Saturday, May 27, 2006

Oak Harbor Falling Plates Match

Well, I did it again, ran off to a match and forgot to take the camera. Unfortunately KeeWee had to work today and tomorrow, so my backup camera/photographer wasn't there either. At least I remembered to take the gun case and range box so I had the stuff so I could compete, and I DID remember the thermos of coffee. The weather looked a bit threatening, and the coffee was definitely a good thing to have!

When the weather looks like it might rain the "fair weather" shooters stay home, but the really good shooters will always be there, rain or shine, and such was the case today at Oak Harbor. The best shooters from three different clubs converged on the Oak Harbor Sportsman's Association range for a Falling Plate match.

The rules are just about the same as the hanging plate matches, with 4 different distances; 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards, shooting at 7" diameter steel plates. There are 6 plates, and you have between 6 and9 seconds to take 6 shots. The farther the distance, the longer the allowed time. You shoot 3 groups, or "shot strings" of 6 shots at each distance, for a total possible score at each distance of 18 hits, times 4 distances, for a total possible score of 72 points. There were four different classes; Iron Sight Rimfire, Optical Sight Rimfire, Iron Sight Centerfire, and Optical Sight Centerfire. I skipped Iron Sight Rimfire for a change, and only entered Optical Sight Rimfire with My High Standard ML-106 and entered Optical Sight Centerfire with my Taurus model 66 revolver.

The best price I could find on cheap ammo for the Taurus turned out to be Remington hollow point .38 Plus P's, way more power than needed, but the price was right, so what the heck!

My double action revolver shooting, when trying to shoot quickly, could politely be described as "Needs Improvement". Since I was shooting for the fun of it anyway, I decided to shoot it single-action, and although I may run out of time, at least I would hit some of the plates, at least once in a while! That's about how it turned out. Against good shooters shooting double-action, and against good shooters shooting semi-autos, I managed to hit 52 of the 72 plates, good enough for, well, ....... dead last. Even so, I had a ball shooting it, and I made some of the loudest noises of all the shooters with those Plus-P's. I figure I was also the top scoring left handed shooter shooting a Brazilian revolver! Hey, you take what you can get, right?

As I said, the weather kept the fair weather shooters away, and the field was loaded with good shooters. To put my score of 52 in perspective, the Oak Harbor club classifies shooters into either A, B, C, or D class, depending on their scores in previous matches. My score of 52 puts me into the A class for future center fire matches!

Terrible Tom (you remember him!) was clearly the guy to beat in just about every class. Tom makes it look really easy. He not only won the center fire Iron sight class, but he was second in center fire Optical Sight class, shooting his iron sight gun! Tom was either first or second in every class, if I remember correctly.

The RimFire Optical Sight Class was my best hope, but there wasn't a bad shooter in the bunch. At 10 yards there wasn't a single miss between the top four or five shooters. At 15 yards I think it was still a 4 or 5 way tie! At 20 yards, there were a few misses, but many. No one missed more than 2 out of their 18 at that distance. At the end of the 25 yard distance, a few more misses, but not many. A perfect score was 72. Final scoring was 72, 71, 70, 70, 68 for the top 5 shooters.

I knew I had shot fairly well, and didn't think I had missed any, but I hadn't been following the scores on the scorer's clipboard. When I walked over and took a look, I read down to my name and read across the page. It was a solid row of 6's across the page! A perfect score! WOOO HOOOO!

Right behind me was Terrible Tom with 71, then I think it was Evil Al and a fellow from the Marysville club. With the adrenaline, the competition, the waiting between rounds, it's so easy rush a shot and miss a plate or five!

What a fun day! However, tomorrow is a Steel Challenge match at the CWSA range, and most of those same shooters are going to be there. I'm not much of a steel challenge match shooter, and tomorrow, I'm in BIG trouble..........

Stay tuned!


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