The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

The Tactical Games, Day One

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

Photos by Wise Men Company

In Meridian, Mississippi, The Tactical Games is going into the second day of battles. There are three more battles until the top athletes are determined. If you're not familiar with The Tactical Games, it's an athletic competition that weighs heavily on strength, endurance, and marksmanship. It's not for the weak.

Tactical Games.03

Most competitions call specific courses of fire, stages, but The Tactical Games calls them battles. You can expect to run a lot, while carrying heavy things, like sandbags or water jugs. Then once you're good and winded and your arms are essentially worthless noodles, you've got to make accurate shots with either a rifle or pistol (some battles include both firearms). And every missed shot is a 10 second penalty added to your overall stage time.

Tactical Games.06

The divisions are simple:

  • If you already consider yourself to be a top athlete, you'd fall into the Elite Division
  • If you may be lacking in either the area of the competition, get into the Intermediate Division
  • If you were born with ovaries, step on into the Ladies Division
  • If you're over 45, then slide on into the Masters Division

Tactical Games.14

The gear required is just as easy to understand:

  • You need a rifle with a red dot and back up iron sights, the rifle must have a sling because you'll be running around with it on your body a lot.
  • Everyone needs to have a plate carrier, with plates. Men must wear a plate carrier that's at least 15 pounds; women must carry one that's 12 pounds.
  • Pistols are expected to be “combat-style,” even though some units in the military mount dots on their pistols, The Tactical Games keeps it old school-ish. You can have fiber optic or high-vis sights, they just can't be electronic.
  • You need to be able to carry all of your equipment and retain it while doing feats of athleticism, like climbing a rope while kitted up. A retention pistol holder is a must-have so your pistol doesn't fly out of the holster.

Tactical Games.02

Day one consisted of three battles during unpredictable weather. It had already rained the night before, so competitors were sloshing and slipping through water and mud during some of the battles. One battle even included crawling through sketchy, tetanus-filled tunnels. That was the most difficult battle we saw because it also involved running up and down multiple flights of stairs before the tunnels and carrying heavy sandbags from the start and back to the finish.

Tactical Games.08

Tactical Games.07

Not breaking down completely during this competition requires a strong mental mindset and knowing your own limitations. We watched as athletes took brief breaks during stages just to regain enough energy to finish.

After day one, the top three athletes in the Elite Division are:

  1. Ivan Loomis with 288 points
  2. Jared Halbert with 282 points
  3. Ben Brown with 252 points

Tactical Games.13

We've been providing coverage on our Facebook page with live videos of battles and interviews. Check those out here

In this video, we follow Ivan Loomis through his second battle of Day One:

If you're on Instagram, follow the coverage here @recoilmagazine. We've even got RECOIL team member, Scott McGregor, repping in the Masters Division:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by RECOIL (Official) (@recoilmagazine) on

Today, John “Tig” Tiegen will takeover The Tactical Games' Instagram account to show live events. Check them out at @thetacticalgames.

Read Ivan Loomis' take on the last Tactical Games, where he discusses the validation it gives and also gives tips on how to do well at the games:

Our recap from the last games can be found here

We'll have more coverage today and will follow up with a recap. To learn more about The Tactical Games, go to

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free