29 Facts About the NASTI Plus the Gear Fielded

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. 

That’s a metal rooftop and it’s on top of a real building!

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. 

Two Teams are about to start a stage.

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. 

A spotter helps his teammate find the target.

Fact 10: The most extreme angle target at the match was 35 degrees. 

Extreme angles were common. (This is not the most extreme angle target)

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.

A team uses one of their Eberlestock packs strapped to a tree for support. PC: TP

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. 

An example of what the shooters would find when they got to the shooting position. In this case there were lots of targets and they had to find the correct ones. PC: TP

Fact 14: The competitors navigated the stages with Garmin Foretrex 701 Ballistic GPS units.

Fact 15: The rifles were operational sniper rifles in real calibers and not gamer guns. Teams were using Remington MSR’s, Barret ASR’s & AI AXMC’s. 

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 17: The most common riflescope was the Nightforce ATACR 7-35, but there was a Leupold MK5, and a Vortex Razor fielded. 

Fact 18: Many of the teams used Long Range Arms Send-IT levels. 

Send-iT Levels help keep the gun level.

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. 

Here there’s a RRS tripod on the front of the rifle and an MDT CKYE pod on the back. PC: TP

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:

  • Nightforce
  • Seekins Precision
  • Barrett
  • Accuracy International
  • Leupold
  • Vortex
  • Eberlestock
  • RRS
  • Cross O Meats
  • BRCC
  • Terry Cross- KMWLRS.com
  • Sorinex
  • Bushnell
  • Hornady
  • Kestrel 
  • Rob Ziarnick – gunfighterdesign 
  • Long Range Arms- Bennie Cooley
  • Captsone – Berger/Lapua
  • Battle Boards 
  • The MUB 
  • Timney trigger
  • Proof
  • Down Range Systems 
  • MDT
  • KGM technologies
  • Kelby actions
  • Sitka
  • Redcon
  • Mountain Primal 
  • Hawk hill  
  • Yolked
  • Kill Cliff
  • Federal Ammunition

Fact 28: I can’t tell you who won or what unit they were from. Sorry.

The winning team with their trophies. Congrats gentlemen!

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.

About the author: True Pearce 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/

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Brian Parsons January 27, 2022, 11:11 am

    This would be an amazing event to just watch the pros do what they do best. I would rather see this than any other sporting event. I’m really disappointed not to see a 6 or 6.5 creed not in the hunt. I thought that caliber took over all the rest. Great work to those who have the ability to host such a great event. It looks absolutely amazing. God speed to those who have the speed, and low drag!!

  • jimmy anderson January 4, 2022, 4:23 pm

    I’m truly sorry for you, Slim, and your kind.

  • Donald Jones December 27, 2021, 1:26 pm

    Were there international shooters or teams present?
    Was it a one day event?

  • Metoo December 27, 2021, 8:11 am

    Cover their faces, but not their tattoos. That’s a fail. If you want to stay incognito hide your tats or don’t get them in the first place.

    • Slim December 27, 2021, 11:31 am

      Yeah, agreed! And who cares who any of these guys are anyways?! I literally couldn’t care less who anyone of these GUYS are since as you can see no chicks can be found. I put it like this, if you have to hide you face then CLEARLY your doing something YOUR NOT PROUD OF OR ISNT GOOD! Just like coward cops who wear masks, cowards! Be PROUD of what you do or if you can’t then find a different job that people don’t want to KILL YOU FOR! And why exactly are we having all the supposed “elite” snipers all in one place(sure the military let out ALL their BEST shooters!)for someone to wipe off the map all at once? What’s the point? Just to tell nobody your the best… for what?! I guess all these morons who put on these events and even worse the bigger morons who show up forget there us now THREE types of Covid out! Let the dumb cough all over each other hopefully be they procreate.

      • O.S.O.K January 1, 2022, 12:00 pm

        To Slim, you are an idiot! I’m sorry but these guys are the reason some wars don’t start! They are the reason you get to sleep at night! An why you can enjoy your freedoms during your daily routine!
        They choose to do what they do no matter of how people LIKE you look at them.
        While you are a follower, these heroes are leaders! While you are running away from danger these guys are running to it!
        As your comment says 3 types of Covid…. Ha! That is what you have to be scared of! ……….. ungrateful!
        How about this try living in another country that don’t have the belief’s we have here an the men an women we have to protect those beliefs!

      • Jay January 15, 2022, 11:19 pm

        Moronic idiot. The village wants u back. Almost all of these guys are operational SOF and that’s why they are blacked out and if u dont know what that means, go ask ur antifa buddies.

  • Wayne Scholtes November 9, 2021, 10:21 am

    Major props to those participating warriors. The altitude and pitch of the terrain make it tough on the body. Knees are at risk going downslope under load. BTDT. Hope there were no injuries.

  • YankeeDespot November 9, 2021, 9:10 am

    Really spectacular photography. Beautiful shots of such rugged country. And all the cool gear. I wanna go there and embarrass myself.

  • SCG November 9, 2021, 6:57 am

    I was a police tactical sniper and I wish I would have had training at this level! I’m just glad you’re the good guys taking out the bad guys! 👍🏻💪🏻😎

  • Dr. Larry Mixon November 8, 2021, 6:01 pm

    An awesome read! Glad I stumbled on to it. Keep up the great work. Hooah!

  • Kevin Reed November 8, 2021, 1:36 pm

    Can’t thank these guys enough for the training they put themselves through, the commitment to serve, and the sacrifices they make.

  • MEL METER November 8, 2021, 11:35 am

    great video of some great warriors………..thanks for your service

  • Joseph A. Ramirez November 8, 2021, 11:18 am

    Absolutely, remarkable article. Please keep us informed on these events, if possible and thank you.

    j@r😎

  • Dj Brierly November 8, 2021, 9:46 am

    Great article. Morgan is a great guy and a hell of a shooter and instructor

  • Tim Donovan November 8, 2021, 8:48 am

    Great article!

  • Capt Art November 8, 2021, 6:57 am

    Outstanding presentation of an ultimate real world challenge.
    Congrats to all of the teams, and thanks to True Pearce for compiling this presentation in a fashion that puts the reader on the scene.

  • Patrick Fennimore November 7, 2021, 12:41 pm

    excellent summary.

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