A New Club Record?
The rain went away overnight, and we had a nice day for shooting, with partly sunny skies and mild temperatures. This match was comprised of three different setups, or "stages", each with five steel plate targets of different sizes, and arranged at different distances. One of the five plates was painted yellow, and you had to shoot it only after shooting each of the other four plates once. You could shoot the white plates in any order, but the stop plate had to be shot last. Each shooter shot each stage five times, and the slowest time of the five was thrown out. The remaining four scores were added up along with the other stage times to determine the winner. If you miss a plate and then shoot the stop plate there is a penalty. If you shoot from the wrong position there is a penalty. All penalties are additional seconds added to your time.
All went along smoothly, with "Evil Al" running off and hiding in terms of times through the first two stages. I decided to only shoot the rimfire optical sight (Rimfire Open) today, and skip the iron sight class. The long barrel on my High Standard pistol is most suited for targets that are fairly close together, and the farther apart they are, the slower it becomes, and these were quite far apart. Even so, after the first two stages I was in second place. Al was so far ahead that he could just about stop for coffee in the middle of the third stage and still win all the marbles.
Ah yes, the third stage! Nightmares are made of things like this! The third stage, as shown in the lowest picture above, required that you shoot the to large rectangular plates from the rear box, then move forward to the closer box and shoot the two round plates, then finish by shooting the stop plate.
Did I mention that words and phrases like "graceful" "agile", and "fleet of foot" have, to my knowledge, never been used in any description of me. That's why I like matches where I can just stand in one place and shoot at stuff!
It appears that I may have established a new club record for the number of penalty points assessed in a single stage of a steel match. In fact, the scorer and referee weren't quite sure exactly how many penalty seconds I actually collected in the one run.
Here's what happened, as best as I can remember, as it was something of a blurry nightmare. I got ready to shoot in the rear box, pistol in one hand pointed at the ground in front of me, my other hand above my shoulder in a "half surrender" position. The buzzer goes off, and I shoot the first big plate, then miss the second one. By then I was already moving to the forward box and couldn't get stopped, so I shot one of the smaller plates from the front box, then remembering that I hadn't shot the second large plate, I shot it. Oops! Gotta shoot THAT one from the rear box, so I attempted to run backwards (!) to the back box, which I managed to do without falling down, and then shot the second big plate. Then I shot the other small plate and the stop plate, but then I remembered that the second small plate and the stop plate had to be shot from the front box, and I was now back in the rear box again, and by then I was laughing so hard I could hardly shoot, so I gave up and emptied the magazine into the stop plate! Fortunately I got to throw that one score out, or the timer and referee would still be adding up penalties! Everyone agreed, it was by far the most entertaining run of the day!
I guess I'm lucky I don't have to make a living at this, I would have starved to death a long time ago!