Lucas Oil PCC World Championship delivers a slick event
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Lucas Oil is recognized worldwide for their oil products and major sponsorship of the racing industry. A scanning of your favorite racing event will feature "Lucas Oil" proudly plastered across the hood or hull of your favorite teams.
The wizards at Lucas realized if their products could keep a race engine cooled, they could keep firearms running smoothly. Lucas Oil developed lubricants for multiple large firearms manufacturers and immediately heard reports back of customer returns decreasing by as much as 50 percent. Today, many of your favorite firearms ship with Lucas Oil products.
With the success of their oils, it was only a matter of time before they entered the competition shooting world. When Lucas Oil decided to enter the major match foray they did so in a big way with their inaugural PCC World Championship.
What do you do when you want to host a major match but don't have a range to host it? The answer: You build one.
Lucas Oil owner and founder Forrest Lucas expanded into the cattle industry with the creation of the Lucas Oil Cattle Company, which works hand in hand with the nonprofit Protect the Harvest to advocate for the rights of farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers and animal owners. The Lucas Oil Cattle Company Ranch in Cross Timbers, Missouri, features thousands of acres of land and was ripe for the construction of a shooting facility.
Lucas Oil Founder Forrest Lucas thanking competitors and posing with our team.
Construction equipment and dump trucks worked continuously for months to construct 10 varying and entertaining PCC stages. To sweeten the deal, a cash prize of $10,000 was offered to the winner, with additional thousands to the runners-up.
Major match experts such as Mike Sexton and personalities such as Tony Pignato with Shooting USA were brought in to keep the match running smoothly and broadcast the event to the shooting world. Lucas Oil had all the makings of a great event, and I can tell you firsthand that it delivered.
Nine members of my agency's shooting team traveled across the country to compete in the event. We are funded for only a handful of events a year, and we hoped we made the right decision to participate in the match. And this was not just a shooting event, but days of fun and festivities over the Labor Day weekend.
The match itself featured a half-day five-stage format and started exactly on time — a welcome change to the normal hour-plus delays many matches suffer from. Unfortunately, this on-time start worked against me.
At the conclusion of the match briefing, the demo range was opened, and I decided to check my zero quickly before starting the match. I fired my first shot at a small steel plate and expected a consoling ring of steel to correspond. Instead, I saw my round disappear into a hay pale behind the steel. I fired again and again at the small steel and missed each time.
I switched to a larger plate, and this time saw my rounds were impacting inches to the left of center. I traveled 1,200 miles to the match, and somewhere along the way my PCC took a hard hit and lost its zero — or at worst the optic had a complete failure.
I knew the match was about to begin, and I didn't want to miss my slot. I quickly packed my PCC away and ran up the hill to join my squad.
Diana Mueller and Lena Miculek giving our squad a lift to our next stage.
Upon joining my squad, I explained my situation and that I needed time to re-zero my equipment. Meanwhile, the ROs randomized the shooting order and, of course, I was selected as the first shooter.
With no time left to stall, I decided to commit a major match sin and use someone else's rifle. This would mean whatever rifle I borrowed I would have to finish with. My squadmate Kevin Barney had a fully tricked out JP Enterprises PCC and offered to share it with me. I use a JP rifle in 3-Gun and had been drooling over their PCC version for months.
My situation went from terror to pure joy. I was thrilled to ditch my mediocre PCC and use my dream rifle.
The first stage was a star pattern that required you to engage targets in branching paths with medium-range steel at the end of the course. It was a 30-second fast stage, and the JP performed beautifully with one minor hiccup.
The Optic was set about an inch taller than mine and zeroed about 25 yards further. The offset for the rifle was a little different than mine and resulted in me hitting a no-shoot target on a close, tight shot. I quickly noted the difference and took the minor penalty as a gentle lesson.
This stage featured long- and medium-range steel with targets hidden behind the banner.
The match had several entertaining and stand-out stages. A favorite was a stage requiring you to walk several narrow, color-coded planks. The red, white and blue planks corresponded to red, white and blue targets you could engage from each plank.
It was comical to watch all the contorted positions people were coming up with to engage the targets. It was like watching a combination of yoga and shooting and gave everyone a smile watching their squadmates dance along the course.
Walking the plank required balance and a good memory.
This same color-coded pattern repeated itself on one of the most clever match stages I've ever seen. The stage had "Lucas Oil" spelled out in giant 6-foot letters in the center of the course, and 30 red, white and blue targets were hidden behind the letters, requiring you to engage the targets from three colored shooting boxes.
The true genius of the stage is in the branding of the match. With every picture or video posted, the Lucas Oil brand was boldly featured.
This stage not only looked cool but also contained 30 color-coded targets hidden behind the letters.
Our squad worked diligently and finished each stage in approximately 30 minutes. The match ran like clockwork, and we experienced no delays the entire time. I have never been to a match where you didn't feel absolutely exhausted each day, so it was a refreshing experience.
While the match ran beautifully, several of our team guns had significant malfunctions that basically ruined the chances of several of our teammates from a respectable finish. We finished the second day with enough time and energy that we decided to shoot all of our different PCCs side by side for comparison at the demo range to figure out what guns we should ditch or switch to. We had a wide variety of options, including Colt SMGs, H&K MP5 select fire, JP Enterprises, the Sig MPX, Olympic arms and New Frontier Armory.
Test-firing the Sig Sauer MPX, H&K MP5 Select Fire and Saiga 9mm back to back .
As we were testing the rifles, members of the Russian shooting team wanted to fire our three-round burst MP5 and in exchange offered their custom Saiga PCCs. Luckily, they had an interpreter with them, and it was a blast exchanging guns and ideas from each of our home countries.
Competitors traveled all the way from Russia to test their PCC game for glory and cash.
I felt the Sig MPX gave the smoothest recoil impulse with the JP being a close second. The JP offers greater accessory flexibility and is a familiar AR-type platform as well as mirroring my 3-Gun rifle. It will be a tortured choice for me in the future between the two.
With the test-fires completed, we headed to the ranch house for the awards ceremony. We were not expecting the spread awaiting us.
The ranch house is more like a ranch mansion and is a 16-bedroom, multilevel cowboy dream house. The event was professionally catered with music and an epic prize table, all being live-streamed by Mike Pignato for Shooting USA. This was the first awards ceremony where everyone wanted to stay and socialize and not just grab their prize and leave.
9mm trophies awaiting the winners.
Entertainment again was front and center all the way to the end. The awards ceremony culminated in each of the top five competitors receiving the stereotypical giant checks. Scott Greene defeated many of the best shooters in the country and walked away with the $10,000 first prize and a LimCat custom PCC. He exclaimed "I'm going to Disneyland!" to the cameras as he walked away, bringing a laugh and a fun conclusion to the event.
Scott Greene walked away with $10,000 and a LimCat custom PCC.
The inaugural Lucas Oil PCC World Championships set a new standard for major matches. Once the word gets out, I'm sure next year's match will fill up in a flash. This was my first major PCC event, and it set the bar extraordinarily high. Next year, I'll be coming for the match but staying for the entertainment.
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