Rock Castle 2012 Lessons Learned

  1. Join the Forums (Brian Enos, and  there is a lot of information that is distributed through these two sites, and the ones that I watch not so much.
  2. Bring a folding chair.  I was too worried about having too much stuff to haul all over the place I should have had one.  The tailgate on the truck works but a chair would have been better.
  3. Don’t leave the Gatorade mix at home in the pantry.  It doesn’t do any good there.
  4. Find a pre-start routine for all three weapons.  I have a ritual / routine for pistol and it helps to settle and center me for a stage.  I do not have that for the other weapons so for any stage without a pistol, I was just not in the right mental starting point.
  5. Take a deep breath and wiggle your toes before you tell the RO that you are ready.
  6. Shoot the shotgun, a lot.  Learn aim points for close ranges.  Learn how to shoot clays.  Learn about chokes and how the pattern changes fit the different needs of the course of fire.
  7. Practice shotgun reloads.
  8. Practice shooting shotgun and rifle from both shoulders.  Shooting from the driver’s side of a vehicle at a target that is ahead of you from your right shoulder… not a good idea and they did not allow you to shoot across the car from the passenger side like the pros did.
  9. Even if it is over 90 degrees outside, long pants can be a good thing.
  10. You can never have enough shotgun shells on you during a shotgun stage.
  11. 4WD is AWESOME.
  12. Suppressors are FANTASTIC and AWESOME.
  13. Night Vision….SUPER AWESOME.
  14. Make sure the hotel that you are staying in has a freezer.  Re-freezable cooler ice packs are great if you have a freezer.
  15. Relax more.
  16. Don’t get fixated on a single target.  If it isn’t going down after x number of shots, MOVE ON.
  17. Safariland ELS for 3 gunning…. Essential.
  18. Do more mental prep for each stage.
  19. Repeatability and consistency in your execution of a shot, in your equipment setup, and in your gear storage.
  20. Shotgun caddies are great but you really need to have other carrying alternatives too.  Being able to load one or two is competitive advantage.
  21. Shoot on the move.
  22. Be aggressive.
  23. Don’t wait for the perfect site picture.  On target, squeeze, repeat move.  GO FAST.
  24. Have a plan and work the plan.
  25. Visualize the course of fire and how it flows, over and over and over.
  26. When you do your visualization, don’t leave out a target (standalone steel popper stage 3)


Rockcastle 3Gun 2012, it is an awesome event.  There were a ton of competitors, and bunches of spectators as well.  The parking and roads leave something to be improved upon but, it is a great event.  I met some great people throughout my time there.  I learned a lot about shooting, and competing and I improved through out the days of the event.

Will I do it next year?  If I have the time and the means, absolutely.


*****End of Rockcastle 2012 series.*****

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