Sunday, April 02, 2006

CWSA 040206 Pin Shoot

Dean and KeeWee in one of the closest matches of the day

Here's their third table, KeeWee well on the way to the win!

Some days just don't go as planned! AnalogKid from Random Nuclear Strikes was going to stop by this morning with his new Ruger Mk. II-10, and we were going to shoot it a little to verify that it was sighted in for pin shooting, then KeeWee of KeeWee's Corner, AK and I were going to head up to the Central Whidbey Sportsman's Assn. range for the pin shoot. At least, that was the plan.

When AK was on the ferry boat carrying him to Whidbey Island, his cell phone rings. He's needed back in Tacoma by Noon to help out some inlaws, and he was the only person available. DANG!

When he got off the ferry he drove over to Completely Castle, and we had a few minutes for some visiting and a couple of KeeWee's homemade scones with wild blackberry jam.

After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the Mr. Completely Firearms Development Facility, otherwise known as the Lab of Boom. We each shot a few dozen rounds through the new Ruger with good result. Not all the work is complete on AK's race pin gun, but it's looking good so far.

AK then loaded up and headed back to Tacoma, and KeeWee and I headed off to the pin shoot in Coupeville.

When we got to Coupeville, the weather was partly sunny, and improving. It was going to be a beautiful day for a pin shoot. About Time!

When qualifying started up, three things became obvious. We were all shooting lousy, except for "Evil Al" who was lightning fast, and "Evil Al's" S&W model 41's had become possessed by evil spirits! At the last shoot he put over 250 rounds through them without a hiccup. Today they were rivaling my Jennings for unrelibility! Mis-feeds, stove-pipes, failure to extract, you name it, and they were doing it. I can't remember Al ever not being either the fastest or the second fastest qualifier, and today he was dead last in rimfire optical sight.

As I said, everyone was shooting lousy except Al, and his guns wouldn't work! It was going to be an interesting day!

Iron sight class only had three shooters today, and Al was having enough gun problems that he lost in the first round, being beaten by a new shooter to the club that I had never met. I shot against the new guy in the final, and narrowly pulled out a win.

Fortunately the light was really bright so I could use reading glasses to see the sights. The pin tops were little more that fuzzy white spots against the brown dirt of the berm, but for today, at least, that was good enough!

In optical sight class I qualified my High Standard in first and my Smith & Wesson 422 in second. They bumped the 422 down to 3rd. on the elimination chart so I didn't eliminate myself in the first round. KeeWee timed in somewhere around fifth or sixth.

I won both of my first round matchups, but not by much. Al, from the bottom slot, worked his way up to the semi-final. KeeWee got a first round bye, and met Dean in the second round. KeeWee and Dean have had some great matches in the past, and this matchup turned out to be one of the best matches of the day. The first table, KeeWee and Dean both shot well, and KeeWee took it by a fraction of a second. The second table she didn't shoot as well as the first, and Dean won it by a pin.

At this point a lot of shooters beat themselves by dwelling on their poor showing on the second table. KeeWee did just exactly what she should have done. She put the bad table behind her, and focused on the next table. The buzzer sounded, and she shot one of her best tables of the day, as you can see by the lower picture above.

That's one of the lessons I try to teach to other shooters. Don't beat yourself. Make the other shooter beat you. Put yourself in a position to win. It works!

The next round, the semi-finals, brought KeeWee and Al to the line to decide who I would face in the final. Al was able to get enough shots fired to get the pins and move to the final, but KeeWee was right behind him, waiting for a bobble. Al's 41 jammed on the last shot on both tables! Had he needed one more shot, she would have got him!

The final was close, with me winning the first table, Al and I in a dead heat on the second table, and I narrowly edged him on the deciding table. Al ended up second, I'm not sure who was third (Pegi?) and KeeWee was fourth.

There were a lot of close matches, and Al was clearly the fastest shooter today, but to win it's a combination of things together, including metal preparation and focus, shooting skills, equipment, and a lot of luck. You just never know how these things are going to turn out!

After the shoot KeeWee and I headed up to Oak Harbor for dinner at one of our favorite eateries, then back home for a nap.

It's hard work knocking those pins off the table..........


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