CWSA Steel Challenge 07/02/06
When I woke up this morning I was greeted by the sound of fog horns. A quick look out the window confirmed that everything was fog bound. "Maybe that will keep the temperatures down a bit once it burns off, I thought".
I loaded the range box, a thermos of coffee, and a couple of gun cases into the trunk of the beer can cleverly recycled by the Japanese into a small four door go cart, and headed off to Coupeville.
I got there a little early so I could give a hand to setting up the match for the day. There were target stands to position, chairs to set out, and my favorite part, steel plates to spray paint. A fresh coat of spray paint a few times during the day makes it easier to tell near misses from hits.
I still hadn't decided exactly what classes I wanted to shoot today as I was standing in line for the sign-up. At the last minute I decided to shoot Rimfire optical sight, and optical sight center fire revolver as I could shoot both without having to change glasses. The iron sight classes required me to change over to my reading glasses, then back again for the optical sight classes. Too much trouble on a hot day, I thought.
I would probably be busy enough trying to figure out how to shoot a steel challenge match with my revolver, since this would be my first attempt at it.
By now the sun had burned off the fog, and it was already starting to get hot. Being down in a hole so to speak, surrounded by dirt berms on three sides, there wasn't any breeze at all.
Here's JimP with his iron sight 10" barreled Ruger Mk. II in the iron sight rimfire class. LouG is running the timer, and Steve is scoring. Note Jim's paper towel anti-sunburn neck protector!
We had three different stages set up, and this was the fastest of the three. You got 5 tries to shoot all five of the steel plates as fast as you could go. You had to shoot the center yellow plate, called the "Stop Plate" last. Your slowest time of the 5 tries was discarded, and the other 4 added up towards your total score. With my rimfire High Standard race gun I managed a 5 shot run of 2.63 seconds, a personal best. "Evil Al" however, was up next, and solidly rained all over my parade, shooting a 1.97 second run. WOW!
As the day went on it got hotter and hotter, at least for us Washingtonians, who just aren't used to this kind of weather.
In the rimfire optical class, Al was even hotter than the weather, and he more or less ran away and hid from the rest of us! I managed a second place, but I wasn't even close to the times he was shooting.
The Optical sight Revolver class was a big surprise. LouG had loaded up some .38 special ammo and we both decided to try it out. I didn't think anyone would appreciate the Plus-P's I'd been using on the pins! Everyone except me was shooting double action, but I could barely hit a large barn double-action, so I decided that even if it was slower, single action was how I would have to shoot. As the saying goes, "Slow hits always beat fast misses!". I was also using some old style speed loaders, so if I had to reload, I was toast!
My game plan was to be sure to hit steel with every shot so I didn't have to reload. Most of the other shooters were faster than me, but if they had to reload, it might cost them enough time that I might just be able to sneak up on them! Granted, this is all just for the fun of it, but it's a lot more fun if I can manage to be at least somewhere close. I also had one other disadvantage. Since I wasn't drawing from a holster, I would be penalized 1.25 seconds on each run, which adds up to a total of 15 seconds for the match.
I stuck to the plan all day, and didn't miss a single target with the revolver through the entire match. I figured that maybe, just maybe, I might have even made it into the top 5. I knew that several of the other shooters had needed to reload, or picked up a penalty here and there, but I figured I was well out of it.
To my surprise when they announced the results, I had actually won the Optical Sight Centerfire Revolver class! My Taurus Model 66, now nicknamed "The Raging Bullock" had worked flawlessly, LouG's ammo was perfect for the job, and most of all, I had a lot of fun shooting it, which, when you get right down to it, is what it's all about!
Now about this sunburn.........