In August, Charlie Exum and Dale Young, U.S. Border Patrol officers from Alamogordo, N.M., won the 2007 5.11 Challenge on literally the last shot of the event.
Over the summer, 32 two-officer teams traveled to Montana to shoot 5.11 s course of fire. At the end of the summer, the three top-scoring teams flew back to Montana to compete in the eight-stage 5.11 Challenge Finals shootout. Three teams qualified for the Finals: Exum and Young, Bryan Weathers and Jason Stearns of the Edmond (Okla.) Police Department, and Brian Stout and Mike Sauls from Homeland Security in Mississippi.
In Stage 1, each team had to use Remington s Eyeball (a remote camera placed on the range) to find a numbered target. One officer hid in a Ford patrol vehicle while the second officer hid behind a barricade. The Blackwater triple-tap targets on the range were numbered 1, 2 and 3. The partner operating the Eyeball had to zoom in on the target given to him by the judge. As soon as the target was identified, the remote operator called out the number to his partner, and the partner shot the triple tap.
In Stage 2, the officers had to shoot silhouettes from behind First Choice s new Multi-Use Shield Technology shield for a portion of the stage. They then had to knock down steel plates to finish the course.
For Stage 3, the shooters fired at steel plates from 12 yards with Glock 19s with Streamlight TLR 2 lights mounted on the rails. Then the competitors were required to clear their Glock 19s, holster and go to the backup Glock 26s secured on their ankles in Bianchi s ankle holster. They shot two plates at 12 yards, then proceeded to a low-light tunnel. In the tunnel, they had to place two rounds into each of three 8 targets roughly 16 feet down range while using their Streamlight Nightfighter flashlights.
At the end of Stage 3, only 13 points separated the three teams, with Mississippi in the lead.
In Stage 4, the teams shot a combat shotgun course with Remington s MCS 870 Shotgun and Aimpoint s new Micro Sight. They had to go to their backup Glock 26 to finish the stage on silhouette targets. Oklahoma pulled into the lead.
Stage 5 proved to be the breaking point for the Mississippi team. Each officer had 20 shots with the Remington 870 shotgun at 20 clay birds. Each bird hit was worth 20 points. The trap shoot had been Mississippi s best event in the prelims, but at the end of the trap-shooting course, they had fallen to third.
Stage 6 was a rifle course. The teams used Remington s 7615 pump action .223 patrol rifle in four shooting positions, including a last shot at a suspect/hostage target. Mississippi won Stage 6, but Oklahoma kept the overall lead.
Stage 7 required the teams to shoot a DPMS AR-15 at 15 targets from three different positions. They started out at 100 yards using a magnified Aimpoint Comp M4 Sight. Once they knocked down the first five targets from the prone position, they had to remove the magnifier and move to a position down range approximately 30 yards from the targets. From that position, they knocked down five more targets before moving to the last position, where they shot five more targets. Once again, Mississippi won the stage, but they remained in third place.
On the eighth and final stage, the competitors shot a .308-caliber Remington 700 LTR with a Leupold Mark 4 scope. The rifle was mounted on Lonestar s VRS Spec-Rest. Each officer shot three targets from 115 yards, including two 4 circles and one 5.11 Challenge Coin, which was worth 50 points. When Stage 8 began, the Border Patrol s Exum and Young were roughly 70 points behind Weathers and Stearns of Oklahoma.
Exum and Young both hit their coins while Stearns and Weathers each missed by only a quarter of an inch, giving the Border Patrol team the win with 4,551 points to Oklahoma's 4,540.