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NRL Athlete, Perspective from Precision Rifle Shooter Dorgan Trostel

Photo Credit: Kellyn Tate

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kellyn Tate

Dorgan Trostel.

I was born in Brighton, CO in 1984.  I’m a father of two boys, a 2-year old and 5-year old, and am most fortunate to have a beautiful wife, who allows me to compete nationally.

Ever since I was big enough to hold a rifle, I have been hunting and shooting. Growing up with 5 brothers and 4 sisters, my family was dependent on game meat as our main source of sustenance throughout the year.  Hunting put a burden on us to “be an excellent shot”, as it was the only way to make ethical kills on all game we hunted.  Not only that, there was, and still is, serious competition in the family for the title of “Best Shot”.  My family and I still have regular competitions, both rifle and shotgun, for bragging rights.

Once at a match, a range officer misread my name as “Danger”. All in good fun, the nickname has stuck. It was mildly embarrassing at first, because the I had the match director come up to me afterwards and ask why that name.

To support my hobby, I work for the family construction business designing and installing fire sprinkler systems.

 

Competitive Shooter Profile.
Photo Credit: J. Comfort

As a 13-year old, I participated in the Whittington Adventure Camp in Raton, NM.  Out of 60+ 13-17-year old kids, and over a 2-week shooting/camping adventure, I was awarded Top Rifle Shot.  I later returned to this camp and was an instructor for two years.  After that, there was a gap in my competitive shooting while I went to high school, and later as I went to college.   At Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, I was Vice President of the Shooting Club.  After graduation from CSM, I began Bench Rest Shooting in 2009, and after a year of realizing these “old guys” were kicking my butt on a regular basis, I got a few licks in and met some great people. I needed something with a more physical aspect to it.  In 2010, I made the switch to tactical style competitions and have not looked back.  My first rifle was a GAP smithed Defiance action .308 with a 5-25x U.S. Optics scope in True MOA.  At my first match, I was dialing my wind and for the life of me, I could not figure out why I was getting further and further away from the target.  After the string of fire I asked and was soon schooled that I was dialing the wind the wrong direction. HA!! So, if you have never shot a match before, don’t be afraid of making any mistakes.  We all did, and still do.

As mentioned above I got into shooting competitively a few years before there were any governing bodies in the sport.  Locally, there was one match and of course the Raton, NM 1-day match.  I met my friend RJ there and have seen the sport grow from maybe 5 guys to over 30 competitors (as of last weekend) at a club match.  In 2010, 30 people was a large match.  Now there are nearly 50 matches a year with 100+ competitors.  Amazing.

This coming up 2017 Season, I have a few goals.  First and foremost is to have fun as always.  It is important to me at least to remember it’s a game and to not take it too seriously.  I see many shooters get caught up in worry about the prize table or National rankings and forget the true meaning of the sport.  This was started by great people that enjoy being marksmen.  Friendly rivalries have evolved; however, it is about the people, and shooting to the best of your ability.

 

My Rifle Build.

My Rifle this year is a Kelbly built Kodiak action repeater in Kelbly’s KTS stock (with my favorite colors – America!) with Brux Barrels.  Per usual they will be smithed by the top gunsmith I have ever used – Kelblys.  The trigger I have been on is a Bix-n-Andy 2-stage trigger that is really showing itself to be a game changer.  Having literally tried almost every trigger available, I am very particular and this is hands-down the best 2-stage trigger I have used.  The best single stage trigger goes to my Huber triggers.  Nothing breaks like they do.  For a suppressor I have been using Thunder Beast Arms suppressors for almost 7 years now.  The new Ultra 7 series of suppressors are remarkable.  Side by side to my 9” 30-P1, it is noticeably better.  I love shooting suppressed.  It really makes it enjoyable without that loud “bang, bang” of breaks.  Breaks really wear on a guy.

Short Action Precision sells the best sling 2-round holder (get one) and rear bag.

Photo Credit: M. Tobias

It is easily the best sling I have used.  Very adjustable and has quick detachment points.  I recently switched to using gloves while shooting.  I really recommend it.  I got a pair of Fox thing biking gloves and they have been really great.  I cut a hole for my trigger finger for feel.  For hearing protection, I use ESP fitted plugs.  “Amazing” is the only word that comes to mind.  If I knew how great they were I would have coughed up the money long ago.  They are that good.  The funny thing about hearing protection, the less you use it, the less you need it. Ha.

Last but not least, this year I will be switching to a new bipod that hasn’t hit the market.  It will be as game changing as the Atlas was.  Stay tuned for more details.  It will go lower than an Atlas on a 45, and will go higher than an Atlas with 2 sets of leg extensions, pan, tilt, looks great, and will weigh less than my current bipod, the Sinclair tactical bipod.  When you see it, you will need it.  I believe it will be literally be game-changing.  We will be running prototypes at NRL Idaho Shamrock Shootout match by PRSID this coming St. Patrick’s day, so come find me and check it out.

In 2016, I have used Schmidt & Bender H2CMR, Burris XTR2 SCR, Vortex Gen 2 EBR2C, Hendsoldt 4-16 NH1, and March FML1 on my match rifles in major PRS matches.  The struggle is real.  This coming season Team Kelbly’s was fortunate enough to land a sponsorship from U.S. Optics, so I will be running the new B-25 with Gen2 XR rect.  I need to settle down with scope swapping and the mild Christmas tree is a feature that will come in very handy.  One of my favorite features about it, is the tool-less re-zero. My backup rifles and trainers will get the Burris XTR2.  The XTR2 and the Gen2 Vortex are the only 2 scopes I have absolute confidence in the tracking.  U.S. Optics has some shoes to fill, but as my friend Jake says, his U.S. Optics just flat performs.  As usual, my scopes will be held on with Hawkins Precision rings.  The best rings you can buy.

This past 2016 season I switched from 6×47 (great caliber I shot for 5 years) to 6.5 GWI.  The 6.5 GWI is a 6.5×55 Swede that has been improved to mimic the 6br shoulder angle and body taper on the Swede case.  I am able to have a mild load that pushes the 130 grain Berger to 3090 FPS.  Berger came out with their target 130 grain bullet with a great Ballistic coefficient (BC) and I feel that bullet is the perfect PRS bullet of lower weight bullet but still capable of carrying energy down range to be able to see impacts (or misses *yikes*) at the 700+ range of targets.  Too many times I hear shooters crying ahem arguing with Range Officers (RO’s) that it was an impact and not a miss as called, when they are shooting their little 6BR at 900 yards.  Larger and heavier bullets make the job easier on spotters and shooters, so that’s why I shoot them; I let the bullet do the talking.

 

Room for Improvement.
Photo Credit: CONX Media

This past year I felt my greatest strength was shooting fast.  Unfortunately, this can also be a huge pitfall.  Too often I will finish a stage with a minute left and realize I missed half the targets.  One of the toughest aspects of a match is time management on a stage.  Rushing is fine if you are in New Mexico and only have 45 seconds per stage and have 15 rounds to fire.  HA!  I find myself doing two very costly mistakes.  First, I will compromise on the shooting position and not spend the extra 5-10 seconds getting a little more solid.  This obviously costs hits, not only on the current shot, but all follow up shots as you will not be able to see where you missed and if the miss was due to the wind or poor shooting position.  Second, poor shooting habit I have recently found myself doing, is slapping though the first stage of the 2-stage trigger.  Boom – miss.  That simple.  Poor shooting discipline will almost always result in a miss.  The 2-stage trigger really shines in helping me anticipate my shot.  If I don’t use it as it is supposed to be used, I will miss every time.  Very frustrating.

 

 

Can’t Live Without.

As I prepare for a match, I am always worried I will forget some essential gear.  What if I forget the latest greatest???  That being said you only NEED 3 things.  Rifle.  Ammo. Data Off Previous Engagements (DOPE).  Everything else can and has been borrowed from a friend.  That being said, I must have my ESP ear plugs, and gum.  I seriously love chewing gum while shooting. Hmmm. Oh yea.  NEVER forget knee pads.  Ugh.  I went to Sin City Precision’s VPRC match couple years ago, when they had a carnival hammer anvil bell thing. You had to shoot, then ring bell, then shoot, then ring bell, then shoot etc.  I forgot my knee pads and my knees were bleeding after that run.  My 5-yr old son still remembers that I was shooting, and it is bad for my knees! Ha.

 

Best Memories from the Sport.

Every single match is a great memory, but one story that I will never forget is the hardest, and costliest, stage I have ever shot.  I think it was 2012 Shoot For the Green in OK.  There was a stage with a Know Your Limit (KYL) rack.  For those of you that don’t know, a KYL has steel targets from big to small and you can generally shoot the smaller targets for more points.  This particular Course of Fire (COF) went as such.  Before you started shooting, you had to designate whether you wanted single points or double points per plate impact.  Double no brainer there.  Now here is the twist.  If you miss you will get negative points of what that plate value is.  So, for example, the first large 16” plate is now worth +2 for a hit and -2 for a miss.  The second 12” plate was +4 and -4.  The third plate is +6 and -6 and so on.  Target rack was at approximately 550 yards, and I lay down and say: Large plate, Boom, hit, +2 no problem.  This COF allowed you to target any plate you wanted at any time.  Ok, second plate, boom, miss (-4), now I’m at -2.  Man, that was bad, let’s try again. Same plate, boom, miss (-4), -6 now.  Ouch, I need to go back to big and figure things out.  First plate, boom hit (+2), -4 overall.  Now the plate was swinging straight back, but couldn’t tell I must have been catching the bottom of the plate.  I had 1 shot left and after seeing the plate swing perfect backwards, I went for the second plate again, boom, miss (-4), -8 total on the stage.  Brutal.  I finished the match 14th.  If I would have 0’d that stage, I would have been top 10, and if I would have just hit the large plate each time, I would have been 3rd in the match.  Moral of story…chase that dog!!! Hahaha.

 

Connect.

Social media is the devil.  Ha.  Seriously though, I struggle using bookface and that is only used for contacting my shooting friends and signing up for shooting matches.  Please feel free to contact me anytime for any questions on there as I am happy to help new shooters all the time.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only “Dorgan” on the interwebs, so it should be easy to find me.

 

Quote I Live By.

Ezekial 25:17
The Path of the righteous man is beset on all sides, by the inequities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed are those, who in the name of charity and justice, shepherd the weak, through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper, and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those, who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers! And you will know, my name is the lord, when I lay my vengeance upon thee!

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