IDPA Stage: Tunnel Rat.

Today we had our Veteran’s day match. Not very crowded and with great weather in the 70s it made for a fun and quick day. All the stages were “based” on some actual incident such as Sergent York’s trench clearing from far to near instead of the standard IDPA of Near to Far, two WWII Pacific Front stages and one called the Tunnel Rat honoring Vietnam Vets.

This Pacific Theater stage was simple: String one was moving from right to left and shooting at the targets with your right hand only. String Two was shooting on the move from left to right with your left hand, but the first target would move up and down. The stage was two shots per target per string in Limited Vickers (Only can shoot the assigned amount of shots.) And oh yes, the palm fronds on a windy day blocking the view added a surprising distraction on both strings. A shooter from the “I am Tommy Tactical” club popooed the simplicity of the stage and shot it with a deprecating attitude. He managed to have to Mikes (misses) per target thus validating the old axiom of If You Don’t Take Shooting Seriously, You Pay Dearly.

The winner of the day was Tunnel Rat. The idea behind it was that you were coming up in a vertical shaft to a horizontal tunnel and faced three VCs. You initial position was as follows: one hand had a gun and the other a vintage GI Anglehead flashlight with your head under the plane of the horizontal tunnel. On String One the gun is in your strong hand and the flashlight on your weak hand, at the beep you “pop up” and shoot three targets with two head shots each. String Two is the same, but now you switch hands: Flashlight on your strong hand and gun in the weak hand placing 2 body shots to each target.

Although it is a poor simulation inside a wooden box during daytime on a sunny day, it gave me a new-found appreciation for the testicular fortitude of the Tunnel Rats. Your range of movement is pretty much nil and dictated by the tunnel, it gets claustrophobic fast and it is incredibly loud even with doubled up ear protection. Tunnel Rats were confined in real crappy narrow tunnels in the dark but for whatever poor cone of light the flashlight could provide, no ear protection and targets that would shoot back. Damn!

Here is the video of that stage. The shooter is an unkown blogger from South Florida who shall remain nameless 🙂

All and all we had fun and honored in a very small way our Veterans. I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

9 Replies to “IDPA Stage: Tunnel Rat.”

  1. That looks like loads of fun. Every time I see a post or Tweet from you about IDPA it makes me want to get out and give it a try.

    I think next season in PA i might just wind up rotating USPSA and IDPA matches. USPSA for its fast paced action and IDPA for its unique stage design.

    Thanks for sharing




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    1. Lots of shooters bounce from one to the other. More trigger time that way. 🙂 The rumors of rivalry between USPSA and IDPA are greatly…. well true. We really don’t care what some hard heads say or do.
      Since I am involved in the club’s business and shoot 2 matches a month, I really have no time to try anything else. And I better spend the other 2 weekends tending to SWMBO or she makes me pay.




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      1. Miguel,

        I want to steel this stage for a tribute stage at our local match next July and would like to reference the actual club and stage designer for this COF. If possible can you let me know this information.




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        1. Miguel,

          I want to steal this stage for a tribute stage at our local match next July and would like to reference the actual club and stage designer for this COF. If possible can you let me know this information.




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  2. Had an old friend who was a tunnel rat in Vietnam. He was the minimum height to join the Marine Corp, so they stuck him in tunnels as soon as he got there. Rather than a pistol, like most of them, he packed a double-barrel shotgun that had the barrels sawed off quite short, and the stock cut to a pistol grip. It wasn’t issue, he rigged it up himself. He packed a pistol as a backup, but preferred the scattergun in the tunnels.




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