Friday, July 4, 2014

Outbreak Omega 6 :: AAR


On June 27th and 28th Ahlaman's Gun Shop and Range in Morristown, MN hosted the sixth interration of DPMS's Outbreak Omega Zombie shoot. There had been a one year hiatus between the fifth and sixth year event due to the gun craze of 2013. I was worried that the hiatus would have a negative effect on attendance for OO6 but my concerns were unfounded with the entrance of Z.E.R.T.

If you are unfamiliar with Z.E.R.T. they are an organization that is worth checking out and don't be scared away by the use of the term 'zombie'.
Z.E.R.T. is an organization that uses “Zombie” as a metaphor for any natural or man-made disasters that will occur in our lives; Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, criminal attacks or any type of situation where being prepared, trained and most importantly, armed with the proper mindset is required to see you and your family through to safety.
Z.E.R.T. brought a new culture to the event and allowed for a bit of growth in a good direction. On the other hand; many complained it came with a price. All previous Outbreak Omega shoots were pretty straight forward; everyone payed a flat rate and received the same experience. OO5 had a VIP pass that had cost around $100 if memory serves me right. While OO6 was broken down in to a series of different tiers. There was pricing from Tier 1 at $300 down to spectator at $25 (at the time of this writing the OO6 website was no longer live so details were unavailable for packages) What did $300 get you? Above and beyond a bag of swag, dinner (pretty damn good pork roast), and entrance into over $60,000 in prizes you had access to Z.E.R.T.'s merry band of cadre.

Friday
About 130 slots were available and sold for the Tier One package and everyone showed up for training with Z.E.R.T.'s cadre of instructors on Friday. Each had years and fist fulls of experience in the private, military and competition world. It was apparent that the instructors wanted to give all the shooters their money's worth and planned for a full day of training. If memory serves there were nine different ranges setup focusing on pistol, rifle, movement with pistol and rifle, shooting from and around vehicles and a CQB shoothouse. At the beginning of the day we were split up into nine squads of fifteen people each and were allotted 45 minutes at each range.
From my vantage point as a participant what I saw was that in the last third of the day people began to drop out. There were folks that were geared up from head to toe and it became apparent that they were not use to wearing plate carriers for very long; let alone moving and shooting in them. I will say there were several people that had put quite lot of thought into their gear selection and had experience using it; these folks were the exception and had a lot of fun. There didn't seem to be any designated break or chow time throughout the day except for the dinner at the end; which was damn good.
I think most everyone would have been better served by focusing on three classes within two hour blocks; rifle, pistol and movement. This would have allowed the instructors to not feel rushed during their instruction and would have given more time to work through the intricacies that arise during training. With a fifteen minute break in between each of the three classes I think people would have been able to endure. Concerning class size; I envision six ranges open at the same time with two teaching pistol, two teaching rifle, and two teaching movement. This would have kept the class size to about 22 people which I believe Z.E.R.T. had enough cadre to handle effectively.

Saturday
The gates were thrown open to every participant and even more ranges were opened to handle the shooting masses. I cannot remember exactly but there was around thirty different ranges to shoot on; including a zombie safari where you rode shotgun with a shotgun to shot zombie on a half mile course. The Pine County Sheriff's department also lent Z.E.R.T. their MRAP to conduct a squad sized movement range and of course a full auto range where you could shoot anything from an MG42 to a Grease Gun to a PKM for a price.
Project Appleseed supplied a pile of willing, able and always professional Range Safety Officers to man the ranges and their own zero range.
XP001 with the Pine County Sheriff
I spent most of Saturday shooting my pistol on steel targets in an attempt to work on the pointers I had received the day before. I also walked around and visited the vendors that came to the event. There were several but the ones that made the best impression on me was Schreyer Weapon Systems, Harris Tactical, Motley Rooster Holsters and Mission First Tactical.
Once the ranges went cold everyone gathered in the main building for the raffle prizes. Dozens and dozens of awesome items from butt-stocks, forearms and uppers were given away and the rifles, shotguns, EOTechs, and Nightforces were live raffled. I managed to leave with a 12" JP Rapid Configuration Handguard.

Overall, the the shoot was a great success from what I encountered and cannot wait to see how Z.E.R.T. and DPMS continue to grow the event. I am happy to tell you that there will be an Outbreak Omega 7 held at Ahlman's in Morristown, MN next year.

Your Blog Keeper on the Left with Bobby Harris of Harris Tactical on the Right
My Personal Takeaways:
  1. Buy a screen tent - one word: mosquitoes.
  2. I'm not as strong of a pistol shooter as I thought.
  3. Bug spray, sunscreen and water!
  4. Walking tacos are like manna from Heaven. 
  5. Do more PT! Physical fitness needs to be a higher priority. 

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