Sunday, April 15, 2007

KRRC Fun Steel Match - 04/14/2007

5:30am comes awfully early for someone who's a night person to start with, but when the alarm went off I dragged myself out of bed and made an attempt to become one of the living. Not exactly 100% successful, but I did the best I could! Anyhow, if I was going to catch the 7:15 ferry from Whidbey Island over to Port Townsend, and make it to the Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club's monthly Fun Steel match, it had to be done.

I loaded up the guns, gear, and coffee, and headed out the door for the ferry dock, a 20 minute drive away. The ferries often have more cars waiting than what the boat will carry, so you have to be there at least 30 minutes early, sometimes even earlier. I managed to get on the 7:15 boat, and 30 minutes later drove off the boat into Port Townsend. From there I drove South, then headed back East across the Hood Canal Floating bridge to get to the Kitsap Peninsula. From there it was perhaps another 30 minutes to the KRRC range, near Bremerton, Washington. I arrived at the range just about 9am, as planned.

JohnD, our Match Director, loading some magazines.

Shortly after I arrived I met JohnD, the match director, whom I had met last year here at the KRRC range. We got signed up, had a shooter's meeting, and split up into two squads. Our squad consisted of JohnD, JohnM, and myself, but since each of us were shooting two classes, in effect we had a squad of six shooters. One squad started on stage one, and we started on stage four. The stages were all unique, and none were hard to shoot, if you shoot slowly, but of course this match is scored on time, so the stages got a bunch harder when you hurry. There were a total of six stages, and you shot each stage five times against the clock ,with your slowest time thrown out. That means I shot each stage five times with my High Standard .22, then five more times with the Taurus PT92 9mm. Econo Race Gun. Total runs came to sixty for me for the day. That's a fair amount of shooting!

Stage four (?), put one shot on each target as fast as you can!

As we walked to the far end of the lower range area, it was raining lightly, but as we started shooting the rain stopped, and the weather started getting better. Even the sun was starting to peek through. By stage five it was getting downright pleasant, and by stage six jackets were taken off.

On this stage you have to shoot each round target twice, and the square one once, in whatever order you prefer.

By now the weather was getting downright balmy, and it was T-Shirt weather. As we walked from stages 4, 5, and 6 to the upper range area for stages 1, 2, and 3, we passed the parking lot, so I dropped off my heavy jacket, since I didn't figure I needed it. BIG MISTAKE!

Hit any five rimfire, or knock over any five for centerfire. This is a regular falling plate rack.

Once we got set up and underway on stage one, the blue sky disappeared, the clouds turned dark, and it began to rain. Everyone, and everything, got drenched. Shooting a red dot sight with water running down the glass is a challenge, to say the least! Everything got wet and slippery. I went to pick up the plastic ammo box with my rimfire ammo and magazines inside, and the oil on it mixed with the water made it slippery, and it slipped out of my hand, dumping my magazines and ammo into the mud and sand. OH JOY! I cleaned up everything as best as possible, and we sloshed our way through the final two stages. Just as we finished the final stage, the rain let up and turned into a light drizzle.

Range box and gun case, covered in mud and water.
(Click for enbigalizing)

I loaded everything back into the van, Grabbed a cup of coffee from the thermos, and turned on the heater to dry out a bit. JohnD, DebbieK, and I headed down to the 19th. Hole pub (must be a golf course nearby?) to add up the scores and get something to eat.

We had a chance to visit, swap stories, and just have a pleasant "wind-down" period. What a great way to wind up a match!

As the saying goes, "Time, tide, and the Washington State Ferries wait for no man" so I climbed into the van and re-traced my patch North up the Kitsap peninsula, West across the Hood Canal bridge, and North to Port Townsend. I arrived at the ferry dock a half an hour before the 5:15 boat, but it was already full, so I had to sit in the van until 6:45 for the next ferry. Bummer!

Eventually I did manage to get back onto Whidbey Island and home.

But wait, I have a case full of water-logged guns to clean. Again, OH JOY! I filled a plastic pan with Hoppe's and submerged and sloshed all the magazines to displace to water. I field stripped the pistols and gave then a good cleaning and oiling. by then my eyes were starting to cross from fatigue, so I took a hot shower and hit the sack.

Went out like a light.......



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