Photo Credits: Ben La Londe
Fact 1: NASTI stands for North American Sniper Team Invitational.
Fact 2: NASTI, a little know match in the civilian world, happened last month with the best military sniper teams in the world.
Fact 3: NASTI took place on the 5th-7th of October 2021 at Hat Creek Training’s facility in Idaho. The event took place on over 4000 acres of some of the steepest mountains and canyons in Idaho.
Fact 4: Bryan Morgan (Papa Morgan as the teams call him) and his wife Misty (Mama Morgan) own and run Hat Creek Training. Bryan ran the match with his staff of instructors and volunteer RO’s. Bryan is considered by many to be the best long-range, extreme-angle, high-wind, high-recoil instructor and shooter in the world.
Fact 5: 15 two-man teams of the most elite U.S. Military Snipers were invited to NASTI. One of the teams didn’t make it because they got operationally deployed.
Fact 6: The teams at NASTI included: Army Special Operations, Rangers, Special Forces, Air Force Special Operations, active-duty swat team, Marine Sniper Team, and Special Forces Sniper Course Instructors (SFSC).
Fact 7: The match was scored like golf. Each shot counted as one point but there was a limit of 10 shots per target. Lower scores are better! There were three big stages. The stages were totally blind and the competitors didn’t know how long each stage was, where the targets were, or how many targets there were on the stage. They had to carry on their backs everything they might need. Each stage had a par time but the shooters didn’t know what it was so they just had to hustle. Each team had a Range Officer (RO) with them that called the hits and who could verify that they had found the correct target but that otherwise wasn’t allowed to help.
Fact 8: Every 45 minutes a new team would start the stage. If the previous team got overtaken, they had to step aside and let the next team pass them.
Fact 9: The targets ranged from 400 meters to over 1400 meters with the average target being around 1000 meters. 22 of the targets were over 1000 meters and were at extreme angles.
Fact 10: The most extreme angle target at the match was 35 degrees.
Fact 11: Stage 1 had over 3000 ft. of elevation gain in two and a half miles with a total of 24 targets. Stage 2 was two miles long, had 18 targets, and the teams had to traverse a 1000 ft vertical cliff with their gear. Stage 3 was four miles long, had 19 targets, and had over 4200 ft of vertical elevation.
Fact 12: Most of the shooting positions required some creativity and traditional prone wasn’t really possible on the majority of the targets.
Fact 13: At each shooting station there was a target card printed from ATAK that gave the general distance and azimuth to the target location. There were targets on some stages that weren’t in play so the shooters had to take care to identify the correct target.
Fact 14: The competitors navigated the stages with Garmin Foretrex 701 Ballistic GPS units.
Fact 16: The calibers fielded at the match included 260 Remington, 300 Norma, 300 Win Mag, and 338 Lapua. The 300 Norma had the greatest ballistic advantage but the team that won (1st place) shot a 338 Lapua. The .338 Lapua ammo was a Black Hills loaded with 300 gr SMK. The 300 Norma’s were loaded with 215 gr Berger’s. The 2nd place through 4th place teams were all shooting 300 Norma’s. 5th through 9th place was shooting 338 Lapua’s, and 10th-13th were shooting 300 WM.
Fact 18: Many of the teams used Long Range Arms Send-IT levels.
Fact 19: The most commonly used spotting scope was the Hendsoldt 45 but I saw at least one Leupold MK4 spotter as well.
Fact 20: Every team used tripods to shoot and spot from. Many of them carried two or three of them. The majority were using Really Right Stuff tripods but I did see one team that carried a Two Vets tripod for weight savings along with a RRS.
Fact 21: Every team was using MDT’s CKYE Pods Most were using the double or triple pull models.
Fact 22: Every team used a Kestrel for wind and ballistic solutions with the Garmin 701 Applied Ballistics as backups and navigation.
Fact 23: Day one had winds as high as 60 mph.
Fact 24: Nearly every team used Eberlestock backpacks to haul the guns and gear and the average pack had to weigh at least 50 lbs.
Fact 24: Vextronix rangefinders were used almost exclusively but there were some weapons mounted rangefinders like the Wilcox and L3 SLX
Fact 25: Barret and Titan AAC suppressors were the most common suppressors. The 300 Norma shooters used muzzle brakes as they heated up suppressors too fast to be feasible.
Fact 26: Military, Law Enforcement, & Civilians can train at Hat Creek Training. Bryan runs training most of the year.
Fact 27: The prize table had approximately $85,000 worth of guns and gear on it donated by the following sponsors:
- Seekins Precision
- Accuracy International
- Cross O Meats
- Terry Cross- KMWLRS.com
- Rob Ziarnick – gunfighterdesign
- Long Range Arms- Bennie Cooley
- Captsone – Berger/Lapua
- Battle Boards
- The MUB
- Timney trigger
- Down Range Systems
- KGM technologies
- Kelby actions
- Mountain Primal
- Hawk hill
- Kill Cliff
Fact 28: I can’t tell you who won or what unit they were from. Sorry.
Fact 29: If you’d like to train at Hat Creek Training or have a friend or relative in the military that would like to train there, they can contact Hat Creek Training on Facebook or Instagram @hatcreektraining
Check out the video (below) of a team getting after it while moving from one shooting position to the next.
is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911 https://www.instagram.com/true1911/