for the guns to on the plane (20 euro or something fee), plus I'd notified them ahead of time in the booking. Austrian Air handled the checkin for LOT, and didn't mark my bags as having weapons, my boarding pass was marked, but not my luggage. Get to Warsaw late, run to next flight which is boarding, after confirming with two employees that my luggage would make it to the next flight. Get to gate, run down to bus, then out to plane. Sitting in 4c on this little Dash 8 (I think), doors are closing, when we hear some yelled Polish and they open the front one back up. One comes an airline rep, two customs officers and a police officer (no gun, 2 Steyrs [I think] and a Glock). Are you Mr. Engh? Yup, that's me. Please put out your hands, click click on go the cuffs, come with us. All the passengers going oooooohhhhhhh. Onto the tarmac where customs guys give me shit for not declaring my guns. Since my hands are in front of me, I reach up to my shirt pocket and pull out the receipt for the weapons declaration, my boarding pass that says weapon and then my phone to show the email confirmation for the weapons. "can I get back on the plane?" "no you cannot you do not have permit for Poland" "I'm not staying on Poland, i don't need one, i am transiting". Eventually off we go to the terminal with my carry on and other case. The idiots in Vienna did not tag my bags right and when they hit Warsaw all shit hit the fan. They remove cuffs and I have to show everyone my guns, and all my papers for various matches. Of course I post on Facebook through this whole thing and eventually ask if anyone knows the number for Poland's IPSC RD. a few minutes later I get a call from his rep who I tell the story to, then he asks to speak to officer I am with (cute female customs officer). She is dismissive at first and then quite freaked out. Hangs up, phones her boss, who apparently has just been informed I need to be released. They all come in apologize and take me to LOT counter for a new flight. Which they tell me is the next morning. Not good enough I say, so they find a flight to Vilnius and then Tallinn and want 2000 Euro for it. I of course get a tad angry and ask the customs officer to explain why LOT is going to pay for me to take that booking.
All told 5 something hours of stupidity that could have been avoided if Austrian Air had done their job.

05-29-2016, 11:22 AM
This is a great thread, thanks for posting Rob.

I have to admit, travelling with gats through Europe, through multiple airports, for an extended period of time, would take far more patience than I have. Travelling within Canada with firearms is frustrating enough. You must have done a ton of research on the laws in each country to make this work for you?

Looks like you are having a blast!

05-29-2016, 01:29 PM
if by research you mean by the skin of my ass, then yes, tons...
actually the match directors/website guys are usually really helpful and have the required info available for you easily. But it also helps to actually read it and see if anything changes from year to year. Like for Czech this year, for example (lets see how that goes Monday....)
I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity and I know it, I figure if any of the shit I get up to can help someone else down the road, I should try to lay it out for them. Plus, there are some damn good stories (many of which are NSFW or even open forum safe)
I still need to learn to pack less. I brought waaay too much stuff, and I'm accumulating more in small dribs and drabs (like more good mags for CZs for example). I just finished my second washing of clothes on this trip, first time they were done by the hotel in Slovenia, this time, in my shower, and are now hanging up drip drying overnight (please be dry enough to pack in the AM). The decision to only wear one pair of shoes for everything (instead of match shoes and regular shoes) means, I have to wash shoes now too, my god they can stink, even after drying them lol. I think the Speedcross will get some Tannerite in them when I get home.

05-29-2016, 01:47 PM
Sounds like an adventure for sure. I look forward to the shoe tannerite video! :D

05-30-2016, 05:16 PM
in my favorite city, already stuffed myself with steak on a hot stone.
Landing in Vienna was a bit more work than last year and a bit more than the cops told me last week. I had to spend like 10 minutes talking guns with the customs guys. They looked at all my papers, asked me if I had a permit for Austria, and I said, "No, I am going to Czech", "Okay" they said, and out the door I went. But as I walked out I was asked what I thought about the Glock 43. I have no idea I told them, not allowed in Canada. They have 600 coming next week apparently. lol
Got a warning for speeding in Austria, got waved at by Czech cops at the old border, and showed my passenger (female RO from Russia) all the wonderful "red houses" that line the road to Znojmo. Then hit the range to drop her off and meet a bunch of people. Initial impressions of the match, wow. I am going to be sore this weekend. Typical Czech match, physical and tough targets.

06-01-2016, 04:13 PM
Been at the range for the last two days checking out the stages, have to say I am super impressed with what they've done here in Czech, very very professional looking with new walls and props, ranges have really been cleaned up too, the whole thing looks very polished. And of course the stages look excellent, some very tough shots, movers with no shoots, lots of no shoots everywhere really, fast swingers, low ports (fuck), cooper tunnel (fuck again). I'm in squad 1 with Eric, Maria and Robin. I call it the super squad +1 retard.
Pics will follow as I had to empty my phone of pics, ran out of memory yesterday.

06-05-2016, 04:33 PM
Okay, wow, what a match and what an after party. Shot ok on the first day, shit on the second day and much better on the 3rd. Being squadded with world champs is always a ton of fun and also a great learning experience. It's also really nice to see how they go from "on" to "off" on stages. Relaxing one second, focused and deciding how to shoot a stage next, then focused and determined shooting and finally back to relaxing after walking off the stage. you can watch this happening in body language and in how they talk during the various parts, other than when they are shooting. Although if you hear them talking during a stage, it's usually not a good thing lol
Some videos instead of boring pics, uploading from my phone is super easy and the videos are already trimmed properly. I suck at editing. I also suck at uploading pics anywhere other than facebook. I hate doing one pic at a time, it's a time burner.


it's funny how nothing ever surprises Eric, it's like he's practiced every possible stage a million times. This stage did bite Robin though. Not going to post the vid of me, my fat ass getting up off the bed is surprisingly horrid to watch....

06-15-2016, 07:59 PM
Okay, been slammed with travel, shooting and such, sorry for lack of updates.
got to Denmark for the Danish Champs in Open and Production. I only shot one day in Copenhagen though due to my jaw issue flaring up on the Sunday, still managed 55% with only just over half the match shot. Not unhappy about that at all.
Now in Cavaillon, France for the French Nationals in Cheval Blanc. took me 5hrs to find a range 10 minutes from my hotel (no friggin directions, address or coordinates listed anywhere on any friggin page, guess how happy I was????). Thankfully someone on FB sent me a Google Map link that had a set of coordinates I could punch into the useless GPS in my Skoda (worst GPS ever, horrible horrible horrible).
Match looks really good, and every 30 minutes or so it sounds like a jet fighter going past, but it is actually a super train going by behind us, around 200km/hr. Of course no one stands there with their fingers pointed at it tracking it.....

06-15-2016, 08:18 PM
Moar pics and video! Do you have an Instagram or anything with pics and video?

06-17-2016, 04:56 PM
So, looks like this match is a write off, tweaked my back yesterday at the range, ended up having to take 3hrs to crawl/slide from the bed to the bathroom and back last night. Passing out from the pain at least 3 times I know of. Had to do it again this afternoon, and finally called for help as it didn't get any better from last night. 12hrs in hospital in Cavaillon, jacked up on Morphine and Valium. Lower back, right at the belt line, left side. Fml

06-17-2016, 04:57 PM
Woah that sounds pretty serious. Hope you get back out there shooting!

You need to stretch a little before your next match :p

06-20-2016, 08:07 AM
Any weekend updates? Able to walk? Shoot?

06-22-2016, 03:11 PM
sitting in the Austrian version of the Slaughtered Lamb right now, finally have wifi for a little bit.
Back is still pretty bad. Initially when I get out of bed and stretch I can walk ok, but after about 1/2hr it starts to seize up and become painful. Haven't had any of the blackout pain since I got here, but still get some pretty serious jolts of pain if I move wrong. I'm going to go to the pre match here in Austria tomorrow (Thursday) but whether I shoot or not will be decided there. My intention is to shoot as much as I can, even if that means leaving targets I can't physically get to. Or something. Just go slow and shoot all A's. It literally feels like it just needs to be adjusted now, but I can't locate a chiropractor anywhere near where I am.
Also, I did a dumb thing on Monday, I took a taxi to this little town instead of renting a car. I was in too much pain to really think that clearly by the time I got out of the airport, so driving was probably a bad idea, but the cab ride was 130 euro and I'll have to do the same to get back to the airport on Friday so I can get a car to drive to Hungary. End cost is going to be about twice as much of renting a car in the first place. Hopefully I'll be able to shoot in Hungary but I'm not holding my breath.

06-23-2016, 03:36 PM
What city is the Hungarian shoot in? I'll be in Sopron (as I am reasonably often) next month.

06-24-2016, 12:36 PM
Debrecen, just got here a little while ago. Will be back here in October for the European Handgun Championships

06-29-2016, 07:06 AM
Sitting in Brno right now, got here last night after spending the night and morning in Budapest (amazing city). Hit one of the worst rain storms I've ever seen on the drive out of Budapest, traffic came to a stop for about 20 minutes.
Shot the prematch in Austria last week and managed a 3rd place with 95%, and that was with being super careful of my back, which was still pretty messed up. Then this past weekend managed a 14th with 79.95% in Hungary. I was happy with that as I zeroed a stage when my glasses started to fall off (forgot a target while trying to keep them on), should have let them fall off and got the reshoot, but I don't play that way. Also got very little points on another stage when my gun jammed on the unloaded start. I ran up, racked it, failing to notice it was jammed, pulled and held the rope expose some targets and release a slider. Pulled the trigger, nothing (of course), had to rip the mag and clear, while the mover (bonus target) slid by. most good shooters did it in like 6 seconds. I did it in 16 or something.
Head to Lithuania tomorrow then back to Vienna next week for the Vienna Open, then over to Czech again for a level 3 in Oparany, should be fun.

06-29-2016, 08:25 AM
Man I love reading your updates. So much want. Moar pictures!!

06-30-2016, 04:08 AM
Well let's see what happens in Kiev, I haven't paid the extra fee for guns and ammo, but they took my bags and I'm waiting to board. Hopefully don't get removed from connecting flight in chains like in Warsaw..

06-30-2016, 05:35 PM
Well, at least I didn't get a gun in my mouth
So, what did happen?
My flight left Vienna late, over an hour late by take off. Arriving in Kiev around 1455, which was the same time that my flight to Vilnius left. As soon as I deplaned I saw a UIA rep at the tunnel I showed her my ticket and she said the plane was gone. Which was not what I was told would happen in Vienna, I was told the plane would wait as we would only be a few minutes behind it. She told me to go to the Transfer counter. I went there, saw the monitor that confirmed my flight was gone, spoke to the girl at the desk and she told me to go to Level 3, which was after passport control. I went through, down to the baggage retrieval (only way to then go up to 3) saw a customs officer at the Red/Green zone split. Told her that I had missed my flight due to a late plane and that I had luggage with guns and ammo and that I didn't know what to expect to happen with them. She said no problem, take them to Level 3 once I get them. I again explained 3 more times, that I had weapons, firearms, guns and ammunition. "no problem" she said "you are going to transfer area". I then talked to information and they told me wait for my luggage. I waited with the rest of the passengers and my luggage did not arrive. So, they told me to go to Lost Baggage. they found my bags right away and 10 minutes later they came out on the belt. I grabbed the bags, and headed to the same woman, she sat up from behind her desk, I showed her my bags and she indicated I should leave through the green zone. So, I did. At which point the next customs officer asked to inspect my bags, and things went to shit.
Final result, guns and ammo are gun are gone, seized and headed for court at some point. I did get my mags back though, they don't care about them.
So, because I know many will ask, why did I not go to the red zone? well, I thought she was the person who would tell you that, and she told me numerous times to just go out and up to level 3, after I told her numerous times I had guns/weapons/firearms. Off course when she got asked by the others her story slowly changed as she saw that if I wasn't in shit, she would be. I asked them to get the tapes and watch them, as it's pretty clear what happened.
After posting to Facebook I managed to get in touch with the RD for the Ukraine and he came down to assist me. However there is only so one can do at this point, and he did all that he could. I have no idea at this point if, and or when, I might get my stuff back. Will likely have to come back in August or maybe before the EHC to retrieve the gear, if it gets settled in my favor.
The police report spells out very clearly, as does the customs report, that there was no ill intent, and that it was an airline and customs and of course some amount of my, error. With the biggest blame being on the airline, as my bags should have been in a secure area, not even accessible by the Lost and Found people.
During the ensuing hilarity with customs I heard my name being paged, apparently UIA had arranged for me to catch an Air Baltic flight and they were waiting for me. Of course I couldn't leave the area I was in as I was detained. (I didn't find out about the flight until I had been released and went to bitch at UIA).
I have to say the officers in customs (with the exception of the woman who changed her story a few times) were absolutely professional, polite, and towards the end very sympathetic, including the young guy who inspected me. The police were the same, the young lady detective was quiet but friendly and her male counterpart was incredibly sympathetic. But they had to do their jobs.
So, at hotel, belly is full and I have a flight to Vilnius at 9:25am tomorrow morning.

06-30-2016, 07:15 PM
Duuuude.... That freaking BLOWS! So what now? Are you done? Get more guns and ammo?

07-01-2016, 10:34 AM
Always have guns!!!! will have to buy ammo here in Lithuania this weekend and borrow a gun from someone, so it won't be a perfect match, but whatever, I'll be shooting and having fun.
Just to push the boundaries even further I decided to change my flight on Tuesday, I will now spend the night, on purpose, in Kiev with some friends, and then fly back to Vienna the next day. Should be fun.
There is a slim chance I may exit with my guns as well, very very slim chance.

07-09-2016, 05:51 PM
so ended up spending 3 days in Ukraine on my way back to Vienna. But as always, that didn't go as planned. Ate something bad on Monday night in Vilnius, woke up with a very upset stomach Tuesday morning. Thought I, um, expelled the contents thoroughly, but I guess not. Went through passport control in Vilnius and bought some stomach meds at the pharm, got to security, put my stuff in the trays for the xray and walked forward, girl asks for my passport and boarding pass, and I pause. uh oh, I think. she asks again, and more, uh oh, from my head. She looks annoyed and then steps back as I puke into my mouth. I hold it all in, and it's ready to come out my nose, I look around frantically, she looks around too, I motion to an empty tray in the stack by the machine, she nods, I puke into tray. Say sorry, then look for somewhere to put it, she motions to put it back where I grabbed it. Ok, so I do. Then hand her my passport and boarding pass, she nods, gives em back, and I go through the metal detector. No one says a word. i'm apologizing to everyone and they act like nothing happened. I sort all my stuff out of my trays, repack carry on (laptop, charger etc) and notice the tray is still sitting there, full of puke, and people are just walking by it. weird.
Get to Kiev, Alex picks me up, I tell him I not well, he laughs. We got to Zbroyar where he works as head of marketing. I get to see cool shooting facility and manufacturing plant. They make great AR15s and AR10 based rifles as well as their own design bolt action sniper rifle. Sit down with CEO/Owner head engineer and talk shop for a bit, when it hits me again, uh oh, I get up with panic and Alex and him tell me where to go, barely make it, puke for 15 minutes straight. 4 bottles of water and last nights remains go everywhere. Come back to them laughing at me in the conference room, sit down and break fancy chair 15 minutes later. Time to head back to hotel where I spend the next 1.5 days sweating and expelling the evil growing in me. Last day I wake up and feel human, go see a small amount of the city, which is friggin amazing. And the women, my god the women. Go out for a great dinner that night in the heart of downtown Kiev, which, really is where my hotel was (Dnipro hotel if you ever go, it's awesome and cheap). Then back to the hotel and discover, there is a strip club attached to my hotel, hmmmm, no sleep that night at all.... next morning cancel taxi as Alex has chased down a lawyer for me to meet. Head there, dude says no problem to get my guns and ammo back (if the ammo hasn't been stolen, errr misplaced), and he's willing to do it for cheap as I seem like a nice guy. Race to airport and spend 1hr waiting for customs to get their thumbs out of their ass and sign my export permit for my mags, that the week before were a non issue. Then check in, head to security and the line is 2hrs long, plane starts boarding in 30 minutes. Fuck. See business class line (which I am flying as it was cheaper than economy), it's 45 minutes long according to signs. Show a hot security chick my pass, she laughs and guides me through to the front of the line (to many comments, which while I couldn't understand, were obviously not happy). Throw crap in tray, realize I have a big water bottle, almost full, with me, put it beside tray and dude working machine throws it in tray, I walk through detector and make beeps, no idea why, no one says a word. trays come through machine and my water bottle is still there. Grab my stuff, look at watch, hmmm, 15 minutes until boarding, still time for business lounge.
Now in Oparany for a match Sunday, borrowing a buds gun and ammo, see how this goes. Lithuania was a cock up, gun malf'd a few times, I malfed a ton. Ammo was good, when it fit the mag. Biggest problem was gun was zeroed to shoot above front sight, not behind it, so on far targets I had misses as they'd go over the top. 65% of Eduardo, the match winner. Usually shoot 85% of him minimum.

07-09-2016, 08:15 PM
Man that sounds rough! What company was the rifle manufacture? Awesome pics and stories man!! Thanks for the updates.

07-09-2016, 08:17 PM
That broken chair is hilarious.:D

Hope you get your pistols back soon!

Paul D
07-09-2016, 08:58 PM
Wow. Your match tour is like that show The Amazing Race. I hope you get your guns.

07-10-2016, 07:18 AM
Company making the rifles is Zbroyar, Ukrainian company, amazing facility.
Couldn't make today's match due to my friggin jaw going apes hit at 430 this morning. FFS

07-15-2016, 09:42 PM
So glad I didn't take the holiday over to Istanbul this week...
In Vienna and went to SCW Range today to check out the match for tomorrow. It's like something from Men In Black, you wander down into this park, find the right door (with the IPSC target on the wall above) and in you go. Down old brick tunnels that then open up into massive brick tunnels. This is apparently the old abattoir for Vienna, and the tunnels were for moving the animals from area to area. It was also a natural cooler being so deep into the ground. There are large plugs in the floor that could be lifted out with equipment that allow access to the old, but still somewhat used sewer system. SUPER SUPER NEAT places to be, looking forward to the match tomorrow.


07-15-2016, 09:58 PM
So freaking cool man!!! Keep the updates coming! Good luck!!

07-15-2016, 10:28 PM
Passing through Wein on the way out of Hungary today. I'll wave.

07-16-2016, 09:42 PM
11th today with 78.78%, buuuuuutttttt I have a legit reason for being below my normal 86ish percent. The gun I borrowed was spraying my bullets like a blindman with a slingshot. On my 3rd and 4th stage the RO pointed out the bullets going through my targets sideways, on the 6th stage it took me a bunch of shots to hit the mini popper/activator, and then when I got to the double swinger one round went about 4ft low into the Penalty target, but it looked so unlike a bullet hole the RO called it a ricochet. Off to the test bay to confirm it was the gun and not the ammo, yup, gun for sure as we put a different barrel in it and at 30m I kept 17 rounds on a business card with .18 splits. but at that point I was down a lot of points. Then bouncing two off a wall to get 2 misses didn't help lol.
Below is the light beam stage, once you cross through the doorway you trip a light beam, which activates two swingers, and a 7 second countdown for the two windows, if you beat the 7 seconds and press the button, the timer is stopped and the windows stay open, screw up and the windows are sealed and you have to retreat up on top of the platform on each side to shoot the 3 targets on each side including the two movers. The big decision, shoot 2 targets and then run, or shoot 4 and then run, shooting either 6 or 10 rounds after the beam. I screwed my plan a bit, and did a reload after pressing the button, I'd meant to shoot dry (16) but went all Canadian and reloaded, flat footed too, I should have just dumped the mag while moving to the button. Great stage though.


07-19-2016, 10:10 AM
now in mother Russia (I assume somewhere in my background I have some Russian blood, maybe?), in Yekaterinburg (Ekaterinburg). Beautiful city, beautiful women, and the single nicest shooting range I've been on. The match is held at a training facility where they do Biathlon and other sports, and there are 3 complexes of outdoor baffled ranges some 25m, 30m and 50m (and I think 1 100m in the 50m complex). Each complex has at least 6 bays that are about 30 wide maybe some being wider. All are covered in nice wood paneling from front to back and feature a large fully covered area at the back. Side walls are 7m tall and the baffles are about every 7m overhead. Under the wood is an absorbent material over concrete, no bullets are going anywhere. You can access neighboring ranges in each complex through side doors. The ground out on the ranges is gravel, so no mud even if it's raining.
It would be an understatement to say it's awesome. Will try to get some pics up later.

07-21-2016, 03:07 PM
Saw the indoor Archangel Michael shooting range today and the museum that it houses. Wow. I took almost 300 photos in the museum, unreal stuff

07-22-2016, 07:00 AM
Some video from right now



07-22-2016, 08:47 AM
Dude that swinging hidden plate deal... Insane!!

Those bays are beautiful, hard to believe that's a shooting range.

It looks like there is more stages behind that stage, how does that work?

07-23-2016, 04:25 AM
Either we shoot both stages back to back, or they split the squad. Yesterday we did the split squad method and today on the few doubled up stages, we just shot both back to back. Thankfully there was none of this, hot range nonsense where you reload when done your stage and take a hot gun to the next one. I hate that way of doing things.
This morning we shot 8 stages in 2.5hrs, was pretty freakin awesome, but didn't get any footage with my phone as we were all just too slammed. Had some great runs, picked up another penalty target, and I think clean otherwise. My brain is mush right now.
Easily the most professional match I've ever seen. Fully catered with catering tents outside each complex of ranges. People are calling this a Level 6 as it blows any Level 4 or 5 (5 being world shoot) out of the water.

07-25-2016, 01:28 PM
sitting in Frankfurt now, what a week. To say the team in Yek set the bar for all future matches anywhere on the planet would be an understatement. Then they did the awards ceremony. Holy crap. I know they spent a fortune, and that they didn't recover anything from the entry fees (15 euros), and they have huge money backing them, but still, holy crap. it was amazing, and as silly as it sounds, having the lead singer of A-HA be the opening act after the awards, was outstanding, then followed up with a band I'd never heard of, Secret Service, but the Europeans obviously did, especially the Russians, and man did they get the crowd going. Level 6 would be a good description. If you can figure out a way to get to Yekaterinburg next year for this match, do it. It's worth the travel. And going to the museum at the indoor range, oh man, gun people will faint.

08-04-2016, 06:14 PM
hit the Canadian nationals this past week, and sucked. I mean really sucked. Not sure why I fell apart, but outside of one stage win and a couple decentish runs, I sucked. taking 15 misses just kills a score. 5 on one stage alone, 6 targets, 3 at 5m, 3 at 50m, through a prone port. Not having had a chance to zero Maria's gun with my ammo (no test range) meant I had no idea where to hold with 147gr bullets vs her 124s. 5 misses later I learned where not to hold lol.
On top of that we had a number of CROs who were absolutely horrid, bullies and ego maniacs, as well as an RM that was worse. Stage were also not up to what the guys did the last time they held the nationals, nor were they up to what I expect a nationals to have. The prize table however was outstanding as was the closing dinner and awards ceremony. $45,000 in guns and prizes on the table, that is unheard of in this sport in Canada.
my one stage win, unloaded gun, 3 mini targets in front on the right and 3 mini targets down and to the left.


08-08-2016, 08:13 PM
Best run from Rooster Mountain 2016 in Hillerod, Denmark. This is one of single best matches I have ever attended. My buddy Claus is a stage design genius. Friggin awesome stages. Thought I'd snagged a win, but Michal Stepan beat me with his 5.10 second run with all Alphas, I yanked a Charlie on a static target in 4.99 seconds.


08-08-2016, 09:26 PM
Awesome shooting! Keep the videos coming!

08-24-2016, 08:09 PM
best video first,


now some stage videos. A wee little bragging, I am really happy with how I shot 85% of Robin for a 7th place finish, and I absolutely nailed some stuff I'd been working on, most especially the swingers, every single one had double alphas on it, the ones I'm really happy with are the ones (and I think there is only one video of it right now) where the target is exposed in two places during its swing, once to the side of hardcover and once above hardcover, and I successfully engaged it in both places during one pass. I first saw shooters do that at World Shoot Greece and is just one of those things I'd probably have never tried if I'd never seen it.
The range we were at was the site of the 1980's Olympics Shooting, Mytischi, it's a bit worn down, but still a phenomenal facility. Sadly it's probably going to vanish as developers have built high rises around it and the people are bitching.






08-24-2016, 09:11 PM
Awesome shooting man. Congratulations on the sweet finish and hitting what you've been working on!!!!

08-29-2016, 09:45 AM
Last match this tour in the books. Ukraine Handgun Open 2016. Still didn't get my guns back like I'd hoped, so I'll have to come back again. Joy lol. Shot reasonably well, with another borrowed gun, and boy was it a lot different than any of the others I've borrowed. A CZ Shadow, with the regular trigger (which physically hurts my finger due to the shape), at least a 15lb hammer spring and the 15lb recoil spring. The old style sights, one rubber grip (right side) and aluminum on the left. Mags wouldn't eject properly due to the rubber grip and the new CZ mags I use being slightly thicker, so I had to rip, and then reload. All that said, 89% of the match winner for 4th. Ifa, Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. sigh. Vids up in a few days when I get home.

09-16-2016, 05:07 AM
been home for a couple weeks now, took 2nd at our Provincial Championships. had my first ever jam with my backup backup gun (other guns still in Ukraine after all), which cost me a stage, then had a brain jam on another and that was the final nail in the coffin for first place. Had a few good runs, a couple that smoked even Open guys on long courses. But should have done much better, and didn't, still need to lose more weight and move faster. arrrgggg. Heading in 4 days for RDA challenge in Slovakia and then European Handgun Championship in Hungary. Should be fun.











Best stage of the match, but I still watch it and think I could have gone so much faster




09-16-2016, 06:53 AM
Awesome videos and congrats on 2nd!!

Looking back if you could do it again would you run back and tag that Steele on 3 again?

Sal Picante
09-16-2016, 10:42 AM
If you need any Hungarian phrases... lemme know.

09-19-2016, 12:07 AM
running back for that steel probably was the wrong choice, but I never, ever make the "right" choice in that case. I always want my steel down. It's just one side of gaming I have a problem with. If I know I hit the steel good, I might risk a calibration call, but when I'm not sure if I hit it, or one in front, I'll waste time to go back and get it. I don't know why, it's stupid, and worth less points to do it, but I always do

09-19-2016, 06:23 AM
Could you tell us more about the status of your guns in Ukraine?

Living in NYC I am sorta fascinated by these arbitrary government rules.

I mean it is obvious you are not from their country and were in town for a match so it is hard to believe it is anything other than a mistake and you are GONE so you are not a threat to them.

I Wonder how much blood they will try to squeeze from this stone.

09-20-2016, 11:35 PM
actually the Ukraine was kind of following the rules when they snagged me and my guns. I was on my way to Lithuania for a match and we landed after my connecting flight took off. I had to go through passport control to get upstairs to get a new flight and after talking directly to customs was told it was no problem, and to take my bags out through the green zone. This was after telling the customs officer repeatedly, that I had guns, no permits for them, and I knew that they were very strict about guns coming into Ukraine. Then, when going the way she directed me to go, I was intercepted by another officer who scanned my bags and had a small meltdown over the guns and ammo I'd also told him were in the bags. Eventually when he confronted the other officer about telling me to go out that way (which she initially confirmed to doing), the officer changed their story basically after figuring out, it was either me or her that was in shit.
Current status of the guns is, I dunno. They are still in the hands of the experts to determine if they are really guns or not.....no, I am not kidding

10-03-2016, 05:37 PM
sorry haven't updated for a bit. In Hungary right now shooting the European Handgun Championship. Today was an ok day, nothing great. best part was my last stage, last target, last shot. PT Miss. yeah F you flinch. like seriously, a flinch? what, am I 10 and my brother is throwing punches again? gdamn. and I stood there, staring at the miss for like 10 seconds before unloading. arrrrrrrrrggggggg.
Slovakia last week was fun, but no video, left the lens cap on my GoPro for most of the stages, it does sound good though lol.
Glad I have Tuesday off for the match, record rain falling right now in Eger, and today when I got to the range I walked maybe 500ft and my shoes were 5 times bigger and heavier thanks to the mud. Luckily by the time I actually had to shoot in the afternoon it had dried up pretty good, and the shooting areas were in great shape.
More as it happens.

Oh, and Hungarian women, wow, wow, wowwww

Sal Picante
10-03-2016, 06:08 PM
Oh, and Hungarian women, wow, wow, wowwww

Since my old lady doesn't read this forum: I love going home. The girls, the food, the wine... Hungary is a nice place.

I was SO miffed that I didn't even know that the EHC was going to be in Hungary... Lol.

Have fun, don't massacre the language, and enjoy some good eats!