‘Hard as Hell’ shooting match tests both marksmanship and physical skills

Participant in "Hard as Hell Multigun" event, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy Hard as Hell website, St. George News

HURRICANE — Engaging targets from hundreds of yards away, negotiating steep terrain and lugging heavy weapons are what attracts hundreds of practical shooting enthusiasts to the “Hard as Hell Multigun” event, running Friday through Sunday.

Participant in “Hard as Hell Multigun” event, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy Hard as Hell website, St. George News

This is the sixth year for Hard as Hell at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range. More than 300 competitors, approximately 90 percent from outside the St. George area, are expected to participate in the three-day event.

“The event is unique in the length and difficulty of its courses,” Brian Nelson, event director, said. “They test the competitor’s marksmanship and physical skills. There’s a sense of achievement attached to it.”

Creativity is in abundance at this event, and physical fitness is imperative. One of this year’s courses requires the competitor to deploy their shotgun on one range, safely abandon it, carry a 40-pound simulated mortar tube from one range to the next, hit pistol targets while carrying the tube, set the tube up on its stand, climb a hill and shoot rifle targets from approximately 300 yards.

Participant in “Hard as Hell Multigun” event, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy Hard as Hell website, St. George News

Previous Hard as Hell stages have required shooters to clear a World War I-era trench complex using their shotgun, engage multiple pistol targets from 15 to 70 yards, climb up an earthen berm using a rope for support and then unsling a rifle and engage rifle targets from 50 to 620 yards.

Other years have incorporated rock climbing walls, weighted armor-plate carriers, LE breaching shotguns and stun grenades.

I try to design the courses at ‘Hard as Hell’ to be the most difficult shooting challenges at any match in the country, then layer on physical challenges on top of them,” Nelson said. “The physical stuff is hard, but we also have options for competitors to opt out of them for a time penalty. It never helps one’s performance to take the penalty, but it allows the match to be fun for everyone. We’ve had people finish from ages 12 to 72.”

Event details

  • What: “Hard as Hell” practical shooting competition.
  • When: Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 3, beginning at 8 a.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range, 1134 S. Regional Park Road, Washington
  • Details: Visit the website.

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1 Comment

  • Kevin November 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Nice job, Brian Nelson!

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