The last weekend in March, March 28-30, marked the 4th annual Double Tap Championship held at the Double Tap Ranch in Wichita Falls, TX. The DTC is generally considered to be the exact polar opposite of the Florida Open match. Whereas the Florida Open contains solely "Classic" style targets (with no upper A/B zone - that's the "head"), and generally has a lot of long shots on wide open targets. This leads to hit factors normally in the 6-8 range, meaning its a relatively slow match where points really count more than speed. The DTC, on the other hand, is completely "Metric" targets, features few long shots, and is generally up close, in your face, run-and-gun, hose fest type stuff. Any loss of speed kills on these high adrenaline stages, any little hesitation or conservative moments will bleed you of match points quickly.

Here's my video - more after the jump!

After speaking with a number of folks, I think I can safely say that this year's match was decidedly the favorite of the 4. The stages had just the right amount of "carnival" trickery to them to keep things interesting, but not enough to become cheesy or overdone. The focus was always on the shooting - the props only tried to distract, not become the main event.

Like past years - no chrono. Threats of one, but the operator turned out to be a no-show. I wonder if the 5th time's a charm?? Unlike past years, there were actually several stages with winning hit factors in the 7s and 8s. The average winning hit factor in Open, though, was around 10.5, with one stage (stage 11) evening turning out a 14.4! Yowza!

The match theme this year was Survivor Doubletap, taken from the hit TV Series Survivor. By far the favorite stage of everyone I talked to was Stage 12 - entitled Tribal Council. For this stage, bay 12 was entirely enclosed, and essentially turned into a dark shoot house. Robert Porter, the match director, even went so far as to build a faux rock wall as the face of the stage. Inside, you found 12 targets lit solely by Tiki torches - just enough light to shoot by, but plenty low enough to cause problems for folks. You started outside in the daylight, and then had to run into the stage, retrieve your gun, and shoot away, hoping you maintained enough low light sensitivity to see what you were shooting at.

As for me, I placed 7th at 91%. A little bit disappointing in terms of match standings, but actually my highest percentage finish at a major match. Several folks shot extremely well over the weekend, and it showed in the results. I had the distinct pleasure of shooting with Squad 20, which included Adam Popplewell, Shane Coley, Glenn Higdon, Lee Dimaculangan from the AMU, Athena Lee, and my good buddy Bryan W. Shane, who took 2nd overall, shot an exemplary match, staying sharp on every stage and making little in the way of mistakes. Its only a matter of time before Shane starts winning big matches!

I'm already looking forward to next year. Here's to hoping that perhaps Robert will somehow outdo himself yet again!!!