2-Gun Action Match, July 2013 (M1 and SVT-40)

Yep, it’s that time again – we’ve had another 2-Gun Action Challenge Match. I was hoping to take a Ross rifle this month, but it didn’t arrive in time – so instead I used a heavily modified M1 Garand. I’ve had some people ask what my personal favorite (practical-use) guns are, and this month I’m using them. The M1 is a tanker conversion done by Arlington Ordnance decades ago, with an 18″ barrel chambered for .308 Winchester. I added a Smith Enterprises muzzle brake (which I really like) and an Amega Ranges scope rail. The optic is a Burris 2-7x pistol scope with their BallisticPlex reticle. I like it too, although I clearly need to practice with it a lot more.

So why would I pick this as my go-to rifle? Well, I started by deciding that I wanted a full-power rifle cartridge for barrier penetration. I wanted an optic because that would allow me to exploit the range potential of the gun much better than irons (it’s not just about the rifle being accurate enough to make a hit, but also about whether you can identify a target at distance). I tried out all the common semiauto rifle designs available at the time, and the M1 felt like it fit me the best. The “tanker” version in particular felt really comfortable, so that’s what I decided to get. Would I make the same choice again? I’m not sure…maybe not. But the great majority of effectiveness comes from the shooter and not the rifle, so I have no plans to replace my bastardized M1 with anything else any time soon.

The pistol is my regular Ballester-Molina – it rattles a bit when you shake it and a lot of the finish is long gone, but it has yet to hiccup on me (I use Wilson Combat mags in it) and is plenty accurate for what I need. Really, I like all milsurp 1911 style pistols because they just fit me really well (I will be the first to acknowledge that there are much more practical pistols to choose from today, though).

Anyway, I decided to use the match this month to play with my M1 for a change. Since it’s not a proper historical gun, I’ve used footage from a couple stages shot by Karl, one of the match organizers who brought out a Russian SVT-40 this time.