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Rio Run and Gun 2016

This year was the first year the Rio Run and Gun was held, and it was great. It was my second run and gun, and just as grueling as my first. Run and gun shooting competitions are quite simple, you have to carry all of your gear with you, gun, ammo, water, and anything else you might want, along a several mile course, usually around five miles. There are shooting stages along the way to be completed. While you know the total hit count, the most they’ll tell you is approximate distances. You have to be able to adapt on the fly. If you run out of ammo before the end, then you get did not finish time penalties for the remaining stage(s). Really makes you think about your gear – do you really need that extra weight?

Though I was unable to find my event time (run time plus shoot time minus wait time), I do know it came in at under two hours, probably around an hour and a half total. I GPSed the event; it was five miles, 360 foot elevation change, but we had to go up and down several brutal hills. It was quite the hot day, partly cloudy, and an intermittent slight breeze.

Rio Run and Gun Stage 1

Stage 1:

Stage one was a pistol stage that started with a full auto MP5 thanks to KNS Precision. We had to carry a weighted ammo can in one hand, forcing us to shoot one handed and we had to retain our pistol the entire time with one forced mag change. Of all the stages, I was most disappointed in my performance on this one. I was rushing myself and missing shots. Also, the first mile of the run was through a very rocky creek bed, so I was breathing hard. When I slowed down and put more effort into my shots, well, you can see the difference it made in my accuracy. Again, but thanks to KNS Precision, they’re a great group of guys. I really enjoy seeing them at events.

Rio Run and Gun Stage 2

Stage 2:

Unfortunately I forgot to turn on my helmet cam for this one, but it was just a few rifle targets off of a barricade. I focused on controlling my breathing and timing my shots and did a lot better than the first stage. I blitzed through that rifle stage in 29 seconds.

Stage 3:

Noting my performance on the first two stages, I slowed down my run pace in an effort to be able to control my breathing and heart rate for the stage. This one was another file stage and quite cool as we were shooting through a vehicle, a first for me. The five targets were around 75 yards to 125 yards. I was a little rushed at the beginning of the stage, but slowed it down and did much better. I’m also quite confident I had one or two hits that weren’t called when shooting from the first position. If you listen closely, you can hear. In order to have clearance over the other door, I had to prop up my rifle with my arm rather than use the door as a rest.

Stage 4:

I felt very good about stage four. A nice mix of pistol and rifle, it was quite fun. I felt quite good at this one, and even the ROs commented on how quick I was. My first shot on the pistol targets was a hit, but no knock down. With only three misses, I was feeling good as I transitioned to rifle. There were two barricades, with two holes each, and four targets for each barricade. Each target had to be engaged once. Despite my heavy breathing, I am pleased with my performance.

Rio Run and Gun Stage 5

Stage 5:

Stage five was the farthest targets of the event. Two at 125 yds, two at 100 yards, and two at 200 yards. Each target had to be engaged once, from right to left, and cycled through three times. This forced us to re-acquire targets multiple times. Despite my failure to feed, I only had one miss and felt super good about that stage. I was moving onto the next target before they even called hit. Probably was my best stage of the run and gun.

Rio Run and Gun Stage 6

Stage 6:

The final stage of the run and gun was a pistol and rifle stage. This one was quite cool as we were shooting pistol targets in the water, and then across the river about 100 yards. There were six targets, requiring four hits each. The second target was smaller, and since it was the last stage, quite difficult to hit with how tired I was. The rest of the targets I blitzed through.

While I mixed running and walking earlier in the event to try and keep my breathing controllable during the shooting stages, I ran the last half mile to the finish. The final shot was from a soda can cannon. If we hit the gong, we got five minutes taken off of our run time. I had the arc correct, but was less than a foot to the right. Only two people hit the gong that day.


I ended up getting 17th out of 102 people. I felt very good about that event and cannot wait until my next run and gun shooting competition.

My Gear

Technically that photo is from my first run and gun event, my gear didn’t change much. The rifle is my custom build AR15 with a US Optics 1-8 that I absolutely love. The pistol was a stock Springfield XDM 5.25. My belt was a Volund Gearworks Atlas Cobra belt, to which I had a Blade Tech competition holster, Blade Tech AR mag , and Blade Tech Pistol mag carrier. While the majority of my mags were on my 5.11 Tactical Chest rig, I kept a spare pistol and rifle mag on my belt for faster reloads. My rifle sling is the Magpul QD Sling – with it I’m able to keep my rifle nice and snug to my chest, but still able to use the sling to increase my stability. Finally, I was rocking my Texas pride with my Texas Humor Hat.

I’m very pleased with my equipment and don’t plan on changing it for my next run and gun.

Hi Mom! Hi Dad!

I am very happy that my mom and dad were able to join me on this event. They ran the entire thing with me and thoroughly enjoyed it (or so they tell me). Upon completing the fourth stage, my dad told me that this was awesome and he wanted to do it. So I’m helping him build an AR and hopefully he’ll be joining me next year.

Rio Run and Gun with my Parents

Brian Purkiss
Written by

Brian Purkiss is a Christian, husband, competitive shooter, firearms instructor, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He primarily focues on USPSA and Run & Gun competitions, but enjoys most other forms of shooting competitions as well.

Categories: Events, Vault | Tags: ,

4 responses to “Rio Run and Gun 2016”

  1. Robert says:

    Great story. Would love to do something like this. I r in a lot and shoot a lot but don’t get many opportunities to do both, “the scrambler” at a Paul Howe class being the exception.

    Nice call on the Keens, too. I’ve got the same pair.


  2. Thomas Hansard says:

    I was the RO calling the hits for your video on stage 3. You’re correct that there were a few hits that you can clearly hear that I did not call. My earpro batteries went down during your initial shots and I had to move one side off to clearly hear the hits once I noticed. Apologize about that as we strive to be squared away and hope to see you this weekend for year 2!

  3. Travis says:

    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to video and write about this up and coming sport. Hope to see you on the range, to pick up some pointers.

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