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The world got its first taste of the ‘Men in Black’ in 1990 when it was published in Aircel comics. While the characters of Agents ‘J’ and ‘K’ were far removed from the portrayal in the 1997 movie by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, the plot of the movie was based on one of the original stories. Two sequels followed in 2002 and 2012 but they lacked the imagination of the original; Zap forward in time to 2013 and the evil genius of Robert Porter decided to use MIB as a theme for the latest DoubleTap Championship.

Dressed as a MIB, Porter addressed the competitors during the shooter’s meetings that were held on Friday and Saturday climbing onto the stage while the movie theme blasted over the speakers. Competitors had the choice of shooting the entire 14 stages (including the chronograph) on Friday or ten on Saturday with the remaining four on Sunday. Cramming this many stages into one day is a bit of a challenge and in the heat and humidity that is synonymous with the Lone Star State, hydration was the word of the day.
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The match had a clever mix of close, open targets and devious long range shots that required fast precision, this was exemplified in Stage 1, ‘The Light of Zartha’. A semi-circular stage that required precise footwork to line up with narrow gaps in the walls. The targets were available from multiple locations, but a simple pattern soon emerged and the trick was not to lose time hunting for the targets/poppers but to align perfectly with each slot and break the shots immediately, when done correctly it looked effortless.

Agent ‘M’, aka Max Michel (Sig Sauer) elected to shoot on Friday where he set an impossible standard for the eight other GM’s that competed in the Open Division. Winning all but two of the stages, he lost out to Bill Drummond by six points on ‘Flashy Neurolizer’ and another three points on ‘Shelplezoids’ after getting his only miss of the match. Despite tagging a no-shoot on Stage 9 ‘Reverberating Carbonizer’, Max still dominated his competitors finishing two seconds faster than his nearest rival.

After a long day at the range, Max could have skipped his final 160 point stage, caught an early flight home and he still would have won the match by forty points!
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Only four women competed in Open, with Tammie Bordwell handily beating Valerie Levanza by over sixty points; Levanza had suffered from some issues with her C-More sight as she struggled to see the dot on her first stages, no such problems for Tammie as she nailed a top fifteen finish on Stage 4, ‘Agent K’. This stage had another of those nasty swingers at the end, an array of three targets stuck to a single rotator in the shape of an upside-down ‘T’. There was time to blast two of the targets with two shots but at least one required a single hit on each pass.

It was a solid match for Bordwell, as she snagged a top sixteen place on ‘Thru the Worm Hole’ and finished seventeenth on ‘The Light of Zartha’... Tammie was on fire! Despite a sluggish start, Levanza finished the match strong with a top fifteen finish of her own on the short speed stage, ‘Division Six’.
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‘Thru the Worm Hole’ had the most diabolical swingers of the match, actually not so much a swinger as a rotator, a windmill array of four targets hiding behind four no-shoots in the shape of a ‘+’ sign. Keeping track of which targets had been shot was an issue as the array was so heavily weighted that once activated it performed a complete 360 spin before settling to a left to right rotation.

Get the pattern right and a fast time was possible, get it wrong and the score would be marred by four hits on one target and a depressing lack of holes in another.

The stage began with an unloaded gun on a barrel, the activating popper was visible through a small triangle made up of three paper targets and three no-shoots. After taking care of the steel and the three targets attention could be paid to the rotator, this is where the most time could be lost if there was no coherent plan as keeping track of which targets had been shot while shooting the others was problematic to say the least.

Max cleaned all this in under ten seconds, Brent Lorton was a full second behind in Limited Division.

Agent ‘L’, aka Lesgar Murdock had a tighter battle for his Limited win, though he finished in the top four in nine of the stages he hit a snag on Stage 3. ‘Flashy Neurolizer’ was one of several twisting maze-like stages that involved a lot of stop and start shooting, Orville Henriques tore it up with a sub twenty second run on Friday, Lesgar’s slower time and a no-shoot pushed him down to a fifteenth on this stage which he shot on Saturday.

Late Saturday night, and the rain fell; A Torrential downpour hit the area, and the following morning the access road to the DoubleTap Ranch was a gooey red mess with a BMW stuck dejectedly in the middle of it. The match start was delayed for thirty minutes to give everyone time to get to their squads and for the Range Crew to remove the soggy mess of targets and repair their stages. The Ranch has some excellent drainage though and the shooting areas were for the most part clear of standing water, as the match recommenced with four remaining stages it was too close to call in Limited Division.
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Lesgar and rest of Squad 28 started their final stages on Stage 10, ‘Jebbe’s Future Gateway’, an ingenious little stage that incorporated a gate that swung up and down across the opening to the second half of the stage. Hitting the gate, or the gate hitting the competitor, incurred a procedural error, get the timing wrong and forward momentum was halted until it moved out of the way. The start position was standing, holding ‘Frank’ - an alien disguised as a small dog - after discarding the mutt the competitor engaged two static targets and the popper that activated the gateway before shooting targets behind a wall, more through a port and then charge forward past the gateway to get the remaining targets.
Lesgar finished half a second behind Mike Seeklander who had shot this stage on Friday when the ground was dry. At the start of this stage ‘Frank’ was a clean black and white cuddly soft-toy, after the squad had hurled him in the mud over and over he looked a little dejected (and muddy).

In the Ladies category, Sue-Ann Henriques was no match for Armscor’s Athena Lee who finished over 150 points ahead to take the win. Henriques had suffered from multiple gun issues as the hammer followed numerous times during the match costing her valuable time. Athena kicked up a storm on Stage 9, ‘Reverberating Carbonizer’ with a top 13 finish. Athena was no doubt looking forward to a rematch with last years winner Carina Burns, but sadly Carina could not make the match due to other commitments.
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A dominating performance from Matthew Mink (Production) won him eight of the thirteen stages as he quickly opened up a lead over the rest of the field finishing nearly sixty points in front of Kale Garretson, Matt Hopkins finished third another forty-six points further back.

Mink’s solid runs left little room for the competition to move ahead as he blasted through Stage 2, ‘Orion’s Belt’ in under 23 seconds, beating a fair number of Open and Limited shooters.

Stage 2 had a nasty twist at the end with three swinging targets hidden behind three angled no-shoots. When the swingers paused at each end of the swing they were partially hidden by those penalty targets so it was safer to shoot them while they were moving between the no-shoots. This was a tough stage for a Production shooter, but Mink made it look easy.

With so many high round count stages, there was usually a large number of Production magazines littering the ground, though not as many as Jacob Hetherington left on Stage 6, ‘Shelplezoids’. As he moved into position to engage the two swinging targets, every magazine on his belt fell to the floor, Hetherington did not delay after engaging the two swingers, scooping a dirty magazine off the ground to finish the stage in sixth place. The drama continued on this stage for Bo Gray, after engaging the first four targets he ran over to the right side of the stage to shoot the popper that activated the swingers, despite a ‘dead-center’ hit on the popper it failed to fall. Most competitors would have re-engaged the steel but Bo was feeling lucky, he stopped shooting and called for a calibration instead, had the calibration succeeded he would have zero’ed the stage, but his luck held out and the popper failed to fall.
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Randi Rogers (Comp-Tac) finished as Top Lady in Production Division after taking a top 9 finish on Stage 6, ‘Shelplezoids’ and then an astonishing top four finish on Stage 4, ‘Agent K’. Rogers is obviously adapting well to her new CZ ! Performances like this enabled Randi to take the title by a whopping 240 points from Allie ‘Cat’ Barrett.

The Limited-10 and Single-Stack divisions were only sparsely populated, Jesse Tischauser took top honors in L-10 from Tony Phan while Jackie Schroeder, one of the hard-working RO’s at the match finished as Top Lady. The range crew were supposed to shoot the entire match on Thursday but a lack of time forced the crew to make up stages during lunch-breaks on Friday and Saturday.

Jeremy Reid handily won the Single-Stack division from Limcat’s Tanner Larson, there were no women in this division.