Sunday, April 09, 2006

KRRC Fun Steel Handgun Match Report

KeeWee and I are finally back from our "Road Trip", tired and glad to be home. Rocket, the cat who owns Completely Castle, was glad to see us back too.

We started out Saturday morning early in our opulent land yacht, first stop the Keystone car ferry from Whidbey Island over to Port Townsend, a thirty minute ride across Puget Sound that the tourists enjoy, but the locals don't particularly enjoy at all. Basically boring.

From Port Townsend we drove South to the Hood Canal floating bridge, the longest floating bridge over saltwater in the world. Actually it's better known for having broken up and sunk in a big wind storm a number of years ago, but that's another story.

Roughly an hour later we pulled in to the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club Range, near Silverdale, Washington. KeeWee and I had heard about their "Fun Steel" matches, and thought we'd give it a try. Other shooters were just starting to arrive, and we soon located John, who had been our email contact, and who had provided driving instructions so clear that even Mr. Completely found the place the first try!

Sometimes I'm a little slow to figure things out, but when John unloaded his tundra-tired wagon with a built in umbrella stand and coffee cup holder, I should have suspected we were likely to travel some rough ground, and get wet. Both turned out to be true!

Looking out across the range you can see well bermed bays all over the place. If you click the picture for a larger image, two of the bays, with steel targets setup, are visible in the distance. One dead ahead, and one to the right of the first.

The format was six stages, five five-shot strings at each set of plates against the clock at each stage. Starting position was with the muzzle resting on the barrel in front of you. The worst run is discarded, and the remaining four are added up for your score on that particular stage. Then on to the next stage.

The first stage was a real "Speed Burner". Only one 18" by 24" target plate roughly ten yards away. It was a real ball to shoot, I could have stayed there all day! KeeWee's fasted run was around 2.7 seconds, I managed a run at 1.73 seconds, (good enough for second place on that stage) and the stage and overall winner shot a 1.18 seconds. Think about that! After you take out the reaction time and time to raise the gun and time acquire the target, that figures out to five shots in roughly one half second! WHEW!

The second stage required a lot more accuracy, with five smaller plates at about fifteen yards.

The third stage was even harder as the distance was perhaps 20 yards, and it was almost a 90 degree difference from the first to the fifth plate. The fifth plate is partially obscured by the umbrella.

After the third stage it started raining, and everyone started getting wet. I put the camera away to keep it from getting soaked. That's why there's no pictures of the 4th. and 6th. stages.

This is the 5th. stage, again a single plate, but at about 25 yards, five shots as fast as you can shoot.

The 4th. stage was comprised of 2 10" plates, each roughly 10' on either side of a black stop plate to be shot last. Two shots on one plate, two shots on the other, then a single shot to the stop plate.

The final stage was five small rectangular plates, close to the ground, and spread over approximately a 90 degree arc. The toughest of all the stages as you had to be fairly careful with your aim! To make it even harder, the center plate was the stop plate, and you had to shoot it last.

After completing the 6th. stage, we trudged back to the covered rifle range shooting area to load our gear back into the RV. (Still opulent, and now somewhat cleaner due to the rain.)

After giving some of the members a hand picking up the targets and target stands and hauling them back to storage, we all retired to a local pub for burgers, refreshments, score tabulation, and lots of gun talk.

As we were finishing our final mouthfuls of the house specialty, the "Three Napkin Burger", (false advertising, it took me four napkins!) the final scores were passed around for all to see. One shooter had won every single stage, and no one was even very close. I apologise for not writing down his name, but when I get it I'll edit this post. He was approximately ten seconds quicker that the second place shooter.

To my amazement, my name was in second place! I knew I was having a ton of fun, but I didn't think I was doing that well! keeWee shot a solid set of times, finishing in tenth place out of fifteen total shooters.

The threatening weather probably was the reason for the smaller than usual turnout.

If you've wanted to try a fun shooting event with a really great bunch of folks, and you live anywhere in the Western Washington area, the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver club's "Fun Steel" matches should be at the top of your list. It's a great club!

After our burgers and refreshments, we loaded our slightly soggy selves back into our land yacht and headed for a nearby state park campground for the night.

It had been a long day and a whole lot of fun and good fellowship, but we were both starting to fade, and it was time to get some sleep......

UPDATE: KeeWee has a post up on the match with some more pictures at KeeWee's Corner.


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