Friday, August 25, 2006

CWSA Inter-Club Qualifier Update

A few posts back I mentioned that I was going to shoot in the Central Whidbey Sportsman's team qualifier match to see if I could make the four man team for the upcoming inter-club match to be held in late September. Since all handguns have to be .32 caliber or larger, I couldn't use any of my rimfire race guns. Instead, I decided to shoot my Taurus Model 66 revolver in .38SPL, and also try the Taurus PT92 "Econo Race Gun" project 9mm. semi-auto, even though I haven't really got it ready for competition yet. If I can't qualify with one, perhaps I can make it with the other.

The first qualifier match was set up as four runs on each of two steel challenge stages, then 4 runs against the clock with full size bowling pins as a third stage. The 9mm. Taurus, usually the picture of reliability when it comes to feeding and ejecting, just about drove me nuts! Most of the time it would work flawlessly, then it would fail to eject for two or three in a row. Everything seemed to be OK, and nothing was obviously wrong. Needless to say, my times with the 9mm. weren't very good, but one or two runs where everything worked properly looked very encouraging. (It wasn't until the next day that I found the problem. A small piece of junk was lodged under the extractor, keeping it from fully hooking the cartridge. Since it was only a small chunk, the extractor still hooked the brass, but just barely.)

The revolver was working much better, and even though I'm nowhere near as fast as "Evil AL" I managed to hang in there with steady times. It was decided that for shooters not starting from a holster, the start position would be a one handed low-ready, with the other hand above your shoulder, and a time penalty on each shot string would be assessed to the holsterless shooters. There was a number of opinions expressed on exactly what the time penalty should be. My personal opinion is thazt it should be roughly 3/4 of a second per shot string, but opinions ranged as high as 2 seconds per string. The final decision is still up in the air, but at least for the first try-out, Al, LouG, young Tony, and myself were the top four, and there was a fair sized gap to the number five position, regardless of the size of the time penalty. I only need to be fourth to make the team, so no complaints!

However, this was only the first tryout. There's one more on September 7th., and if anyone beats my times at that second tryout, I get bumped from the team. Needless to say, I plan to get the Econo Race Gun finished up and practice with it a bit before the next tryout, in addition to getting in some practice with the revolver too.

I've got the reloading press more or less set up now, and I need to work up a couple of good 9mm. loads, one hot enough to send a bowling pin flying, and another load that has minimal recoil with just enough bullet to ding a steel plate. Both loads must feed through the same gun reliably. Fortunately the Taurus PT92 isn't too picky on ammo.

Sounds like some range trips are in order.

Oh Well, if I must........


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