Sunday, March 12, 2006

Douglas Ridge Rifle Club Pin Shoot

Some of the early arriving shooters learning about how pin shoots are done. Jill already has her trigger finger off the trigger in a safe position, and she isn't even holding the gun yet! Now THAT'S safety training!

Shooting for qualifying time to determine first round matchups.

Revolver class going at it hot and heavy!

More head-to-head competition.

KeeWee and I have now returned from Portland, a little blearly eyed and still a little road weary, but all in one piece. The drive South on I5 was a goat rope all the way, with heavy rain, hail, snow, and idiot drivers everywhere. There must have been eight or ten crashed and crunched cars along the way, and it was stop-and-go for well over an hour. Always a lot of fun with a stick shift! Idiots!!

On Friday night, once we got to Portland, we hooked up with Rivrdog and headed over to Buster's BBQ, a place well worth driving out of your way to get to! We had some really great ribs, and got a chance to visit a bit prior to conking out in the RV fairly early, as Saturday was going to be a busy day.

Saturday morning we were up at Oh-Dark-Thirty to a freezing cold RV. The propane furnace had quit in the middle of the night. Apparently the regulator had froze up in the middle of the night. Once we got the rig running and got a little engine heat circulating, the furnace started working fine. Just great! A furnace that only works on warm days! Anybody know what you do to solve this, short of relocating to Arizona?

Anyhow, after dragging ourselves out of a warm bed into the cold RV, we headed over to a local breakfast place to meet some other club members and have a hearty breakfast. Some hot coffee and food was definitely a help!

From breakfast we headed over to Boring, Oregon, a few miles away, to the Douglas Ridge Rifle Club's range to get the pin shoot set up. Did I mention it was COLD! There was even frost and small patches of snow on the ground here and there.

When I saw that the pistol range had a small building with a wood stove in it right next to the firing line, I should have figured out that these guys are used to it being cold at matches!

We got the pin tables set up, the pins in place, everyone signed up, had a short shooter's meeting to cover match rules and procedures and range safety.

Then we started shooting the qualifying, where each shooter would shoot three tables of five pins each against the clock. The slowest table time was thrown out, and the two best times added to determine placing in the first round matchups, fast against fast and slow against slow. This way the matches would be close, even in the first rounds.

I was pretty busy between running the shot timer, filling out the elimination charts, keeping everything kind of organized, and also shooting three classes! That's why there's not too many pictures!

After qualifying was over, we started into the match itself. We didn't have enough optical sight center-fire or rimfire entries to make up the class, so we dropped those two classes, and shot four classes: Rim-fire Iron Sight, Revolver, Center-fire Pistol, and Iron Sight Carry-gun.

In the carry gun class you were limited to loading no more rounds that the lowest capacity of the two guns in the round, so if you were shooting your 1911 against a five shot revolver, you only were allowed to load five rounds in your first magazine! When those were gone, you had to re-load!

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my Taurus 66 was shooting, as I had just installed a red dot sght on it the day before and had sighted it in, but had no time to practice with it at all. I had a couple of different size speed-loaders, but hadn't had time to see if either of them were even the right size, so I just had to concentrate on not using more that six rounds!

I also already knew that shooting double action I probably couldn't hit the berm, let alone a bowling pin, so I shot it single action. No problem though, since I watched a video once of some SASS Cowboy Action shooters shooting single action, and it didn't look to tough!

In spite of being basically clueless, it all worked out well, narrowly edging out a win in the final after some really close matches. If there had been a prize for the slowest reloads of the day, I would have been a shoo-in, as I lost every table when I had to re-load!

Luckily I got the job done with the first six most of the time. No wussy loads for me, either, as I was shooting .38 Plus-P hollow points! Had a ball shooting it, and the close matches made it even more fun! Watch for a gun review on the Taurus Model 66 in the next few days.

Considering that the group running the match had never done a pin shoot before, it came off rather well. We were a bit slower than it could have been, but the SNAFU's were all minor, and another match or two and they should be running like clockwork. The new "Speed Pins" type of match seems to be a winner, and the competition was often very close.

Thanks to the great folks at the DRRC for allowing Rivrdog and I to put on this demonstration event. Not only does DRRC have a great range facility, but also some of the nicest shooters you could care to meet.

There was a strong spirit of cooperation both from the members, and from some of the best RSO's I've ever worked with. There were a lot of close matches, and even some tie tables requiring shooting a tie-breaker table. Great fun!

I think we all had a great time, and the next one should be even better.

Hopefully it will also be a whole lot warmer...............


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