Shooting the Vortex Extreme
This past weekend, the Vortex Extreme took over the historic Wagonhound Ranch in Douglas, WY, challenging 65 teams’ stamina, accuracy, and drive. Up rocky hills and down steep valleys, shooters rang steel and fought to be the best. To see a little of the Extreme for yourself, check out this video. (If it doesn’t get your shooter’s heart pumping, there might be something wrong with you…)
Ahead of the Extreme, we caught up with Vortex Precision Rifle Team member Isaiah Curtis to get the lowdown on his load out. Check out Isaiah’s setup below and get a few pointers on running events and building rifles for events like the Extreme.
Isaiah started shooting precision rifle competitions in 2014 with a simple 6.5 Creedmoor setup. He caught the bug and was practicing every free minute he had. He began building his own rifles, and soon started building precision rifles for others throughout the community. He now owns and operates Curtis Custom Weapons, and spends his days building and rebarreling rifles. He also helps others develop their passion for the sport, from beginner courses to advanced wind reading.
Here’s what Isaiah shot at the Extreme:
BigHorn TL3 action chambered in 6.5 PRC
Triggertech Diamond Trigger
24" PROOF Research Carbon Fiber Barrel
Thunder Beast Ultra 9 suppressor
Manners PRS2 Stock in Swamp Camo
Vortex Razor® HD AMG® 6-24x50 with the EBR7B Reticle on Vortex Precision Matched Rings
Running an event like the Extreme
Isaiah’s advice? Go light. Figure out what you must have and leave the rest in the truck. Here’s what Isaiah said:
“My ruck is definitely packed a lot lighter in an event like the Extreme. My normal ruck weighs about 40lbs, whereas my field match ruck only weighs 18. Just the bare essentials: some basic tools, rear bag, water pack, ammo, and bipod.”
Building your rifle
It’s simple: You don’t need ten different rifles to match every possible event. You just need to follow some simple fundamentals to build a rifle that gives you a shot in any conditions. Here’s what Isaiah had to say:
“I’m a firm believer that balance is way more important than sheer weight. My personal match rifles weigh in at 20-21lbs, but if you keep balance in mind, I don’t think it’s a huge advantage to add weight.
Find a good balance point on your stock/chassis and work from there. Every setup reacts a little different, so a person really needs to find the sweet spot for themselves, and nothing can replace shooting to get that experience. You need to know how your rifle reacts to recoil prone, off a barricade, and any other platforms you might shoot from.
Probably the worst thing a shooter can do is keep chasing the latest and greatest everything. Rifle cartridge is a huge one I see a lot. Find something, learn it inside out, and you will be a lot better off than always chasing your tail. Any modern centerfire cartridges are sufficient to take to a club match and have a great time.”
If you’re looking for tips on shooting under physical stress—which is the name of the game at events like the Extreme—check out our blog on Precision Rifle Shooting Under Stress.
We had a blast at this year’s Extreme, and we’re already getting pumped for next year. If you missed out on this year’s shoot, or if you just can’t wait to compete again, get signed up for our newsletter so you don’t miss next year’s invite, or any big Vortex news.